Every day, more than 7000 people suffer from car accidents either directly, or indirectly. The effects of car accidents range from minor bruises to serious injuries that might sometimes result in death. During this pandemic period, fewer cars are seen on the roads due to the stay-at-home incentive. However, car accidents still occur on our roads, and if not careful, an accident can expose you to the fatal virus.
Whether you are a victim or a witness to a car accident, it is vital to know what to do to protect yourself and those around you. Below are the first steps to follow after suffering from a motor vehicle accident during this pandemic period:
Maintain social distance
The first and most crucial precaution to protect you from the virus is maintaining social distancing. Unlike the previous years, when you would approach the other driver, try maintaining a distance of at least six feet or wear a face mask and gloves before approaching the other driver, witnesses, or any other involved party.
If you want to collect their information, you can improvise other ways, like sharing phone numbers verbally and texting all required information. Texting will ensure zero contact with the other people involved and, consequently, reduce exposure to the virus.
Alternatively, consider asking the other involved party to display their information, like their driver’s license, on a secure flat where you can take photos or note down the information with your pen and paper.
Before anyone leaves the scene, ensure the information you have is valid, and the pictures taken are clear. You can validate the phone number by calling it there and then.
Do not approach the other car to access the damage done or negotiate with them the affected party as it will only lead to breaching of the six-foot rule.
In an event, you feel the other driver’s character is dangerous or makes you feel insecure, stay in your car until the authorities arrive to settle the case.
Seek necessary medical attention
If you have any serious injuries from an accident, seek the necessary medical attention. Do not fear contacting coronavirus while in the hospital as most hospitals have designated specific areas for COVID-19 patients and the rest of the hospital for other treatments. There is also frequent fumigation within the facilities to ensure the safety of COVID-19 free patients.
You can also contact your primary caregivers like your personal doctor or nurse who can provide remote services through a phone call or video call. Your doctor can be able to address your needs immediately through a telemedicine appointment than during a physical appointment.
Do not delay seeking medical help after an accident. Whether you have had minor or serious injuries, it is crucial to go for a full body checkup to access any internal injuries or blood clots.
Failure to go to the hospital immediately may also lead to a lack of compensation from the insurance company. They may disagree that the injuries were due to the accident or the injuries are minor and therefore, should not be compensated.
Providing fault in your car accident lawsuit
After ensuring every car accident victim is safe, the next step is providing fault for your car accident lawsuit. This process will involve a lot of finger-pointing, as no one wants to carry the burden. It is understandable because your driving points and the amount the insurance company will compensate you is at fault.
Due to the pandemic, it might be hard to provide fault in your car accident lawsuit due to the precautionary measures put forward by medics like social distancing. Therefore, it is crucial to follow these guidelines when gathering evidence of who is at fault after an accident.
Take photos of the accident scene, of your injuries and your car condition immediately after the accident. You can also go the extra mile of taking down contacts like the phone number, address, and email of any witness to ensure you have a strong case at the lawsuit.
Once you have all the evidence you need, you can then report the accident to the nearest police station and ask for a copy of the official report.
Be prepared for delays
Getting into a motor vehicle accident was stressful enough during the pre-corona period. You will deal with more stress and uncertainty if you find yourself in an accident during this pandemic. The increasing rate in coronavirus infections has led to a dramatic change in business and government operations.
That means the claiming period of your insurance company is extended. The insurance company will also try pressuring you to opt for an early settlement, which is often insufficient. Giving in to the pressure is always a bad idea as you will receive a lesser compensation compared to the damage caused in the accident. If you decide to file an injury lawsuit, be fully prepared for delays due to the shelter-in directive.
Understanding the statute of limitations for a car accident according to your state will help you plan your case adequately after regaining your health. For most states, the statute of limitations for personal injuries resulting from a car accident is two years. Delaying to file a case for more than two years will lead to your case being barred from the courtroom.
Contact a car accident attorney
Even with the drastic changes in the world due to the pandemic, the justice system is still fully operational. If you have incurred personal injuries due to a car accident that was fully not your fault, you can consult an accident attorney and demand compensation.
The best lawyer to call in this sort of situation is one that deals with personal injury cases like the ones you see here. Record what you can at the scene and present it to your lawyer as soon as you’re able. They’ll be able to help you move forward.
The coronavirus has adversely affected our normal lives, both financially and mentally. However, the changes should not deter you from seeking medical attention or justice when you suffer a car accident