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Our Michigan Auto Law Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship Winners

April 23, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

We understand how difficult it can be to recover after a serious accident. Our attorneys have been helping people injured in automobile accidents in Michigan for more than 50 years, and we want to financially help those who have survived serious car crashes and who are demonstrating the resolve and determination to rebuild shattered lives.

That’s why we started an annual Car Accident Injury Survivor Scholarship for students who have had to overcome life-changing auto accidents of their own.

Our 2012 scholarship awarded $500 to two scholarship applicants who were selected from many applications and essays submitted by college students throughout the country.

Here’s some background on our first winner:

Jessie Winter, Concordia University, Wisconsin

We’re pleased to announce that Jessie Winter, a Concordia University Occupational Therapy graduate student, is the winner of our 2012 scholarship.  Jessie was injured in an auto accident in Portage County, Wisconsin, last July.

Jessie underwent emotional and physical hardships that included many months of physical therapy while recovering from her injuries.  When choosing to pursue an education in occupational therapy, Jessie never imagined she would be a patient of rehabilitative therapy herself.

Jessie was a passenger in a friend’s car and suffered many injuries when an uninsured man  hit the side of their car at an intersection. The uninsured driver admitted to abusing prescription and illegal drugs and borrowing a friend’s uninsured vehicle.

Because the driver and the car involved were both uninsured, Jessie received no  compensation for her injuries, pain and suffering.  She also has not received any wage loss benefits to cover her loss of income, since she could not work to pay for college expenses as she had in the past.

Due to the way her body twisted upon impact, Jessie was left with twisted vertebrae and torn muscles in her lower back. This made sitting through classes and even carrying a backpack a painful hardship.

In her scholarship essay, Jessie put things into perspective:

“Telling people about the accident helped – if my story could make one person thing twice about driving under the influence, speeding, not having insurance, or wearing a seatbelt, it’s more than worth it.  I explained that no matter how perfect of a driver you are, there are other drivers you can’t control which is why insurance is so important.”

Jessie’s struggle to balance school and therapy has been difficult, yet she has managed to overcome this obstacle and use her experiences as a patient to become a better therapist. She’s even used her experiences to talk to high school students about the dangers of impaired driving.

Next week, we will introduce you to our second scholarship winner.

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