Frequently Asked Questions

General Frequently Asked Questions

  • Call 911 to report the accident and to request medical attention.
  • If you are medically able, collect the name of the other driver and get his/her car insurance information.
  • If the police do not respond to your accident scene, you (or someone else if you are medically unable) should photograph the scene and collect witness names and contact information.
  • Get medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. Follow through with recommended treatment.
  • As soon as possible, write a narrative describing how the accident happened, how you were injured, and any comments made by witnesses.
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so that evidence is not lost or destroyed.
  • Yes. It is important to photograph your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle.
  • Photographs of your injuries demonstrate to insurance adjusters or jurors the extent of the injuries you sustained.
  • It is best to have an attorney involved in any communications with insurance companies. Insurance adjusters typically audiotape conversations with claimants (injured persons). Adjusters often ask questions in such a way that the claimant provides inaccurate representations of the facts and this later hurts the claimant’s case.
  • Many car owners purchase an insurance policy that has a “med-pay” provision. If you have this provision, your car insurance carrier will pay for your medical bills up to the limit you purchased.
  • If you do not have this insurance provision, some medical providers will provide you medical treatment if you grant the provider a lien against your recovery. This means that the provider gets paid out of your settlement or jury award.
  • If the other driver does not have car insurance, you may make a claim on your own car insurance under the uninsured motorist coverage provision.
  • If the other driver fled the scene before you got the driver’s names, you may still make a claim on your own car insurance.
  • Every accident is different and presents different facts. The value of an injured person’s damages are dependent on the severity of the physical injures, emotional distress, inconvenience, lost enjoyment of life, and lost consortium.  Additionally, the value is dependent of past medical expenses, future medical expenses, past lost wage/earnings, and future lost wages/earnings.  Your attorney can help you calculate the value of your case.
  • When you are unable to work due to the injuries you sustained in an accident, you can make a claim for lost wages or earnings.Your attorney can help you calculate the total value of your lost income.
  • In Alaska, you may still receive compensation for your injuries even if you are partly at fault. Typically, when an injured person has some responsibility for the accident, a percentage of fault is allocated to both the other driver and the injured person. For instance, depending on the facts, the other driver might be allocated 80% of the fault and the injured driver might be allocated 20% of the fault.  When this happens, the injured party is compensated for 80% of his/her damages, rather than 100%.
  • Many claims settle before a lawsuit is filed. And, of those cases that are filed at the courthouse, most settle before trial.  Your attorney will work with you for an early settlement, if possible, then to litigate it if necessary. Ultimately, you will make the decisions as to settlement or litigation.
  • Most personal injury attorneys take a contingent fee from whatever settlement or jury verdict obtained for you. This means that your attorney will receive an agreed upon percent of the recovery you obtained, and you do not need to pay the attorney upfront.
  • A contingent fee agreement means that your attorney agrees to take a percent of your settlement proceeds or jury award, rather than bill you on an hourly basis. So, your attorney is only paid if she is successful in getting you compensation.
  • In Alaska, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the date of the incident. You must file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires to avoid forfeiting your claim. To safeguard your claim, contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you timely file your claim.
  • Every case is different. If the claimant’s injuries can be easily proven by medical evidence, the case may be completed in less than a year. However, if the claimant’s injuries are severe and his/her medical future is unknown, it can take longer than a year.
  • An attorney can help you avoid landmines in dealing with insurance companies and can assist you in navigating through the complexities of litigation. Unfortunately, it is difficult for most people to handle an insurance claim or a lawsuit on their own. An attorney will assist you in maximizing the amount of your compensation.