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During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Know What to Do in the Event of a Car Accident

Traffic on roads in Portland and the surrounding areas is greatly reduced as a result of closures due to the coronavirus. Residents are encouraged to stay home but they still need to get groceries and other supplies while essential workers remain on the job. With the stress everyone is under and the distraction caused by the pandemic, car accidents are a major risk. The following details the dangers and tips on what to do if you are involved in one. 

Areas That Can Increase Your Car Accident Risks

A March 25, 2020 KATU 2 News report featured the Portland Police Bureau answering questions about Governor Brown’s recent stay at home order. People who are currently unemployed or working from home are being asked to refrain from making unnecessary trips and to maintain social distancing at all times. 

At the same time, essential workers remain out on the roads and even those who are homebound have to make the occasional run for supplies. The stress of the situation and the increased risk for driver distraction make car accidents more likely to happen now in the following areas: 

  • At grocery store entrances and exits;
  • Near hospitals and medical centers;
  • In store or hospital parking lots;
  • On side streets surrounding both of these locations. 

Even if you are not in one of the above areas, it is important to use caution. According to a March 27, 2020 KOIN news report, at least one person was seriously injured due to a car accident in the Skyline area of Multnomah County. Unfortunately, the demands currently on local hospitals and adverse weather in the area delayed how quickly emergency teams were able to respond. 

What to Do If a Crash Happens

If you or someone you love is involved in a car accident, there are guidelines you need to follow in terms of how it is handled. Additional precautions are required during the coronavirus epidemic: 

  • Notify law enforcement immediately. This is a given in any accident but with the pandemic, you may need to wait longer for an officer to arrive on the scene. 
  • Keep six feet away from the at-fault driver and others involved. This is in keeping with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) social distancing guidelines. 
  • Avoid direct contact. While you are required to exchange personal, driver’s license, registration, and insurance information, avoid directly touching another person’s ID cards. 
  • Take photos at the scene. Taking pictures with your cell phone when a car accident happens is always a good idea, particularly so now. Include the other driver and their license plate along with images of the accident scene, your car, and any injuries you suffer. 
  • Get contact information from witnesses. This is important but keep your distance when approaching them. 

Let Us Help You Today

During these difficult times, you can count on the Johnston Law Firm P.C. to continue providing the trusted legal guidance you need.  To request a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.