Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can inflict permanent damage, even when a case is considered “mild.” Car accidents are a leading cause of brain injuries, but workplace injuries are not far behind. Some industries are more dangerous than others, like construction, but workers in all fields can suffer this catastrophic injury.
Other occupations that have a heightened risk of causing brain injuries include:
- Emergency response
- Medical services
Common Workplace Hazards That Cause Brain Injuries
If you suffer from a traumatic brain injury while performing your job duties, you will likely be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, which will compensate you for a portion of your wages and any medical expenses associated with the workplace injury. Of course, it is better to do what you can to protect yourself from workplace accidents capable of causing a TBI.
Brain injuries often happen in the workplace due to:
- Slips, trips, and falls: If spills are not quickly addressed and cleaned, or if there is too much clutter, a worker can slip or trip and fall. Depending on how hard the fall is or where it occurred, the resulting head injury can be life-altering.
- Falling objects: Precariously placed objects on high shelves or in storage areas can fall onto a worker below, especially if that worker bumps into the shelving. In workplaces with verticality, such as a construction site, the risk of being hit by a falling object will be greater.
- Falls from heights: In the construction industry, where workers often have to climb on ladders and scaffolding, falls from heights are a serious problem. Even a seemingly much safer workplace like a retail store can be the location of a serious fall because workers are often instructed to use ladders to stock products.
Safety Precautions to Prevent a Brain Injury
Employers should take proper precautions to help prevent accidents in the workplace, especially those that could cause a brain injury. All ladders should be inspected regularly for stability. Workers should be provided protective helmets in highly active areas like construction sites. Harnesses should be given or required whenever a worker climbs scaffolding. These are just a few ways that employers can prioritize the safety of their employees.
Identifying a Brain Injury
When a worker suffers a blow to the head, falls, or otherwise gets hurt in a violent accident that might have affected their head, the next step must be to take them to the hospital for urgent medical care. A doctor should see the worker as soon as possible to check for signs and symptoms of a brain injury. Workers’ compensation benefits should cover the cost of emergency medical care, hospitalization, and other medical treatments, so an injured employee should not hesitate to get the help they need right away.
Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Change in sleep patterns
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Impaired vision
- Ringing in ears
- Mood swings
- Depression and anxiety
- Memory issues
- Balance loss
All traumatic brain injuries should be treated with urgency. People who sustain these injuries often feel fine in the aftermath, but it does not necessarily mean they did not suffer any brain damage, which is why it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as you are able to. This will also begin a paper trail of evidence that will help support your workers’ compensation claim.
Compensation for a TBI at Work
Workers’ compensation should provide coverage for an injured worker’s necessary medical treatments after a brain injury. Problems can arise, though, when an insurance company wants to argue about which treatments are necessary and which are elective. Any treatment deemed elective or optional will not be covered, and the cost will fall on the injured worker of the employer if it was their negligence that led to the accident.
A traumatic brain injury is severe and can lead to lifelong complications and conditions. Insurance companies do not want to be liable for the costs associated with such in-depth and lengthy care, as it can reach into seven-figure amounts across the worker’s life. They will likely try to decline payments for any medical treatments beyond the care an injured worker receives initially, even when a doctor diagnoses a TBI that could be incurable.
It is also possible for workers’ compensation to provide wage replacement benefits through disability insurance if the worker is unable to work again due to a brain injury. Partial or total permanent disability payments can get expensive as years and years go by. Again, the insurance company with the duty to provide those payments will probably want to put up a fight and minimize how much is ultimately given to the claimant.
Don’t Delay Your TBI Claim
Contact the Alvandi Law Group, P.C. to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys today if you suffered a brain injury at work. We can fight for your right to get the compensation you need to live as comfortably as you can.