The brain is a remarkable machine – it’s the source of everything that makes us who we are, but it is also remarkably fragile. When a person’s brain suffers a severe trauma, the person who once was may be no more.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can take away or change a person’s personality and diminish his or her capacity to communicate, process information or remember things. A TBI can make loved ones seem like strangers and steal a person’s ability to work or earn a living. Sadly, however, at work is where TBIs often happen.
Thousands of Americans Suffer On-the-Job Brain Injuries Every Year
An estimated 2.8 million people sustain a TBI annually, and it is a contributing factor to 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in the United States. Work-related traumatic brain injuries make up a significant portion of these often-catastrophic events:
- It is estimated that up to 14 percent of TBI cases every year arise from work-related accidents.
- Concussions, a form of TBI, account for approximately 90 percent of non-fatal work-related TBIs in the U.S.
- Of all work-related injury fatalities in the U.S., 60 percent involve TBI.
How Do Work-Related TBIs Happen?
A TBI typically results from an external force that strikes the head, from either the skull making impact with the ground or an object piercing the cranial plate to penetrate the brain. TBI can also result from prolonged oxygen deprivation, poisoning, or choking.
Work-related TBIs can happen in any number of ways and can occur in any type of work setting, from construction sites and warehouses to offices or restaurants. The most common on-the-job incidents that cause TBI are slips and falls and trips and falls. According to a 2013 study, falls account for almost half of all work-related TBIs. This could be a three-story fall from an I-beam or due to a slip on spilled coffee in an office lunchroom.
Other common causes of work-related TBIs include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Falling objects
- Defective or dangerous machinery and equipment
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
Getting Needed Resources After a Work-Related Traumatic Brain Injury
The road to recovery after a work-related brain injury can be long and never-ending. It may mean that the victim will never be able to go back to the career in which they worked for years, or they may not be able to go back to any kind of work at all. A TBI can take a dramatic toll financially, physically, practically, and emotionally. Years of surgeries, treatments, rehabilitation, and physical therapy can be accompanied by logistical or lifestyle disruptions which further strain the resources of families living in the aftermath of a TBI.
These workers and families need support and resources to navigate the challenges of life after a TBI. At Hiden, Rott & Oertle, our San Diego workers’ compensation attorneys use their experience, tenacity, and fierce dedication to the well-being of our clients to obtain the maximum amount of benefits available. If a third-party’s negligence contributed to a work-related brain injury, our San Diego personal injury lawyers will aggressively pursue compensation and hold them accountable for the damage they have left in their wake.