The COVID-19 pandemic has added an unexpected layer of confusion to many aspects of life. It should be no surprise that it would carry over to a car accident. If you are involved in an accident during this unprecedented time, protect yourself and your legal rights as you would during any other time, but also take safety precautions as well.
What is different about an accident during the pandemic?
Not surprisingly, when you are in an accident during the pandemic, you will need to follow recommended COVID-19 protocol. This may mean:
- When you leave your vehicle, whether to examine the damage or to speak with the other driver or the police, maintain social distancing of at least six feet.
- Follow other recommended protocols like wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer if you have them available and accessible.
- Limit your physical contact with people and avoid sharing items like pens. For example, instead of passing the other driver a pen and paper for contact information, ask them to state the information out loud so you can write them down.
Further, you may notice other differences. Mail can be slower, and insurance companies may take longer to process claims. However, insurance companies have deadlines they need to meet in responding to your car accident claim, so speak with your attorney about any delays.
What to do after an accident
In addition to the above precautions, take steps to protect your well-being and your likelihood of receiving full compensation. This includes:
- Pull over to the side of the road to avoid impeding traffic.
- Remain at the scene unless you need to leave with a medical emergency.
- Report the accident to the police and request a copy of the report as soon as it is available.
- Document the scene by taking photographs of the vehicles, the road, and the people present and by writing down license plate numbers and the names, contact, and insurance information of others involved in the crash.
- Ask witnesses for their names and contact information.
- Report the accident to your insurance carrier but do not over-share information and never apologize or accept blame.
If you are hurt, see a doctor as soon as possible. Some people are afraid of visiting hospitals or doctor’s offices due to the virus, but it can be dangerous to delay necessary diagnosis and treatment. For example, what initially seems like a relatively harmless bump to the head may end up being a serious head injury. Finally, health professionals will be following all safety protocols due to the pandemic.
Contact us for a free case evaluation
If you have been injured in a car accident in Southern Arizona, discuss your accident with a skilled attorney. At Showard Law Firm, we are committed to serving personal injury victims in and around Tucson and Sierra Vista with care and understanding while taking a strong stance against insurance companies and defense firms. Call Showard Law today to schedule a free case review.
- ADOT, Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts, https://azdot.gov/motor-vehicles/statistics/arizona-motor-vehicle-crash-facts
- Arizona Department of Insurance, Consumer Auto FAQ, https://insurance.az.gov/blog-terms/consumer-auto-faq