“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most
massive characters are seared with scars.” — Khalil Gibran
Over the years, I have represented clients who have suffered terrible, life-altering injuries, as well as those who have lost loved ones. Many suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and had a very difficult time adjusting to their lives following the tragedy.
An Opportunity for Positive Change
During the course of representing clients, often over the course of several years, I noticed however that some took their misfortune and used it as an opportunity to work for positive change. Many became advocates for causes related to the type of injury they suffered. It was inspiring to see how some of my clients not only overcame incredible challenges, but changed their lives and began working to help others.
Several of my clients who had suffered spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis became mentors for other patients at hospitals, worked to help the injured receive all the governmental benefits they were entitled to or established funds to help pay for treatments and supplies not covered by insurance. Additionally, through the Anapol Foundation, our law firm supported causes to benefit those who suffered burns, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and amputations. Working with the Anapol Foundation gave me an opportunity to meet many truly inspiring people.
Psychologists talk about the other side of PTSD, which is “post-traumatic growth (PTG).” Often, together with PTSD or symptoms suggestive of PTSD, there can also be positive changes, or growth, as a result of that suffering. Following the death of my daughter Casey by a distracted driver in 2009, I started working to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Looking back, I now realize that it was easier for me to see this path because I had seen it with so many of my clients in their struggles. I was fortunate to have had the opportunities provided to me to work in traffic safety. After Casey’s death, I obtained a masters in counseling and began to explore PTG in more detail.
To learn more about PTG and the positive changes that can follow trauma go to http://enddd.org/PDF/PTG-Legal.pdf.
About Joel Feldman
Anapol Weiss Partner Joel Feldman founded End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org) after his daughter Casey was killed by a distracted driver in 2009. EndDD.org promotes driver safety through a scientifically-based distracted driving presentation that has been given by hundreds of lawyers, nurses, physicians, safety experts and other professionals.
A partner of the Anapol Weiss law firm in Philadelphia, PA, Joel Feldman has successfully represented injured victims and families for more than 30 years. Feldman founded End Distracted Driving (EndDD) after he suffered the loss of his daughter Casey in a distracted driving accident in 2009.