How Can Family Members Help After an Accident?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Sarah E. Stottlemyer with Stottlemyer & Associates, LLC.
Any kind of accident can be overwhelming, and family is often the best method of support after a serious injury. There are several specific ways family members can help their loved one after an accident, whether that person is too injured to help themselves or simply too overwhelmed. The love, encouragement, and presence of family members in an accident victim’s life can make the difference between a full and partial recovery. To learn more about how family can help a loved one recover both physically and financially after an accident, reach out to a personal injury attorney.
Ways that family members can help after an accident include the following:
- Encourage your loved one to see a doctor. Regardless of the severity of the accident, it is imperative for someone who has been in an accident to seek medical care. Waiting to seek medical care can actually have a negative impact on their case farther down the road, and physical recovery should be your loved one’s first priority. Some injuries may not be felt until days or weeks after the accident, but if left untreated can worsen with time and become difficult to contextually prove. Unfortunately, some people are still reluctant to see a doctor. It’s important to encourage your loved one firmly but kindly to seek professional medical care as soon as possible, and to request copies of their medical records from that and any following visit.
- Collect evidence from the scene of the accident. It is not uncommon for someone to be so injured after an accident that they are not able to collect evidence from the scene of the accident. It is also quite possible that even if the injured party may have been physically able to do so, they were so overwhelmed in the moment that evidence was missed or not documented at all. It’s important to go to the scene where the accident occurred as soon as possible after the accident before conditions change, and to take pictures of any factors which might have contributed to the accident. This might include damaged property, vehicles, and even adverse weather. It is also important to get the contact information of anyone else involved in the accident, whether they might have been at fault or were simply witnesses to what happened. All of this evidence plays a vital role in building a strong case for your loved one’s recovery.
- Call an attorney to collect information about your loved one’s options. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and work on contingency, so accident victims and their families do not need to worry about any financial strain on top of the stress of recovery. Family members are welcome to reach out to an accident attorney to discuss their loved one’s situation to learn about their options for recovery. Depending on the details of the accident, the injured party may be eligible to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for their damages; if their injury occurred while on the job, they may also be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. All of this can be evaluated in a free consultation so that you can take that information back to your loved one.
- Be present. Recovering from an accident can be challenging, physically, financially, and emotionally. While there is only so much a family member can do to mitigate the first two challenges, maintaining a consistent and caring presence in your loved one’s life can offer an emotional boon in their time of stress. Letting your loved one know that you are present and dedicated to helping in their recovery process any way you can may provide the very encouragement they need to pursue their own recovery.
To learn more about how you can help a loved one recover from an accident, reach out to a personal injury attorney.