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What Is the Negligence Rule in Alaska?

Understanding Comparative Negligence in AK 

When it comes to personal injury cases, understanding the legal concept of comparative negligence is crucial. Alaska, like many other states, follows a comparative negligence system, which allocates fault and liability based on the degree of negligence exhibited by each party involved. Below, we will explain what comparative negligence is in further detail as well as how it is determined, its importance in personal injury cases, and its impact on verdicts. 

Defining Comparative Negligence 

Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that allows courts to apportion fault and damages in personal injury cases based on the percentage of negligence attributed to each party involved. In simpler terms, the court can assign a percentage of fault to both the filing and responding party, which can affect the final settlement.  

The system is meant to ensure that compensation is proportionate to the level of fault attributed to each party, promoting fairness and discouraging frivolous lawsuits. In Alaska, the principle of comparative negligence is governed by Alaska Statutes Sections 09.17.060 and 09.17.080. 

Under this system, even if an injured party is partially responsible for an accident or injury, they can still seek compensation, albeit reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if an individual is found to be 30% at fault for an accident or injury, their compensation will be reduced by 30%. 

Determining Comparative Negligence  

To determine comparative negligence in Alaska, the court evaluates the actions and behaviors of all parties involved. Factors such as negligence, recklessness, or failure to exercise reasonable care are considered. The court will assess:  

  • the evidence presented,  

  • witness testimonies, and  

  • expert opinions to ascertain the comparative negligence percentages. 

Importance of Understanding Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Cases 

Understanding comparative negligence is crucial for individuals involved in personal injury cases for several reasons: 

  • Apportionment of liability. Comparative negligence allows the court to allocate liability fairly among multiple parties involved in an accident or injury. This ensures that each party is held accountable for their share of the negligence. 

  • Shared responsibility. Comparative negligence acknowledges that more than one party can contribute to an accident or injury. By recognizing shared responsibility, it promotes a sense of fairness and encourages parties to take precautions and exercise reasonable care to prevent accidents. 

  • Impact on compensation. Comparative negligence directly affects the amount of compensation an injured party can recover. Being aware of this concept helps individuals understand the potential reduction in damages they may face if they are found partially at fault for the incident. 

Application of Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Cases 

Comparative negligence can apply to various types of personal injury cases, including:  

  • Car accidents. In a car accident case, if it is determined that the injured party was texting while driving, contributing to the accident, their compensation may be reduced based on their percentage of fault. 

  • Slip and fall accidents. If someone slips and falls on a wet floor in a store, but it is revealed that they were distracted by their phone at the time, comparative negligence may come into play, potentially reducing the damages awarded. 

  • Medical malpractice. In cases of medical malpractice, if the injured party fails to disclose relevant medical history to the healthcare provider, their degree of fault may be considered when determining compensation. 

Here to Help You Maximize Your Compensation & Minimize Your Liability 

At the Law Offices of David Henderson, we are committed to fighting for our clients’ right to fair compensation. If you or someone you know have been injured in a negligence-based accident, you should reach out to our team for sound legal counsel. Once you retain our services, we can help collect evidence to establish liability and develop a strong case.  

We handle the following types of personal injury cases:  

Schedule a free case consultation today by calling (888) 295-6566.