Seeking Justice for Your Family
Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging times in a person's life. When that loss occurred unexpectedly as a result of someone else's negligent or wrongful actions, many surviving family members are left with questions—can the responsible party be brought to justice? How will your everyday life change without the support of your loved one? What will the future look like?
What Does Wrongful Death Mean?
When a person dies due to the negligence of an individual, corporation or entity, certain surviving family members and loved ones can take legal action. Separate from a criminal action, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that allows loved ones to recover compensation from the at-fault party's insurance provider.
This compensation is mean to assist families with the unanticipated financial and emotional effects of losing their loved one. In rare instances, plaintiffs may seek punitive damages, which are meant to punish liable parties for egregious acts of negligent and help ensure that similar acts do not occur again in the future.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in Alaska?
Only certain individuals may bring a wrongful death claim In Alaska. These individuals include:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased
- Any surviving children of the deceased
- Any other surviving “dependents” of the deceased
Other dependents, including the deceased's parents, step-children, or anyone who was dependent upon the deceased in life. Like all personal injury claims, wrongful death claims can either be settled through negotiations with the liable party's insurance provider or brought to court as a lawsuit.
In Alaska, you generally have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations and, though there are some exceptions, you may not file a lawsuit after the two-year statute of limitations has passed.
Wrongful Death Damages
Generally speaking, a wrongful death claim is meant to compensate the surviving family members/dependents of an individual who, had he/she survived, would have been able to bring a personal injury claim against a negligent party. In other words, in order to bring a wrongful death claim, you must show that another person, company, or entity's negligent or wrongful actions led to the incident that caused your loved one's death. While every situation is different, common damages in wrongful death claims include:
- Medical expenses incurred prior to death
- Funeral/burial costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages, including future expected earnings
- Lost income/inheritance
- Loss of household services
- Loss of spousal support contributions
- Loss of consortium
This list is not exhaustive; you may be able to recover compensation for additional damages depending on the specifics of your case.
Providing Compassionate Legal Guidance
At Banker Law Group, we understand just how difficult it is to lose a loved one unexpectedly. Our team knows what you are going through and the challenges you face. We are committed to providing the caring and compassionate legal guidance you need, coupled with the tireless advocacy you deserve.
Our Anchorage wrongful death lawyer, Anthony Banker, has resolved thousands of cases. With prior experience in insurance defense and over 20 years in practice, he knows what it takes to effectively fight for you. We offer completely free initial consultations, as well as contingent fees so there are never any upfront or out-of-pocket expenses for you.