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Acquired/Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. Traumatic brain injury can result when the head suddenly and violently hits, or is hit by, an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.  Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain.

Traumatic brain injuries can happen anywhere. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people suffer serious brain injuries at home, on the job, or in their car.  Two to three times more men than women suffer a traumatic brain injury.  A severe traumatic brain injury can take more than 10 years to improve, if at all.  Approximately half to 70% of all traumatic brain injury are caused by motor vehicle accidents.  Other common causes involve falls (particularly in the very young and elderly), assaults and sporting accidents.

Head Brain Small

Traumatic brain injuries can occur without a loss of consciousness or significant head trauma. Brain damage can even be caused without any head trauma, through rapid acceleration and deceleration of the neck, such as during a significant rear-end car motor vehicle accident. Even a simple “concussion” may cause traumatic brain injury, especially where two insults occur in close succession.

A person with a mild injury may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. Other symptoms of mild brain injury include headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking.  A person with a moderate or severe brain injury may show these same symptoms, but may also have a headache that gets worse or does not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.

People who suffer from these injuries can be victims of car accidents, falls, malpractice, boating accidents and other trauma. Brain injuries can range in severity from mild to severe. An accident victim might suffer little functional interference, or they may end up being completely disabled and in need of long-term life support.

In severe cases, they may be hospitalized or under constant care. The injured party may lose their independence and livelihood by being unable to work. This is compounded by being forced to pay medical expenses such as medication or health care costs. Our traumatic brain injury lawyers can help you recover your losses and regain financial stability.

Our experienced lawyers have the skills, expertise and resolve to get you the retribution that you are entitled to. We work side-by-side with you and give you the highest level of legal guidance to see you through to a successful settlement.

Please contact us to arrange a meeting with one of our experienced injury lawyers.

Acquired Brain Injuries

Each year approximately 50,000 Canadians suffer an Acquired Brain Injury. In Ontario approximately 795 children out of 100,000 will suffer a brain injury this year.  An injury to the brain is often likely to result in death or permanent disability. Brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide.

Brain injury can range from mild concussion to permanent disability and can have many causes.   An acquired brain injury (ABI) is damage to the brain which occurs after birth due to a traumatic event, such as a blow to the head, or a non-traumatic event, such as a medical event (stroke, etc). It is not due to a congenital disorder or a progressively degenerative disorder. As the brain is a complex and delicate organ, damage to the brain can produce long term difficulties.


  • Brain injuries occur 10 times more often than spinal cord injuries.
  • Brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for Canadians under the age of 35; with the highest rate of injury occurs between the ages of 15 – 24 years.
  • More than 800 Ontarians die each year due to brain injuries.
  • More than 12,000 people in Ontario sustain brain injuries each year.
  • Males are more likely than females to incur a traumatic brain injury.

Some Causes (estimated)

  • Motor vehicle collisions (50%)
  • Falls (15%)
  • Bicycle incidents (10%)
  • Sports, Assaults, other traumatic causes (10%)
  • Medical conditions or diseases (10%), (e.g. aneurysms, tumours, meningitis, etc.)
  • Asphyxia, poisoning, other toxins (5%), (e.g. carbon monoxide etc.)

Effects of Brain Injury

As the brain is the control centre for everything we do, think and feel, brain injuries can result in many kinds of physical, cognitive and behavioral / emotional impairments, and interfere with the brain’s ability to perform any of its tasks. These impairments may be permanent or temporary. While each brain injury is a unique event with a unique set of effects, there are some common difficulties arising from brain injuries:


  • movement problems
  • coordination and balance problems
  • full or partial paralysis
  • chronic pain
  • fatigue
  • seizures
  • sleep problems


  • impairment of sense of smell and/or taste
  • vision or hearing difficulties


  • impaired speech
  • word-finding problems
  • difficulty understanding oral, written or non-verbal language


  • difficulty expressing emotions appropriately
  • mood swings
  • low frustration
  • anger management
  • depression


  • slowed information processing
  • memory loss
  • memory-processing problems
  • problems with concentration and attention
  • impaired judgment
  • problem-solving difficulties
  • social behavioural problems

If you or someone you love has sustained an acquired brain injury, you may be eligible for a legal settlement.  Contact a personal injury lawyer at Nicholson Gluckstein in Ottawa for a free consultation.

Derek Nicholson and our firm is a proud supporter of the Brain Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley.

Helpful Websites

Ontario Brain Injury Association

Brain Injury Canada

Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation

Guidelines for Concussion / Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries & Persistent Symptoms: Second Edition…