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Traumatic Brain Injury in Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Cases

880737_brain_001-1Workers’ compensation is the remedy offered to workers who are injured on the job as a result of doing their job duties. It is designed to cover a wide range of injuries, including repetitive stress injuries, psychiatric injuries, illnesses brought about by working conditions, and traumatic injuries like broken bones. It is also the remedy to which workers must turn if they suffer a very severe injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, in the course and scope of their work duties.

A traumatic brain injury is usually caused by a blow to the head or sometimes the body. It can be the result of a fall from a high elevation or getting hit on the head with a blunt object. Falls are the leading causes of brain injury. This type of injury may occur in the construction industry or in a job that requires significant stretches of driving (a car crash can lead to brain injury). It can also be the result of the ordinary interactions in many professional sports. A traumatic brain injury can result if there is an explosive blast or jolt, such as when someone works in demolition or mining. The damage can be limited to the area underneath the point of impact or it may be more extensive, causing injury to multiple locations on the skull or brain.

If you are in an accident at work that causes a traumatic brain injury, you may not make a connection between your symptoms and the accident right away. The Mayo Clinic has detailed information on tests and diagnoses that can be used to assess whether it is possible a brain injury has occurred. Some common symptoms of brain injury are dizziness, personality change, unusual fatigue, loss of coordination, nausea, speech difficulties, and headaches, among other things. While some symptoms may be characterized as “mild” by doctors accustomed to severe cases, even a “mild” brain injury may cause a significant disruption in your life.

A mild traumatic brain injury usually requires rest and over the counter pain medications, as well a follow-ups with the doctor. Moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries, however, may require you to go to the Emergency Room of the nearest hospital. Emergency personnel will try to ensure you have adequate oxygen and blood supply and help you avoid further injury. You may have to take medications, such as diuretics, anti-seizure drugs, drugs that induce a temporary coma and in some cases, you may need emergency surgery to address clotted blood, skull fractures or pressure within the skull.

If you experience a brain injury, you may need to take time off work to rest and recover. You may also need surgical work, vocational rehabilitation and other help. The workers’ compensation system is designed to make sure you get the help you need, even if an injury is partly your fault. However, insurers may be inclined to only pay the bare minimum. Retaining an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may help ensure that you are paid the full compensation you and your family need to take care of the injury and get back on your feet either in the same job, in a position with new duties, or an entirely different industry.

If you are concerned about your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage, ask an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney what you should do. Contact the workplace injury lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., by calling 800-367-0871 or using our online contact form.More Blog PostsMassachusetts Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Conditions, March 20, 2013

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