Returning to work after suffering a traumatic brain injury

People who suffer from traumatic brain injuries may have problems returning to work.

Unsafe workplace conditions can lead to devastating accidents, which can cause serious injuries, long-term disabilities, major medical expenses, emotional trauma and even death. A common workplace injury in Illinois and throughout the country occurs when a worker experiences a hard bump to the head. This can damage the soft brain tissue that lies within the skull cavity. In some cases, injured workers who suffer from traumatic brain injuries are unable to return to work, and as a result, their ability to earn money, pay bills and maintain a good quality of life is affected.

The facts

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2.5 million people receive traumatic brain injuries each year, and are hospitalized, visit the emergency room or die because of the damage. Brain trauma is responsible for nearly 30 percent of injury deaths in the U.S. In one year alone, brain injuries were involved in 50,000 fatalities across the nation. The actual numbers are thought to be much greater, as a number of people who have traumatic brain damage are unaware that they have an injury.

A look at traumatic brain injuries

Workers who slip and fall, have a heavy object hit their head, fall from a ladder or hit their head in some other fashion, run the risk of receiving brain trauma. Soft brain tissue can easily become damaged if a forceful impact causes it to hit against the hard inner skull bone. This damaged tissue may become bruised, bleed and swell, affecting the surrounding tissues. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, brain injuries can cause a variety of problems, including the following:

  • Changes in mood, behavior and/or sleep patterns
  • Deficiencies in hearing, vision and other sensory functions
  • Trouble understanding language, writing or communicating with others
  • Consistent headaches, dizziness, seizures and nausea

In addition to these symptoms, traumatic brain injuries can make it difficult to people to focus, plan, reason and/or organize crucial tasks. All of these factors can impair a person's ability to function in a workplace setting. While some people are forced to find another job, others are not able to return to work at all.

Finding light in the darkness

If you have received a traumatic brain injury, you may be struggling to adjust to certain changes in life. Dealing with insurance companies, medical expenses and daily activities can be extremely overwhelming. You may find it helpful to speak with a personal injury attorney in Illinois regarding your case. There may be a number of legal options for you to consider that will help you get back on track.