There’s no doubt that a car accident can completely change your life. Sometimes these wrecks cause nothing more than headaches as individuals recover from minor injuries and try to figure out how to deal with the loss of their vehicle, but in other instances these crashes result in catastrophic injuries such as those that affect the brain and spine.

A spinal cord injury can fall anywhere on a spectrum of severity, but even the most minor spinal cord injuries can be devastating. They often result in the loss of motor function, while the most severe spinal cord injuries leave victims paralyzed. The sudden onset of these disabilities can leave you or a loved one struggling to figure out how to reconfigure life to make it manageable, which can cause an incredible emotional toll.

And treating these conditions can be costly, too. Treating a spinal cord injury that results in incomplete motor function may cost more than $1 million over the course of a lifetime, and treating high tetraplegia can end up costing nearly $5 million in medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. These financial damages don’t even take into consideration lost wages and lost earning potential. Taken together, these damages can be overwhelming.

But you don’t have to give way to thoughts of a hopeless future. In fact, new technologies are constantly being invented in tested to make life as normal as possible for those who are affected by spinal cord injuries. Yet, while experts continue to develop new devices to make them more feasible for everyday use, you’ll need to learn how to best move forward with your life. To do so, consider these steps, as they may be enormously beneficial to you:

  • Be patient with yourself: It’s going to take time to re-learn how to accomplish certain tasks that once can easily too you, try not to dwell on the things you can no longer do. We realize the process can quickly become frustrating, but try your best to allow yourself to make mistakes and learn as time moves on, recognizing that change is going to take time.
  • Ask for help: Many people who suffer debilitating injuries try to take on everything on their own, and they are too prideful to ask for help. They often feel like they’re weak if they ask for assistance. This isn’t the case, though. People who love and care about you surround you. They’re willing and able to lend you a hand when needed, which could help lift an enormous load off your shoulders.
  • Be open: New technologies, devices, and medical treatments are constantly being tested and entering the market. Try being receptive to anything that can make your life easier. It can also help to be creative when figuring out how you’re going to move forward with your life.
  • Focus on what’s really important: Whether it’s the relationship with your spouse or sibling, your hobby or profession, or an interest in something else, focusing on that can help take your mind off of your tragic situation and encourage a healthy and positive lifestyle.

Of course, this is all easier said than done. Reshaping your life to accommodate your newfound disability is nothing short of a monumental task, especially when you’re trying to find ways to make ends meet given the financial losses dealt to you. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of another, though, then you might be able to recover compensation for your losses through a personal injury lawsuit. If successful, then you can secure the financial stability you need to allow you to focus on your health and the things that truly matter to you. As stressful as that may sound, legal advocates are available to help you fight to obtain the future you deserve.