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Toronto Personal Injury Law Blog

The classification of traumatic brain injuries

Any person in Ontario can suffer a knock to the head at any time -- whether in a car accident, slip- or trip-and-fall incident or another cause -- and it is more common than what most people may believe. A significant percentage of accidental deaths every year are caused by brain injuries. These can result from jolts, blows or bumps to the head, and also injuries that penetrate the skull. Brain injuries can occur in any age group, and it can affect from newborn babies to elderly citizens.

The severity of brain injuries determine the classification -- not all traumatic brain injuries cause death. The first type in the range is mild TBI. A victim can suffer a short period of unconsciousness -- seconds or minutes -- or they could suffer only confusion and dizziness. In many cases, scans and other tests appear normal. Concussions typically fall into this group.

The changed life of a 21-year-old victim of brain injuries

Parents in Ontario will certainly empathize with the plight of a family in another province who has to cope with the multiple challenges of caring for a 21-year-old man who can no longer do anything for himself. This can happen to any family -- especially as long as there are motorists on the roads who choose to drive while intoxicated. It was a drunk teenage driver that turned the lives of this family upside down around Christmas in 2015 when he caused an accident that resulted in their son suffering traumatic brain injuries.

While walking home after a Christmas party, the young man was struck by an ATV and catapulted approximately 200 feet through the air. The victim barely survived, and remained hospitalized until mid-March this year. While excited to have him home, his condition of total dependency has changed not only his life but also the lives of his loved ones. The challenges affect them on both financial and emotional levels.

Traumatic brain injuries can create emotional rollercoaster

Car accidents in Ontario can cause catastrophic injuries, many of which have life-altering consequences. Traumatic brain injuries can be extremely difficult to understand because they are not visible but can devastate victims and their families. Along with the effects these injuries have on a victim's memory, thinking, communication and sensations, they also play a significant role in his or her emotional stability.

Depression is one of the most common aftereffects of brain injuries because victims are suddenly unable to take part in sports, a favourite hobby or other activities that formed part of their lives before the injuries. In many cases, depression only occurs when cognitive-behaviour therapy ends, which could be some years after the accident. Victims may feel worthless and lose interest in life. Post-traumatic stress disorder is also a common condition after a TBI accident.

Recovery rate from brain injuries is unpredictable

Whenever lawsuits are filed in Ontario civil courts to pursue recovery of damages in accidents, determining the future damages is a complex process. This particularly applies when the victim suffered brain injuries. While recovery is based partly on the severity of the injuries, many other matters play roles in the healing process.

Some victims of brain injuries show visible recovery within months, but for others, it may be a slow process that could take years for any improvement to be achieved. Researchers say the prediction of recovery from TBI remains rudimentary and unscientific. However, medical teams use some indicators for prognosis.

Brain injuries -- life goes on and bills accumulate

While negligent drivers often cause others to suffer catastrophic injuries, some medical professionals have also been accused of negligence that had life-changing consequences. Ontario residents may empathise with a family in another province whose young daughter's visit to a dentist for a tooth extraction left her with permanent brain injuries. Reportedly, her community arranged a fundraising dinner to help the family with ongoing expenses.

The tragic incident occurred in 2016 when the child was a 4-year-old toddler. While she was anaesthetized for a tooth extraction, her breathing stopped, and the time it took to get her to a hospital was apparently enough to cause traumatic brain injuries. According to the doctors, the damage caused by oxygen deprivation during that time caused irreversible damage.

Ontario brain injuries: Focus on awareness in June

It has been suggested that a silent epidemic is killing and disabling people in Ontario and across Canada. Brain injuries are reportedly the primary cause of deaths and disabilities in individuals younger than the age of 44. Men are apparently twice as likely to suffer brain injuries, though the recovery time is longer for women than for men.

June has been designated as Brain Injury Awareness Month. Brain injuries can result from any number of circumstances, including car accidents, sports events, assaults and other incidents that are noncongenital and nondegenerative. Even concussions are forms of mild traumatic brain injuries that can cause altered or reduced states of awareness. They can lead to impaired emotional, physical, cognitive and social functioning.

Brain injuries cause disorder to victim of rear-end crash

Across Ontario and the rest of Canada, June will be Brain Injury Awareness Month. Organisations will aim to create awareness about acquired brain injuries. One victim recently described how her life had changed after another driver who was travelling at a speed of 50 to 60 kilometres per hour rear-ended her car at a red light in 2015.

Brain injuries are often invisible; in fact, doctors examined this woman's back and neck after the accident and then sent her home, where she nearly fell over in her kitchen the following day -- without realising that it was a sign of injuries to her brain. It is not uncommon for such injuries to rob a victim of the ability to distinguish the symptoms for what they are. The woman -- now 55 years old -- says she is trying to deal with the many symptoms of a brain injury while trying to get her life back in order.

Brain injuries: Pedestrian struck by falling brick

Life is unpredictable, and unanticipated incidents can cause catastrophic injuries. In the early evening of a recent Thursday, pedestrians on a sidewalk in an Ontario city were exposed to about 100 bricks that rained down on them. Reportedly, a section of a building's roof collapsed, causing the rubble to drop onto the pavement in front of a restaurant. One person may have suffered brain injuries.

According to a police officer at the scene, the bricks broke away from the roof and landed on an awning. The awning then crashed onto the street and sidewalk. The officer reported that dozens of pedestrians dodged the falling bricks, and most of them escaped unscathed. However, paramedics attended to one person who had to be rushed to a hospital for treatment of a serious head injury.

After 10 years, hospital admits negligence caused brain injuries

An Ontario family was recently awarded more than $5 million to compensate them for medical malpractice that took place 10 years ago. The court determined that an Ontario hospital covered up the wrongdoings of nurses that caused serious brain injuries to a child at birth. The girl, who is 10 years old now, is a twin whose birth was mishandled after her brother's birth went smoothly.

Reportedly, the hospital finally admitted that negligence caused the girl neurological damages. Those damages include cerebral palsy, poor co-ordination, speech impairment, cognitive deficits and more. The court determined that the girl would need personal support for the remainder of her life and included that along with future income losses and more in the monetary award.

Brain injuries may be the result of Toronto pedestrian accident

Pedestrians on the busy streets of cities in Ontario will always be at risk. Commuters in one area of Toronto were likely caught up in delays after several roads were closed after an accident in which a pedestrian was knocked down by a vehicle. Reportedly, the victim suffered serious head trauma that may well have caused brain injuries.

According to the Toronto police report, paramedics rushed to the accident scene shortly after 7 a.m. on a recent Wednesday. An emergency vehicle then transported a 40-year-old male pedestrian to the hospital for treatment of serious head injuries. Police say a delivery truck struck the man.

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