Brain Injury

20 Facts About Brain Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice or Negligence

At Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, we regularly represent children, parents, and families who have been affected by brain injuries caused by medical error, negligence, and medical malpractice. We are based in Toronto, represent clients across Canada, and are recognized across the country as one of the leaders in medical malpractice law.

We are passionate about educating our clients about their rights, and regularly provide clients with the resources they need to better understand what may have happened to their child or family member, and what they can do to move forward after a life-altering event or incident. This week, we explore 20 facts about brain injuries caused my medical error, negligence, or malpractice.

Things to Know About Brain Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice or Negligence


1) Brain injuries caused by medical malpractice are often different than brain injuries caused by a slip and fall, or a motor vehicle accident. Individuals who suffered a brain injury after a car or other accident are typically aware of the cause of their injury and are usually represented by personal injury lawyers.

2) In contrast, many people who have brain injuries caused by medical malpractice are unaware that their brain injury may have been preventable. If you or a family member have suffered a brain injury due to the actions of a physician, surgeon, obstetrician, nurse, or other health care professional, you may need the help of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer with specific experience representing clients in medical malpractice brain injury cases.

3) Brain injuries due to medical malpractice can affect anyone- fetuses, babies, children, and adults.

4) Brain injuries affecting babies most commonly occur during labour and delivery as there are many ways for a baby to be deprived of oxygen at this critical time. Even healthy newborns can also develop a brain injury. Brain injuries caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain are sometimes referred to as anoxic brain injuries.

5) Oxygen deprivation (hypoxic insult/ hypoxia or asphyxia) at birth can be caused or affected by several things, including: compression of the umbilical cord (sometimes by forceps), placental abruption, uterine rupture, high blood pressure of the mother (preeclampsia), stroke, breech position of the baby, failure to do an emergency caesarean section in time or improper administration of an epidural.

6) Oxygen deprivation at birth causing brain injury can result in serious, permanent, life-altering conditions for the child, including cerebral palsy, autism, symptoms like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cognitive delay or intellectual disability, developmental delay, speech delay, seizures, and behavioural problems.

7) The risk of brain injury at birth or brain injury during labour and delivery can be mitigated by proper medical care and monitoring of both the fetus and the mother. One example would be delivering the baby by an emergency caesarean section due to abnormal fetal heart rate tracings and fetal distress.

8) Babies with brain injuries may require resuscitation/Code Pink and brain injured babies are often admitted to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). They may show signs of encephalopathy – meaning ‘brain dysfunction’ – including neonatal seizures.

9) Adult brain injuries or brain injuries in older children that are caused by medical malpractice are thought to be less common, but still happen.

10) Adult and older-child (pediatric) brain injuries resulting from medical error can be caused, for example, by a delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis (for instance a blood clot going undiagnosed, an infection not being noticed).

11) Other common causes of brain injury in older children or adults that may involve medical malpractice include: radiology errors, medication errors, surgical errors, anesthesia errors, and emergency room errors.

12) Common conditions that may result in brain injury to adults and older children due to delay in diagnosis or mistreatment include: diabetes, infection leading to sepsis and septic shock, toxic shock, insulin shock, heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke, blood clot, meningitis, encephalitis, hydro-encephalitis, internal bleeding, and other conditions.

13) Brain injuries caused post-birth resulting from medical error or medical malpractice are sometimes referred to as acquired brain injuries (ABI).

14) ABI includes non-traumatic brain injury caused by tumours, infections, hypoxia, ischemia, hypoglycemia, and similar conditions and events.

15) The effects that brain injuries have on older children or adults will depend on whether the brain injury is mild or severe.

16) Mild brain injuries can result in cognitive problems such as headaches, memory problems, difficulty paying attention, and mood swings. Such cognitive problems are often overlooked, but should still be investigated.

17) Severe brain injuries can result in more significant problems including coma, paralysis, paraplegia, hemiplegia or quadriplegia, impairment of higher level cognitive functions, limited use of arms or legs, abnormal speech, language issues, and emotional problems.

18) The range of injuries is variable, and will depend on the circumstances of each individual including the area of the brain that is injured and the severity of the brain injury.

19) As a person affected by brain injury due to complications at birth (birth injury or birth trauma) or the parent of a child that is affected by such a brain injury, you may seek damages (i.e. compensation) if you believe a doctor or other medical professional made an error or failed to meet their standard of care and caused the injury.

20) OHIP and other government benefits through CCAC or LHINs are rarely sufficient to cover the significant medical and other costs associated with caring for someone with a brain injury.

At Sommers, Roth & Elmaleh, our goal is to protect the rights of families whose lives have been impacted by brain injury resulting from medical malpractice, and help them obtain financial security so that they can begin to move forward. Over the years, we have won some of the largest medical malpractice awards in Canadian history for our clients. We offer contingency fee agreements, meaning our clients pay us nothing unless we are successful. Call us at 1-844-777-7372 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Disclaimer and Liability Exclusion

The information on this page is provided for general information purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice. It does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Readers should seek specific legal advice regarding any specific legal issues. We do not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information on this page. The posts on this page are current as of their original date of publication, but they should not be relied upon as timely, accurate or fit for any particular purpose.

Accessing or using this web site or the content herein does not create a lawyer-client relationship.

This page may contain links to third party web sites. We are unable to, and do not, monitor and guarantee the quality of the information disseminated and accessible through those links, which are provided for convenience only. We do not endorse the information contained in linked web sites nor guarantee its accuracy, timeliness or fitness for a particular purpose.

    If you have been affected by medical malpractice anywhere in Canada contact us for a free consultation.
    You pay us nothing unless we win.

    A lawyer from Sommers Roth & Elmaleh will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Please note that no lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary relationship is created by your inquiry. All information provided is confidential.

    The above information is not legal advice. Past results of cases and recoveries by our medical malpractice lawyers against hospitals, doctors, midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals are not necessarily indicative of future results. The amounts recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.

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    Hilt this Tamrate
    Hilt this Tamrate
    23 May 2023
    Dear Mr Hilik Y. And Jeremy Syrtash. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you and Sommers Roth and Elmaleh Professional Corporation staff for all you have done with respect to my wife case. My wife was a victim of Medical Malpractice after giving birth to our daughter. She become legally disabled both physically and mentally. The entire family devastated emotionally as my wife struggle to cope with the new reality. The case of Medical Malpractice is quite often a complex case to prove. However, due to your strong commitment, knowledge and dedication combined with strong professionalism the case was successfully won after a long arduous fight. The victory would not have been possible without your dedication and thorough research in the implementation of the standards of the Sommers Roth and Elmaleh Professional Corporation. Justice prevailed at last which in turn allowed my vulnerable wife to feel more optimistic about her future and that of our family. The positive outcome of this case has changed our lives forever. It would not have been possible without the excellent representation of Sommers Roth and Elmaleh Professional Corporation and its legal counsel. My wife and I will be deeply grateful for the successful outcome of this case for many years to come. Solomon Regassa
    Hector Cardenas
    Hector Cardenas
    4 January 2023
    I would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere gratitude towards Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, from the day I met with Hilik and his team, they been not only highly knowledgeable but also extremely sensitive towards me and my family, providing us with the best legal service possible. It goes without saying, that I strongly recommend them to anyone looking for a charismatic, quality and result oriented legal team.
    10 October 2022
    We deeply appreciate Sommers Roth & Elmaleh for their professional skills and hard-working through the whole process of my son’s case. I still remember the first conversation we took with Mr. Hilik Y Elmaleh in his lawyer office sixteen years ago. From then on, your dedication, patience, understanding and continuous communications kept our encouragements and expectations for my son and our family. With the case settled down, my son can receive the full financial support, continuous therapies and finishing his university course. It is no doubt to say that Sommers Roth & Elmaleh not only changed our family’s life but also did contributions to the society, because my son can grow in a happy and health way in his teenage and receive university education from this autumn. Again we hereby strongly recommend the services provided by the lawyer office Sommers Roth & Elmaleh to those who needs the similar legal consultation and support. Even the door of your family was closed by some unfortunate events, there are more windows can be opened. The lawyers in Sommers Roth & Elmaleh are exactly the people who can open the windows and convert the sun-shine again to your family: Mr. Hilik Y Elmaleh,Mr.Jeremy Syrtash, Miss Fanny Peter ...etc. Finally, we express the deepest gratitude and appreciation again to Mr. Hilik Y Elmaleh and lawyer office Sommers Roth & Elmaleh. Wish a brighter future of Sommers Roth & Elmaleh !
    Meggie Zhangkrk6hdjybfjt
    Meggie Zhangkrk6hdjybfjt
    6 October 2022
    I am so glad that my son's CP medical case was completely successful. I appreciate lawyer Hilik Elmaleh, Jeremy Syrtash, Fanny Peter and their team's hard work. They are so knowledgeable, responsible and reliable. Thanks is not enough to express my gratitude. Mr. Hilik Elmaleh deserves "The Best Lawyer in Canada" award.
    Tony Zhou
    Tony Zhou
    29 September 2022
    I would like to extend my gratitude towards Mr. Hilik Elmaleh, Jermey Syntash, and Fanny Peter for their dedication, time, effort, and knowledge invested into my case. This is honestly the best team of lawyers in Canada. I would highly recommend them for any of your cases.
    Dianne Keckes
    Dianne Keckes
    18 July 2022
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank our daughter's "Dream Team", Hilik Elmaleh, Jeremy Syrtash and Fanny Peter. The compassion, dedication, knowledge, experience and their recognition in the legal community have ensured us that we were on the right track working with the firm Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh. Words cannot express enough my gratitude! I will be forever grateful!
    Ivica J Sokic
    Ivica J Sokic
    6 June 2022
    Thank you does not begin to express the depth of gratitude I have for Sommers Roth & Elmaleh Professional Corporation. From the first day I sat in Hilik's office, not once did I feel apprehensive. My concerns and worries were put at ease due to the kindness and compassion of Hilik, Jeremy and Fanny and their relentless persistence to secure my daughter's future. This has been a long but successful endeavor during some difficult times and through it all, the Team has been resilient, informative and were always available. I highly recommend this dedicated and professional law firm and I will be forever in their debt.
    Arden Melnechuk
    Arden Melnechuk
    1 December 2021
    I was in a serious horse accident where the horse was injured and should never have been ridden. The owner of the horse was aware that the horse had chronic arthritis issues and the veterinarians at Guelph had told him the horse could decompensate at any time and could cause serious injury whether being led or ridden and could never be jumped again. The horse had been shown at the grand prix level and the owner had payed quite a bit of money for him. After consulting with several lawyers and having one that did represent me at the discoveries who later quit, Jeremy Syrtash took on the case and followed through with guelph university. That is how we found out that the vets had recommended the above. Without Jeremy's efforts and follow through the case would never have continued on. Because of these efforts the case was successful. Thank you so much Jeremy. You are a dedicated, thorough, excellent lawyer and it's been a pleasure to have you as my lawyer!!
    Megha Sharma
    Megha Sharma
    16 April 2021
    Mr. Elmaleh and his team are very professional and experts in their field. Recommend to everyone who has suffered medical negligence.
    Nick & Whitney Maraschiello-Basnett
    Nick & Whitney Maraschiello-Basnett
    18 July 2020
    We want to start by saying how much we highly recommend Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh for anyone who is dealing with a situation involving medical malpractice. Hilik and the entire firm have allowed us the opportunity to give our little girl the life she deserves. There is no taking back what happened, but they truly turned such a tragedy into a victory. They fought long and hard, and put forth so much time and effort into making the individuals accountable and responsible for the mistakes that were made. They always showed true compassion for our family, guided us with ease, and supported us through every step. This was such a life changing experience with the firm, and honestly we will always be forever grateful and thankful.