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Alaska Personal Injury Laws

Medical bills from injuries can range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re injured, you may also be affected by general pain and suffering, lasting physical impairment, or find yourself out of work while you take the time to heal. All of these factors can exacerbate the challenges you already face when you’re injured.

While it’s true that accidents happen, sometimes, another person’s wrongful acts can leave someone else hurt. In those cases, the injured person may have legal recourse to collect money from the one who caused the injuries, known as monetary damages. If you’ve been injured by someone else’s conduct, you may have grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit to collect damages that can pay your bills.

Grounds for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Alaska

Each state has different rules about filing personal injury lawsuits, so it’s important to note the laws specific to Alaskan courts.

Many different causes of injury could potentially lead to a personal injury lawsuit, such as:

  • Intentional: when someone makes purposeful, physical contact to your body, like in a case of battery
  • Negligence: when a person disregards basic safety principles, like texting while driving and hitting another person
  • Strict liability: when a person engages in an abnormally dangerous activity, even if they’re doing so carefully, like blasting rocks and hitting someone with debris
  • Product liability: when a manufacturer distributes a defective product, whether by design or manufacturing mistake, like a sharp foreign object landing in food that someone then eats

In essence, if someone injures you, there are cases where you can be awarded compensation, even if it was a genuine accident or the other party didn’t mean to hurt you.

Damages you may be able to recuperate include the immediate costs of your medical care, long-term medical care, such as physical therapy, lost wages from missed time at work, and compensation for losses like pain and suffering or general inconvenience.

Animal Ownership Liability in Alaska

Alaska has specific laws on animal ownership and liability. Personal injury cases often arise from interactions with pets that cause harm. Whether your pet is something more common like a cat or a dog or something more unusual, learning the laws about pet ownership in Anchorage can help understand when liability arises.

Dog Bites and the One Bite Rule

If a person owns a dog in Wasilla that displays an uncommon level of aggression and that dog then bites or attacks someone, the owner could be found liable for those injuries, even if it was the first time the dog ever bit someone. This is known as a “one bite rule.” If the court finds that the owner knew or should have known their dog was likely to bite someone, the injured person could collect damages.

Can You Have Wild Animals as Pets?

Pet owners can also be strictly liable for the conduct of any “wild” animal they own. Even if the owner truly believes their animal is tame, if they know the natural characteristics of the animal, the owner could be liable for injuries they cause. That means that if another otherwise “tame” wolf bites a person in a way that any typical wolf would, the owner would still be liable. And, considering some wild animals, like wolves, are prohibited as pets in Alaska, the owner could face criminal charges as well.

Time Limits for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Alaska

In every state there is a time limit in which you can bring your personal injury case. This is called the statute of limitations. In Alaska, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is two years. That means you must file your lawsuit within two years from the date of your injury, otherwise you will not be able to pursue your claim.

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