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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

How to support a family member after an accident

When a member of your family is involved in a serious accident, the weeks that follow can be complex and upsetting.


Even if they’ve survived against the odds, they might be living with painful consequences like traumatic injuries. Being there for them could make more of a difference than you’d expect, but knowing what to do and say can feel almost impossible if you’ve never been through this before.


It’s important to remember that you can only ever do your best. However, when you’re supporting a loved one through devastating circumstances, it’s worth knowing a few pointers to help you keep going.


Supporting

Supporting family after an accident: Caring for both of you


Be present

Start by letting them know that you’re there for them. Depending on your personal relationship, your loved one might appreciate closeness in the days and weeks after the accident. Try to be a good listener, asking questions to check on how they’re feeling - and never suggesting anything that you might think they need.


If they’re struggling to get around, you could accompany them for the smaller things too. Whether it’s attending appointments or going to the shops for groceries, going with them could make an important difference.


Learn about their injuries

You’ll learn more from your loved one in due course, but in the short-term, it’s a good idea to do some research for yourself too. Is there injury something irreversible, or are there small ways in which you can support them with daily life in the meantime?


If your loved one suffered a life-changing injury, it could be worth exploring avenues for compensation. In cases of serious injury caused by something out of their control, it could be worth supporting them if they choose to pursue a compensation claim with specialist medical negligence solicitors.


Expect the unexpected

It’s completely normal for someone’s personality and attitude to change after they’ve been through a traumatic experience. In addition to physical injuries, many victims experience mental ill health or a period of depression after an accident, with some at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.


If your loved one is struggling with their mental health, they might not act as normal. Forgive them if they’re rude to you, or if they seem impatient, frustrated, or ignorant. All of these signs could point to something more serious going on in the background, so if necessary, you should find our how to seek mental health help on their behalf.


Encourage them to seek help

Lastly, you should always try to remember that it’s not your responsibility to help your loved one through the worst of their situation. You should try to be there for them, but not at the expense of your own mental health.


Encourage your loved one to see a doctor or psychologist, if necessary. Remember that you’re not alone - there are plenty of avenues of support in even the most complicated situations, and after some time, your loved one will only be grateful.


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