Traumatic Brain Injuries
We understand the subtleties of mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and their ramifications to the injured person and to his/her family. We are committed to ensuring that our clients are fully and fairly compensated for all aspects of their injury, including potential difficulties that may not arise until years after the injury was sustained.
We have extensive experience representing clients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). As the name implies, TBIs occur because of trauma to the head and brain. This most often occurs in the course of a car accident or significant fall. In today’s technologically-enabled world, a brain injured person has access to a wide variety of resources to determine the location, extent and severity of brain injury. Neuropsychological testing, clinical physiologists, PET scans, SPECT scans and MRIs provide valuable information for proving a diagnosis and arriving at a prognosis for the future. We work with a variety of different parties to obtain compensation for our clients who have sustained a brain injury, to ultimately improve their quality of life.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
A more mild brain injury often classified as an MTBI (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury), while less severe than some other types of brain injuries, can still have a significant impact on the victim’s life.
In the classification, the term mild refers to the immediate symptoms, which are considered less severe than symptoms such as a coma. The term traumatic refers to the cause of the MTBI — head trauma that causes disruption in brain function. A mild traumatic brain injury is a head injury that causes a loss of consciousness and/or a period of confusion or disorientation that lasts 30 or fewer minutes.
Common effects of an MTBI include:
- Difficulty finding words
- Mental confusion
- Memory problems
- Attention and concentration deficits
- Difficulty finding words
- Chronic Fatigue
- Sleep disturbances
- Dizziness, loss of balance
- Sensitivity to light and sounds
- Mood changes, irritability
- Getting lost or confused
- Slowness in thinking
As with most types of serious injuries, the first 12 to 18 months following injury are crucial for maximizing recovery. For this reason, we make every effort to secure early financing from the appropriate insurer for cognitive remediation programs in addition to attendant care and other medical and rehabilitative needs.
The legal challenge of representing people with MTBI is that they often suffer life-altering deficits yet appear visually to be just fine. Further, the injury typically does not show up on imaging tests like CT scans and MRIs. There are numerous strategies that we employ to establish the existence of a MTBI – for example, we often refer our clients to neuropsychologists who can identify the subtle effects of a mild brain injury. We also obtain testimony from people who knew the person before and after the injury. They can describe the differences they have observed in the person since they were injured. We will also examine the records created at the time of an injury, such as police and ambulance records, for notations of head trauma, confusion, angry outbursts or other signed associated with a MTBI. Different strategies are used to portray most clearly to a potential jury or to defence counsel the injuries suffered, and the significant effects impacting the life of the injured person.
Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
A person with moderate or severe brain injury may have many of the same symptoms as those with a mild traumatic brain injury. In addition, they may experience:
- Persistent headache
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the extremities
- Loss of coordination
- Increased confusion, restlessness or agitation
While definitions vary, moderate brain injury is generally held to be a brain injury resulting in loss of consciousness for 20 minutes to six hours while severe brain injury causes loss of consciousness for more than six hours.
In moderate or severe brain injury cases, the legal question is not whether the person suffered harm, but rather the extent of the impairment to the individual and his/her daily living, the lifetime financial costs associated with it and the level of care that the injured person should receive.
Our lawyers work with certified life care planners, medical experts and economists to identify the current and future accident-related needs of our clients, and to project the costs associated with those needs. Everything from non-OHIP funded rehabilitation professionals like occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists and rehab support workers to the cost of specialized equipment and modifications to the home must be considered. Once we understand the lifetime costs associated with your impairment, we will pursue full compensation from the legally responsible party or parties. In following this method, we ensure that accurate compensation can be reached, encompassing both current needs and future injury-related costs.