Recovering From Your Car Accident:
The Complete Guide to Reclaiming Your Life

You are not alone in your recovery

This is the first comprehensive, evidence-based book on how to overcome the physical and emotional traumas sustained in auto accidents. An insightful guide for both survivors and their caregivers to successfully navigate through injury recovery and rebuild their lives.

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A Letter to The Reader

I wrote this book primarily for the recovery of car accident survivors but also for their families, friends, employers, insurance and legal professionals, to gain new insight and understanding regarding post-accident stressors, symptoms, conditions, and treatment issues. My goal was to help survivors to identify and understand their physical and psychological injuries; discover management and treatment options, including alternative treatments for the most common auto-accident injuries; and identify the key legal and healthcare professionals who can assist with recovery.

As a survivor reading this book, you will acquire strategies for living with chronic pain; coping with post-traumatic stress disorder; dealing with a traumatic brain injury, depression, sleep disturbance, and anxiety. You will learn how to reach out for support from family members, friends, support groups, and/or medical/legal professionals on how to help others understand your challenges. You will find many ways to heal and achieve the best recovery. My hope is that you will discover that your recovery efforts can inspire you to find a renewed life purpose and can help you to create an even more meaningful, fulfilling life.

My most sincere wishes for your greatest recovery,

Dr. James Zender

Praise for the book

“Drawing from his 30 years of experience as a clinical and forensic psychologist, Zender presents a guide for recovering, both physically and emotionally, from a car accident, whether as a driver or a passenger. He also provides guidance for those caring for family or friends who have been injured in an accident . . . Zender’s experience, knowledge, compassion, and empathy are evident throughout this book.”

Library Journal

“This is the book I desperately needed when my son suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury from a car accident. Dr. Zender’s book is extraordinary and provides narratives of bravery, hope, and healing. He writes with both compassion and strength. The book provides transformational advice for those suffering from trauma.”

JJ Virgin, 4x NYT bestselling author, Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert

“Just as he aims to do in his psychotherapeutic practice, Zender wrote “Recovering from Your Car Accident” to help people understand their symptoms and develop new coping skills to deal with the trauma that results from being involved in an auto accident. His book is also useful to family and friends to help them comprehend a car-accident survivor’s difficulties with thinking, speech, mood and the new challenges they often have with relationships. But, despite the title and the stated intent of the author, this book will be invaluable for psychologists and other mental health practitioners to better understand and help the victims of auto crashes.”

James Windell, Michigan Psychological Association

“In Recovering from Your Car Accident: The Complete Guide to Reclaiming Your Life, Dr. James F. Zender helps you navigate the frightening complexities of auto trauma. He lights the way to recover and discover purposeful transformation. This compassionate and comprehensive guide would have been invaluable to my recovering from a head-on-collision in 2011. A must read for patients, family members, health care providers, and attorneys, to help reach long-term healing of Vehicular Trauma Syndrome. I will be recommending this book widely.”

Gayle P. Myers, M.D., ABOIM, Integrative Medicine Physician

“With empathy and compassion, Dr. James F. Zender listens to his patients who have experienced debilitating automobile accidents. In his new book Recovering From Your Car Accident: The Complete Guide to Reclaiming Your Life, you will learn methods, practices, techniques and processes to not just SURVIVE but THRIVE as you embark on becoming whole again after your trauma. This unique guide is long overdue since more people suffer with traumatic brain injuries from car crashes than from war. A must read for any of you or your family members who need support and guidance after being in an unfortunate accident and are most likely in pain.”

Jerri Sher, BFA, MEd
EMMY Award-winning Director/Producer
Director/Producer, Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain

“In my seven years that I continue to recover from a horrific motor vehicle crash, I have never come across such an enlightening, resourceful, and informative book that I could relate to. A remarkable read that touches on every struggle that we face after surviving such a life changing event. A silent pandemic that now speaks loudly and a book that every crash survivor should have!”

Dawne McKay, Founder of the Crash Support Network

“Dr. Zender’s book is a must read for anyone unfortunate enough to be injured in an auto accident. Accident victims are often underserved by medical providers and they often receive fragmented care and too little attention to their emotional and cognitive injuries. This book will also be of value to their families and caregivers who would like to understand the full impact of an accident. From someone who has been treating many of these patients for more than 30 years, let me say “Well done!””

Mitchell Clionsky, Ph.D., ABPP-CN
Board Certified Clinical Neuropsychologist
Executive Director, MVA Center for Rehabilitation

“Brain injury is significant and complex and far reaching, often misunderstood and underserved. Dr. Zender has expertly illuminated what is a mysterious condition to most people. His efforts to help people understand the condition and a path to healing should be commended. He explains how brain injury victims have a fear of being crazy, they suffer from depression, and that pain is a powerful, interruptive force. He encourages the importance of empathy and emphasizes the power of group therapy and the benefits of meditation. His book is an excellent resource to help these victims and their families.”

John Gwynne Prosser II
President, NeuroTrauma Association
Co-Author, Accident: Michigan’s Insurance Model for America

“Drawing upon over 30 years experience in psychological traumatology, Dr. James Zender has put together a comprehensive masterpiece that can be a guiding light for those struggling through the labyrinth known as traumatic brain injury.”

Michael Lewis, MD, MPH, MBA, FACPM, FACN
Colonel (Retired), U.S. Army
Author, When Brains Collide

“Dr. Zender’s book is a terrific post- trauma wellness guide. It offers alternative and complementary approaches to healing and recovery for both the mind and body.”

Mark Gordon, MD, Neuroendocrinologist
Traumatic Brain Injury Expert
Medical Director, Millennium Health Centers

“Dr. Zender does a masterful job at illuminating a path for healing and transformation. May it help you or someone you love to recover, heal, and transform.”

SFC Andrew Marr, MBA
Author, Tales From the Blast Factory
Co-Founder, Warrior Angels Foundation
Angela Molineux, Classical Singer/Songwriter
Car Accident/PTSD/TBI Survivor

Updates from Dr. Zender