Getting into a car accident at any time is stressful, but during the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis the idea of going to a hospital, interacting with strangers, or working with insurance claims adjusters can be scary — especially if you have been injured. Dealing with the stress of your injuries, the stress of staying safe and healthy while visiting medical practitioners for your injuries, and the stress of dealing with an insurance claim can all seem to come together in a collection of issues that make it feel like there is no path forward towards a fair and final resolution.
Before there was the additional worry of staying safe from COVID-19, this process was overwhelming as it were. However, these days there seems to be more stacked against the victims of car accidents, and the insurance companies are quick to use these additional complications to their advantage. If you have been injured in a car accident and you feel like you aren’t sure where to turn, take a look at these tips below in order to get a sense of how you can move forward. Remember: stress can have a serious impact on your recovery process, so any way that you are able to offload stress—either related to your accident or elsewhere in your life—will be a major help so that you can get back on your feet as soon as possible.
Take a look below at some tips for dealing with car accident injuries during COVID-19.
As soon as first responders have arrived at the scene of the accident, you will be able to shift your focus from managing the situation to prioritizing your own needs over all others. During COVID-19, it can be especially important that you call 911 for this purpose, because you will be able to limit your contact with other people at the accident and only interact with the professionals at the scene.
Oftentimes, people think that calling 911 is a last resort option that might feel like overkill, but the reality is that without having professionals at the scene you are left to manage every step yourself. When you have been injured, trying to handle these steps is overwhelming as it is, but it can be even worse when you are trying to stay on top of your safety measures in term of coronavirus.
Maintain Social Distancing
After an accident, your adrenaline is spiked and it can be easy to forget about the basics, especially when we are dealing with unfamiliar requirements such as wearing a mask, maintaining a distance, and avoiding cross-contamination by using shared pens, paper, and other items. After your accident, make sure that you keep a distance between the other driver while you are exchanging insurance information, and stay aware if they attempt to offer you any help because of your injuries.
If you have been hurt in the accident and you need help getting out of your vehicle, try to remember that you and the other people at the accident should do all that is possible to avoid making direct contact, but if necessary try to ensure that you are minimizing contact while still getting the help that you need. The best way to get help is from the EMTs and firefighters who will arrive on the scene after you call 911, and let the police officer at the scene take care of as much of the record-keeping as possible.
Get Medical Help
Getting medical attention should be your absolute top priority, both at the scene of the accident and after the fact when you are with your primary care physician or another doctor. The EMTs will be able to examine your injuries and provide you with limited care, but depending on the nature of your injuries they may suggest that you take an ambulance to an emergency room. Obviously, with concern for COVID-19 the idea of going to a hospital can be scary, but remember that hospitals take extreme measures to limit or eliminate the spread of the coronavirus. In fact, you will be able to ask the EMTs if there are any cases of COVID-19 at the hospital before agreeing to the ride.
If you leave the scene of the accident on your own, it is imperative that you connect with your primary care physician as soon as possible. In both of these possibilies—either taking an ambulance or seeing your personal doctor—there is a dual benefit that you will have your injuries examined and that you will have official documentation of your injuries that will help to support your claim.
Hire an Attorney
If the other driver is responsible for your accident, then they are also liable for the damages that you incur as the victim of the crash. This means that you will be filing a claim with their insurance company, and while the process of filing if simple enough to do on your own, getting the money that you deserve is much more complicated than you may initially realize.
According to getinjuryanswers.com hiring an attorney is the best step to take BEFORE filing your claim, so that you have legal representation from day one.
When you file a claim on your own, the insurance company will immediately spring into action in order to find as many reasons as possible to limit your claim. When the first contact that you make with them is through a representative attorney, they know that you are not here to play games, and that you know exactly what it takes to get a fair and comprehensive settlement. Do not file your claim until after you are partnered with an attorney.
Expect Delays From the Insurance Company and the Courts
Government agencies have furloughed many of their workers, courts are operating at limited capacity, and the insurance companies are working on semi-remote arrangements and may have limited workers available to process claims. These all come together to cause significant delays for both the claims process and the ability to file lawsuits if your claim comes down to it.
Since there are limited options with the courts right now, insurance companies have been using this as a scare tactic to convince claimants to accept low settlements since it seems like there are no other options. This is not the case, and fortunately, you will know this because your attorney will be able to help you make sense of the entire situation as it evolves.