Alaska Wrongful Death Lawyers
Losing a loved one is a heartbreaking experience that no amount of money can ever make up for. In particular, when the death of your loved one is the result of another person’s negligence, you may feel anger and frustration in addition to your grief. You want justice for your loved one, and an attorney from Ringstad Law Office, P.C. can help you obtain that justice. At Ringstad Law Office, P.C., we are here for you. We will make sure the person responsible for the loss of your loved one is held accountable for his or her negligent actions.
At the Ringstad Law Office, P.C., our experienced, compassionate wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to helping Alaska families who have lost loved ones. Families who have lost a loved one because of another person’s negligence are entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, future lost wages, medical expenses, companionship, and more. No amount of compensation can replace a loved one, but we hope it can help ease your stress. When you do not have to worry about how you will pay for a funeral (and other last expenses), or support yourself in the future, you can focus on healing. At Ringstad Law Office, P.C., we work hard to make the legal process of a wrongful death claim easier during this very difficult time.
What is a Wrongful Death?
If your loved one died as the result of an injury caused by the negligence of another, it is known as wrongful death. A wrongful death claim is made by those close to a person whose death was the result of the misconduct of another. Because a wrongful death can bring devastation to family members—emotionally and financially—a wrongful death claim allows survivors to seek monetary damages to compensate for the death, particularly when certain loved ones depend heavily on the deceased for financial support.
In many instances, the regular paycheck of the decedent supplied regular financial support to a spouse and minor children—when that regular paycheck is gone, the future can look very bleak. As an example, suppose the parent of young children who provides financial support, is killed as a result of negligence. Not only have the children lost parental care and guidance, they have also lost future financial support.
Causes of Wrongful Death
The CDC found that unintentional injuries make up from 3-6 percent of the total number of fatalities. Although these injuries are classified as “unintentional,” in fact, many times, they are the result of negligence. Another category within the CDCs data is “other.” Almost a quarter of all deaths fall under “other,” and many of these are also wrongful deaths, due to negligence. The primary cause of wrongful deaths is car accidents. Other common causes of wrongful deaths include medical malpractice deaths, serious falls which result in death, fatal accidents in the workplace, fatal industrial accidents, swimming accidents and drownings, deaths from assaults, fatal dog bites, boating accident deaths, train accident deaths, deaths due to exposure to asbestos and deaths due to manufacturing defects.
Who is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim in the State of Alaska?
Under Alaska’s wrongful death statute, a wrongful death claim must be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Damages in a wrongful death claim are intended for the benefit of the surviving spouse, children or parents of the decedent, to compensate survivors for many types of losses. If the decedent had no dependents, the damages may be paid directly to his or her estate, although recovery for the estate is limited to losses known as pecuniary losses. Such losses are calculated by subtracting the actual value of the decedent’s estate at the time of his or her death from the estimated future value of the estate if the decedent had remained alive.
Statute of Limitations in an Alaska Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death must be settled with the insurance company of the person responsible for the death, and is settled via a lawsuit filed with the court within two years of the death. In general, when a wrongful death claim is filed outside the allowed time period, it will be dismissed by the court. Because of this, it is important to contact an attorney from Ringstad Law Office, P.C. as quickly as possible following a wrongful death.
Typical Damages Awarded in an Alaska Wrongful Death Claim
While every wrongful death claim is different, the typical damages awarded in a wrongful death claim include:
- Loss of financial contributions from the decedent to the future of a child;
- Loss of financial contributions from the decedent to the future of a spouse;
- Loss of future comfort and care (consortium) which would have been provided by the decedent to children, a spouse, or other dependents;
- Loss of household services formerly provided by the decedent;
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased preceding his or her death;
- Burial and funeral expenses for the decedent;
- Medical bills and expenses for the decedent, including emergency care charges;
- Lost wages, including the value of the decedent’s future earnings;
- Loss of an expected inheritance, and
- Punitive damages, if the negligent party displayed a willful disregard for the safety of the deceased.
Establishing an Alaska Wrongful Death Claim
There are certain elements which must exist in order to have a valid wrongful death claim in the state of Alaska, including:
- A loss of life occurred;
- The loss of life was the result of the negligence of another person;
- As a result of the death caused by the negligence of another, there was a loss of love, emotional support, services, and financial support, and
- This loss of love, emotional support, financial support, and services encompasses the past, present, and future.
Taking Legal Action Following an Alaska Wrongful Death
As the survivor of the deceased, it is important to consider retaining a wrongful death attorney from Ringstad Law Office, P.C. as soon as possible, to help minimize the financial and emotional difficulties in the future. Contact us or request a free consultation today to learn how we can help you. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we don’t charge you unless we obtain compensation on your behalf. Click to learn more about what you can expect when working with us.
We have a long history of helping grieving family members recover compensation, which will fully recognize the value of the deceased. We are skilled negotiators when dealing with insurance companies, as well as aggressive litigators, when necessary. We are compassionate to your situation and will fight hard for your family’s rights. We will handle the details of your wrongful death claim, giving you time to deal with your loss and your grief—contact our office today.