Is It “Bonjour” or “Buongiorno”? Car Accident Victim Wakes Up Speaking a Different Language

Is It “Bonjour” or “Buongiorno”? Car Accident Victim Wakes Up Speaking a Different Language

An Italian man who sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) now lives, speaks, and acts like a lifelong Frenchman.

Before the 50-year-old man suffered his injury, he showed no interest whatsoever in French culture. Now “J.C.,” as researchers call him, is obsessed with French movies, cuisine and literature. He speaks staccato-style French that is full of inaccuracies and often poses in caricature style. Researchers also noted that he continues to write in Italian.

Compulsive foreign language syndrome, which is a vascular anomaly, is a rare but medically recognized condition.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Car Accidents in New York

Friends and loved ones of the estimated 1.7 million Americans who sustain TBIs each year know all too well that there is nothing amusing, or even unusual, about this story. In fact, a radical personality change is one of the most common secondary symptoms of a serious brain injury. Men who would not even touch aspirin or caffeine before their injuries suddenly develop substance abuse problems, while women who were docile and easygoing before their accident become hot tempered or even violent. And children who were effusive and bubbly may suddenly become sullen and withdrawn.

These secondary symptoms, along with chronic headaches, trouble sleeping and tinnitus (ringing in the ears), often appear because the immediate symptoms, like nausea and partial loss of consciousness, can be easily missed or misdiagnosed as early onset dementia in older folks and shock in younger victims. Eventually, many TBI victims lose bodily functions and encounter serious health problems as a result of their accident-related injuries. Although the injuries themselves are irreversible, the symptoms can be managed through aggressive medical treatment and physical therapy.

People over the age of 65 and under the age of 14 are the most at-risk age groups, but anyone can sustain a TBI. The most common causes of traumatic head injuries in New York include:

  • Motor Vehicle Collisions: All crashes have two impacts – the vehicle-to-vehicle impact and the occupant-vehicle impact. The secondary impacts often cause brain injuries.
  • Falls: Whether it is a fall from a height, a missed stair step, or banging into a door or table, the impact on the brain is very much the same.
  • Sudden Loud Noises: Scientists believe that explosive blasts and other events create shock waves that disrupt brain activity.

Other causes of traumatic brain injuries include assaults and physical contact during sporting events. Victims in all of these cases are ordinarily entitled to compensation for both their economic damages, like medical bills, and their noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering.


Brain injury victims and their families may be in line for significant financial compensation. For a free consultation with experienced personal injury attorneys who stand up for victims, contact Proner & Proner today and arrange a no-cost consultation at one of our NY offices. We do not charge upfront legal fees in personal injury cases.


Last year we recovered over $15 million for our clients. With that money, our clients are able to pay their medical bills. They are getting their lives back on track after serious injuries and they are holding to account the people who wrongfully injured them.


$1,100,000.00 - Female, 35: Motorcyclist hit by oncoming traffic

Our client was riding on the back of a motorcycle going south when the defendant heading north made a left hand turn in front of the client, causing the accident.
Injuries: Fractured left leg which required surgery

We understand motorcyclists because we ride


$5,100,000.00 - Female, 43: Cyclist hit by truck

Our client was riding her bicycle when a truck was turning and came up onto the sidewalk. Our client went to back up and the truck struck her.
Injuries: Catastrophic injuries to entire right side of body below the waist resulting in amputation of the right leg and hind quarter; bladder rupture; multiple rib and spinal fractures.

$3,500,000.00 - Female, 33: Serious personal injury

Our client fell down the stairs and was knocked unconscious at a New York City
subway station.
Injuries: Fractured skull, subsequent seizure disorder.

$4,300,000.00 - Male, 63: Pedestrian hit by bus

Our client was crossing a street when a bus hit a car and the car spun and hit him.
Injuries: Traumatic brain injury; fractured shoulder.

$750,000.00 - Male, 35: Workers' compensation

Our client was changing a pump strainer on a hot air furnace when he stepped on a board and fell through the ceiling.
Injuries: Herniated disc which required surgery.

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