Anchorage Car Accident Lawyers
When you are injured in a car accident, you just want to get better. But you can’t truly focus on your recovery when you have to deal with insurance companies and financial concerns. How will you pay all of the medical costs of treating your injury? How will you support yourself if your injury prevents you from working temporarily or even permanently?
We understand that this is an overwhelmingly difficult time for you. You need your questions answered. You need compensation for your injuries so that you can pay your bills and maintain your financial security. You want to put this terrible experience behind you and move on with your life. And we want to help.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Whether or not you’ve been involved in an Anchorage car accident, it’s still very important to be prepared, so we want to share some knowledge with you. We know a car accident can be a scary and disorienting experience; however, you need to remember what steps to take to ensure you protect yourself physically and financially.
What should I do at the scene of the accident?
1. Do not leave the scene of the accident until law enforcement has authorized you to do so. Improperly leaving the scene of the accident is illegal, and can make it look as though you are at fault. Stay at the scene until law enforcement tells you that you are free to go, unless you need medical treatment from emergency personnel who arrived on scene.
2. Call 911. This will ensure both the police and emergency medical personnel arrive on scene. If you are able to do so safely, check on all persons involved in the accident to see if anyone needs medical treatment. If you believe any other drivers or passengers are injured, do not move them unless it is necessary to get them out of harm’s way.
Do not deny medical care even if you believe you are uninjured. In many cases, injuries take hours or days to appear.
Once police officers arrive on the scene, stay calm and, when asked, state the facts of the accident (e.g., type of accident, who was involved, whether you had any passengers, etc.). Do not blame anyone, speculate about what the other driver was doing, or admit fault.
It’s also important to note that police officers will not arrive at the scene if damages to property aren’t greater than $500, which can be difficult to assess in the first place if you don’t know what to look for. Repairing a car after an accident can be expensive, so be sure to clearly communicate all damages when you report the accident to the police.
Additionally, given the number of car accidents that can occur in the snowy conditions of Anchorage, sometimes police officers are too busy to make it to the scene of the car accident in time. If police officers do not make it to the scene of the accident, make sure you take pictures and video of the scene, including any damage to you or other person’s vehicle or any bodily harm that may have been caused. Additionally, ensure you obtain contact information, exchange insurance information, and file an accident report online as soon as you can.
3. Get the contact information, insurance information, names and addresses, driver’s license numbers of all drivers and share yours with them. In the stress of the moment, people often forget to do this one simple thing. You might feel uncomfortable approaching people to get this information, but you are legally entitled to this information, and they must give it to you. Without the other driver’s insurance or contact information, you could be left paying for your own accident-related expenses out of pocket.
Note: If the other driver left the scene before police officers arrived, write down any information you have about the driver, car, license plate number, and the direction it was traveling.
4. Get names and contact information of all eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses can be vital to your accident case. They are unbiased, third parties who can testify as to what they saw happen. For example, maybe they saw the other driver texting, talking to a passenger, or falling asleep at the wheel before s/he hit you.
5. Be careful about what you say at the scene. Do not apologize for anything, as the other party can use that against you as an admission of fault, regardless of whether you intended it as such. Do not admit fault to anyone, even if you think you may have contributed to the accident.
6. If your car requires towing, remove your personal items from the vehicle. If your car is a total loss, you might not have another opportunity to retrieve your items. Make sure you know where your car is going. You will need to know so the insurer can perform an inspection.
What should I do after I leave the scene of the accident?
1. Get all necessary medical treatment. Make a list of all the health care providers who treat you, from the emergency room until your doctor completely releases you from medical treatment, which may be months later. Attend all appointments and obey your doctor’s orders. If you skip appointments or ignore doctor’s orders, the insurer will likely claim you are exaggerating, falsifying, or contributing to your injuries.
2. Notify your insurance company and tell it what happened, but do not give a recorded statement until you talk with a lawyer. Take notes about any conversations you have with insurers about your accident.
3. Start getting organized. Keep track of all your receipts and bills related to your accident. This can include anything from surgical bills and home renovations (to accommodate your disability) to lost wages and parking fees at your doctor’s office.
Also be sure to get copies of your medical records.
4. Keep a daily journal of your progress, your pain levels, and how your injuries are impacting your daily life and normal activities. Be detailed. Explain how your back pain kept you from going to work or attending your daughter’s soccer game.
5. Do not talk with other people who were involved in the accident, as they might have potential claims against you. This includes people who were in your own car.
6. Get good legal advice from a car accident lawyer, who will deal with the insurance company for you. This will keep you from doing anything that might jeopardize your claim as well as allow you to focus on recovering.
Do not accept a settlement before running it by a lawyer. Insurers are notorious for offering low settlements before injured parties have had a chance to determine the true value of their case.
We can help you.
Our firm focuses exclusively on representing people like you who have been injured. Over the years, our Anchorage personal injury attorneys have helped many Alaskans get back on their feet by obtaining fair compensation for their injuries.
Let us help you get the compensation you deserve. We bring our entire team to work on your case so that you get the highest level of service. We’ll work with you, getting to know you and listening to your unique needs and goals. We strive to give you the highest compensation possible so that you can focus on getting better without having to worry about your finances. Above all, we strive to give you peace of mind.
The car accident lawyers at Kelley & Canterbury, LLC have decades of experience handling accident claims. We know the tricks insurers try to pull and how to defend against them. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Anchorage, Eagle River, Chugiak, or Palmer, and need help, please give us a call or schedule an appointment today. If we don’t obtain compensation for you, there’s no charge for our services. We look forward to hearing from you.