How Does a Brain Injury Affect My Virginia Workers Compensation Claim?
The sad reality is that head injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries (or TBI) in the workplace happen every day across the state of Virginia. Any time you have a head injury you need to report the injury and be examined immediately. A brain/head injury can affect your Virginia workers compensation claim if you do contact a Virginia workers compensation attorney who can help you get the benefits you are entitled to.
Some minor head injuries, like a cut, may require very minimal care and resolve quickly with no lasting symptoms. However, some head injuries can result in a traumatic brain injury or TBI, and a TBI can be a very serious injury with a wide range of symptoms.
Types of Brain Injuries
- Open Head Injuries – Occur when the force of an object pierces the skull and damages the brain. Open head injuries can be caused by bullets or any other object that penetrates the skull.
- Closed Head Injuries – A closed head injury occurs when an outside force impacts the head, causing the brain to shift and collide with the inside of the skull. Falls and motor vehicle accidents most often cause closed head injuries.
- Chemical Brain Injuries – If certain chemicals or poisons enter the body, they can cause serious damage to brain cells, causing permanent damage to the brain. The most common chemicals and toxins that cause this traumatic brain injury are insecticides, carbon monoxide, and lead poisoning.
- Infections – If an infection is allowed to grow within the body, it can affect the brain, causing the brain to swell and become damaged from pressing against the inside of the skull.
- Hypoxia – If the body is deprived of oxygen for too long, it can cause serious damage to the brain because it is not receiving the oxygen it needs to stay alive.
- Stroke – If there is a blockage in the blood flowing to or from the brain, it can cause irreparable damage to brain cells, causing long-lasting effects and disabilities.
Traumatic brain injuries can often be misdiagnosed, or undiagnosed. Many times, the only people aware of the effects of the traumatic brain injury are the victim or their loved ones, who notice subtle changes or differences that may only develop in the days or weeks following the event. Even “mild brain injuries” can have numerous, long-lasting effects. If you experience any symptoms of a TBI after a blow to the head, you need to seek immediate medical attention.
Symptoms that can accompany a TBI
- Memory Loss or inability to recall the injury
- Poor Concentration/Attention
- Impaired problem solving
- Ringing in the ears
- Chronic pain
- Speech impairment
Why is this important?
Traumatic brain injuries are different for everyone and there is no one path to recovery. You can experience several different symptoms and the symptoms may change over time, so you need to be vigilant in seeing your doctor and reporting these symptoms as they present. Some brain injuries can be lifelong or can even be fatal so you need to make sure you are actively seeking medical care for the best possible recovery.
How Does a Brain Injury vs Head Injury Affect my Virginia Workers Compensation Claim
If you suffered a head injury at work in Virginia, the way the injury is reported and reflected on your Award is extremely important. A claim listing a “head injury” is just that, it refers to your head only and does not address any effects the injury may have had on your brain. A claim listing a “Traumatic Brain Injury” takes into account any damage to the brain and the potential side effects resulting from the trauma you suffered.
Talk to Lawyer
If you have been the victim of a traumatic brain injury at work in the state of Virginia, you need to talk to a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure that you have the proper Award in place to know that you are covered for what could potentially be a long recovery. Call 804-755-7755
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.