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Traumatic Brain Injury

Workers’ Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury that occurs on the job is considered a workers’ compensation injury.  Bernstein and Bernstein can assist you in filing your workers’ compensation claim.

Workplace accidents are a common cause of brain injuries. Whether due to a physical blow to the head or exposure to toxins, brain damage can be debilitating and prevent a return to work. If you or a family member has suffered a brain injury due to a workplace accident, then you may be facing a lifetime of medical bills and rehabilitation costs. The burden of paying these heavy medical costs, while also trying to emotionally deal with the injury, can be overwhelming.  An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you deal with these issues.

Brain injuries and brain damage can occur in many workplace environments, for example:

  • a fall from a ladder or scaffold
  • a car accident on the job
  • a slip-and-fall accident
  • exposure to chemicals and other toxins

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain.   A person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. A mild TBI can include such symptoms as:

  • headache
  • confusion
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision or tired eyes
  • ringing in the ears
  • bad taste in the mouth
  • fatigue or lethargy
  • a change in sleep patterns
  • behavioral or mood changes, depression, personality changes
  • trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking

A person with a moderate or severe TBI may show the same symptoms as with a mild TBI, but may also have the following:

  • a headache that gets worse or does not go away
  • repeated vomiting or nausea
  • convulsions or seizures
  • an inability to awaken from sleep
  • dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • slurred speech
  • weakness or numbness in the extremities
  • loss of coordination
  • increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation

Treatment

Depending on the scope of the injury, patients will receive either an X-ray or a CT scan.  Patients often need rehabilitation in the areas of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, psychiatry, and social support. Some may even need full-time nursing care.

Life-Changing Effects of a Brain Injury

TBI is one of the most devastating work injuries a family can suffer.  Some common long term effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury are problems with:

  • cognition – thinking, memory, and reasoning
  • sensory processing – sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell
  • communication – speech, expression and understanding
  • mobility – loss of coordination, partial paralysis, or sudden muscle contractions
  • behavior or mental health – depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, violence, acting out, and social inappropriateness
  • seizures
  • Parkinson’s disease

The most serious TBIs can result in one of the following abnormal states of consciousness which could require long-term, in-patient care:

  • Stupor – The patient is unresponsive but can be aroused by strong stimulus.
  • Coma – The patient can’t be aroused.
  • Persistent vegetative state – The patient is unconscious but has sleep-wake cycles and periods of alertness.
  • Minimally conscious state – Similar to persistent vegetative state, but the patient shows signs of cognitive processing.
  • Locked-in syndrome – The patient is paralyzed and mute, but can think and reason.
  • Brain death – Brain function can’t be measured due to widespread damage. Removal of life support systems will cause respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.

For more information on how to file your workers’ compensation claim for a traumatic brain injury, please contact us.