Anchorage Auto Accident Lawyer
Car Accidents in Alaska
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 80 car accident fatalities in 2018, 42 of which were due to speeding. Being involved in any auto accident is an incredibly stressful experience. Immediately after the crash, you should always first seek medical attention for any injuries you have suffered.
Once you have received medical treatment for your injuries, the next step is to contact an Anchorage car accident attorney who can guide you through the process of filing your claim. While you may start worrying about the process of filing a car insurance claim, your health, safety, and well-being are of the upmost importance.
At Banker Law Group, P.C., we have 20 years of legal experience and a wealth of in-depth knowledge that we can put to work for you. Our attorney, Anthony Banker, has resolved thousands of cases for clients throughout the area; when working with insurance adjusters, we know what to do and what not to do. In every instance, our goal is to recover the maximum compensation you are owed, whether it’s through settlement negotiations or in front of a judge and jury.
Steps to Take at the Scene of the Accident
After an accident, many motorists are understandably shaken up. However, after first ensuring that you and everyone else involved in the accident are okay, there are a few necessary steps you should take.
At the scene of the accident:
- If you are not being transported by ambulance, you should always stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
- Call 9-1-1 and report the auto accident to the Anchorage Police Department.
- Follow the advice of the dispatcher regarding whether to move your vehicle out of the way of traffic.
For every driver, use your cell phone to capture:
- Phone number;
- Driver’s license number;
- Insurance information; and
- License plate information.
- Get names and phone numbers for any witnesses to the car accident.
You will also be speaking with law enforcement, medical professionals, and possibly your insurance company while at the scene of the accident. During these interviews, it is helpful to be brief, honest, and straightforward.
When it comes to receiving medical attention, don’t turn down help. Even if you believe you are not injured, you should be checked by any medical personnel at the scene. With adrenaline surging, most people do not feel the full impact of the crash, and injuries can sometimes take up to a week to appear.
When Anchorage police officers arrive at the scene, they will ask about the accident. When answering these questions, you need to be calm and provide truthful answers. Again, it is helpful to be brief, honest, and straightforward.
You will need to call your own insurance company and report the auto accident. You can do this at the scene of the accident or shortly thereafter. Again, it is helpful to be brief, honest, and straightforward. Don’t guess.
Steps to Take After Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Once you've left the scene of an accident, there are still several steps that you can take to help protect the integrity of your car accident claim, including:
- Get Medical Treatment - This should be completed as soon after the accident as possible. In order to recover compensation, you must prove that the injury you sustained was caused by the accident, which can be difficult if you delay getting medical treatment.
- Notify Your Insurance Company - You need to notify your insurance company of the accident and explain what happened, but you are not obligated to provide a recorded statement during that conversation.
- Track Your Expenses - Because you will be requesting compensation for all the expenses that resulted from the accident, you will need to provide receipts and bills. This includes items like medical bills, property damage, lost wages, transportation costs, etc.
- Keep a Pain Journal - It can be difficult to remember pain once it has past. That is why we would strongly recommend that you keep a pain journal during the months directly following the accidents. Not only would we recommend keeping track of the pain levels from day-to-day, but also include things like the number of missed workdays, family events that you could not attend, and if you were unable to participate in any activities. It is important to be as detailed as possible.
- Do Not Talk About the Accident - This is particularly important when it comes to speaking with the other people involved in the accident, which includes any passengers that were in your car.
- Contact Experienced Legal Counsel - The sooner you involve an attorney, the sooner they can get to work gathering evidence and building your injury claim.
At Banker Law Group, P.C., we offer all potential clients a free, initial case evaluation and if we decide to move forward with the case, our legal team works on a contingency fee bases.
Do You Have a Claim?
In order to bring a car accident claim, you do not need to show that the other driver was completely at fault for the accident; you merely need to prove that he or she was partially at fault for the accident. That being said, in order to pursue compensation for you medical bills, lost wages/income, pain and suffering, and other damages, you will need to show that another person or party acted negligently or wrongfully and that this led to your damages.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Some of the most common causes of car accidents that can be attributed to negligence include:
- Distracted driving (including texting while driving)
- Driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol (DUI)
- Reckless driving/road rage
- Inexperienced drivers
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Failure to stop/yield at stop signs, red lights, etc.
- Defective car parts (such as tires or brakes)
At Banker Law Group, we can conduct an investigation to determine the cause of your accident. If another party is at fault, we can begin building a case aimed at recovering fair compensation on your behalf.
Alaska’s Rule of Pure Comparative Fault
The State of Alaska follows what is known as the “pure comparative fault” rule. Under this rule, you may still recover compensation for your car accident damages even if you were partly at fault for the accident.
How the rule of pure comparative fault works:
When a fair settlement cannot be reached, your case will proceed to trial.
There, a jury will determine two things:
- Your total damages in terms of a set dollar amount
- The percent for which you were at fault for the accident
- Your total award (the dollar amount you receive) will be reduced by your at-fault percentage
For example, if you suffer severe injuries after being hit by a speeding driver who was also texting while driving, but you had rolled through a stop sign, the jury may find you 20% at fault for the collision. If your total damages amount to $100,000, you will only be able to recover up to $80,000.
Contact Our Firm for a Free Consultation
If you were injured in a car accident, or if your loved one was killed in a collision with another driver, contact the Anchorage car accident lawyer at Banker Law Group. Our firm can guide you through the legal process from start to finish. We have helped thousands of clients throughout the region successfully resolve their legal matters in both settlements and trials. Our team is prepared to fight for you.
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Q:What Kind Of Information Does My Attorney Need To Review Before Filing a Claim?
A:To get the best possible result, your attorney will need to review all the available information before filing a claim. One of the things we try to do when we meet with clients is to find all of the possible sources of information before we file the claim.
Q:How Can I Assist My Attorney To Get a Favorable Outcome To My Claim?
A:The most important thing you can do to help your car accident attorney is provide all the information. Do not hold back. The more information your attorney has, the better for your claim.
Q:Will Medical Bills Be Paid In Full In A Car Accident Settlement?
A:Paying your medical bills is one of the biggest reasons for filing the insurance claim. Sometimes, there is not enough insurance to cover all the medical bills. When that is the case, we work with everyone to help ensure our client gets something from the settlement and protected along the way for any future medical issues.
Q:Will Reimbursement Include Medical Bills Paid As Well As Future Medical Costs?
A:The job of an auto accident attorney is to make sure all the medical bills are paid in a personal injury settlement. When there is a need for future medical care, we try to make sure that money is available to take care of those bills as well. Sometimes though, there is not enough insurance to cover all of the medical bills, and we will do our best to make all future medical bill are paid in full.
Q:Is It A Good Idea To Pay Medical Bills As They Come In?
A:Your accident attorney will talk with you about the best approach on medical bills. Typically, I encourage people to pay anything they can afford to pay, even if they are just making small monthly payments to their providers. Most clients want to make sure their doctors are paid for the care they have provided after the car accident.
Q:Which Medical Providers Will Try To Recoup Funds After A Settlement?
A:Typically, any insurance company that pays for medical care on the front end is going to be entitled to repayment from the person who caused the crash. That means the insurance of the person who caused the crash has to pay back that insurance in what is called Subrogation.
Q:Does Having An Attorney involved Make The Insurance Companies Evaluate The Claim Differently?
A:Yes. Insurance companies deal with unrepresented individuals in a different way than they deal with attorneys. Car accident attorneys understand the process and are very familiar with claims procedures. Most injured people are engaging in the process for the first time. Insurance companies always pay as little as possible. They can use a claimant’s inexperience to their advantage, and they do.
Q:Does The Threat Of Going To Trial Enhance The Likelihood Of Getting A Better Settlement?
A:Having an experienced trial auto accident attorney represent you in a personal injury claim makes a huge difference. An insurance company is going to take an experienced trial lawyer more seriously than they would regard a trial lawyer who does not take their cases to trial.
Q:How Do Trial And Negotiation Skills Impact A Settlement In A Car Accident Case?
A:Experience really translates into greater success. If you love what you do, you get better at it – because you are always learning. Trial experience gives a lawyer insight into what matters and what does not. It also provides strong first-hand examples to use with insurance adjusters. Lack of experience translates into a lack of authority, and sometimes fear.
Q:What Happens After A Car Accident Claimed Has Been Filed?
A:Once a personal injury claim has been filed, the process will begin with the insurance companies and all other parties involved. This will include interviews and recorded statements. In personal injury cases, insurance companies are generally diligent in examining material presented and to explore the possibility that additional information may be available to help them evaluate the claim. They are going to request information from their own insured, as well as from the medical providers who have been treating you. They are going to speak with any witnesses they think may have information that has not been addressed in the claim.
Q:How Long Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit After A Car Accident?
A:Alaska requires personal injury claims to be resolved or filed as a formal lawsuit not later than two years after the crash. In any event, you should advise the insurance company that you have been injured as soon as reasonably possible. If a lawsuit is not filed before the two-year anniversary, it will not be accepted by the court and you claim will be barred forever.Do not wait until you are close to the two-year limit before getting a legal consultation. Most lawyers will not accept new clients unless there is time to investigate the crash before filing the lawsuit. The earlier you contact an attorney, the better off you will both be in collecting necessary information and evidence to support your personal injury claim.
Anthony and his team are some of the best you'll find. Highly recommend.- Caleb
Mr. Banker helped me in everything I was expecting!- JK
We understood from the start what we could expect and they delivered!- CZ
If anyone is dealing with an injury caused by someone else, they should definitely call Anthony!- Susan
Trustworthy Attorney!- Debra