Brain Injury

Have you or a loved one suffered a brain injury as a result of an accident? At Oatley Vigmond, we know that litigation surrounding brain injuries can be complicated. That’s why we have on our team some of the most highly recognized brain injury lawyers in Canada. We’ve helped thousands of people who have suffered mild to severe brain injuries; intracranial hematoma, diffuse axonal injury, and more — securing some of Canada’s largest multi-million dollar brain injury verdicts and settlements. We offer free legal consultations, and you don’t pay until we resolve your case. 

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a critical medical condition that can affect individuals of all ages. It typically occurs when the brain experiences an impact with the skull after a head injury. The severity of TBIs can vary, leading to different side effects depending on the type of injury and the individual involved. There has been increased attention to this issue with the media covering sports injuries and their associated high risks of TBIs, but a traumatic brain can impact anyone, regardless of their job or lifestyle.

Brain Injuries in Children and Adults

The primary culprits of traumatic head injuries in both children and adults include motor vehicle accidents involving automobiles, motorcycles, and pedestrians, as well as incidents of violence, falls, and cases of child abuse. It is worth noting that subdural hematomas and brain hemorrhages, two types of brain injuries, can also occur spontaneously.

TBI differs significantly between children and adults. Young individuals are particularly vulnerable to severe brain injuries due to the ongoing development of their brains, which undergo a complex and sensitive growth process. Through imaging studies and research on young minds, we know that the brain continues to grow and mature throughout adolescence and beyond, meaning it takes a long time for the brain to reach full growth and maturation. Any form of brain injury during this developmental phase can have significant and long-lasting consequences for an individual’s health and well-being. Research suggests that the recovery time for a fully mature brain is within five to ten days, while the vulnerability of a young brain significantly prolongs the recovery process, and potentially leads to long-term difficulties for the affected individual.

What Are Some Symptoms of a Brain Injury?

There are many possible symptoms experienced by someone suffering a traumatic brain injury.

Difficulty expressing thoughts

Traumatic brain injury can impair cognitive functions, making it challenging for individuals to articulate their thoughts clearly or find the right words.

Personality changes

TBI can cause alterations in a person’s behavior, emotions, and overall personality. They may exhibit irritability, aggression, or depression that seem uncharacteristic.  


Headaches are a common symptom following a brain injury. They can vary in intensity and may persist for extended periods, affecting daily functioning ability and quality of life.

Changes to hearing, vision, taste, or smell

Traumatic brain injury can affect sensory perception. It is possible for individuals to experience difficulties such as hearing loss, blurred vision, altered taste perception, or changes in the ability to detect odours.  


Seizures or convulsions can occur as a result of TBI. These sudden, involuntary movements are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain and may vary in severity.

Dizziness and balance issues

TBI can disrupt the vestibular system, leading to dizziness, problems with balance and coordination, and a sensation of unsteadiness. These symptoms can significantly impact mobility and daily activities.

Sudden mood changes

TBI can cause rapid shifts in emotions, leading to unpredictable mood swings ranging from irritability and anger to sadness or euphoria.

Sense of confusion

A common symptom of a brain injury is a feeling of disorientation and confusion. Individuals may have difficulty understanding their surroundings, organizing their thoughts, or making decisions.

Problems with short-term memory

TBI can impair the ability to form new memories or retain recently acquired information. Individuals may struggle to remember recent events, conversations, or tasks.

Inability to concentrate

TBI often affects attention and concentration abilities. Individuals may find it challenging to focus on tasks, becoming easily distracted or unable to maintain attention for prolonged periods of time.  

Anxiety and uneasiness in noisy environments

Some individuals with TBI may experience heightened sensitivity to noise, leading to anxiety, discomfort, or difficulty processing information in loud or chaotic environments.  

Feelings of overwhelm

Brain injury can lower the threshold for sensory and cognitive overload. Individuals may become overwhelmed by sensory stimuli, such as crowded places or simultaneous tasks, resulting in heightened stress and difficulty coping.


Depending on the location and extent of the brain injury, paralysis or weakness in specific body parts may occur, affecting motor function and mobility.

Do you have questions about traumatic brain injury and starting a lawsuit? Please click here to get answers to questions we are most frequently asked about brain injuries and personal injury lawsuits.

What happens if I suffer a brain injury?

Most individuals suffering from traumatic brain injury are hospitalized for extended periods. They often are rendered incapable of returning to work. Paying for rehabilitation and intensive care is difficult enough; having to plan financially for a life without employment income can be overwhelming.

We help our clients achieve financial security so that they can look past these stressors and focus on their recovery. Brain injury survivors who have chosen Oatley Vigmond have consistently obtained settlements that help them achieve stability and normalcy.

Drawing on our extensive network of health care providers in the community, we’ll ensure your recovery includes access to the best health care specialists, including a rehabilitation team that is fully committed to your treatment and long-term well being. We connect traumatic brain injury survivors with psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, social workers, rehabilitation support workers, and more.

Many brain injury survivors require lifelong care and rehabilitation to manage chronic symptoms. In addition, we assist with counselling for the families, to help them cope with the changes to their loved ones.

Specific Types of Brain Injuries


A concussion is, by definition, an injury to the brain. Concussions may result in mild brain injuries, but even mild brain injuries can have serious consequences to someone’s ability to function. No two concussions are the same. As a result, some people dismiss the early signs and symptoms, waiting until they worsen before seeing a medical professional. Any time you sustain any sort of head trauma, it’s crucial to seek medical advice. Because head injuries are cumulative, it is important that your medical doctor knows your history of any significant head trauma.

Symptoms of a concussion can include:

Balance problems or dizziness

Trouble with focus or comprehension

Double or fuzzy vision

Sensitivity to light or noise


Feeling sluggish, foggy or groggy

Feeling unusually irritable

Concentration or short term memory problems


Diffuse Axonal Injury

Diffuse Axonal Injury is one of the the most common and life-changing type of traumatic brain injury. Though these injuries typically originate in white matter areas, DAIs are categorized as diffusive because they tend to spread through the brain, damaging tissue and impairing crucial functions via shearing forces that disrupt nerve cells. DAI is the primary cause for unconsciousness and a perpetual vegetative state after someone has experienced severe head trauma; about half of all severe head trauma cases result in DAI.

DAI involves microscopic damage to the axons in the brain neural tracts, corpus callosum, and brainstem. DAI is clinically defined by a coma lasting six hours or more after a traumatic brain injury is suffered. Sadly, 90% of DAI victims never regain consciousness, and those who do often remain significantly impaired.

Outcomes and risk factors vary significantly depending on the force and mechanism of the injury; severe DAI is typically associated with high-energy trauma, as seen in motor vehicle accidents and catastrophic workplace injury.

An important part of treating DAIs is successful detection. However, detecting these injuries can be difficult because they do not appear on computed tomography (CT) scans, or any other macroscopic analysis. As a result, misdiagnoses are common. The treatment of victims of traumatic brain injury is complex: close neurological monitoring, surgery and control of intracranial pressure are just some of the standards of care.

Oatley Vigmond’s legal team understands the life-changing implications of DAIs. The battle has only begun once the victim is stabilized. Families will need to secure ongoing care, make accessibility modifications at home (or arrange live-in assistance), and find ways to support the victim’s dependents, all while coping with the emotional impacts of the injury.

Diffuse axonal injuries typically cause severe physical, cognitive, and behavioural impairment that can be temporary or permanent, and can affect the individual’s activities of daily living, as well as the lives of their loved ones.

What is an acquired brain injury also known as?

While some use the expression acquired brain injury to describe all brain injuries whether they are caused by a traumatic outside event such as a motor vehicle collision, or a non-traumatic internal event (such as a congenital defect or stroke), the most common use of the term is to describe brain injuries that are caused by an internal source. As such, acquired brain injuries are often called non-traumatic brain injuries.

What are the two types of traumatic brain injury?

The two types of traumatic brain injury are traumatic impact and traumatic inertial.

A traumatic brain injury caused by a traumatic impact are injuries that are caused by an outside impact with the head or skull. These can happen by way of a slip and fall, a motor vehicle collision, or other striking of the head.

A traumatic brain injury caused by an impact with the skull can be further divided into an open brain injury (where a foreign body penetrates the skull), and a closed brain injury where no penetration occurs.

The second type of traumatic brain injury is caused by traumatic inertia. This can be caused by a sudden stop-start or shaking of the brain. This can occur in a motor vehicle collision where a vehicle comes to a sudden stop, and the force of the stop causes the brain to strike the inside of the skull.

What are some examples of an acquired brain injury?

An acquired brain injury can be caused by a stroke, birth defect, near drowning, or an infection. Most are caused by depriving either blood or oxygen to the brain.

What is considered a traumatic brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury is an injury to the brain caused by a traumatic event such as a slip and fall, motor vehicle collision or sport related injury. They can vary in severity, from a mild traumatic brain injury to a severe traumatic brain injury.

Oftentimes, the word concussion is used to describe a traumatic brain injury, however, the term concussion can often downplay the severity of an injury. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury.

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