Some car accident injuries are serious and involve long-term recovery. Others are permanent and require the individual to relearn skills or to figure out new ways of doing things. Occupational rehab may be necessary to help the person return to their job or find new employment after a car accident. In addition, it can assist the individual with becoming independent again.
An occupational therapist will first assess the injury and the limitations the person faces. They will then determine what function or abilities the person needs to handle daily tasks and to perform work duties. The therapist will create a list of goals and treatment plans to achieve those goals.
The therapist may visit the person’s home or worksite so they can learn what the person needs to be able to do. They may suggest modifications that will allow them to function in the necessary capacity. For instance, the therapist may be able to help the patient learn how to use new equipment so they can do their job.
Another role of the occupational therapist in a car accident claim is to determine the limitations the person now faces. They may perform a functional evaluation or fitness test to determine how much the accident affected their abilities.
For example, a person may have suffered a severe back injury in a car crash. They have recovered from the initial injury, but they do not have the same level of function as before. They may only be able to lift 10 or 20 pounds. A fitness test will show that they are unable to lift anything over that weight.
A car accident attorney may ask for the professional opinion of an occupational therapist or use their medical reports as a basis to prove a disability that arose from the car crash. Since they would also be able to find ways for the individual to perform certain tasks, they would be helpful in proving the need for expensive equipment which would be included in the claim.
Therapy is often necessary after a car accident to help the person recover either fully or partially. The person may also act as an expert to prove the claim so that the victim receives the compensation they are entitled to. An occupational therapist plays a critical role in many car accident injury cases.