Brain injuries and workplace accidents

Workplace accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries, which can affect peoples’ lives in many ways.

The National Institutes of Health states that traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common types of workplace injuries across all U.S. industries. TBIs can be financially, physically and psychologically devastating to victims of workplace accidents in California. The long-term cost of medical care, rehabilitation, loss of productivity and lost wages can affect both the employee and employer. A TBI can also have catastrophic effects on a person's quality of life and ability to function. While some people are able to return to work after suffering from a TBI, others are not, and must adjust to living a life with brain damage.

How do traumatic brain injuries occur?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Falling objects are another common cause of head injuries. Workers in nearly any occupation are at risk of falling or being hit by a falling object. A forceful jolt to the head can cause the soft tissue of the brain to hit against the skull. This impact can cause the brain to bruise, bleed and swell within the skull cavity.

In severe cases, an injured worker may display signs of brain injury immediately. However, there are some instances where a person may not know they have an injury until several days after the accident occurred. Whether the worker is suffering from a mild concussion or major brain trauma, it is crucial to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Although the effects of brain damage cannot be reversed, medical professionals can help to prevent further damage from occurring.

Identifying the signs and symptoms of a brain injury

Since time is of the essence, workers should be able to identify the signs of traumatic brain injuries. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the signs of brain damage can vary, depending on what area of the brain is affected. Some common symptoms include:

• Consistent headaches that may become more severe over time

• Nausea and vomiting

• Tingling in the muscles and/or extremities

• Trouble concentrating, following directions, remembering things or staying on task

• Difficulty speaking, hearing or processing what other people are saying

• Changes in vision

Workers who are experiencing any of these symptoms after being involved in an accident should contact their employer and seek medical attention right away.

Recovering from a workplace accident

There is no question that recovering from a workplace accident can be difficult. You may be unable to return to work, perform your daily activities, communicate with others or participate in hobbies you once enjoyed. A workers' compensation attorney in California may be able to help you get your life back in order after suffering from a traumatic brain injury.