Accidents During a Pandemic: How Protocol Has Changed in 2021
As our world continues to adjust to this new “normal” and we move further into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are keenly aware of all that has changed in our homes, our schools, and our social circles. Jobs have shifted to the home office, school is being taught at a distance, whether in the classroom or virtually, and many activities and events continue to be delayed or canceled. Another change that isn’t as easily seen though is in the realm of vehicle accidents and the circumstances following one.
In the past, minor or even moderate accidents were handled with a relatively standard routine. You exchange insurance information as needed, discuss what happened with the police officers on scene, assess damage, contact your insurance company, contact your attorney if needed, and move forward with your case and with life. While the main components of that routine have remained the same, the details have not. A few things to keep in mind if you find yourself in this situation include:
- Put your mask on before exiting your vehicle following a fender bender or minor accident. Of course, if injuries are sustained, you stay in place. But, if you will be getting out of your car, have your mask ready since you’ll likely be interacting with both other accident victims and law enforcement.
- Don’t reach for that handshake. In the past you might have given the officer(s) a friendly handshake as a means of greeting, or as a way to thank them when saying goodbye. Now, it’s best to keep hands to yourself, and opt for verbal interaction only.
- Keep your distance during interactions. The 6 ft. social distancing suggestion should still be followed around the accident site, unless it’s not safely possible. Protecting yourself and others at the scene is important and staying at a safe distance is the best way to do that.
- Prepare for legal meetings to be handled virtually. Many attorneys are continuing to meet with clients over the phone or through virtual platforms to protect everyone involved. With the modern technology allowing documents to be easily scanned and sent back and forth, and “face-to-face” communication accomplished over a screen, it’s a minor adjustment to make for the benefit of staying healthy.
While elements of accidents and the events following might have changed, the need for safe driving is very much the same. Remembering to buckle up, put down the phone, keep a close eye on speed limits, and watch the weather are all vital to staying safe behind the wheel. In a world where protecting yourself and protecting others is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it’s important to note that driving responsibly is one big way to do that. When accidents do happen, Sessums Law Group is here for the victims. Have you been injured or affected by someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior behind the wheel? Call us. WE STAND FOR YOU!