For the most part, when workers get hurt on the job, they know right away. If you pull a muscle or break a bone, you will immediately feel symptoms and experience functional limitations that affect your job performance. You will have no choice but to tell someone and receive help.
However, some of the most dangerous injuries at work may not the obvious right away. When you suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), your symptoms may not show up right away. In fact, it could be several days before you notice that there is anything significantly wrong.
While you most likely just want to get back to work after you get hurt on the job, seeking medical evaluation first is important. Failing to see a doctor after you potentially injure your brain could affect your workers’ compensation claim if you need benefits.
Unreported injuries make claims more difficult
Even if you feel like you don’t need to see a doctor, you should still let your manager or supervisor know if you hit your head on the job. The lack of immediate symptoms does not mean you have escaped unharmed.
If you notice a persistent headache or changes in your sleep a few days later, it would be much easier for you to connect your symptoms to your employment if you have reported the incident to your employer beforehand. The good news is that typically, even if symptoms take several days to develop, you will still be within the legal window to report your workplace incident and qualify for benefits.
How do you connect the injury to your job?
Without an incident report made the day that you got hurt, you may need a little extra evidence to get workers’ compensation benefits for a job-related TBI.
You might need to talk to co-workers who witnessed the incident or ask for copies of workplace security footage. Making detailed personal notes about your experience and your symptoms as they crop up can also help you document your experience.
Any workers’ compensation claim with complicating factors will require extra attention to detail and effort. Having the right support while claiming benefits for a brain injury will allow you to focus on your recovery rather than on your claim.