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Pedestrian With Traumatic Brain Injury Wakes From Coma With Foreign Accent

Last November, 24-year-old Los Angeles resident Summer Diaz was innocently crossing the street at a crosswalk when she was struck down by a negligent driver in an SUV. Diaz’s injuries were significant, including a broken shoulder and pelvis and a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that resulted in a two-week-long induced coma. Upon awakening from her comatose state in the hospital, Diaz quickly realized that something was amiss—she had developed a foreign accent.

Her doctors diagnosed used MRI imaging to diagnose Diaz with foreign accent syndrome, which is a rare condition that alters the accent of someone who has undergone brain damage. As her recovery from her injuries progresses, Diaz has gone through several accents. Originally, her accent was Australian. Then it transformed into a British accent. Then French, and then Russian. The good news is that the condition, while not treatable, will eventually subside on its own.

Life-Altering Pedestrian Accident

Diaz, who works with autistic children, says that her TBI-inducted accent causes problems for her in her work. She says the accent sometimes switches by the day, making it difficult for the kids she works with to understand her. From a physical standpoint, Diaz is considered permanently disabled due to her injuries, but she continues to work reduced hours, relying on a cane, wheelchair, and caregiver to help her get around and handle daily living activities.

Public Health Officials: LA County Hot Spot for Pedestrian Fatalities

Diaz’s case gives a ring of truth to data indicating that LA County is a hotbed of pedestrian accidents and deaths. Based on data retrieved from the Governors Highway Safety Association, the County of Los Angeles’ Public Health Department reports that Los Angeles County has a track record of having more pedestrian deaths than any other county in the nation.

How well pedestrians injured in car crashes fare in Los Angeles, public health officials say, depends largely on the speed at the time of the accident. Pedestrians hit at speeds less than 20 miles per hour succumbed to their injuries 2 percent of the time, while those hit at speeds greater than that threshold tended to die 8 percent of the time. Still, all pedestrians struck by motor vehicles are subject to injury, disability, and death.

Top causes of pedestrian accidents include speeding, texting while driving, driver inattention, drivers who drink or do drugs behind the wheel, and fatigued driving. Road conditions and foul weather are also significant causes of horrible pedestrian accidents.

Injured on Foot? Let Us Help You

People who disobey the very traffic laws put into place to keep everyone safe must be held accountable for their negligent actions, including drivers who blow through crosswalks with reckless disregard for pedestrians walking there.

At JML Law, we have spent more than 40 years standing up for the rights of and advocating for victims and their families in the aftermath of traumatic accidents such as the one that led to the pedestrian’s injuries in this case. Our Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney stands ready to provide knowledgeable, aggressive, and compassionate representation to work for your pedestrian accident claim. Get the ball rolling on justice for your case—reach out to us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling us at 818-610-8800.


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Our Los Angeles car accident law firm accepts cases on referral from other lawyers throughout California. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at 818-610-8800 or send us an email.

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