A spinal cord injury is life changing. In addition to months or years of difficult physical therapy and rehabilitation, individuals with a spinal cord injury must come to terms with the realization that their bodies will never function the same way again. However, this realization does not mean the end of happiness or personal enjoyment. Many report leading full and happy lives well after suffering from a spinal cord injury. For many people, a key a happy life is the ability to return back to work.
The Benefits of Returning to Work
According to one study, as many as 40 percent of people with spinal cord damage return to work within five years from the time of their injury. There are a number of reasons why people desire to return to work after such trauma. Work enables people to earn more income, provide for their wants and needs, and feel more independent. Work is a valuable source of social interaction and personal purpose. Research shows that those who return to work after a spinal cord injury live longer, healthier, and more satisfying lives than those who do not.
Keys to Returning to the Workforce
There are number keys to returning to the workforce following a spinal cord injury, including:
- Overcoming physical challenges - Those that desire to return to work after a spinal cord injury face a number of physical challenges. These individuals may desire to work in an office that is not properly set up for those with physical challenges, or may face negative employer attitudes regarding those with disabilities. There are laws, however, that offer help. Most people with spinal cord injuries qualify for protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for people with such injuries. The ADA further prohibits employment discrimination based on disability.
- Overcoming vocational challenges - Many people with spinal cord injuries who desire to return to work often do so after a long period of rehabilitation and adjustment. This means that, in practical terms, those returning to work may need to brush up on their job skills. There are a number of vocational rehabilitation programs that aim to help those with spinal cord injuries fully prepare to return to the job force. Such programs offer education and training, counseling, and help applying to jobs. These programs also offer aid in identifying assistive technologies that can help workers accomplish the tasks of their new jobs.
Getting Legal Help in Georgia When You Suffer From a Spinal Cord Injury
One of the biggest keys to adjusting to life after a spinal cord injury–including returning to work–is to understand your legal rights after you have been injured. If your injury was caused by the negligent or intentional acts of another, you may need the help of a skilled personal injury attorney to receive the compensation necessary to pay for your medical bills, physical rehabilitation, lost wages, and vocational training. Understand that you may have a limited amount of time to act after an injury before these rights are lost.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, it is essential that you contact a skilled Atlanta spinal cord injury attorney right away. If you have questions about who may be at fault for your injuries or whether you may recover for your damages, the personal injury attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC, can answer your questions and assess your case. We have years of experience helping those with spinal cord injuries navigate the Georgia legal system to hold those responsible for their injuries accountable. Contact us today.