Traumatic Head Injury, or referred to as Brain Injury, Concussion, Post Concussion Syndrome
Head injury is any injury to the brain resulting in damage to the tissues of the brain that results in impairment of normal brain function. A Traumatic Brain Injury can be caused either directly, such as by a blow or other trauma to the head and can be brought on indirectly as a result of other injuries, like whiplash, for example. Head injury is most often caused by car or motorcycle accidents but can also result from pedestrian/vehicle accidents, cycling accidents, falls, and other trauma.
Sports can also bring on a brain injury:
- Hockey – Traumatic brain injuries can result from fast-moving contact sports such as hockey. Contact with the ice, a stick, the boards or another player may not seem severe but can result in concussion. Always wear approved and proper-fitting protective equipment!
- Soccer – To head the ball or not? This topic has been debated in recent years, with some medical experts claiming that children should avoid heading the ball. Head injuries account for up to one-fifth of all soccer injuries. However, most soccer concussions occur when two players heads collide.
- Cycling – It’s easy to see the link between falling off a bike and a closed head injury. Experts say wearing a properly-fitted bicycle helmet can reduce your chances of head injury by half. In BC, a law passed in 1995 mandates that cyclists must wear certified helmets.
- Longboarding – This increasingly popular sport, modeled after surfing, has obvious connections to head injury. The greater speeds achieved by longboards make head injury even more prevalent. Helmets, it goes without saying, should be standard equipment.
- Diving – Head injuries from diving occur most often when one strikes there head on the bottom of the pool. The depth of the water should always be determined prior to diving to make sure the dive can be made safely.
- Football – Football helmets gained popularity in the 1890s and continue to evolve. The rate at which players can meet and butt heads on the field has long been an area of great concern, as life-changing injury and even fatalities have resulted. Efforts to lessen impact on the brain continue with different rules being implemented and continued helmet technology improvement.
A person who sustains a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful act may be entitled to significant compensation.
Trauma to the brain can cause bleeding, bruising, twisting or tearing of the brain tissue.
In the case of a brain injury caused by whiplash, the brain is subjected to the same acceleration/deceleration forces as the rest of your body, and can sustain injury when it is shaken inside your skull. Brain injury can occur at the time of the accident or develop later as a result of swelling, bleeding or further complications.
A brain injury may show up on diagnostic imaging tests, such as CT scans, but often, milder brain injuries will not be detected by these tests, and in many instances, these tests are not administered right away. However, experts can diagnose a brain injury depending on various other factors, including whether or not there was loss of consciousness at the time of injury, the duration of any loss of consciousness, whether there is amnesia for a period of time before or after the accident or injury, a person’s level of alertness and orientation around the time of injury, and particular constellations of symptoms at the time of the injury and following it.
Head injuries range in severity from very mild (sometimes described as “concussion”), to catastrophic or severe, and can involve a variety of symptoms and loss of normal function. Symptoms can be physical, cognitive, and emotional, and even when subtle can result in significant disruption of a person’s ability to function in his or her work, relationships and day-to-day activities.
Some common symptoms of a mild brain injury include:
- poor short term memory
- blurred vision
- loss of balance
- emotional volatility
- difficulty multi-tasking or concentrating on more than one thing at a time
Symptoms of more severe traumatic head injury typically include any of the above, as well as problems with higher brain functioning, such thought organization, ability to express oneself, difficulty selecting and recalling words or names, personality change, and loss or impairment of other bodily functions.
Other common symptoms of a more severe traumatic brain injury include:
- sexual dysfunction
- memory loss
- reduced perception
- emotional volatility
- slowed thinking and impaired comprehension
- difficulties with verbal expression
- weakness or loss of use of limbs
- loss of smell or taste
- dis-inhibition and socially inappropriate behavior
- inability to manage one’s own finances or affairs
The effects of brain injury, even a mild one, can be emotionally devastating to a person, and can lead to the development of depression, anxiety or other psychological disorders, which can in turn magnify the effects of the brain injury and complicate or prolong a person’s recovery. Intensive therapy and counseling may be required, and sometimes a person will require assistance of an occupational therapist or rehabilitation expert on a long term basis. In cases of catastrophic brain injury, a person is essentially unable to function independently and will require one-on-one care and assistance for life.
Healing time for brain injuries ranges from several months to years. Some brain injuries never heal.
Buckley and Company has extensive experience acting for victims of mild to severe and catastrophic traumatic brain injury. Compensation may include past and future income loss, significant payment for pain and suffering, out of pocket expenses for things like travel, medical treatment and rehabilitation, and the costs of future care, which can include future rehabilitation expenses and counseling, home-making assistance, adaptive aids, and any other reasonable costs associated with treatment and proper care of a brain-injured person.
Quantifying claims for future income loss and future care can be a complex exercise in some cases. Buckley & Company’s lawyers have the experience, as well as access to medical, rehabilitation, economic and vocational experts assist in navigating these complicated issues. We will work alongside a network of medical and rehabilitation experts in the field of brain injury to assist in obtaining the care and services you or your loved one needs, and that you will receive appropriate compensation to fund them as long as needed.