An acquired brain injury (ABI) is damage to the brain caused by an accident or another type of event after birth. ABIs differ from congenital or genetic conditions that affect the brain, in that they occur after birth. Roughly 50,000 people sustain an ABI in Canada each year, and ABIs are the leading killer of Canadian youth, according to the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.
Ways ABIs Occur
There are numerous ways in which someone can sustain an ABI. It can occur as a result of an infection, accident, disease, substance abuse or a blow to the head. More than half of all new ABIs in Ontario each year can be attributed to automobile accidents, according to the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Below are a few other ways ABIs can occur.
- Slip and fall accidents
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Mistakes during birth and delivery
- Near drowning
- Assault and battery
- Recreational or sports injuries
- Falling from a higher level to a lower level
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Workplace injuries
Symptoms and Side Effects of a Brain Injury
Brain injuries are a spectrum condition. That is, an acquired brain injury may be relatively minor, such as contusion or concussion, or it may be severe and fatal. They also range in terms of symptom types for each patient; ABIs will not produce the same symptoms for every individual. Symptoms vary depending upon the location and severity of the damage.
“Consequences may include: cognitive, speech, hearing, taste, smell, [balance], vision, physical mobility dysfunctions, and psycho-social, behavioral and/or emotional impairments,” explains the Brain Injury Society of Toronto. Below are a few examples of the ways a brain injury can impact someone.
• Physical – Physical symptoms include headaches, nausea, light-headedness, dizziness, loss of balance, vomiting, difficulty sleeping, increased sensitivity to stimulus (lights and sounds), blurred vision, loss of sense of smell and taste, and ringing in the ears.
• Cognitive – Brain injuries can affect all aspects of cognition, causing symptoms such as memory loss; difficulty concentrating; inability to learn and retain new information; mental fatigue; easily confused or apt to get lost; and a slowed ability to read, speak or react.
• Emotional/Psychological – A person with an ABI may act differently in small or large ways. He or she may have mood changes, angry outbursts, crying bouts or develop emotional disorders. All of these things can impact the victim’s relationships, job and sense of well-being.
• Financial – Victims with ABI may be unable to work in the same capacity as they once did and might require long-term treatment and care. This can be financially devastating for families.
Options for Compensation after a Brain Injury
If you or your loved one sustained an ABI as a result of another party’s negligence or carelessness, we would encourage you to call our brain injury lawyers at Preszler Law. You may qualify for compensation for your damages. Getting a settlement might not heal the injury, but it can afford the opportunity to obtain the best treatments and recover without the financial burden.
Contact us today at 1-800-JUSTICE® for a free consultation to discuss your case.