Workers who are injured on the job often underestimate the severity of closed head injuries, particularly those that lead to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). An open injury is a clear wound that enters the skull, but a closed injury does not have any entry point and may appear far less severe. Make no mistake, though: These can be catastrophic injuries, and even fatal injuries. They are life-changing and need to be taken seriously.
Why do they seem less serious?
These injuries may seem less serious because of the lack of blood or clear trauma to the outsider. It may appear that the person has survived the fall or gotten struck by an object without major issues. Even when that person complains of symptoms, they may assume they just need some time since they’re “seeing stars.”
The issue is that people have not always taken concussions as seriously as we do today. A serious brain injury can happen without a wound because the brain itself can be bruised and damaged by the impact with the inside of the skull. This can lead to:
- Memory loss
- Bleeding on the brain
- Hearing and vision problems
- Mental confusion
- And much more
Remember, the brain is still injured. In cases with interior bleeding between the brain tissue and the skull, that injury could rapidly get worse. There are no outward signs, but that doesn’t mean it’s not severe. In many ways, it’s more severe because there is no way for the brain to release that pressure.
There is also mounting evidence that repeated concussions can have a cumulative effect, and that suffering one brain injury means that you are more likely to suffer another one in the future. Cognitive, emotional and mental issues may show up years or even decades in the future, all relating back to those head injuries.
What are your options?
Take all head and brain injuries seriously. Get prompt medical care after every accident. If this leads to lost time at work and high medical bills, be sure you know what your rights are to workers’ compensation benefits. This injury can have a major impact on your future and your quality of life, and you must know how to proceed.