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Accidents catch you by surprise

Accidents happen quickly and suddenly. You can try to prepare for them, but what you do after the accident is also important for your recovery.

Remember that you can also get help after the accident.

You will not be alone...

The director of rescue operations contacts various authorities immediately if the people involved in the accident need help or further treatment after it. They may need both physical and psychological help. The executive assistance and additional help that are needed are usually provided by the health and social welfare authorities and the police, among others.

A woman sitting hands on her face


Possible reactions after an accident

  • the situation seems unreal and you find it difficult to understand what happened
  • you have physical symptoms, including headaches, nausea and aches and pains
  • you cry a lot and feel very emotional
  • you cannot deal with your feelings
  • you feel fear, hatred, guilt or sadness
  • you have difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • the accident seems to be always on your mind
  • you feel you must understand what happened, know the cause, find the person who is guilty, or apologise/forgive

These reactions are common after a shocking experience.

Do not try to cope alone after an accident. Ask for help, and always remember to accept it!

If you have had a fire in your home

  • contact the building manager/maintenance worker and the housing company's board chairperson, as they know about property insurance matters, can help with arrangements for fire watching etc.
  • if the fire may involve an offence or it has caused major damage, report it to the police and ask for a copy of the report for the insurance company (report of an offence or police pre-trial investigation record)
  • contact your insurance company (home or fire insurance) without delay. The insurance company must inspect the damage before repairs are started (do not get rid of any damaged property before the inspection). Compensation for damaged property will be agreed on in connection with the inspection and processing of the insurance claim. If the cause of the fire is not completely clear, contact the police to request permission to move your property
  • if you cannot stay at home, find out where you could stay for a while (relatives, friends, acquaintances)
  • when you leave home, bring your keys, identity card/passport, credit cards, personal medicines, bank cards/PINs, certificates and photo albums with you
  • prevent further damage. Ensure that fire watch for the flat or house has been arranged and that it is protected against burglary (protect your property from vandalism, theft and weather).
  • make a list of any damaged or destroyed property as soon as possible. Objects can usually be cleaned from soot and the smell of smoke, and wet objects can be washed and dried by a company specialising in this work
  • use companies specialising in damage limitation
  • ask for crisis help after an accident

An accident may shock you, regardless of whether you are the victim, a person close to the victim, or someone who helped on the accident scene. There are helplines that provide acute help in sudden crises, such as the unexpected death of a loved one, situations involving violence, becoming seriously injured, falling ill and a fire in your home.