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Auto Accident Fatalities Rates Rise Amid Stay-at-Home Orders

As the nation attempts to grapple with the novel coronavirus outbreak, many states have enacted stay-at-home orders that prevent people from leaving their home unless it is for an essential activity. With stay-at-home orders, there has been a significant decrease in traffic across many roads and highways, notably in regions such as Southern California. Curiously, even as there are less drivers on the road, recently released data indicates that this does not correlate with less dangers on the road.

According to preliminary data released by the National Safety Council, motor vehicle fatality rates have increased by 14% in the month of March in spite of stay-at-home orders. Additionally, data indicates that the number of miles driven have dropped by nearly 19% when compared to the same period of last year. In the early months of 2020 alone, the State of California experienced an increase of 8% roadway deaths.

Although the number of accidents has not necessarily increased, the reality is that when a car accident has occurred since the month of March, the likelihood that the accident involves a fatality has increased. A potential causal factor in this occurrence is excessive speeding as roadways have been vastly cleared since the pandemic.

On April 22nd, 2020, Caltrans announced in a joint statement with the California Highway Patrol and the California Office of Traffic Safety that there has been an 87% increase in traffic citations given to motorists who were found driving at speeds exceeding 100 mph. According to the announcement, this is in direct correlation with the decreased traffic volumes that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Difficulties Faced When Involved in a Car Accident During the Pandemic

Unfortunately, being involved in a car accident during the pandemic will present additional challenges drivers should be aware of. When being injured in the accident, for instance, drivers might not be able to receive immediate medical attention. When the injury is not considered life-threatening, it can be very difficult to receive an in-person medical examination. Instead, injured drivers are encouraged to seek a telemedicine call, which will allow them to establish a medical record.

In addition to the diminished access to medical care, motorists who experience an auto accident during the pandemic can also experience delayed insurance claims. Although a majority of insurance companies will continue their services through the pandemic, receiving monetary compensation from an insurance company may be delayed when the investigation process requires an in-person inspection.

Following an Automobile Accident During the Pandemic, Act Quickly and Seek Legal Counsel

As people do their best to navigate the difficulties presented to them by the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact remains that this is an unprecedented time for everyone. Unfortunately, being injured in a car accident during the pandemic does not negate the victim’s need for medical treatment. Following a car accident, it is crucial to seek the legal support of a skilled law firm. With proficient legal counsel, it may be possible to obtain a fair compensation.

Auto accident claims have always been challenging, but they are exceptionally complex when they occur in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP understand this, and the firm works zealously to help victims of negligence obtain the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured in a car accident, consider obtaining the legal services of Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP today for a free case evaluation.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.