Traumatic brain injuries are a common type of workplace injury that may cause long-term disability, cognitive damage and other problems.
Whether a Pennsylvania worker is employed on a dangerous construction site or in a seemingly safer office setting, he or she is at risk of becoming injured on the job. Traumatic brain injuries can occur in any type of job setting, and are one of the most common types of workplace injuries, according to the National Institutes of Health. Studies show that of the 1.7 million people who receive traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. each year, approximately 22 percent occur on-the-job.
Traumatic brain injuries can have a negative impact on peoples’ lives. The cost of medical treatment, lost wages, long-term disability, rehabilitation and loss of productivity can take a massive toll on the economy. Furthermore, a significant portion of workers are injured at a young age and many are unable to return to work. Some workers who have TBI may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits as well.
A look at traumatic brain injuries
Traumatic brain injuries occur when a forceful impact from a fall or hard blow to the head from a falling object causes a person’s brain to hit against the inner skull bone. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, this can result in brain bruising, bleeding and inflammation, which may cause permanent cognitive damage. Depending on where the injury occurs and how severe it is, a person may experience cognitive difficulties. These include problems with memory, vision, concentrating and problem-solving. People with TBI may start to have seizures, tingling in their arms and legs and muscle weakness. Brain injuries do not always show up immediately after an accident occurs. In some cases, it may take several days for the symptoms to appear.
Returning to work with TBI
Not all people who are diagnosed with traumatic brain injury are able to return to work following their recovery period. Brain injuries can cause permanent damage and people may not be able to function in the position they had before they were injured. With the help of occupational, speech and physical therapists, some workers can be rehabilitated. Others may be eligible for workers’ compensation and other benefits.
Legal counsel may be helpful
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation to help with your injury expenses. Not only does workers’ compensation cover medical expenses that arise from the initial injury, it may help to cover lost wages and long-term medical treatment as well.