Key Points of This Article:
- Car accidents are still happening during COVID-19.
- There are legal and safety concerns at an accident scene.
- If you’re injured, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
It’s almost impossible to stay at home 100% of the time during COVID-19. Eventually, someone in your home ventures down the road to get groceries, supplies, gas, and other essentials. In fact, first responders and healthcare workers have been doing it all along – risking their safety as they head out in the world.
So what happens when you get in a car accident during a global pandemic? Is it safe to interact with the other driver and the police? Let’s look at your legal obligations and how you can handle this situation safely during this major health crisis.
Tips for Car Accidents During COVID-19
If you get in a car accident during COVID-19, resist the urge to flee the scene. You may be concerned about your health, but Florida law doesn’t release you from your obligation to stay on the scene of an accident when there are injuries or more than $500 in damage.
Keep in mind that even a low-speed fender-bender is often valued at more than $500 in damage due to the high cost of vehicle repairs. If you tap someone’s bumper and drive away, it’s within their rights to report you to the police.
Call 911 if anyone has injuries. Remain at the scene and get a police report, even if the accident seems minor. The police are busy during the pandemic, so you may need to sit patiently in your car and wait a while.
Exchange information with the other driver safely by staying the CDC’s recommended minimum of 6 feet away and speaking your contact information aloud to each other. To make this easier, you can say your phone numbers aloud, then sit in your cars and talk on the phone about the other details.
Interact Carefully and Lawfully
Everyone out in the world presents a potential health hazard to you during a pandemic – even the police and paramedics. Avoid standing within 6 feet of police other people unless you are required to do so in order to receive emergency medical care.
Take photos and videos of the accident scene, which could be helpful to you later if there is a dispute about the circumstances of the accident. This is especially important if you have a tow truck driver on the way. As soon as the cars move from the scene, it will be difficult to reconstruct it precisely.
Be careful not to endanger anyone else’s health as you handle the fallout from the accident. For example, don’t get in the other driver’s 6-foot bubble of personal space in order to take an up-close photo. This could be viewed as an intrusive act that puts everyone’s health at risk.
Here’s Why You Need a Lawyer After a COVID-19 Car Accident
After a car accident during COVID-19, it’s important to hire a Tampa Bay car accident lawyer who can explain your options and help you decide what to do next. You may need to sue the other driver to get the compensation required to fix your car and pay your medical bills.
An experienced car accident lawyer will alert you to the key considerations for a personal injury claim, like the statute of limitations, Florida’s rules on shared fault and comparative negligence, and the meaning of legal terms like “pain and suffering.” A lawyer will help you handle the complex process of filing a car accident claim and holding the right person responsible.
COVID-19 isn’t stopping car accidents from happening in Tampa Bay every day. If you find yourself in a car accident, follow safe procedures at the scene and contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
When Results Matter, Call Kemp, Ruge & Green of Tampa Bay
When you have legal questions, connect with a Tampa Bay lawyer. The attorneys at Kemp, Ruge & Green Law Group handle many areas of personal injury law, including those related to COVID-19 and car accidents. We believe you should only have to work on getting well, while we worry about using the justice system to protect your rights. We give our clients the best possible results-driven service. You pay us only if we win in injury cases. Call 877-941-4878 today for a free consultation.