Fairbanks, Alaska


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Ward Merdes
Ward Merdes
Attorney • (866) 452-3741

Moosemania on Alaska Roads

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Moosemania on Alaska Roads

Got moose insurance? More and more moose related motor vehicle accidents are hitting the headlines here in Alaska lately. Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes try to deny covering these types of claims, claiming instead that there is no coverage under their standard auto policies for “a moose related incident.” That is patently false.

The truth is that accidents happen. Sometimes they involve moose or other critters that come onto the roadways unexpectedly. In Alaska, we all know that moose are out there, and we try our best to avoid them. All drivers are expected to act “reasonably” under the circumstances, whatever the circumstances are, or they are negligent. So when we see a moose, we are likewise expected to act reasonably, which includes of course NOT driving into a lane of oncoming traffic and colliding with another vehicle instead of the moose. Basically, we should try to avoid Bullwinkle, but try not run into anyone else in the process. Nonetheless, when accidents do happen, and especially when you or someone else is hurt in the process, don’t let any insurer say they don’t cover “a moose related incident.” That’s not Bullwinkle. It’s just bull.

Finally, if you do find yourself in the middle of an accident, especially one with considerable vehicle and/or property damage, and with medical injuries, then there is a strong chance that you should consult with a good attorney about your rights, about what to do next, and about how and when to speak with insurance adjusters.

There is a very important deadline to consider. Under Alaska Law AS 09.10.070, parties involved in motor vehicle accidents generally have only two years to pursue their claims. This does not mean the parties should wait until two years are up before pursuing action. Rather, the families involved should look into taking take action immediately. In many law firms, such as my own, there is no charge for the initial consultation so there is no point in waiting to seek legal advice. Moreover, if your accident results in serious injury or death, then you should begin the process of seeking legal counsel immediately.

You can call me of course, at 907-452-5400, or toll-free at 1-866-452-3741, or research Merdes & Merdes, P.C. at www.merdes.com; or you can access the lawyer referral service of the Alaska Bar Association at www.alaskabar.org, or phone them at 1-800-770-9999 in Alaska, or 907-272-0352 outside Alaska.

Meantime, stay safe out there, and watch out for Bullwinkle.

Ward Merdes