How to Help A Friend After a Car Accident

Being involved in any kind of car accident can have long and short-term consequences that dramatically reduce quality of life. There are an estimated 6 million car accidents on the roads of America every year, and when someone you know has been injured in a collision, then it can be hard to know how to help. There are a lot of easy ways that you can be the best friend that you want to be in the aftermath of a car accident. Stress is a big problem for those suffering from injuries, so your help is going to be vital. Here are the best ways that you can help those who have suffered from serious or not so serious injuries after an accident. 

Getting to Appointments

One of the first things that you should do is offer to accompany your injured friend to their appointments. You can go further than just sitting in the waiting room of their doctor, though. Car accidents might also mean a few trips to the local police station or to meet with insurers, all of which can be very stressful indeed. Be the support that your injured friend needs and tag along with them if they need you to. Even if all you’re doing is giving them lifts to where they need to go, that can be a lot more helpful than you think and can dramatically cut down on those harmful stress levels. From hospital visits to meeting with their lawyer, make sure that you know their schedule and that you can be available when they need to be somewhere. 

Compassionate Listening

Often, the best thing that you can do for your friends is just to be there to listen to them. A lot of dark thoughts can arise in the weeks and months following a car accident, especially if there are other issues like losing a job as a result of the accident. Don’t try to solve their issues, no matter how tempting that might be. Being a good listener can be a hard skill to master, but being that compassionate ear that your friend can complain at or vent their frustrations can be a lot more useful than you might think. Often, all that your friend will want is to know that someone is on their side. Don’t change who you are around them, as this will tend to make them feel a lot more self-conscious. Don’t offer false hope, and just let them know that you aren’t going anywhere.

Home Help

Depending on the severity of your friend’s injury, they might be struggling to keep up with basic household tasks. If you think that your friend needs help, then offer it. Any kind of trauma is going to lead to physical or emotional repercussions and asking for help can be a lot harder if your friend is already struggling to cope. Don’t throw out a blanket offer of assistance, either. Be specific, and offer to walk the dog, cook some meals, do the school run, or even do some food shopping. Embarrassment can prevent people from asking for the help that they need, so be aware of the tasks that you notice aren’t being tackled as much as they used to.

Money Management

You don’t have to lend money to your friend, especially if you aren’t as financially free as you’d like. However, you can still help your injured friend with their finances. Medical costs can spiral out of control after a car accident, and that can lead to even more stress that prevents recovery. Tackling medical debt can very quickly become a full-time task, and if those debts continue to grow, then lawsuits can make matters even worse. Make sure that your injured friend has medical debt lawsuit assistance if they need it. Never let your friend ignore the dangers of medical debt and offer help in all of the ways that you can, from contacting the people that can help, to filling out official forms and documents.

Socialize with Them

Your friend mustn’t spend too much time on their own, ignoring the activities that they used to enjoy pre-accident. While they will usually need some personal space and some time to reflect on the trauma of their accident, especially if their injuries are severe, they must spend some time with their friends and family. Knowing that they have people they can rely on can go a long way to helping their positivity, so remember to include them in planned events. Even a group trip to the cinema or for a healthy brunch can be a mood-booster that has long-term positive effects. Don’t forget to consider how their injuries might affect venue choices and activities, and don’t stress if you suggest an outing, and your friend says no. They might just be looking for some personal time alone, which can be very healthy.

Hang Out

Sometimes, all you need to do is be there. Just hanging out at their place means that they don’t have to worry about getting dressed up and can be a quick and easy way to make them feel valued without the pressure of facing exhausting social activities. This will be easier if you spent a lot of time just chilling with your friend before the accident, but even if it’s a new relationship dynamic, don’t underestimate the value of having a friend over to visit knowing that you don’t have to put on fancy clothes. Sweatpants and t-shirts can sometimes be all that they want to cope with, so get ready to get your relaxation on. Watch a few comedies or life-affirming films with a positive message!

Know Your Limits

If your friend has suffered from more serious injuries, then you have to learn that there is only so much that you can help alone. Brain injuries or spine damage can mean a complete change of lifestyle, and unless you’re a professionally trained carer, then your assistance will be a lot more limited. Of course, you should always help as much as you can with the more basic essentials, and just being there is probably helping more than you think. However, when it comes to bathing or bedtime help, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to help as much as you’d like. In some cases, you might even make injuries worse. Know your limits, and make sure that your friend has the professional help that they need.

Look After Yourself

You might want to spend every spare second, making sure that your injured friend has everything they need, but it’s just as important to look after your own mental health. Helping someone to recover from a car accident can be emotionally and physically exhausting, and if you don’t take time to look after yourself, then you will quickly burn out. That will make it much harder to be the friend that you want to be during this challenging time. Take a day off and let them know. Spend some time looking after yourself, and you’ll be much better equipped to head back to being the best friend in the world as soon as you feel ready to do so.

Even a minor collision can cause a lot of physical and mental damage and being a good friend means being able to help wherever you can. Make sure that you understand what your friend needs from you and when, and don’t be afraid to ask what they need help with. Usually, just knowing that they have someone that they can rely on will be the best thing to keep them moving forward.