Helping a Family Member after an Accident
When a family member gets injured from an accident, there are many ways you can assist in a meaningful way. You can help your loved one feel comfortable and secure during recovery, make sure daily responsibilities are addressed, and protect your loved one’s legal interests. Much will depend on the individual’s unique circumstances and you must also be aware of when professional help is necessary.
Add Comfort and Security
Help your loved one by providing prescribed medication on schedule, personal care if needed, and be positive, supportive and encouraging. Once home, you can make it as comfortable as possible, including bringing in the newspaper, books, magazines, a radio, a telephone , a television (if possible), and a call bell to your family member’s bedroom if mobility is restricted. Cook favourite meals. Give some space and privacy to your loved one each day so that he or she doesn’t feel overwhelmed by constant attention.
Obtain information for your loved one about the injuries and the recovery process. Allow your loved one to talk about the accident only if he or she wants to. Ask when he or she is ready to have family and friends visit. Help your loved one to get outside once he or she is able, to enjoy the fresh air, even if in a wheel chair or for a short period. As recovery progresses, an occasional trip to the mall and/or dinner and a movie can be a nice treat. Encourage a sense of humor. Watch for signs of your loved one feeling stressed or overstimulated where it is noisy or crowded. Try to make a point of giving an optimistic response when your family member shows negativity or feels down about the accident injuries.
Be prepared for some emotional times and show respect, patience and understanding. Celebrate successes and promote new interests within new limitations. Watch for signs of depression and show compassion when your family member is frustrated. Find a support group for help (for you or your loved one). Take care of yourself too and try to maintain good quality contact with your loved one on a regular basis.
Make Sure Daily Logistics Are Taken Care Of
The attending physician at the hospital will be able to provide information and initial instructions, prescribe medication and recommend treatment. As soon as possible, you should take your family member to see his or her own family physician. Ensure that prescription medication is filled, the home has fresh groceries, the mail is picked up and financial bills are taken care of. Check to ensure that there are no hazards at home (e.g., torn carpet, slippery rug, burned out light bulbs) and that it is easily maneuverable for your loved one (e.g., with night lights).
Help with meals, laundry, housekeeping and transportation as needed. Ensure that your family member’s employer and/or school is notified about necessary time off for recovery. Someone will need to contact ICBC to report the accident and to complete insurance forms as well. You may be able to handle these tasks but it recommended that a lawyer assist in dealing with ICBC.
Help to Protect Your Loved One’s Legal Interests
Help your loved one with a personal injury case from the outset by collecting evidence at the accident scene. You can take photos and/or video with your cell phone of the accident scene and the injuries as the recovery progresses.
Keep a file of all the records, including a copy of the photos and/or video, any police, ambulance and hospital reports available, medical appointments, prescribed medications and treatments, drug store receipts for supplies, including bandages. Keep any other relevant receipts, such as from taxi rides, rental car, and gas, repair of the vehicle, housekeeping and home maintenance services now needed. Be sure to note responsibilities your loved one can no longer maintain (e.g., child care, elder care) and record recovery stages with dates.
Encourage your loved one to seek a legal consultation for a personal injury claim. An initial consultation at our firm is free and with no obligation. Once hired, one of our lawyers can contact ICBC. We can also help your loved one to obtain income replacement benefits from your family member’s employer, Employment Insurance Canada, or ICBC, depending on the situation. It is in the best interests of your loved one that a legal representative handle the case from the beginning. Our goal is to help obtain the compensation your loved one is entitled to for the injuries incurred.
Contact Kenneth Cristall Law Corporation in Vancouver BC
Caring for an accident victim can be challenging for everyone involved. Preserving self-esteem is important as is a quick recovery, where possible. In some cases achieving independence again is a major goal. A lawyer at Kenneth Cristall Law Corporation can help with all the legal aspects involved to achieve fair compensation. Contact our personal injury lawyers in Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Surrey, New Westminster or Richmond today at 604-654-2250.