Alaska Personal Injury Attorneys

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Understanding Pure Comparative Negligence

Understanding Pure Comparative Negligence

Alaska is a pure comparative negligence state which confuses many people. Medical malpractice claims in Alaska will all use this standard when awarding damages to a person who has suffered due to the negligence of a medical practitioner. However, many people do not know what comparative negligence is.


The easiest ways to explain this is to first understand how it is defined.There are three types of comparative negligence, pure comparative negligence, modified comparative negligence and a third which combines the two.

Since Alaska uses pure comparative negligence, if you are considering hiring an Alaska injury lawyer it is important to understand how this applies to your case. Pure comparative negligence means if you are partially responsible for your injuries, you can only recover losses up to the point where your negligence ends and the medical professional's negligence began.

Here are some cases where you may be partially responsible for your injuries or illnesses:

  • Failure to disclose – If your doctor fails to diagnose a lung infection or lung cancer and you have failed to advise them of chest pain, unusual coughing or the fact that you smoke, you may be held partially liable for their failure to diagnose.
  • Medication not taken – Your physician prescribes a medication and you do not take it as prescribed. As a result, your medical condition worsens to the point of serious illness or disability. In this case, you may be partially at fault for your condition.
  • Ignored recommendations – When a patient is told they need physical therapy after a broken bone or other injury and ignores that recommendation, the outcome could be devastating. Loss of mobility may result and you will be held partially responsible for this outcome.

What this means for claims in Alaska is that to the extent you are responsible, you will not collect any compensation. However, even if you are partially responsible, you may still be able to collect compensation for the portion a third party medical professional is responsible. If you are uncertain about whether or not you are eligible for compensation for medical malpractice, contact Power and Brown. We will be happy to review your case and help you collect the maximum compensation from the responsible party.