The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit Texas in March of 2020. As a result, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statewide stay-at-home order to help prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, several businesses were forced to close their doors and residents were urged to only travel for essential purposes.
Nearly three months later, the Lone Star state is beginning to loosen restrictions on businesses and social distancing guidelines. On May 18, Governor Abbott issued the second phase of reopening Texas. We could see water parks, driver's education programs, and food courts reopen at reduced capacity. That means that we could see more people begin to travel in the coming weeks.
What risk does reopening Texas have on our roads?
Over the past three months, we have seen fewer cars on the road and fewer crashes. With that came another risk: excessive speeding. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, drivers across the U.S. were clocked at speeds greater than 100 mph. The lack of traffic congestion may have been the cause. As a result, traffic collisions have been more severe than usual.
As Texas reopens, it's important to be extra vigilant when driving. That's because many people have spent less time on the road over the last three months. Some have become accustomed to empty roads. Overall, drivers may not be prepared to deal with a sudden onslaught of traffic.
Can I file a car accident claim during the COVID-19 pandemic?
If you are involved in a crash, the COVID-19 pandemic shouldn't stop you from seeking legal representation. Under Texas's statute of limitations, you generally have two years to file a claim. The sooner you act, the greater your chances will be of obtaining compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, car damage, pain, suffering, and other damages.
You will still need to follow the standard protocol after a crash, such as exchanging insurance information with the other driver and reporting your crash to your insurance company. You should also undergo a medical evaluation after your crash, even if you don't feel any pain. Some injuries don't immediately produce symptoms. Through a medical evaluation, your doctor can identify your injury early on and begin treatment. Plus, your medical evaluation provides critical documentation that can be used to support your claim.
You should then speak to an experienced San Antonio car accident attorney who can place an accurate value on your claim and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair financial settlement.
The Herrera Law Firm urges everyone to stay safe during the reopening of Texas. If you or a loved one is injured in a crash, contact us online or call us at 1-800-455-1054. Our consultations are confidential and free of charge. If you're unable to meet with us in person, your consultation can be conducted remotely via phone, Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime.