Occupational Therapists and Serious Injuries

March 5, 2014

Occupational Therapists Can Help Make Life EasierOccupational Therapy - Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer


After a catastrophic car crash, traumatic brain injury, medical error, or some other event that causes serious, life changing injuries, occupational therapists can be a great help to both the injured person and his family. Occupational therapists often work with people who suffered a disabling injury, in order to help that person get back to work and/or manage daily activities. In cases where a person is unable to be self sufficient, an occupational therapist can help the disabled person and his family modify the home in order to make life easier and provide the injured person the ability to be as self reliant as possible.

How Occupational Therapists Can Help

When a new patient visits an occupational therapist, the therapist will work with the injured person to identify his needs.  She will begin by reviewing his medical records and then observing and speaking with the injured person and possibly his family.  Her next step is to create a plan based upon the goals and abilities of the person.  In some cases the goal might be to get the person back to work. In other cases, the goal might be for the person to relearn how to bathe or to make the person self-reliant. In the case of children, the goal could be helping with learning skills that are difficult to the child because of his disability. When a person is unable to be self-sufficient, the therapist will train family member caretakers. In addition the therapist can recommend tools that will be helpful at home, school or work.

Returning to work

Someone who can return to work with the correct treatment will engage in occupational therapy until he is able to go back to a job. The therapist will sometimes work with the person’s employer in order to help provide the necessary accommodations to enable the person to return to earning an income.

Making life easier

If someone has been injured to the point where he will never be able to return to work and/or has issues being self sufficient, the occupational therapist will work with the patient and his family to help the injured person learn to adjust to and potentially overcome his new disabilities. In addition, the therapist will identify any special equipment that can be used to assist the person and his family.

Examples of how occupational therapists can help

  • If your child has cerebral palsy, he might need help performing daily tasks.  An occupational therapist will offer training to both you and your child.  In addition, the therapist will identify items that will make caring for your child easier, especially if he is wheelchair bound and needs to be lifted.
  • Someone who has become quadriplegic due to a car accident will need assistance learning to use a wheelchair. His residence will require ramps and other accommodations. If the injured person is able to return to work, the occupational therapist will work with the employer to make sure appropriate tools are provided so the employee can do his job.
  • An individual who suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in severe deficiencies might need tools to help him remember to turn of the oven or to check the laundry.  In addition, an occupational therapist can help the patient learn to cope with areas that often become problematic for TBI victims, such as time management, organization and emotional difficulties.


There are many ways in which an occupational therapist can help someone who has suffered from a disabling injury or who is born with a disability. If you or a loved one needs assistance, it is important to contact a good occupational therapist for help. One problem, unfortunately, is that occupational therapy can be quite expensive.  If an injury that requires occupational therapy is due to the negligence of someone else, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers of Lowenthal & Abrams. You should not be required to bear the expense of someone else’s mistake on your own.


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