Woman suffers brain injury in accident caused by teen on phone

Motor vehicle accidents can result in brain injuries, even at a low rate of speed. A traumatic brain injury often results in significant financial costs and ongoing disability. If such an injury is caused by the careless or negligent actions of another, victims may be able to receive compensation for these costs.

A woman and her parents were involved in a fatal accident when a teenage driver ran a red light while reaching for his phone. A semi-truck was forced to swerve to avoid hitting him and instead hit the vehicle containing the woman and her parents. Her parents were both killed in the accident, while the woman suffered severe injuries. She suffered multiple broken bones, as well as significant organ and brain damage. Despite her brain injury, she has become an outspoken advocate against distracted driving, such the use of a cell phone. The state of New York prohibits talking or texting on a phone while driving.

Determining liability for claims resulting from an auto accident is based on the legal theory of negligence. To demonstrate negligence, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, which is typically presumed, as all motor vehicle operators must exercise reasonable care in their actions. The plaintiff must also show that the defendant breached this duty, that the breach caused the accident and they were injured as a result.

Plaintiffs who suffer serious brain injuries typically require economic assistance for treatment of their injury and for other expenses. The recommended amount of compensation can be determined through a medical evaluation. Such an evaluation can also determine a victim's ability to work, whether they can live independently and if physical therapy may benefit their recovery, among other things.

Due to the present and long-term potential effects of a severe brain injury, it is important for victims to be aware of their potential rights to compensation and from whom they may recover. It is important for victims to undergo necessary treatments and evaluations to accurately quantify the financial costs associated with their injury.