Although there may be less traffic on the roads during the COVID-19 crisis, car accidents still occur every day. While any collision is challenging, the process for handling wrecks in the midst of a global pandemic is particularly complex. The best way to deal with a crash under the present circumstances is to prepare in advance, and know what to expect.
Experienced attorney Ira M. Maurer has more than three decades of experience handling accident cases. During this time, he remains available to serve your legal needs remotely. Review the steps below to learn how to document a car accident during COVID-19.
Start With the Basics
- Do not leave the accident scene.
- Check for injured parties in your vehicle and call for help if medical assistance is needed.
- Prevent further accidents by moving vehicles off the roadway, and set out hazard markers.
- Contact the police if any injuries have occurred, or if another driver is driving while impaired, does not have a driver’s license, does not have insurance, or tries to flee the scene of the accident.
- While practicing social distancing (detailed below), exchange relevant information with the other driver. This includes name, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
- Take pictures and detailed notes to document the accident scene.
- Contact your insurance company. Limit the information you provide to any insurer; this can be used against you. Just stick to the basic facts.
- Contact The Maurer Law Firm to discuss your case for free.
Take Extra Precautions at the Car Accident Scene
Unlike normal circumstances, in which you would simply approach the other driver and exchange information, it is necessary to maintain social distancing recommendations during this time. You can still fulfill your legal obligations without exchanging documents by hand. While at the accident scene:
- Maintain a distance of six feet from others.
- If possible, wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when interacting with others, such as a protective mask and gloves.
- Rather than exchange physical documents, exchange mobile phone numbers verbally with other drivers, witnesses, and involved parties. Confirm you have accurate information by sending a text to the phone numbers you just acquired. Send your information via text to the other driver.
- Another option to exchange information can be to ask the other parties to place their documents on a flat surface, and then write the information down with your own pen and paper or take pictures with your phone. Check to ensure your photos clearly show the necessary information.
- Remain in your vehicle and call law enforcement if the behavior of the other driver makes you feel unsafe.
Be Prepared for Delays
With few exceptions, courts are currently shutdown to visitors. This means that personal injury cases are not moving forward in court right now, and won’t be for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the typical processing timelines for insurance claims are slower at this time. Some insurers are leveraging these delays to pressure claimants into prematurely settling for low offers that may not fully cover their damages today and in the future.
It is important to contact our office as quickly as possible after your accident. This will help ensure that a thorough investigation can be completed before evidence fades.
Although Mr. Maurer is not conducting in-person meetings with clients during the pandemic, he is using phone and video technology to meet virtually with new and existing clients.
Discuss Your Case For Free With Our Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in a wreck because of someone’s careless or reckless actions, contact experienced car accident attorney Ira M. Maurer today at 845-253-1256 for a complimentary case evaluation. The Maurer Law Firm serves clients in Fishkill, Beacon, Lagrangeville, Myers Corner, and throughout the Hudson Valley and nearby areas of New York.