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Workers’ Comp and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common injuries that occur in workplaces in Iowa and across the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.5 million people are seen in emergency rooms, are hospitalized or die with these types of injuries each year. Brain trauma can occur whenever a person experiences a forceful impact to the head, which may occur when someone falls and hits their head or has a falling object strike them. When people receive a traumatic brain injury from an on-the-job incident, they may have difficulties returning to work and may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

When the head receives a significant blow, the soft brain tissue may hit against the hard skull bone. This may cause brain bleeding, bruising and inflammation, all of which can cause long-lasting damage to critical neural tissue. Depending on where the injury occurs in the brain, as well as the degree of impact, the victim may experience mild to severe symptoms.  According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, these include persistent headaches, nausea, vomiting, seizures, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, trouble organizing thoughts, as well as speech, hearing and vision deficits.

In some cases, the brain trauma victim may not be able to perform the same workplace tasks that he or she did prior to the accident. While some employers offer accommodations to make the transition back into work easier, some injuries are too severe and may result in disability. Workers’ compensation may provide financial support and allow people who are no longer able to work pay for their medical bills and their living expenses.