It would be nice to say that there are some silver linings running along with the current state of crisis. While there are multiple reports showing that overall auto-accidents are down, they are also up in some locations.
Worse, reports also indicate a marked increase in fatalities following a traffic accident as injured persons are at increased risk of exposure in hospital environments. Along with this is the further risk that being in an accident raises cases of COVID-19 related mortality.
It’s becoming common to hear that certain rules and regulations have been suspended or shifted because of the pandemic. However, despite some rebates being offered by insurance companies due to lower overall driving rates, the laws regarding traffic accidents and personal injury claims have not changed. That’s why it’s important to talk to an experienced attorney after an accident.
No Suspension of Duty
Despite the difficulty presented by social distancing guidelines, your duty in an accident does not change. It is still necessary o exchange information with other drivers involved in an accident.
In the same way, you must still contact authorities and leave notice if an accident involves either people or property.
What changes are how you will deliver that information and how you will interact with investigators and workers sent to the scene.
You want to maintain a six-foot distance from other people while the accident is cleared. You will want to wear PPE, including gloves, when handling materials given to you by other motorists.
As much as possible try to use your own pens and equipment to take down information. Limit how much physical exchange is done through the process.
Precautions to Take
Take extra care when driving. While there are fewer people on the road, some believe that driving faster gets them to their destination quicker. Somehow quicker means less risk. Not unlike when the first snows start to hit, sometimes drivers act irrationally in their rush to get off the roads.
With any accident you are at risk of injury. Since internal injuries are not readily apparent, you may feel like you can skip out on getting examined to lower risk of infection.
You still need to be evaluated and confirmed that you don’t have threatening injuries. You also need to document what injuries you have to establish that line of evidence for later.
Consider non-critical options first. Many doctors are now working through telemedicine applications. They can walk you through a process to check for the more obvious issues in the comfort of your home.
It’s not uncommon for insurance agents to list a failure to engage with care as an excuse to argue serious injury did not occur or was not related to the accident.
Finally, expect any claims process to be slowed down. Even though there are fewer overall accidents, the lack of staffing at many firms means you will have to wait longer for each step of the process to be completed. It can’t be stressed enough that now, more than ever, it’s so critical to enlist the help of an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process.
As with any injury as a result of an accident, you want to protect yourself and be vigilant. In these trying times, it may be tempting to take a quick settlement to deal with short-term expenses- and insurance companies are counting on that. Don’t be intimidated- contact us today. We are always here to help.