Key Points of This Article:
- Each year, about 476,000 people will be injured in a Michigan car accident, many of whom will be involved in an auto accident claim.
- Seeking compensation for accident injuries and other losses can be complicated; however, being preparing in what steps to take after an accident can help, especially when an infectious disease such as COVID-19 comes into play.
- The coronavirus pandemic may present challenges to injured parties, but following a few simple physical distancing guidelines will help.
- Follow these five steps to safely prevent the spread of coronavirus while setting up your motor vehicle accident injury claim in Michigan.
If you are wondering what to do if injured in a car or truck accident in Michigan, and concerned about the risk of COVID-19, it is essential to the health of our community that you safely work with those involved. That means keeping physical contact with drivers and witnesses, and treating physicians to a minimum. With that said, you will still need to gather evidence and must be able to prove that someone else was at fault to make your claim. A medical professional must also be able to show how you were injured and provide a script for work restrictions if necessary. Follow these cues so you can safely prevent the spread of coronavirus while setting up your car accident injury claim.
#1 Make the Call for Help
Emergency services and Michigan’s first responders are still working. If you find yourself in an accident, call 911 right away. Be sure to provide the necessary information for them to respond effectively, such as the location of the crash, how many vehicles are involved, and how many people need medical attention. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or someone in your household has been infected and in quarantine, it’s important to let the 911 operator know this.
#2 Request Contact Information While Staying the Appropriate Distance
You will want to gather contact information from the individuals involved in the crash to be used in support of your claim. As you conversate, maintain the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation of 6 feet of distance between each other. If you have a mask, please wear it or use a cloth covering. Try texting or emailing each other’s contact information and avoid shaking hands. When the police arrive, be sure to share your account of the crash events with the officers using the same distancing measures. In the days and weeks following the collision, your statement and witness statements will be needed for reporting, insurance, or legal purposes so don’t skip out on providing all the information needed.
#3 Gather Evidence Using Personal Technology
Use your phone to document the accident scene, including all vehicles and injuries. Digital images can be used by legal teams and police to provide the evidence needed to support crash injury claims.
#4 Contact Your Doctor for a Medical Evaluation of Your Injuries
If you are seriously injured, first responders will transfer you to the appropriate medical center for treatment. If you are able to leave the scene on your own, making an appointment at Henry Ford Hospital, Beaumont, the Detroit Medical Center, the University of Michigan Medical Center, and other clinic locations may be complicated right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it’s important you still make an effort to call. Many physicians are conducting appointments using telemedicine (over the phone or computer) and your visit will serve similar to an in-person appointment. Some doctors’ offices are starting to accept outpatient appointments with added infectious disease precautions like having patients wear a mask or cloth covering.
Whatever the setting your physician decides, make sure you tell them about any pain and discomfort you are having and that it be documented in your medical record. If you still cannot do certain things and are unable to work, have the doctor provide and send you a list of restrictions and a work loss disability script. The documentation will be needed to make your claim and ensure your options for benefits continue to be in your favor.
As Michigan’s health systems return to a more regular service routine, the sooner patients can visit with their doctors in-person, begin physical therapy, and continue with other medical treatments. During this time, make a journal of all the ways the accident has disrupted your life, including all injury symptoms noted, including pain and suffering.
If you feel your injury is severe or fear internal damage to an organ, or your spine or brain, call 911 immediately. Car accident injuries may sometimes arise days or even weeks after a crash.
#5 Work with An Attorney to Understand How Your Insurance Policy and No-Fault Benefits Work
There is no need to visit with an insurance carrier in person to make a car accident claim, and it’s always in your best interest to work with an attorney before discussing your contract, making a deal, or a transaction with an adjuster.
You can safely work with these parties over the phone in virtual meeting settings and provide documentation through email.
As you go into these virtual meetings, remember that Michigan car insurance carriers are aggressively denying claims and refusing to pay Michigan No-Fault benefits by alleging fraud or material misrepresentation in the purchase of the policy.
Managing Your Current Car Accident Claim for Michigan No-Fault Benefits
If you have a pending car accident claim for Michigan No-Fault benefits, or pain and suffering, your request continues to be reviewed regardless of COVID-19 disruptions. It just might take a bit longer to settle or close a case since many new factors are involved, and some cases will naturally take longer.
However, most experienced attorneys should be able to offer support supported by the law that says car insurance carriers such as State Farm, Allstate, and Progressive must continue to pay benefits. These benefits include 85% of lost wages, replacement services, attendant care, prescriptions, the payment of medical bills, and other benefits.
Also, Michigan’s No-Fault Law has not been placed “on hold” because of the COVID-19. Insurance carriers still have 30 days to pay benefits that are sent to them on time, as requested.
Our Lawyers Continue to Work for You and Keep You Safe
We are still supporting claims and working proactively to create strong cases for individuals injured in a Michigan car accident. And as courts resume and accident evidence becomes more easily attainable, including medical evaluations to prove injury, we can work even faster to resolve your case. This means it is vital to continue to turn over any paperwork and injury documentation, and medical bills to your attorney so he or she can prepare to present your claim for prompt payment.
Call Lee Free If You Have Been Injured in a Michigan Driving Accident
If you have been injured in a Michigan driving accident, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C., are ready to use our decades of experience to help you move forward. Not only can a personal injury lawsuit help ease financial burdens, but it can help create community changes that reduce driving risks to others. If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, contact us today for your FREE consultation at 1-800-LEE-FREE.
If you’re in an accident right now, obviously you still need to contact the police. The police need to come and make a report. It’s still vitally important to get a report done at the scene and not later. You need to, if you can, exchange information in some fashion with the other person who was involved in the accident or whoever … If it was one car or three cars. I would write down the license plate number of every car involved. I would get as much information, even if you’re just writing it down, your own pen and your own pad in your car, stay six feet away but at least exchange name, phone number and get the license plate number and wait for the police to arrive.
I would also take photographs while you were at the scene on your cell phone of your car and the other car just to memorialize what was going on at the time. It’s difficult. We’re still taking cases. Just today, I’ve had a couple people who have called me who were involved in recent car accidents and it’s tough because they needed to go to the ER, but couldn’t. The ER literally would not take them. It’s going to be extremely frustrating right now. We’re working to see if we can help these people out and get some direction through their own family doctors or through another facility so they can at least get checked out and put into some type of program, whether it’s at home or somewhere, so they can at least get some treatment for their injuries.
It’s very frustrating right now, but we’re still taking claims. We’re working really hard here, but it’s really important while you’re at the accident scene to still get as much information as you can and to absolutely get the police there and a report filed.