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Vancouver Brain Injury Lawyer

Pre-existing Vancouver brain injury makes you more vulnerable to further Vancouver brain damage – recent decision of Lougheed Highway ICBC car crash.

Our Surrey, Kelowna, Fort St John, and Vancouver Brain Injury Lawyers are available for immediate consultation. For FREE. If you decide to hire us, we will fight to get you the money you deserve for your ICBC motorcycle, truck, or car crash claim. You don’t pay anything until we settle your case with ICBC. You can call us in Vancouver at 604 602 9000, Surrey at 604 576 5400, or anywhere in the province at 1-877-602-9900. You can also talk to us online by clicking here.

In an ICBC car crash brain injury case released today (Curtis v. MacFarlane), Mr. Justice Crawford began his judgment with some poignant opening remarks about the complexities of the human mind and how vancouver brain injury victims are impacted:

[1] The human brain is approximately three pounds of jelly containing more than 100 billion neurons and more than 100 trillion synapses. Our knowledge of its workings has vastly increased in the last 50 years, but man knows more of the universe than the workings of the human mind.
[2] Only recently has the sporting world come to grips with the reality that splendid, strong athletes whose brain gets shaken up are in fact sustaining irreparable brain damage, revealed not only by the changes in the athlete’s performance and behaviour, but the ghastly findings of the autopsies upon the athlete’s death.
[3] In the context of motor vehicle accident litigation, I have heard lawyers move from “emotional overlay” to describe the changed behaviour of their clients, to the realization that brain injury is unchartered territory, sometimes susceptible to a medical finding or organic damage that may show on an MRI, but more often diagnosed by behavioural changes of the client. The difficulty facing the finders of fact listening to learned medical professionals is pinpointing what got damaged, how that damage affects the working of the brain and the behaviour of the client, and how those behavioural, cognitive, and intellectual changes can be treated. Those difficulties simply reflect the fact that medical and scientific research is in a very early stage of finding out how the human brain works.

The central issue in the case before the Courts was the state of the Plaintiff’s health, and specifically his brain, at the time of a 2009 motor vehicle accident. In 2006 the Plaintiff, Jonathan Curtis, was struck in the head with a baseball bat when attempting to stop a fight in Seattle. He suffered a small skull fracture and a hematoma from the blow. Although he ended up losing his job following the incident, Mr. Curtis made a steady recovery from his injuries and, following some time off in Greece, began a new career of teaching Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the Mission area.  He trained intensively and entered various competitions where he received medals. The evidence was clear that Mr. Curtis had made a substantial recovery from the baseball incident. Unfortunately, the Plaintiff was then involved in a serious motor vehicle accident in January of 2009 which caused his vehicle to roll several times before crashing to a stop on Lougheed Highway. Mr. Curtis was hanging from his seatbelt.  Although the Defence argued that the Plaintiff was still suffering from the bat incident, the Court rejected that argument and found that Mr. Curtis was in fact in good health at the time of the 2009 motor vehicle accident. The significance of the bat injury was that it made Mr. Curtis much more susceptible to the harm inflicted by the car accident. It was at this point, the Plaintiff was no longer able to bounce back from the cumulative effects of the assault to his brain. Mr. Justice Crawford awarded $140,000 for pain and suffering, with the following comments:

[696] The accident of January 17, 2009 changed Mr. Curtis.
[697] I accept the rollover type accident would have seen Mr. Curtis largely protected by his vehicle’s safety features. Nothing in the early reports mentions loss of consciousness, but do record confusion. Mr. Curtis’s subsequent behaviour and recollection leaves little doubt that he suffered another mild traumatic brain injury. And given the complexities of the human brain, I accept Dr. Ancill’s description of a diffuse axonal injury.
[700] In November 2009, a surveillance video showed he still has coaching abilities, if not competitive abilities, that he could demonstrate to his students.
[701] However, the complex of post-concussion symptoms of depression, anxiety, lost memory and other cognitive deficits have plagued Mr. Curtis since.
[706] Equally, however, I am satisfied the bat incident has no causal relationship to the car accident except that Mr. Curtis had a pre-existing head injury that all the experts agree will lead to far more significant repercussions if a second injury occurs.
[707] One need only look at some of the star hockey players to see the effects of sequential concussions.
[728] I am satisfied that Mr. Curtis had made a full recovery from the effects of the bat injury as clearly demonstrated by the witnesses who spoke of his daily life before the car accident; his 2007 visit to Greece; and his training, competition and coaching in 2008. All of that evidence speaks to a fit, strong and healthy young man as of January 2009.
[729] The subsequent concussion symptoms, ongoing depression, and anxiety led to a downward spiral through 2009 and 2010. He has had some improvement since seeing Dr. Ancill in December 2010 but the evidence is clear that the hardworking, energetic, calm, upbeat, and outgoing Mr. Curtis has become reclusive, dull, lethargic, moody, anxious and easily agitated.
[732] His cognitive defects or deficits; his loss of fighting abilities; and his decreased affection and libido all severely compromise his enjoyment of life.
[737] In the circumstances, I set general damages at $140,000.

Our Surrey, Kelowna, Fort St John, and Vancouver Brain Injury Lawyers are available for immediate consultation. For FREE. If you decide to hire us, we will fight to get you the money you deserve for your ICBC motorcycle, truck, or car crash claim. You don’t pay anything until we settle your Vancouver brain injury or Surrey head injury case with ICBC. You can call us in Vancouver at 604-602-9000, Surrey at 604-576-5400, or anywhere in the province at 1-877-602-9900. You can also talk to us online by requesting a free consultation.



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