Losing a loved one because of another person’s mistake – or negligence –is addressed through the civil justice system. Many people rightfully feel that when a close friend or loved one dies because of someone else’s negligence no amount of money will replace what has been lost. It is important to remember that financial compensation is the remedy in civil courts.At the same time, holding a negligent person accountable makes him or her less likely to act poorly in the future. When we are held accountable, society is safer for us all.
Consider the following example:
A drunk driver leaves a local bar and hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The pedestrian dies.
In this instance, both the drunk – negligent – driver and the bar who served the drunk driver may be liable for damages.
The driver may be liable because of the negligence per se rule. According to this doctrine, the tortfeasor is liable for damages as a matter of law if s/he:
- Violated a safety rule or law, and
- That violation was a substantial factor in the victim’s death.
In some cases, the negligence “as such” rule may only be evidence of a negligence standard, as opposed to absolute proof of liability.
Legally, the bar may also be partially responsible for damages, because of Alaska’s dram shop law. Under Alaska Statute04.21.020, commercial alcohol providers are liable for damages if they sell liquor to a “drunken person” who later injures or kills someone else.
It is imperative that you seek counsel from not only experienced but compassionate attorneys who fully understand and take your case as seriously as you… Attorneys who will fight for a better Alaska.