COVID-19 and Auto Accident Protocols
The corona virus has hit all of us in Palm Beach County – personally, professionally, and socially.
It has forced towns and cities to restrict business operations for long periods of time, leaving many without work or with limited work schedules.
More importantly, the corona virus has created an environment filled with confusion regarding the proper way to manage ourselves in everyday situations. How can we shop for food safely? When will our children be able to attend school, or will schools need to operate remotely? What should we do when we must interact professionally with others?
And with the preparations we need to take to avoid contracting COVID-19 at home, work, worship, shopping, or simply in moving about our communities, many of us are left to wonder: How should we handle difficult situations we encounter?
We at Sokoloff and Weinstein, P.A. are often called upon to walk clients and their families through the hurdles presented from auto accidents. In what we now nostalgically refer to as “normal times” before COVID-19 became the social disruptor of 2020, we would always tell accident victims the same things:
- First and foremost, if you are injured in an auto accident, have someone immediately contact the police. This is your most important action, as you must make sure help arrives as soon as possible to treat you for your injuries.
- Then, where possible, record details of the accident. Use your cell phone to have pictures taken of the accident scene, your car, your injuries, and other cars involved. Make sure have someone write down as many details as possible while they are fresh in your memory (review our Auto Accident Form for guidance).
- Finally, gather as much information about all others affected by the accident – people in your vehicle, as well as anyone else who operated other vehicles involved in the accident.
The details of your accident are vital for both your insurance claim and any potential legal actions that might result from the accident, whether brought by you or by the other vehicle owners involved.
But COVID-19 concerns add a secondary level of consideration that we had never anticipated: How do you deal with the proximity of others to exchange insurance information, to speak with officers, or to handle your transportation from the accident?
You or someone else is injured. Your resistance has been lowered. You might even be in serious medical condition from the accident, requiring you to be transported to a hospital. These are all situations which might make you and others more susceptible to coronavirus infection.
We at Sokoloff and Weinstein, P.A. suggest these 4th and 5th priorities as part of the new standard of auto accident protocols:
- If you and others in your vehicle are physically able, please put on the mask you would normally use to enter public places in Palm Beach County. Before you exit your vehicle to interact with others, make sure you have armed yourself with this minimal protection against contracting the corona virus.
- After exchanging paperwork or licenses or other materials with any additional accident victims, clean your hands if possible. Hopefully, you have hand sanitizer or wipes available in your vehicle, and if not, it is likely that attending police will have them to provide to you for this purpose.
Remember, without full knowledge of the extent of your injuries, what might otherwise be a low likelihood of contraction of a virus from limited personal contact, can become an increased danger due to open wounds or internal damage to your body.
There will be plenty of things on your mind in this moment of personal crisis. We offer these suggestions to you in the hopes that they will be in the back of your mind when you most need them.
If you would like to download a copy of these guidelines, visit this page:
This resource page is provided for informational purposes only. Sokoloff & Weinstein, P.A., its agents, employees or constituents in no way, express or implied, make any claim of affiliation in any manner with those resources.