Having a disability is no laughing matter and can be life-altering. You’re unable to do the things you were once free to do and you may feel helpless and possibly depressed. It can add pressure to your family as they care for you and have to make sacrifices to assist you in your time of need. Disability can be emotionally draining, but it doesn’t mean the end of the world. Especially if you have a strong support system around you willing to provide you with assistance.


Seek Community Assistance


If you’re out of your work because of your disability, know that there are countless resources out there to help you cope on emotional and financial level. Don’t be afraid to seek out counseling to help you navigate your emotions. There are plenty who have or are in the same boat as you who can help you cope with the emotional effects of disability. You are not alone and should never feel so. There are also disability programs and grants available to help you cope with the financial and physical demands in front of you.


Practical Advice


You may want to look for reasonable sources of income to assist you while you wait to get back on your feet. Here are some practical ideas:


  • Set a Budget. Create a realistic budget for your wants and needs. It may mean sacrificing time on money you’re used to spending.


  • Donate blood. There are plenty of people in the world who need your blood. Blood donations pay in more than just financial ways. Studies show that donating blood is actually healthy too since you release excess iron.


  • Sell unneeded things. A garage sale is a great way to make extra money while you’re on disability. You never know what you might have stored away in your basement that might benefit someone else. It’s also a good way to clear out your home and possibly make money for practical needs and expenses in your home.


  • Seek online donation. If you find yourself in a temporary bind because of a disability, seek out online assistance to help you with your bills. There are kind strangers who are happy to assist you with any medical and financial needs. Don’t be afraid to reach out! You may even make some new friends.


  • Do some freelance work. Today there are endless opportunities for online work. Many companies employ freelance employers to work from home and anywhere. You can work at your nearest coffee shop or local library! The possibilities are endless. What are your skills and talents? Use your time to explore areas that you may have set aside in the past. As the saying goes, your setback could turn into a setup!


Disability does not mean the end of the world, but it does help to be prepared. Be sure to do the research and learn about your options. Find helpful ways to help you cope practically every day with your physical limitations. Don’t become discouraged! Make the most of your time and try to maintain a positive attitude.


You may have a family member, a friend, or a co-worker with a disability, but do you feel like you have a real connection to the disabled community? Many people assume that individuals with disabilities were born with a disability that affects them mentally or physically. However, disabilities are more common than not. According to the Council for Disability Awareness, over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-old’s will become disabled before they retire and over 37 million Americans are classified as disabled. Want to become better connected to individuals with disabilities? Here are a few reasons why it’s beneficial:

Removing the Stigma


For decades, even centuries, individuals with disabilities have not only faced the daily challenge of their disability, but have experienced the stigma and discrimination from society. Although many individuals are made to feel like that are a minority, the statistics prove that individuals of all abilities make up our communities. Although societal views and treatment towards individuals with disabilities has improved, society as a whole must realize that individuals of types of disabilities have the same rights as everyone else, including but not limited to: education, employment, housing, health care, spirituality, sexuality, and basic human rights.


What can you do? You can become an advocate or raise awareness by breaking down negative views and barriers that prevent individuals with disabilities from having the same rights as everyone else. You can join organizations that work one on one with disabled individuals and be part of the movement that works hard to ensure that health care reform legislation helps adults with disabilities or to expand the federal hate crimes law to protect individuals with disabilities.

Making New Friends & Helping Others


Simply getting involved by lending a helping hand in your community can teach you a lot about  people, interact with a diverse demographic, and you can even make new and lasting friendships. Here are some ways to get directly involved in your community:



  • Volunteer Your Skills & Services: The senior citizen community is thriving and includes individuals of all abilities, including men and women who became disabled with age or were born with developmental or intellectual disabilities. They all deserve the same type of services that are offered to other senior citizens in your community. Whether someone needs yardwork done, a ride to the pharmacy or doctor’s appointments, or just some friendly conversation over a cup of coffee, there’s a lot you can offer to the aging & disabled community.




  • Include Individuals with Disabilities in Your Activities: Many people with disabilities have a difficult time making friends in the community. For instance, individuals who live in a group home facility are taken on lots of outings like concerts, movies, and other fun activities, but it’s not always the ideal activity for really connecting with others. If you run an organization, a church group or even a leisurely sports team, why not make an effort to invite all members of your community?



Another way to get connected is by volunteering, coaching, tutoring, or teaching for adaptive sport or education programs.


However you decide to get involved, make sure that you are open minded, welcoming, and eager to learn about others; you may find you have a lot to learn and a lot in common.

There were 304,804 motor vehicle crashes in New York during 2013, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). While the majority of accidents resulted in only property damage, there were 124,505 non-fatal personal injury crashes and 1,109 fatal crashes. A total of 1,188 people lost their lives, and another 169,177 sustained some type of non-fatal injury.

What this report does not reveal is the number of individuals who were left permanently disabled after a car crash.

Injuries in a car accident vary greatly depending on the severity of the collision, as well as the type and number of vehicles involved. Bruises, lacerations, broken bones, whiplash, neck injuries, back injuries and head injuries are all common in serious car accidents.

In violent collisions, the possibility that accident victims will become disabled increases dramatically, but even seemingly minor crashes can have devastating consequences.

When an individual sustains a serious injury, he or she may be eligible to recover damages to pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation therapy, vehicle repairs, lost income and other accident-related costs. In cases in which a severe injury results in a disability, compensation should also cover lifetime losses.

Benefits of Working with a Life-Care Planner

Lifetime losses are sometimes overlooked when determining the value of a car accident insurance claim. Most people remember to factor in immediate and short-term medical costs and recovery expenses, but they neglect to calculate the full financial impact on the victim (and his or her family) over the course of a lifetime.

This is particularly important in cases in which an accident victim’s injuries have resulted in quadriplegia, paraplegia or other catastrophic injuries. In most cases, individuals who are no longer able to care for themselves can no longer earn a living to provide for themselves and their loved ones.

If an accident victim’s injuries have resulted in permanent disabilities, consulting with a life-care planner is a necessity. A skilled life-care planner will not only be able to assess current accident-related expenses, but also calculate future financial costs as well. These include costs such as:

  • Hospitalization.
  • Surgeries.
  • Rehabilitation.
  • Nursing care.
  • Medications.
  • Ventilators and other life-sustaining devices.
  • Medical equipment (beds, wheelchairs, etc.).
  • Home and vehicle modifications.
  • In-home assistance.
  • Reduced earning capacity.
  • Lost income.

Lifetime costs vary greatly depending on the type of spinal cord injury an individual sustains. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has put together a comprehensive chart detailing the average yearly expenses for individuals with incomplete motor function at any level, paraplegia, incomplete tetraplegia (quadriplegia) and complete tetraplegia.

Estimated lifetime costs for an individual who has suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury at the age of 25 ranges between $1.5 million and $4.5 million. The costs are much higher in some cases.

If you or a loved one has become disabled after being involved in a collision, hiring a skilled attorney can significantly improve your chances of maximizing your recovery in a car accident case. A qualified lawyer will work with life-care planners and others to make sure the full cost of your injury is properly calculated – and then fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles – Summary of Motor Vehicle Crashes: 2013 Statewide Statistical Summary
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation – The Costs of Living with SCI

Even for alert and conscientious drivers, a car crash can come out of nowhere, caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless driving conduct. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 5.6 million motor vehicle crashes– more than 1.6 million with injuries – took place in 2012 across the United States. Alcohol-impaired drivers, distracted drivers and the sheer volume of traffic can increase the odds of being involved in an accident.

If an auto accident has left you disabled, it is important to actively pursue maximum compensation for the losses you have suffered. The settlement you receive can make all the difference in your future quality of life.

It is essential to obtain a fair settlement that covers all your losses. You could be out of work for a long time after a serious accident, and your settlement needs to compensate you for future lost wages. You may have long-term ongoing expenses associated with your injuries.

You may not be able to rely on Social Security Disability benefits, although you are disabled, because of the program’s strict medical requirements and complicated application process.

Will Your Insurance Company Take Care of You?

As Michigan is a no-fault state, your own insurance company will cover most of the economic losses you suffer in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. This is known as a first-party claim. The losses you claim can include your medical bills (past, present and future), out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages.

As your insurance company’s paying customer, you may expect the company to look after your interests and ensure that you receive a fair settlement. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and the company’s bottom line may take precedence over your well-being.

Do not accept the first settlement offer you receive from the insurance company. It is more than likely that the offer will not be for a fair settlement. Claims adjusters know that you may be vulnerable and in need of money after an accident, and they want to get your claim settled and off their books as soon as possible.

Your best course of action is to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you. Your attorney can help you accurately determine the full value of your losses and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

Permanent Injury and Disability Claims

Under Michigan law, you will need to file a third-party claim to recover damages for pain and suffering if your injuries were caused by the fault or negligence of another. Settlement value in permanent injury and disability claims can be difficult to calculate because losses can include ongoing expenses, physical pain and emotional distress. Assigning a dollar value to such losses can be a challenge.

At Goodman Acker, P.C., we handle both third-party claims and first-party no-fault insurance claims. We have represented thousands of auto accident victims and obtained million-dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients. We know how to deal with insurance companies to get maximum results inthe least amount of time.


Post provided courtesy of Goodman Acker, P.C.