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Brain Injury Lawsuits


Brain injuries can give rise to a lifetime of debilitating impairments.  The impairments are not always immediately apparent and instead can take months to manifest following a brain injury.  This is why brain injuries, how they were caused, and the impairments that result are often a central issue in personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI, or ABI for acquired brain injury) generally results from physical contact with the head either from an object penetrating the skull and striking the brain, or from the brain contacting the inside of the skull.  The mechanism can be from the head impacting a solid object such as a motor vehicle or asphalt, or from rapid acceleration or deceleration-type movement of the head.  

The trauma to the brain from the foreign object or skull contacting the brain can cause injury upon impact and also further injury due to secondary swelling of the brain.  Unlike muscle tissue which has room to expand outward in the event of swelling and bruising, the brain is surrounded by a hard, closed compartment (the skull) and has far less room to swell.  When the brain has no more room to expand outward because of the skull, the increased intracranial pressure caused by the swelling is redirected inward, which can result in pressure on the brainstem.  Too much pressure for too long on the brainstem can be life-threatening because the brainstem is responsible for critical bodily functions such as breathing and reflexes.

Brain Injury Severity

Brain injuries can be rated based on their severity.  One well-known measure of severity is the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), which is a rating on a scale from 3 to 15 based on eye opening, verbal response and motor response.  The lower the score, the more severe the brain injury.  The GCS is used by healthcare professionals including first responders, nurses, emergency physicians and neurosurgeons because it is quick to administer and generally reflects recognized brain injury severity ratings.

Diagnostic imaging also indicates the severity of a brain injury.  A brain injury that is visible on CT or MRI is likely to be more severe than a brain injury that is not visible.  As a result, and perhaps counterintuitively, the word “positive” in the context of head imaging is in fact not a good thing because it means there is a positive (or visible) finding on the scan.  Far better to have a “negative” CT or MRI head in the event of a brain injury.

Brain Injuries And Medical Malpractice

Generally, traumatic brain injuries are not the type of brain injury that gives rise to a medical malpractice claim.  Rather, in the medical malpractice context, what is often in dispute are hypoxic brain injuries, which occur when the brain is partially deprived of oxygen, and anoxic brain injuries, which occur when the brain is completely deprived of oxygen.  Indeed, the adage that “time is brain” is one that applies in many malpractice lawsuits arising from the delayed treatment of an underlying condition resulting in a brain injury.

For instance, the delayed diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism can cause an anoxic brain injury due to a complete absence of oxygen flowing to the brain.  Likewise, in the surgical context, hypoxic or anoxic brain injuries can occur when low blood pressure, decreased oxygen saturation or slow heart rate are not corrected promptly.

Brain injuries can also be caused by lack of blood flow to the brain, such as in the delayed diagnosis and treatment of a stroke, which can cause a brain injury through excessive brain bleeding or a blockage of blood flow to the brain.

Left untreated, these are life-threatening brain injuries.

In the obstetrical context, hypoxic brain injuries during labour and delivery are a potentially catastrophic outcome.  These injuries can occur prior to or during delivery because the baby’s oxygen supply becomes interrupted.  In utero, babies have a capacity to buffer periods of interrupted oxygen flow but that capacity is limited.  When the flow of oxygen is interrupted or diminished for longer than the baby is able to buffer, the brain can be permanently damaged, which can result in major physical and cognitive impairments.

Brain Injury Compensation

Brain injuries can impose lifelong impairments that severely limit the lives of people living with brain injuries and of their family members.  If a brain injury has been caused by someone else’s negligence, whether by motor vehicle collision, slip and fall or medical malpractice, securing compensation for medical services, rehabilitation and personal care can have a tremendous effect on improving quality of life.  If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, contact the lawyers at Bogoroch & Associates LLP for a free consultation.



Bogoroch & Associates LLP is experienced in all aspects of personal injury and medical malpractice litigation. We have the confidence and skill to advance your accident or medical malpractice claim to settlement or trial while helping you navigate complex medical, legal, and insurance issues.

Our experience, commitment to excellence, and reputation have long been recognized. Our founding partner, Richard M. Bogoroch, has been recognized as a leading personal injury lawyer by The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and by The Best Lawyers in Canada. The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and The Best Lawyers in Canada are two highly regarded lawyer-rating publications.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident or believes that you are a victim of malpractice or negligence, reach out to a personal injury or medical malpractice lawyer to understand if you too have a claim. Please contact any of our personal injury lawyers at Bogoroch & Associates LLP for a free consultation.

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