Car Accidents in the Midst of Coronavirus

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by | Mar 19, 2020 | COVID-19

Part 1 of a 2-Part Series

Although virtually every news story these days focuses on COVID-19, life goes on. While fewer people traverse roads in most locations, certain segments of society still need to get from Point A to Point B. And millions do so by car. Medical professionals, first responders, fire personnel and government officials, members of the media and others travel from home to work. What’s more, the rest of us still need to shop for toilet paper. Unfortunately, Coronavirus or not, some of these drivers crash. So, what do you do if you have a car accident during COVID-19?

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Managing a Car Crash in a Pandemic

  1. Take Stock

    The first thing you should do if you are involved in an automobile collision, whether a pandemic is in play or not, is to assess your physical and mental condition as well as those of your passengers. Was anyone injured? Do you or any of your passengers feel light-headed? Does anything hurt? Before you do anything else, survey the condition of everyone in your car. If you think injuries are at play, stay in the vehicle and wait for assistance. Do this also if you aren’t sure whether anyone has been injured. When in doubt, leave medical assessment to EMTs.

  2. Look Around

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    Do you smell gas or smoke? Is your car out of harm’s way? If possible, pull over to a safe spot so you can wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Turn on your hazard lights while moving the vehicle. If the accident was minor and no one appears to have been injured, you may wish to exchange information with the other driver and move along. If this is the case, take a photograph of the other driver’s license, insurance card and vehicle registration. But no matter the severity of the accident, never leave the scene. While you may feel that you were not at fault, you might be incorrect in that assumption and could be held liable. Doing anything other than pulling over and exchanging information could put you at risk for a hit-and-run citation.

  3. Check Out the Other Car

    Was someone in the other vehicle injured? As long as it is safe to do so, exit your automobile and approach the other driver in as calm a manner as you can. Don’t level accusations or apologize. Record information including the make, model and color, year and license plate number for their car. Don’t share your social security number or other sensitive data. You are required by law to provide only an ID, proof of insurance and registration. Resist the urge to volunteer anything beyond these.

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Check back next week, when we will conclude this blog series about car crashes in the midst of coronavirus. We will discuss four more important steps you should after you’re involved in a car accident.

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