Alaska medical malpractice laws
According to Alaska’s doctrine of pure comparative negligence, an award for damages is lessened according to a determined percentage of the claimant’s fault.
Statute of Limitations
A claim can be filed up to two years after the injury was found.
Damage awards have a $500,000 cap which is tripled for punitive damages. For a severe injury, there is a life expectancy calculation limit or one million dollars. The limits for noneconomic damages are the life expectancy calculation limit or $400,000.
Joint Defendant Liability
Defendants under Alaskan Law are held proportionally liable.
An expert witness must have certification from the state of Alaska and received training and licensing in the same specialty as the defendant.
There are currently no limits placed on attorney fees.
Several and Joint Liability
The laws of several and joint liability have been rejected by the state of Alaska; in favor of the allocated several liability method. According to this law, if more than one person is involved in a claim, each will be charged for the percentage of fault for which they are responsible. In addition to the rejection of joint and several liability law, the contribution among the joint tort feasors act was also repealed.
Emergency room doctors are held under the doctrine of apparent or ostensible agency in Alaska. If a doctor has medical insurance that has a limit of $500,000 for each claim, the hospital cannot be held liable for the negligent actions of the emergency room physician. A statement must be posted stating that these physicians work as independent contractors.
If everyone involved in a medical malpractice case decides not to arbitrate, a panel consisting of three members may be appointed within 20 days prior to filling a decision.