While American roads and streets have become safer over the years, the reality is that car and truck accidents are still alarmingly common. Whether it’s the result of drunk driving, distracted driving, vehicle malfunctions, or something in between, auto accidents can be devastating and deadly. And when one of your friends or loved ones is involved in an accident, it’s sometimes tough to know what to do.
The Best Ways to Help Your Friend
It’s tough to know how to respond when a friend or loved one is experiencing pain and suffering. But sometimes it’s the simplest acts that speak the loudest. Here are a few suggestions for you:
- Come Visit
In the wake of an injury, a lot of friends will try to give the victim space. And while they think they’re being polite and kind, this often makes the individual feel neglected. One of the best things you can do is visit so that you can talk, listen, and cry with your friend.
Don’t feel like you have to stay for a long time. In some cases, you might only visit for 10 or 15 minutes before you head out to give your friend a chance to rest. It’s the act of taking time out of your schedule to visit that makes the biggest difference.
- Offer to Take Care of Home Needs
It’s amazing how many responsibilities need to be taken care of for you when you’re lying in a hospital bed. If your friend’s recovery is expected to take more than a couple of days, offer to step in and take care of some home needs.
For example, you can offer to pick up the mail, feed and walk the dog, cook meals, take kids to school, mow the lawn, pay bills, etc. These are all extremely small and simple tasks, but someone has to do them. That person can be you.
- Stay On Top of Important Documents
When your friend is trying to recover from an injury sustained in a car or truck accident, the last thing they have time for is insurance forms and legal issues. But unfortunately, the clock continues to tick. And in some states, a failure to quickly file the right forms and pursue the correct avenues could set your friend back.
“[For example], Tennessee has one of the shortest statutes of limitations in the country. If you are involved in a truck accident and incur injuries, you have just one year from the date of your accident to bring a lawsuit against those who are responsible,” attorney David E. Gordon explains. “If you fail to do so, you forever lose your right to compensation.”
While there’s only so much you can do, try to simplify insurance claims, medical billing, and legal documentation for your friend. This will give them the freedom to focus on getting better.
- Take Them to Visits
In the aftermath of a serious car or truck accident, there will be lots of medical appointments and visits. You can show your support by taking your friend to some of these visits.
From one perspective, taking your injured friend to visits is a practical solution to a pretty obvious need (they can’t take themselves). But it’s also satisfying an emotional need. Nobody should have to sit in waiting rooms and doctor’s offices alone. There’s something reassuring about having a friend by your side.
- Lend Emotional Support
While all of these are practical ways to help, there’s ultimately one responsibility that you need to fulfill above all else – and that’s to lend emotional support and remain compassionate.
“Be a listening ear, and don’t tell them how they should feel,” Florida Physical Medicine writes. “Instead, let them know that you’re there if they need you, and instead of interspersing your own stories about accidents you’ve been in, let them vent, complain or completely break down. Pass no judgment.”
Putting it All Together
As a friend of a car or truck accident victim, there isn’t much you can do. However, there’s always an opportunity to lend emotional support and pick up some of the slack that inevitably exists during your friend’s recovery. Do what you can and always be ready to step up and serve in any way possible.