COVID has changed many aspects of our daily lives. Jobs have shifted to the home office, school is being taught at a distance, whether in the classroom or virtually, and many activities and events continue to be delayed or canceled. Another change that isn’t as easily seen though is in the realm of vehicle accidents and the circumstances following one. In the past, minor or even moderate accidents were handled with a relatively standard routine. You exchange insurance information as needed, discuss what happened with the police officers on scene, assess damage, contact your insurance company, contact your attorney if needed, and move forward with your case and with life. While the main components of that routine have remained the same, the details have not. A few things to keep in mind if you find yourself in this situation include:
- Mask up! Remember to put your mask on before you exit your vehicle following a minor accident or fender bender. Of course, if injuries are sustained, you stay in place. But, if you will be getting out of your car, have your mask ready since you’ll likely be interacting with both other accident victims and law enforcement.
- No handshakes. In the past you might have given the officer(s) a friendly handshake as a means of greeting, or as a way to thank them when saying goodbye. Now, it’s best to keep hands to yourself, and opt for verbal interaction only.
- Keep your distance during interactions. The 6 ft. social distancing suggestion should still be followed around the accident site, unless it’s not safely possible. Protecting yourself and others at the scene is important and staying at a safe distance is the best way to do that.
- Prepare for the legal process to be mostly virtual. Many attorneys are continuing to meet with clients over the phone or through virtual platforms to protect everyone involved. With the modern technology allowing documents to be easily scanned and sent back and forth, and “face-to-face” communication accomplished over a screen, it’s a minor adjustment to make for the benefit of staying healthy.
While elements of accidents and the events following might have changed, the need for safe driving is very much the same. Remembering to buckle up, put down the phone, keep a close eye on speed limits, and watch the weather are all vital to staying safe behind the wheel. In a world where protecting yourself and protecting others is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it’s important to note that driving responsibly is one big way to do that. When things don't go according to plan, and you find yourself in the position of a victim following an accident, Jiles Law, P.A. is here for you. We advocate on your behalf from the very beginning until your case is closed. We go to court for you, making sure you get the compensation and help you need following an accident and/or injury. Call us for a consultation or with questions following your accident.