Common ways that people in Los Angeles injure their brains can involve accidents on the road or at work, or contact sports like football. Of course, there are many more activities, some of them seemingly safe, that could lead to a traumatic brain injury — if things go wrong due to someone else’s negligence.

A teenage girl’s life may have been altered forever because of injuries she suffered while playing an inflatable sumo wrestling game last year. The girl went to a school event that featured the chance to put on an inflatable suit and “wrestle” an opponent in a ring.

The suit included a helmet, but the girl’s mother believes that the school and the party company that supplied the equipment failed to ensure that the helmet was properly fitted on her head. When the girl played the game, she was knocked over and hit her head outside the ring three times.

She experienced blurred vision, dizziness and nausea, and was rushed to the hospital. She later lost the ability to speak, and seemed to regress intellectually. Her mother, who has sued the school and the party company, says the girl has become withdrawn and anxious as well.

Cases like this show why brain injuries are taken so seriously. What may seem at first to be a minor bump on the head can cause serious harm. The victim may never recover, or it may be years before he or she is close to the same as before the injury occurred.

Source: Miami Herald, “Lawsuit: Inflatable sumo wrestling led to brain injury at Miami-Dade charter school,” David Ovalle, July 22, 2014