Concussion/Head Injury Disability
Concussions can take some time for symptoms to show themselves, and each person can react differently, however they can be completely debilitating. Concussions can manifest in different ways including:
- Changes in behaviour or personality, such as depression or anxiety, aggression or acting out.
- Changes in physical abilities, such as weakness or trouble with coordination. Severe injuries can cause speech difficulty, seizures, and paralysis.
- Impaired cognition, such as slower thinking, memory loss, or unusual reasoning.
- Impaired communication skills, such as expressing oneself or understanding others.
- Sensory loss in any one of the five senses.
What Causes Head Injuries in Vancouver?
In addition to vehicle accidents, sports are the most common cause of head injuries in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland:
- Hockey – Traumatic brain injuries can result from fast-moving contact sports such as hockey. Contact with the ice, a stick, the boards or another player may not seem severe but can result in concussion. Always wear approved and proper-fitting protective equipment!
- Soccer – To head the ball or not? This topic has been debated in recent years, with some medical experts claiming that children should avoid heading the ball. Head injuries account for up to one-fifth of all soccer injuries. However, most soccer concussions occur when two players heads collide.
- Cycling – It’s easy to see the link between falling off a bike and a closed head injury. Experts say wearing a properly-fitted bicycle helmet can reduce your chances of head injury by half. In BC, a law passed in 1995 mandates that cyclists must wear certified helmets.
- Longboarding – This increasingly popular sport, modeled after surfing, has obvious connections to head injury. The greater speeds achieved by longboards make head injury even more prevalent. Helmets, it goes without saying, should be standard equipment.
- Diving – Head injuries from diving occur most often when one strikes there head on the bottom of the pool. The depth of the water should always be determined prior to diving to make sure the dive can be made safely.
- Football – Football helmets gained popularity in the 1890s and continue to evolve. The rate at which players can meet and butt heads on the field has long been an area of great concern, as life-changing injury and even fatalities have resulted. Efforts to lessen impact on the brain continue with different rules being implemented and continued helmet technology improvement.
Despite the evolving understanding of the significant impact of concussions in popular culture, insurance companies will often try to downplay the seriousness of concussions/head injuries and try to force disabled individuals back to work when they are not medically ready and if they don’t the insurance company will unfairly cut off disability payments.