Flat tire leads to traumatic brain injury for exceptional teen

On Jan. 11, an unfortunate series of events resulted in an 18-year-old girl fighting for her life after a freak car accident. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the victim was in the passenger seat of a vehicle that had stopped along a stretch of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area.

Officials say the victim was traveling with two other girls when a flat tire caused them to stop and call for assistance from AAA. Sometime during that interval, another driver lost control of his vehicle and slammed into the girls’ car as it sat along the shoulder of the Expressway. Although the accident injured all three of the girls in the disabled car, the victim suffered the worst of those injuries. The victim is currently in Atlanta, Georgia, where she is receiving care for traumatic brain injury at a facility that is reported to be one of the best in the nation in treating spinal cord and brain injuries.

The victim’s injuries are made even more tragic by the fact that she was a model high school student and two colleges had already accepted her admission prior to the fateful car accident. The victim had also expressed her desire to attend school to become a pediatric nurse to her teachers. The National Honor Society student was also very active in her high school’s student government and was the captain of the cheerleading squad. The community has rallied in support of the victim since the accident, offering fundraising events at local restaurants and even a 5K run scheduled for May 9.

Traumatic brain injury can occur in a myriad of ways. Basically, this is anytime that an external force causes trauma to the brain. This can happen whether a victim slips and falls on a slippery floor or as a result of a car accident causing a victim’s head to smash against other objects.

If someone you know has suffered a TBI, there are a few things you should know. Florida laws permit victims of preventable accidents to sue individuals that are responsible for their injuries. Depending on the circumstances, victims of traumatic brain injury may be able to recover compensation. Normally this money is intended to offset medical costs. However, a Florida personal injury attorney can identify whether a victim can make additional claims.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Spoto community rallies behind girl who suffered traumatic brain injury” Earnest Hooper, Feb. 25, 2015