Examples of Contributory Negligence in Alaska Car Accidents


If you were hurt in an auto accident in Alaska, you probably know that you have the option to seek compensation for your losses. What you may not realize is that your own conduct related to the crash may affect how much you can recover. The reason is that Alaska has enacted a statute regarding comparative negligence, which focuses on how your actions may have contributed to the collision. Your monetary damages could be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to you.

The details regarding comparative negligence are complex, so you should trust an Anchorage, AK car accident lawyer to minimize the impact of the law. However, you might understand the basic concepts better by reviewing some examples of comparative fault.

  • Speeding: Regardless of the other driver’s negligent conduct, the fact that you were speeding could certainly be a contributing factor in the accident. If you were going the speed limit, you may have been able to avoid the crash. Plus, the other motorist may have assumed you were complying with the posted limit, but you deviated from his or her expectations.
  • Going Through Red Lights or Stop Signs: Not only are you violating the law, but you are also failing to exercise reasonable care when driving through a traffic signal – one of the key elements of a case based upon negligence.
  • Passing and Unlawful Lane Changes: This comparative fault scenario is common in heavy traffic situations and construction zones. Neither circumstance absolves you from your own duty to drive safely when changing lanes or passing other cars.
  • Not Using Your Blinker: Anticipation and predicting the actions of other motorists are two key safety factors, which is why turn indicators have been installed on vehicles dating back to the early 1900s. The most dangerous situation of not using your blinker is when you are making a left turn across oncoming traffic. However, if you fail to use your turn signal even when you are making a right turn, vehicles behind you may not be able to avoid hitting you.
  • Cell Phone Use: The point cannot be stressed enough that texting, talking, taking pictures, posting to social media, and other cell phone use while driving is extremely dangerous. Some would even argue that these activities are even more hazardous than driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. If an insurance company discovers that you were using your phone when it investigates the accident, you can be sure your compensation will be low – and likely justified on the basis of Alaska’s contributory negligence laws.


Reach Out to an Alaska Car Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Options 

As you can see, your rights as the victim of an auto crash could come down to a “he said-she said” scenario that affects the amount of compensation you can obtain. At Power & Power Law, it is our goal to overcome the challenges of comparative negligence, so you get the top monetary damages you deserve. To learn how we can help, please contact our Anchorage, Alaska office to set up a free consultation today.