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Alaska Personal Injury Law Blog

Drivers must be more cautious when children are at play

Drivers need to be careful not to hit pedestrians and bicyclists at all times. In fact, taking care to avoid accidents with pedestrians and cyclists is a matter of law for motor vehicle drivers, and this duty of care becomes higher when children are present.

Adult pedestrians and cyclists are responsible to follow the rules of the road, but children -- when they're out playing -- might not be mature enough to fully understand the law as it applies to them. Children also have a tendency to act in unpredictable and irrational ways. For this reason, drivers are expected to slow down and be extra careful around children in case of a dart-out incident, when a child unexpectedly enters the street in front of a moving motor vehicle.

Important answers to questions about wrongful death claims

Our law firm represents plaintiffs who were injured in serious accidents caused by the negligence of others. We also represent family members of people who died in such accidents. Since most people don't have any kind of experience with wrongful death litigation before coming to our Fairbanks office, they usually have a lot of questions. Here are two questions we encounter on a regular basis:

What if my loved one was not employed? Can I still pursue a wrongful death claim?

Driving the speed limit could save your life

There are many "seemingly good" reasons to speed in your vehicle and even more "horribly bad" reasons to speed in your vehicle. When you consider why speed limits exist, hopefully you will never want to speed in your car again. So let's take a quick look at the most important reasons why, when the speed limit sign says 30, you should never drive an additional five or 10 mph over the limit.

You could be held financially liable

What damages can I pursue in a wrongful death lawsuit?

If you lost your loved one in a fatal accident, no amount of money and no amount of litigation will approach making you whole again. Nevertheless, the Alaska civil court system does provide the avenue for individuals to pursue restitution when their loved one is killed due to the fault, negligence or wrongful behavior of another party. This restitution usually takes the form of financial compensation.

But how does a court place a monetary value on a human life in a wrongful death suit? Unfortunately, this is impossible. The best the court can do is try to estimate the financial value that an individual brought to his or her family -- and will likely bring in the future. In addition, courts will try to compensate family victims in some way for their loss of relationship and loss of care and affection.

Wrongful death suit against Petersburg borough gets a trial date

On Independence Day in 2016, two young Alaska women lost their lives in a fatal motor vehicle accident. The fatal van crash occurred on South Nordic Drive in the Petersburg borough when the automobile left the roadway and rolled over. The driver, a 23-year-old male, and another young woman survived the crash.

Just days ago in November, a trial date for the lawsuit was finally scheduled and is set to commence on Jan. 13, 2020. All four occupants of the van were working at the time for the Petersburg borough department of Parks and Recreation. This wrongful death case is especially complex because it targets several entities, including the driver of the van, the Petersburg borough and the state of Alaska.

Will driverless vehicles save lives?

When most people think of driverless vehicles, they think of how incredible it will be to read a book or take a nap during their morning commutes to work. What they don't always consider are the amazing benefits that will come with autonomous vehicles once this technology matures. In fact, autonomous cars could virtually make car crashes a thing of the past.

Let's look at the three most important benefits of driverless cars:

Are you suffering from head and back injuries after a car crash?

The gravitational forces involved in a serious auto collision can result in traumatic injuries that leave victims suffering financially and physically. Indeed, the after-effects of such an incident should not be underestimated.

Some of the most common auto accident injuries affect the head and back as described below:

Childhood amusement rides can cause serious wounds

Every year, thousands of children suffer as a result of riding amusement park rides. Sometimes, those rides aren't particularly dangerous for adults, but if a child is under the weight or height restrictions, then they could be at risk of injury.

It's always a tragedy when a child is hurt or killed on one of these rides. Sometimes, there are malfunctions that result in children falling out of the rides or not being secured in their seats. Between 1990 and 2010, over 70 percent of visits to the emergency room stemming from amusement park rides occurred in the summer, with many happening as a result of state fairs and festival rides.

How do long days and nights affect drivers in Alaska?

Recreational vehicles, like motor homes, are wonderful, because they help you see the world and save money. You can take your home with you no matter where you go, which helps you see more of the country.

Alaska can be a difficult place to drive a motor home, because it is dangerous at certain times of the year. When it's dark throughout the day or light much more often than in other areas of the United States, this poses a threat to drivers.

Woman faces felony for causing 4-car crash

When you crash into someone and cause a death, there is a likelihood that you'll be charged with a crime. That's what happened in this case in Alaska. A woman faces a felony assault charge for causing a four-vehicle crash that injured at least one person.

It was around 4:30 p.m. when the Juneau Police Department was informed about a multi-vehicle crash on Egan. When the emergency crew arrived, it discovered three vehicles that had collided along with a Toyota Tundra stuck in the median.

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

Toll Free: 866-452-3741
Local: 907-452-5400
Fax: 907-452-8879
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