It is an unfortunate fact that some automobile accidents leave victims with life-changing and sometimes permanent injuries. These drastic changes to your physical condition might require accommodations, or adaptive aids to support you at home, when traveling, and in the workplace. These might include personal hygiene and mobility products or reconfiguring your vehicle and home. They could also include legally mandated accommodations that enable you to continue working. Learn what your options are, how they can help you continue to live an independent and productive life, and your rights with regards to affording and receiving accommodations.
Personal support aids
If you suffered injuries that caused paralysis or restricted your movement in other ways, then personal support aids can help you conduct activities of daily life. The following are examples of these assistive devices and their most common uses:
- Walkers, canes, or crutches provide support if you are still ambulatory but require assistance to walk or maintain balance
- Wheelchairs or motorized scooters can help you get around if you are no longer able to walk
- Raised toilet seats, transfer seats, and portable commodes can make it easier for you to tend to your personal needs in the bathroom
Depending on your insurance coverage some of these items may be supplied to you free or at a reduce cost. However, that is not always the case, and some personal support aids like motorized wheelchairs can be quite expensive.
Beyond devices, your injuries might necessitate assistance from a home health aide either temporarily or long-term. Home health aides can assist you with toileting, dressing, housekeeping, and more on either a live-in or visiting basis. Unfortunately, it is rare for insurers to cover the hefty price.
No one should have to go without a supportive device or aide because of a crash, which is why your attorney will pursue coverage for any assistive items or people you require.
Home modifications for accident victims
In addition to personal support aids, some injuries require adaptations to your home. These modifications may be minor or more extensive depending on your particular requirements. Examples include the following:
- Adding grab bars to your shower
- Installing a chair lift to carry you up and down stairs
- Building ramps for you to enter and exit your house
- Incorporating furniture that support disabilities (e.g., recliners that lift you all the way to your feet)
Again, it is rare for regular health insurance to cover these costs completely. However, without these important household accommodations, you might lose your ability to stay in your home independently. Such vital modifications can and should be claims made against the person responsible for your accident.
Mobility and travel support
You should not have to lose your ability to get around because of your injuries. Fortunately, great strides have been made with regards to technology that allows people with significant disabilities to drive, ride most public transportation, and travel.
When it comes to personal vehicles, automobiles can be retrofit to suit your condition (e.g., if you have a non-functional left arm, controls can be moved to the right). Vans are available that include lifts for wheelchairs and are set up so they can be driven without the use of legs. Meanwhile, most cities have buses that provide racks for wheelchairs and can be lowered so that you don’t have to climb to board. Amtrak has train ramps that can be extended to allow you onboard. They also provide areas structured so you can wheel in and either remain in your wheelchair or stow it and transfer to an accessible seat. And nearly all hotels across the country offer Americans with Disabilities (ADA)-compliant rooms that include walk or wheel-in shower options, support bars in showers and by toilets, and other features to make your stay as hassle-free as possible.
Despite all this, it would be disingenuous to say getting around will be as easy as it was before you were injured. Which is why your attorney will take travel challenges and restrictions into consideration when formulating your lawsuit against the person who caused your life-changing injuries.
Returning to work might not be an option following a serious accident. However, if at all possible, your employer should try to work with you so you can continue your career. Certain workplace accommodations are mandated by law if they are considered “reasonable” under the ADA and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) definitions. Some examples of reasonable work accommodations include the following:
- Provide reserved parking close to the building’s entrance
- Rearranging work areas to improve accessibility
- Provide assistive devices like a captioned telephone
- Allow you to bring a service animal into the building
Certain jobs may no longer be possible for you to do because it is simply impossible to accommodate your specific disability. For example, if you were a forklift driver and can no longer see, obviously you cannot return to the same job. However, your employer must make a good faith effort to reassign you to a vacant job opening that you could do given your current limitations. They should also offer retraining as needed to help you transition into your new role.
Despite all the protections extended by law, there is no guarantee you will be able to continue along the same career path you were on before an accident. Any loss of wages, including an approximation of what you stood to earn if you had been able to continue in the same career, will be factored into the total amount sought for losses and damages.
Los Angeles auto accident attorney
Life may not look the same following a car crash that injures you permanently. However, your entire life should not be derailed due to the careless, reckless, or negligent actions of another driver. Accommodations that allow you to live independently, remain mobile, and do your job are available, and Los Angeles car accident lawyer Scott J. Corwin can make sure you are able to afford them. Give Scott a call today to discuss your options at 800-946-9440.