As countries begin to loosen COVID-19 quarantine restrictions, many people are going out and enjoying being in public once again. This means that the roads may be a bit more busy than they have been since lockdowns began and traffic is likely to be heavier because of it. COVID-19 may be the threat upon everyone’s minds but the rate of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents will skyrocket, especially with the lessened traffic enforcement in many areas.
The Similarities Between US and Israeli Accident Cases
While there are differences between the way that Israeli lawyers and the US attorneys will handle personal injury after a car accident, there are a few similarities in the way that accidents are handled both here in Israel as well as across the ocean in the United States. Here’s a rundown of what to know after an accident during coronavirus quarantine, along with a short comparison of the differences between how personal injury cases are handled in both countries.
You Must Have Auto Insurance
In both the United States and in Israel, it is compulsory to have car insurance before you set foot in the driver’s seat. If you are involved in an accident and do not have auto coverage, you may be subject to criminal penalties in both countries. The best thing to do is not to drive a vehicle that is uninsured–always take care of procuring insurance before you begin driving.
Only Go to the Hospital If You Are Severely Injured
While it may be tempting to call an ambulance or emergency transport for every little bump and bruise after a car accident, there’s no reason to add more stress to hospital workers at this time if it’s not necessary.
Because many doctors, nurses, and other caretakers are hard at work attempting to stem the spread of COVID-19, your minor injuries can wait until later to be diagnosed by your regular doctor. You also may catch something while waiting to be seen at the hospital, including COVID-19 if you’re truly unlucky. The best idea is to stay away from the hospital if you can avoid it.
The same goes for calling the police–only call the police if necessary, as they are likely dealing with a smaller force than usual. If you’re involved in a hit and run for instance, calling the police is the right move, but a simple fender bender won’t require police assistance.
The most important thing to do after you’re involved in an accident, whether during a global pandemic or not, is to document everything related to the accident as soon as possible.
Take photos of your car’s condition, keep digital copies of the accident report, print off your medical records and expenses, and stay in contact with your insurance company. Although the way that insurance handles accidents and injuries may be different in the US and Israel, it is always important to document your experience should it become an issue later on.
The Differences Between Israel and US Personal Injury Law
When an auto accident occurs in the States, typically insurance companies will determine who is at fault given all of the evidence present. If the person who is responsible for the accident and subsequent injuries flees the scene or otherwise cannot be found, contacting the police is the central way that this type of case would be handled. When the person responsible is found, they may be sued in a court of law for their negligence as well as any injuries the accident has caused. This is where a personal injury attorney would come in.
In Israel, car accident injuries are handled a little bit differently. In 1975, a “No Fault” system was established to help protect victims of car accidents that ensures victims of accidents receive compensation, regardless of whose fault the accident was. For those who have been involved in hit and runs and instances not covered by insurance, a fund is available to help compensate those victims for their injuries and lost wages.
While accidents may differ in the US and in Israel, it’s always best to be defensive when you are driving to avoid any legal issues. Now is not the time to get hurt and sent to the hospital, so avoid it if you can.