Brain Injury Awareness Month

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Acquired Brain Injury (or ABI, which is damage sustained by the brain after birth) currently impacts about 1.5 million Canadians, according to an online article put out by Brain Injury Canada(BIC). BIC is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those impacted by ABIs through education, research, awareness and advocacy. At Pipella Law, we take a special interest in the work of Brain Injury Canada. Keeping abreast of the latest brain injury research allows Pipella Law to better serve our clients.

According to the article, ABIs affect more people than breast cancer, spinal injury, multiple sclerosis and HIV combined. The article refers to two types of ABIs: 1) traumatic (caused by trauma, like a car accident) and 2) non-traumatic (caused by other events, like substance abuse). It also references a number of the symptoms associated with brain injury, including slurred speech, ringing in the ears, vision problems, short-term memory deficits, headaches and even seizures in severe cases. In short, brain injuries are extremely challenging.

Despite the fact that brain injuries can cause lifelong problems, insurance lobbyists may reportedly try to convince the provincial government to classify these injuries as “minor”. This would limit the amount of compensation available for people with brain injuries. Although the government’s classification would likely be limited to Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBIs), even MTBIs can cause serious problems, including job loss and marriage breakdown. For people afflicted with brain injuries, their symptoms hardly feel “minor”.

Of course, traumatic brain injuries are preventable. Forget compensation – most people would rather avoid an injury in the first place. For bikers, basic safety precautions can help reduce the odds of a brain injury. In an online article written by Chris Clegg of South Peace News, a number of bicycling safety tips are referenced. These are of paramount importance at a time when more people are outside biking, given the fact that it’s a COVID-safe activity. Some of the tips are common sense, including obeying all lights and signals, and ensuring your bike is in good condition. Some are less obvious, and include wearing bright clothing and protective gear, always riding single file, and staying on the right-hand side of the road in the same direction as traffic.

Safe helmet tips are important to remember too. If you have suffered a brain injury in an accident, give the lawyers at Pipella Law a call at 403.265.8733.