Thousands of people in South Carolina suffer serious injuries every year in motor-vehicle crashes, slip-and-fall injuries, medical malpractice, defective products, and other kinds of accidents. Motor-vehicle accidents alone claimed 1,006 lives and left about 3,200 people with serious injuries in a single year, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Major accidents can leave people in excruciating pain, cause mental health issues such as depression, and make it difficult for victims to take part in activities they used to enjoy. In other words, they disrupt people’s lives.
It’s important for the family and friends of accident victims to be as supportive as possible in these situations. Not everyone knows what to do to lend support. That’s why the South Carolina personal injury lawyers at the Joye Law Firm put together this list of ways you can help if someone close to you has suffered a serious injury.
Listen to Them
For many people who’ve sustained a serious injury, just having someone to talk to and listen to their story can be a source of great comfort. A person struggling to recover from a serious injury may feel stressed, frustrated, anxious, and overwhelmed.
This is especially true for patients who have been in a hospital or undergoing rehabilitation for a long period. If someone has been going through treatment for injuries for a number of months, they may be frustrated or impatient with the slow pace of progress and want someone to talk to about what they’re going through.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to talking to accident victims is to focus on their needs. Pay attention to what they’re saying and how they’re feeling. Watch their body language. If they want to talk about the accident and the progress they’re making, that is fine. But an injured person may not want to dwell on the accident. They may want to talk about something else to take their mind off their injuries. Resist the urge to offer unsolicited advice. While well-intended, it may come across wrong. If the injured person seems uncomfortable with whatever you are talking about, find another topic of conversation.
Here are a few tips for how to be a good, supportive listener:
- Show interest in their general well-being
- Remind them that they’re not alone.
- Consider what they may need and offer to help them with everyday household tasks if that’s what they want.
- Tell them that while you may not be able to fully understand what they’ve been through, you’re always available to listen to them.
- Keep in mind that recovering from a traumatic injury takes time.
Help with Research
There’s a lot of work involved in recovering from a serious accident. That work often requires extensive research. You can make things a lot easier for someone who has suffered a serious injury by helping them with their research.
For example, you can help them understand how to file an insurance claim, which types of auto insurance and health insurance they have that they can use to cover their medical expenses, and what paperwork they’ll need to complete as part of the claims process.
The medical system and insurance are complicated to navigate. Patients need to make informed decisions about the care they receive, but that can be difficult if they don’t have a full understanding of their injuries and their potential treatment options. Assisting accident victims by going through vetted, reliable medical resources is an excellent way to lend a hand.
Help The Accident Victim Navigate the Medical System
The health insurance system can become overwhelming to someone who is seriously injured. This can lead to denied authorization of certain types of medical treatment and accident victims feeling trapped and helpless.
Here are a few specific ways you can help someone who has suffered a serious injury navigate the medical system:
- Dealing with insurance – Depending on the type of health insurance someone has, he or she may need approval before seeing certain medical specialists or undergoing certain procedures. To minimize the chance of any time-consuming bureaucratic mistakes, you can review your loved one’s health insurance policy to help them see the right doctors, get prior authorizations when needed, get the medication they need, and stay on track with their prescribed treatment regimen. You can help your loved one understand the limits of their insurance coverage and estimate what their out-of-pocket expenses may be so they can plan accordingly.
- Transportation to appointments – A serious injury can leave someone unable to drive or use other transportation to get to medical appointments. Driving your loved ones to the doctor’s office or the hospital will make their lives easier.
- Keeping track of medications – Depending on the nature and extent of their injuries, accident victims may be prescribed several medications at once, all with different schedules and dosages to keep track of. Coming up with a system to manage all these medications will help accident victims stay on course with their treatment plan and make sure the medications are taken as directed.
Build a Care Plan
The recovery process after a serious injury can be lengthy, costly, and a bit overwhelming. To give your family member or friend the best chance at a full recovery, help them write down a comprehensive treatment plan.
Include the names of their doctors and the various facilities where they’ll be receiving treatment, the schedule and dosage levels for any medications, the time of their different treatment appointments, an overall timeline for the recovery process, and so on.
Be as detailed as possible while acknowledging that plans can change depending on any number of factors.
Recovering from an injury can be very stressful. However, caring for a loved one who is recovering can be very stressful, too. Feeling anxious, overwhelmed or even a little resentful is not uncommon amongst caregivers. That’s why it is important to find healthy ways to reduce your stress.
While you are focusing on someone else’s needs, you can’t forget about your own. Your loved one will be depending on your support. So, it is important to have the physical and emotional where with all that will be needed.
Many local and online resources are available to help support caregivers and help you navigate this difficult time.
Find a Personal Injury Lawyer
Some things you can’t fix on your own. If your family member or loved one has sustained a serious injury in South Carolina caused by someone else, he or she deserves to understand their legal rights. Seeking compensation to pay medical bills and ease financial stress may be part of the process of moving forward after a serious injury. The compassionate attorneys at Joye Law Firm are here to help. We can review your injury and discuss your legal options. If your case is the type that we handle, we will offer to represent you on a contingency fee basis. You won’t owe us a legal fee unless we secure compensation for you.
Our personal injury team at Joye Law Firm is ready to start work on your case immediately. Get a free case review by calling our office, visiting our contact page, or talking to us via live chat.