When people are injured in any kind of serious accident, they’re normally relieved just to find they’re still alive. Oregon serious injury lawyers, however, have warned accident victims to be on the look-out for damage that may take a few days after the accident to become obvious.
A classic example of this occurred last March, when a Texas defense attorney was attending a concert. A piece of camera equipment fell on 42-year-old Patrick Faberberg’s head, and he was taken to a local emergency room to be treated for what were thought at the time to be minor injuries. Problems arose after two or three days, when the accident victim realized he was having serious problems that ultimately turned out to be the result of the injuries he’d sustained at the concert. The complications included:
- Forming sentences
- Organizing his thoughts
- Becoming highly emotional and foul-tempered
- An inability to even understand his friends’ jokes
- Constant trembling in his right hand
- Immediate problems with his career and relationships with family members
Faberberg explains, “I’m still smart. I still have the ability to think, but it’s random. Thought processes are very different. I know what I want to say, but I have a hard time saying it.”
His brother, who works with Faberberg, said he couldn’t imagine his brother standing in front of a judge or arguing with a prosecuting attorney in his current state.
TBIs are Hard to Diagnose – Watch for Signs
Faberberg went to a specialist and was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. On the advice of doctors, he walked away from his 13-year law practice and handed the entire business over to his brother Charlie. Faberberg doesn’t ever expect to be able to work again.
Faberberg then did something he admitted he never thought he would do. He contacted a serious injury lawyer and filed a lawsuit. The facts of the case were as follows:
- On March 19, 2011, Faberberg took his girlfriend, Courtney Miller, to see Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark play a concert on the final night of SXSW.
- Moments after OMD came on stage, a moving crane used to provide high-angle photography views, known as a jib, fell and hit Faberberg on the head.
- Faberberg was knocked to the ground. Miller said she saw blood pool around his head
- Though he thought he was all right immediately after the accident, Miller made him sit and wait until an ambulance arrived to take him to a local hospital
- He was given a CT scan at the hospital, and a doctor stitched the large gash to his head. He was released after six or seven hours with the instructions to “take care of your wound.”
- For the first two days after the accident, Faberberg assumed he had only received a bad flesh wound, but then, quite suddenly, he began having difficulties putting even short sentences together.
From that point on, Faberberg found himself unable to naturally connect with the people around him, either professionally or emotionally. That included Miller, who said she still doesn’t fully understand what has happened.
Brain Injuries Lawyers Urge – Get the Help You Need
When Faberberg sought specialist help, it was confirmed that he had received what Oregon serious injury lawyers refer to as a closed-head injury, and he was suffering from post-concussive syndrome. Dr. William Bruce Jones, a clinical neuropsychologist, said Faberberg suffered frontal lobe damage. According to Dr. Jones, “That the part of the brain that allows you to attend and concentrate and control your speed of processing. Also, your emotional controls are frontal lobe skills.”
The problems Faberberg has encountered have been extremely severe and have even landed him in court…as a defendant. Ongoing problems have included:
- No longer possessing the mental capacity or thought processes necessary to represent his clients, according to Faberberg himself
- An inclination to act impulsively, without thinking of consequences. When a friend suggested to Faberberg that they should jump onto the field at a U.S. vs Panama soccer game, Faberberg took the friend seriously and ended up being arrested and going to court, charged with a Class C misdemeanor.
- Emotional deterioration when dealing with complex, confusing or over-stimulating situations
Five of the six defendants in Faberberg’s lawsuit have already filed denials of liability. They include SXSW Inc., the company that organized the concert; Stubb’s Austin Restaurant, the venue; concert promoter Steve Madden; jib camera operator Michael Brown, and video company Onslot Creative. Only W3 Event Specialists, who provided security, has yet to file an answer regarding liability.
Oregon serious injury lawyers know that cases such as Faberberg’s can be complicated by a wide range of factors. Three other people, who also say they were injured when the boom fell, have intervened in this suit.
For Faberberg, not working is not an option, but he doesn’t feel qualified to represent clients any longer. He says if he fails them, they could spend years or decades behind bars, and it wouldn’t be ethical of him to carry on in his chosen profession. However, he did not take out long term disability insurance, so he faces an uncertain future, emotionally as well as professionally.
“Even family doesn’t understand,” Faberberg said in an interview. His eyes filled with tears as he said, “You look the same and talk the same, but you’re not the same.”
The worrying thing about Faberberg’s injury, and a factor the defendants will no doubt attempt to exploit, is that Faberberg himself told people he was fine immediately after the accident and for two days after it happened. But he wasn’t all right, and now his personal and professional life has been damaged to such an extent, it will probably never be the same again.
An Oregon serious injury lawyer encourages anyone who has been in an accident where they received a blow to the head to seek immediate, urgent, specialist evaluation. Even though you may feel ok immediately after the accident, it’s quite possible that you could have suffered a traumatic brain injury, and the longer you delay filing a claim, the more negatively your case will be affected.
The message is, “Don’t delay.” Get the medical help you need and then contact a good personal injury attorney to guide you through the often highly complicated process of filing a claim and getting the compensation you need and deserve.