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Alaska Personal Injury Law Blog

Playgrounds need to have appropriate layouts

You love it when your child says that he or she wants to play outside. With so many digital distractions, knowing that your child wants to connect with other children and nature is relieving. The problem is that you're not very happy with how the playground in your area is maintained. You've written to the city to ask for improvements, and you were informed that more maintenance would take place to make it safer.

One of the things put into place was a fence near the swing set. You felt oddly about it, because it seemed too close for comfort. Not less than a few weeks later, you found yourself dealing with a child who was cut on the fence after trying to jump off the swing toward it.

What kinds of compensation can you get for a wrongful death?

If someone you love is killed in Alaska, there is a chance to obtain compensation through an action for wrongful death. Taking action through the court gives you a chance to hold the person responsible for your loved one's death accountable, so you can move forward knowing that he or she has faced consequences.

You must file a wrongful death lawsuit quickly after a death of a family member. You have two years from the time of death, according to the state's statute of limitations. You can recover compensation for any losses that are a result of the negligent or wrongful act that cost your loved one his or her life.

Alaskan law requires insurance, or there are harsh penalties

In Alaska, people are required to carry insurance on their vehicles. A driver who is not carrying proper insurance and who gets into a crash can be held personally liable for any injuries or damages caused. According to state law, any vehicle owners or drivers can be held liable; if someone is driving a vehicle and another person owns it, you may have two options for pursuing compensation.

If someone does not carry insurance and you can't collect from insurance following an accident, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may suspend the driver's license until you are paid in full in accordance with any judgment made by the court. There is a mandatory insurance law in the state, so by not carrying insurance, the driver is violating state law.

What happens if your child's hurt during rock climbing class?

When you send your child to a class, you expect the instructor to know how to keep him or her safe. This is especially true of classes where your child could easily get hurt, like in rock climbing courses.

Climbing is a great skill to have, especially around where you live. However, this sport can be very dangerous for the inexperienced if there aren't people there to help keep them safe. Many injuries are a result of impacts against rocks or indoor rock walls, but others occur due to overuse of the tendons, muscles or joints. It's also common to see injuries from falls or collisions with other climbers in this sport.

Teaching kids and teens: What to do in a car crash

Car crashes happen almost anywhere, and they immediately put a stop to whatever you were planning to do that day. You may have minor or serious injuries, depending on the crash, and you have to stay at the scene to handle what has just happened. If you have children, this is the point where you need to begin to assess your situation and call for help.

Car crashes result in over 30,000 deaths and 2 million injuries on average each year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Some crashes are caused by or involve teens or children, who may not be as sure what to do next. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

What causes wrongful deaths in Alaska?

Alaska has many hazards, some of which could lead to serious injuries and deaths. Alaska has a rate of 49 deaths per 100,000 people. That's a rate that is around 20 percent greater than anywhere else in the United States.

Why do so many people end up getting hurt? It all comes down to the natural hazards and remote areas where it can be hard to get help. Here are a few things to think about.

Staying safe: ATVs and snowmobiles

There are many kinds of recreational vehicles, and being safe on each one should be a goal of every driver and passenger. To be safe, though, you need to understand how these vehicles work and how to use them safely.

For instance, snowmobiles can be used by people of almost any age, but they're shown to cause a high number of accidents involving children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 16 do not drive snowmobiles, even if the devices are rated age appropriate.

Car seats save children's lives in car crashes

Car accidents are a leading cause of childhood injuries and deaths. Fortunately, many injuries that children face in car crashes are avoidable. Using something as simple as a booster seat or safety seat could save a child's life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that using the proper car seats for infants lowers the chance of dying in a crash by around 71 percent. Toddlers are also safer in a car seat. Car seats reduce the risk of fatal injuries for toddlers by around 45 percent.

How can you mitigate the risks of winter driving?

Winter is a hazard in most U.S. states, but it's one that almost never leaves Alaska. Winter driving conditions, which include freezing rain, snow and ice all stay present in Alaska year-round. Depending on the conditions and where you're headed, these hazards could affect you on any drive you take.

The good news is that you can prepare for winter conditions. Knowing what to do to prepare your vehicle and yourself for snow, ice and sleet can help you prevent accidents and injuries. What should you do before you drive in hazardous winter conditions?

Your babysitter may be liable for your child's injuries

Imagine leaving your child home alone with a new babysitter. You heard great things about her; she had experience and was always on time. She often stayed late for families, knows how to cook and comes at a reasonable rate.

You thought nothing could work out better than this situation, but not more than two hours after you left did you receive a call from the local hospital. Your child had been badly burned in the kitchen as the babysitter made dinner.

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Merdes Law Office, P.C.
455 3rd Avenue
P.O. Box 71309
Fairbanks, AK 99707

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