What do Do After an Accident During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Despite the stay-at-home orders issued during this recent coronavirus pandemic, some travel on roads is necessary: for essential workers like doctors and nurses, for delivery workers, and to buy groceries and necessities. So while we have seen a huge decrease in traffic accidents due to fewer cars on the road, the fact of the matter is that car accidents are still occurring and will continue to occur.
During this time, it is essential to avoid unnecessary driving and when driving to be alert and drive defensively. But if for some reason you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident, we’re here to help you understand your best course of action during this time to reduce your risk and avoid jeopardizing your case.
How Should I Exchange Information With the Other Driver?
Be sure to keep a safe distance apart. The CDC is recommending maintaining a social distance of at least six feet when you are unable to avoid public places, and this same guidance should be applied to traffic accidents. If you are able to read your information to the other person and have them read theirs to you, that would be preferred to exchanging insurance cards or licenses. Or, tell them your phone number and have them text you a photo of their insurance card and driver’s license. While you have your phone out, be sure to take photos of the scene and any damage that your vehicle sustained.
Should I Still Report My Accident to the Authorities?
YES. Always file a police report when involved in an accident. Having an officer on the scene to assess the situation impartially and determine fault based on the facts and statements provided is necessary not only for your insurance but also if you choose to file a personal injury claim.
The responding officer will take down important information and later can appear as a witness should your case go to court. Even though this is a scary time in which we are all trying to avoid contact with others, particularly strangers, you still need to take the necessary steps to protect yourself outside of the virus.
In all likelihood, the responding officer will have personal protective equipment (PPE) on their person when responding to your call. However, keeping a mask in your car in case of emergency is probably a smart option and would allow you to interact with the officer if needed with some protection.
Another great item to keep handy would be disinfectant wipes or spray—that way you can disinfect your ID, registration and any other items that might be passed around.
If I Am Injured, Is It Safe to Go to the Hospital?
If you are injured or suspect you are injured, be sure to alert the caller when reporting your accident. Victims of personal injury are entitled to receive medical care as soon as possible, and it is important to document injuries as they occur if you choose to pursue a claim.
While the fear of contracting the virus is great, it is not a given, and hospitals and medical staff are taking as many precautions as possible to avoid the co-mingling of patients. What is a given is the fact that if you are injured in a traffic accident and do not seek treatment, insurance companies and juries will have a hard time viewing your claim favorably.
Will My Insurance Be Affected Due to the Virus?
Many people are concerned about insurance during the COVID-19 outbreak, be it their health insurance, life insurance or home insurance. As far as car insurance goes, nothing should change too drastically during this time unless you decide to halt payments or change your policy (I wouldn’t). It’s possible your company has offered paybacks during this time, as some like Progressive are, and while many of their employees are now working remotely, your company should be open as usual, though their hours may have changed.
We recommend that you call your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident with all pertinent information and photographs. Many companies allow you to file claims online or through text messaging, and some insurance adjusters are examining damage to vehicles via video calls. And while claims may end up being delayed due to the pandemic, this should not discourage you from making them.
Can I Still File an Accident Claim During a Pandemic?
Yes, if you or a loved one is injured in a traffic accident, even during this uncertain time, you can count on top-notch attorneys like those at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers to take your case. Give us a call at (415) 413-0033 today to discuss your case! Or, get a FREE case evaluation online now.
Are you ready to start the road to recovery? As a victim of a traffic accident, you have rights and can seek compensation from individuals who have caused you injury. Contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers today for your free case evaluation. Our customer-focused, exclusively female team of attorneys are experts at getting you the solid settlement you deserve.
Scott B.Car Accident Client
“After getting rear-ended by a distracted driver, I was absolutely clueless as to what to do and where to turn. After a friend recommended me to Sally, my problems quickly faded. Sally and her team worked tirelessly to make sure that I was taken care of on all fronts.”
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