Three Ways a Traumatic Brain Injury Can Lead to a Lawsuit

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Three Ways a Traumatic Brain Injury Can Lead to a Lawsuit

It’s something so severe, we dread even to think about it. We do our best to tread carefully, look both ways before crossing the street and read warning labels. But no one goes through life without ever hurting themselves. Whether it’s a sprain, a break, whiplash, or a simple papercut, we’ve all experienced the unfortunate sensation of getting hurt. But sometimes the injury can be much worse. One of the worst things we can imagine happening to us is sustaining a traumatic brain injury. Any medical trauma involving the brain is dangerous and complicated to fix.


If you’ve experienced a traumatic brain injury, you’ll likely know that a simple procedure won’t do the trick. The following three examples of incidents causing traumatic brain injuries will illustrate the legal obligations of those involved.


Car Accident


In 2014, over 30,000 Ontarians were injured in a car accident. Common head and brain injuries resulting from an automobile accident include:


  • Concussion: caused by a sudden heavy blow to the head, like hitting a steering wheel.
  • Localized Contusions or Hemorrhages: when your brain bruises and bleeds inside the skull, caused by blunt force.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury: what also causes Shaken Baby Syndrome, when the brain tears away from the skull, which is caused by forceful shaking movements.


Depending on the severity of the brain injury, you may be lucky enough to walk out of the hospital, fully recovered. But if your injury is more severe, you might suffer from long-term cognitive damage, coma, nerve damage, infections, or even brain death. If you or your family member has suffered from a traumatic brain injury for which you will require long-term care, you may be eligible for up to 2 million dollars in medical benefits, depending on your insurance policy, and the other driver may be liable for damages.


Sports-Related Injury


Accidents are especially common in sports. In fact, we tend to find inherently violent games exciting and enjoyable to watch. Hockey, football, and rugby have violence built into them, from the way the playing arena is designed to the rules of play. It seems the more professional the team, the more likely a player could suffer from a head injury. According to CTV, a 2011 study revealed that in the NHL alone there were 559 reported concussions over a seven year period.


Traumatic brain injuries happen from the very basic scrimmage game all the way up to professional leagues. But what every player has in common is that they play their sport knowing that there is an inherent risk of injury. The very nature of physical sport assumes some level of risk. Depending on the legitimacy of the sports organization, the player might have to sign a waiver acknowledging these risks and accepting responsibility. This prevents someone from unreasonably suing a league or another player for an injury that the injured player received while playing. For instance, a player can’t sue his/her organization for tennis elbow.


However, if the brain injury you sustained went above and beyond the assumed level of risk (think head trauma at a croquet match, for instance), then the organization or other player may be liable for damages. Even if you’ve signed a waiver, don’t despair. A personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you if you have a case against those responsible.


Slip and Fall


Whether it’s a recently mopped floor, a patch of ice that wasn’t salted, or something dropped or spilled carelessly on the ground in the way of foot traffic, slip and falls are usually the result of human error. If you slip and fall and hurt yourself on any premises that is in possession of a person or legal entity, the person may be liable under the Occupier’s Liability Act to pay for damages if it was determined that the occupier did not take reasonable care to ensure the safety of everyone on the premises. Examples of insufficient care to the premises include:


  • Ignoring spills on the floor
  • Mopping up spills, but leaving more of a mess
  • Not warning people of a slippery floor
  • Warning people of a slippery floor with signage but doing nothing to clean up the mess


Many of us think that as soon as we see one of those bright yellow slippery floor signs, that the owner or occupier of the building is automatically exempt from all responsibility in the event of an accident caused by that slippery floor. But if the sign was put down and nothing was done to rectify the danger, you may still have grounds to sue.


When to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer


If you’re the victim of a car accident, sports-related injury, or a slip and fall on someone’s property and you’ve sustained a traumatic brain injury, chances are someone else is responsible for your pain and suffering. With any luck, you’ve recovered from your brain injury without any long-term side effects or physiological changes. But if you’re one of the unlucky few whose brain injury causes long-term suffering, you may be eligible for compensation.


You deserve to speak to a personal injury lawyer that you can trust to treat your case with delicacy, empathy, and expertise. Book a free consultation with a Toronto personal injury lawyer at Sokoloff Lawyers and find the help you need.