When You Suffer a Head Injury in a Work Accident
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Tue Nov 2017
- Work Injury,
Some might argue that broken bones can be repaired. Unfortunately, many other types of injuries ensue as a result of a work accident. Among them, is a head injury. For some, this means the victim may never have the capacity to return to work.
Of course, the first thing to do for any on the job injury is to seek medical care. New Jersey has specific laws when it comes to authorized medical care. For the most part, your employer or its insurance company is charged with finding you “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment. Generally speaking, the only treatment that you can seek without authorization is the emergency in nature.
If you’ve suffered any type of injury, you will likely have other concerns. Someone with a head injury may worry about time off from work. Meanwhile, what is the extent of harm? For example, brain injury and work performance are also important considerations. Will the injured employee have the ability to return to the same job?
Work Accident and Head Injury Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, injuries to the head are common in the workplace. However, they are even more prevalent in industries involving natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations. In the public sector, firefighters and maintenance workers are the most at risk for head injuries. It is all a matter of exposure.
Does the term natural resources confuse you at all? Take for example the Linden Generating Station, which is a part of PSE&G Power LLC. For the most part, workers are required to wear helmets while on site. Meanwhile, anyone could fall while walking down the hallway. Even the slightest bump of the head can result in a concussion. The worst-case scenario could leave the injured worker with a traumatic head injury.
A few years ago, the news reported a fatal accident involving a blow to the head at a Jersey City construction site. A worker was delivering materials and was struck in the head by a tape measure. Although the object was small, it fell more than 400 feet with extreme force.
Although the majority of on-the-job head injuries are related to falling down accidents, there are other causes. They include the following:
• Collision with an object or machine
• Work-related motor vehicle crashes
• Defective machinery
• Collapsing or falling materials
The bottom line is that you or a loved one has sustained a head injury while on the job, you need to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Head Injuries and Symptoms
All things considered, a head injury may mean the victim is entitled to some portion of permanent disability. In New Jersey, workers’ compensation grants monetary awards for both partial and total permanent disability. You can still return to work if you receive a court order granting you partial permanent disability.
Of course, you should always have a head injury checked out by a medical provider. You should also understand that head injury is an overall term referring to any harm to your skull, brain, or scalp. Meanwhile, you could have an open or closed head injury. The latter refers to any head injury that does not involve a skull fracture.
Head injuries that occur as a result of work accidents generally fall into a few major categories, including concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), wounds to the scalp, and skull fractures. The following are considered common symptoms of head injuries:
• Loss of consciousness
• Memory Loss
• Sensory deficit
If you have suffered a head injury, you should also consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Not only can you expect help with the claims process, but you will also learn your rights.