After the Car Accident

It snowed again.  A particularly nasty wet snow making for icy roads.  And we had lots and lots of  accidents yesterday: 164 by 9:30  PM according to Anchorage Daily News.

More big news:  Anchorage Police Department has a new policy.  It won't file a police report unless the officer thinks that the accident caused an injury.  So you can't rely on the police officer to take the witness' names and phone numbers, much less the name of the other drivers involved.  You need to do that yourself.

Not only that, APD probably won't take photos at the scene.  Take photos on your cell phone.  Be sure to get the license plate number of the other car.  Be sure to get photos of damage to the other vehicle as well as the  scene of the accident.  Why do you ask?  Because the other driver could claim that you caused the accident or his damage was minor and to prove your case, you will need  photos of his car to prove how his car impacted yours and how severe the impact was.

After an accident, the law requires you to stop, contact the other drivers or pedestrians involved, exchange name and insurance information, and render assistance to injured persons.  For your own protection, get the names and phone numbers of all witnesses, photograph the scene and the vehicles involved in the accident.

Go to the hospital if you need medical attention.

Then, call you insurance company and report the accident.  And then call the other driver's insurance company to report it as well.  You can google the insurance company and obtain a number to call.

The next day, follow up with any medical providers to whom you were referred by the emergency room.  Or if you didn't go to the hospital, but you're starting to hurt, go to your doctor or to a minor emergency clinic.

Don't expect the other driver's insurance company to pay your medical bills.  Even if the insurance company accepts  liability, it will wait until the end of the case and sometimes it will send the medical records to its own doctor to evaluate them, to see if they have a reason not to pay those bills.

One common defense  the insurance  company will raise is to claim that chiropractic care was excessive and that in a simple whiplash case, the injured person would recover in 6-12 weeks even without chiropractic treatment.  It's called the Quebec defense.   If you have been seeing a chiropractor for 3 months or more and  you aren't better, you should check in with a medical doctor to get his opinion as to whether your chiropractic  care is appropriate and also to find out if your injury is more severe than chiropractic care can treat.

How do you pay for the medical bills  before your case is settled?  Your medical payments benefits which you purchased with your automobile liability insurance should be billed first.  For more information regarding automobile  liability insurance, look at "Car Accidents and P.I." page.

If you don't have medical payment benefits, bill your group health insurance provided by your employer.

If you don't have  group health insurance, you'll need to pay your bills directly, find a sliding fee scale clinic or  enter into an agreement with the provider to pay him when the case is settled.

For more information, contact Keenan Powell:  keenan@keenanpowell.com.  Phone: 907 258 7668 or 888 368 5678.