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Vancouver MTBI Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers

Our Vancouver MTBI mild traumatic brain injury lawyers stay up to date on cutting edge strategies for dealing with ICBC MTBI injury cases and MTBI mild traumatic brain injury settlements. Spencer MacLean noted a recent case gave a medical explanation that is equally useful for our clients as it is for our Vancouver MTBI mild traumatic brain injury lawyers.

Lorne MacLean, QC and Spencer MacLean, Vancouver MTBI mild traumatic brain injury lawyers

Lorne MacLean, QC and Spencer MacLean, Vancouver MTBI mild traumatic brain injury lawyers

Our MTBI mild traumatic brain injury lawyers warn our injured victims and their families that they need to know  that no brain injury is mild. In fact Vancouver MTBI injury cases are often catastrophic for the victim as they go to the very core of the injured victim’s being. Our team of Vancouver MTBI mild traumatic brain injury lawyers will meet with you or your injured loved one for free and we only get paid our fees when your case settles or a trial decision is rendered.

Hiring A Lawyer Familiar With MTBI Means You Get A Proper Diagnosis By The Right Experts

It is critical the injured victim meets as quickly with a lawyer completely familiar with this area such as the experienced MTBI mild traumatic brain injury lawyers at MacLean Personal Injury. We have 4 offices across BC and you can set up a free appointment with us by calling 1-877-602-9900 toll free.

Experts Explain What A MTBI Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Is

In Mayer v. Umabao  the judge heard from Vancouver MTBI traumatic brain injury lawyers for both sides and reiterated what an MTBI is and where some experts disagree over whether someone has suffered a MTBI traumatic brain injury.

What is an mTBI?

[182]     I have had the benefit of hearing from two neurologists who have conflicting opinions on whether or not Mr. Mayer suffered a mTBI. The plaintiff’s neurology expert, Dr. Chahal, is of the opinion that he did. The defence neurology expert, Dr. Dost, is of the opinion that he did not.

[183]     I understand that there is some debate in the medical community about the definition of mTBI and the term concussion. The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (“ACRM”) is the tool used by Dr. Chahal. A copy of this definition was entered as Exhibit 9. It says a patient with mTBI is a person who has had a traumatically induced physiological disruption of brain function as manifested by at least one of the following:

  1. a) Any period of loss of consciousness;
  2. b) Any loss of memory for events immediately before or after the accident;
  3. c) Any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident (e.g., feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused); and or
  4. d) Focal neurological deficits that may or may not be transient; but where the severity of the injury does not exceed the following:

(i)          loss of consciousness of approximately 30 minutes or less;

(ii)          after 30 minutes, an initial GCS of 13 to 15; and

(iii)          post‑traumatic amnesia (“PTA”) of not greater than 24 hours.

[184]      Dr. Dost, neurology expert for the defendants, referred to several definitions in his report and in his evidence. Dr. Dost says that all of the definitions agree on the first three criteria:

  1. a) There has to be a transmission force neurological dysfunction or in other words there has to be a force significant enough to cause a neurochemical change in the brain;
  2. b) There has to be neurological impairment at the time of trauma; and
  3. c) The neurological impairment cannot be explained by some other cause, for example stroke, drug or alcohol impairment, psychological disorder etc.

[185]     Where the definitions differ is in what they consider to constitute “neurological impairment”. There are objective and subjective signs of neurological impairment.

[186]     Dr. Dost says that relying exclusively on subjective criteria can result in over‑diagnosis of mTBI. The greatest weight should be put on objective observations but objective criteria cannot be relied on in a vacuum. There has to be some subjective information as well.

[187]     The criteria for neurological impairment must be at least one symptom from the following list:

  1.  loss of consciousness;
  2.  amnesia;
  3.  confusional state;
  4.  disorientation; and
  5.  depression of the Glasgow Coma Score (“GCS”).
[188]     Each criterion is divided into objective and subjective findings. For example, objective loss of consciousness means a person is not responding to stimuli. Subjective loss of consciousness is indistinguishable from amnesia. The person cannot tell you whether they were not conscious or they had a gap in memory.

[189]     There is an objective test for amnesia. It is the Galveston Orientation and Amnesia Test and it is administered every 10 minutes until a person normalizes. Their score is the time it takes to normalize.

[190]     Objective disorientation means you don’t know who you are, where you are or what time it is.

[191]     The GCS is an objective test to assess confusion. For a finding of neurological impairment, the GCS requires inattention which means these people cannot keep track of conversations and keep focused on one topic and they have disorganized thinking which means there is no logical flow to their thought process, they are rambling nonsense and they are not making any sense whatsoever. A person with an impaired GCS cannot follow normal commands and cannot operate equipment.

[192]     Dr. Dost is of the view that the inclusion of a subjective report of being “dazed” as a criterion for neurological impairment (found in the ACRM definition), is too vague. The problem with using it as a criterion is that there is no medical definition for the term “dazed”. It could mean anything.

[193]     For a symptom to be a criterion for diagnosing mTBI, there cannot be another explanation for the symptom. If there is another explanation then, in Dr. Dost’s opinion, a neurologist should not diagnose the patient with an mTBI.

What Is The Right Amount Of Money For A MTBI  Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

 

The judge in this case explained how damages for pain and suffering worked before awarding $175,000 for the MTBI suffered by the

Non-pecuniary damages are awarded to compensate the plaintiff for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities. The compensation awarded should be fair to all parties and fairness is measured against awards made in comparable cases. Such cases, though helpful, serve only as a rough guide. Each case depends on its own unique facts: Trites v. Penner, 2010 BCSC 882 at paras. 188-189.

[255]     In Stapley v. Hejslet, 2006 BCCA 34, the Court of Appeal outlined the factors to be considered when assessing non-pecuniary damages at para. 46.

[256]     The in‑exhaustive list of common factors cited in Boyd v. Harris, 2004 BCCA 146 that influence an award of non-pecuniary damages includes:

  1.  age of the plaintiff;
  2.  nature of the injury;
  3.  severity and duration of pain;
  4.  disability;
  5.  emotional suffering;
  6.  loss or impairment of life;
  7.  I would add the following factors, although they may arguably be subsumed in the above list:
  8. impairment of family, marital and social relationships;
  9.  impairment of physical and mental abilities; and
  10.  loss of lifestyle.
[257]     Stoicism is a factor that should not, generally speaking, penalize the plaintiff: Giang v. Clayton, Lian and Zheng, 2005 BCCA 54.

 Decision on Non-Pecuniary Damages

[269]     In conclusion of the general damage section of the decision, Curtis J. describes the now 67‑year-old Mr. Chowdhry as having lost a large measure of who he was. While human identity is partly associated with physical ability, it is much more related to a person’s mental state and abilities. Mr. Chowdhry is quite simply not the man he was. Rather than being energetic and happy and employed as the lease manager, he is unemployed. Rather than being the social outgoing man he was, he is now socially withdrawn and has little or no interest about anything. Rather than supporting his family, he is dependent upon them in a way that corrodes his relationship with his wife and his children. Curtis J. assessed non‑pecuniary damages at $200,000.

[270]     There are many obvious similarities between these cases relied on by the plaintiffs and the Mayer case, however, I find that the cases relied on by Mr. Mayer’s counsel involve more significant brain injuries which were readily apparent because of the dramatic effect it had on the plaintiffs. Mr. Mayer’s brain injury was more subtle and went undetected for a considerable period of time because of his ability to function. Nonetheless he is a changed man and he has suffered a considerable loss in his enjoyment of life, family, friends, social interests and vocational interests. I conclude that Mr. Mayer is entitled to an award of non‑pecuniary damages in the amount of $175,000.

When you suffer an injury that goes to the very core of who you are as a person, that can change your personality, your identity and prevent you from working, from supporting your family and even enjoying life you need the best lawyer you can hire. Call our Vancouver MTBI mild traumatic brain injury lawyers immediately to get the expertise you need to recover health wise as well as financially. You can reach Spencer MacLean at 604- 697-2804 or email him at smaclean@macleanlaw.ca.



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