Catastrophic Injuries Attorney in Anchorage, Alaska
Catastrophic injuries change the course of the injury victim’s life and the lives of those around them. The injuries are serious, permanent, and debilitating. The person injured may no longer work in a typical job if they can work at all. They may require medical treatment, special accommodations, supervision and care, and rehabilitation for the rest of their lives.
Falls and transportation-related accidents are the two most common causes of serious injury in Alaska. Sometimes, these incidents are purely accidents. However, many of these incidents occurred because someone else was negligent and the victim ended up paying the price. Someone’s negligence might have harmed someone else in a slip and fall, an oil rig accident, or in a car, truck, commercial vehicle, or airplane accident.
If you have suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of another party’s negligence, or if someone you loved has suffered them, the fight for compensation for their injuries may be challenging. Your damages are extremely significant and insurance companies are loathe to pay catastrophic injury claims. They will fight you every step of the way. If you ask me to represent you as your personal injury attorney, I will work hard for you and your family to pursue the peace of mind you deserve.
At the Law Office of Jason Skala, LLC, I help those with catastrophic injuries and their families in Anchorage, Barrow (Utgiagvik), Bethel, and Kotzebue, Alaska. I will do everything I can to help you seek the financial recovery you need and that you are owed.
What Makes Injuries Catastrophic Injuries?
Although any injury can seem catastrophic to you, at least for a period of time, catastrophic injuries go even beyond severe injuries. They are long-term or permanent. They are debilitating and incapacitating. The victim may never be able to do what they did before the accident.
Catastrophic injuries include deformities—including the loss of limbs—and often involve the nervous system, such as traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injuries that leave the victim paralyzed. Catastrophic injuries disable you physically and often mentally, too.
How Do Alaska Personal Injury Claims Work?
Alaska is a fault state, so by law, the person or entities whose negligence cause the accident that caused the catastrophic injuries are financially responsible for the damages the victim incurs as a result.
In some cases, the victim could be held partly responsible for the accident. For example, suppose the pedestrian tried to get across an intersection before the light turned red but did not get all the way to the curb before a speeding car hit them. In this case, Alaska’s pure comparative fault rule could come into play in a settlement or jury award. This doesn’t mean the pedestrian cannot recover from the negligent driver. It does mean the amount of the financial compensation for a catastrophic injury will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the pedestrian.
Pure comparative fault is why it is vital that you work with a personal injury attorney who will counter insurance companies attempting to blame the victim. The less fault, if any, that the insurer can prove, the greater the recovery the victim will achieve.
You also need a catastrophic injury attorney unafraid to litigate your claim in court. Alaska’s two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims is brief. You have two years from the date of the incident to either settle a claim with the insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit.
If your loved one is unable to bring a personal injury claim due to the incapacitating nature of their injuries, the court will appoint someone to file a claim or lawsuit on their behalf, usually a spouse, adult child, parent, or sibling. If the victim named an agent in a durable power of attorney, the court may need only to approve that person.
What If My Loved One Died from Catastrophic Injuries?
If the victim does not survive their catastrophic injuries but would have been able to pursue a personal injury claim against a negligent party if they had, the personal representative of the estate can pursue a wrongful death claim to recover damages for the estate and its heirs.
If the victim had a valid will at the time of death, the personal representative will be named therein. If there is no will, the court will appoint someone to serve as the personal representative of the estate.
What Types of Damages Are Recoverable in a Catastrophic Injury Claim?
In a claim or lawsuit arising from catastrophic injuries, the victim can recover the same damages as in any personal injury claim in Alaska. Those include economic losses for medical treatment and lost wages. They can also recover for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and a spouse’s loss of consortium. What is differing in a catastrophic claim is the amount of medical expenses and lost wages in the present and future expenses and wage loss due to the injuries. Moreover, the non-economic damages are far greater due to longevity of those losses.
In a wrongful death claim, damages include medical expenses but also funeral and burial expenses, the loss of future income and services the victim would have provided, and the loss of consortium, care, guidance, companionship, comfort, affection, training, and education the decedent would have provided the loved ones left behind.
Catastrophic Injury Attorney in Anchorage, Alaska
Those touched by catastrophic injuries in Anchorage, Alaska, and the surrounding area deserve compensation. Facing a lifetime of debilitation, incapacitation, or the loss of a loved one can be emotionally and financially overwhelming. Let me help. At Law Office of Jason Skala, LLC, I treat you with compassion—but I hold nothing back against those responsible for your damages. Call my office now to schedule a case consultation.