The summer after my graduation started off without a hitch. My best friend and I decided to enjoy our last summer of youth in the warm waters of Virginia Beach after the long journey from Houston, Texas.
The last weekend was especially spectacular, full of good friends, boating, barbecuing, and camp fires. On the last day of our visit, Sunday, July 18, 2010, we decided to ride into town to buy some beer in my friend Tony’s pickup truck. I decided to ride in the back on the half bench and Tony and his girlfriend, Tracy, sat in the front.
I Declined To Use My Seatbelt
I’m usually a stickler for seat belts, safety, and the like, but that day I decided to throw caution to the wind. In hindsight, I should’ve been more prudent because Tony was going faster than he should have been on the back roads into town.
Pretty soon he lost control and went up an incline. We hit a tree and the truck rolled, throwing Tony through the passenger window. I flew through the middle into the front cab of the truck. Thankfully Tony’s girlfriend was cognizant enough (she was wearing a seatbelt) and quickly pulled me out of the truck. Later she said smoke was coming from the hood and her actions were a result of her being worried that it would blow up.
Lost Memories of the Truck Accident
I don’t remember much from the day, except for when the truck fishtailed and Tracy pulling me from the truck. I also remember the flashing lights of the ambulance as they sped toward us. I must’ve passed out because my next memory was waking up in a hospital room. I stayed in the hospital for three days, my mother by side the entire time, I’m assuming the hospital staff must’ve notified her.
Getting Medical Attention for Personal Injuries
I Suffered Spinal Column Injuries
Later she told me that I was airlifted to Bon Secours via helicopter where I stayed for three weeks. The doctors said that I broke my collarbone, cracked a rib, and something called a burst fracture of the L2, L1, T5, and T4 vertebrates in my spine. This meant that I would have to look forward to not only surgery but wearing a brace for the next three months.
I’m not going to lie, recovery was tough, filled with strong medication, sleepless nights, and a huge change in lifestyle, especially because I was so used to being independent.
Just a few days before, I was hanging out with friends, enjoying what was supposed to be one of the best years of my life. I was completely dependent on another human being for the next three months and trying to work from home soon proved to be a waste of my time. It’s safe to say that I wasn’t in a good place. I felt hopeless through much of this time. To make it worse, I lost a ton of weight and started to look anorexic. It was horrible.
A Less than Perfect Healthy Recovery
I did finally recover enough to do some of the things I used to do, like hang out with friends and look for a job, but I couldn’t pound the pavement like I used to or party all night long. That was definitely out of the question. After just a few hours, the pain would force me to retire to my bed. Before the accident, I considered myself to be a virile young man but, in its aftermath, I felt like an invalid.
It was during this time that I also found out that I had an infection, in my blood no less. This occurred because my body rejected the metal used to fuse my spine together. It had to be removed and, as a consequence, spent another three months, first on IV, then oral antibiotics.
After my second surgery, my mom decided to seek legal counsel to see if we had a case for personal injury. Our attorney said that we did have a case against Tony and that, most likely, a lawsuit would be successful. And, after a couple of years, I was able to receive a decent settlement as well as some closure to such a terrible time in my life.
My Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
In short, I’m glad I spoke to a an experienced lawyer that specializes in car accidents because, besides knowledgeable representation, she was able to introduce me to a number of resources that helped me through my recovery. For example, she told me about a support group that ended up helping me gain a new perspective on life so that I could stop feeling sorry for myself. In short, they provided me with the support I needed to get my life bad on track.
My attorney also made sure that my claim ran smoothly so I could have the peace of mind I needed to focus on my recovery. I’m not going to lie, with so many horrible stories about ambulance chasers and less than scrupulous attorneys, it was a huge load off my chest to find myself in such good hands.
In hindsight, I can say that my attorney was key to my recovery. Never once did I feel as if my best interests weren’t being represented. I was also impressed by the frequency in which I was updated about the case. He also may sure to explain things to me so that I could understand the entire process. Overall, I must say that it was a great experience.
Life Resumes in Houston, TX
Since that time, I bought my first house in Texas, have gotten a great job in my field and will be getting married to Tracy, who’s support and love helped me through many a hard day when I was incapacitated.
Although it sounds cliché, the accident taught me not to take life for granted. I always wear my seatbelt – no exceptions. I don’t drive recklessly or endanger those around me nor do I hang out with people who do.
My accident also taught me to appreciate my mom and to lay off of her when I’m feeling smothered. I learned who my real friends are. I did lose some but, the ones that stayed filled in any gaps I might’ve otherwise felt. Surprise, surprise, Tony was one of the so-called friends that I lost during this period. All in all, I must say that I’m grateful for having such an awesome support system to lean on during the hard times. To this day, I still suffer from chronic back pain from the crash but, it’s dulled by the fact that I’m so happy to be alive.