You remember a loud crash, and then waking up in an ambulance.
An oxygen mask is on your face, and some stranger with a uniform is looking at you with concern, making notes on their clipboard.
Oddly, you can't feel your hands or feet, nor can you see clearly.
You try to talk, but the words only come out as gutteral utterances.
Your stretcher comes to a stop and you see lots of bright overhead lights with lots of unfamiliar faces peering over you.
Your mind tries to figure out where you are and why you're here.
You start to think about your wife and where your kids are at this moment and try to tell the people in front of you that they should be notified about whatever happened to me.
You were on your way to work this morning and was supposed to give a big presentation to the boss.
Who is going to pick up the groceries tonight if I can't do it?
What will happen if I can't get my paycheck tomorrow?
Can they bring it to me, wherever I am?
How can I pay my bills if I can't even feel my arms or legs?
Damn- what's going on here?
Out of the corner of your eye, you see a police man talking to someone who looks like a doctor.
You can't hear what they're saying, but one of them is pointing to you with a sad look on their face, and shaking their head.
You're not sure what it means.
The next thing you remember, you wake up in a very quiet, dimly lit room, with a nurse who is doting on you.
She is fussing and checking every part of your body.
You hear beeping and buzzers, but don't feel much.
You hear a hissing noise from a machine that looks like a pump going up and down.
You try to talk but nothing comes out of your mouth.
In fact, there's something in your mouth that seems to prevent you from talking.
The next thing you know, the nurse is putting some cloth around your arms to keep them attached to the bed rails- you're not even sure why she did that.
Over the next few days you begin to see people you actually recognize- your wife, your beautiful kids, your brother and your mom.
You can't understand why they're all standing around you, some crying, some holding your hand.
The feeling in your arms has slowly returned, but you still don't know why you can't move your feet.
That thing in your mouth is still there, and your hands are still attached to the bed rail.
One morning a serious looking man whispers in your ear that he's going to take something out, and not to be afraid.
"Afraid? Of what? I have nothing to be afraid of," you think.
You have this strange sensation that something's stopped working, and you feel yourself starting to pass out, not realizing that you stopped breathing.
After two grueling months in the hospital, you finally come to your senses.
The doctors tell you that you're paralyzed from the waist down, and will probably never be able to walk again.
"How is this possible?" you ask.
"Well, do you remember the car accident you were in?" asks the doctor.
"Two months ago, while driving through the intersection with a green light, a driver going the other way, blew through a red light, into the intersection and smashed your door.
It took 15 firefighters to pry you out of your car with massive tools that ripped apart the car.
You were then rushed to this hospital, and you've been here ever since," the doctor replied.
"But my family, my job, my life?
What about my kids?
How are they going to survive with me in this condition?
What the heck happened?"
This scenario is played out all too often in New York and across the country.
Victims don't realize the agonizing and devastating effects car accidents can have- not just to the victims, but to the victims' family as well.
The injuries, the recuperation (if there is one), the shattered lives, the lost income and the future disability and destroyed future are all part of the terrible process.
The only rational thing is to seek out a New York attorney who has experience handling significant car accident cases.
You need someone who can conduct a thorough investigation to learn how the accident happened and why.
You need to find out who is responsible for this tragedy.
The person who caused this accident must be held accountable for their actions.
An experienced lawyer will help guide you and your family through the tough times ahead, and help you understand the legal process.
Only by understanding the legal process can you make intelligent and informed decisions about your options. Hopefully with strength and good legal guidance, you can surmount these seemingly insurmountable obstacles.