How Alaska Personal Injury Laws Apply to Accidents NOT Caused by Negligence


The vast majority of accidents in Alaska are the result of unintentional acts, but victims can suffer serious injuries nevertheless. When pursuing the at-fault person or entity for compensation, it is usually necessary to prove the elements of a negligence-based case: The responsible party breached the duty to exercise reasonable care, and this failure was the direct cause of the accident in which the victim was hurt. The reasonableness standard is measured by what a prudent person would have done under the same circumstances, and a deviation from this course would be considered negligence.

However, there is a wide range of misconduct that is not related to the carelessness or inadvertent misconduct that supports a negligence case. Some incidents are the result of reckless or intentional acts, possibly impacting your compensation – to your advantage. Your Anchorage personal injury lawyer might employ a strategy for seeking additional damages in such a situation, so it is important to understand the basic concepts.


Key Definitions Under Personal Injury Laws 

Because you may qualify for additional monetary damages as described below, it is helpful to review how liability works when the at-fault party’s conduct was not negligent. Important definitions include:


Intentional Conduct: When the other person acted knowingly and purposefully in the acts that led to your injuries, you could file a claim for an intentional “tort” – i.e., wrongdoing. Misconduct such as assault, battery, and other violent attacks are criminal in nature, but they also give rise to a cause of action in a civil lawsuit.


Reckless Acts: Essentially falling in between negligent acts and intentional misconduct, the legal standard of recklessness is also a theory of liability in personal injury cases. In Alaska, the definition of reckless encompasses actions that create a substantial risk of serious physical injury. Examples of recklessness include:

  • A motorist who causes a car accident by driving while drunk, under the influence of drugs, or while drag racing;
  • Property owners that conceal dangerous conditions rather than fixing them;
  • Manufacturers who place dangerous, defective products into the stream of commerce; or,
  • Medical malpractice by a “doctor” who is not authorized to practice medicine in Alaska.


How Intentional, Reckless Acts Impact Damages

Alaska’s statute on punitive damages is the reason that you may want to pursue an at-fault party under theories of liability other than negligence. You may qualify to obtain amounts in addition to compensation for your losses, since punitive damages are meant to punish the person or entity who caused you harm.


Trust an Anchorage, AK Personal Injury Attorney to Seek All Available Damages

It is good to know that you have remedies that go beyond compensation for your losses and actually serve to punish the party who caused your harm. Because of the complicated process, it is wise to rely on our team at Power & Power Law. For more information about punitive damages in Alaska, contact our office to set up a free consultation.