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Finding a New Normal After a Catastrophic Injury

When a semitruck hits you or another tragedy leaves you catastrophically injured, life is never the same again. Whether you’re paralyzed, in chronic pain, or suffering from some other effect, you’ll need to find a new normal.

At first, that might sound impossible. You are in the middle of dealing with pain, trauma, or even the loss of a loved one. In my experience, the emotional trauma will never completely go away. But as a truck accident attorney, I have represented many people who, once the yolk of financial devastation was lifted, were able to rebuild new lives filled with purpose and even joy.

I’d like to share with you stories of people who were able to find their new normal through regained independence, the healing power of giving, and by turning tragedy into power. Hopefully, with inspiration from other survivors, you’ll see your strengths and be able to navigate toward your new normal, too.

Regaining Independence

I represented a gentleman who was paralyzed. He came to our law firm physically, emotionally, and financially devastated. We weren’t able to take away his physical or emotional pain, but we were able to help him become financially stable.

Being able to control his own financial destiny contributed a great deal to his ability to reassert his independence. And being able to live independently once again, I believe, set him on a path to regaining the physical and emotional strength that he lost.

Like many people who end up with a spinal cord injury, the thing this man feared most was the loss of independence. He was a mechanic before his injury and, although he was no longer able to get underneath vehicles and do the physical mechanic’s labor himself, he had the financial means to open his own garage and bring people in that he could train and supervise.

He was not only able to live on his own and run his own business, but he felt a sense of purpose and accomplishment in being able to operate a successful hometown business that provided income for himself and employment for others. His life was never the same, but he found a new normal and excelled.

The Healing Power of Giving

One of the ways that can help people get through this change of lifestyle is doing something for others. I’m a firm believer that by helping people, we can help ourselves. And I know that many of my clients feel the same way.

One client, the father of a young man who was killed in an accident, used the funds he recovered to start a scholarship fund at the university his son had been attending. While his son would never get the chance to graduate, the fund would help many other young people gain an education.

Another client was the wife of a firefighter who was killed in a truck wreck caused by distracted driving. With her blessing and in her husband’s name, our law firm took a portion of our fees from the wife’s case and purchased four high-tech distracted driving simulators. The simulators are used for demonstrations to teach the public about the dangers of distracted driving.

While giving to the community won’t bring back loved ones or undo injuries, it can help you cope and, perhaps, feel that your loss wasn’t in vain.

Turning Tragedy into Power

Lastly, looking for opportunities to turn tragedy into power can help you find your new normal.

I had a case where a little girl was hit and killed while crossing the street on her way to school. There was no crossing guard at that busy street’s crosswalk, even though children regularly took that path to the nearby elementary school.

Part of the settlement in that case involved changing the way the city operates its crosswalks, making sure that crossing guards are at their posts at the times children are actually making their way to school. Undoubtedly, untold lives have been saved through this change in policy.

Depending on what caused your injury, you might find peace in turning your personal tragedy into a power for change.

Move Toward Your New Normal

I am sorry for what you are going through as the result of your catastrophic injury. You deserve justice, and you deserve peace. Recovery is a journey that sometimes never ends, but along the way, you will find your new normal.

For many people, regaining independence, giving back to the community, and turning tragedy into power can speed up the journey toward normality and well-being. Life will never go back to the way it was before your accident, but there is always the potential for joy, love, and happiness.

In sharing these stories, I hope that they will help you see that there are infinite possibilities for you and your family to move forward, when the time is right.

For more advice on trucking accidents, you can find Semitruck Wreck on Amazon.

David W. Craig is the managing partner at the law firm of Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC. He is board certified in Truck Accident Law. David sits on the board of regents for the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA) and has over 30 years of experience representing truck accident victims. David is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and a proud recipient of the Thurgood Marshall “Fighting for Justice” Award. He was also named a top 10 trucking trial lawyer in Indiana by the National Trial Lawyers Association. To connect with David, visit ckflaw.com.