Parents in Ontario will certainly empathize with the plight of a family in another province who has to cope with the multiple challenges of caring for a 21-year-old man who can no longer do anything for himself. This can happen to any family — especially as long as there are motorists on the roads who choose to drive while intoxicated. It was a drunk teenage driver that turned the lives of this family upside down around Christmas in 2015 when he caused an accident that resulted in their son suffering traumatic brain injuries.
While walking home after a Christmas party, the young man was struck by an ATV and catapulted approximately 200 feet through the air. The victim barely survived, and remained hospitalized until mid-March this year. While excited to have him home, his condition of total dependency has changed not only his life but also the lives of his loved ones. The challenges affect them on both financial and emotional levels.
They have had to employ eight care workers to provide 24-hour care. A bachelor’s flat that is attached to their house had to be modified to accommodate the wheelchair and all his limitations. His wheelchair had to be replaced by one that could better support his tall frame. The family is now working on gathering funds to purchase a van that could accommodate the wheelchair. Until then, he is housebound — even his trips to the hospital for checkups have to be in the back of an ambulance because the family vehicles cannot hold his wheelchair.
The young man’s father expressed his unhappiness with the fact that the drunk driver’s sentence consisted of only probation and community service. Regardless, civil lawsuits can be filed against drunk drivers whose negligence caused damage such as brain injuries or more to others. Although recovery of financial and emotional losses can be pursued by filing a personal injury lawsuit, the support and guidance of an experienced Ontario lawyer may be required to calculate current costs and estimate life-long expenses. Substantiating the documented claims may also be a task best left to a skilled personal injury lawyer.
Source: CBC News Newfoundland & Labrador, “Young man traumatically injured is home, but family can’t forgive drunk driver“, Colleen Connors, June 30, 2017