Alleviate Your Concerns With These Answers to Common Injury Questions

While some degree of uncertainty is inevitable, the stress of the unknown associated with a personal injury case can be frustrating. Here, experienced injury attorney Ben Crittenden draws from his years of experience and knowledge of the law to address many of the most common concerns and questions. Find out what to expect from the legal system, how long your case will take, what type of compensation you may be able to obtain, and much more. Don’t see your question? Reach out to Ben today! Take a moment to fill out our online contact form to find the answers you need.

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  • What should I do after a hit and run accident?

    It was the other driver’s decisions that put you in the situation you currently face. He or she was negligent and unlawful by leaving the scene of the crash. Unfortunately, it's now up to you to take the correct actions necessary for protecting your legal rights and financial recovery.

    Start at the Scene of the Crash—and Continue

    If you're physically able to take action, then it's important to do the following right after the accident:

    • Call the police immediately. Provide the dispatcher with the location of your accident and as detailed a description as possible of the vehicle that left the scene of the accident.
    • Stay at the scene of the crash. Write down the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses. Ask them if they saw the vehicle that left the scene; if they got the license plate number of it; and if they can provide a description of the vehicle and possibly the driver.
    • Take pictures. Make sure to capture photographic evidence of the general accident scene and of the specific damage to your vehicle.
    • Call your insurance company and report the accident. Don't speculate about the cause of the crash. Instead, simply report the date, time, and location of the crash.

    After you leave the scene of the accident, it's critical to get prompt medical attention and to speak with a lawyer about your rights.

    Uninsured Motorist Coverage May Help You

    Alaska law requires insurance companies to offer uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to car insurance purchasers. You may choose not to carry a UM policy, but you need to have clarification of this decision in writing. This choice is made when you purchase insurance coverage and not at the time you're involved in a hit and run car crash.

    If you have UM coverage on an existing policy in effect at the time of your crash, your insurance company may be responsible for paying your injury damages.

    Contact an Experienced Car Crash Lawyer Today

    It can be difficult to recover from a hit and run accident. Even if you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company may now be an adversarial party trying to pay you as little as possible for your claim.

    It's important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can protect your rights and get you the fair and just recovery you deserve. Please contact Attorney Ben Crittenden today to learn more about your rights or to schedule a free initial consultation.


  • How much will future medical care cost after an auto accident?

    The cost of future medical care, including medications, is difficult to predict, yet it is very important to anticipate.

    When you resolve your car accident claim, either through an insurance settlement or a court verdict, the amount that you recover is going to be your total compensation for your accident injuries. That means that you will not be able to recover additional medical expenses in the future, even if these expenses were a direct result of your accident.

    You Need to Accurately Predict Your Future Medical Expenses Now

    Estimating your future needs can be challenging, because you don’t know how effective your treatment will be or the cost of treatment that has not yet happened.

    Typically, a team of professionals will be involved in determining the value of the medical care and medications that you will need in the future. This team will include:

    • Doctors. Your physicians may be able to predict with reasonable certainty the extent of your future medical treatment. This could include things such as hospitalizations, surgeries, doctors’ visits, rehabilitation therapies, and medications.
    • An economist. An economist may be able to provide information about the future cost of medical treatment and prescription drugs. While no one can give a definitive statement about what a medication or medical treatment may cost in the future, economists know how to study market trends and other factors that can help determine a reasonable value of future health care costs.

    Your attorney will then take the information provided by this team of experts and use it in settlement negotiations or in court to help you get the fair compensation that you need for your future medical expenses.

    You may need ongoing medical care for a short term or for the rest of your life. Either way, you deserve to make a full and fair recovery. Please contact attorney Ben Crittenden today via this website or by phone to schedule a free consultation about your rights and about your potential recovery.

  • The insurance company is offering me a quick settlement. Should I take it?

    The promise of a quick settlement offer may come as a relief. Your car accident has left you with injuries and expenses, and the insurance company is offering you money to help you pay your bills. However, settlement offers that come quickly after auto accidents are not always fair settlements.

    The Potential Danger of a Quick Settlement

    The insurance company may be counting on the fact that you need money quickly. Accordingly, it may offer you a fast settlement with the promise that you will have the money quickly and that you will not have the headache of a pending settlement claim or lawsuit.

    However, there are likely a few things that the insurance company is not telling you. Specifically, a quick settlement can be dangerous because:

    • You may not yet know the full extent of your damages. You should only settle your claim after you know the full extent of your injuries. This means that your doctor has made a diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis. With this information, you can find out what your accident injuries will really cost you by getting a realistic estimate of your future medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages.
    • Once you agree to the settlement it is binding. The settlement contract will prevent you from pursuing any other financial claim for accident injuries.

    For these reasons, it is important to get all of the information that you can prior to settling your claim. A fast settlement may appear to be the easiest way to resolve your claim, but in the long run it may not be the best settlement for you.

    Talk to a Lawyer Before You Agree to Any Settlement

    There is no magic time when it is suddenly right for all car accident victims to settle their claims. Instead, the time is right when you are offered fair compensation for all of your accident injuries. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you identify a fair settlement and make sure that the insurance company does not pressure you into a quick settlement that does not fairly compensate you for all of your injuries.

    There are ways to make the wait easier. For example, your healthcare providers may agree to defer payment until your claim is resolved.

    If you would like to speak with a lawyer who will help you get the fast and fair settlement that you deserve, please contact attorney Ben Crittenden via this website or by phone for a free, no-obligation consultation.

  • What should I expect when I call a car accident lawyer?

    You’ve suffered a significant trauma. The car crash that left you injured was shocking and knowing what to do after the crash can be overwhelming. You want to do what you can to protect your recovery, but you don’t want any more surprises.

    Here’s What Will Happen When You Call the Law Office of Ben Crittenden

    When you contact this office, you will not be just another number. You will not enter some impersonal queue of potential clients. Instead, you can expect to receive personal attention beginning with our first phone call.

    If you’ve been hurt, then you should expect personal attention from the attorney—and the law office—that you hire to help you through this difficult time. At our office:

    • Ben will get to know you. He wants to know not only what happened in the accident but also how the accident has affected your life.
    • Ben will want to know your goals. Together, you will discuss your goals in filing a lawsuit and what realistic compensation you can expect.
    • Ben will fight hard for your fair and just recovery. Ben wants to know your goals for filing a claim so that he can fight hard to get you the compensation that you deserve through a settlement with the insurance company or through a court verdict.

    Calling a lawyer does not have to be a scary or an intimidating task. Instead, it is your chance to contact an advocate who is going to be on your side as you navigate your road to recovery. You are contacting an ally who wants to hear from you.

    Woman calling for her attorney's help after car crashYou Have Nothing to Lose

    Attorney Ben Crittenden would be pleased to offer you a free consultation and to meet with you personally to discuss your rights. If you have a car accident case and you decide to hire Ben to represent you, then you will not have to pay an hourly fee. Instead, Ben works on a contingency fee basis and is only paid a percentage of your recovery.

    You deserve to have someone on your side who will fight for your legal and financial recovery while you concentrate on your physical recovery. To learn more, please call us or contact us via this website today.

  • What happens if I am a passenger in an Uber or Lyft car and the driver gets into a car accident?

    In June 2017, Governor Walker signed a bill that allowed Uber, Lyft, and other similar companies to start operating in Alaska. Within a week, Uber and Lyft began working in our state and providing a convenient and often useful service to the people of Alaska. However, as is the case with all motor vehicles, the potential for serious accidents and injuries exists.

    Alaska law requires that ridesharing companies conduct background checks and look at the driving records of potential drivers, but the state counts on these companies being self-regulating and does not ensure that these steps were taken. Yet, even if the state did make sure that these background checks were carried out, it would not prevent every crash.

    Accidents Will Happen Anyway and You Need to Know What to Do

    If you are an Uber or Lyft passenger and the vehicle in which you are traveling is involved in an accident then it is important to do the following, if you are physically able to do so:

    • Call the police.
    • Take pictures of the accident scene.
    • Record the names and contact information for any witnesses to the crash.
    • Save the information about the driver and the trip from your Uber or Lyft app.
    • Accept medical help.

    Additionally, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer.

    Who’s Liable?

    Who is liable—or legally responsible—depends on who caused the crash. If it was a driver other than the Uber or Lyft driver, then your claim would be against the other driver. However, if it was the Uber or Lyft driver who was negligent, then your claim would be against the Uber or Lyft driver.

    Generally, Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors. That means that if a driver is negligent then your legal claim is likely against the driver. However, it is important to know that the driver should be covered by the insurance policy held by Uber or Lyft. There also may be limited circumstances when you could also sue Uber or Lyft directly.

    You have a lot at stake. You have been hurt and the accident was not your fault. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you make a fair recovery after an Uber crash or another ridesharing accident. To learn more about your rights, please contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Together, we can work to protect the recovery that you deserve.

  • Who is at fault if a driver hits someone when backing up?

    As is the case after every accident, determining who is at fault is only possible after all of the evidence is considered. However, if you or your child have been hurt in this type of accident—known as a backover crash—then it is important to know how these accidents occur, who may be at fault, and how to protect your recovery.

    Common Causes of Backover Crashes

    Backover crashes typically happen in driveways and parking lots. As the term suggests, they occur when drivers are backing up or in reverse and they hit a pedestrian or bicyclist. The majority of backover accident victims are young children.

    While young children cannot appreciate the risk of being behind a motor vehicle, drivers can prevent backover crashes by:

    • Anticipating that someone may be behind the vehicle. Drivers should look carefully before putting the car in reverse and should proceed slowly so that they can stop before tragedy occurs. This requires a driver’s full attention and should not happen when a driver is distracted.
    • Taking care to check blind spots. Every vehicle—even a sedan—has blind spots that drivers just can’t see when they are in reverse. It is a driver’s responsibility to account for these blind spots.

    Some vehicles have technology installed to make backover crashes less likely. For example, rearview cameras and sensor based systems that detect people behind the vehicle may prevent some accidents. However, these technologies cannot prevent every backover accident.

    Who May Be Liable for Backover Injuries and Fatalities?

    Generally, there are two choices. The driver may be liable for the crash or the pedestrian or bicyclist who was hit may be responsible for the crash.

    While some crashes are just accidents that the pedestrian caused but did not intend, other crashes are caused by the driver’s negligence. If the driver failed to act like a reasonable driver would when backing up and that failure caused an accident and resulting injury or death, then the driver is liable.

    How to Protect Your Fair Recovery

    It is important to anticipate that the driver’s insurance company is going to argue that the accident was your fault or your child’s fault. You deserve to know the truth and to get the fair and just recovery that you deserve if the driver’s negligence caused the accident. Attorney Ben Crittenden will make sure that a thorough investigation is done and that your rights are protected. He will fight for your recovery of past, current and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages. To learn more, please read a free copy of A Guide to Car Accidents in Alaska and contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

  • What should I do if I’ve been hurt in a car accident involving a government vehicle?

    Generally, states enjoy what is known as “sovereign immunity,” which means that they cannot be sued. However, the federal government, Alaska, and local municipalities have made exceptions to this general legal doctrine to allow people who have been hurt in car accidents and other specific situations to recover damages.

    The injuries that you suffer in a car crash with a government vehicle may be the same as you would suffer in any motor vehicle accident, but the rules for your recovery may be different. Accordingly, it is important to know what rules apply and how you can protect your right to a fair recovery.

    Get the Information You Need Before You File a Claim

    You have the right to sue the United States of America, the State of Alaska, the City of Anchorage, or another municipality if you are hurt in a car crash because of a negligent government employee. However, if the defendant is a government entity, then it is important to know that:

    • Your time frame for providing notice of your claim to the defendant may be shorter than it otherwise would be pursuant to the applicable statute of limitations.
    • Your damages may be capped and you may be prevented from pursuing punitive damages. For example, currently, personal injury claims against the State of Alaska are capped at $400,000 and punitive damages are not allowed.

    Special laws such as the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Alaska Tort Claims Act may apply.

    Contact A Government Vehicle Accident Attorney

    Since your time to file notice of your claim may be short, it is important to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. You can expect that the government defendant will be well represented by counsel. You deserve the same benefit. For more information about protecting your rights and getting the fair recovery that you deserve form the government, please start a live chat or call Attorney Ben Crittenden today.

  • How can I help my attorney obtain the maximum recovery for my car accident injuries?

    Attorney Ben Crittenden works hard to get each of his clients the fair and full recoveries that they deserve based on the unique facts of their cases and their individual injuries. Ben will be the one negotiating a settlement with the insurance company on your behalf or advocating for your recovery in an Alaska courtroom.

    You, however, are a vital part of your own recovery. You can work together with Ben to make sure that you get the recovery that you deserve.

    Here’s What to Do

    As a client of Ben’s you can:

    • Tell Ben the whole story about your accident—even the unflattering parts. This will allow him to develop a strong case on your behalf and to anticipate the defense’s arguments.
    • Be organized and provide all of the requested information. Certain records, such as medical records, may be necessary to prove your claim.
    • Communicate well. Return all calls and emails from your attorney, or others in his office, promptly.
    • Ask questions. You are a valuable part of your own legal team. The outcome of the case impacts your life. You deserve to know what your rights are, what reasonable compensation may be for your injuries, what obstacles you face in getting that compensation, and any other information that you want to know.
    • Stay off social media. Anything that you post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platforms may be discovered by the defense and may be used against you in ways that you did not anticipate or intend.
    • Comply with your doctor’s orders. If you fail to do this, then the defendant may argue that you are partly to blame for your own injuries.

    Right now, in the aftermath of your car accident, everything may be confusing. However, you have the right to work with a lawyer whom you trust and one who will explain everything to you at each step of your claim. You and your lawyer are on the same team.

    Attorney Ben Crittenden is committed to working with you to help you get the fair recovery that you deserve. To learn more, please contact this law firm via this website or by phone at your earliest convenience.

  • How soon after a car accident should I contact an attorney?

    An attorney may not be the first person you contact after a car crash. At the scene of the accident, it is most important that you call 911 or make other arrangements for immediate medical attention and that you call your loved ones to let them know what happened. You have urgent and potentially life-threatening issues that should be taken care of right away.

    Contact a Car Crash Lawyer as Soon as You Can

    After you’ve called for medical help and let your family know that you’ve been involved in a crash then you may be wondering if it is time to call a lawyer.

    It is never too soon to call an attorney.

    There is no benefit to waiting to make the call, but there are many potential benefits to calling a lawyer as soon as you are physically able to do so. Those benefits include:

    • Getting advice about how to protect your rights. Everything that you say and do after a car crash can be important to your ultimate recovery. You’ve been through a traumatic event. You may be in physical pain and it can be challenging to know what to do to protect your rights. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you with every step so that you don’t make a potentially costly mistake.
    • Acting quickly to preserve evidence. You are going to need evidence to prove who was liable for your accident and the extent of your injuries. It is easier to obtain and preserve evidence sooner rather than later. A car accident lawyer can help you identify what evidence is available and take care of that evidence so that is available to be used during settlement negotiations or in court.
    • Making a fair recovery more quickly. If you delay taking action, then your recovery will also be delayed. You may need money to pay medical bills, to replace lost income, and for your other damages quickly. Accordingly, it is important to take action by contacting a lawyer as soon as possible.

    If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, then we encourage you to take action today. Contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden today by phone or through this website to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

  • How do I know if I should accept an insurance settlement offer?

    There is no precise answer to the question of what constitutes a fair settlement when someone has been injured in a vehicle accident.

    Setting a Value on a Settlement Offer

    Unlike personal property damage, where it’s easy to calculate the value of damaged car parts, harm to the human body isn’t as easily determined. Injuries sometimes have long-term consequences, possibly impacting the victim’s future quality of life and earning potential. The accident may also cause mental and psychological issues that must be addressed. Factors that may impact the settlement offer include the victim’s:

    • Age and life expectancy.
    • Health prior to the accident.
    • Long-term impact on health.
    • Mental state prior to the accident.
    • Past earning history.
    • Future earning potential.
    • Employment history.
    • Physical and mental pain and suffering.
    • Relationship changes with spouse and children.
    • Reduced ability to enjoy life.

    Accepting a Settlement Offer

    A fair settlement offer should include the costs of your medical care, the damage to your vehicle, and any other expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the accident. If you’ve been permanently injured, or if you’re in need of long-term care, you should also receive compensation for those anticipated long-term costs.

    You may think that the at-fault driver’s insurance company would have to cover all of your medical bills and pay a settlement to you, but that isn’t true. All of your medical bills must be paid out of the settlement funds you receive, which may leave little or nothing for your pain and suffering or lost wages. When you accept a settlement, the matter is typically closed forever afterward; it’s not possible to return to the court for a reassessment if you later realize that your settlement is too low.

    You Need an Attorney

    Unfortunately, the insurance company of the at-fault party will likely want to pay you as little as possible. Its first offer is therefore almost certain to be low. If you’re not sure that the insurance company is making a fair offer for your personal injury claim, you should speak with an attorney before you settle. You need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you recover everything you’re entitled to. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.