Brain Injuries are Unpredictable and Challenging Personal Injuries
Brain injuries are perhaps the most terrifying of all personal injuries. They can be as minor as a concussion or as serious as a vegetative state or brain death. They can leave family members at a loss as they wait to see if their loved one will ever wake up from a coma. And, when one does wake up from a serious brain injury, they may never be the same person again.
The most common brain injuries are:
- Concussions, which can result in symptoms including difficulty moving, blurred vision, and memory loss. These symptoms may appear immediately, or begin to emerge after some time has passed.
- Damage to the brain, which can cause lasting physical impairment such as loss of senses, balance, or hand-eye coordination, as well as psychological damage including altered personality, impaired impulse control, and loss of memory.
- In very serious cases, comas and vegetative states can last months, and sometimes even years. In a worst-case, this can lead to brain death.
When Do I Need a Lawyer After a Brain Injury?
In Ontario, many of your initial medical expenses after suffering a personal injury, such as surgical procedures and hospital stays, are paid by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, or OHIP. Brain injuries, particularly ones causing long-lasting impairment and disabilities, incur a number of expenses that OHIP does not cover, such as drugs, long-term caregiver costs, or loss of income during your recovery time. Over time, the burden to your family of these costs can mount, and you and your family may face new challenges as you deal with a long recovery.
Because of the degree to which a serious brain injury can be debilitating, many of the costs are incurred by loved ones, particularly if one is in a coma or completely disabled. The degree to which you and your family can get compensation and assistance depends in part on the insurance situations and the circumstances behind the injury.
For example, do you have an insurance policy covering loss of income due to injury? Did your injury take place on public or private property? Did it happen while you were driving, or at your workplace? Did it happen during or after work, and was it job-related?
The best way to know what compensation is due, and what you or your loved ones need to do to get it, is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A qualified personal injury lawyer can assess your situation, determine the correct course of action, and ensure that you are receiving the correct amount of compensation after your insurance claim is filed, that a settlement offer is reasonable after a lawsuit has begun, and, if it becomes necessary, represent you and your family in court to get the justice you and your loved ones deserve.
What Should I Do After a Brain Injury?
For best results after you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, there are a number of steps you should take as soon as possible:
- Gather as much information as you can and document the cause of the injury. This includes taking pictures of the scene, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and documenting the cause of the accident. This is of vital importance, as the scene of the accident may change by the time you or your loved ones realize you need to contact a lawyer.
- If you or your loved one was injured at work, report the injury to the appropriate supervisor, and file a claim with the WSIB as quickly as possible.
- Make certain that the hospital documents the initial injury and symptoms. Also, ensure that a qualified doctor conducts a thorough examination and testing to find and document any additional injuries or emerging symptoms.
- Document how the life of you and your loved ones has been impacted after the accident. This includes any pain and suffering due to the injury, no matter how small, as well as any impairment to the daily routine, from work to recreation. This also includes any hardship caused or related to caregiving for you or your loved one, regardless of if it is physical or psychological.
Why Lerners after a Brain Injury?
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Our qualified lawyers have the experience with brain injury cases you need to help you or your loved ones navigate the legal landscape, figure out where you should be going for compensation, and help you and your family get the long-term support you need and deserve. And if you cannot come to us – if you are recovering in the hospital or at home and are unable to travel – we will come to you, as well as provide a free initial consultation.