What You Should Know About Car Accidents And COVID-19
The novel virus known as COVID-19 has changed the way we operate in our daily lives in the United States. Most people throughout the country are under shelter-in-place ordinances and should refrain from driving except for essential items such as food and medicine. However, even if there are fewer drivers on the road due to most people staying home, car accidents still occur. Any type of car accident is challenging, but having a car accident during the COVID-19 global pandemic brings with it unique challenges. You will need to take extra precautions if you are a victim of a car accident during this unprecedented time in modern history.
The Basics Are The Same
If you are in a car accident, many of the basics will stay the same. Legally, you should never leave the scene of an accident until the police have been called, or the situation has been resolved with the other driver. Contact 911 if any person suffered injuries so that they can receive emergency medical treatment. Obtain contact information from the other drivers as well as their insurance information. Additionally, you should obtain the contact information of all of the witnesses if any were present. Always contact your insurance provider, but be careful as you visit with them as what you say can be used against you.
At any other time, you would directly approach the other driver or witnesses to exchange information. However, during the time of the coronavirus era, you should consider wearing a mask at all times. Additionally, make sure that if you do approach the other driver or witnesses to obtain contact information, you do so only to a certain point. The statistics keep changing regarding how far apart two people truly need to be in order to prevent transmission of COVID-19, however, you should stay as far apart as possible. Instead of exchanging information hand to hand, you can request that the other person simply tell you the name of their insurance company and the policy number. Conversely, you could have them stand far enough away from you and hold up their insurance card, and you can zoom in and take a picture of it with your cell phone. Make sure that all the photos you take are clear and visible so that they can easily be referred to later. If you feel unsafe at all, or that the other driver is unwilling to take these social distancing precautions, simply remain in your car until law enforcement arrives.
Prepare for a Slow Resolution
COVID-19 has impacted every aspect and fabric of our life in America, and the courts are no different. While your attorney will likely have teleconferencing and videoconferencing available, the process of actually dealing with your personal injury case will take substantially longer. Medical treatments may take longer, especially if they are not considered essential so that health care workers can treat those in most need. Insurance companies have their workers working from home, which can also involve delays. Finally, the courts themselves are not fully open and ready to take on a personal injury case at normal speed. Make sure that you understand your legal rights if you are considering taking a settlement amount from an insurance company because you are concerned about how long the personal injury case will take in a court of law.
Let Us Help You Today
You always have legal rights, whether or not there is a global pandemic. If you suffered injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, make sure that you visit with an attorney especially during this uncertain time. Contact an experienced accident attorney at Roman & Roman today at 877-767-1032 or contact us online for a free consultation. We can help you determine if you should take the settlement amount offered by an insurance company or pursue your claim further. We have offices in Clearwater, Hudson, and Tampa.