Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the head suffers a severe blow. There are two types of TBI: open head injuries and closed head injuries. With an open head injury, the skull is penetrated by an object. A closed head injury occurs when the brain is forced against the skull, causing it to suffer an injury. Both can result from a workplace accident, and both can have extremely severe complications like permanent cognitive impairment, loss of motor functions, permanent disability, and death.
When a victim suffers a TBI in a workplace accident, he or she can file a workers’ compensation claim to seek medical benefits, a portion of your lost wages while you are unable to work, and if appropriate, vocational rehabilitation costs. If your injury prevents you from working again, you may receive permanent disability compensation through workers’ compensation.
Accidents that Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries
Any time the head suffers an impact, the victim can suffer a TBI. A few types of accident that can result in a TBI include:
- Vehicle collisions; and
- Contact with a falling or projectile object.
Some traumatic brain injuries are relatively minor, while others are severe to the point of requiring the victim’s skull to be surgically opened to alleviate brain swelling. A TBI’s severity is classified according to the Glasgow Coma Scale. By determining an injury’s severity, doctors can determine the most appropriate treatment.
Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
Traumatic brain injuries are sometimes known as “invisible injuries” because with a closed head injury, the victim rarely shows physical symptoms.
Sometimes, it is easier for the people close to a victim to recognize TBI symptoms than it is for the victim to recognize them in him- or herself. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty sleeping;
- Slurred speech;
- Sensitivity to light and sound;
- Blurred vision;
- An inability to recognize common items; and
- An inability to form new memories.
Long-term Complications of a Traumatic Brain Injury
If left untreated, even a minor TBI can have severe complications for the victim. This is why it is so important for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, even if you do not feel injured.
A few long-term complications a TBI victim can experience include:
- Mood swings;
- Loss of balance;
- An increased stroke and seizure risk;
- Loss of feeling in extremities;
- Memory loss;
- Language impairment; and
- An increased risk of developing dementia later in life.
Work with an Experienced Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Most employees who are injured on the job are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. To learn more about workers’ compensation in Georgia, your rights as an injured worker, and how you can pursue your benefits, contact The Law Office of Rick J. DeMedeiros, P.C. today to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.