This week, an Orlando jury will hear a Florida brain injury lawsuit brought by the daughter of a man hit by a municipal bus. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Gwendolyn Gill of Connecticut is suing over the injuries to her father, Robert Lee Jones. Jones was 71 when he was hit by a LYNX bus while crossing a street in Midway. The report said the collision broke the front window of the bus. Jones did not die then, but lived for 15 more months in medical facilities, or a nursing home, before dying of pneumonia. Gill is suing the municipal bus authority for her father’s medical costs, as well as his pain and suffering.
According to the Sentinel, the plaintiff and the defense offered different accounts of the accident. The accident took place as Jones was crossing the street at 9:40 p.m. in September of 2003. Gill’s attorney told the jury that the bus driver ran a stop sign and made such a wide right turn that the nose of the bus intruded into the grass on the far side of the road, where Jones was standing. The defense, by contrast, said Jones was 50 feet from the intersection, outside the crosswalk where drivers expect to find pedestrians. Jones made progress in his recovery after the accident, the defense said, but it was complicated by his preexisting dementia and cancer.
It’s impossible to know whose claims are true. But thanks to my experience as a Fort Lauderdale brain injury lawyer, I know it would be exceptional for a 71-year-old man to make significant progress in a serious brain injury. Unfortunately, older people are less resilient than others — but even healthy young people can never fully recover from a brain injury. Brain tissue does not heal like most of the other tissues of the body, so a serious brain injury permanently robs its victim of some abilities. Dementia can only complicate those problems. The victim is likely to be left at least a little disabled, and may need months of rehabilitation or a lifetime of full-time care.
These medical needs can be staggeringly expensive, particularly for a victim on a fixed income. Nursing home care alone costs tens of thousands of dollars a year, and medical expenses for a serious brain injury can easily reach into six figures. When the injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness — as alleged in this lawsuit — victims and their families have the right to sue for all of the costs of the injury. That includes the cost of all medical care and support care the victim needs, as well as any income he or she lost and compensation for pain, suffering and life with a permanent disability.
If you or someone you love has suffered this sort of serious brain damage because of a negligent driver, you should speak to the Broward County brain injury attorneys at Cohn, Smith & Cohn. We have more than 25 years of experience with cases of very serious injuries, which means we have the expertise and experience to make our clients’ cases thoroughly and successfully. To learn more about your options at a free, confidential consultation, please contact Cohn, Smith & Cohn today or call our main Coral Springs office at (954) 431-8100.