According to data released by Alaska’s Division of Risk Management, Alaska has shelled out almost $3 million to settle claims by prison inmates and their families over the last decade for wrongful deaths. News reports say that new claims are sure to follow based upon perceived systematic problems in Alaska’s prison system. In this article, we’ll discuss how wrongful death claims are handled in the Last Frontier State.
Wrongful Death Claims in Alaska
A wrongful death suit can be brought forth in Alaska when a person’s death is caused as a direct result of neglect or carelessness of someone else. For example, if a person dies as a result of medical malpractice, motor vehicle or slip-and-fall accident, the victim’s family or estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
While the lawsuit must be brought forth by a personal representative of the victim’s estate, the awarded damages can be presented to individual survivors of the victim and their estate as a whole.
How Compensation is Decided
In Alaska, liability and damages are awarded in monetary form only during a wrongful death lawsuit. There are a host of variables to be considered before a final amount of damages can be awarded. Those variables include:
- Projected impact on family of loss of victim’s income
- Medical costs incurred as a result of the injury
- Burial and funeral costs
- Pain and suffering of the victim before their death
- Lost child or spousal support
- Loss of services that would have been provided by the victim
Even though damages awarded to survivors are in the form of financial compensation, criminal charges can be brought against the defendant by the state.
Time Limit for Filing Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Timelines for filing wrongful death lawsuits vary from state to state. Here in Alaska, the timeline is two (2) years from when the death occurred.
Barber & Associate Can Help You
Losing a loved one is often a devastating event – especially if the loss is caused by a sudden accident because of someone else’s negligence. If you and your family have experienced what you feel to be the wrongful death of a loved one, we want you to know that Barber & Associates is one of Alaska’s leading wrongful death firms. We’ve represented the families of victims who perished as a result of all sorts of accidents.