Websites and services to help you get back on your feet after an accident in FL
You're sitting in the driver's seat, stunned. You've just hit another car. The hood of your vehicle is smashed. Everything is moving slowly. Someone is talking to you, but you can't hear him. What's happening? What's going on?
A car accident – any type of accident, actually – can be a terrifying, rattling experience. If you've been in one, then you know the effects can last for days, weeks, months or even years, depending on the circumstances.
The immediate aftermath can be disorienting and difficult to manage alone, which is why we at Enjuris have come up with a list of resources for those of you who live in Florida. Highways are known to be dangerous in the Sunshine State, and it pays to be prepared. Here's a list of websites you can use if you've been in a crash and need a little help with what comes next.
Resources to help after a Florida accident
Help recovering financially
- Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles: The FLHSMV offers online driver license and motor vehicle checks. Other reports such as driver histories, motor vehicle histories and crash reports can be ordered. DHSMV maintains the Florida driver license, motor vehicle and related databases, which are queried and updated as citizens are issued licenses and registrations at the more than 400 locations throughout the state. The Bureau of Motorist Compliance can help you recover your damages and be compensated for injuries.
- Need Help Paying Bills?: This magnificent website has, admittedly, done a ton of the work for us by gathering all of these Florida websites in one place. This organization has found information regarding the following:
- Florida Department of Children and Families
- Discount drug cards
- Health care access programs
- Mortgage and rent help
- Cash assistance programs
- Disability and benefits programs
- Employment resources
- Housing vouchers
- Daycare subsidies
- Food banks and pantries
- Senior assistance
- Assistance for Florida counties and cities
- Florida energy bill program
- And many more!
The point is, there is always somewhere to turn and someone to help after an accident. You are never alone.
Physical recovery - Brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation centers in Florida
It doesn't help to have a place to house your body if your body isn't well enough to be in your house. There is no shortage of good hospitals in Florida, and one of the following should be close to where you are located. These have very good brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation centers, which are common injuries after car accidents:
- Pensacola: The West Florida Rehabilitation Institute at West Florida Healthcare
- Jacksonville: Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital
- Gainesville: UF Health Shands Rehabilitation Hospital
- Tampa: Tampa General Hospital's Rehabilitation Center
- Delray Beach: Pinecrest Rehabilitation Center
- Miami: Jackson Memorial Rehabilitation Center
- Largo: HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital
Traumatic Brain Injury Groups in Florida
When anyone suffers from a traumatic brain injury, it can feel isolating and debilitating. It doesn't have to be that way. In Florida alone, there are countless organizations that exist specifically to help those with TBIs to recover, educate themselves and their families, and thrive despite their injuries. We have collected some of them here for your convenience:
- Brain Injury Association of Florida: This organization assists individuals who have suffered debilitating brain injuries and is the only statewide non-profit organization devoted to doing so. They also help families who are having difficulty becoming caregivers, and provide necessary resources and information.
- Florida Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center: This is a publicly-funded effort by the state of Florida aimed at providing resources, help and information for individuals and families affected by traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
- Central Florida Brain Injury Support Group: This is a grassroots effort by Marie-Terese Henderson, who has been chairperson of the board since 2007 and a TBI survivor for 19 years. The group meets once a month for socialization, educational speakers and to share community resources.
- Halifax Health Stroke Support Group: This support group meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 3-5 pm in Classroom F of the France Tower at the Halifax Health campus in Daytona Beach. Topics include equipment to assist with driving, nutrition, communication challenges, independence, caregivers, personal health and other resources. There is also a private Facebook group for members to reach out to one another and have an understanding social network.
- Deland Brain Injury Support: This group meets regularly in Classroom 1A at Deland Hospital and offers emotional support regarding spinal cord injuries, as well as resources and information. More details can be found by reaching out to Tom Dockery at [email protected].
- Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group: This is led by Dr. Ana Santana in Plantation, Florida, and is free of cost. She wants to provide community support, resources and socialization to others.
- Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group: This is led by Dr. Whitney Guidebeck Legler in Vero Beach, Florida, and is also free of cost. The group meets every first and third Wednesday of the month and is open to all age groups.
- Tampa Bay Brain Injury Support Group: This group meets on the fourth Saturday of every month from 4-5:30. They want to expand knowledge about brain injuries, provide more caregiver resources and have a place for people with brain injuries to feel welcomed.
- Brain and Spinal Cord Support Groups: These lawyers have so many links that we decided to link the list instead of adding them one at a time. It is a fantastic resource, so make sure to check it out.
- Brain Injury Association of Florida: Appearing on this list again, their contacts are so comprehensive that we decided to link to them instead of writing them all out. The BIAF is a powerhouse group in Florida, and they know who's who. Respect!
Taking care of yourself is extremely important after an accident. Don't forget to take care of yourself emotionally as well.
Your spiritual and emotional healing is just as crucial as your physical convalescence. Here are some resources that will help you soothe the very real feelings you will experience after being tossed around in a crumpling tin can:
- Psychology Today has a directory of Florida-based therapists and counselors so you can find one near you. Talking with a counselor is a great way to work through post-traumatic stress disorder, which is very common after car accidents.
- The Refuge offers auto accident trauma treatment among its range of PTSD treatments. The Refuge, A Healing Place is a 30-day to one-year extended care treatment program located in Ocklawaha.
- The Center for Trauma Counseling in Palm Beach helps people regain their lives after a traumatic or terrifying accident.
- Lifeskills South Florida offers residential, transitional and outpatient mental health treatment to men and women ages 18-plus who are facing the challenges of psychiatric disorders and trauma-based disorders (which can sometimes materialize after a traumatic accident). Located in Miami, Lifeskills provides a safe and caring environment for adults who are focused on long-term health, healing and recovery.
- Crash Survivors Network: After going through a terrible car crash that killed their youngest daughter, the Atkinson family created the CSNetwork. It was mostly frustration from not being able to find adequate resources for crash survivors that propelled them to start their own organization; they now provide both information and support services from their base at Kettering University.
- Trauma Survivors Network: Read stories submitted by members who have survived an accident. If you've gone through a traumatic experience yourself, it can be therapeutic to see what others have also gone through. You can join and submit your own story, too. (You can also tell your story on Enjuris!) Additionally, you can find a patient and family handbook, recovery assessment, and more resources for members. Membership is free.
Specific drunk driving organizations
Drunk driving is a very real problem that unfortunately shows no signs of slowing. Between 2003 and 2012, 8,476 people were killed by a drunk driver in Florida. These Florida-based organizations have come together to combat the issue:
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving Florida Affiliate: MADD is the largest non-profit working to protect people against drunk driving, driving under the influence of intoxicants and underage drinking. Their support line is available 24 hours a day: 877-MADD-HELP. Their Florida office provides services for victims at no charge through local victim advocates, including emotional support, help getting started with the criminal justice process, help preparing a victim impact statement, and so on.
- Students Against Destructive Decisions: The Florida Department of Transportation funds this with a grant so students can work with local law enforcement, state government and community organizations to educate youth and promote a healthy, substance-free lifestyle.
- The Advocate Program: This non-profit handles more than drunk driving; it works with substance abuse, diversion, community service, domestic violence, juveniles and court-ordered programs. It has multiple locations all over Florida.
Do you have a great accident resource to share with our Florida readers? Drop us a line here.