I was involved in a motorcycle accident in San Diego and suffered a spinal cord injury. Does this mean I will never be able to work again?
Spinal cord injuries (SCI) vary in severity and often limit a victim’s physical abilities. The “spinal cord functions as the primary line of communication between the brain and the different areas of the body,” and when it becomes injured, it “can affect the sensory, motor and reflex messages sent between the [two]” [Source: Shepherd Center]. Given the impact a SCI can have on the body, many victims often find that they are unable to work as a result.
But you may not have to settle for being unemployed because you suffered a SCI.
You see, many technological advancements have been made that make it easier for a SCI victim to either return to their place of employment given they are provided with certain accommodations or find a new job that is conducive to their condition. While it once wasn’t common for a SCI patient to return to work given their injury was disabling, it seems as though the “employment-to-population ratio (the ratio of people working compared to the total population) for people with disabilities has risen” [Source: Shepherd Center].
Debbie Page, MS, LPC, CCM, who is a vocational case manager at Shepherd Center, attributes this increase to the growing number of rehabilitation programs, people becoming more mobile because of the better healthcare they are receiving, and various affordable accommodations that make it easier for a SCI patient to work. Some of these accommodations include “the internet [and] voice-activated speech software.”
What resources are available to a SCI victim who cannot return to their previous place of employment who still wants to work?
If your condition has prevented you from returning to your pre-injury place of employment but you still want to try and work, the Employment Development Department (EDD) is one resource you can take advantage of that can help you find a job. The EDD works through America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) which “provides universal access for services, making sure that all job applicants with disabilities receive equal employment opportunities. The EDD is also a great resource as it “also helps job seekers with disabilities who need additional services to become qualified for employment. These services include referrals to job openings or training, career counseling, job search assistance and workshops, testing, and referrals to supportive services in the community.”
Now, there are two federally funded programs the EDD administers that have been created to “enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities.”
- The Disability Employment Accelerator (DEA) program.
The DEA program “funds projects to accelerate employment and re-employment strategies for people with disabilities.” Some of the goals this program strives to achieve include:
-Creating partnerships between the AJCC locations and businesses to recognize the skills of people with disabilities that meet the needs of employers.”
-Engaging businesses to develop strategies and funding “ground-up” solutions to help people with disabilities achieve professional success.”
- The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) program.
The DEI program “partners with employers to provide services to people with disabilities that place them on pathways to permanent jobs and careers.” Some of the goals the EDD has set for this program include:
-Improving education, training, employment opportunities, and outcomes for people with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits.”
-Increasing the number of people with disabilities who earn credentials.”
-Providing more and diverse job-driven training opportunities.”
-Creating and providing flexible trainings and supportive services, including customized strategies to help job seekers with significant disabilities.”
-Building partnerships across multiple service delivery systems.”
-Building partnerships across alternative funding strategies.”
-Promoting active engagement with the business sector.”
CalJOBS is another resource available to SCI victims who are seeking employment. This online tool helps individuals like yourself “navigate the state’s workforce services” and “provides comprehensive employment and labor market information.” CalJOBS allows those in search of employment to:
-Create and upload their résumé for a job in a specific industry.
-Customize their job searches.
-Receive notifications via text and/or email when a new job opening has been posted.
-Access the CalJOBS mobile app that allows them to search for jobs and even apply for those they are interested in.
Now, if you are interested in getting back into the workforce after suffering a SCI in a motorcycle accident in CA, you might consider taking advantage of the resources we have highlighted for you above. While there is nothing more empowering than being able to work and provide for yourself, not everyone is able to return to work right away. And because you might be struggling to afford your day to day expenses as a result of your injury, our San Diego, CA motorcycle accident lawyers here at The Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth want to remind you that you might be entitled to recover compensation from the other party that was involved in the accident or even your insurance company.
If you haven’t spoken with a motorcycle accident attorney yet regarding your accident or to have your damages evaluated, we encourage you to contact our office today to speak with one of our skilled lawyers. Our attorneys understand how difficult it can be to get things back on track after suffering such a severe injury which is why we want to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
You can reach The Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth at:
Phone: (619) 691-8942
Mission Valley Office
1761 Hotel Court, Suite 250
San Diego, CA 92108
Scripps Ranch Office
11704 Petenwell Road
San Diego, CA 92131
Chula Vista Office
815 Third Ave., Ste. 115
Chula Vista, Ca 91911