Life after a serious injury changes forever—and it can be especially frustrating if you were injured through no fault of your own. One minute, you were riding down the road in an Uber or Lyft vehicle. Maybe you were even pleased with yourself for making the safe decision: opting for a ridesharing vehicle instead of driving drunk, for example. In the blink of an eye, however, everything changed. Now you’re injured, and you have to find a way to move forward with your life. What comes next? How do you learn to live with serious ridesharing injuries?
Physical Modifications to Your Home and Vehicle
When you’re seriously injured, you may find that you need to make physical modifications to your home in order to live your life to the fullest in spite of your injuries. These modifications will vary based on your injuries; however, if you find yourself in a wheelchair or needing to use mobility assistance devices to get around following your accident and injuries, there are several common modifications that can help make your life easier.
- Widen doorways. Standard doorways can be difficult to get a wheelchair through, especially if you’re just learning how to maneuver. Widening doorways can make it easier to get into the rooms you visit the most often.
- Install lifts on stairs. If your home has multiple levels, chances are, you want to be able to get to all of them, rather than feeling restricted to a single level. While you can manage short-term while recovering from a broken leg or other injury, if you’re facing long-term difficulties, installing a simple lift can help make it easier for you to use your entire home comfortably.
- Put in wheelchair ramps. Is there an easy way into your home that doesn’t require you to get up even a single step? If you’re living with a long-term disability that impacts your mobility, a wheelchair ramp can go a long way toward improving your ability to get in and out of the house.
- Look into a vehicle that will work for you. You may need a van that is equipped to carry you and all of your gear, or you may need a vehicle that has been specially designed so that you can drive with your hands, rather than needing to use your feet on the pedals. Choosing a modified vehicle can help you maintain your independence and get around by yourself, rather than being reliant on someone else.
- Modify the bathroom. Put in grip bars so that you can grasp them as needed. You may need to keep a chair in the tub or you may find that you’re more comfortable with a shower that you can move straight into.
- Fix up the kitchen. If you need to use a wheelchair, make sure that kitchen counters are lowered to an appropriate level or that you have slide-out countertops installed so that you can easily use the counter, just like the other members of your family. Consider leaving space underneath the counter for your legs to fit so that you can get closer to the counter.
Changing your home can help make your life easier, but it may not completely streamline your path. In addition to the physical modifications, you and other members of your family may need to alter your habits in order to make your life move smoothly. This may include:
- Keeping floors and other areas clear. If you’re struggling to get around, there’s nothing worse than finding a pile of stuff on the floor that you can’t get over or around on your own.
- Checking to see that important items are in reach. In the past, you likely didn’t think twice about climbing on a step stool to reach items above your head. Now, that may be dangerous—or even impossible. Make sure that important items are kept in locations where you can easily reach them.
- Writing down more things. If you suffered head trauma, you may struggle to remember how to complete simple tasks or to complete those tasks on time. When you write things down, you’re less likely to forget them. You can also use app reminders to help make it easier to take care of familiar tasks.
After your accident, you may need to relearn many things—and you may even have to redefine your internal view of who you are based on your new limitations and capabilities. You may discover that you have interests that you never knew you had, or you may find that you’re able to overcome obstacles you never dreamed you could. Surviving and thriving after your accident means making several key modifications to your attitude and your thinking patterns.
- Be gentle with yourself. PTSD is common after many accidents, especially if you’ve been seriously injured. It’s okay to feel fearful or to struggle with some things that were once easy, including simply getting into a car or driving past the location of your accident.
- Leave yourself more time. From getting up and getting ready in the morning to finishing simple tasks for work, you may find that things you once found easy now simply take longer. Get in the habit of leaving yourself significantly more time than you think you need to get ready.
- Seek help if you need it. Many therapists will offer you mental and emotional tools to help manage your emotions as you learn how to cope with serious injuries and struggle to figure out how to live your life again. Consulting with a therapist regularly can help restore your mental health and help you feel better about your capabilities.
- Find new hobbies. If you were previously very physically active, you may need to find new activities to occupy your time. When you fill your life with new hobbies, you’re less likely to feel sorry for yourself and more likely to actively engage in what’s going on around you. Find new ways to enjoy old hobbies, whether that means you focus on your upper body in the gym or learn how to play wheelchair basketball. There are plenty of aids and modifications out there. You just have to dive in and find them.
- Stay connected with friends. It’s often tempting to withdraw from friends and loved ones after an accident. You have more than enough to worry about, especially if they’re not being supportive. Staying involved with your friends, however, can help boost your mood and make it easier for you to feel connected to your life.
Working With a Lawyer After Your Injuries
Many of the modifications you’ll need to make to your home and your vehicle take money. Fortunately, you may be due compensation for your injuries and your suffering. Contact Uber Car Accident Law online today or call at (305) 964-8806 to learn more.