Reporter Dorian Hargrove’s story in the San Diego Reader details the events of San Diego resident Dorian, a traumatic brain injury survivor, following his September 22, 2010 accident. The story chronicles the events following the young San Diego man who suffered a catastrophic brain injury. His life took a devastating turn of events when one afternoon he decided to take his dog for a walk. His dog was pulling him down a street on his skateboard and, as they past a construction site, the wheels of his skateboard hit a crack in the pavement. The skate board stopped abruptly launching him into the air causing him to strike the right side of his forehead on the pavement. Initially there were no apparent signs of major injury when a neighbor came to his aide. At first Dorian refused any help, but as a precaution was transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital by the Fire Department. A cat scan showed signs of bruising and bleeding of the frontal lobes of his brain, so the doctors put him into an induced coma. Over the following days, due to continued swelling of his brain, doctors had to remove parts of his skull to alleviate the pressure on his brain. He also developed other complications including two cases of pneumonia, which almost caused his death.
Applicable California Law
The party doing the construction whether it be, an independent contractor, the City, or the County could be potently liable for creating a dangerous condition. If the defect, which caused Dorian’s fall was due to the construction, a timely notice of claim must be filed with the government agency doing the construction, and or whoever hired the contractor that was performing the work. If an independent contractor caused the dangerous condition, negligent hiring or supervision by the public entity must be established as provided by Government Code 851.4. If the construction was being performed by an independent contractor they would also be liable for any negligence. The owner of the property where Dorian was injured could also be held liable, if a condition of the property contributed to causing his injury, if the owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and did not take reasonable steps to correct it. However, Dorian’s decision of not to wear a helmet and have his dog pull him by it’s leash, will have a significant affect on the value of his claim due to it being a contributing factors in causing his injuries.
In many cases, like Dorian, people do not appreciate the nature and extent of their injuries and delay in getting medical treatment, which can be life threatening. Catastrophic and devastating injuries can happen at any time and usually when least expected. Dorian’s story underscores how one’s life can change in an instant. Having the experience to identify the available resources and know how to comply with time deadlines, is beyond most people’s knowledge. If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury or any serious injury due to construction site negligence, premises liability, auto accident, or other wrongful conduct contact an experienced personal injury attorney.