How the brain functions remains a mystery -- especially in court

This article looks at the plight of a victim of TBI in and out of court.

No one wakes up in the morning expecting the day to take a tragic turn, but at some point, it may. It only takes a few seconds to change someone's life forever. The victim of a motor vehicle accident could easily suffer a traumatic brain injury during the impact through the violent thrashing back and forth of the head or through a blow to the head against the windshield, from a flying briefcase or from anything in between.

To the naked eye, someone with a TBI may appear normal. A victim may have no visible scars or wounds. However, he or she hasn't quite been the same since the motor vehicle accident that caused the injury. Even with all of the research done on TBI, substantiating a personal injury claim for head trauma continues to encounter resistance in court because the injury and its aftermath are difficult to see. Even so, the challenges of TBI are far from difficult for victims to feel.

A little understanding may help

Each year, approximately 50,000 people suffer a TBI in Canada, and many of those people most likely reside here in British Columbia. Fortunately, around 80 percent of the injuries fall under the mild TBI, or concussion, category. However, it would be a mistake to dismiss a concussion/mTBI as a minor injury since people often come away with physical, psychosocial or cognitive issues.

Those issues rarely only affect the victims. Their families and friends may also feel, or at least notice, the effects. In fact, often a friend or family member first notices that an individual just isn't "right" since the accident. Many TBI symptoms fail to appear for some time. Moreover, they are often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. This is most often because no two TBIs are alike. Even though medical professionals and researchers know plenty about the brain, much of it remains a mystery.

A person may not experience any difficulties speaking or walking, but when it comes to processing new information or remembering something, he or she simply can't do it. In another victim, impulse control or organization of activities may suffer. The effects may only intensify the more severe the injury is. Someone who does not have to live with this condition may not understand the monumental challenges these seemingly simple issues may pose to a person's daily life.

A little assistance may help

When it comes to making the aftermath of a TBI understood during the claims process, it would more than likely be a great help to have the assistance and guidance of a compassionate and experienced lawyer. Such a lawyer may not only be able to help with the particulars of the legal process, he or she may also provide assistance in locating the appropriate medical professionals and other specialists to help facilitate a victim's recovery.

Moreover, there are ways to help the court see the damage done from a TBI in order to obtain the necessary rehabilitative and medical treatment needed in order to achieve as full a recovery as possible. Regardless of whether the at-fault driver in a motor vehicle accident meant to leave a victim with lifelong challenges due to a head injury is irrelevant. Any negligent driver who causes injuries to another should be held accountable for his or her actions.