Wasilla, Alaska—The Fairbanks Daily News Miner reports that two motorists were critically injured near Mile 5 of Bogard road in Wasilla on June 1, 2009. The drivers have been identified as 41 year old Kathleen Coslow and 63 year old James Libby of Wasilla. Both drivers were immediately transported to hospitals from the scene. Both vehicles were totaled with property damaged estimated at $15,000.00. Alaska DPS reports that their investigation revealed that Ms. Coslow crossed the double yellow center line and collided with Mr. Libby’s vehicle, causing the accident.
I have searched the internet but cannot find any information on the status of the drivers. It is our sincere hope that both drivers have recovered from their injuries sustained in the crash and that no one suffers any long-term impairment as a result of the crash. However, there are a few things that the parties involved, specifically Mr. Libby and his loved ones, ought to know.
1.) The statute of limitations for personal injury cases or wrongful death cases is 2 years from the date of the accident. This means that any party has two years in which to contact an attorney and file your claim. If you wait more than two years, you may lose your claim forever. This means that even if someone else is responsible for your injuries and medical bills, they may not have to pay if you wait too long.
2.) The DPS website says that Ms. Coslow was at fault for the accident. But there may be more to the story. Any interested party should consider contacting Alaska DPS and obtaining a copy of the accident report. DPS was the first agency on scene and the observations they recorded will be critical if any lawsuits result from this accident.. (Visit http://www.dps.state.ak.us/PIO/ for information on obtaining reports.)
3.) Either party may wish to hire an accident reconstructionist. It is possible that Ms. Coslow crossed the yellow line as a result of a road hazard or improper road design. Contacting an accident reconstructionist is the first step in determining the why behind the what happened.
4.) Remember that insurance companies are not your friends. They are not “on your side,” you are not “in good hands,” and they are most certainly not your “family.” Insurance companies are in the business of making and keeping their money. DO NOT TALK to the other driver’s insurance company. There’s no reason to. If they are calling you then….
5.) Contact an attorney to help you ASAP. While you are certainly free to contact Mr. Merdes at 866-735-1102 Ext. 455, this is not a solicitation or legal advice. This is offered only as information and a whole-hearted encouragement for you to exercise your rights. If you would like a referral, feel free to contact Ward Merdes or call the Alaska Bar Assn. for a free lawyer referral: 800-770-9999. You can also try the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) at www.nbtanet.org. Just be sure to call an attorney who has handled cases like this before.
Serious auto accidents are tragedies. They dramatically impact the lives of those involved. They are stressful and altogether horrible experiences. But the misery of this is compounded by a failure to act. If you have been harmed by someone else’s negligence (just irresponsibility) you have a right to be compensated. You may have a right to have your medical bills, mileage, lost wages, and even your pain and suffering compensated. But if you don’t contact an attorney, you lose the right to be compensated for what you’ve lost. So please, if you’re not sure if you’ve been hurt or if you’re entitled to repayment for your losses, then contact an attorney who handles these types of cases.