SAN DIEGO, California. It’s the worst news a family could receive. A loved one has died or has been injured in a car accident. How family is notified about the loved one’s injury or death can have a big impact on the grieving process. Yet, shockingly, few officers are trained in how to properly notify families that a loved one has been hurt or killed in a car accident. According to a University of Florida study, 41 percent of individuals responsible for notifying next of kin about a loved one’s death are not trained. Many officers are simply required to “wing it,” but the impact of a botched death notification can impact a family for years. How a family is notified about a sudden death or serious injury can have an affect on the grieving process.
Dealing with the sudden death or injury of a loved one can be incredibly challenging. The sudden death of a loved one can be traumatic, and can destroy a person’s sense of safety and predictability. Families who are coping with the sudden death or serious injury of a loved one can be helped by various community resources. According to Livestrong, individuals suffering from depression or complicated grief may be assisted by speaking to a professional. For others, activism helps. Promoting awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, reckless driving, or speeding can help families cope with the loss. Personal injury lawyers like the Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates in San Diego offer compassionate counsel to survivors and loved ones of car accidents. If you or a loved one was seriously hurt or killed in a car accident, you may be able to receive help in the form of a recovery to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Some families were not able to see their loved ones before they passed away after a car accident because they were not notified in time. Car accident notifications standards and protocols may vary from state to state or even city to city. A San Diego organization called the Trauma Intervention Program offers assistance to officers, fire departments, and others who will interact with trauma victims and their families. The organization sends mental health professionals along with officers during notifications to stay with families after they have received the news.
Other organizations, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, offer resources for officers about how to compassionately break the news. At the end of the day, notifications should be performed in person, in pairs, in private, and using clear and plain language. The notification should also be performed before news outlets announce the death or accident.
Losing a loved one to a car accident can be a traumatic experience. It is important to get the support your family needs and deserves. Many community resources offer assistance to victims of car accidents. The costs of care following a car accident can be high. Visit www.jeffreyesteslaw.com to learn more about how a personal injury lawyer may be able to assist you and protect your family’s rights.