Traffic is Down but Dangerous Crashes Have Increased During Pandemic
The initial days of the coronavirus pandemic were illustrated by eerily quiet freeways and traffic-free roadways as companies closed offices to accommodate their employees working from home.
Since the start of the pandemic, traffic is down nationwide, according to insurance industry research by the industry group CCC Information Services. However, though fewer cars have been on the road and traffic crashes overall are down, the severity of crashes has increased owing to drivers traveling at higher rates of speed overall.
A car wreck and injury are stressful experiences under the best of circumstances. Now add in a global pandemic, and the situation becomes even more frustrating and painful to deal with. So, how do you protect yourself and preserve your rights in a car crash personal injury case during the coronavirus pandemic? Here are our Top 5 Tips to Preserve Your Rights.
Respond safely. Following any car crash, the parties involved should always move to a safe location, out of the flow of traffic. Because of the coronavirus, safe social distancing has become a concern. To begin with, get out of the flow of traffic and move to the shoulder if you can.
Document the scene. One of the biggest mistakes people make following a car wreck is failing to properly document the scene and all the vehicles involved. When I had my own severe wreck several years ago and was T-boned by a high-speed driver who ran a red light, I was so dazed and shocked by the whole experience that I forgot to take photos. Taking photos and swapping insurance information are the most important steps you can take. Download our car wreck checklist to keep in your glove compartment so you can refer to it if needed.
Call the police. If your crash was at all severe or complicated or if there are injuries sustained, I highly recommend calling the police and getting a police report. Even if both parties agree on what happened that led to the accident, it’s not uncommon for someone to change their mind later about the facts. Police officers can help with dispute resolution and documenting the scene of the accident. While an insurance adjuster will complete their own independent investigation, a police report can help establish a timeline of what happened prior to the accident cleanup. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report or at the very least get contact information for the responding officer.
Do not delay treatment. The era of Covid-19 means that many physician’s offices may have revised practices for seeing patients. Treating your pain and suffering is an essential part of your personal injury case. Insurance companies may use a delay in seeking treatment as evidence of a plaintiff exaggerating his or her injuries. Insurance companies will use any means they can to claim your injuries are not severe and that damages are not owed. If a provider’s office delays or alters your appointment for any reason, keep records to show that you have pursued treatment to the extent you are able to do so.
Consult with a personal injury attorney. If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence and your injuries are severe enough to seek treatment, you need the opinion of a skilled personal injury attorney to assess whether you should seek a recovery. If you feel that the insurance company for the other driver is delaying or otherwise hindering the payment of your claim, seek the professional legal advice of a Dallas personal injury attorney to assess your case.