Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers in Workers’ Compensation Claims
In the United States, approximately 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Many of these traumatic brain injuries occur in the workplace. Traumatic brain injuries can be invisible to others but make returning to work extremely challenging. Memory loss, the inability to concentrate, constant headaches, functional deficits, depression and anxiety and other symptoms may be present. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury at work, you may need special doctors and intensive evaluations in order to be able to return to as normal a life as possible.
The Brain Injury Society has identified certain industries as high risk for workplace TBIs:
- Emergency Medical Services
Traumatic brain injuries are not limited to these areas they can happen in any workplace. Slipping and falling on wet or uneven surfaces is one of the most common causes of workplace TBIs.
Our Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help
A traumatic brain injury lawyer who represents NC workers’ compensation clients can concentrate on the medical treatment that is necessary to help you. You may need to see neuropsychiatrists or neurologists to determine what treatment is best, or you may need therapy from a psychologist. You need to have a specialist in NC workers’ compensation law working so that you can get the treatment you deserve. Attorney Valerie Johnson is a Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation. She is highly experienced in workers’ compensation and is also the author of North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law: A Practical Guide to Success at Every Stage of a Claim which is available for free download on our website.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a TBI
If you have suffered a brain injury at work, you may be able to file a workers’ comp claim. In North Carolina, employers are generally required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. The workers’ comp system is no-fault, which means that you do not have to prove that your employer did something wrong (such as failing to provide fall protection) in order to recover for a workplace accident.
A North Carolina injury lawyer can help you file a claim for workers’ compensation if you have been hurt at work. You may be eligible for benefits through the insurance company, including medical treatment and disability benefits (which may be permanent or temporary, and partial or total). Your attorney can also help to negotiate a favorable settlement with your employer’s insurer.
Workers’ comp claims are handled through the North Carolina Industrial Commission. If there is a dispute about some aspect of your claim, you may file an appeal with the Industrial Commission. Initial workers’ compensation claims must be filed with the Industrial Commission for an injured worker to qualify for benefits.
A workers’ compensation claim is considered an exclusive remedy under North Carolina law. In other words, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for a workplace injury. However, if a third party was responsible for your accident, then you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that party.
For example, if you fell from a ladder that was defective, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor of the ladder. A North Carolina personal injury attorney can help you with this process, and fight for your right to damages to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses.
Who Is at Risk for a Head Injury at Work?
Traumatic brain injuries can happen in almost any workplace. Falls are the leading cause of brain injuries in the United States, responsible for 48% of all emergency department visits for head injuries. However, there are certain worksites that present a higher danger of a TBI.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the construction industry has the highest rate of both fatal and non-fatal work-related brain injuries. These accidents are often linked to falls from height, such as from ladders, scaffolding, and roofs.
Beyond construction, other industries present danger of TBIs for its workers. The agriculture, forestry, fishing, and emergency medical services fields are all high risk for head injuries, including TBIs and concussions. These injuries may occur after a worker is struck by an object or even car accidents.
What treatment and resources are available to individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury in the workplace?
The North Carolina Industrial Commission provides a list of “first steps” if you have been injured at work. We recommend that you contact us immediately, our highly experienced brain injury attorneys can guide you through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and a lawsuit if needed.
Traumatic brain injury workers’ compensation cases handled by our attorneys:
- A manager who suffered a traumatic brain injury and was unable to keep her job when the pace of her work did not fit with her abilities.
- A truck driver who was not able to return to work but who was accused of working and lost his benefits when he visited a job site to see his friends.
- A worker who suffered through months of surveillance and who was sent to multiple doctors because the employer did not agree with the treating doctor’s diagnosis of traumatic brain injury.
- A factory worker who required inpatient treatment to relearn basic life skills after she was struck by a falling object.
- A state worker who was attacked by a mental patient and was unable to keep working because of headaches and loss of concentration.
- The family of a police officer who committed suicide following a traumatic brain injury.
Please contact our brain injury lawyers immediately if you or your family member has experienced a brain injury while on the job.
We can help you get the medical help you need and navigate the legal system. You need to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. It is also important to act quickly in pursuing your legal claims because there are legal deadlines that may prevent you from filing a workers’ compensation claim and a lawsuit if you wait too long. Our traumatic brain injury attorneys will help you and your loved one obtain compensation and rebuild your lives.