If a family member is injured after a car accident, you will want to help however possible but may not know how. You may be unsure about what you can do, what treatment is available and what you can expect in terms of recovery. The information will depend on the severity of the injury. Doctors will provide initial instructions about medical care when your loved one is released from the hospital.
Help Collect Information
To help your family member, you will want to find out information regarding what happened at that accident and take photos of the accident scene and the injuries. You will learn from the doctor or nurses the medical terms for the injuries, the treatment recommended and the prognosis. You will want to keep a file of all records, such as the ambulance, hospital and police reports, the prescriptions taken, receipts for over the counter medications and supplies, dates and locations of treatments.
Help Coordinate Services
Immediate help may be needed to transport your loved one to medical appointments, get prescriptions filled, prepare meals and do laundry. You may need to help with personal care or hire a nurse or personal care worker, help with child and/or elder care responsibilities, housekeeping and maintenance services.
Be Understanding and Compassionate
Allow your loved one to talk about and deal with the accident, respecting his or her individuality in how stress is handled. Most people with personal injuries prefer to be given the space to do what they can on their own and appreciate knowing that help is available when it is asked for. Showing respect and compassion can help build emotional confidence needed to move forward.
Counter Negativity with Positive Talk
Your loved one may be feeling down about the accident and injuries. Be on the lookout for the potential of depression and developing post-traumatic stress disorder over time. Encourage help through books and counselling; many therapists are well experienced in car accident trauma counselling. It is important to continue to include your family member in family events and activities. Your loved one may have new stressors and challenges; feeling down for some time can be expected, but new hope, interests and goals should be encouraged. Your loved one may enjoy new recreational activities over a period of time and will want to work towards improving their self-esteem and independence.
Your family member may need you to notify the school or employer of his or her absence for an indefinite time until healed and to obtain insurance forms for medical benefits and short-term disability if it is available.
Your family member may need help finding a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver to report the accident to ICBC, deal with the accident benefits claim and provide legal representation. If your family member’s injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, the personal injury lawyer will be able to discuss the legal recourse available under a personal injury lawsuit.
There may be additional services needed in the home or for transportation to medical appointments. If a handicapped parking permit would help your loved one, look into obtaining a pass from your local city or town office.
When your family member is mobile, you may locate and recommend support groups and associations for him or her as these can provide practical assistance, learning opportunities, and new social connections with others who may be facing the same challenges.
Your loved one may be eligible for a medical disability tax credit certificate. You can inquire or have your loved one inquire with his or her physician or psychologist. If Canada Revenue Agency approves the disability tax credit certificate, your family member would be eligible for grants in a Registered Disability Savings Plan.
Help with Financial Planning
You and your family member together will need to look at what income replacement options are available, what the limitation periods are, how the family can sustain economically over the next few years. If your loved one does not have coverage for disability insurance through employment, private insurance or WorkSafe BC, then he or she may need to apply for Employment Insurance prior to getting any income replacement from ICBC. If you are not receiving the benefits you deserve, talk to a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver to discuss your options. Bronson Jones & Company LLP offers free initial consultations. Call today to speak with an accident lawyer.
Dealing with a disability can be challenging and stressful. A serious accident can debilitate a family and you need to understand what you are entitled to. A consultation with a personal injury lawyer is recommended and we have the expertise to help. We handle motor vehicle accident injuries exclusively, including accidents involving an automobile, bicycle, motorcycle, pedestrian, bus, truck, commercial vehicle, and hit and run accidents. Call us today at Bronson Jones & Company LLP in Vancouver, British Columbia at 1-855-852-5100.