A quick note to former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, who was injured when he put down his motorcycle on a gravel road north of Fairbanks a few days back…
1. We hope you are recovering. Fairbanks Memorial Hospital is a first-rate institution. We trust you are receiving quality care.
2. The law in Alaska is clear: The State of Alaska is supposed to keep our roads reasonably safe for all of our visitors. That includes you. This legal standard means dangerous roadways are supposed to be: (1) marked; and (2) promptly fixed.
3. Hire somebody to investigate exactly what caused you to put down your bike. If the roadway was unreasonably dangerous or unmarked, the State of Alaska should share in your losses. Find a good accident investigation firm and pay them a little money to look into this… particularly if you’re badly hurt.
4. The Statute of Limitations for injuries to adults in Alaska is two years. You must either informally settle your claims or file a lawsuit within two years, or you will lose valuable legal rights, including the right to compensation for your injuries.
Tort law actually works correctly in Alaska. If you caused this wreck, you bear your own losses. At thes same time, if somebody else had a hand in causing them, they should share in the burden. It’s that simple.
We wish you a speedy recovery Governor – and are sorry that your motorcycle trip to Alaska landed you in the hospital.
/s/ Ward Merdes