Brain injuries can have devastating consequences for injured parties and their families. That’s why it is important to raise awareness about brain injuries, their causes and how they can be prevented. This month is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada, and in acknowledgement of this important time, this article will provide you with more information about this serious injury.
What is Brain Injury Awareness Month?
June is designated as Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada, a campaign that raises awareness about the effects of brain injuries on social and community life. This month is meant to increase public education about reducing risk factors for brain injury and improving access to quality rehabilitation services for people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Brain injuries can affect anyone at any time. It can happen at work or play, during birth or after birth (even during pregnancy), while driving a car or riding a bike. Traumatic brain injuries result from trauma that causes damage to the brain’s cells and tissues, causing impaired cognitive functioning such as memory loss or difficulty concentrating
Brain injuries are a common injury amongst Canadians every year
Brain injuries are a common, yet often overlooked injury. It is estimated that every year in Canada, over 1.4 million people sustain a brain injury that requires medical attention and over 60% of these cases result in hospitalization. Brain injuries can be caused by a number of different things:
- A blow to the head;
- Being shaken violently;
- Being exposed to toxic chemicals or fumes.
Brain injuries can have a long-term impact on your life, especially if you have an acquired brain injury. An acquired brain injury is any injury to the brain that occurs after birth, as opposed to an acquired disability such as spinal cord injuries or visual impairment due to glaucoma.
Common causes of brain injuries
Brain injuries can be caused by a number of factors, including falls, car accidents, sports injuries, and workplace accidents. Brain injuries may also result from medical malpractice. This can occur if a doctor or other medical professional fails to diagnose or treat an existing problem that leads to brain injury.
Types of brain injuries
- Traumatic brain injury is a broad term that covers any form of damage to the brain resulting from an external force, such as physical trauma or acceleration, deceleration or vibration.
- A concussion is a milder form of traumatic brain injury. It usually results from a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to bounce around inside the skull. Symptoms may include headache and nausea, but there are no long-term effects on memory or thinking skills unless other injuries have occurred at the same time.
- A closed head injury occurs when you receive a blow directly to your forehead and/or face in which your skull does not fracture during impact but rather forces your brain against its hard outer covering (cranium). This can cause blood vessels within your head to rupture; in some cases, this leads to bleeding into the surrounding tissue. This can result in swelling and bruising around the eyes and nose. Those who suffer these types of injuries typically report loss of consciousness after impact which may last only seconds before returning back again without warning.
If you suspect someone has suffered a brain injury, please seek medical attention immediately because they might need immediate treatment before things get worse.
How to protect yourself from brain injuries
- Wear a helmet when biking, roller skating, in-line skating, skateboarding or horseback riding.
- Wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a car. This will help protect your head from injury if you are involved in an accident.
- Wear a helmet when playing contact sports such as hockey and rugby. Do not play contact sports if you have symptoms of concussion such as headache or confusion until all symptoms have resolved completely (usually 7-10 days). If you still can’t remember the events right after this time, talk to your doctor about seeing an expert who knows how to make sure it’s safe for you to play again.
Contributory negligence for those in accidents that resulted in brain injury
In Canadian law, contributory negligence is a defence to personal injury claims. It means that if you were partly responsible for your accident and injury, you may not be able to claim compensation from other parties involved. You can only recover damages if it was entirely the fault of someone else.
However, this does not mean that everyone who was injured in an accident will be unable to recover damages against another party. If you are injured as a result of another party’s actions (or inaction), but also contributed to your own injuries by doing something negligent yourself — even slightly — then it may be difficult or impossible for you to win compensation from them.
Work with the personal injury lawyers at Campbell Litigation in Kitchener-Waterloo if you’ve sustained a brain injury
Now that you know the main facts about brain injuries and how to protect yourself from them, maybe you’ll be inspired to do something for Brain Injury Awareness Month. The key is getting informed and sharing your knowledge with others who may not know about this important issue. If you find yourself injured with a brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation. The personal injury team at Campbell Litigation will happily meet with you to obtain all the information necessary to determine if you might have a claim. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us online or by phone at 519-886-1204 to see how we can help you today.