Elaine Summers has been working as a real estate agent in California for the past fifteen years. Happily married with two kids, she's working her way towards goals for her long-term future - including a nest-egg of savings that's enough to put down a deposit on a house of their own that suits their needs a lot better than the rental they've been living in for the past eight years of their lives.
She's worked her way up the corporate ladder from having to sell cleaning products door-to-door through to being one of the most successful and profitable estate agents in her area.
It's safe to say that her years of hard work and dedication have paid off in her favor. Elaine and her husband even think that they might have found the perfect house through a mutual friend who is also a local estate agent.
They arrange a viewing and both book a day off work to see if the house could be right for them.
It's right in a section of prime California real estate – and it has features that they could only have dreamed of for their current house. The bathroom is perfect, and there's an extra guest bedroom that they could turn into a nursery. The view is something that can only be seen from a handful of places in town.
On the day of the viewing, things change irrevocably for Elaine and her husband.
Their mutual friend shows them the way through the two bedrooms and the bathroom. It looks great – and it's everything that they expected it to be. Things go well until they make their way to the main hall.
A piece of the ceiling collapses and a piece of wood subsequently falls on Elaine.
She's stunned by the event, but says that she feels okay other than the appearance of a bruise and a large bump.
To an estate agent, the damage from the ceiling is a serious sign that the house could have more damage to the structure than they initially thought. While on the drive home, Elaine and her husband decide that the house might not be the best idea for them and they will make another appointment to look at some of the alternate house options.
After arriving home, Elaine tells her husband that she has a headache and needs to lie down. A few hours later, she wakes up with her headache worse than before.
At the emergency room, the attending doctors order immediate scans.
The damage is far worse than just a simple headache. The scans show that Elaine has sustained a severe concussion and cracked skull due to the accident. It's likely that Elaine will be fine in a few months, although the doctor also warns her that there is a chance their might be serious long-term consequences as a result of the accident.
Nobody takes outright responsibility for the accident. She parts ways with the mutual friend, and they have to agree to postpone their plans to buy a house of their own.
In just a few weeks, she's expected to be back at work – and she's not able to keep up nearly as much of the same pace as she did beforehand.
Scans taken a few months after the incident shows that while the cracks caused by the accident have partially healed, there might still be a long road to recovery ahead.
As a direct result of the incident, Elaine experiences chronic headaches, neck pain, dizziness and struggles with any task that requires the craning of her neck.
Contact a brain lawyer today if this sounds familiar to you.