Most people are familiar with concussions, especially if they follow certain sports like boxing or hockey. You or someone you know may even have suffered a concussion, with approximately 200,000 occurring every year in Canada. While this is one of the most common types of traumatic brain injury, it is not the only one.
Traumatic Brain Injuries Explained
As the name indicates, traumatic brain injury occurs when a sudden trauma causes injury to the brain. This is often a consequence of the head striking or being struck by an object, though it also may be the result of an object piercing the skull to enter brain tissue. This type of injury can take many forms including:
A concussion is often caused by an impact to the head, but it may also be the result of shaking or a sudden change in movement, such as with whiplash. They may cause headaches, memory loss, light sensitivity, and disorientation. They become particularly dangerous when more than one is suffered over time.
Like concussions, brain contusions typically result from an impact on the head, as often occurs in car accidents, sports-related injuries, or falls where the head strikes the ground. It is essentially a bruise on the brain. When bruising occurs on another part of the body, the familiar blue colouring comes from small blood vessels breaking and leaking. This also occurs when the brain is bruised, and the resulting pressure may lead to numerous other issues.
Penetrating Brain Injuries
This type of brain injury occurs when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue. This may be the result of a gunshot wound, a fall that causes the skull to crack, sports injuries, car accidents, or any other accident that creates enough force for an object to break through the skull.
Anoxic Brain Injuries
When the brain is deprived of oxygen, only four or five minutes are required for cells to begin to die, resulting in brain injury. This is generally due to a blockage of the blood flow to the brain. The severity of this type of injury can vary considerably, depending on the precipitating factors.
Different Severity Levels of Brain Injuries
It is important to seek medical attention even when you feel that you have suffered only a mild injury, as it could result in long-term, serious effects. The level of severity can usually be classified three ways: mild, moderate, and severe.
A mild injury may or may not result in the loss of consciousness, and the victim may simply appear disoriented or confused. Medical tests may suggest that the brain was not injured, though this can prove false. Because of this, doctors will observe the victim’s mental functioning to diagnose a mild injury.
A moderate injury can result in several hours of unconsciousness, and up to several weeks of confusion. Complications may be physical, behavioural, or cognitive, and may be permanent, or may resolve themselves after a few months.
Severe brain injuries can often be life-threatening and often result from penetration of the skull, though may also occur following a particularly severe impact. In most cases, the victim is unlikely to recover fully and will deal with the effect of the injury for the rest of their life.
What Expenses Can Brain Injury Law Cover?
Brain injury victims may receive compensation that covers ongoing medical costs, loss of income (past, present, and future), out-of-pocket expenses, loss of opportunity, and a minimal amount for pain and suffering.
When determining the settlement for traumatic brain injury, several factors will be considered, including lost wages, pain and suffering, hospital expenses, damage to property or assets, liability, and much more.
What is the Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injuries?
The amount of compensation varies widely based on the particular circumstances of each victim’s injury. While settlements in extreme circumstances could potentially reach millions of dollars, the average settlement for brain injury in Canada falls between $5,000 and $10,000 and may be as little as $1,000 in particularly mild cases.
Because of the complexity involved in many traumatic brain injury cases, it is always wise to seek advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer.
For more information about traumatic brain injury law, contact us today. We will be happy to answer all your questions.