BTM Lawyers is the largest law firm in Port Moody serving the Tri-Cities area. We service clients throughout BC, and in particular Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam. Our “Community is Everything” approach has helped us become one of the only full-service firms representing personal injury cases, including traumatic brain injury and head injury claims. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of accident victims and helping them get the care they need to recover and receive the maximum compensation for their injuries.
Here are some FAQs about claims in BC we often get from our clients.
What are traumatic brain injury and head injury claims?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an outside force from a sudden, violent blow or jolt to the head. The brain is launched into a collision course with the inside of the skull, resulting in possible bruising of the brain, tearing of nerve fibers and bleeding. This leads to temporary and sometimes permanent, brain dysfunction. A TBI can happen from slips and falls, blows to the head and motor vehicle accidents.
Head injury is a broad category with damage to the scalp or skull, as well as the above traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Head injuries can vary in seriousness from moderate to severe. Victims can be impaired with minor functional disturbances to being entirely impaired and needing lasting life assistance.
What are the most common signs and symptoms of a TBI?
A traumatic brain injury and head injury may affect different parts of the brain’s motor and cognitive functions. The severity varies enormously depending on which part of the brain is affected, from a specific location or over a widespread area, as well as the extent of the damage. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness if even for a moment
- Memory lapses
- Difficulty concentrating (becoming more easily distracted)
- Dizziness, confusion or fogginess
- Loss of balance
- Fatigue (tiredness) and lethargy
- Getting lost easily
- Persistent headaches or headaches that worsen
- Persistent pain in the neck
- Slowness in thinking, speaking, reading or acting
- Moodiness (suddenly feeling sad or angry for no apparent reason)
- Sleep pattern changes (excessive sleeping and insomnia)
- Increased photosensitivity (sensitivity to light)
- Increased sensitivity to sounds
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Slurred speech or vision
- Seizures or convulsions
- Weakness or a loss of sensation in fingers or toes
Does ICBC provide special assistance for traumatic brain injury or head injury claims?
ICBC has a Rehabilitation Department that provides Part 7 Accident Benefits up to $150,000 for traumatic brain injury and head injury claims for each occupant of vehicles as well as each pedestrian and cyclist, regardless of fault.
ICBC Accident Benefits must cover all reasonable treatment costs for those who are insured as a result of the injury for necessary medical, surgical, dental, hospital, ambulance or professional nursing services, or for necessary physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, occupational therapy or speech therapy or for prosthesis or orthosis. There are other benefits for equipment, attendant care, vocational training and more. For a complete list of Part 7 Accident Benefits, visit BC Laws.
If you or a family member has suffered a traumatic brain injury and head injury claim, your ICBC adjuster must refer the case to the Rehab Department for a Rehab Coordinator who will order hospital records and appoint specialists such as an occupational therapist, speech therapist, physiotherapist, psychologist, exercise therapist or house cleaner. With some recoveries, a vocational consultant will be selected to set up a Graduated Return to Work Program.
Who pays for the Graduated Return to Work Program for traumatic brain injury or head injury claims?
If you were working at the time of the accident and totally disabled for more than 7 days and your disability began within 21 days of the accident, you could qualify for Part 7 disability benefits if there is no other coverage. The amount payable is 75 per cent of your average gross weekly wage up to a maximum of $300 per week or $145 per week for homemakers.
If you were unemployed on the day of the accident, you may still receive benefits if you worked for at least 26 weeks in the year before the accident. Part 7 benefits are also available if you were self-employed or work part-time. If you are self-employed, it is extremely important you maintain records of income losses as soon as you are unable to work.
What about traumatic brain injury and head injury claims not covered under Part 7?
The full amounts of these treatments are not always covered under Part 7, but are paid from the third-party liability policy. However, for qualifying retained clients, BTM Lawyers will fund treatment and pay treatment providers directly.
Traumatic brain injury and head injury claims may affect the ability to work and participate in sports or other hobbies, as well negative effects to business and interpersonal relationships. An experienced traumatic brain injury and head injury claims lawyer can help you get compensated for the maximum third-party damages from an ICBC settlement:
- General damages for pain and suffering, as well as loss of amenities of life
- Special damages, otherwise known as out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of housekeeping capacity
- Future loss of housekeeping capacity
- Loss of income and past diminished earning capacity
- Future diminished earning capacity
- In-trust claims
- Cost of future care
- Tax gross up fees
- Accelerated depreciation
Can a motor vehicle whiplash cause traumatic brain injury or head injury claims?
Traumatic brain injury and head injury claims could result from a sudden acceleration and deceleration forces (whiplash) in a motor vehicle accident. The cumulative effect of these cognitive, behavioral, and emotional changes can result in the brain-injured person being perceived by others as different and can affect their ability to return to work.
Our personal injury team has considerable experience in handling cases where a catastrophic injury has occurred. We represent traumatic brain injury and head injury claims, including a recent judgment of over $1 million dollars awarded to a plaintiff, who was a driver while wearing her seatbelt, was stopped and hit in a rear-end motor vehicle accident in a whiplash claim. She had significant recovery in her neck and back pain and mobility, but continued to report persistent and very painful headaches daily for long periods of time. This affected her ability to work, social life and ability to perform household tasks, along with periods of confusion and more forgetfulness from the accident.
Personal Injury Team
Grant practices primarily in the areas of personal injury, employment law, and commercial litigation including foreclosures and collections.
Shadrin Brooks practices primarily in the areas of personal injury, insurance, commercial litigation, and estate litigation.
Daniel practices primarily in the areas of personal injury, construction, and general civil litigation. He is also the firm’s Managing Partner.
Catherine has a general litigation practice with a focus on personal injury, construction law, employment law, and commercial litigation.