The United States is currently driving down a dangerous road. As of 2017, fatal car accidents are on the rise, despite the fact that our cars include more automated safety features than ever before. And as a result of this increase in fatal car accidents, a growing number of families are experiencing a particular form of grief – that which is related to preventable loss. How can families heal in the wake of this experience?

When someone is killed in a car accident, their families may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress, despite not being involved in the accident themselves. Beyond seeking therapy for that trauma, many families have found relief by pursuing the following avenues. Faced with this sort of complex grief, sometimes the best thing to do is to take action.

Connect With A Legal Expert

One of the most beneficial things that families can do after losing a loved one in a car accident is to seek out a personal injury lawyer specializing in fatal car accidents. Having a great lawyer means that you’ll have support navigating your insurance claims, bringing charges against anyone who may have acted criminally to cause your loved one’s death. You may qualify for a significant financial reward, depending on your relationship to the deceased and the circumstances of the accident.

Become An Advocate

There are a number of situations that can lead to car accidents, and not all of them directly involve the drivers. Sometimes the problem is a legal one or infrastructural in nature – caused by poor road design. If you’re dealing with a fatal car accident related to one of these situations, you may find great satisfaction in working to remedy the situation so that no other family has to experience a similar loss.

Families advocating for change is exactly how we got many of today’s hands-free driving laws. As cell phone use behind the wheel became a serious problem, causing distracted drivers to crash their vehicles, families of accident victims rallied together to urge politicians to change the law. Now it’s illegal to use a phone other than through voice commands when driving in most places across the United States.

Seek Financial Support

Even if you have insurance or a court settlement coming your way, the aftermath of a fatal car crash can be expensive. Funeral expenses alone are more than many families can afford without going into debt, and then there are added costs, like legal expenses, replacing a wrecked vehicle, any medical expenses the deceased may have incurred, or medical expenses for others who survived. And don’t forget, in some cases families lose their sole breadwinner in car accidents; there’s a lot at stake when it comes to the financial implications of such accidents, which is why it’s common to see accident reports linked to community fundraising efforts.

Raising money to cover your expenses or asking a friend to start such a fundraiser can take a lot of stress off of grieving families and make it possible for relatives to afford therapy, pay for funeral expenses, and take time off of work if needed. The proliferation of crowdfunding sites has made this practice more common than ever before, and made services more accessible to those who need them.

There’s no right way to grieve after a fatal car accident, but many families find that they have an easier time managing their loss if they feel like they have community support and if they feel that they are doing something to stop future deaths. At an overwhelming time in one’s life, action can help families feel in control – and it can save lives.

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