Lionel Smith is a 32-year-old single father who has lived in California all his life. His son has just turned eight and Lionel earns a decent living as a copywriter who does most of his work from their two-bedroom home.
He has recently cashed out some of his investments at just the right time: He’s decided to use the money from his successful investments to take his son on a short holiday to a California hotel – and if there’s any money left over after this, he would like to invest some of it again to ensure that his son has a stronger chance at a future when he goes to college one day.
The first day at the hotel is nothing short of spectacular: Lionel realizes just why people love the California beachfront as much as they do. He spends a great day at the beach with his son and even lands a few great pitch e-mails while they’re spending time on the beach.
On their way through the hotel lobby, Lionel heard a loud cracking noise and looked up just in time to see a piece of the hotel’s ceiling cave in.
He manages to push his son away from the accident, but a piece of debris from the ceiling comes down straight on his head. Lionel is knocked unconscious from the impact, and this is the last part of the scene that he remembers.
His son manages to point out the first emergency number to call, and the hotel phones Lionel’s father and calls an ambulance to make sure his son gets to medical care.
At the hospital, Lionel regains consciousness.
His father tells him that it’s already been two weeks since the accident happened. The consequence of the debris hitting his head was worse than they initially thought, and the scans showed damage to the brain that could impair Lionel’s movement capacity for life.
The impact from the debris had been enough to cause an open brain injury. When Lionel woke up in hospital, the doctor lets him know that it’s going to take at least another round of surgeries to repair the damage - and after his, Lionel can experience a range of side-effects for the rest of his life in addition to a long healing time ahead.
Lionel and his father agree that it would be better for him to give up the lease to his apartment: For at least the time following his surgery, Lionel and his son move back in with his parents.
This feels like a major setback for Lionel and the future he had planned for his son. For the next year, he is unable to work and has to rely on his parents for care. He loses some of his regular clients during this time and realizes just how much work and time it’s going to take in order to get back to where he was before the accident.
The hotel refuses to admit negligence on their part for the collapsed ceiling, and instead blame a third-party company for the damage.
Life goes on from there for everyone except Lionel and his family. The consequences of the brain injury are severe.
Not only does it mean he is forced into a recovery time of several months, it also means that he has lifelong symptoms resulting from the original injury, including nerve damage and lifelong epilepsy that had been triggered as a direct result of the brain injury he had sustained in the accident.
After the accident, Lionel feels his entire body affected by what has happened and chronic headaches also become part of his life from there.
Contact a Brain Injury Law Firm if the fact pattern referenced above sounds familiar.