Car crashes have been rising throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there are fewer cars on the road, more people are speeding and driving recklessly, which leads to more crashes. If you’re involved in one of these crashes, you may need to call upon these tips for social distancing after a car crash.
Put Your Mask On
As we discussed previously, there’s no need to wear your mask while driving. However, if you’re in a crash you’ll need to put your mask on and step out of the vehicle.
If you have passengers, they should stay in the vehicle if it is safe to do so, as in the case of a fender bender. There’s no need to take additional risk. Obviously, if the car is totaled, in the middle of the road, or otherwise unsafe passengers should put their masks on and exit the vehicle as well.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Normally, you might approach someone after a crash and get face to face. In observance of social distancing, you should park near the other driver (if you are able to do so) and talk to them at a safe distance.
If the other driver is seriously injured or if you see blood, call 911 immediately and wait for an ambulance to arrive. The EMTs will have the protective gear needed to treat the injured driver without additional risk of infection.
When meeting the other driver, remember the basics. Don’t say anything you don’t have to. Don’t apologize for the crash. Don’t explain the details of the crash. What’s done is done. Exchange your information and move forward. Saying too much could damage your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
If you don’t need an ambulance, you’ll need to exchange information. Normally, this consists of exchanging cards and copying the information. We have a social-distancing-friendly alternative.
Instead of exchanging cards by hand and copying the information, ask that the other driver take a picture of their driver’s license and insurance card and text them to you. This has a few positive effects.
First, it reduces the risk of infection as a driver could touch their face and then touch their card, which could result in transmission.
Second, a photo eliminates any chance of the information being copied inaccurately. When you have the photo, you can be confident that you’re reporting the correct information and that you can clarify if your insurance company has any questions.
Third, receiving photos by text dramatically decreases the risk of receiving bad or false information. When you receive the photos, you can rest easy knowing that the driver’s information is accurate, that their phone number is active, and that you can contact them again if anything goes wrong.
You should take photos of the crash after any crash. If you’re already social distancing and trading information, you might as well take pictures of your own vehicles and send those by text as well.
Be sure to get a photo of all four sides of the vehicle, as well as the surrounding area. The more pictures you have of the damage and the scene, the easier it will be for your attorney and the insurance company to correctly distribute the fault.
Call for Help
Calling for police assistance is one of the best things you can do after any car crash. A police officer on the scene will write a formal, public report. They’ll also verify both driver’s information, which can be invaluable if the driver refuses to text you their information.
Keep in mind that the police should adhere to social distancing guidelines as well. You may request that they wear gloves while taking your insurance information and driver’s license. It may seem like a small gesture, but there’s no way to know who might be infected, especially since COVID-19 has a two-week incubation period.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries at the hands of a distracted driver, we are here for you. If you'd like to discuss your case with an experienced Easton car accident attorney from Meshkov & Breslin to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (610) 285-1963.