Did you know that about 24% of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are work-related injuries?
While work-related injuries continue to decline, work-related traumatic brain injuries continue to rise throughout the years. This includes employees working at heights, factory workers, researchers in laboratories, chemists or chemical engineers, stunt performers, and artists presenting on stage or behind the scenes, among others.
Whether mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injuries, a worker’s cognitive, behavioral, and functional abilities are affected, resulting in loss of employment, wages, and other benefits and loss of earning capacity.
How can one cope with a traumatic brain injury sustained in the workplace?
Here is all the information you may need to fight for a work-related traumatic brain injury claim with ease and with less difficulty.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you sustain a work-related traumatic injury, a workers’ compensation claim will get you the following benefits: death, income, and medical benefits.
Death benefits amount to at least 75% of the decedent’s average weekly wages. Suppose you are the surviving spouse of a worker while on the job; these benefits will continue until you remarry. If you are a surviving child, you can receive benefits until you are 18 years of age or until you are already 25 years if you enrolled in school.
Income benefits are based on a certain percentage of the decedent’s income while they are still alive. There are various income benefits, and your entitlement to such depends on the severity of your traumatic brain injury.
Medical benefits cover the costs of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses. To continue your treatment, you must consult with a medical expert covered in your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance network.
Take note that your ability to sue your employer for workers’ compensation benefits will depend on whether the latter has workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer has no insurance, you may not be able to sue, and thus you may not be entitled to workers’ compensation income and medical benefits.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the maximum workers’ compensation you may recover in terms of temporary income benefits, supplemental income benefits, lifetime income benefits, impairment income benefits, and death benefits amount to the following:
- Temporary Income Benefits – $1,112.00
- Supplemental Income Benefits – $778.00
- Lifetime Income Benefits – $1,112.00
- Impairment Income Benefits – $778.00
- Death Benefits – $1,112.00
Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer may be your best shot to get the maximum compensation, as it is crucial to stick with your version of facts when filing a claim form. It is essential to be accurate with the details of your accident because your employer’s insurance company will see it as an opportunity to deny your claim. It will also prevent your employer from defrauding you or from twisting your version of events. If you have difficulty gathering your thoughts regarding the accident, it is in your best interest to find an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to pursue a full and fair compensation for your traumatic brain injury.
Personal Injury Claim
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, filing a work-related traumatic brain injury claim is your option. A lawsuit against your employer will entitle you to a broad range of damages and a more significant amount of compensation.
This claim is based on the employer’s negligence, along with all work injury lawsuits.
Your employer’s liability may be anchored on different factors showing negligence, such as the dangerous condition of your work environment, failure to maintain or repair equipment used for work, failure to provide proper safety equipment, negligent workplace hiring, negligent training and supervision, and negligent retention, among others.
If your employer does not perform their responsibilities under federal employment law, they may be considered negligent and liable for your traumatic brain injury.
Remember that partnering with a workers’ compensation lawyer or a work-related traumatic brain injury lawyer in filing your claim discourages insurance companies from acting in bad faith in assessing your claims and paying you the correct compensation, and your employer in discrediting the truth of the accident.
What To Do: A Step-by-Step Guide After a Traumatic Brain Injury in the Workplace
Occupational illnesses may develop through repetitive actions or continued exposure to dangerous materials in your workplace. Other injuries occur as a result of a fall or other workplace accidents.
The most common occupational injuries workers sustain include traumatic brain injuries, cuts & lacerations, stroke, spinal cord injuries and paralysis, nerve damage, severe burns, eye injuries, vision loss, hearing damage, and loss of limbs.
While sustaining an on-the-job traumatic brain injury is agonizing, thinking of what you should do next is equally perplexing.
If you are unsure what steps to take next, check out this step-by-step guide on what to do after going through a traumatic brain injury in the workplace.
Even if you don’t feel any symptoms of a traumatic brain injury after your accident in the workplace, it is important to monitor yourself at home for at least 24 to 48 hours for any danger signs.
Remember that a concussion may or may not involve a loss of consciousness. You do not have to be knocked out to get a concussion.
Some vital warning signs or symptoms you should be familiar with are dizziness, blurred vision, balance problems, nausea, vomiting, convulsions or seizures, confusion, increased head pressure, slurred speech, and many others.
Get Immediate Medical Attention
Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, especially mild ones, may not appear immediately. Others may take weeks or months before symptoms show. Due to the gradual appearance of symptoms, a mild traumatic brain injury may not be easily noticed. It is important to remember that in rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may develop in your brain, which can cause your untimely death.
It is therefore required to get immediate medical care after a head injury.
Seeking the help of a doctor urgently is the best way to minimize the risk of a severe traumatic brain injury and reduce the risk of potential complications.
Take note that you also need adequate medical documentation to prove that you sustained an on-the-job traumatic brain injury in both workers’ compensation claims or a personal injury lawsuit.
Tell Your Supervisor
Reporting the accident to your supervisor, manager, a person in authority, or his agent is as vital as seeking immediate medical treatment for work-related traumatic brain injuries. In Houston, Texas, the reporting requirement must be (1) in writing; (2) done within 30 days from the date of the injury or the date of your knowledge that the injury was work-related, and (3) describe how the injury was sustained while in the course of work. To put it simply, you must report the incident to your employer within 30 days to be able to claim benefits.
Send a complete DWC Form-041 to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-WDC). Take note that this process must be completed within one (1) year from the date of the injury. This will prove that you filed a workers’ compensation claim within the statute of limitations.
When reporting the incident, it is essential to be honest and factual. Do not feed unnecessary details of your accident, especially any speculation that you might have been at fault.
In most employment settings, supervisors must prepare a Supervisor’s First Report of Injury when an employee is injured at work.
This document is essential to your workers’ compensation claim as the report signifies that the injury was reported to your supervisor and that the latter verified that your traumatic brain injury was sustained while on the job.
However, do not force yourself if you cannot report the incident to your supervisor directly. Do not try to “walk it off.” Instead, seek immediate medical assistance first and ask a coworker to report the incident to your supervisor, manager, or any person in authority. Once you receive the proper treatment for your injuries, ask the co-worker whom you instructed what he reported. Be sure that your on-the-job traumatic brain injury is appropriately reported and documented.
Tell the Doctor Your Injury is Work-Related
As stated above, you need to see a doctor accredited to your employer’s workers’ compensation health care network. If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you can consult with a doctor of your choice.
While a medical staff is performing an intake, inform him that your traumatic brain injury was sustained while you were at work.
It is indispensable to establish that your traumatic brain injury was obtained during your employment, or else you will not be able to claim your workers’ compensation benefits.
Find an Expert Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Going through a traumatic brain injury is difficult for everyone around you — yourself, your family and friends, and even your co-workers. The dangerous experience is amplified by the uncertainty of when you can return to work or if you can return to work at all.
If you sustained a traumatic brain injury on the job, do not hesitate to contact us.