Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Hamilton, Ontario
Experienced Hamilton Auto Accident Law Firm
Can I sue for a Brain Injury or Concussion?
You can, and you should. I’ve worked with clients who, after an accident, suffered a concussion or a mild traumatic brain injury, but they didn’t realize it at first. Brain injuries are often more subtle at the beginning, but they’re no less debilitating over the long run than a more obvious injury. That’s why suing for compensation for a brain injury usually makes sense, however, these cases are more complex than the norm. So what exactly is a Concussions or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)? Well they can range in severity from mild to severe and are often difficult to diagnose.
Concussion can be caused by either a blunt impact to the head, neck or elsewhere on the body with an impulsive force such as from sudden acceleration, deceleration or rotation forces. Concussions may happen because of a hit to the head, neck, face or somewhere else on the body that makes the brain move quickly back and forth inside the skull. The brain can become injured if this happens.
Severe TBI’s on the other hand, are usually easily diagnosed and usually result in lifelong mental impairment or disability in brain injury victims. When TBIs occur, victims often experience a drastic decline in their quality of life. In these cases, the focus is on developing a long-term rehabilitation plan designed to help the victim gain maximum physical recovery. We work with clients and hire medical experts specializing in TBI treatment and recovery, occupational therapists, and even financial advisors to work out financial plans to meet the victim’s current and future needs.
At my law firm, we understand that even though a brain injury may not be obvious, it may still be debilitating, and our job is to fight on your behalf so that you get the compensation you need to heal.
How does a Concussion or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury happen?
Concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries happen because of sudden impact to the head. Sometimes the cause is recreational, and other times it is the fault of another.
Here are common types of brain injury attorneys people call to help get compensation for their cases.
Why Brain Injuries Are Hard to Assess
Brain injuries are tricky because a brain injury victim doesn’t always experience a loss of consciousness, so they can seem less serious. If you have been involved in a car accident, then your injury may have occurred because you have struck your head against a headrest, window or even another passenger. Your brain is like jelly inside your skull, and it goes back and forth the way your body would when hit. When it smashes against your skull, it can sustain damage.
Sometimes, clients don’t remember having hit their heads during impact (if you’ve ever been in a car accident, you’ll likely know that feeling), yet they start to experience headaches or changes in personality like greater timidity or aggressiveness, or perhaps they feel more emotional and impatient.
These are often the first signs. When they look back, it’s obvious they hit their head, although, in the first hour after the accident, they may not even have considered it.
Common Symptoms of a Concussions or Brain Injury
- Headache, nausea or vomiting
- Blurred / double vision or seeing stars / lights
- Balance problems, dizziness and sensitivity to light or noise
- Tinnitus; a continual noise in the ear such as ringing or roaring
- Vertigo; a sensation of whirling or tilting that causes a loss of balance
- Drowsiness, fatigue/lethargy
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleeping more than usual or difficulty falling asleep
- Feeling “slowed down” or “in a fog or dazed”
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty remembering
- Slurred speech or difficulty forming sentences
What should you do if you suspect you have a Concussion?
I tell all my clients and their loved one, the first and most important thing is to see your health care provider. It’s important to seek medical advice right away and definitely within a week if not days. This can be your family doctor, sport medicine doctor or nurse practitioner. They will check your symptoms and assess your next steps. Since a concussion is a traumatic brain injury at the beginning of the brain injury spectrum, it can be difficult to diagnosis and often victims appear normal. If your symptoms persist you should call a personal injury law firm to help you with seeking compensation, either with accident benefits through your insurance company. Since it’s an invisible injury, obtaining compensation for care, as well as, recovering money from the insurance company can be difficult. For this reason, we often engage neurologist and other brain experts to accurately diagnose your condition. Once we have an accurate diagnosis, we can fight to get you the compensation you need.
How Long Does it Take to Recover?
This is a great question and one that is asked frequently. The ConcussionsOntario.org says that most people will make a full recovery with symptoms lasting 4-6 weeks. For others, symptoms can last 1-3 months and for those with symptoms that last longer than that, these are referred to as “prolonged symptoms”.
Your recovery can take longer if you are:
- an older adult or teenager
- a female
- return to work, school or exercise too quickly
- have previously had a concussion
- have a history of migraines, depression or anxiety
- have a history of sleep difficulty
- show signs of vestibular and / or visual problems (blurred vision, dizziness, motion sensitivity)
The most important thing to do is to make yourself a priority and give yourself time to heal. That means slowing things down. Remember to take it slow returning to daily activities and sports, conserve your energy, eat and sleep well and manage your stress. If things aren’t improving then it’s time to consider an injury claim with experienced injury lawyers. Generally injury lawyers will offer a free initial consultation.
Rowan's Law: Concussion Safety
Hit. Stop. Sit. This law was passed in March 2018 and I want to make a special comment about it because it’s such an important topic. I’m proud that Ontario is national leader in concussion management and prevention. Rowan’s Law makes it mandatory for sports organizations and school boards to practice and be aware of concussion safety. For more information about Rowan’s Law and resources visit the Ontario government website.
Things to Consider about your Personal Injury Claim from a Personal Injury Lawyer
If You’ve Hit Your Head…
When you’ve had an accident, it’s very important to visit your doctor and be forthright about any changes you’re experiencing. Dizziness, nausea, emotional stress – subtle changes can occur that seem insignificant but they could be symptomatic of a mild brain injury. My advice as a personal injury lawyer is that you should present everything to your doctor and let him or her decide what is serious and what is not. If it is serious, now it’s down on paper, and more importantly, you can receive treatment.
See a Neurologist
If you’ve hit your head in a car accident – even if you feel fine – or you’re having symptoms of any kind, you need to be tested by a neurologist. They will often perform psychometric tests to determine if you have a brain issue. Getting in to see the right specialist is important because only they can determine if a cognitive defect is due to psychological issues or if it’s an actual brain injury.
Brain Injury Suits Takes Time to Resolve
As I’ve told many accident victims or their loved one, accident injury cases should never be rushed. Traumatic head injuries are a big reason why. They often take time to reveal themselves. As your personal injury lawyer, it can be hard to tell the depth of the issue at the beginning of your suit. Most clients will say they’re having trouble with memory or concentration, but that can also be a psychological reaction to the accident. Furthermore, people often assume that doing an MRI or CT scan will reveal all, but the reality is that, in a mild case, these scans don’t always pick it up.
You have Limited Time to Sue in Ontario
Before deciding to sue, it’s important to be aware of certain deadlines in your liability case. There’s a time limit to sue. In Ontario, it’s two years if you have a car accident. If you meet with a lawyer in the early days, even if you’re not sure if you have a brain injury, the lawyer will generally monitor your case for about a year.
If you are in touch with a lawyer who is monitoring your case and new information arises from your doctors, share this info with your lawyer immediately. The biggest issue I see is that clients tend to downplay brain injury symptoms and try to explain them away: “I am just tired” or “My concentration is low, I simply need to focus better.” But the reality is that, if you have suffered a brain injury, you’re going to need compensation to help with your recovery. So see a doctor then see a lawyer, in that order. If you have any questions about a brain injury, always contact a doctor. If you have questions about whether you should seek compensation due to a concussion or a traumatic brain injury, call me today. I’ll be happy to answer your questions.
For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Hamilton, Ontario, call us at 855-769-0418 or fill out a free consultation form. I’m a personal injury lawyer with a dedicated legal team whose focus is to help you, your loved one and family recover fair compensation. I will always have your best interests in mind. We will respond in a timely manner so you and your family members can receive the help you need. Our practice areas focus only on personal injuries such as slip and fall, motor vehicle accident including Accident Benefits, medical malpractice, spinal cord injuries, wrongful death, product liability, dog attacks and denied long-term disability. My team and I can help you navigate your injury case and the insurance companies because it’s all we do.