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Car accident, spinal cord injury, life adjustments

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2024 | Car Accidents

Surviving a collision brings relief, yet recovery can be challenging. If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, such as damage to your spinal cord, life as you knew it before the collision may cease to exist. Adapting to a new lifestyle after a car accident due to permanent disability is both physically demanding and emotionally difficult.  

If you were a physically active person before the car accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury, confinement to a wheelchair for the rest of your life can evoke intense feelings of frustration and anger. In fact, many spinal injury patients experience waves of depression or other mental health issues that affect their daily life. A strong support network can help you preserve the greatest quality of life possible in your condition. 

Living with a spinal cord injury after a car accident 

What does it mean to “adjust well” following a car accident that has resulted in paraplegia (spinal cord injury resulting in loss of function in the lower body)? Each patient must determine that answer. One person’s goals might be vastly different from another’s. For example, you might focus on finding ways to experience joy again in life or learn a new skill that enables you to earn an income while using a wheelchair every day.  

Maybe you will consider your recovery a success if you can make it through a week without feeling depressed or suffering from anxiety. Adjusting well during recovery from a spinal cord injury basically means whatever you determine it means. Each patient must set his or her own goals. It is difficult for many patients to come to terms with the permanency of their conditions. However, with proper care and support, many spinal cord patients can thrive. 

Who should be on the support team? 

All aspects of life change following a car accident that causes a spinal cord injury. Your family and friends, medical professionals, counselors, physical therapists and many others can provide encouragement and support as you strive to adjust to daily life as a person with paraplegia. It’s also beneficial to add a legal advocate to your support team, especially if another driver’s negligence caused the accident. 

In Oklahoma and all other states, a recovering victim may file a personal injury claim in civil court to seek compensation for damages. When there is a catastrophic injury, such as spinal cord damage or brain injury, the maximum to which a plaintiff may have the right to recover is often a substantial sum. A monetary award cannot replace the loss of full body function, but it can at least help offset expenses associated with the accident.