The “normal anxieties” that bombard people when being involved in an auto accident have now been overshadowed by worries from the dreadful coronavirus; for this reason, it is vital to educate yourself about how to handle being involved in an auto accident during this worrisome time so that you can hopefully avoid worrying about contracting this virus and can instead focus your attention on receiving treatment for your injuries.
How is Coronavirus changing America’s roadways?
At The Eberst Law Firm we have noticed that throughout this pandemic less people have driving on our roadways, but we know that with recent loosening restrictions, many people will be ready to venture into the world and seek out long-awaited shopping, entertainment, dining, and more at full force. Of note is that throughout this pandemic, bicycle accidents have increased so it is important to protect oneself as a cyclist as well. Please read our article, “Biking Accidents Increasing Due to Coronavirus” to read more about this.
Also of importance is that even though less people are on America’s roadways, more traumatic crashes could be occurring; this phenomena is explained in our aforementioned article as well under subsection, “Coronavirus Leading to Less Auto Accidents, but Possibly more Traumatic Crashes”. And of course, many people are much more fearful about being involved in an accident and dealing with others in the aftermath of an auto accident due to the risk of exposure to the virus.
We aren’t providing you with this information to frighten you; rather, we would like you to take the opportunity to educate yourself so that you can take precautions and drive with confidence during this nerve-wracking time.
How can I protect myself from the Coronavirus after a Car Accident?
The below list of precautions to take in the aftermath of a coronavirus pandemic auto accident is not comprehensive, but they are tips we have put together while monitoring this outbreak. We hope that you find these suggestions useful and that they help to alleviate any anxieties you have while driving today.
Keep Extra Masks in Your Car
Always make sure that you have enough masks for each person in your vehicle (and even one or two extra, just in case), at least one pair of gloves, and hand sanitizer in your car. Short trips where you plan on not getting out of the car, such as to a Chic-Fil-A drive through, can turn into a trip that requires you to get out of the car and speak with others if someone rear-ends you on the way to the restaurant. It is always better to be prepared, so be sure to check your vehicle for these items before you leave for your destination.
Exchange Information in Contactless Way
If you are in an accident with someone, remember that information can be exchanged electronically. There is no need for you or the other individual you were involved in the crash with to exchange papers with each other’s information (phone number, address, vehicle tag numbers, driver’s license numbers, insurance policy information, etc.), as this information can be exchanged at the scene of the crash via text and/or photo. If you or the other party do not have a cell phone, insist that the information be written by each person individually. Keep these tips in mind when dealing with witnesses to the crash as well.
Do Not Leave the Scene even for Shelter-in-Place Order
If your county has a shelter-in-place order that is still in effect and you are involved in a crash in another county, do NOT be tempted to flee the scene if you are involved in a crash with someone else, as the act of fleeing will have repercussions far beyond not following the shelter-in-place order. Similarly, if you are involved in a crash with someone who mentions that they are violating a shelter-in-place order and they appear nervous, be sure to quickly take a photo of them, their vehicle, and their license plate, in the event that they attempt to fearfully flee the scene.
Maintain Social Distancing
As always, stand at least 6 feet away from anyone you are dealing with, such as the other driver, the other driver’s passengers, police officers, witnesses, etc. Abide by all of the CDC protocols (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to protect your health and safety during this time.
Is it Safe to Seek Medical Treatment during the Coronavirus Outbreak?
Medical facilities throughout the country have been restructuring their operations and revamping their policies in order to prepare for and treat coronavirus cases, especially since executive orders have been issued which have placed limitations on medical treatment during the Coronavirus Pandemic. In Florida, the orders state that only medically necessary, urgent, and emergency procedures should be performed. For this reason, some individuals may be quick to discount their injuries sustained from an auto accident as they might not think that they are significant enough to warrant treatment, or they may simply be afraid to go to a medical facility right now.
Nevertheless, it is imperative to seek treatment in the aftermath of an auto accident for several reasons, which are outlined in our article, “How will Coronavirus affect my Florida Auto Accident Claim?”, subsection, “Will I still be able to receive treatment at medical facilities?”. Since writing that article, we can advise that hospitals and other facilities have been accommodating auto accident patients while adhering to strict cleanliness standards, and Surgery Centers have been performing surgeries for those who have sustained traumatic injuries due to auto accidents.
At The Eberst Law Firm, our client’s health and well-being is of the utmost importance, and we want to make absolutely sure that you are afforded the treatment needed for your injuries.
Contact The Eberst Law Firm for your Coronavirus Auto Accident Claim
At The Eberst Law Firm, we have been handling our regular business operations in a “contactless” manner whenever possible in order to protect you and our staff. We are still readily available for you 24/7 by phone and e-mail, but we are not yet allowing anyone beside our staff into our office. This way, we can ensure that when “normal operations” do commence, we can assure you that our office locations are safe and clean so that we can best serve you. Please call us today at 772-225-4900 or contact us online for a free consultation so that we can discuss your accident as soon as possible and put your mind at ease.