Subtle Brain Injury, Not a Subtle Injury

One of the most subtle injuries we see as lawyers is the brain injury. In fact, we often call it “subtle brain injury”, although we also use the phrase “traumatic brain injury” because it arises from a traumatic physical force or a blow to the head such as commonly occurs in a motor vehicle accident, a sporting accident, or a slip and fall accident. It is subtle because it cannot be seen by a casual observer. It is often detected quickly by a spouse or a friend, or even by lawyers when we interact with a client who has been in an accident.

A brain injury always begins with a fairly severe bump on the head, or a concussion. There may be a loss of consciousness or a few moments of confusion. This is usually followed by a headache, ringing in the ears, loss of balance, blurring of vision, and nausea. The person may become sensitive to light and to loud noises. He or she may have short term memory loss, difficulty finding words, and may lose their train of thought. The person with a brain injury may have difficulty concentrating, processing information, and organizing their day. He or she might not be able to remember what they had just read, or remember what it was that they were supposed to do. They may have sleep disturbance, mood swings and irritability. These post-injury symptoms are often labeled “post concussive syndrome”.

Brain injury symptoms occur in a mind that still functions and realizes that they cannot do what they used to do, and this results in frustration, loss of self-esteem, and often depression.

All these symptoms should be addressed and treated, just as a person would treat an obvious physical injury. For example, compensatory strategies such as reminder notes, white boards and cell phone appointment reminders would be used. A therapist would counsel understanding of brain injury symptoms, teaching patience and self-respect. An occupational therapist might re-train the person in life skills. For moderate to severe head injuries there are excellent resources available at the St. Michael’s Hospital Head Injury Clinic and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Many communities have a local Brain Injury Association.

Like other kinds of injury, brain injury symptoms often clear up over time. Sometimes they do not, and the victim must learn to cope with the loss. It is extremely satisfying for  lawyers when our clients take advantage of all the resources available to them, rebuild their life to accommodate the shortcomings of their brain, and continues to grow as an individual and contribute to their family and social circle.

With over 90 years experience handling personal injury cases, Will Davidson LLP is renowned for being a reliable and trusted team of legal experts who value exemplary client service and real results.

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, please contact our personal injury law firm. At Will Davidson LLP our expert personal injury lawyers have helped many receive the compensation they deserve.

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