During the current COVID-19 outbreak, we want everyone to know that there are additional steps that you can take to protect yourself after a car accident. Obviously, the safest thing to do for yourself and your community is to stay at home until the CDC, state, and local authorities give everyone the go ahead to resume normal day to day operations. We understand, however, that this is not always possible especially for essential workers and individuals that must travel to gather household essentials. The Williams Elleby team encourages everyone who must travel to protect themselves by adhering to the following suggestions during the COVID-19 outbreak.
STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE DRIVING TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COVID-19
Most people take reasonable steps to maintain their vehicles under normal circumstances but now is the time to go the extra mile. The last thing anyone needs during this time is to find themselves broken down on the side of the road without proper safety equipment.
Before leaving your house, make sure to have these items in your vehicle:
- Plastic disposable gloves
- Face mask
- Hand Sanitizer
- Fix-a-flat or similar product
- Cell phone
- Plastic bags
Also, we strongly recommend taking the time do give your vehicle some extra attention. A few steps to minimize the risk of a break down are:
- Check the air pressure in your tires
- Change your oil and filter
- Change your air filter
- Check your spark plugs and battery
- Make sure your tire iron, jack, and spare tire are readily accessible
- Top off your windshield wiper fluid
- Check your vehicle’s power steering, brake fluid, and coolant
CRITICAL STEPS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK
Even if we take all the proper precautions, we cannot control the actions of other drivers. If you are involved in a car accident during the COVID-19 outbreak, there are some precautions you can take to protect your legal rights and keep your family safe. After an accident, immediately put on your gloves and face mask if you are physically able. If you get out of your car, remember to stay at least 6 feet away from the other driver(s).
Some post-accident rules are the same as those you should follow under normal circumstances like:
- Do not leave the scene of the accident
- Call 911
- Take pictures of the property damage with your cell phone
- Notify your automobile insurance company
- Do not admit fault
Other post-accident rules must be amended due to COVID-19 concerns. For example, you still need to exchange information with the other driver(s), but you should do so from a safe distance. For example, you can exchange cell phone numbers and text each other your contact information and insurance information. When the police arrive, politely explain that you would like to maintain a safe social distance while cooperating with the officer’s investigation. If you need to go to the hospital, consider calling an in-home family member to take you to the emergency room instead of riding in an ambulance (of course this only applies to injuries that are not life-threatening).
After you exchange information with the other driver and cooperate with law enforcement, remove your plastic gloves and place them in a plastic bag. Immediately sanitize your hands with hand sanitizer and do not touch your face. If anyone else is in your vehicle, resist the urge to touch them until after you are home, and have thoroughly cleaned yourself.
One of the most difficult challenges facing car accident victims in the COVID-19 era is finding medical care. Obviously, the emergency room is not ideal except in the direst of circumstances. Also, many doctor offices are closed or not accepting new patients. However, some medical facilities are offering telehealth options. If you are in the Cobb County area, medical facilities like Benchmark Physical Therapy and Resurgens Orthopaedics offer virtual visits that can be completed using a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. If your injuries are back or neck related, chiropractic offices may be a good option. Cobb County providers that you may consider are Lake Pointe Wellness Center and Lake City Chiropractic.
Most importantly, listen to your body and take the necessary steps to get the care you need so that your injuries do not get worse.
CONTACT A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
In order to properly protect your legal rights, it is very important to contact a reputable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident. Williams Elleby partners, Joel Williams and Chase Elleby, are available for free phone consultations during the COVID-19 outbreak. Simply call 833-LEGALGA (833-534-2542) to speak with us today.
If you prefer a more personal touch, we can arrange for a ZOOM meeting at a time that is convenient for you. We are here for you in your time of need.