A report released in Ontario brings light to the facts about one of the most potentially debilitating categories of personal injury. The Ontario Brain Injury Association published a statistical account of brain injuries in the province, including the impact they have on survivors. Some of the numbers are astonishing and may be of great interest to those afflicted, and their loved ones.
Looking specifically at acquired brain injuries (ABI), of the approximately 18,000 new cases in the province each year, 40 percent were caused by an automobile accident. In total, 55 percent of brain injuries were the result of trauma suffered in a vehicular accident of some kind, including bicycles, motorcycles and RVs. This number also includes pedestrians struck by vehicles.
Frighteningly, 82 percent of those surveyed lost consciousness at some point, with durations ranging from minutes to years. Not surprisingly, 83 percent reported suffering amnesia to some degree, with 95 percent experiencing persistent difficulty remembering things subsequent to an acquired brain injury.
Other “invisible symptoms” of brain injury commonly reported included trouble concentrating, learning new information and making decisions. Some of the debilitating effects of brain injuries indicated by respondents included vision loss, hearing loss, seizures and dizziness. About 20 percent required using a cane, and 17 percent now use a wheelchair or a scooter for mobility.
One of the most important statistics to emerge from this survey concerns the ability to work after a brain injury. While three out of four people said they were working before suffering a brain injury, an amazing 87 percent said they were no longer working for pay following their accident. Add to that the large number of people who reported a diminished ability to care for themselves, and the cost of therapy and counseling undertaken by many, it is not difficult to imagine there can be a profound financial impact on brain injury survivors.
Brain injuries may form the most significant category of personal injury because of the wide-range of effects they can have on a survivor’s life. Individuals who suffer a traumatic injury may wish to seek counsel from a personal injury lawyer with experience fighting brain injury cases in Ontario.