Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for a Brain Injury?

Accidents cause serious brain injuries in the workplace every day. Slip and fall accidents, falls from scaffolding or ladders, and job-related motor vehicle accidents are some of the most common causes of on-the-job head injuries. A brain injury may involve a concussion, post-concussion syndrome, or a traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range from mild to severe. Amnesia or extended unconsciousness can follow a severe injury. TBI can have short- and long-term effects on the victim’s emotions, thinking processes, reasoning, language skills, and sensations, such as touch, taste, and smell. It can also cause epilepsy and increase the victim’s risk of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injury to the Brain

Workers’ compensation benefits vary by state. North Carolina, for example, has a no-fault Workers’ Compensation system. If you have been injured on the job, you will be entitled to benefits in most cases, even if you accidently caused your own injuries. If you have suffered a mild brain injury, workers’ comp should cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages until you return to work.

Bear in mind that symptoms of moderate or severe traumatic brain injury may not be apparent immediately. Delayed and secondary symptoms can include inability to think clearly, numbness in the limbs, slurred speech, irritability, and depression. Symptoms can be subtle and difficult to recognize.

Severe TBI can result in permanent disability or even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that 30% of all deaths from injuries in the U.S. are TBI related. A brain injury can have devastating long-term effects on cognitive function, motor function, sensation, and emotions, seriously impacting the lives of victims and their families.

Workers’ compensation law is complicated, and the insurance company may seek to lower your disability rating to minimize the amount it pays out to you. In certain cases, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits and pursue compensation from a third party that was to blame for your injury.

If you have suffered severe TBI in a workplace accident, it is crucial that you consult with a knowledgeable workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to either partial or total permanent disability benefits, depending on the extent of your injuries.

What to Do When Recovering From a Work-Related Brain Injury

In the event of a brain injury, the CDC offers the following tips to aid your recovery:

  • Do not rush back to work or daily activities. Get plenty of rest.
  • Take only medications that have been prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not drink alcohol until your doctor says that you may.
  • Avoid any activity that could cause a jolt or blow to the head and further injure your brain.
  • Do not drive, ride a motorcycle or a bicycle, or operate heavy equipment until your doctor gives you the OK.
  • If you have difficulty remembering things, write them down.
  • Get professional help re-learning the skills you have lost because of your injury.

Sources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): What are the Potential Effects of TBI? http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/outcomes.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Severe Traumatic Brain Injury http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/severe.html

8 Comments on Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for a Brain Injury?

  1. Lilly Sedrick
    May 18, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    It is really nice to know that in most cases you can receive workers compensation for brain injuries. However, it is really interesting to me that benefits and coverage are different just about everywhere. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to get hurt on the job and not be able to get compensation for it. That is why it is always a good idea to talk to a workers compensation lawyer. They can really help you understand what you can get coverage for.

    Reply
  2. Wilfredo Hernandez
    July 2, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I didn’t know that ” 30% of all deaths from injuries in the U.S. are TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) related.” Being impaired for life is traumatic for family and friends, not just the person involved. Gaining what is legally entitled to you is very important. Therefore, an experienced legal professional should be sought after in these matters.

    Reply
    • Christina
      October 20, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      You make an excellent point about seeking an experienced professional’s help. And that statistic is a wake-up call, as you’ve claimed.

      Reply
  3. Jenn
    November 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    How long can it take for a traumatic brain injury to make itself known? My dad fell off a lift at work and hit his head, but he acted fairly normal after his concussion healed. Then three weeks later he started having problems with balance, nausea, and migraines, which he never had before his fall.

    Reply
    • cynda
      June 3, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      I got hit in head by forklift and it took a full 7 days for me to go to ER but the dizziness headache nausea confusion symptoms happened gradually over that 7 day period and they manifested in my activity vs apparent and definite injury like broken leg Good luck it takes a while to know the extent of a head injury and what will be permanent and what will pass . It changes daily

      Reply
  4. Kayla Rogers
    March 10, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    It sounds like workers’ compensation is more complicated than I initially thought! It would definitely help to consult a lawyer, or at the very least, an insurance agent, to see what you are entitled to. With a brain injury, I would definitely get on this sooner rather than later.

    Reply
  5. Hazel Owens
    March 31, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I would hope that workers would be able to receive compensation after a brain injury. Brain injuries can be extremely dangerous and have long-lasting consequences. Visiting your doctor and following their instructions is vital to recovery after an accident, and getting a lawyer will help you get compensation for the accident. Thanks for the article.

    Reply
  6. Gielowski, Federice & Caligiuri, LLP
    April 5, 2016 at 1:03 am

    It’s a good thing taking responsibility on your workers who devoted to their work and give all they got for you. Giving them compensation is the right thing to do. Also, you must give a safety precautions to your workers that they need to be aware of this thing so that it will never happen again.
    Gielowski, Federice & Caligiuri, LLP recently posted…The Medical Treatment Guidelines & YouMy Profile

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