A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can be life-altering, affecting not just the injured person but their families as well. TBIs are particularly concerning when they occur in the workplace, as they often involve additional complexities related to workers’ compensation claims. The Workers Compensation Attorneys at the Law Offices of Norman J. Homen, understand the challenges faced by those who have suffered a TBI and are here to help guide you through the process of securing the compensation you deserve.
Prevalence of Workplace Traumatic Brain Injuries
Workplace traumatic brain injuries are unfortunately common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBIs accounted for about 15% of all workplace injuries reported. Certain occupations and industries, such as construction, transportation, and agriculture, carry a higher risk of TBIs due to the nature of the work involved.
Types of Workplace Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are several types of traumatic brain injuries that can occur in the workplace:
- Concussions: This is the most common type of TBI and occurs when the brain experiences a sudden jolt or is shaken inside the skull.
- Contusions: A contusion is a bruise on the brain tissue caused by a direct impact on the head.
- Penetrating injuries: These injuries occur when an object penetrates the skull and damages the brain tissue.
- Anoxia and Hypoxia: These are conditions where the brain does not receive enough oxygen, either due to a lack of oxygen in the air (anoxia) or a reduction in blood flow to the brain (hypoxia).
- Coup-Contrecoup: This occurs when the brain is jolted so violently that it hits the opposite side of the skull, causing injuries at both the site of impact and the opposite side.
Causes of Workplace Traumatic Brain Injuries
Several factors can lead to a TBI in the workplace:
- Falls: Falling from a height, slipping, or tripping are common causes of TBIs, especially in industries like construction.
- Being struck by an object: This can happen in various settings, such as a warehouse where heavy objects are stored or a construction site where materials are being moved around.
- Vehicle-related accidents: Accidents involving vehicles, whether on the road or in a worksite, can result in TBIs.
- Violence: Physical altercations or assaults can lead to head injuries.
- Lack of or improper use of personal protective equipment (PPE): Being injured on the job due to improper PPE is a common issue that can lead to TBIs.
Symptoms and Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The consequences of traumatic brain injuries can be far-reaching. Depending on the severity of the injury, individuals may face short-term or long-term consequences that can impact every aspect of their lives.
- Physical Consequences
- Impaired Motor Functions: Difficulty with movement and coordination.
- Chronic Pain: Persistent pain that may be localized or widespread.
- Seizures: Episodes of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
- Cognitive Consequences
- Impaired Memory: Difficulty remembering new information or recalling past information.
- Difficulty Concentrating: Trouble staying focused on tasks.
- Impaired Judgment: Difficulty making decisions.
- Emotional Consequences
- Depression: Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in things once enjoyed.
- Anxiety: Persistent feelings of worry and fear.
- Personality Changes: Changes in the way an individual thinks, feels, and behaves.
- Social Consequences
- Isolation: Withdrawal from social activities and relationships.
- Difficulty Maintaining Relationships: Trouble relating to others and maintaining healthy relationships.
- Employment Challenges: Difficulty finding or keeping a job due to physical, cognitive, or emotional impairments.
It is paramount to seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else is showing any signs of a traumatic brain injury after being hurt on the job. Early detection and treatment can significantly impact the prognosis and help manage the symptoms and consequences more effectively. Additionally, consulting with the Workers Compensation Attorneys at the Law Offices of Norman J. Homen can help you understand your rights and the compensation you may be entitled to.
Workers’ Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injuries in California
In California, if you are hurt on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which can include medical expenses, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation services. However, obtaining these benefits can be challenging, especially for complex injuries like TBIs.
Challenges in Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Traumatic Brain Injury
One of the main challenges in filing a workers’ compensation claim for a TBI is proving that the injury is work-related. This can be particularly difficult if there are no witnesses to the incident or if the symptoms do not appear immediately. Additionally, dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they may try to minimize the severity of your injury or deny your claim altogether. Lastly, documenting non-visible or delayed symptoms can be difficult but is essential for a successful claim.
The Importance of a Workers Compensation Attorney
Given these challenges, it is highly recommended to seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove your injury is work-related, deal with insurance companies on your behalf, and ensure you receive fair compensation. Additionally, there is a time limit to file a claim, and an attorney can help ensure you meet all deadlines.
Suffering a traumatic brain injury at work can be a devastating experience, both physically and emotionally. However, it is important to remember that help is available. At the Workers Compensation Attorneys at the Law Offices of Norman J. Homen, we are here to guide you through the process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.