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Life After a Disabling Injury: How to Cope

When you suffer a personal injury that is severe and disabling, the road to recovery can be long and filled with challenges. In addition to dealing with your medical condition and the need for ongoing and often excruciatingly painful testing and treatment, you are likely dealing with dramatic changes in your personal and professional life. Fortunately, there is hope for those who suffer these or any type of injury, and others who have come through similar situations can be a great source of inspiration and comfort.

Dealing With A Disabling Injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 28 million people suffer accidents and injuries each year in the United States. In roughly ten percent of these cases, these injuries are severe and permanently disabling. As the result of your injury, you may be facing the following:

  • The need for extensive medical care, which may require a lengthy hospital stay;
  • Ongoing treatments and grueling physical rehabilitation and therapy;
  • Upon returning home, modifications may be necessary, such as installing ramps or lifts;
  • You will likely require help from family members and friends, along with home health aides and personal care assistants.

These are extraordinary circumstances to adjust to. It is natural to feel overwhelmed and as if no one understands, but there are those who have been where you are. Hearing their stories, and eventually sharing your own, can help ease your pain and reaffirm hope.

Stories of Survival, Hope, and Inspiration

The TED blog offers examples of those who have been in situations where their future options seemed limited. Their stories are a powerful testimony to the ability to overcome and triumph, despite any disabilities:

  • Janie Shepherd, an Australian, Olympic-bound cross country skier was struck by a truck and suffered devastating back and neck injuries that left her paralyzed. After being told she would remain permanently paralyzed, Shepherd eventually relearned to walk, earned her pilot’s license, and become the youngest and first female director of Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
  • Joshua Prager, a New Yorker, wanted to become a doctor before a devastating bus crash left him paralyzed at the age of 19. He went on to become a writer for the Wall Street Journal, earning four Pulitzer Prize nominations.
  • Simon Lewis, a Los Angeles man, was left in a coma and near death for a month following a car accident. He eventually recovered both physically and mentally, gleaning insights about what it means to be fully conscious at any given moment, eventually writing a book about his experiences.
  • Aimee Mullins, a record-breaking runner, was born without shinbones, but refuses to use the term ‘disability’. She insists we all face adversities at some point, but the bottom line is in how we approach them.

At the Johnston Law Firm, we provide compassionate, professional legal representation for those who have suffered serious and disabling injuries. We act as strong advocates, so you can get the compensation you need to recover. Call or contact our office online to request a consultation with our experienced Portland personal injury attorney today.  


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.