Even though it is severe, suffering a concussion at work is, unfortunately, more common than people think. Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury that can range from mild to life-threatening.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of workers who sustain work-related concussions is upwards of 13,000. Workers whose employment requires them to take certain risks to which they agree are the ones who sustain most concussions at work. Other times, these injuries happen to employees whose job does not involve obvious risks to injuries like these, such as office workers.
Helpful guidance following a concussion
There are steps you should take if you sustain a concussion at work, such as:
- Get medical help immediately. Even if you think the blow to your head was not “as bad” or feel fine, you could still have a concussion. Even if the symptoms are mild, medical assistance is a priority.
- Follow your doctor’s orders and document everything as it happened. If you cannot write it right after the accident, do so when you can remember details or ask others who were present when you sustained the concussion.
- Suppose you suffered a concussion while at work. It would help if you qualified for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a type of employer insurance that provides wage replacement and other benefits to injured employees who sustained those injuries while at work.
- Review your options. You can file a claim for workers’ compensation on your own or with the assistance of an experienced legal professional who understand the process, which can sometimes be complex.
- When you file, make sure that you provide the insurance company with all documentation you have in order to prove your claim.
Suffering a concussion at work is a traumatic experience in and of itself. Not only can it affect your physical abilities, but it can also cause long-term damage.
A concussion can result in short (or lengthy) periods of time off work. An injured worker with a concussion can collect 2/3 of their wages (tax free) during periods of time they are off work, per a doctor’s limitations. The lost time benefits continued until the worker reaches an end of healing. At that moment, a doctor (preferably a neurologist) will assign a percentage of disability, indicating the level of permanent impairment from the head injury. More importantly, if a head injury results in permanent limitations that impact the worker’s ability to return to their injury employment, they can pursue a loss of earning capacity claim.
As such, a worker with a concussion should consult an attorney about whether they are receiving their appropriate:
- Medical treatment expenses
- Lost time/Temporary Total Disability benefits (2/3 of their wages)
- Permanent Partial Disability (% of impairment)
- Loss of Earning Capacity
You should understand the symptoms of a concussion and either advocate for yourself to receive proper care and compensation or ask an expert to advocate for you.