Whether you suffered medical malpractice or another driver crashed into your car, the experience has completely changed your life. On the one hand, you feel lucky to have survived the ordeal. On the other hand, you or someone you love may have a permanent disability because of the accident.
You didn’t do anything wrong, so you don’t deserve to suffer the consequences for another person’s actions. However, with a serious disability, you may have years-or even a lifetime-of physical impairment and doctor’s bills ahead of you.
Luckily, you can mitigate the disability’s effects on your quality of life using a few key steps.
Your Financial Recovery
A permanent or serious disability can keep you from going to work, which means you won’t have a source of income. The disability may also require frequent doctor’s visits to monitor your health, and those visits and any related treatments or medications may prove expensive.
But you don’t have to bear the brunt of these expenses or lost wages on your own. If you file a personal injury or medical malpractice claim with your lawyer, you can sue for damages like the following:
- Medical expenses, including general treatments and procedures, medications, checkups, physical therapy, emotional therapy, and any other medical expenditures the accident necessitated
- Loss of future earnings, which means you’ll receive funds for what you would have earned at work had the accident not occurred
- Mental and physical pain and suffering
- Loss of your ability to enjoy life, including its physical activities
- Punitive compensation, which punishes the driver, doctor, or other person who caused your disability
Your lawyer can help you determine which damages you can sue for in your situation. He or she will make sure you receive the funds necessary to financially recover from your disability.
Additionally, if you have disability or life insurance, you can use your coverage to make ends meet. Contact your insurance provider to learn more about what your specific policy covers.
Your Emotional Recovery
Your financial recovery matters a lot, and once you secure it, you may feel more confident about your emotional and physical wellbeing. However, since you will deal with your disability for many years-if not a lifetime-you may feel discouraged about what the future holds.
Do not let your injury conquer you. You may not have the same abilities and independence as you had before, but you can learn ways to cope with your disability so you can enjoy life again.
Some helpful strategies may include:
- Seek help from a counselor or therapist. These professionals help many different people cope with a myriad of disabilities. Both will compassionately listen as you express your frustration, and they can offer sympathy or advice when needed. These professionals understand better than most what you feel, and they know tried-and-true strategies to help you emotionally recover.
- Join a support group. These groups consist of other people who have also found themselves disabled after an accident. You can build friendships here and learn from others who have experienced similar situations.
- Find new hobbies and interests that you can easily enjoy despite your injury. You can do something as simple as explore a new book series or take up blogging. You can also develop your photography skills or learn to play a new musical instrument. You’ll have something fun to alleviate your stress for a little while.
- Practice patience-especially with yourself. You will occasionally feel frustrated as you adjust to your new lifestyle, but don’t let that frustration discourage you. Take a short break before you try the activity again, or ask for help until you regain your independence. No one will think less of you if you need assistance.
You don’t have to feel happy about your injury. Nor should you expect to recover right away because the process will take time. And you may find that other strategies, not the ones above, help you best. Just remember to be patient with yourself and take your recovery one step at a time. You can enjoy life again.
Your Physical Recovery
In some cases, major surgeries and other intense treatments can restore your body’s mobility and functionality. In other cases, years of physical therapy can help you heal. However, sometimes even the most advanced medical technology can’t fix an injury-it can only help you work around it.
Your doctor can tell you more about the options available to you. And remember that you can use legal compensation to cover bills for prostheses and innovative surgeries, so you don’t have to shy away from helpful treatments because of expenses. Take advantage of everything the healthcare system can offer you.
A permanent disability changes your life-but it doesn’t have to ruin your enjoyment or your standard of living. Contact a lawyer to get the process started, and don’t forget to focus on your emotional and physical recovery as your legal advisor fights for your right to a comfortable life.