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Broken leg How long could you go without a paycheck? Three months? Six months? A year? And what if you had $10,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses? (Photo: Shutterstock)

You probably know that half of working Americans couldn’t make it a month without a paycheck before financial difficulties set in, and one in four workers would have problems immediately. But that’s just part of the story. Employees don’t have to live paycheck-to-paycheck in order for a disability to have grave financial and health consequences. And people don’t need to be sickly or accident-prone to become disabled. Take it from me and learn from my story.

On December 14, 2005, I was having a great day. Freshly back from vacation, I arrived at the office and was welcomed with a promotion. Later that day, I had a lovely dinner with friends. Walking out of the restaurant to my car, I was hit by a Jeep Wrangler, thrown 20 feet in the air, and crushed my leg. I ended up disabled for the next seven months and would need physical therapy for a year before I could walk normally again.

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