Road accidents claiming normality for families

Published: 20th August 2007
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The impact of a road accident can be huge. Road accidents claim not only lives and health through whiplash injuries, spinal injuries, and host of other serious personal injuries, but also have a significant and sometimes devastating impact on the lives of those closely involved.

That road accidents claim happiness and cause wider distress and psychological trauma is clearly evident in the number of charities set up with the aim of supporting the friends and families of road accident victims. Brake, SCARD and RoadPeace are just three of a number of national charities devoted to helping people for who road accidents claim a large amount of happiness and normality from their daily lives.

The impact fatal road accidents claim on families
In a fatal road accident the consequences are obviously far-reaching. There is grief and bereavement, and a real sense of bewilderment and despair at the senselessness and randomness of a road accident.

Less commonly reported is the fact that road accidents claim family members' confidence to go out onto the road. The fear can be truly paralysing, as one woman widowed by a car accident so movingly puts it, "Since Brian died I don't go out in the car if I can avoid it. On the rare occasion that I do, I sometimes panic and have to pull over and collect myself.

"It makes life really difficult. I don't even visit my son anymore because of the fear. He suffered a whiplash injury coming to see me once, so I worry for his safety as well. I worry so much that I even tell him not to come and see me."

Road accidents claim other aspects of emotional health too. Sadness and anger are both common responses to the grief of a car accident. Brake advise the bereaved to contact professional help from GPs and Psychotherapists as these are often symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Often grief from a fatal road accident claim cognitive ability too. It is not unusual for a bereaved person to find they have difficulty in speaking, remembering and even formulating their own thoughts.

The impact serious but non-fatal road accidents claim on families
Serious personal injuries such as whiplash can effect the very fabric of a family unit. Suddenly partners and even children can find themselves placed in the position of carers. Many families find it necessary to make a road accident claim for compensation because they find themselves deprived of an income and facing hefty medical bills.

One 18-year-old boy from Scotland spoke with frankness and honesty about his experience of his father's personal injuries after a serious car accident, saying, "I was doing my A-levels when dad suffered the spinal injury. Things went downhill as he couldn't work and needed care 24-7. But we needed mum's income, so I had to miss a lot of school. It really affected my study.

"We eventually contacted a personal injury solicitor on Dad's behalf. He was too depressed to do it himself. It was such a relief to us all when the no win, no fee road accident claim came good. Even dad was celebrating. Now he's getting his life back on track."

Just as a fatal road accident claims the confidence of the deceased person's family so too does an accident involving serious personal injury. The worries inherent in this situation are well illustrated by a father from Birmingham, "After June suffered the injuries I just didn't want to go out in the car. I mean, what would happen if I got injured in a car accident too? Who would look after the kids?"

The impact road accidents claim on witnesses
Witnessing a car accident can be a horrifying and helpless experience. The sight of colliding crumpling vehicles can be impressed on the memory forever.

Being called as a witness in a road accident claim or whiplash injury compensation claim can compound the traumatic experience, though some do report finding it a cathartic experience.

Just as for family members of people who've been involved in car accidents, often road accidents claim witnesses' driving confidence.
Simon Jacobs, Car Accident Advice Line helps people to claim compensation after they have been injured in a car accident that was not their fault. You can call us now on 0808 143 43 42

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