The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities reported that 79 people lost their lives in car accidents statewide in 2017. While Alaskans pride themselves on their different lifestyle from the lower 48, we have at least one thing in common—car accidents still occur that result in serious injuries or fatalities.
If you suffered injuries or property losses because of a car accident caused by another driver, you might want an Alaska car accident lawyer to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 to talk to a team member about how we can help you with your next steps.
Causes of Car Accidents
While every car accident has a different set of facts and circumstances, the following are some common causes of car accidents in Alaska.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains how distracted driving activities such as texting and driving, checking your navigation system for directions, or eating while driving can ultimately cause an accident on the roadways. Any type of distraction can result in a serious or catastrophic accident. If an investigation determines that distracted driving caused your car accident, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses from the negligent driver.
Illegal Driving Maneuvers
Any illegal driving maneuver can result in an accident on Alaska roadways. Drivers have a duty and responsibility to operate their vehicles safely. If a driver operates their car negligently or recklessly, such as speeding, weaving through traffic, or failing to obey traffic signals or signs, they may directly cause an accident that ends with catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Alaska, like all other states, has laws that prohibit driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (specifically AS 28.35.030). Like every other state, the legal blood alcohol concentration level for a driver operating a motor vehicle in Alaska is 0.08 percent. If an investigation determines that the negligent driver operated a vehicle under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses because of their reckless and criminal behavior.
Many drivers operate a motor vehicle while fatigued. Drowsy driving often leads to serious car accidents, resulting in severe injuries or death. Many drivers who operate a car while fatigued will swerve into other lanes of traffic, leading to head-on collisions. If you suffered injuries because of a head-on collision related to driver fatigue, learn how an Alaska car accident lawyer can help you build your personal injury case based on the circumstances of your accident. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to get started.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Negotiating with an insurance company regarding your settlement causes the most stress and aggravation for victims following a car accident. Insurance companies have insurance adjusters who use manipulative tactics to get victims to accept lower settlement offers than they deserve.
If you visit with either your insurance company or the negligent party’s insurance company, remember that they never have your best interest in mind. There are some particularly important considerations to remember as you negotiate with insurance companies regarding your settlement.
Always Answer Questions Briefly
Never give extended answers to questions. Long answers only provide additional opportunities for an insurance company to find a reason to lower your settlement amount. Never answer that you are “fine” or “OK” if an insurance adjuster even asks the simple question, “How are you today?” The adjuster can use this answer against a victim later to argue that they were feeling fine, and their injuries were not as severe as they claim.
Never Accept Blame
Never accept any blame for the car accident. If an adjuster asks questions about the accident, simply give factual answers, then refer them to the police report.
Never Provide Full Medical Disclosure
While an insurance company has the legal right to request medical documentation regarding your car accident to provide a fair settlement offer, they do not have the right to your entire medical history. In some cases, insurance companies will request this information to attempt to discover some pre-existing conditions that they could then claim are the cause of your current injuries instead of the car accident.
Answer Proof of Loss Forms Honestly
The proof of loss forms provided by an insurance company are sworn statements. You must provide answers that are accurate, complete, and truthful to the best of your knowledge.
Understand You Will Receive a Low Settlement Offer
Victims typically receive extremely low settlement offers as the first offer. It is usually best never to accept the first offer provided by an insurance company. In many cases, insurance companies offer low settlements hoping that a victim will simply accept the offer so they can move on from the accident.
Never Cash a Check Unless You Understand Its Full Terms
Insurance companies often use manipulative tactics or outright deception to make a victim fraudulently believe that a check is one of many coming. However, if you receive a check from an insurance company, it is likely the last check you will receive. Therefore, you should carefully consider whether the settlement amount offered in the check fully covers your injuries and losses.
Before accepting any settlement offer, you might want to discuss the terms with an Alaska car accident lawyer. They have experience dealing with insurance adjusters and determining the fair value of your damages, including medical bills, car repair costs, pain and suffering, and more.
Learn How an Alaska Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
You may feel overwhelmed while attempting to negotiate with insurance companies following your car accident or unsure how to determine the cause of the accident to prove liability. An Alaska car accident lawyer can help ease your mind by taking on the burden of investigating the accident, establishing liability, and negotiating with adjusters.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 to speak with a team member about how we can help you with all the steps you need to take following your car accident and ensure your legal rights remain protected. Remember that AS 09.10.070 establishes a two-year deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit, so the sooner you act, the sooner we can get started.