How to Maximize Workers’ Comp Concussion and Head Injury Claims

Learn how to increase your workers’ comp head injury claim and get the full compensation you deserve.

Head injuries are among the most serious injuries an employee can suffer at work.

A head injury can cause external damage to the head and skull, such as bumps, cuts, and a fractured skull.

The impact to your head can also cause internal damage like bruising or bleeding in the brain that results in traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in and out of the workplace. TBI can range from mild concussions to fatal brain damage. ¹

Common Causes of Workplace Head Injuries

The human skull serves as a protective shell for the brain. Inside the skull is a layer of cerebrospinal fluid that acts as a cushion between the brain and skull bone. The brain is made of soft tissue which is quite delicate and easily damaged.

A blow to the head causes your brain to slam against the inside of your skull.  When the impact is strong enough, your brain can begin to swell or bleed, resulting in traumatic brain injury.

Head injuries at work are typically caused by falling objects, slip and falls, falling from heights, and vehicle accidents.

Occupations with the highest risk for head injuries are:

  • Construction workers
  • Firefighters
  • Police officers
  • Race car drivers
  • Loading dock workers
  • Delivery personnel
  • Professional athletes

Take Action After a Head Injury

Head injuries are no joke. If you’ve taken a blow to the head from a fall or any other workplace accident, don’t try to brush it off, act tough, or assume you’re okay.

The two top priorities following any head injury are seeking medical attention and reporting the injury to your employer.

We made it easy to tell your employer with a sample Workers’ Comp Claim Notification Letter.

You may not look injured or have symptoms right away, but your brain can be swelling or bleeding. You won’t know anything is wrong until much later when you’ve suffered irreversible damage.

A delay in medical treatment is not only medically dangerous, it can seriously undermine your workers’ compensation claim. The insurance company will jump at the chance to argue that your injury didn’t happen on the job.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the Mayo Clinic, some symptoms of brain injury can show up right after you’ve been hurt, while other symptoms may not appear until days or even weeks later.

The most common type of TBI is a mild concussion, with symptoms of:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness

Symptoms of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can include:

  • Persistent headache or a headache that worsens
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilated pupils, one or both eyes
  • Fluid leaking from the nose or ears
  • Slurred speech
  • Behavior changes
  • Coma

Head Injuries and Workers’ Compensation

Always seek immediate medical attention after any impact to the head.  Be sure to tell the doctor that your injury happened on the job.

An employee who suffers a head injury is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits include coverage for medical treatment and approximately two-thirds of your lost wages.

If you’ve suffered a bump on the head or mild concussion and expect a quick recovery, you’ll likely have no trouble handling your workers’ comp claim directly with your employer’s insurance company.

Serious head injuries are very different. They can lead to permanent brain damage and life-long disability. Disabling work injuries are high-dollar claims.

If you’ve suffered a serious head injury with significant traumatic brain injury, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Improve your Claim Value with Documentation

A brain injury may not be easy for an insurance company to recognize. You’ll need evidence to prove the extent of your injury, and what you’ve lost besides your wages from work.

Organize all your claim-related paperwork, including claim forms, correspondence with the insurance company, and all your medical records.

A good form of evidence for head injury claims is to keep a daily record, like a journal or diary, of your symptoms and activities. Your spouse or a trusted friend may need to keep this record for you.

Every day, write down the date and record anything significant or different from before the injury. Include detailed notes about changes to your activities of daily living. For example:

  • Headaches, vomiting, dizziness, seizures, or other symptoms
  • Can’t watch TV or read because of blurred vision, headaches, or tiredness
  • Impaired ability to dress, follow a recipe, pay bills, drive, etc.
  • Memory problems or decreased attention span
  • Bad dreams, anxiety, anger issues, depression

Write down every way the head injury has affected your life, each day. Discuss the changes with your medical providers and your attorney.

The workers’ comp insurance company will fight you every step of the way to avoid a large payout for your disability. You’ll need good records and a good attorney to compel the insurance company to offer a fair disability settlement.

Eligibility for More than Worker’s Comp

Worker’s compensation should be available to any employee injured on the job, but the medical and wage replacement benefits are limited.

When you’ve suffered a head injury while working, there may be individuals or businesses, other than your employer, who caused or contributed to your injury. The other person or business would be considered a “third-party.”

You’d want the help of a personal injury attorney to file a third-party claim or lawsuit, but the compensation could be much more than you get from workers’ comp alone.

In a third-party lawsuit, an attorney will help you recover the full amount of your current and future lost wages, a dollar amount for pain and suffering, and you may even be awarded punitive damages.

Examples of negligent third-parties you could sue in addition to workers’ compensation are:

  • The at-fault driver if you were injured in a car crash
  • The manufacturer of defective tools or machinery that caused your injury
  • The contractor responsible for OSHA violations that led to your injury
  • The property owner if you were injured working at a location not owned by your employer

Get the Help You Need

If you’ve suffered a serious head injury, especially one that may have life-long consequences for you and your family, you’ll need help.

Don’t trust the workers’ comp insurance company to look out for your financial future. They will do whatever it takes to deny your claim or reduce your benefits.

Even though you were injured on the job, there may be others who are liable for your injuries, but you won’t get very far by yourself against their big-gun lawyers and insurance companies.

There’s too much at risk for you to go it alone. Talk to a personal injury attorney about your head injury case. It costs nothing to find out how a good attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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Head Injury Claims Questions & Answers

Charles R. Gueli, Esq. is a personal injury attorney with over 20 years of legal experience. He’s admitted to the NY State Bar, and been named a Super Lawyer for the NY Metro area, an exclusive honor awarded to the top five percent of attorneys. Charles has worked extensively in the areas of auto accidents,... Read More >>