Indiana spinal cord injury lawyer discusses how folks with spinal cord injuries get some freedom when they are able to regain driving privileges.
Spinal cord injuries can occur from a variety of reasons including accidents, blood vessel problems and tumors. Paraplegia the loss of the ability to use one's legs has a number rehabilitation hurdles; however, the quicker the victim can gain some sense of normalcy the better it is for recovery. One of the goals for a spinal cord injury patient is regaining the ability to drive. The function of driving instills a sense of independence in the patient and fosters the ability to achieve further independence.
Once the initial rehabilitation efforts have been completed, the spinal cord injury patient has to have a doctor's approval to start driving, and then they must be evaluated to determine if there are any vehicles that can meet the individual's needs. Like all other drivers, the spinal cord injury victim will have to show the following:
- Sufficient muscle strength
- Acceptable eyesight
- Range of motion and flexibility
- Appropriate coordination
- Appropriate perception/reaction time
Modified Motor Vehicle
Spinal cord injury victims require vehicle modifications. For instance, a paraplegic will require hand controls for acceleration and braking of the vehicle. If the injury is due to negligence of another party, current vehicle modifications and modifications in the future are an element of (compensation) damages that must be looked at by the lawyer or vocational rehabilitation specialist. The modifications can cost in the thousands of dollars and, depending on the patient's life expectancy, will be a future expense.
The spinal cord injury victim will go have to go through a training program. There are a number of agencies that can help or have information regarding training. One such agency is The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED). For instance, ADED has a factsheet that provides vital information for spinal cord injury patients about driving.
Spinal cord injuries can be devastating; however, with the right rehabilitation and support, patients can develop some normalcy in life. An important goal if possible is regaining the ability to drive because it fosters independence. For any questions about seeking compensation for a spinal cord injury caused by somebody else's negligence whether from a car or diving accident or medical malpractice, you can always call our Northwest Indiana spinal cord injury lawyers at (219) 874-4878.
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