Active, Attentive & Effective Representation

Driving after incurring a traumatic brain injury

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2024 | Brain Injury |

Every traumatic brain injury (TBI) is different. How someone injures their brain, their health before the injury and the treatment that they receive are among the numerous factors that make one brain injury case vastly different from the next. As such, it can be hard to know what to expect when someone has a workers’ compensation claim related to a brain injury. The available medical treatment can be very different depending on the situation, as can someone’s ability to return to work after undergoing treatment.

Oftentimes, those with lasting brain injury symptoms are compelled to face numerous challenges as they adjust to life after their injury. Sometimes, brain injuries make it so that people must relearn how to perform tasks that they used to manage with very little difficulty. For example, it can be very difficult for someone to begin driving again after undergoing treatment for a TBI.

People may need therapy to drive safely

Driving can be difficult after a brain injury because people may have difficulty focusing or making decisions. They may have physical limitations they didn’t experience before their TBI. Occupational therapy is often an important part of the recovery process after someone develops a brain injury.

An occupational therapist can help people relearn skills and adapt to functional limitations created by medical challenges. Some workers with TBIs may require rehabilitative support to learn how to safely drive again after their injury. The medical coverage available through workers’ compensation can often help pay for that treatment so that someone can regain their lost skills and move toward working and living independently again.

A vehicle may require adjustment

Depending on the symptoms that someone has, they may not be able to drive a standard vehicle anymore. However, there are ways to modify or adapt the vehicle to make it accessible to people with functional limitations caused by a TBI.

There are hand controls that can make it easier for people to control a vehicle if they cannot consistently operate pedals. Some people also install specialized spinner knobs on steering wheels because of grip issues. Other times, it is possible to adjust the pedals so that someone can use their left foot to accelerate. Also, there are systems to make vehicles accessible for those using wheelchairs.

The ability to drive is often crucial for someone’s independent living ability. Getting necessary support through workers’ compensation may make it easier for someone with a work-related TBI to get back on the road after incurring a work-related brain injury.