Brain Injuries: Comprehensive Client Service Focused on Your Recovery
If you or a family member has suffered a serious injury to the head – from concussion to severe traumatic brain injury – contact Murphy Battista LLP for legal and practical advice designed to assist you in your overall recovery, not just your legal claims for compensation.
In motor vehicle accident cases, we work as your liaison with ICBC. We make sure that you receive the compensation you need to support your physical recovery, to obtain the best possible medical treatment, and to make up for the income loss and other expenses related to your accident. Beyond the legal and financial aspects of your ICBC injury claims, our lawyers also work closely with families and caregivers to make sure that you receive proper medical support during your recovery.
Brain injury cases frequently present serious issues of fact as to the nature, impact and duration of the trauma suffered. Especially in the less severe range of traumatic brain injury, many serious symptoms can be missed during emergency treatment or understated in ICBC claim files. Certain symptoms might not emerge as problems until weeks or months after the accident and might only be identified by family members, close friends or co-workers. These symptoms include:
- Short-term memory loss
- Problems with attention and concentration
- Diminished ability to do several things at the same time
- Diminished ability to plan and organize
- Changes in personality, mood or temper
- Behaviour or remarks that are uncharacteristically out of place in a social or workplace situation
- Changes in energy level, sleep patterns, appetite or other daily routines
- Heightened sensitivity to light, noise or alcohol
Murphy Battista’s understanding of the full range of brain injury symptoms is a significant advantage for the outcome of your brain injury claim. For many clients, the service we provide in breaking through barriers to accurate diagnosis and effective treatment is especially valuable.
One of our founding partners, Joe Battista, Q.C., is a frequent presenter on brain injury and mental health topics to professional audiences and support groups both nationally and internationally. He presented a lecture at the World Congress on Brain Injury in Italy in 2001. He currently appears before brain injury support groups throughout BC while advocating for the interests of brain injury survivors.
BC Lawyers for Head Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Victims
Our clients include children and adults who have suffered head or brain injuries as the result of a motor vehicle accident — whether they were passengers, drivers or pedestrians. Our goal is to mobilize the full range of medical, therapeutic and rehabilitative resources necessary to support the greatest degree of recovery possible for you and your family.
In addition to motor vehicle accidents, Murphy Battista also acts for clients whose injuries were suffered through a fall on dangerous property, medical negligence, or an accident at school or work. We have 36 years of experience with the resolution of serious claims involving head and brain injuries. Contact our office for a free consultation with lawyers experienced in dealing with brain injuries.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Personality Changes
April 7, 2015
Recently our firm was involved in a case that has received a fair amount of publicity, most notably from The Province and ABC News. Our client had suffered a mild traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident that occurred while she was still in high school. As…Continue Reading
A Former Quarterback’s Concussion Experience
October 27, 2014
Kevin Kolb is an NFL quarterback best known for his time with the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals. He is now 30 years old and is not on an NFL roster this year having been released by the Buffalo Bills in March. In a Sports Illustrated story last week, Kolb writes…Continue Reading
Head injury? Always consult a lawyer
July 3, 2014
It is generally in your best interest to get legal advice when you’ve been injured in a car accident. In two recent episodes of AM 650’s The Law Show we discussed situations and types of injuries where it’s particularly important to consult a lawyer before making decisions about how to…Continue Reading
Murphy Battista LLP is Proud to be a Principal Sponsor in the Okanagan Conference on Brain Injury
June 12, 2013
Murphy Battista LLP is proud to be one of the Principal Sponsors of the “Pushor Mitchell Okanagan Conference on Brain Injury.” The conference is a leading educational venue for professionals, family caregivers and people living with acquired brain injury. For over two decades the conference has successfully provided an interactive…Continue Reading
Disclaimer: The outcome of every legal proceeding will vary according to the facts and unique circumstances in each individual case. References to successful case results where the lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP have acted for clients are not necessarily a guarantee or indicative of future results.
Student assaulted outside his Delta high school more than 10 years ago was been awarded nearly $500,000 in damages
John Cameron acted as counsel for RSS. On April 15, 2009, RSS, who was 14, was attacked moments after he left the grounds of Delta Secondary School on his way home. Two men, one or both wielding telescopic metal batons, jumped out of a vehicle driven by the Defendant, ran after RSS and assaulted him at the direction of the Defendant. The Court heard that the assault on RSS, who is now 26, was said to be revenge for a high-school spat with the Defendant’s younger son, also a student at the school, over a female student.
RSS suffered a cracked nose, a concussion and bruising throughout his body. He suffered headaches for the first six months after the attack and also experienced paranoia, anxiety and depression. The Defendant was found guilty in provincial court of two counts of assault causing bodily harm after a judge concluded he was the directing mind behind the assault on RSS. His appeal was dismissed.
RSS sued the Defendant for damages. At trial, the Defendant argued that while RSS was injured in the attack, the injuries healed quickly with no lasting effects.
After trial the B.C. Supreme Court found that RSS had been left with chronic pain that caused frequent, severe and disabling headaches, which continued to affect his mood and caused mental health problems.
“The battery has left him anxious and depressed, fearful for his safety and that of his family, hypervigilant, socially withdrawn and caused him to suffer suicidal ideation and panic attacks,” said the judge.
The Court awarded RSS a total of $479,376 in damages including $125,000 for pain and suffering, $236,000 for loss of future income earning capacity, $65,000 for past lost earning capacity, $35,000 for aggravated damages and $15,000 for the cost of future care.
Kevin Gourlay and Stephen Gibson acted for a plaintiff who suffered persistent cognitive symptoms arising from a concussion / mild traumatic brain injury suffered in a 2014 motor vehicle accident. The defence disputed the nature of her injury and suggested it would only have a minimal impact on her ability to earn income. Counsel led evidence from family doctors, a physiatrist, a neuropsychologist, a physiatrist, a psychologist, and an occupational therapist in order to prove her injuries. The Court awarded the plaintiff damages of $428,272, including $140,000 for pain and suffering, $170,000 for lost future earning capacity, and $30,627 for future care.
John Cameron and Paul Bosco acted for Mr. Welder, who sustained injuries to his neck, headaches, and concentration difficulties after a motor vehicle accident. His injuries impacted his life, particularly his ability to continue to work as a tower crane operator, a job he had enjoyed and performed for over 30 years prior to his injuries. One of the main issues at trial was quantifying the losses to Mr. Welder, as he had put together a successful company after his injuries and was employing others to do the tower crane work he had previously done himself. ICBC argued that, as Mr. Welder’s company was now so successful, he should be not be awarded any earning capacity losses for the loss of his ability to operate a tower crane. However the judge accepted John and Paul’s arguments and awarded Mr. Welder damages for lost past and future income. The Court found that Mr. Welder had unquestionably suffered a loss of the ability to perform a job that he was very good at and such a loss has economic value. The Court ultimately awarded Mr. Welder over $450,000 in compensation, including damages for loss of earning capacity, an award which was significantly more than ICBC offered before trial.
Kevin Gourlay, John Cameron and Paul Bosco represented an RCMP officer who was injured when he was rammed multiple times by the driver of a stolen pick-up truck who was attempting to avoid arrest. T.S. was a highly regarded and successful officer who suffered persistent post-concussion symptoms that had a devastating effect on his health, his family life, and his work as a police officer..
After a three week trial in which the defendant took the position the case should be dismissed, the jury deliberated for two days before delivering a verdict well in excess of $1M.
John M. Cameron and Paul Bosco acted for Mr. Niessen, who was the sole proprietor of a plumbing-and-heating company. Mr. Niessen sustained significant injuries (head, neck, and lower back) when his vehicle was struck by a vehicle that crossed the centre line of a highway and these injuries affected all areas of his life. The main issue at trial was the degree to which Mr. Niessen’s ability to earn income had suffered as a result of his injuries. ICBC took the position that there was a lack of documented evidence to support this loss. However, the court accepted Mr. Cameron and Mr. Bosco’s arguments that Mr. Niessen’s history of skill and ability in his industry, his business records, and the witness called on his behalf including former co-workers and customers, all were sufficient to prove that a significant loss had occurred. In the end, the Court awarded over $840,000 for this loss of earning potential. Overall, the court awarded Mr. Niessen just over $1.2 million, which was almost triple the amount the insurance company had argued Mr. Niessen deserved.
Stephen Gibson, Scott Stanley, and Brandon Souza acted for the plaintiff who suffered a traumatic brain injury and a spinal cord injury that rendered her an incomplete quadriplegic. The plaintiff, an engineer, was driving across train tracks at a passive crossing when a train collided with the right side of her vehicle. The court found that Canadian National Railway Company was aware of insufficient sight lines and the dangerous nature of the specific railway crossing for many years prior to the accident and took no actions to ameliorate those risks. Despite the Plaintiff’s failure to stop at a stop sign at the railway crossing, Canadian National Railway Company was still found 60% at fault for the accident. The court awarded approximately $3,200,000 in damages.
Kevin Gourlay and Paul Bosco acted for a 46-year-old tradesman who sustained injuries to his head, neck and back in a head-on collision. The plaintiff also claimed compensation for psychological injuries. He was initially denied benefits by ICBC who said that it was a WCB issue. Having overcome that defence, the plaintiff proceeded to trial and recovered damages of $724,000, including $150,000 for pain and suffering and $400,000 for lost earning capacity.
Brian Brooke and Jeffrey Nieuwenburg represented a plaintiff, who was 19 at the time, who was injured while riding as a passenger in a friend’s vehicle when the vehicle left the roadway and rolled. She sustained compression fractures to her thoracic vertebrae and a closed head injury. As a result of these injuries, the plaintiff developed a chronic pain condition and was unable to pursue her dreams of becoming a registered nurse. At trial, the defendant was found wholly responsible for the accident. The plaintiff was awarded damages of approximately $1.4 million.
Joe Battista, Q.C. and Paul Bosco represented a pedestrian plaintiff who sustained catastrophic injuries, including a brain injury, after being struck by a drunk driver. The driver had recently left a pub, and made several brief stops, including at his home, before colliding with the plaintiff. The law up to this point was that if a patron makes it to their home, by whatever means, the establishment would no longer be liable for injuries caused by the patron, full stop. The court rejected this proposition, and found the pub partially liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. This decision effectively became the new law in BC on commercial host liability, expanding the responsibility owed by establishments, and creating a more favourable legal landscape for claimants who have been injured by intoxicated patrons.
Bill Dick and Keri Grenier acted for a plaintiff who was 17 years old when she was struck in a crosswalk by a pickup truck driven by the defendant. The plaintiff’s principal issues following the injury included ongoing dizziness, headaches, anxiety and depression. At issue was whether the plaintiff suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, and whether her ongoing complaints were related to the accident or to other psychosocial stressors in her life as alleged by ICBC. After a two week trial the Court awarded damages totalling $347,581. The judgment included damages for loss of future earning capacity of $175,000.
Joe Murphy, Q.C., Kevin Gourlay, and Mike Murphy acted for the plaintiff who was 16 when he was hit by a young woman who was not paying attention while driving on Halloween night in 2008. He suffered a significant traumatic brain injury. Before the accident, he had been an exceptionally gifted young man. Although he remained intelligent and was attending university, he was plagued by fatigue and cognitive difficulties as a result of the accident that would significantly impact his ability to work as an engineer. The Court assessed damages at $3,297,000, including $3M for loss of future earning capacity.
Alex Sayn-Wittgenstein and Paul Bosco represented an 83 year-old plaintiff who sustained life-threatening injuries, including a brain injury and various fractures, when he was struck by a vehicle while standing at a bus stop. ICBC denied liability but court found that the driver’s testimony was “littered with enormous credibility issues.” The driver, who had fled the accident scene, was found fully at fault. The plaintiff was awarded over $800,000 at trial, including $315,000 for pain and suffering, over $400,000 for future care, and $55,000 in-trust for the care provided by his wife during his recovery. Due to the plaintiff’s age and injuries, the case was brought to trial quickly, with the trial judgment being made less than 2 years after the accident.
Brian Brooke, J. Scott Stanley, and Jeffrey Nieuwenburg were co-counsel for the plaintiff who was awarded $790,000 in damages as compensation for suffering a significant brain injury . The injury was the result of a shove in retaliation for the Plaintiff teasing the Defendant in the aftermath of a bachelor party. The BC court reviewed the law regarding liability in connection with stag parties and in the result awarded the firm’s client $790,000 in damages.
Scott Stanley and Brandon Souza represented two young girls, who were 15 and 11 at the time of the accident. Both sustained spinal fractures and one was rendered a paraplegic. Both girls were passengers in their mother’s vehicle which was struck by another vehicle that crossed into their lane during a snow storm. The driver that crossed into their lane was found 100% at fault for the accident.
Scott Stanley and Mike Murphy represented the Plaintiffs in this case involving mild and moderate brain injuries that the plaintiffs sustained as two passengers when the driver of their vehicle lost control on the highway and crashed into a ditch. The court awarded $943,889.36 and $1,525,404.77, respectively.
Scott Stanley and Kevin Gourlay acted for the plaintiff, an emergency room doctor who sustained a concussion when he was rear-ended by a bus. Sadly, he was among the unlucky and statistically small minority of individuals who suffer long-term disabling symptoms as a result of a concussion. That concussion prevented him from being able to return to the practice of medicine.
Result: After a 29-day trial, he received judgment of just under $6,000,000 for damages, primarily resulting from his lost earning capacity as a doctor.
This was an application regarding costs following a 29-day trial in which the plaintiff had been awarded nearly $6,000,000 in damages following a fall at a night club that had resulted in a mild traumatic brain injury. The court concluded that the plaintiff was entitled to her costs from the defendant insurer despite the insurer not being obligated to indemnify the plaintiff for her losses.
Joe Murphy, Q.C. represented the plaintiff who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury at a night club. The plaintiff had been about to start a legal career at the time of the accident. The court awarded $5,934,712 for the loss of a career that ended before it began.
Scott Stanley and Irina Kordic acted for the plaintiff in this proceeding involving a motor vehicle accident that occurred on October 8, 2003. The Plaintiff was struck from behind by another vehicle and alleged that he sustained a concussion and soft tissue injuries. The Plaintiff alleged that he experienced permanent cognitive and physical symptoms as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident.
The Defendant denied that the Plaintiff sustained a concussion and further denied that he had any permanent cognitive or physical symptoms as a result of the accident.
The Plaintiff’s case went to trial on April 14, 2009 and was heard by a Judge and Jury.
The Jury awarded the Plaintiff $638,000 damages.
Stephen Gibson and Irina Kordic represented the Plaintiff who was 6 years old when he was struck by a motor vehicle and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Eight years after the accident, the Plaintiff’s mother sought assistance from the Defendant for medical benefits. The benefits were denied on the basis that the limitation period expired 2 years after the last payment made by I.C.B.C., despite the Plaintiff being a minor when the limitation expired. The Plaintiff alleged negligence against the adjuster, and bad faith against I.C.B.C. The Plaintiff was successful on a summary trial application by the Defendant to strike the Plaintiff’s claim, and the Defendant appealed. The Court of Appeal ruled that the Plaintiff’s claims would not be struck, and that they were permitted to proceed to trial on the basis that it was not plain and obvious that the Plaintiff was owed a duty of care to be informed of a lapsing limitation, or that the limitation date had expired. This was a novel finding of law in the area of potential negligence by an insurance adjuster in administering first party claims.