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Traumatic Brain Injury – Resources at St. Michael’s Hospital

Sadly, many individuals involved in serious car accidents may sustain a traumatic brain injury. At Mazin & Associates, PC we represent hundreds of clients who sustain traumatic brain injuries, and have access to some of the best resources available for patients who require acute care in the aftermath of trauma, as well as throughout their recovery process.Traumatic brain injuries can be mild, moderate or severe in nature. It is important that individuals receive proper medical attention following a traumatic brain injury, irrespective of where their injury falls on the spectrum of severity.

The Head Injury Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital was established in 1987, and treats patients during their recovery from a traumatic brain injury. The Clinic is also dedicated to researching treatment of traumatic brain injury. The team of experts at the Head Injury Clinic assists the injured individual with the many symptoms associated with a traumatic brain. They address the physical, behavioural, psychological and cognitive challenges that often face an individual who has suffered a traumatic brain injury. This team of experts is made up of psychiatrists, neurorehabilitation specialists, social workers, case managers, and neuropsychologists, among many others.

The main goal of this team of experts is to successfully re-integrate people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury back into society. Being able to return to work or school following a serious personal injury or car accident can be a very difficult undertaking for those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. For this reason, the team at St. Michael’s actively works to co-ordinate rehabilitation services outside of the hospital, and ensure that injured people have access to services that they desperately need. Patient education and support is another important service that the Head Injury Clinic offers to individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. These education and support tools extend to the families of injured individuals who sustained a traumatic brain injury, who themselves must adjust to the life changing circumstances that follow a devastating personal injury.

To read more about the reaearch goals and resources offered at St. Michael’s Hospital, you can visit their website at: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/programs/trauma/head-injury-clinic.php

Motorcycle Accidents – What You Need To Know

As the summer months are upon us, an increasing amount of motorcyclists are out sharing the road with other vehicles. Motorcyclists understand the importance of being seen and heard on the road, given the size of their vehicles and the ease with which they may fit into other vehicles’ blind spots. Wearing bright colored clothing or a helmet as well as having a loud engine is helpful for increasing visibility to other drivers. Motorcycle Accidents are inevitable however, and frequently a result of cars making left hand turns at an intersection, that are either unable to see an approaching motorcyclist or correctly judge their speed.

Unfortunately, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries when an accident occurs. Motorcycle accident studies have shown that when a motorcyclist is thrown to the ground or into a solid object, the force of impact to the motorcyclist is the same at high speeds as it is at low speeds. Common injuries that result from  motorcycle accidents include second and third degree burns from the motorcycle engine or exhaust, spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding, brain trauma, organ damage, and broken bones. Studies have also shown that fractures to a motorcyclist’s wrists and pelvis area are extremely common. This is because a motorcyclist is inclined to use his or her hands to protect the face when falling off a bike, which leaves the wrist and hand, as well as the exposed pelvis and hip areas, particularly vulnerable to injury.

People who drive motorcycles and have been involved in motorcycle accidents should always do the following:

  • Call 9-11 and report the accident.
  • Photograph the scene of the accident with your mobile phone. Photograph your motorcycle and its resting position after the impact. Be sure to also photograph all other vehicles involved, as well as any other objects that may have been involved in the accident.
  • Take names and contact information of all witnesses at the scene of the accident. Note their observations as to how the accident occurred. Be sure to also write down any outright admissions of guilt made at the scene, including commentary such as, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you”.
  • Photograph your helmet at the scene of the accident, and preserve it thereafter. Take care not to alter the helmet in any way. For the purposes of liability in a lawsuit, wearing a helmet proves to a jury that you were not responsible for contributing to the injuries you sustained in the accident by not wearing the proper safety gear.
  • Look for surveillance cameras at or around the scene of the accident, and immediately ask for a copy of the tapes. Surveillance could prove valuable in the context of determining who the at-fault party is.
  • Return to the scene of the accident and photograph any changes made to the scene, including any new traffic signs or signals.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident, it is important to know your rights and protect them with specialized legal representation. Contact Mazin & Associates, PC today at (416) 625-2122 for a free consultation.

The Financial Impact of a Brain Injury

When one family member suffers a traumatic brain injury, it can affect the whole family in a number of different ways. In additional to the extreme emotional impact of such a trauma, many families are also impacted financially due to loss of income, costs of travel and accommodations if the injured family member requires medical care away from home, and specialized rehabilitation therapies.

Sadly, many people with brain injuries do not receive adequate compensation for their injury and losses. Either they don’t engage a Personal Injury Lawyer or they have engage one that doesn’t specialize in brain injury and therefore is unable to obtain maximum financial compensation for them.

What can a Personal Injury Lawyer that specializes in brain injury can do for you?

  • Determine the lifetime costs associated with your brain injury and seek full compensation from the responsible party.
  • Ensure that insurers recognize that your needs a much higher level of support and care than the bare minimum.
  • Work closely with top experts including medical professionals, present and future care experts, specialized accountants, and leaders in the field of medical rehabilitation.
  • Partner with you and your family members to work towards a successful outcome during this confusing, difficult time.
  • Become your strong advocate and advisor, striving for the best monetary result possible for you and your family.

If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury, contact brain injury lawyer for a free consultation.

Traumatic Brain Injury: What are the signs?

Questions have been raised again about the link between brain injury and mental instability in the wake of the recent suicide of an Ohio State University football player, Kosta Karageorge, who allegedly suffered from debilitating concussions.

What is traumatic brain injury?

TBI is defined as a head injury due to blunt or penetrating trauma. TBIs have often been associated with war wounds, like soldiers in war who are exposed to explosives, and athletes, especially football players and boxers. The term “concussion” refers to a mild TBI — although doctors say they don’t consider any brain injury as simply mild.

A decision in August 2013 by the National Football League to settle with 4,500 ex-players over head injuries reflects a growing body of research showing that repeated concussions can cause permanent brain damage.

What are the signs of TBI?

Confusion and amnesia are the clinical hallmarks of the condition. Multiple concussions can lead to other health problems like post-concussion syndrome, which involves headaches, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. Epilepsy, vertigo, personality changes, Parkinson’s disease and dementia have also been linked to repeat concussions in boxers and football players.

A degenerative disease tied to repeated jolts to the brain — chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE — has symptoms ranging from dementia to altered behavior, and perhaps to ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Sufferers of CTE can have difficulty maintaining relationships and those with advanced disease can spiral into depression and substance abuse — and sometimes end up taking their own lives, said Dr. Julian Bailes, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at the NorthShore University HealthSystem and co-director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute.

TBIs are not exclusive to athletes. In fact, a new study released in September found an increase of visits to emergency rooms for TBIs by 29 percent over the last four years — with the biggest jumps coming among toddlers and seniors. Read the full story here.

If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury, contact Brain Injury Law Firm Mazin & Associates, PC for a free consultation.

UHN Study Finds Long-term Care Facilities May Not Be Best for Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury

Last week, the University Health Network (UHN) announced the results of a new, large-scale Canadian study that reveals that many adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) live in a long-term health setting – such as a nursing home – which may not be appropriate for their condition and younger age.

The study, led by Dr. Angela Colantonio, Senior Scientist, Toronto Rehab, University Health Network, was published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. It looked at more than 10,000 adults with TBI in four non-acute settings: home care, mental health, nursing homes and complex continuing care facilities.

“There were two striking findings in this work: First, persons with traumatic brain injury were significantly younger than other residents in nursing home settings; and, they were also more likely to be male, whereas most of the other residents were female,” said Dr. Colantonio.

Dr. Colantonio also notes that this is a result of a lack of appropriate housing or health-care setting alternatives for this population. For many individuals living with TBI, it is imperative they are in a setting with TBI rehabilitation to help them thrive.

“Providing housing for people living with visible and invisible disabilities associated with brain injury is critical in reducing the homeless population and the number of people incarcerated,” said Harry Zarins, Executive Director, Brain Injury Association of Canada. “Importantly, having housing available will also reduce the time Canadians suffering with brain injury are spending in hospitals. Hand in hand with housing is the availability and implementation of a visionary rehabilitation program.”

Read more on the UHN’s website.

What To Do If You Think You Have a Concussion

Millions of Canadians suffer concussions in different types of accidents each year – slips and falls, car accidents, boating accidents – they can all cause concussions.

Brainline.org explains more about concussions, the steps to take if you believe you have one and when you should seek medical help.

Today, there is no single, objective measure that can determine if someone has had a concussion. To make a diagnosis, professionals look at many variables that might indicate trauma, ranging from changes in balance to memory lapses and dizziness.

It’s critical to seek immediate medical attention in a hospital or emergency department if any of these symptoms are present:

  • Loss of consciousness, even if only briefly
  • Any period of amnesia, or loss of memory for the event
  • Feeling dazed or confused
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure

In addition, for children under 2 years of age, any scalp swelling or abnormality in the way they usually behave. If possible, see a medical professional who has knowledge of and experience with brain injury.

The best answer about when you should seek medical help is: when in doubt, get prompt medical attention. Lots of people may have a headache or dizziness for a day or so and then recover fully, but a very small group of people who sustain a concussion — five percent — can develop bleeding or a blood clot that can be life threatening if not promptly diagnosed.

If you have suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury in an accident, contact us immediately.

Ontario Adults Reports more Road Rage after Traumatic Brain Injury

Ontario adult drivers who say they have experienced at least one traumatic brain injury in their lifetime also report significantly higher incidents of serious road-related driving aggression.

A recent study conducted by St. Michael’s Hospital to examine if a link between traumatic brain injuries and road-related aggression and driving collisions also exists. The study points to the value of brain injury prevention, and screening and rehabilitation services for drivers who live with a traumatic brain injury, with the goal of assessing fitness to drive and other related cognitive skills. A traumatic brain injury is defined as trauma to the head that resulted in loss of consciousness for at least five minutes or overnight hospitalization.

Drivers with serious aggression reported significantly higher odds of being involved in a motor vehicle collision that resulted in hurting themselves, their passenger or their vehicle.

“Perhaps the burden of traffic collisions and road rage could be mitigated if we were mindful of the implications associated with a brain injury,” said Dr. Gabriela Ilie, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral fellow at St. Michael’s Hospital.

These data suggest links between TBI and hazardous driving behaviours, but at this early stage it’s difficult to find a direct correlation or if these relationships are causal.

Get the full report from St. Michael’s Hospital right here.


Incidence of Brain Injury is 2x Greater in Men

It is estimated that thousands of Canadians suffer traumatic brain injuries each year, the majority being young adults. Statistics indicate that the incidence of brain injury is two times greater in men.

Brain injury has become a significant medical and societal concern within the last 30 years. With advances in medical technology, many people who would have died are now surviving severe brain injuries. We’ve also learned that brain injuries should never be taken lightly.

We participate in activities every day that put us at risk of sustaining a brain injury, car accidents, slips and falls, bike accidents, boating accidents and so on. At times, the costs incurred by these injuries can be astronomical: financially, socially and emotionally.

Accidents happen, that is a fact of life. However, we need to take precautions to avoid brain injury. The majority of bicyclists who die each year die of brain injuries. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by helmets. In fact, there is a 52% reduction in bicycle-related deaths per year for children under 15 since the introduction of Ontario’s bike helmet law.

Although brain injuries cannot be seen, their effects can be extensive to the recipient and their family. We strive to improve the quality of life for those affected by a traumatic brain injury and to help promote brain injury prevention.

If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury, contact us for a free consultation.

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Mazin & Associates PC dedicates itself to achieving maximum settlements in serious personal injury and accident cases. Our areas of practice include car accidents, motorcycle injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, slip and falls, wrongful death, product liability, long-term disability and medical malpractice.

  • Toronto
  • Tel: (416) 625-2122
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