Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Alaska?


If you recently lost a loved one in an auto crash, accident on property, from medical malpractice or under other tragic circumstances, you and your family may already be suffering losses you never expected. Besides your unimaginable grief, there are financial and emotional consequences due to the void left behind. The decedent’s contributions as far as love, guidance, education, and support can leave you feeling helpless and facing an uncertain future.

It may come as some relief to know that you have remedies under Alaska’s wrongful death statute, including a claim for compensation against the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s passing. However, the law is specific on who can pursue a party for monetary damages, since only someone with legal “standing” can seek compensation. You can count on an Anchorage, AK wrongful death lawyer to assist with the process, but you may find it helpful to review some information on who is eligible to file a claim.


Summary of Alaska Wrongful Death Laws

This legal cause of action is similar to a personal injury case, except that the victim in a wrongful death was killed instead of just suffering injury. To recover monetary damages, you need to prove the fundamental elements of a claim based upon negligence, which are:

  • The responsible party had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care;
  • That person or entity breached this duty through a careless act or omission;
  • The breach was a direct cause of the accident in which the victim was killed; and,
  • Surviving loved ones suffer losses due to the individual’s passing.


In a successful claim, you can obtain compensation for how the victim’s death affects your life. This is the key difference between wrongful death and personal injury claims: Instead of centering on the harm that came to the victim, the focus is on the losses suffered by surviving family members. It is possible to recover for:

  • The financial support the decedent would have contributed;
  • Loss of consortium, training, and education; and,
  • Funeral costs and medical expenses.


Wrongful Death Claims Require Standing

 Alaska’s statute clearly states that the victim’s personal representative is eligible to file a lawsuit based upon wrongful death. This individual may be someone the victim named in a will or appointed by the probate court, in the case of an intestate estate. The personal representative pursues the case for the benefit of:

  • The deceased person’s surviving spouse;
  • Children of the victim; or,
  • Other dependents who relied upon the decedent for support.


If the person died without a spouse, children, or other dependents, the personal representative can seek compensation for further distant relatives. However, these individuals are limited to some extent.


Discuss Your Legal Remedies with an Alaska Wrongful Death Attorney

 To learn more about standing in a wrongful death claim and the monetary damages you can recover please contact Power & Power Law right away. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation at our office in Anchorage, Alaska to learn more about your circumstances.