This is a horrible tragedy that no Floridian should have to face, but unfortunately, these types of car accidents do occur. Although they may have already received a settlement that protects their financial future, many will require support from family members. If you’re uncertain what you can do to help them, we’ve got some suggestions.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a Florida car crash, contact the Gainesville car accident lawyers at Meldon Law. One of their compassionate personal injury attorneys can help ensure justice is served.

How To Support a Family Member With a Permanent Disability

Permanent physical disabilities resulting from a car accident can immediately change the world of their victims. The life they once knew will become a mere memory as they cope with the changes a negligent driver caused. They’ll face many challenges when dealing with their disability, and having the love and support from family members can help to make the transition a bit easier.

However, as a loving family member or close friend, you may not know how to help them move forward and transition to a new way of life. If you’re uncertain what you can do to help, here are some ways you can do so.

Give Them the Time and Space to Cope

While you may want to reach out and show your loving support, the family member still processing their emotions may not want to talk about their disability or what the future holds for them. Let them know you’re available to talk or help them in some way, but also respect their feelings if they aren’t up for company just yet.

Long-term isolation isn’t healthy for anyone, but the first few weeks of dealing with the feelings of a severe accident that has left them permanently disabled may be required for quiet reflection and acceptance. They’ll need to go through the stages of dealing with their disability. These stages are typically:

  1. Shock
  2. Denial
  3. Anger
  4. Adjustment
  5. Acceptance

Lend a Sympathetic Ear

Tell your loved one you are available anytime if they need to talk. Avoid trying to convince them that everything will be okay and allow them to express their feelings, no matter what they are. Sometimes, simply airing what upsets them and having a kind and sympathetic listener is incredibly helpful. You don’t need to be a problem solver. Simply listening to their thoughts and concerns may be all that they want.

Ask Before Assisting

Depending on the condition, being disabled doesn’t necessarily mean that a person can’t do things for themselves. While you may be eager to make their lives as easy as possible, sometimes over-helping can be disrespectful. Ask them before attempting to assist them in any way. Those with disabilities will take great pride in being able to do things for themselves, so don’t immediately assume that taking care of their every need is helpful to them.

You can certainly ask, “May I help you with that?” However, don’t be upset if the answer is no. Many who adapt to a permanent disability will not only need but will want to learn how to do things themselves and not be dependent upon others.

Adjust Your Posture When Spending Time Together

When speaking with family members who use a wheelchair, it is important to be mindful of your body language. Standing while talking can put you in a position of power, as your family must look up to you. Consider adjusting your position to be at eye level with them to make the conversation more comfortable and equal. By doing so, you can ensure that everyone feels comfortable and valued during the conversation.

How To Support a Family Member With a Permanent Disability: Helpful Suggestions Explained

When a family member is permanently disabled after a car accident, everyone involved has a period of adjustment. While you may want to care for their every need, sometimes that’s not the best action. Those with a permanent disability need the space and time to learn to cope with their limitations and how to push past them. Listening to them while respecting their boundaries is key to the process.

If you or a loved one has been disabled due to a Florida car accident, speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Long-term needs could be many, and they should be considered when filing for compensation. A knowledgeable car accident attorney can ensure that all damages are compensated properly.