At Campisi LLP, our dedicated brain injury lawyers assist individuals who have suffered mild, moderate and severe brain injuries receive the care and compensation they deserve. We understand the potentially catastrophic impact a brain injury can have on your life and the lives of your loved ones. Regardless of the severity of the initial injury, it can cause profound impairment which, in many cases, requires life-long care.
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Any brain injury, even one initially described as “mild” can result in a broad range of physical, cognitive and psychological impairments. Unfortunately, these impairments can be difficult to detect, especially for the injured individual, who may simply feel that something is not “right” or “normal”. Often, the full impact of the injury goes unnoticed until he or she attempts to return to work or resume daily activities.
Because the potential impact is difficult to understand, you should speak to a Toronto law firm with traumatic brain injury expertise if you know or believe you have suffered a brain injury- in a car accident, a slip and fall, schoolyard injury, or because of medical treatment or surgery. At Campisi LLP, we are pleased to provide a free consultation. We will communicate clearly to you the issues facing you in your rehabilitationand your rights and obligations in a potential law suit.
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car accident, we will pursue your accident benefits claim against your own insurance company aggressively, so that you receive necessary treatment,income replacement and other benefits promptly. We will consult with neurologists, neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists and other medical experts with expertise in assessing and treating brain injuries to ensure that you receive appropriate treatment and rehabilitation. We fight for your right to proper care. We are here to answer your questions.
IS A CONCUSSION A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY?
Yes, a concussion is classified as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), which is defined as, “a traumatically-induced physiological disruption of brain function”. One of the following symptoms must also be present:
- Any period of loss of consciousness;
- Any memory loss for events immediately before or after the trauma;
- Any alteration in mental status immediately following the trauma (disorientation, confusion); or
- Focal neurological deficits (altered vision, hearing).
Although these injuries often occur after direct head trauma, a blow to the head is not required. A whiplash-type injury, where the head snaps back and forward or side to side, can cause the brain to strike against the skull with sufficient force to cause an mTBI.
The “mild” classification relates to the relative degree of trauma compared to other brain injuries. It should not be understood as a “minor” injury, as up to 15% of mTBIs do not heal as expected, and can cause permanent, serious impairment.
ARE BRAIN INJURIES AND HEAD INJURIES THE SAME?
No. Although head injuries are often the cause, a brain injury can be the result of various other conditions, including anoxia, encephalitis, meningitis, and stroke.
A head injury can cause a traumatic brain injury. A blow to the headfrom a car accident, slip and fall or other event can lead to:
Concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome: see above (can also occur from whiplash injury);
Contusion: injury to brain tissue- similar to a bruise (can also occur from whiplash injury);
Diffuse Axonal Injury: injury caused by stretching or tearing brain cells in response to forces applied (can also occur from whiplash injury);
Edema: swelling of the brain caused by excess fluid build-up- can restrict blood flow and oxygen supply, leading to cell damage;
Hematoma: accumulation of blood inside the brain on the surface- can restrict blood flow and oxygen supply, leading to cell damage;
Hemorrhage: bleeding caused by ruptured or damaged blood vessels, leads to hematoma or “bleeding out”;
Skull fracture: damage to the bone around the brain- can penetrate the brain tissue or expose the brain to damage.
CAN I GET HELP WITH MY REHABILITATION?
Yes, we are traumatic brain injury lawyers with extensive experience in managing our clients’ rehabilitation needs. If you were injured in a car accident, we will help you file your application for accident benefits, support your treatment providers and arrange for medical assessments to determine if your brain injury is a catastrophic impairment, a designation that provides access to increased funding for medical and rehabilitation expenses.
We recognize that dealing with your insurance company can be intimidating and overwhelming. We will make sure you are treated fairly and will litigate on your behalf if it is necessary to get you the care you need.
CAN I START A LAWSUIT TO CLAIM COMPENSATION FOR A BRAIN INJURY?
Yes, you can commence a lawsuit to claim compensation if your brain injury was caused in whole or in part by the negligence of another person. Aside from a car accident where you are struck by another driver, examples include:
- Failure by a municipality to maintain the roads or a public area to the required standards;
- Failure to implement proper safeguards and procedures (for example: supervision of children, service of alcohol; failure to explain risks);
- Failure by individuals or corporations to meet Occupiers Liability standards;
- Medical negligence and malpractice (including improper diagnosis or failure to diagnose, mis- or non-prescription of medicine, surgical error, substandard hospital care).
To succeed in a lawsuit, you are required to prove, on a balance of probabilities (more likely than not, or 51%) that the acquired brain injury or traumatic brain injury was caused by the other party.
It is important to understand that, generally, you have two years from the date that you knew or should have known that the other person caused the injury. We will explain this limitation period and discuss your potential lawsuit in clear and detailed language, so that you can make informed choices.
I HAVE HEARD THAT I DO NOT PAY UNLESS I WIN. IS THAT A CONTINGENCY FEE?
Yes, that is the simple definition of a contingency fee agreement. Because your injuries and ongoing impairment might keep you from working, you might not have the means to pay for a lawyer, even though you have a legitimate claim for compensation. The defendant’s lawsuit is paid for by his insurance company, and only very rarely will the defendant owe any personal money. Because this created an unfair disadvantage, the contingency fee system was introduced in Canada. Basically, your lawyers pay the up-front costs of the lawsuit, and defer payment of their fees until it settles or goes to trial. At that time, if you are successful, you pay them an agreed upon percentage of the awardand reimburse them for the costs they paid on your behalf. If you are not successful, you are still responsible for the costs, but you do not have to pay any legal fees to your lawyers.
HOW MUCH COMPENSATION CAN I GET FOR A BRAIN INJURY?
Although compensation depends on the specific circumstances of the case, brain injury claims can result in very large damages awards, because of the potential for all areas of your life to be impacted permanently and, in many cases, progressively. As a result, we make the defendant pay damages for potential difficulties that may not arise until years after the injury was sustained.
In Canada, damages for pain and suffering (called “general damages”) are capped at approximately $380,000, and this amount is reserved for the most serious cases. Our legal system is based on compensating the victim for what they have lost. Since pain and suffering is not easy to assign a dollar value, our Supreme Court established an upper limit, which continues to rise with inflation. Compared to American lawsuits (where they punish the wrongdoer), this is a small award.
However, there are other significant areas of compensation including:
- past and future loss of income or earning potential;
- future cost of care;
- loss of housekeeping and home maintenance capacity.
Damages under these headings have no cap and are determined through expert analysis. They can total millions of dollars, depending on the specific life circumstances of the victim. We will take the time to make sure you understand the overall picture of your lawsuit.
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I was injured in a car accident and sustained a fractured ankle, developing debilitating chronic pain. Joseph was very caring about me and how my case affected my family. He worked tirelessly on my case until we won and my case is now well known in the legal community. Throughout this whole ordeal, the only thing I can be thankful for is that Joseph was my lawyer, his care, compassion and experience made all the difference.
I can’t thank Joseph Campisi enough. I was involved in a serious car accident and I suffered serious orthopaedic injuries which prevent me from ever returning to the job that I had at the time of the accident. Joseph and his team were always accessible, even on evenings or weekends. The settlement far exceeded my expectations and it will provide financial security for me and my family.
I feel fortunate that I was referred to Cesar Carranza. I suffered a spinal cord injury when I fell off a trailer. From the initial meeting when Cesar came to the hospital, he alleviated most of my troubles and I was able to focus on getting better. Cesar and Joseph settled my case quickly, and I felt supported through the whole process, not only by them but also by an awesome medical and rehabilitation team that they assembled.
My father was in a horrible crash and he suffered a severe brain injury as well as serious fractures. Joseph Campisi came highly recommended and he promised us that he would be relentless in representing my father. He kept his promise.
I, and the behalf of my family, especially my daughter, want to say a "BIG THANKS" to you, Mr. Cesar Carranza, the lawyers who were involved in her case and all the Campisi Law team members who put their efforts together to bring the justice for my daughter.