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A Car Accident changes your Life in Seconds

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Trisha Wellman's life turned upside down last November 2005. A friend was driving her to work when a car, driven by a girl without any insurance, side-swiped them, knocking their van off the road and causing them to hit a hydro pole.

She is lucky to be alive. "For the first eight days, the doctors weren't sure if I would be paralyzed; I had cracked my vertebrae. For the first month I was in traction and couldn't even open my mouth to talk let alone try to walk," says Wellman.

"Miraculously, after the second month I started to get better, but I still have problems with my back and constant shooting pains in my ear. It is like someone is taking an ice pick to my ear and stabbing me. Neurologists say that it might go away.

"There were days when suicide entered my mind but I have a daughter. I'm a single Mom and I couldn't even help her get ready for school, I couldn't help her get dressed. The first week I was in the hospital my daughter didn't see me because I looked so awful; I didn't want her to be terrified.

As for the girl that hit Wellman and her friend, nothing happened to her. She just got a fine. She didn't even have a driver's license, just a learner's permit, which in the province of Quebec, states that you are not allowed to drive by yourself. She was driving alone when she caused the accident and didn't have any injuries.

Adding insult to injury for Wellman, the girl claimed it wasn't her fault and even wrote to the local newspaper stating as much! "They were trying to blame us for the accident - I was furious," says Wellman. And there is a no-fault law in Quebec so Wellman can't even sue this girl. "It wouldn't be so bad if she was apologetic, but this..."

Wellman missed over four months of work but she is now back at her job part time. "I work in customer service so with my ear problem, I can only work 25 hours per week. I'm hoping this year will be better. I am compensated for part of my lost income but only 50 percent. This is a real hardship; it isn't easy. It has been really hard on my daughter."


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