Sustaining a Head Injury at Work
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jul 22, 2013 in Workers' Compensation
Head injuries can lead to life-changing damage, and can have far-reaching consequences. When a head injury leads to brain damage, the effects can be devastating to the victim and their family. Unfortunately, most head injuries lead to permanent impairment.
Commonly, victims will sustain a head injury at work. Workers in a variety of industries are at-risk for a potential head injury every day. If you or someone you love has sustained a workplace head injury from an on-the-job accident, the victim could be entitled to workers compensation benefits. Workers comp benefits commonly cover all of the medical expenses associated with your injuries, and can also offer additional support if you are unable to work following your head trauma.
The experienced attorneys at our workers compensation law firm, the Phillips Law Group, are determined to fight for justice for victims of workplace injuries throughout Arizona, Utah, California and New Mexico. We can work to recover the compensation you deserve as a head injury victim.
Find out more about our firm and your legal rights. Fill out the confidential, FREE Case Review form to your right to get started.
Common Causes of Workplace Head Injuries
Head injuries can result from any accident where your head sustains impact, including incidents where you strike your head on a surface, or an object falls onto your head.
Some of the leading causes of workplace accidents that lead to head trauma include:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Blunt force trauma
- Workplace auto accidents
- Violence / assault on-the-job
- Machinery operation mistakes
- Defective equipment
Any of these situations can cause head injuries and are commonly known to lead to disability. Such types of injuries could be sustained by those in physically demanding occupations such as construction or manufacturing, but also to those in an office or retail environment. Any employee could be susceptible to head trauma.
Types of Head Injuries
Head injuries, which include a class of trauma called traumatic brain injury (TBI), are usually classified as belonging to one of two categories:
- Closed head injury: when the skull has not been penetrated but has sustained a hard or forceful impact
- Open head injury: when the skull is penetrated or broken on impact
Open and closed head injuries include a variety of types of trauma and can lead to an array of medical problems. Some common types of head injuries include:
- Concussion: The most common type of head trauma, a concussion is a closed head injury characterized by an instant but temporary loss of awareness following some form of trauma to the brain.
- Coma: Contrary to popular belief, comas may be mild and have no lasting symptoms. The severity of TBI in a coma patient is measured by the Glasgow Coma Scale, and can range from 3, the most severe, which includes deep coma or death, to 15, the most minor in cases of TBI.
- Permanent brain damage: Unfortunately, any head injury may lead to brain damage if permanent harm to the brain occurs and cognitive functioning is affected. In the worst cases, a person may become brain dead and rendered unable to perform basic physical functions.
- Intracranial hematoma: A hematoma is a blood clot, and those that occur in the head are called intracranial hematomas. These can vary in their location in the head and may be known as an epidural, subdural or intracerebral hematoma. The effects of the clot vary depending upon the location of the injury.
- Intracranial hemorrhage: An intracranial hemorrhage occurs when there is bleeding within the skull, commonly from the rupture or leaking of a blood vessel. Such a hemorrhage may be able to be treated with anticoagulants.
Allowing a head injury to go untreated could result in a number of complications. Victims need to seek medical treatment to diagnose or rule out any conditions that could have developed in your on-the-job accident.
Workers Compensation for Head Trauma
It is essential to your case that you seek immediate medical treatment if you suffer an on-the-job head injury. Your first exams and the treatment that follows could likely be covered by workers compensation.
Sometimes, a head injury can make it impossible for you to return to the job you previously held. In such a case, you could be eligible for partial disability benefits, in order to make up for the difference in wages you will suffer from such career changes. If you are completely unable to work after suffering head trauma, you could be eligible for total disability benefits, and in the case of a fatal workplace accident, surviving family members could be eligible for death benefits.
Your employer does not need to be negligent in your workplace accident in order for you to be eligible for workers compensation benefits. Even if your employer was negligent, in most states, laws protect employers from lawsuits for such injuries, and employers are required to file for benefits through workers compensation. This limits the damages available for workplace injury victims, except in cases where a third party could be liable for the accident. This exception allows for an injury victim to sue the negligent third party in a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact Our Arizona Attorneys
The work accident lawyers at Phillips Law Group understand how traumatic a head injury at work can be for the victim and their family. After all, some brain injuries will never heal, and your life may be permanently altered.
Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers can work to obtain the justice you deserve and the compensation to cover your medical bills and lost income. We are proud to offer legal support and representation to victims of on-the-job injuries in Arizona, Utah, California and New Mexico, and accept clients who have suffered a head injury at work in the following areas:
- Phoenix, AZ
- Tucson, AZ
- Salt Lake City, UT
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- San Jose, CA
- Oakland, CA
- Albuquerque, NM
- and surrounding cities and towns
Find out how we can help you and your family. Call or text 1-800-706-3000 toll-free, 24 hours a day, to discuss your legal options.
To submit the details of your case directly online, simply fill out the FREE Case Review form at the top of this page.