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Brain Injuries | Unseen But Not Uncommon

Traumatic brain injuries can have devastating impacts on the whole family. This is why it is so important to learn about what brain injuries are, how they can happen, how we can prevent them and the broader social impact they can have.   

Brain Injury Statistic  

  • 165,000 Canadians suffer from brain injuries every year.i  
  • This year in Ontario 795 children out of 100,000 will suffer a brain injury this year.ii 
  • Brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in Canadians under 35.iii 
  • One person every 3 minutes suffers from an acquired brain injury.iv  
  • That means 1.5 million Canadians are living with a brain injury.v 

Top Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries  

Some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries are: 

  • Motor vehicle collisions  
  • Falls  
  • Workplace injuries  
  • Sports related injuries  
  • Assaults  

 Symptoms of Traumatic  Brain Injuries  

  • Physical  symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, speech issues,  dizziness  
  • Sensory symptoms such as blurred vision, tinnitus, sensitivity to light or sound  
  • Cognitive and behavioural symptoms such as loss of conciseness, being dazed or confused, memory and concentration problems, mood changes, difficulty sleeping, and/or feeling depressedvi 

Social Impact of Brain Injuries  

Mental Health  

According to one study mood disorders were seen in 38.3% of those who suffered from a traumatic brain injury.vii  If you or your loved one suffer from a brain injury, there is a significantly higher chance of developing a mood disorder.  Half of all people with a TBI are affected by depression in the first year and this rate jumps to two thirds when assessed 7 years after the injury.viii This also comes with increased risk of suicide, even for those who have been diagnosed with a concussion.ix 

Incarceration Rates  

Studies have shown that those with a traumatic brain injury are 2.5 times more likely to be incarcerated than those who had not sustained such injury.x 

Indigenous Community  

The indigenous community is disproportionality affected by traumatic brain injuries.xi  In fact, brain injuries among this population are approximately 4-5 times higher than that of the general population.xii 

This problem is in part attributed to lack of adequate care and support from the healthcare system in more remote locations.  

Homelessness  

Research has shown that 50% of homeless people in Canada have a brain injury.xiii It is clear that there is a nexus between mental health, brain injuries and homelessness.  

Caregiver Burnout  

Caregiver burnout or compassion fatigue is a real and a serious issue for those who are supporting loved ones who have sustained these traumatic injuries.  This occurs where the caregiver neglects their own care in favour of supporting their injured loved one.  This can and does lead to feelings of overwhelm, fatigue and even hopelessness or depression.xiv

Brain Injury Prevention   

The best way to prevent a brain injury is to stay safe. While this may seem like common sense, it is important remember to:  

  • Always wear your seatbelt  
  • Do not text and drive  
  • Ensure car seats for children are properly installed  
  • Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol  
  • Wear a helmet when you or your children ride a bike, motorcycle, scooter or ATV 
  • Wear a helmet during sports  
  • Ensure helmets are properly fitted  
  • Ensure there are safe home environments for children and elderly  
  • Ensure kids play areas are safe  
  • Install window guards in  your home to prevent falls  
  • Use stair gates for children  

Advocating for Your Legal Rights  

Cases involving traumatic Acquired Brain Injuries require an experienced team that consists of both medical and legal professionals to ensure the injured person receives the treatment they need. Please contact a personal injury lawyer today for a free initial consultation by email or by phone at (519) 672-5666. In many cases, your legal fees are deferred until a settlement is reached. We welcome referrals from other lawyers. 

This article was written by Personal Injury Lawyer Catherine Shearer.