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Anchorage Alaska Personal Injury Law Blog

Spinal cord injury can have life-altering consequences

Sometimes, the negligence of individuals in Alaska can cause catastrophic injuries to others. A spinal cord injury is one such injury that could be traumatic and life-changing. A sports injury, fall, automobile accident, assault or workplace accident can damage the spinal cord.

The spinal cord consists of the primary nerve bundle that carries messages or pulses from the nerve ends throughout the body to the brain and back. This cord is encased and protected by the spinal column, which consists of vertebrae. When a back injury causes harm to the spinal cord, loss of function can result. This means that the victim might lose mobility and feeling to some degree.

Slip-and-fall accidents can have painful consequences

Property owners must provide premises that are free of hazards that could cause injuries to visitors or customers. However, slip-and-fall accidents are the subject of many lawsuits in the civil courts of Alaska. Foreign substances that cause slippery surfaces typically lead to slips that result in victims falling backward. In contrast, a person who trips over a misplaced object or uneven walk surface would usually fall forward. In both these accidents, various injuries can occur, some of which can cause long-term health problems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a significant percentage of traumatic brain injuries that are reported every year follow falls, most often when victims slip and fall backward, striking their heads against hard surfaces or objects. An accidental fall causes a rapid jerking motion that could cause whiplash injuries. These could affect the victim's neck, back and spinal column, and although some such injuries resolve in time, others cause chronic discomfort and pain.

Auto accidents: 2 bikes, 2 cars, 8 people involved in fatal crash

The Alaska State Troopers are investigating a crash that involved eight people. An AST spokesperson says three people lost their lives, which is not unusual for auto accidents that involve motorcycles. Traffic on Parks Highway was disrupted for almost 12 hours.

A preliminary crash report indicates that it occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. on a recent Monday near Fairbanks. A Palmer woman, whose daughter, age 5, was in the station wagon with her was southbound on the highway when she veered across the center line. Two northbound motorcycles could not avoid colliding with the vehicle. One biker's wife who rode as a passenger died at the crash scene, while the other biker was airlifted with critical injuries to his lower body.

Can negligent road maintenance lead to wrongful death claim?

Truckers in Alaska expressed their concern over the lack of road maintenance of the Dalton Highway. This followed the death of an experienced truck driver on a recent Friday morning. It remains to be seen if a wrongful death claim will be filed in the aftermath of this tragedy. 

Other drivers sang the praises of the 50-year-old woman whom they said was a safe driver who would never take chances. Her piers remarked that she was a more professional driver than most others. Reportedly, the woman was hauling 9,700 gallons of fuel in a 53-foot tanker when the vehicle veered off the shoulder of the highway. The big rig rolled over as it lurched down an embankment. The driver did not survive the crash.

Wrongful death lawsuit not to be tackled without legal counsel

When an Alaska family loses a loved one in an auto crash, the financial consequences often exacerbate the emotional trauma. If the accident was caused by negligence such as distracted or aggressive driving, violations of the road rules, or poor driving skills, the surviving family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, some people do not consider this option because they feel that the loved one cannot be brought back by any amount of compensation.

However, a successful lawsuit can ease the financial burden the family may face while also rectifying the wrongdoing and giving the family closure. Navigating a legal claim could be daunting without help, and for that reason, most plaintiffs seek legal counsel to establish negligence. Even if it was a single vehicle crash, there might be a manufacturer's defect, faulty brakes or tires, or other factors like poorly maintained roads that contributed to the accident. A lawyer can ensure that all responsible parties are named as defendants.

Auto accidents: Car vs. motorcycle crash kills 1, injures 3

Many motorists nationwide, including in Alaska, fail to keep a lookout for motorcycles. When auto accidents involve motorcycles, the occupants of the bikes typically suffer severe injuries, and many even lose their lives. Authorities reported such a fatality on a recent Tuesday.

According to a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers, a report of a crash on Knik-Goose Bay Road in Mat-Su Valley came in at about 11:15 a.m. Reportedly, an SUV entered the roadway from a side road without yielding to a motorcycle carrying two 32-year-old men. The SUV was directly in the path of the bike, making it impossible for the biker to avoid a collision. A T-bone crash followed, causing the death of the passenger on the motorcycle.

Brain injury: Undiagnosed bleeding on the brain can cause death

Sometimes, motorists or their passengers in Alaska who are involved in car accidents might believe they are uninjured and refuse a trip to the hospital for a medical evaluation. However, even a low-speed collision can cause a brain injury that might only become evident hours or days later. The rapid whiplash movement of the head that is typical upon sudden impact of a collision causes the brain to smash against the inside of the skull, causing bruising or bleeding of the brain.

A bleeding brain can ultimately cause death. The blood vessels and arteries that run through the brain and between the brain and the skull can tear or rupture when they are smashed against the hard bone of the skull. The bleeding form subdural and epidural hematomas. The pressure causes the hematomas to leak, filling the space between the brain and the skull with blood.

Five pieces of information to gather at the accident scene

A motor vehicle accident is jarring, often happening in a matter of seconds. You will be especially shaken if the accident was serious, resulting in injuries. It is beneficial to know what information to gather at an accident scene before one ever happens. Before seeking out the other driver's information, you should take immediate steps to stay safe:

  • Move to a safe location, as long as you are not putting yourself at risk for further injury.
  • Tend to your injuries or injuries to the other driver.
  • Call the police.

Slip-and-fall hazards can make shopping a hazardous activity

Consumers in Alaska may not realize that shopping might be a hazardous activity. Premises liability laws require owners of retail facilities to take reasonable care to offer consumers premises that are free of unsafe conditions or hidden dangers. They must ensure that spills are cleaned up immediately to prevent slip-and-fall accidents, repair broken railings or stairs, remove objects that have fallen, replace faulty light bulbs and provide the necessary security to protect customers.

While many shopping injuries are minor, some are life-changing. Dangerous premises can cause bone fractures, head trauma, muscle sprains, spinal injury, neck injury and some injuries could even be fatal. Floors that are wet from spillages or leakages pose slip-and-fall hazards, but so do torn carpets, malfunctioning escalators, insufficient lighting and torn carpets. Falling objects, unstable retail displays and objects that are out of reach can cause head and body injuries.

Parents might file wrongful death claim after rock kills child

Lives are sometimes lost in the most tragic circumstances imaginable. One devastating accident caused the death of an 8-year-old boy. Although nothing can undo what has already happened, his family will have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party believed responsible in an Alaska civil court.

According to a report by Alaska State Troopers, the child was a passenger in a hatchback car that traveled through a construction area on the Stirling Highway at approximately 1:30 p.m. on a recent Thursday. Under circumstances that are still being investigated, a rock as big as a volleyball fell from one of the construction vehicles. It smashed through the car's rear windshield, striking the boy inside the hatchback.

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