Brain Injury Lawyer - Accident Compensation Claim Law
A traumatic brain injury lawyer needs to be familiar with the difficult and complex physical and emotional problems that are often associated with this injury. Ensuring that fair compensation is obtained in any personal injury claim requires a close working relationship between a team of specialist lawyers and medical experts who are leaders in their field. An expert brain injury lawyer is able to call upon the services of some of the most eminent medical consultants in the country which ensures the best attention and service together with fast resolution of traumatic brain injury (TBI) claims.
A brain injury lawyer must have detailed legal experience in dealing with injuries of the utmost severity and be able to call upon the services of nationally recognized medical consultants who are experts in the disciplines of spinal surgery, neurosurgery, neurology and psychology to ensure that liability is proved under the law and fair and adequate recompense is awarded. These injuries may produce a diminished or altered state of mind and often result in impairment of cognitive abilities or physical functioning which may be either temporary or permanent and cause partial to total functional disability or psychosocial maladjustment of the mind. These injuries are often a catastrophic event altering the lives of both victims and their families forever. Most families simply don't have the resources to cover all the expenses and provide for the victim over his or her lifetime. That's where a specialist brain injury lawyer comes in to help you claim the compensation they deserve. If you, or someone you know, have suffered any cognitive, physical, or emotional symptoms as a result of a serious injury and you would like to know if it is possible to claim compensation just complete the contact form or call the helpline or email our Toronto offices. A brain injury lawyer will discuss your claim on the telephone with no further obligation and no charge.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury or TBI involves trauma to the brain due to a fall, motor vehicle accident, sports accident or other injury. Some brain injuries are purely accidental with no negligence attributable to any person however the majority of serious brain injuries are due to carelessness caused by the negligence or deliberate actions of one or more people. Traumatic brain injuries can be severe, with half of all of these injuries requiring at least a brief period of hospitalization. If you or a loved one sustains a serious brain injury in a car accident, you need the immediate services of a brain injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will assess the situation to prove the liability of a 3rd party and will obtain sufficient medical evidence to establish the extent and value of the claim. There are substantially enhanced benefits available if the injury is very serious and falls into the category of catastrophic impairment. The brain injury lawyer follows the developing medical and neurological situations of the patient so that estimations of chronicity of symptoms can be determined in order to accurately update the value of the claim as and when appropriate. Those severe traumatic brain injuries that are anticipated to be long-lasting or permanent can be expected to garner a greater financial award than less severe injuries.
Categories of TBI
TBI is caused by trauma to the head, including the effects of the complications of injury, the main causes of which are motor vehicle accidents, falls and gunshot wounds. The injury is usually categorized as either a closed head injury often caused as a result of rapid change in velocity of the skull where there is no visible wound or an open head injury where the brain is exposed and damaged. There is a further rare category which results from a crush injury which often damages the base of the skull and nerves of the brain stem rather than the brain itself. This injury is often fatal and approximately 20% of TBI sufferers die as a result of the accident.
About a half of all TBI injuries happen secondary to a car accident and symptoms may appear immediately or be delayed for days or weeks. Most traumatic brain injuries are flexion extension injuries in which the brain moves around inside the skull, causing broken blood vessels. This type of injury is more common in children under the age of 4 or in the elderly.
The most minor injury is a concussion in which the brain is jarred but there tends to be little or no bleeding and no swelling of the brain. The sufferer might suffer a loss of balance or might have a brief period of loss of consciousness. Almost all concussions resolve spontaneously without any particular treatment. A contusion in the brain is like a “brain bruise”. Local swelling is common and there can be bleeding if the trauma is severe.
Traumatic brain injuries can be open injuries or closed injuries. Open injuries involve a fractured skull; fragments of bone can enter the brain and cause bleeding. Closed injuries have no external bleeding or skull fracture. One of the biggest risks of closed head injuries is pressure that builds up inside the skull. If the pressure becomes too great, a portion of the brain can push through the base of the skull which is usually fatal.
There can be disruption of the blood vessels around the brain, leading to a subarachnoid hemorrhage or a subdural hematoma. These are more severe and usually require surgery. Not all traumatic brain injuries require surgery but some do if the pressure in the brain is higher than is safe. Some patients go on to require physical and occupational therapy so they can relearn those deficits they lost during the injury.
Frontal Lobe Damage
If the frontal lobe is injured, the area involved is the forehead region. It can result in body paralysis of some body parts and the individual loses their ability to plan ahead. There can be a loss of personal spontaneity and the person can have a single thought that does not go away, a phenomenon called perseveration. Social behavior and mood are affected and this can last for a long time. A particular type of aphasia called Broca’s aphasia can occur with a frontal lobe injury.
Parietal Lobe Damage
If the parietal lobe is damaged, the back and the top of the head are damaged. Problems with attention can occur and you can have problems naming objects. You can have problems writing, a condition called agraphia. Left or right can be difficult to tell apart. Problems with mathematics can occur, a condition known as dyscalculia and your awareness of the body parts in space can be difficult.
Occipital Lobe Danage
The occipital lobe can be damaged. This involves damage to the back of the head. This is the visual center of the brain and you can have visual field cuts or blurry vision. You can have difficulty in identifying colors, a condition called color agnosia. There can be visual illusions, word blindness or hallucinations. You may have problems recognizing movement of objects and can be unable to read or write.
Temporal Lobe Damage
The temporal lobe is the part of the brain on the side of the head. If you have damage to this part of the brain, you can have problems recognizing faces or problems understanding speech, a condition called Wernicke’s aphasia. Memory loss is common and there can be damage to the desire for sexual behavior or an increase in sexual behavior. A person can be very aggressive with a temporal lobe injury.
Brainstem injuries can be serious because they affect the breathing centers of the brain. Swallowing can be seriously affected and balance/movement can be harmed. You can have dizziness, nausea, insomnia and sleep apnea.
The cerebellum is located at the back and base of the skull. It is involved in the coordination of movements. Walking is difficult if you have problems with the cerebellum. You can be dizzy and have tremors of the arms and legs.
This type of injury often goes undiagnosed by health care professionals at the time of the accident due to there being no obvious outward sign however common symptoms of TBI in adults include:
- persistent headaches or neck pain
- changes in academic performance and problems with mental tasks
- loss of balance, unsteady walking
- feeling light-headed, losing balance
- increased sensitivity to sounds or light
- blurred vision, tired eyes
- changes in eating patterns and loss of the sense of smell or taste
- ringing in the ears
- irrational or unpredictable mood changes
- lethargic thinking, speaking or reading, general lack of interest
- becoming lost or confused
- changes in sleeping patterns
- listlessness and tiredness, without energy or motivation
- increased irritability
- changes in sleep patterns
If you have a traumatic brain injury, you are likely to have a headache. You can also get dizziness, blurriness of your vision, fatigue and lethargy. A brief period of loss of consciousness can happen and some patients develop a loss of balance, irritability, depression, visual or hearing deficits. The most severe traumatic brain injuries are known for the fact that the patient is usually unconscious for at least six hours. Cognition can be severely impaired and the sufferer can have loss of hearing, smell, light intolerance, visual disturbances, paralysis, spasticity, chronic pain or bowel and bladder disorders. The body temperature can fluctuate and there can be severe swings in mood and cognition.
The death of over 5,000 Canadians is caused by this injury every year, almost double that number of people will suffer permanent long term damage and over 25,000 people are hospitalized each year. The two groups at greatest risk are those aged between 0 to 4 years and 15years to 19 years and males are 50% more likely than females to sustain this injury. Almost 1 million Canadians need life long help to carry out normal daily tasks as a result of a TBI. The leading causes of TBI are:
- Falls (28%)
- Motor vehicle-traffic crashes (20%)
- Assaults (11%)
Consequences of TBI
The consequences of brain injury may include;
- Cognitive Consequences;
- long-term memory loss
- short-term memory loss
- reduced ability to process information
- reduced concentration
- difficulty with a conversation or other communications
- impaired judgement
- organisational difficulties
- Physical Consequences;
- reduced or altered vision or blindness
- loss of sense of smell or taste
- speech impediment including slow or slurred speech
- migraines or headaches
- general fatigue
- balance difficulties
- Emotional Consequences;
- mood swings
- impulsive behaviour
- egocentric behaviour
Open & Closed Head Injuries
The significant forces involved in vehicle collisions can produce not only the obvious results of major head trauma involving open wounds or fractures to the skull, but also the less obvious but more frequent results of a closed head injury which can include concussion, tissue damage or death. Closed head injuries can occur where rapid acceleration or deceleration occurs, even when the head does not strike another object. In these cases extensive damage can be caused either at the time of impact or due to subsequent bleeding due to the forces exerted inside of the skull when a sudden speed change happens. The injury is usually characterized by a period of altered consciousness including amnesia, concussion or coma which can be very brief sometimes lasting only a few minutes or very long and in some instances indefinitely.
Mild Brain Injury
Mild injuries can cause long-term residual problems that interfere with daily life. These injuries are often overlooked by health care professionals due to minimal outward damage that may occur, which can lead to improper care and treatment. To ensure a satisfactory settlement it is essential that specialists are involved from the very beginning of the case. We are able to provide first class legal representation, by a specialist brain injury lawyer, to anyone who has suffered TBI to ensure that their rights are protected.
Brain injuries can be temporary, even in situations where there has been loss of consciousness. Some victims recover for the most part but have permanent mild residual issues such as memory loss, sleep problems and behavioral issues. Still other brain injury patients have severe permanent injury, including being in a permanent vegetative state, having paralysis, having a decreased level of consciousness and various cognitive defects related to thinking, vision and hearing.
Brain Injury Lawyers
These cases can be extremely difficult from a legal perspective and it is only through the combined efforts of a cohesive team of medical and legal minds that a brain injury lawyer can cut through the defence and succeed in claiming compensation. Experience does count and you can rest assured that our lawyers have detailed experience in settling complex TBI cases. We'll ensure that you get a fair deal. You will be given free advice on how best to pursue your claim and what actions you should take to preserve your legal rights. Our traumatic brain injury lawyers will deal with your trauma claim using a contingency fee arrangement. If you don't succeed in receiving a settlement then your lawyer won't get paid.
Our accident lawyers offer expertise that is second to none. All of our brain injury lawyers deal exclusively with claims involving physical trauma. If you have suffered injury and would like to talk to an experienced accident lawyer without obligation then just call the helpline or email our offices or complete and send the contact form and a brain injury lawyer who deals exclusively in accident claims will phone you with advice at no cost and information on how best to preserve your legal rights to compensation for your injuries.