How To Rebuild Your Life After A Debilitating Personal Injury

Debilitating Personal Injury

Most of us assume that our daily lives will not get turned upside-down. We believe we can make reasonable assumptions about what will happen during each day. The trouble is: there are just some things in life that you have no control over.

One such example are accidents. They often happen in the most unlikeliest of circumstances. One thing is for sure, though: accidents happen from a chain of events. For instance, let’s say that a person gets injured at work from a faulty machine. The source of that accident might stem to poor maintenance. Or it could be a manufacturing fault that got overlooked.

If you’ve been the unlucky recipient of a personal injury, your life will have changed. First of all, your everyday routine has now gone out the window. Plus, you’ll no doubt have to worry about things like money and the state of your health. The sad truth is many people with personal injuries feel trapped. They assume there’s nothing they can do to improve their situation.

Does that scenario paint a familiar portrait? If so, the good news is you can do something about your particular case. Today’s comprehensive guide is on life after a personal injury. Keep reading to find out more about the steps you can take next to get your life back on track.

Get the treatment you need

Right now your top priority is to get the best health care you can receive. It’s crucial that you find out what steps you need to take to get better. Otherwise, your recovery could become delayed or even impossible with time!

No doubt you’ve already had medical assessments from various doctors and health care professionals. But, you should always make sure you can make informed decisions about your recovery. For instance, could an alternative method of therapy help you get better quicker?

Each personal injury case is different to the next. Be sure to go on a quest for knowledge. You should also make it your mission to learn about the implications of each recovery option. The last thing you want to do is follow a particular path and end up with lifelong consequences.

One thing you could do is carry out some online research into your condition. You might not realize it, but you could discover recovery options that may be more suited to your needs!

Discuss your situation with a lawyer

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Do you believe you got injured as a result of someone else’s negligence? If so, you might discover that you could claim compensation for your injuries. Once you’ve got a treatment plan sorted out, you should speak to some personal injury lawyers. There are many reasons why this is a good idea.

First of all, they can help you determine your legal position. You don’t want to enter a lawsuit against someone if there’s little chance of winning your case. Second, an evaluation of your situation is usually free. And, third, you can help prevent the same thing happening to someone else in the future.

You shouldn’t feel bad about suing for compensation. After all; a non-fault injury has life-changing consequences. For a start, you may not be able to work again – or, in the least, for a long time. Plus, you may have to spend a lot of money on your medical care. Why should you bear those costs when your injury wasn’t your fault?

In case you’re wondering, personal injury compensation claims aren’t just aimed at workplace injuries. They can apply to public spaces. And they can also apply to buildings and machinery owned by third parties. Examples include tripping over damaged sidewalks and getting hurt on a bus or train.

Devise a practical rehabilitation plan

If you can recover from your injuries over time, you’ll need to have a rehabilitation plan in place. You might need to have some physical therapy, for example. Or you may need to spend a lot of time resting to heal quicker.

The doctors that you see can help you with creating the best rehab plan for your needs. Again, do some research and find out if some lesser-known options could help you. Don’t assume that the doctors you talk to always have the answers!

Work out how to manage your finances

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Aside from health problems, personal injuries can also impact your financial status. Let’s say that you cannot go back to work for a long time. What will you do to pay your bills in the meantime? Some people have taken out insurance policies to cover such situations.

The trouble with insurance is that you don’t always get the desired outcome. It’s not unheard of to get denied a payout due to a technicality. Perhaps the best way to avoid such situations is not to take out insurance at all. Instead, saving up an emergency money fund could help.

But, what happens if you’ve done neither? You will doubtless worry about your financial future. All’s not lost because you can take many actionable steps.

First of all, you should write down a list of your monthly outgoings. Next, determine which of those outgoings are luxuries or extras you can do without. Examples include cable TV, music subscriptions, gym memberships and so forth.

By cutting down your expenses to the bare necessities, you don’t have to raise so much money each month. You then need to think about how you will pay for the remaining bills going forward. You may have a personal injury lawyer working on compensation for you. But, all lawsuits take time. Meanwhile, you still have to pay your bills.

One thing you can do to buy some time is by selling items in your home that you seldom use or need. These could be things like electronic goods, jewelry and other valuables. If you don’t use your car much, it is one valuable asset you could consider selling.

Bear in mind that such items can get bought again in the future. It doesn’t mean that you’ll never have such valuables. The purpose of this exercise is to raise much-needed funds for today. When you’re better and back at work, you can buy those kinds of items again.

Consider borrowing some money from a relative

Another option to raise money to live is to consider borrowing some money from a relative. Even if you sell many of your valuables, there might be times where you won’t have enough to cover your bills. That is especially so if you’ve got a long-term rehabilitation plan.

You might not want to borrow money. But, it could work out more beneficial to do so from a relative than a bank. Perhaps the biggest advantage is you won’t have to pay any interest on the money you borrow.

Do some work from home

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It’s likely you will have all kinds of skills. Just because you can’t yet go back to your old job doesn’t mean you can’t do something else. To keep your income up, consider doing some work from home.

If you’ve got a computer, did you know there are many online activities you can do to earn money? For instance, if you have a good command of the English language, you could do some copywriting. If you’re fluent in another language, another option is to offer online tutoring.

There’s no denying that the freelancing market is vast and growing at a phenomenal rate. You might find that you could earn more money freelancing than going back to your old job!

Aside from earning money, there’s another advantage to doing some work from home. It keeps you busy! The sad truth is some people recovering from long-term injuries end up with depression. By keeping busy with work, you stimulate your mind and focus on something positive.

If you plan on doing freelance work from home, you will need to register as self-employed. That way, you can be sure to pay taxes on your earnings and stay on the right side of the law.

Consider taking up new hobbies

The recovery process could take some time. Of course, you don’t want to fill all your time with work if you can help it. You should devote some time to other pursuits.

You might not think it, but there is plenty of things you could take up. A lack of mobility doesn’t mean you can do anything fun with your spare time.

There are limitless possibilities when it comes to taking up new hobbies. Find something new and out of your comfort zone. You might surprise yourself with just how much fun you will have!

Go on a vacation

Last, but not least, if you’ve got the spare cash you should consider getting away from it all. Countless studies prove that time away from everyday life does the world of good. It helps people to have a fresh perspective on their lives.

In your case, it can also mean you shift the focus away from your current situation.


Life after a personal injury poses challenges, but proactive steps can lead to recovery. Prioritize health, consult a lawyer if negligence is involved, and create a tailored rehab plan. Manage finances wisely and consider work-from-home options. Embrace new hobbies and, if possible, take a vacation for a fresh perspective. Despite difficulties, these actions can lead to a brighter future post-injury.

Originally published on March 10, 2016. Last updated by Jade Marie Tomaszewski on October 6, 2023.

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Dr. Jade Marie Tomaszewski is a pathologist-in-training at McGill University, where she also did her degree in MSc Pathology. She obtained her medical degree (MD) from the University of the Philippines, after completing a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In her (little) spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, curling up with a book and a large mug of tea, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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