One of the challenges associated with working on traumatic brain injury cases is conveying the full scope of the injury to those who may not have first-hand experience with these accidents. Brain injuries are very diverse, but in many cases the consequences are hard to grasp because there may be less outward physical harm. A juror intuitively know what it might be like to lose a limb, for example. But it is another matter entirely to understand how brain damage would alter an individual life.
Beyond that, it is hard to explain how these injuries affect much more than just the actual person harmed. Entire families often have their lives turned on their head following a TBI. Raising awareness of the comprehensive nature of the harm and the breadth of people affected is an important goal to spur changes that might spare TBI victims.
A recent Mercury News story attempted to convey the scope of these injuries, providing readers with perspective on the significant harm that comes with a brain injury. The article shared that story of one 17-year old teen whose life changed forever when he fell while skateboarding. Apparently the young man was riding on the skateboard on a very steep street when he suffered an accident. He was thrown from the board and violently hit his head on the cement. The blow caused him to suffer a serious head injury. He was in a coma for more than 25 days.
The accident occurred in June, and the problems still have not shaken out. For one thing, he still is learning the most basic functions, like how to walk. In addition, he has memory problems. His mother reports that he remains shocked that it is the year 2013, as his brain does not have a continuous set of memories from the accident to the present day. The progress has not be steady. Two months after the accident he had fluid build-up on the brain which required cranial surgery. The subsequent accident set him back even further, and he lost the memory that he had regained. He wouldn’t be released from the hospital until October.
The family’s life has been changed as well. The boy lives with his single mother and three other siblings. Since the accident the mother has been forced to take a leave of absence from her work to care for the child. It is not difficult to see how finances could become extremely tight in this situation.
It Could Happen to Anyone
Injuries like the one that affected the young man in this case are not uncommon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that there are usually more than 9,000 emergency room visits every year caused by skateboarding accidents. Some of the most common injuries involve the head, particularly when the riders are not wearing helmets and suffer an accident. The Chicago brain injury attorneys at our firm urge all parents to be vigilant about these safety features and to take reasonable steps to prevent traumatic brain injuries whenever possible.
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