The impact of an accident on your family
When someone has been involved in an accident, whether it be an accident at work or a road traffic accident and has suffered very serious and life-changing injuries, it is not just the injured party who suffers. In many years of dealing with claims for seriously injured clients, in the vast majority of those cases, the effects spread far beyond just the person who was directly involved in the accident.
For example, if you have suffered serious injuries which have left you unable to work but you are the main breadwinner in the household, the family suddenly finds itself under a huge financial strain and can be struggling to survive. This is particularly pertinent during times when finances are strained.
Further, if a person has gone from living a full, active and healthy lifestyle to suddenly being housebound and unable to even move around their own home without supports, aids or equipment, this will have a significant impact on their mental health. Their mood, behaviour and tolerance can deteriorate rapidly and this in turn can have an adverse effect on relationships within the family. Many a time I have sadly seen this effect on badly injured clients whose home lives and close personal relationships have fallen apart as a result.
The domino effect
It is easy not to look beyond the injured party in such cases and focus all of the attention on them and their recovery. However, there will often be others in the family home who have been badly affected by an accident to a loved one and who are just as much in need of support and assistance and in some cases, treatment of some kind.
I have handled many cases in which a client has young children who are badly affected by their parent’s accident and who lose out on so much as a consequence of the injuries that their parent has suffered. For example, my client might have been a very hands-on parent, heavily involved in their children’s day to day life, taking them to school, preparing their meals or just kicking a ball around with them in the park, but suddenly they find themselves unable to do any of these things.
The instinct is to think of the effect only on the injured party in this situation, but the children will also have been affected by this sudden and very marked change in circumstances. It is not just the parent missing out on this quality time with their children, we also have to consider that the children are losing out on that quality time with their parents. These significant changes to the child’s daily routine can have a devastating effect. As those changes would never have come about but for the accident suffered by their parent, it follows that treatment for the child should be explored, seriously considered and funded by the Defendant’s insurers as part of the overall ongoing rehabilitation process.
We see so many cases whereby, as a direct consequence of the grossly negligent actions of another party, our client has been left incapacitated, unable to work and unable to do any of the things they had so enjoyed doing prior to their accident. In some cases, our clients lose their job, employers sometimes taking the decision to terminate their employment if there is no sign that they will be able to get back to work any time soon, if at all.
These are of course all very significant changes to our client’s lives, but how this then affects their family must never be underestimated and at Anthony Gold, our team of experts is accustomed to handling polytrauma claims. We make a point of ensuring that the needs of the family are always taken into consideration in addition to our injured client.
Help for the family
In cases where children, particularly young children, are being badly affected psychologically by not only what happened to their parent, but also by all of the changes this has brought into their previously settled lives, they will often be in need of psychological therapy. In addition, the injured party’s partner can find themselves having to take on a lot more, such as taking on all of the household duties which might have been shared before; having to look after the children on their own and also looking after their seriously injured partner. In cases involving particularly more significant injuries, this can in itself be a full-time job. Very often, the partner is left having to do these things all on their own, whilst also having to work, sometimes extra hours, due to the fact that they have become the sole breadwinner for the family.
In these cases, by making a personal injury claim we can often obtain an Immediate Needs Assessment (INA) very early on in the claim, which will highlight not only the need for rehabilitation for our clients, but it will also consider whether there is also a need for anyone else in the family to be provided with help. For example, I have dealt with cases in which an INA has recommended therapy for my client, couples’ therapy for a client and their partner and therapy for my client’s children. We can often secure funding from the Defendant’s insurers to pay for all of this treatment, which it is crucial to implement as early on in the claim process as possible in order to give it the best chance of success.
Ultimately, it is crucial when making a claim that we, as polytrauma solicitors, do not consider only our client’s rehabilitation needs, but also the needs of those nearest and dearest to them who will undoubtedly have been affected by their loved ones’ accident and who may well be in need of help themselves.
Serious accidents have far-reaching consequences which extend beyond just the injured party. So many lives can be adversely affected by the negligent actions of one person and at Anthony Gold, in addition to trying to get as much help as we possibly can for our clients on their long road to recovery, we always consider the needs of everyone who has been affected by an accident and look to get them as much help as we can as well.
If you have suffered a serious accident and believe that both you and your loved ones need help, please contact our specialist team who would welcome the opportunity to advise you on and assist you with a claim for compensation.* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*