After a fall or other mishap at work, you may find yourself with a headache. Sometimes, it’s just a headache. But how do you know for sure?Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are the result of a sharp blow or other sudden trauma to the head that disrupts the functioning of the brain. This injury can also occur when a skull fragment or other object penetrates the brain at a high velocity. Symptoms of a TBI can range from a mild headache and concussion to a permanent comatose state.
But a TBI may be overlooked in the process of treating more obvious injuries such as lacerations and broken bones. Symptoms such as blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue may not be apparent for days, and possibly weeks, after the accident. This makes it more difficult to prove that the TBI is related to the work accident.If you’ve had an accident at work, it’s safe to assume that you may have experienced an injury that includes a TBI. Getting immediate medical attention is important to determine whether it is just a headache or a more serious head trauma.
Causes of TBI
The CDC estimates that nearly 3 million emergency room visits every year are related to TBI. About 56,000 deaths are attributed to TBI, and 288,000 hospitalizations.While TBIs most often happen in car accidents, it’s not uncommon for them to happen in a work-related accident such as:
- Falls from scaffolding, ladders, downstairs, or other high places. (Falls are the main reason people end up in a hospital.)
- Contact accidents with heavy machinery such as forklifts, bulldozers, cranes, and others. These injuries can be prevented with proper safety gear and training.
- Impacts from heavy falling objects
- On-the-job vehicular collisions (trucks, cars, heavy equipment)
- Other impact accidents
Of course, you should notify your employer anytime you’ve had an accident at work, even if it seems minor. Complete all forms for workers’ compensation, and seek immediate medical attention. If you are told to see a specialist for TBI, make sure that you do.
Commonly called a “concussion,” TBI can exhibit symptoms such as:
- Physical: headache, nausea or vomiting, drowsiness, fatigue, speech problems, dizziness and/or loss of balance
- Sensory: ringing in ears, blurred vision, changes in smell, bad taste
- Cognitive: loss of consciousness, being dazed or confused, difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal, memory or concentration issues, mood changes, or mood swings
- Moderate to severe
- Physical: loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours, worsening or persistent headache, unable to wake up from sleeping, seizures or convulsions, dilated pupils, consistent vomiting or nausea, loss of coordination, weakness or numbness in fingers or toes, clear fluid draining from ears or nose
- Cognitive: severe confusion, unusual behavior such as combativeness or agitation, coma or other unconscious states, slurring speech
If you are suddenly experiencing a headache, blurred vision, mood changes, or any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a physician immediately to determine the severity of your injuries and begin treatment. Even “mild” symptoms can indicate a serious brain injury.
What About Workers’ Compensation?
Worker’s compensation is an insurance policy your employer carries to cover any type of employee accident during work.If Traumatic Brain Injuries occur on the job, such as during a slip and fall accident, your accident should be covered by your company’s workers’ compensation policy. The exception is if you were drunk, using drugs, or otherwise not acting properly during working hours (such as goofing off on company time.)Should you feel that your employer is attempting to thwart your efforts to file a worker’s compensation claim, speak with a KC worker’s compensation attorney.
Help With Your Kansas City Workers Compensation Claim
After a workplace injury in Kansas City, you should first notify your employer, explaining what happened and how. Once your injury has been reported to their insurer for worker’s compensation, it’s up to the carrier to decide on whether or not to approve your claim so you can receive treatment.Since 1918, The Popham Law Firm has been representing people just like you in Workers Compensation claims. We’ll be happy to review your case, let you know if you have one, and how to proceed. Contact us at (844) 243-2288 or (use our online contact form) to get started.