Get back into the swing of things: Driving, accidents and what to do if you're in one
Last updated 5/20/2020 at 4:43pm
Andrew Zucker - Attorney at Law
Special to Valley News
For many people, the past few months have felt like people’s lives have been turned upside down. They barely recall the days stuck in traffic, sitting at red lights, hours spent day and night in cars heading to work, school or errands. On the other hand, people are more aware of that routine than ever as restrictions lift, and they get back out into the world. While society reimagines “the new normal,” one thing they can’t avoid is their commute.
California has some of the most prominent commuter cities in the United States, and cars are the primary mode of transportation. The more people drive, the higher the risk of accident or injury. Alongside the usual worries, add in people are now “out of practice.” Whatever actions they take to protect themselves while driving, things happen that they can’t always control. If people do find themselves in an accident, here are three points to remember to move things along – so they can get back to their normal.
Get a medical exam. Health and safety should always come first but in the heat of the moment, people are not always thinking clear. Their desire to get back to their day can make them rush the process at the scene thinking, “It’s not that serious.” And they may, in fact, feel fine at the time. Adrenaline is powerful, and when an accident happens, it can make them ignore signs of injury that crop up later. It’s worth having medical personnel give the drivers and passengers a check to identify potential trauma. If they decline at the time, seek an exam as soon as possible afterward. It sounds inconvenient in a world of “there’s no time,” yet makes a huge difference in getting life back to normal. People don’t want to be left reeling with discomfort, medical bills and no recourse – see a doctor.
Create documentation. Briefly forget the cellphone stigma and use it as the valuable tool it is. Call emergency services, snap photos and take notes. The priority should be getting medics and police to the accident scene, followed by documenting the area as possible with safety in mind, and taking notes of the situation as they occur. The records created in the period directly after an accident provides beneficial information to piece together events that seem blurry in hindsight.
Consult an attorney. Don’t wait for months while medical bills grow and insurance pushes back on a claim to seek a professional opinion. A consultation is not a contractual agreement to use the attorney’s services, but it provides specialized insight on a unique situation and options to ease the burden. Many attorneys will provide a free telephonic consultation to discuss options at no cost or obligation to use their services in the future.
Whether people are going back to work now, will be in the coming weeks or are just finally making those trips to the grocery store they never thought they would miss, Californians are getting back on the roads and traffic is going to increase. They should keep the above three tips in mind if they’re in an accident and it’ll set them up for success – and getting back to their “new normal.”
Andrew Zucker of The Zucker Law Firm in Temecula is a trial attorney that specializes in personal injury and wrongful death cases. In 1993, Zucker started his legal career in the Riverside District Attorney’s Office as a deputy district attorney. As a prosecutor, Zucker refined his trial skills handling serious and violent felony’s including rape and murder cases. His trial skills and success resulted in him being recognized by the California State Assembly and the Riverside District Attorney’s office as the felony prosecutor of the year in 1998. Zucker has been practicing in Temecula for over 20 years and has represented many police officers, sheriff deputies and firemen injured or killed in the line of duty. Zucker is honored to have prosecuted one of the largest wrongful death judgments in the history of California resulting in an award of $50,000,000. The Zucker Law Firm is located at 43434 Business Park Drive in Temecula. For more information or an appointment, call 951-699-2100 or visit https://www.thezuckerlawfirm.com.