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Brain injuries and PTSD can go hand-in-hand

Anyone in Ontario or elsewhere who experiences or witnesses an extremely traumatic event may suffer post-traumatic stress syndrome, especially if the incident involves severe injury or another person's death. Something that causes intense horror, fear or powerlessness, even if the individual cannot remember the details of the event, can lead to PTSD. Sometimes, individuals who suffer other injuries such as traumatic brain injuries may develop the symptoms of PTSD at the same time.

A victim of a slip-and-fall accident described the aftereffects of the TBI caused by the fall. The person slipped on an icy driveway and said she had no warning before her feet came out from under her. She says her only memory is the sound of her skull striking the pavement. During her lengthy recovery, she suffered a severe panic attack approximately nine months after her fall.

Confusing the rapid heartbeat with a heart attack made her panic even more, and she struggled to control her breathing. A chiropractic neurologist referred her to a PTSD therapist who explained why she had the panic attack. It happened as the seasons changed and the first snow fell. Even though she could not remember her fall, the trauma was imprinted in her brain that subconsciously associated the weather conditions with the traumatic fall.

As this case illustrates, the aftermath of brain injuries can affect a victim's entire life in the long-term. If the injuries were the result of a fall on the premises of another, grounds may exist to pursue a premises liability claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Ontario can assess the circumstances, commence the claim and advocate for the injured victim throughout any legal proceedings.

Source: goodmenproject.com, "5 Symptoms of PTSD After Brain Injury", Amy Zellmer, Feb. 23, 2017

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