The Long Road Back, Episode II

A young man we first profiled earlier this summer continues to make slow but steady progress as he recovers from a serious brain injury.

Doctors did not expect Luke Burnham to recover after a car hit him and threw him thirty feet in the air. Mr. Burnham arrived minimally conscious at a Houston hospital with crushed bones and a serious brain injury. About a month later, specialists recall that he could finally move his left hand. A short time later, doctors put Mr. Burnham on a self-pedaling bike, and his recovery started to gain momentum. Doctors released him from the hospital so he could begin classes this fall for his senior year at St. Louis Catholic High School, where he is now an honor roll student. Mr. Burnham’s short-term goal is to be free of his wheelchair in time to walk across the stage this coming spring; after graduation, he wants to attend medical school and become a pediatrician.

“Some people, I’ve noticed, they talk to me like I’m stupid. I am most definitely not stupid,” he remarked.

Serious Brain Injury Causes

Over 1.3 million Americans are rushed to hospital emergency rooms every year after they suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs); young children, older teens, and older adults are the most at-risk age groups. Serious brain injuries most often result from either a jolt to the head or a blow to the head, in situations like:

  • Motor Vehicle Crashes: Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to these kinds of injuries, because they are completely unprotected in these crashes. However, motor vehicle occupants are at risk as well, because serious crashes nearly always involve both blows to the head and jarring motions, even if the occupants are restrained.
  • Falls: Young children often stumble into doors and other objects, older teens often take on more bodily stress than they can handle physically, and older adults often fall.
  • Sudden Loud Noises: Doctors believe that explosive blasts create invisible shock waves that significantly disrupt brain functions.

Victims in all these cases are typically entitled to compensation for both their economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, including pain and suffering.

Recovery from Serious Brain Injuries

Physical therapy expenses are also part of economic damages, and this is significant in these cases, because brain injury victims nearly always face very long recoveries. Until only a few years ago, doctors thought that patients would either quickly respond to physical therapy or they would not respond at all. However, the latest research indicates that longer and more intense therapy generates much better results. In fact, in laboratory tests, animals that were essentially in vegetative states recovered 50 percent of their functions after extensive therapy.

Serious brain injuries normally have very long recovery periods. For a free consultation, contact Lee Hoffoss or T-Claude Devall, your experienced Lake Charles personal injury attorneys from Hoffoss Devall. We take care of your medical bills, so you can focus on getting better.