Workplace injuries take a toll on every worker affected by them, but not all injuries are equally serious in the long term, and not all are equally visible. One injury that is more common than many employers and workers realize is traumatic brain injury. TBI has a profound effect on workers even when physical recovery seems to happen quickly, so it is important that those who are injured on the job have the right benefits and support to recover as fully as possible.
Facts about on-the-job brain injuries
Each year, there are about 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries in the United States, but not all of them happen on the job. A healthy portion happen during recreational activities like sports, and a large number also happen due to accidents on the road or around the house. Still, studies hosted by the NIH show that traumatic brain injuries account for 22 percent of all workplace accidents. Other statistics revealed at the same source include:
- The total cost of TBIs to the U.S. economy each year is estimated at $110 billion
- An estimated 20 percent of unreported workplace injuries (both fatal and nonfatal) are related to brain injuries
- Compared to other age groups, young people have the highest percentage of workplace injuries
Since TBIs often require substantial support and accommodation long after the rehabilitative therapies are over, young workers who suffer severe TBI have a very real need for compensation that covers their medical expenses and addresses the reality of their ongoing work situation.
Long-term outcomes for TBI patients
While there are a number of therapies and interventions that can improve brain injury outcomes, there is no cure for the damage caused by a severe TBI. This means that for many, long-term effects will be apparent, and there will need to be significant support in place to allow those workers to be successful. This support can include:
- Flexible hours
- Reallocation of duties
- Extra time for projects
In some cases, a return to work is not possible or not possible for some time due to the extensive recovery timeline. When that happens, legal assistance can help make sure that workers' compensation claims are approved, so that injured workers can get access to all the support they need to recover successfully, no matter what that recovery looks like or how long it takes.
If there is an accident
If there is an accident in the workplace and the initial compensation claim is challenged or turned down, workers' compensation attorneys can help ensure access to the resources injured workers need to recover.