Eight years ago, I was involved in an interstate rollover. It happened so fast and yet I remember it in slow motion. Realizing the car was out of control. Screaming at the top of my lungs. Turning around mid-rollover, because in the chaos I was terrified my son’s car seat wasn’t holding. That vivid memory was followed by weeks of mental fog and constant physical pain. Weeks turned into years. I think it was the first time I really understood how hard it is to actually recover; how much pressure there was to work when I really needed time off and how getting better takes more than just time. It takes effort. It takes money. It takes hard work.
If given the choice, I would choose to never have had the experience of waiting in a barrow pit for emergency responders, but the experience gave me an entirely different perspective on how injuries can affect someone’s life. I was the primary bread winner for my family. My husband and I had relatively new startup businesses and my son was ten months old. Our health insurance was barely existent and didn’t cover the injuries from the accident. My medical providers didn’t originally connect my constant pain to the accident and I spent over five years looking for answers before I was finally referred to Mayo Clinic. Over five years after our accident, I finally got answers I could use to begin recovering.
I’ve personally experienced trying to fit medical care into my budget when there is no room in the budget. I’ve personally experienced the constant balancing between needing money from working and needing time off to get better. I’ve experienced the feeling of futility when what was “supposed to work” didn’t and no one knew why. A significant amount of my medical bills went to collections. Other bills found their way into a credit card balance I dreaded. I needed time to recover, but I didn’t think my family could afford it.
This experience fortified my primary goal in practicing this type of law, which is to help my clients heal. I want to see people recover from their injuries and move forward with their lives. When I say “do what your medical providers tell you to do”, it’s not because I think that advice is easy to follow; it’s because I live the importance of it every single day. When I say “keep trying” it’s because I believe there is hope.
My goal in writing this book is to provide readers with a basic understanding of what personal injury law is and how it helps with the journey from injury to recovery. I also want readers to know above all else, they should make sure to take care of themselves after an accident. Take the time you need to get better. Take the time you need to make it to physical therapy appointments. Do the exercises, even when it hurts. No amount of compensation will be enough if you don’t do everything you can to heal from an injury.