How Catastrophic Injuries Impact Families

April 11, 2022

serious injuries impact on families

A catastrophic injury can change your life forever, but it goes further than that. Permanent injuries also affect a victim’s friends and family members, and people are rarely prepared for these changes. Knowing what to expect after a catastrophic injury can make it easier for everyone involved to take care of themselves and plan for the long road ahead.

Have you suffered a catastrophic personal injury? Are you considering pursuing compensation? Let us help. Call the team at Hodges Trial Lawyers at 256-539-3110 to schedule a consultation right now.

Catastrophic Injuries Take a Physical Toll

Expect a significant change in the physical health of a victim’s closest loved ones after a catastrophic injury. Because the victim loses some physical functioning and independence in the blink of an eye, their family members may need to step up and help meet their needs.

Those who are no longer able to feed themselves, use the restroom, get dressed, or ambulate independently often rely on family members to assist with those tasks. This generally means putting in long hours doing physical work.

Even with the help of a Hoyer lift or other lifting aid, moving a loved one is very physically demanding. It may be helpful to hire personal care workers, CNAs, or other care providers to fill in when family members need a break.

Pay Extra Attention to Mental and Emotional Health

In the weeks, months, and even years after a catastrophic accident, family members’ mental and emotional health may suffer. Everyone has plans, hopes, and dreams for the future. A catastrophic injury can take that away overnight.

A spouse who once dreamed of retirement vacations and quality time spent together may now be looking at a lifetime of helping their partner perform basic activities of daily living. Children who looked to their parent for guidance and support may now be unable to do so because this parent can no longer communicate verbally. This is all a lot to deal with, and unfortunately, these needs often fall by the wayside after a serious accident.

It may be helpful for the victim to get into ongoing counseling or therapy as they grapple with the fallout of their injury. On top of that, their family members may also want to seek out mental health support. The more you face these challenges head-on, the better able you are to handle them in a healthy way.

Prepare for the Change in Roles

In a family, everyone has a role they play. Catastrophic injuries often turn these roles on their head. A parent who was once a provider and support figure may suddenly rely on household members for everything from feeding and restroom assistance to showering and walking. A child who once planned to live independently after high school may now have such serious injuries that living alone is unlikely to ever happen.

This affects everyone in different ways. Because everyone in the household is affected, it’s unfair to expect them to be each other’s support. It can be helpful to turn to outside third parties, such as therapists or psychiatrists, to assist with these changing roles and what they mean.

Financial Problems Are Common

No matter how financially stable a family is, a catastrophic injury can severely disrupt their financial well-being. With most households requiring two incomes, the sudden loss of one income can mean a drastic step down in terms of lifestyle.

In many cases, this loss can even mean the loss of the family home or other assets. Not only do the other family members have to cover the cost of their loved one’s care, but they also have to find a way to replace their income or live on less.

A personal injury claim can help with this issue. If someone else caused the catastrophic injury, it’s not fair for the victim and their family members to handle it alone. Consider consulting an attorney to find out if you’re entitled to compensation.

Find Out How Hodges Trial Lawyers Can Help You

Don’t face the stress of a catastrophic injury alone. The team at Hodges Trial Lawyers is here to help. To discuss your accident and find out if you may be owed compensation, set up a meeting with us now. Call 256-539-3110 or reach out online to take the first step.