Serious personal injuries are life-changing events, and not only for the victims. When a person suffers a brain injury, spinal injury, or other catastrophic injury, the impact often extends to friends and family who must adapt to new relationships and, in some instances, become caretakers. These challenges can sometimes be addressed through a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an experienced car accident or brain injury lawyer.
Last month, CBC News Ottawa published an article that illustrates the scope of the challenges faced by families of catastrophically injured accident victims. In 2006, 24-year-old Jodi Graham was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. She suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spent time in a deep coma.
Jodi eventually regained consciousness and returned home eight weeks after the crash – but her life and the life of her family was permanently changed. Her eyesight was significantly damaged, she was largely unable to speak or walk, and she required a feeding tube for the first five years of her recovery. Her mother, Cheryl, became her full-time caregiver.
“I can remember the first few years – I don’t think Cheryl ever slept the full night because she was always on the alert for a noise from Jodi’s room,” one family friend told the CBC.
Today, Jodi is able to communicate through sign language and touch-screen technology. She is slowly relearning how to walk and speak. However, her mother continues to provide around-the-clock support and will continue to do so indefinitely, with help from a network of caregivers, friends and family. The arrangement has taken a serious mental and physical toll.
“There’s no end in sight [to the help Jodi needs], which is hard,” Cheryl said. “It’s a nightmare. It’s hard to sit here and say, ‘This is going to be the rest of my life, trying to help Jodi get her life back.’ And there are no other options.”
As any brain injury lawyer can attest, Cheryl’s situation is not unusual. According to the Brain Injury Association of Waterloo Wellington, there are close to 500,000 people living with acquired brain injuries in Ontario; roughly 18,000 new TBIs occur each year. Meanwhile, there is a serious shortage of appropriate residential care in the province, meaning many brain injury victims rely on care from their families.
When someone suffers a catastrophic injury in an accident, a personal injury or brain injury lawyer can help secure compensation to fund the victim’s recovery and address challenges faced by their family members. Loved ones of seriously injured accident victims may be entitled to compensation for loss of guidance, care, and companionship; lost income if they assume the role of caregiver; and other damages.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced car accident or brain injury lawyer.
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