Regardless of how damaging a vehicle accident is, everyone involved experiences some form of trauma. This is mostly because no one is actually ever prepared for an accident. Therefore, a variety of factors come into play with regard to repairing the vehicle and covering all of the expenses involved. However, what few people may address is how to cope with their emotions. For instance, when a victim dies, those who are left may feel what is often referred to as survivor’s guilt.
Recognizing the symptoms of guilt can be a challenge for both survivors and professionals who care for them. However, it is important to realize that there could be possible long term physical, mental and emotional effects that may occur as a result of this type of remorse. Below are some tips on how to get past survivor’s guilt.
1. Gather a strong support team. First and foremost, attend to your physical needs. Ensure that you are receiving proper medical care. Secondly, enlist family and friends to help with physical needs as well as emotional.
2. Seek the counsel of qualified legal professionals such as New York auto accident lawyers if you reside in the northeast US. You may not be emotionally ready to seek restitution for yourself or for the deceased, so they can step in and handle the work for you.
3. Isolate the kind of guilt that exists. For instance, there may be self-condemnation over something that is correctable or something that can never be fixed. Recognize that surviving auto accidents is something that people have no control over.
4. Think about why there are guilty feelings about the accident and surviving. Record thoughts and feelings in a journal. Write down every aspect, including exact descriptions of how you are feeling. Over time, this record will be helpful to review so that it may be dealt with in a more effective manner.
5. Seek trusted counseling if there are stumbling blocks that family and friends are unable to help you with. Counselors often can help people determine what strategies are best to help deal with guilt effectively. Use the journal notes as a starting point for discussions with professional counselors.
6. Correct any errors that may have contributed to the accident. For instance, if you were driving irresponsibly in any way, fix that problem so that it does not occur again. When mistakes are corrected, much of the guilt can subside so that it does not continue into the future.
7. Forgive yourself for the accident. Write a letter of apology to victim family members. Try to make up some of the damage by offering help of some kind to bring as much closure to the situation as possible. For instance, donate to a local charity in the decedent’s name or speak at vehicle safety events.
Experts have agreed that solutions to survivor guilt are based upon first recognizing the situation and then engaging in open communication. It is also advised that those suffering should seek as much professional counsel as possible, from qualified mental health professionals. Using their training and experience, counselors can help accident survivors address guilt issues so that they may alleviate the later negative effects of this type of psychological trauma.
Even though you probably submitted an insurance claim, after New York auto accident lawyers make a review of the case details, there may be circumstances that would provide an opportunity to seek damages such as for vehicle malfunctions, improper or negligent road construction, or something else that people may not be readily aware of.
Free-lance writer Teresa Stewart enjoys writing about health and well-being.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spinxphotography/3294778565/
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