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Understanding brain injuries in the workplace

Workplace accidents are common, and that is why there is a safety net provided for in the law in the form of workers' compensation. Employers are required to purchase insurance to cover this eventuality so that when someone is hurt, there will be resources to take care of them. Sometimes, though, the injury can be more difficult to detect and treat because the symptoms are not as apparent. One case like this is when workers sustain moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries.

What is TBI?

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, happens when the brain is damaged by a blow or fall. In the workplace, there are a variety of ways that employees can sustain traumatic brain injuries. Here are the common sources of injury:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: 31 percent
  • Falls: 29 percent
  • Assaults and violent acts: 20 percent
  • Contact with equipment or objects: 18 percent

Recovery from TBI

There are a number of effective therapies that can help people who suffer from TBIs recover some of the cognitive function and skills the trauma negatively affected. Depending on the severity of the injury and other health outcomes, they do have very variable levels of success, and as a result, a large number of those who suffer TBIs at work wind up missing work time. Often, patients are unable to return to work, but there are accommodations that employers can make. The Mayo Clinic points out several:

  • Reassign duties around the deficits caused by the injury
  • Allow for flexible schedules
  • Provide extra time for duties to be completed

Filing compensation claims for TBI

If a traumatic brain injury creates medical expenses related to the recovery, then workers should be covered under Wisconsin's compensation law. That includes expenses such as lost wages due to missing work time during the recovery, as well as treatments ranging from short-term trauma intervention to physical and occupational therapy. Attorneys can help with a number of issues, from initial filings to appealing determinations and even suing for relief. The options vary from case to case, but the only way to know what one's options are is to seek help and information.

Consulting with an attorney who can provide legal advice about a particular injury claim is often a good idea, especially if claims have already been filed and denied in full or in part. The sooner patients and their families contact an attorney, the sooner they will be able to get advice that fully reflects their situations.

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Milwaukee, WI 53211

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