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Brain injuries of van-attack survivor prevented nightmares

by | Dec 16, 2020 | Brain Injuries |

A 70-year-old woman who survived the Ontario van attack in April 2018 says the recent virtual court procedures were difficult. This is because the brain injuries she suffered at the time caused amnesia that left her with no memory of the actual accident. The court procedures made her understand why her journey since that day has been so difficult.

On that day, she walked from the bank to the library when a 28-year-old man drove his van onto the sidewalk, busy with many pedestrians. The van smashed into 26 people, 10 of whom did not survive. This victim says she did not see the vehicle approaching. She was struck from behind, and the impact launched her into the air. She crashed through a bus shelter, covered with glass shards.

Reportedly, she suffered broken ribs, and a fractured spine, pelvis and scapula. Furthermore, she also suffered internal injuries and massive bruising, along with brain injuries. She says the brain trauma left her with only bits of what happened in the two weeks following the accident and without any actual incident memories. Focusing was a struggle, and she could not read for several months afterward.

Her rehabilitation included two years of hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, massage therapy and counselling. The van’s driver admitted to planning the attack but pleaded not guilty to criminal charges, claiming an autism spectrum disorder. Regardless of the criminal case outcome, the Ontario civil justice system allows victims of brain injuries and other trauma caused by the negligence of another party to seek financial relief. A successfully presented personal injury lawsuit can lead to a monetary judgment to cover financial and emotional damages.