Car Accidents During COVID-19
Car accidents during the COVID-19 pandemic present particular challenges for injured victims. While there may be fewer vehicles on the road, and therefore a decreased number of collisions, negligent drivers continue to pose a risk. Conduct behind the wheel that causes a crash and leads to injury exposes that driver to legal fault if a victim pursues a personal injury claim. At Gelb and Gelb, P.C., Washington, D.C. car accident attorney Roger Gelb has dedicated his legal practice to fighting for the rights of injured victims. Having successfully represented thousands of clients in Washington, D.C., Attorney Gelb understands how to structure a personal injury case and pursue maximum compensation. All clients communicate directly with Attorney Gelb, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the office remains open to serve those seeking help with their personal injury claims.
Car Accidents During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, car accidents are less common simply because there are fewer cars on the road. As the number of collisions decrease, there are fewer injuries and deaths caused by vehicle accidents. However, the unfortunate reality is that even during this heightened period of vigilance, careless or reckless drivers continue to cause crashes.
After suffering harm in a car accident during COVID-19, victims have the right to pursue an injury lawsuit against the driver,or other party that caused their injuries. Many personal injury claims are filed under a negligence theory. This requires proof that the victim breached their duty of care, directly causing the crash and any resulting injuries.
Drivers have a duty of care to avoid conduct that places others at risk of injury. This includes the proactive duty to scan for road hazards, slow their speed for weather conditions, and abide by traffic rules. Additionally, the duty of care requires that drivers refrain from driving while intoxicated or drugged, and use their best judgment in making decisions not to speed or engage in other risky conduct.
Conduct that can amount to a breached duty of care can range from texting behind the wheel to tailgating. The issue in determining there was a breach is whether the driver engaged in conduct that mirrors that of a reasonable person under similar circumstances. If they did not, and the elements of a negligence claim are met, the judge or jury may deem them liable. For all negligence claims, the victim must show that the driver’s action or failure to act directly led to the crash.
A successful negligence claim entitles the victim to recover damages. Some accident victims suffer injuries that prevent them from returning to work, and they can seek lost wages. Hospitalization and physical therapy costs may also be included in a damages award. During COVID-19, medical care may be delayed, but these costs can still be pursued. Finally, emotional suffering is usually an important aspect of a damages claim and can be a basis for additional compensation. A skilled car accident lawyer can assess the extent of financial damages you may be able to pursue in your case.
COVID-19 and Medical Care for Car Accident Victims
Car accidents can unfortunately lead to complex injuries. Medical treatment is usually necessary and in many cases, patients require ongoing future care in order to recover. Emergency and life-threatening car accident injuries, such as broken bones, will likely be treated in the emergency room. However, the strain on the healthcare system due to COVID-19 currently mandates that non-urgent medical care for accident-related injuries may not be prioritized. For injuries such as torn ligaments or sprains, many physicians are embracing telehealth in order to see patients.
Car Accident Fatalities
Tragic fatal car accidents leave surviving family and loved ones devastated, emotionally and in many cases, financially. Dependents have the legal right to financial compensation for their losses. If a negligent driver causes a collision, the family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
The types of damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit range from funeral costs to wages that the deceased would have earned had they lived to retirement. Although funeral arrangements may differ from what they would normally be due to social distancing requirements during COVID-19, surviving family members maintain their legal right to compensation if a driver’s unreasonable conduct has caused the untimely death of their loved one.
Contact a Vehicle Collision Lawyer in Washington, D.C.
During this challenging time of COVID-19, we understand that you may be overwhelmed by the aftermath of your car accident. If you were injured and another person caused your harm, you have the legal right to pursue damages that can help to ease the financial burdens posed by medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Washington, D.C. lawyer Roger Gelb and the team at Gelb & Gelb are here for you. Throughout Washington, D.C., our clients receive efficient and effective legal services. To learn more about your claim call our office at (202) 331-7227 or contact us online.