Sudden bereavement is shocking and can lead to a variety of emotional distresses. When a loved one is lost in an auto accident, family is very often not at all prepared for the loss. At a time when they are grieving, they might also be struggling to find answers to why this loss occurred, dealing with medical and funeral expenses or wondering how they will continue into the future.

If you are a friend or relative of someone who is dealing with sudden bereavement, there are some things you can do to help care for your loved one. First, you should make sure they are in a safe, supportive environment. During an emotional and shocking time, people can take actions and make decisions they wouldn’t normally make. Sometimes, these action can be harmful even if they are not intentional, such as someone taking too much medication in their shocked state.

Next, take some action if possible to ensure the immediate family’s basic needs are met. Children will need care and appropriate assistance, and everyone will need to eat, drink and sleep. Driving and cooking can be performed by others who are not as close to the matter and not in an immediate state of shock.

As your loved one comes out of the immediate shock stage, be present to provide support and offer encouragement about seeking professional assistance with a variety of matters. That might include seeking help from a personal injury lawyer who can provide some options for finding answers via the court system. A personal injury case might also be possible in a wrongful death suit and help fund a more stable financial future for those who are grieving.

Source:, “Sudden bereavement: responses in the early weeks,” accessed Oct. 14, 2016