Movie fans may have seen the recent biographical film ‘Concussion’ which tells the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu’s discovery of an American Football related brain injury called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The movie highlights the severity of the consequences of brain injury, from cognitive deficits to chronic headaches and mood disorders, and displaces the myth that brain injury is only caused by ‘one off’ high velocity collisions.
Brain injuries are devastating for the injured person and their family. Fortunately health and safety standards continue to increase in everyday life to prevent such catastrophic injuries from occurring. From the requirement to wear seat belts in cars and crash helmets on motorbikes, to regulation of high risk sports such as American Football and Rugby Union, brain injury prevention is all around us. However, brain injuries still happen far too often. A blunt knock to the head can lead to serious or even fatal consequences, even at low speeds, as Hollywood star Natasha Richardson’s tragic death following a fall during a skiing lesson showed in March 2009.
Dr Omalu’s research is therefore an important foundation of what today’s brain injury lawyers now know: that traumatic brain injury can be devastating and often misunderstood. When considering if a victim of an accident has suffered a brain injury, any period of concussion and post traumatic amnesia are key signs to look for in medical records. Symptoms that are commonly misunderstood as being psychological in nature – such as anger, inhibitive and inappropriate behaviour, and mood swings – should also be investigated. A good brain injury lawyer will look for these signs as well as know that a high speed motor vehicle accident is not the only cause of brain injury. Repetitive traumatic brain injuries caused by contact sports such as boxing, American Football, and Rugby Union, or multiple falls caused by sports such as skiing, snowboarding or even gymnastics, can be just as devastating.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury whether it be in a motor vehicle accident or sporting / public liability accident, it is important that you seek legal advice from lawyers who understand the complexities of brain injury claims. At Stacks Goudkamp, not only are we recommended by the Brain Injury Centre for our expertise in this area, but we will treat you with the care and compassion that you deserve. After all, you have already been through enough. Contact our friendly team today on 1800 25 1800 or make an online enquiry.
Written by Victoria Roy.
Victoria Roy is an Associate in Tom Goudkamp and Ruth Hudson’s Practice Group. Victoria primarily represents clients who have been injured during international travel and overseas in Stacks Goudkamp’s Travel Law department. Her current clients include plaintiffs who have sustained brain injuries abroad.