Although there have been fewer car crashes during the COVID-19 outbreak, our attorneys have noticed an increase in the severity of the accidents and the problems individuals face following an accident. As always, Shaw Cowart LLP is ready to provide free consultations and case evaluations to help make sure your legal options are protected.
Higher Speed Accidents During COVID-19 Pandemic
Given mostly clear roads, many cars have been traveling at much higher speeds in recent weeks, as well as failing to obey traffic controls and failing to watch for other vehicles with the right-of-way. A recent traffic report published by INRIX evidences the changes in average driving speeds since the outbreak emerged in March 2020, even as the overall volume of cars on the road has dropped. INRIX looked at data from several major cities, and found that while the average vehicle miles traveled has dropped about 80% since the “stay-at-home” orders began, travel speeds are up as high as 75% in some places, compared to January and February 2020, when traffic patterns were normal. Speed has always been one of the main contributing factors in many auto accidents, with prior research suggesting that just a 1% change in speed leads to a 3% increase the risk of suffering a severe car accident injury and a 4% increase in the risk of fatal injuries.
Pedestrian Accidents Likely Will Occur More Often and Be More Severe Under Coronavirus “Stay Home” Orders
In most states that have issued “stay home” orders, individuals are still encouraged to get out and walk, while maintaining social distancing. Increased foot traffic near roadways may also have an unintended impact on the risk of pedestrian accidents where cars hit walkers.
Studies have found that for pedestrians struck by a car, the risk of death jumps significantly once the vehicle exceeds 30 MPH, with the fatality risk 3.5 to 5.5 times more likely for the pedestrian as the speed increases by only 10 MPH difference, from 30 MPH to 40 MPH.
Difficulties In Obtaining Treatment for a Car Accident Injury During The Coronavirus Outbreak
Even as the severity of auto accident injuries during the coronavirus outbreak is likely to be higher, injured parties will endure unique challenges obtaining treatment for their injuries. This may increase their pain and suffering and lead to permanent disability if they fail to fully recover from their injury due to a lack of proper medical care. Many hospital emergency rooms are already overwhelmed, and there is a reluctance to go to the crowded waiting rooms after an accident, where the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is substantially higher. As a result, many individuals involved in an accident are delaying critical early treatment for their injuries, which should be avoided. Over the past few weeks, our lawyers have spoken with a number of medical providers to help coordinate treatment for our clients and make sure proper precautions are being taken to ensure safe and effective injury treatments are available during the coronavirus outbreak.
Auto Accident Lawyers Available To Help During COVID-19
During these difficult times, the accident lawyers at Shaw Cowart, LLP are available to help. In addition to dealing with the insurance company and making sure our clients receive the proper compensation in their case, we are also many times able to provide information about treatment providers who can help you cope with the pain and suffering caused by an accident. One of the most important things to do after an accident during the coronavirus outbreak is to contact your personal attorney and make sure to obtain the legal guidance you need. We handle cases on a contingency basis, so there is never any out-of-pocket costs to hire our attorneys and we only receive attorneys fees or expenses if a settlement or recovery is obtained.