BRAIN INJURIES & CONCUSSIONS

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    Home > Practice Areas > Brain Injuries and Concussions

    Head and brain injuries can be devastating, often constituting some of the most traumatic experiences our clients and their families encounter. Just like injuries to other parts of your body, a brain injury can drastically alter your capability to perform tasks, such as moving, working, and caring for your family. In many cases, a brain injury can also fundamentally change who you are and how you interact with the world around you. These catastrophic injuries deserve to be handled with the utmost care, and our team of seasoned lawyers is prepared to support you should you be considering a brain injury claim.

    How Brain Injuries and Concussions Occur

    Brain injuries and concussions can arise in various situations and through different mechanisms. It’s important to understand how these injuries can happen to ensure the appropriate medical care is pursued should one of these incidents happen to you or a loved one.

    Motor Vehicle Accidents

    Motor vehicle accidents, including car, motorcycle, or bicycle crashes, can be a cause of brain injuries and concussions.

    The sudden impact or jolt experienced during motor vehicle collisions can cause a brain injury. Despite the use of safety measures like seatbelts and helmets, these accidents can lead to substantial harm.

    Slips and Falls

    Falls are a leading cause of brain injuries, especially among young children and older adults. Slip and falls at home, workplace accidents, or falls from heights can result in head trauma. In these situations, the head or body may strike a hard surface or experience a sudden jolt, leading to brain injuries. Injury in Review, 2020 Edition: Spotlight on Traumatic Brain Injuries Across the Life Course notes that “Between 2006/07 and 2017/18, there were 399,376 hospitalizations for head injuries, and falls were the leading cause of hospitalization for a head injury.”

    Workplace Accidents

    Certain occupations pose a higher risk of brain injuries. Construction workers, industrial workers, or those in physically demanding professions may be susceptible to falls from heights, being struck by objects, or being involved in machinery accidents, leading to brain injuries and concussions.

    Sports and Recreational Activities

    Participating in contact sports such as football, hockey, or boxing can expose individuals to the risk of brain injuries and concussions. High-impact collisions, falls, or direct blows to the head can result in significant trauma to the brain. Additionally, recreational activities like biking, skateboarding, or skiing, which involve a risk of falls or collisions, can also lead to these injuries.

    It’s crucial to note that brain injuries and concussions can happen to anyone, irrespective of their age or physical activity level. Preventive measures, such as wearing protective gear during sports activities, adhering to safety regulations at work, and exercising caution in daily life, can help reduce the risk of these injuries.

    Brain Injury Statistics

    Brain Injury Canada compiles statistics on brain injuries throughout the country based on medical reports from doctors and hospitals. These statistics encompass various conditions linked to brain injuries, including stroke, concussion, and brain tumours.

    • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of disability globally. In Canada, 2% of the population lives with a TBI, and there are 18,000 hospitalizations for TBI each year.

    If you or a loved one has experienced a brain injury or concussion due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, it’s important to seek legal guidance to understand your rights. Our personal injury law firm specializes in handling such cases and can provide the support and advocacy you need to pursue a fair compensation claim.

    Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injuries and Concussions

    After an accident of any kind, it’s common to feel disoriented and confused about the event. Some victims may experience signs of brain injuries right away, while others may experience a delayed onset of symptoms. In any case, receiving prompt and appropriate medical attention is crucial. By seeking timely medical care, you not only prioritize your well-being but also ensure accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

    Recognizing the signs and symptoms of brain injuries can be difficult, as symptoms can vary depending on the severity and specific location of the injury. Here are some common signs and symptoms to be aware of:

    Physical Symptoms

    • Persistent headache or head pressure
    • Dizziness or loss of balance
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Sensitivity to light or noise
    • Blurred or altered vision
    • Fatigue or drowsiness
    • Seizures or convulsions
    • Loss of consciousness (in severe cases)

    Cognitive and Mental Symptoms

    • Memory lapses or amnesia
    • Confusion or disorientation
    • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
    • Delayed thinking or information processing
    • Difficulty with problem-solving or decision-making
    • Changes in behaviour or personality
    • Emotional instability or mood fluctuations
    • Anxiety or depression

    Sensory Symptoms

    • Issues with sensory processing (e.g., heightened sensitivity to stimuli)
    • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
    • Changes in taste or smell
    • Difficulty speaking or comprehending language (aphasia)

    Sleep Disturbances

    • Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep
    • Excessive sleepiness or drowsiness
    • Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping more or less than usual)

    Remember, some symptoms may not appear immediately and can emerge hours or days after the incident. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs or symptoms following a head injury or accident, seeking immediate medical attention is crucial. A healthcare professional can evaluate the situation, conduct appropriate tests, and provide necessary treatment or referrals to specialists in order to ensure the best possible outcome and recovery.

    Seeking Medical Attention for Brain Injuries and Concussions

    Regardless of whether you are considering pursuing a legal claim for a brain injury, seeking medical attention is crucial to your overall well-being. Medical professionals can provide the proper advice, guidance, and diagnostic treatments to ensure you receive the care you need. Key points to consider:

    1. Importance of professional evaluation: While some symptoms may seem minor initially, they should never be ignored. Even seemingly mild concussions can have serious underlying complications. It’s crucial to consult a medical professional who specializes in brain injuries and concussions for an accurate diagnosis.
    2. Diagnostic procedures and imaging techniques: Medical professionals may employ various diagnostic procedures to assess the severity of the injury and identify any associated complications. These may include neurological examinations, cognitive tests, imaging methods like CT scans and MRIs, and other specialized evaluations.
    3. Collaboration with healthcare professionals: Seeking medical attention for brain injuries and concussions involves a multidisciplinary approach. Neurologists, neuropsychologists, and other specialists may be involved in the diagnostic process and ongoing treatment. Collaborating with these experts can ensure comprehensive care tailored to your specific needs.
    4. Monitoring and follow-up care: After an initial evaluation, your healthcare team will provide guidance on monitoring symptoms, potential red flags, and the importance of follow-up appointments. Regular check-ups allow healthcare professionals to track your progress, address any emerging issues, and adjust the treatment plan as necessary.

    Timely medical attention not only supports your recovery but also plays a vital role in documenting your injury for potential legal proceedings. At Bergeron Clifford, we understand the significance of medical records and can assist you in obtaining the necessary documentation to build a strong case.

    By prioritizing your health and seeking appropriate medical attention, you take a crucial step towards understanding the extent of your brain injury or concussion, receiving proper treatment, and protecting your legal rights.

    Legal Options for Brain Injury and Concussion Victims

    While you pursue the necessary therapy and rehabilitation for your brain injury, you may be unable to return to work or cover mounting medical bills related to your recovery. Filing a lawsuit against the entity at fault for your injury isn’t just about securing the fair compensation you deserve to help with these expenses, it’s also about securing the opportunity for you to live life as close to how you once did before your injury.

    At Bergeron Clifford, our trusted brain injury and concussion lawyers will work with you to understand the accident, your injury, and your circumstances. We have you covered every step of the way, and we will work towards recovering compensation for the following:

    • Pain and suffering
    • Support for loss of income and inability to work
    • Cost coverage for physical, emotional and mental rehabilitation
    • Reimbursement for the cost of assistive devices
    • Long-term medical and home care cost coverage

    How Our Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help

    We believe that the true strength of a law firm shows in how it represents clients with traumatic brain injuries. At Bergeron Clifford, our reputation is built on active listening, empathy, and action. Our attorneys are experienced and have successful track records at getting our clients the fair compensation they deserve.

    • Our lawyers can help you determine what help you need, both legally and medically. We can connect you with qualified medical professionals to determine the extent of your injuries, financial professionals to calculate your economic losses over your lifetime, and rehabilitation specialists to help you recover or adapt to your injuries.
    • We operate on a contingency basis, which means our firm will incur the costs of any documentation or filings on your behalf. Our team only gets paid when you do — ensuring your needs are put first and foremost throughout your case.

    Brain injuries and concussions are an area of particular interest and concern to us. We are strong advocates of the Ontario Brain Injury Association and Brain Injury Association Quinte District. One of our tenured lawyers, Ted Bergeron, is also a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of Southeastern Ontario.

    A Brain Injury Case Explained by Ted Bergeron

    What’s the difference between a great lawyer and a good one?

    Not much. The same applies for almost every area of the workforce. The margin between career success and failure can be razor thin for some.

    Brain injury can move the needle just enough to bring careers, lives and worlds crashing down.

    Bergeron Clifford represented an internationally renowned researcher (IRR) who was sought out for her expertise by companies and academics worldwide.  Little did she know, she was going to need a concussion lawyer. As her life changed on a beautiful afternoon in September 2016.

    IRR sat in her red Toyota Rav4, facing southbound on Sir John A. MacDonald Blvd at its intersection with Princess Street in Kingston. The light was red. She waited patiently. The light turned green and she began to move her car forward.

    From her left hand side, a black Nissan Rogue flew into the intersection, through the red light, and smashed into her driver’s side door.

    Our client was dazed and confused. She was in terrible pain but nothing was broken and she hoped her symptoms would pass. And they did, the physical symptoms in any event. But not the most troubling of her symptoms.

    When the two cars collided, IRR’s head was twisted, whipped and rotated. Her brain smashed into the bony surfaces of the interior of her skull. The damage to brain tissue was not life-threatening. As is often the case, medical imaging, including MRI, did not show any physical damage to her brain. Most concussions do not show up on medical imaging, yet they are the product of physical brain damage, sometimes at the microscopic level. IRR was diagnosed with a minor traumatic brain injury.

    The phrase used for this diagnosis is grossly misleading. IRR’s minor traumatic brain injury causes a host of problems, including cognitive fatigue, headaches, irritability, visual disturbances, impaired attention and memory difficulties. These are difficult symptoms for anyone to manage, but for a world-class scientist, they can spell the end of her career.

    Our brain injury lawyers had two jobs. The first was to ensure she had access to all the medical care and therapy she needed to make every effort to save her career. It was her life. The second was to ensure that the at-fault driver and her insurance company provided fair compensation for IRR’s loss.

    To ensure IRR has full access to rehabilitation therapy and medical care, we helped her qualify for premium no-fault accident benefits. The insurance industry has worked hard to close down access to this funding, throwing up roadblocks to qualification. We hired a case manager for IRR to build a treatment team and help quarterback her rehabilitation and medical care. The work this group did as a team helped IRR qualify for premium accident benefits. IRR has been able to leave no stone unturned in her effort to regain her health and function.

    Convincing the at-fault driver to provide fair compensation can often be difficult in MTBI (minor traumatic brain injury) cases.

    IRR walks upright. She has no visible injury. She is a bright, warm and intelligent person. She can do anything she tries, but she can’t do anything for long. Any sustained mental exercise leaves her exhausted. This is a common feature of mTBI. Working with the rehab team we built for her, IRR was able to reach maximum medical improvement.

    She has recovered as fully as modern rehab medicine can manage. But it’s not enough to put her back in the lab. Back in control of world-class experiments and investigations.

    Conclusion

    Through the tort liability system, our brain injury lawyers were able to negotiate a significant settlement on IRR’s behalf that included compensation for pain and suffering, loss of income, housekeeping expenses, and those out-of-pocket medical expenses not covered by the accident benefits system.

    In the end, a good concussion lawyer knows the law. A great concussion lawyer knows that a ten percent drop in function can result in the complete loss of a career.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I file a legal claim if I’ve suffered a brain injury or concussion due to someone else’s negligence?

    Yes, if you’ve suffered a brain injury or concussion due to someone else’s negligence, you may have the right to file a legal claim seeking compensation for your damages. We recommend consulting with our personal injury lawyers, who specialize in brain injury cases. Our team can help assess the viability of your claim and guide you through the legal process.

    What types of compensation may be available in a brain injury or concussion case?

    Compensation in brain injury or concussion cases may cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and in some cases, future medical care or ongoing support. The specific compensation will depend on the circumstances of the case and the impact of the injury on the individual’s life. Special or pecuniary damages are quantifiable and can be calculated to a specific dollar amount, including but not limited to recovery costs like home care. General or non-pecuniary damages are non-monetary, such as emotional distress, and therefore the manner in which they are quantified varies from case to case.

    How can a personal injury lawyer assist me in a brain injury or concussion case?

    A personal injury lawyer specializing in brain injury cases can provide valuable assistance. They can evaluate the strength of your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if necessary. At Bergeron Clifford, we will work to secure fair compensation, guide you through the legal process, and ensure your rights are protected.

    How long do I have to file a legal claim after a brain injury or concussion?

    The timeframe for filing a legal claim after a brain injury or concussion can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case. This timeframe is typically referred to as the statute of limitations. It’s crucial to consult with our team promptly to understand the statute of limitations that applies in your jurisdiction and ensure you meet the necessary deadlines.

    Can I still pursue a legal claim if my brain injury or concussion occurred some time ago?

    The pursuit of a legal claim for a past brain injury or concussion depends on your jurisdiction’s statute of limitations. While time limitations may apply, our personal injury lawyers can assess the specific circumstances and determine if there are any exceptions or extensions that may apply to your case.

    What should I do if my loved one has suffered a brain injury or concussion?

    If your loved one has suffered a brain injury or concussion, it’s important to prioritize their health and well-being. Encourage them to seek immediate medical attention, follow the prescribed treatment plan, and document their symptoms and progress. Additionally, you can book a free consultation with our firm of seasoned personal injury lawyers who can guide you through the legal process and advocate for your loved one’s rights.

    Contact Bergeron | Clifford LLP

    Contact us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form if you have had a concussion or other head injury in Eastern Ontario. We can meet you at our office locations in Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, Perth or other local offices, or wherever is most convenient for you.


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