A five-year old girl from Riverside, California, has recently recovered from a coma brought on by a hit-and-run accident where a car struck her family's vehicle right at the spot where her booster seat was located inside the vehicle. The force of the impact was so severe that she suffered a traumatic injury that placed her into a coma. The girl's injuries included a hairline fracture in her hip, multiple brain injuries, and torn muscles and ligaments in her neck. According to her family, doctors had to place a metal plate in her neck in order to fuse it back together and allow it to heal. The girl celebrated her fifth birthday in the hospital, and she is currently using finger gestures to communicate, though she cannot speak yet. Her family does not have health insurance, and is hosting a fundraiser at a motorsports park in order to raise funds for medical bills. A 20-year-old man was arrested for felony hit- and-run in the case.
This case is a classic example of the toll that a traumatic brain injury can place on the family of the victim. The family does not have health insurance, and must raise a large sum of money in order to pay for the girl's health care costs. Traumatic brain injuries often require expensive surgeries and extensive therapy in order to bring about a recovery, and the medical expenses incurred can put a massive strain on a family's finances.
Car accidents such as the one in this case can frequently lead to brain injuries. Forceful collisions in particular are known to cause brain injuries due to the fact that they can cause a motorist or passenger's neck to go forth and the person's head to strike the dashboard or a seat.
Anyone affected by a traumatic brain injury caused by the negligence of another may be entitled to monetary compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and any permanent or temporary disability incurred. A injury victim also has the option to seek a personal injury judgment for negligence against the responsible party.
Source: CBS Local Los Angeles, "Riverside hit-and-run victim, 5, wakes from coma," May 7, 2013.