A severe accident is one that leads to life-changing, and sometimes life-ending, injuries. Not only do these injuries impact the victim as an individual, they have a ripple effect that extends to the victim’s friends, employer, and family members. A severe accident can stress a family to the absolute limits in multiple ways.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a serious accident, you do not have to go through this alone. Contact Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151 to discuss your options.
The Physical Burden
The physical impact of a serious injury can be felt immediately. The victim, of course, suffers the most. They may have incredibly painful injuries or even be comatose, leaving their family wondering if they will survive.
Once they begin their path to recovery, the physical challenges continue. They may be unable to move independently or meet their own daily needs, which means family members need to step in and help. This can be physically taxing on caregivers, particularly if the accident victim cannot ambulate independently. When this happens, caretakers must move them with a gait belt or assisted lifting machine, which requires tremendous physical effort. Over time, these tasks can leave caregivers weak and at risk of injury.
Grief and Other Emotional Responses
For many victims, the worst long-term effects of a severe injury are the emotional effects. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, the victim may feel anger, helplessness, fear, and grief. They grieve for the life they lost and the future that they thought they would have. This can be difficult for family members, who are often so entrapped by their own emotions that they cannot provide the necessary support to the accident victim.
Long-term, these issues can multiply. In some situations, painful emotions are compounded by a traumatic brain injury. TBIs often limit a person’s emotional regulation or self-control, leading to random outbursts and expressions of anger or grief.
Family members are also likely to struggle with the sudden change in their family roles. A couple that once had an equal and balanced marriage may strain under the weight of one spouse suddenly becoming the full-time caretaker for an immobile spouse. Children may lash out at the loss of a parental figure.
The financial issues created by a severe accident can follow a family for decades. The upfront costs are often exorbitant; lifesaving medical treatment and property replacement can bankrupt even the most financially sound family. Long-term, many severe injuries require ongoing treatment and lifelong care.
Whether the victim is a child or adult, the financial impact is hard to manage. An injured adult can often no longer contribute financially to their family, requiring other adults in the family to step in and make up the difference. If a child is severely injured, one parent often has to stop working in order to provide around-the-clock care to their child. The loss of a full-time or part-time income can lead a family into financial ruin, particularly when the majority of American families are one or two missed paychecks away from devastation.
Planning for the Future
While nothing can ever totally fix these issues, financial compensation can at least help improve the situation. Having enough money makes it easier for a victim to get the medical care they need and puts them in a position to hire long-term care, lowering the burden on their family members. Financial stability can also help the victim and their family get the mental health treatment they need to navigate this change with minimal trauma.
Getting this type of financial support often requires legal action, since insurance companies are unlikely to provide the type of settlement a serious accident victim deserves. It’s important to select an attorney with extensive experience in severe accidents, as the amount of compensation involved in these cases is often far higher than the compensation involved in less severe crashes.
How Reeves & Mestayer Can Help
We know that you are likely under an enormous amount of stress right now, and you may not know what comes next. We have helped families in your situation, and we are here to help you too. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an accident, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you. Give us a call at 224-374-5151 or contact us online.