Brain injury is right up there with the most serious injury one can get in a bad motor vehicle collision, or accident not caused by motor vehicle collision.
The thing about brain injury is that it can often be overlooked, or misunderstood by the general public, or even doctors.
The notion that you aren’t in a wheelchair, without any visible injuries so therefore you’re “ok” is wrong; yet still fairly popular. Even with increased public awareness campaigns along with concussion recognition protocols that we see in sport (football, hockey); there remains a pervasive attitude that one must “suck it up” and deal. This is particularly popular in an old school Canadian hockey culture that a few bumps or knocks to the head should not keep you on the sidelines.
Not only is brain injury invisible to the naked eye, there is still a lot we don’t know about the brain along with how brain injuries impact one’s body, mind and soul.
Goldfinger Personal Injury Law has expertise in handling complex brain injury cases. Our law firm is often sought after to handle those brain injury cases which are clear (like on a scan or MRI); and those brain injury cases which aren’t so clear (like when the imagining of the brain in negative, but doctors and the client still believe that something is wrong and warrants further investigation).
In handling these complex brain injury cases, Goldfinger Injury Lawyers seeks out the expertise from outside health professionals which aren’t covered by the OHIP system. Goldfinger Injury Lawyers engages the assistance from a multi-disciplinary rehab team including but not limited to:
- Occupational Therapists who are familiar with brain injury and work primarily with brain injured accident victims
- Physiotherapists who understand the balance, cognitive and emotional issues associated with brain injury
- Social Workers who are hardened with the ups and downs which go along with brain injury rehab and living with the effects of brain injury for the accident victim and also for their family members and loved ones
- Psychologists and Neuropsychologists who demonstrate the patience and understanding that coping with the effects of brain injury is very difficult are requires a precise plan of action
- Speech Language Pathologists who know that the road to recovery following a minor traumatic brain injury, or traumatic brain injury is a long one which requires a lot of hard work, care and patience
- Personal Support Workers and Rehab Support Workers who know that just because their client doesn’t have any visible signs of injury does not mean that they aren’t injured. Sometimes the invisible injuries are the worst types of injury
- Human Factors Engineering Experts who are able to test crash/collision data to establish on a balance of probabilities that the subject accident was likely to have caused a brain injury to the injured accident victim
Insurance companies and their lawyers don’t like believing in brain injury unless it’s as clear as day. Even when the brain injury is clearly shown on diagnostic testing, insurers and their lawyers will do their best to deflect those injuries on other factors. They will blame post accident problems on pre-accident conditions, stressors in life which would have existed regardless of the accident, or try to establish that any injury ought to have healed by now and the injured accident victim is now malingering, lying or trying the cheat the system. In other scenarios, they will hire their own independant doctors to draft defence medical reports to say what they want them to say. Check out this expose from the Globe and Mail regarding insurance doctors who have been found to ghost write reports on behalf of large insurance companies. Doctors who prepare these reports have financial incentive to discredit accident victims as uncovered in another piece by the Globe and Mail which you can find here.
Coming to the realization that you have sustained a brain injury is hard. Having your friends, family and loved ones understand that you are surviving with brain injury can be even harder. Often we see our brain injured clients close themselves off from help and from the outside world. They because socially isolated and recluse. It can get so bad that some of our clients have developed suicidal ideations and spiral in a feelings of darkness, despair and depression.
These feelings are not uncommon. You are not alone. If you are having these feelings, you should seek help immediately. There are some fantastic support groups out there for survivors of brain injury (both for accident victims and their family members). The Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) is a great starting point. They have branches all over the province:
- Brain Injury Association of London and Region
- Brain Injury Association of Niagara
- Brain Injury Association of North Bay
- Brain Injury Association of Ottawa Valley
- Brain Injury Association of Peel Halton
- Brain Injury Association Peterborough Region
- Brain Injury Association of Quinte District
- Brain Injury Association of Sarnia & Lambton
- Brain Injury Association of Sault Ste Marie and District
- Brain Injury Association of Sudbury and District
- Brain Injury Association of Thunder Bay and Area
- Seizure and Brain Injury Centre of Timmins
- Brain Injury Society of Toronto
- Brain Injury Association of Waterloo-Wellington
- Brain Injury Association of Windsor & Essex County
- Hamilton Brain Injury Association
OBAI has great community funded resources so that people can get the help and support they need. OBIA has a peer support program which will connect an accident victim with brain injury along with a mentor to give them the peer support they need. This program is FREE.
Another great service Goldfinger Injury Lawyers has worked with in the past and continues to work with is Dale Brain Injury Services out of London, ON. They are a not for profit working directly with brain injured people to get the community and rehab support which they need to get better.
March of Dimes Acquired Brain Injury Services can also provide OHIP funded services for brain injured accident victims.
The issue with most of these programs is that people don’t know where to look. Getting the message out there that brain injury is serious, and there are services out there which can be of assistance is a step in the right direction. Getting a personal injury lawyer who understands the ins and outs of brain injury is another positive step.