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Brain injuries suffered 35 years ago still cause hardship

Concussions are a potentially severe health problem. This issue has persisted for decades because even with all the medical and scientific advances, the fact that concussions are brain injuries that could have long-term consequences is often ignored. This misconception has not changed much over the past 30-odd years. The wife of an Ontario man who suffered an undiagnosed brain injury in 1983 explained the family's suffering since then.

She says he was a 30-year-old mechanic back then. He was test driving a small bulldozer when something went wrong. He was thrown forward violently, causing his head to smash into the cross beam. However, the fact that the only sign of an injury was a minor laceration on his forehead misled doctors, who advised him to take the next day off work and take painkillers. Those were the days before concussion awareness.

The man claims he has never been without pain since, and his family says he underwent significant personality changes. It has come to a stage where his children avoid his company whenever they can, and he is prohibited from entering some doctor's offices because he now has a violent temper. He has not been able to hold down a job since the accident, and his brain injury was only diagnosed in 1993. It took another eight years before a chiropractor determined that he had cracked several vertebrae in the original accident, and that was the source of his chronic pain.

The wife explains that along with her husband's continuous headaches, sleeplessness, nausea and short temper, the financial strain was ever present. After the brain injuries were diagnosed, he was awarded a small disability pension, but they have had to move in with family due to the lack of money. This case underscores the importance of having any head injury thoroughly examined; further, if another party's negligence caused the injury, explore the possibility of pursuing recovery of financial damages by discussing the options with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Ontario. This family's life might have been much easier if the bulldozer manufacturer was held financially accountable all those years ago.

Source: ottawacitizen.com, "A life turned on its head by 35 years of post-concussion symptoms", Wayne Scanlan, March 26, 2018

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