Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are far more common than most people imagine. In the United States, about 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries each year. About 75% of these TBIs are relatively mild and are classified as concussions. However, hundreds of thousands of people around the country are hospitalized for traumatic brain injuries each year. And, even mild TBIs can have a cumulative impact, causing lasting damage.
While traumatic brain injuries occur in many different ways, including violence, contact sports, car accidents, and falls, they also make up a significant percentage of serious workplace injuries.
In one recent five-year period, traumatic brain injuries made up 22% of all fatal workplace injuries, and 46% of work related falls.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workers in the construction industry are at the greatest risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury on the job. That’s no surprise, given the heavy equipment involved and the frequency with which construction workers are working above ground level. The construction industry, transportation industry, and agriculture together make up nearly half of all TBI-related workplace fatalities.
However, traumatic brain injuries occur in a wide range of settings. Although workers in industries involving climbing, working above ground level, using scaffolding, and using heavy equipment are at greater risk, traumatic brain injuries occur in many contexts.
The symptoms of traumatic brain injury vary from case to case. Of course, some of the variation is due to the seriousness of the injury. However, other factors, such as the part of the brain that sustained the injury, impact the symptoms a particular injury victim may suffer. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to identify traumatic brain injury in the immediate aftermath of the accident.
Some of the most common symptoms of traumatic brain injury include:
However, a variety of other symptoms are possible. If you have suffered a head injury and are experiencing unexplained symptoms, make sure to report them to your doctor even if they seem unrelated.
Securing the workers’ compensation benefits you need after a traumatic brain injury can be complicated for a number of reasons. First, the extent of the injury and the likelihood that it is permanent can be difficult to determine. Because new symptoms often emerge overtime, it can be a mistake to settle a TBI related workers compensation claim too quickly.
At the same time, return to work may be complicated for a victim of a traumatic brain injury. While many people who have suffered TBI do return to work, some require accommodation, a change in career, or retraining. There is no standard expected time for someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury to return to full working capacity, and in some cases that never happens.
In short, the claim may be complicated and it is in your best interests to talk with an experienced local workers’ compensation attorney before you accept a settlement. And, of course, a workers’ compensation lawyer can be your best resource if you have been denied benefits, or if you are having trouble with return to work options.
Let Attorney Kevin Broderick answer your questions and evaluate your personal injury or vehicle accident case for free!
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