Car, truck and bus accidents happen every day in Ontario. Serious car accidents in Kingston and Ottawa often result in serious injuries, such as:
- multiple fractures throughout the body,
- internal bleeding,
- organ ruptures, and/or
- brain injuries.
Typically, when drivers and passengers sustain serious catastrophic injuries, their orthopedic injuries are often attended to first. If drivers and passengers suffer brain injuries, unfortunately, those are the injuries that are treated last, and sometimes they may not even be treated at all. This is especially true after mild traumatic brain injuries because they often go undiagnosed immediately after a car accident.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury vs. Traumatic Brain Injury
In general, an individual who suffers from a mild traumatic brain injury does not lose consciousness for a period of time as a result of the motor vehicle accident. Further, brain imaging studies, such as MRIs and CAT scans, will not show any actual damage to the person’s brain.
On the other hand, an individual who suffers from a traumatic brain injury typically loses consciousness in the motor vehicle accident. This often happens after the driver/passenger suffers a violent blow to the head. The driver/passenger’s head may hit the steering wheel, dashboard, side window, or even the front windshield if the driver/passenger is ejected from the vehicle.
Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury can be separated into 3 categories: physical, emotional/behavioural and cognitive.
Some of the physical symptoms include:
- blurred or double vision, or
- sensitivity to light or noise.
Some of the behavioural/emotional symptoms include:
- depression, or
Some of cognitive symptoms include:
- feeling “slowed down,”
- feeling “in a fog” or “dazed,”
- difficulty concentrating, or
- difficulty with short and long term memory.
Drivers and passengers who have mild traumatic brain injuries may not know that they have one until after they leave the hospital and return to their daily activities. In the hospital, they may feel some of the physical and behavioural symptoms, but won’t experience the cognitive symptoms or impairments until they attempt to return to their daily activities. Therefore, injured individuals may think that they are just tired or a little depressed from being in a car accident and may not suspect they have a mild traumatic brain injury.
When they return to their regular activities, such as being a mom, a computer programmer, an administrative assistant or a teacher, they start to see the cognitive impairments. For example, a teacher teaching her class may have difficulty retrieving a word that she wants to use in a sentence or she may even use the wrong word. A computer programmer may sit in front of the computer and not remember how to write a program she has written hundreds of times before. A mom may not remember that she has to bring her kids to 3 different soccer games in one weekend.
Therefore, it is imperative for drivers and passengers who are in car accidents to immediately return to see their physicians if they have any of the symptoms listed above. Getting the proper medical treatment is crucial, and it will also impact the amount of benefits the drivers/passengers may receive from their car insurance companies.
Help After Suffering a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury as a Result of an Ontario Car Accident
If you suspect that you suffered a mild traumatic brain injury after a motor vehicle accident in Ontario, the lawyers at Bergeron Clifford can help. The car accident lawyers at Bergeron Clifford will help guide you through the process of filing accident benefits claims and filing a car accident lawsuit. Call 1-866-384-5886 to schedule a FREE consultation.