A fall, sudden blow, vehicle accident, or even a minor cut or bruise can result in a serious head injury. If this happens on the job, you must seek medical treatment immediately. Whether you visit your company’s medical staff, call 911, or have someone drive you to the emergency room— it’s essential to act fast. After you’ve received medical attention for a head injury at work, you must:
- Report the accident
- Hire a lawyer
- Follow up
- Settle your claim
When injured on the job, you deserve to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and medical expenses. Keep reading to learn about all the necessary steps to follow if you sustain a head injury at work.
What Are the Results of a Head Injury?
There are many different types of head injuries that range in severity, and a traumatic brain injury is not to be trifled with. A severe work-related head injury can be costly to your health and your financial well-being. Headaches, dizziness, and numbness can affect your performance in an outdoor or physical job and make it hazardous to drive. Office workers can suffer a loss of memory and the inability to concentrate. Pain, bruising, and swelling can linger. You may also have to deal with psychological injuries: depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
A long-lasting injury with an uncertain timeline for healing can force you out of a job and make it difficult to land a new one. Returning to the workforce could mean a loss of income, which can also affect the well-being of your spouse and family.
Common Head Injury Symptoms
If you suspect you’ve experienced a traumatic brain injury, the symptoms might not occur right away. Without treatment, the underlying conditions can grow worse. Even after a minor blow to the head, you may suffer from:
- Short-term blackouts
A concussion results when a violent motion or heavy blow damages the brain. Serious head injuries can put you into a coma or result in death. Long-term effects from a head injury can include memory loss, sleeplessness, and a variety of physical symptoms such as tingling, numbness, and paralysis.
If you have suffered from a head injury, you might be battling permanent disability, loss of employment, and diminished income. Since your livelihood could be at risk, these scenarios are best handled with the help of an experienced injury lawyer.
1. Report the Accident
Regardless of how minor your head injury may seem, it’s crucial that you report any work-related injuries to your employer as soon as possible. Any accidents and medical treatment must be documented and on record.
For the first report, you must disclose all necessary details, provide an accurate time and location, and list any witnesses. Most employers have reporting instructions that must be followed exactly. Should you skip reporting an on-the-job injury, your employer, recovery, and finances can suffer.
Workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical treatment for on-the-job injuries as it protects employers from legal liability for accidents while requiring them to ensure workers for their injuries. When the ER or treating doctor asks for the primary payer’s information, give the name of your employer’s workers’ comp carrier.
Employers have been known to minimize or deny accidents altogether. They may also force injured employees back to work too soon or retaliate against the employee in other ways for filing a workers’ comp claim. The employer’s carrier may defend the claim and try to minimize payments for:
- Lost wages
2. Hire a Trusted Lawyer
If there’s any difficulty with your treatment or getting approval from your employer and their carrier for a claim payment, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is the next step. While the expenses for a workers’ compensation attorney may seem expensive, it’s important to remember that the carrier pays the lawyers if they have to litigate your claim. A predetermined percentage set by state law will be charged for any settlement you’re awarded by the courts or offered by the carrier. Since there is no out-of-pocket cost, you will be able to solely focus on your recovery and future health.
Workers’ compensation lawyers relieve you of the frustrating and endless hassle of handling an insurance claim while it’s in progress. By working with an experienced attorney, you won’t have to worry about:
- Filling out paperwork
- Filing documents with the state
- Gathering medical records
- Maintaining contact with your employer’s carrier
- Disability benefits eligibility and payment
- Claim timelines and due dates
3. Follow Up With Your Doctor and Lawyer
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may work with a doctor appointed by your employer’s carrier. This medical professional’s job is to evaluate both your medical condition and your ability to work. After an opinion is reached, your employer’s carrier may claim you can return to work regardless of whether you are suffering from symptoms. Your employer can use this as leverage to get you back to work sooner or on a full-time schedule.
If you don’t feel the doctor has your best interests in mind or you’re unsatisfied with treatment, you have the right to request a change of care. Bringing this to your lawyer’s attention will not jeopardize your claim. Workers’ compensation attorneys handle disputes and complaints of injured workers more often than many think.
At times, your head injury may keep you off the job for extended periods, which can result in termination. You may be eligible for a wrongful termination claim, and your lawyer will know how to mitigate and guide you through the process.
4. Settle Your Claim
Sooner or later, your workers’ compensation claim will close. Your claim can close for a variety of reasons, such as your injuries have healed, you’re returning to work, or you have reached a settlement. Should your claim be settled, you will receive a lump-sum payment in exchange for releasing the carrier’s responsibility for your treatment.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for work-related head injuries to result in long-term effects and short-term or permanent disability. Long-term symptoms of a head injury can include diminished cognitive abilities, which can impact job performance and monthly income.
It is your attorney’s primary objective to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Workers’ compensation lawyers are motivated to get the highest possible settlement and know how to navigate the court to reach a decision in your favor.
Act Fast With Work-Related Head Injuries
Head injuries are a serious matter for anyone. If you sustain a head injury on the job, you have rights as a worker to receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and mental distress. The most crucial action you can take after sustaining a work-related head injury is to contact a trusted workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
The knowledgeable lawyers at Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law have decades of experience helping injured workers win the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been injured on the job, contact Mottaz & Sisk today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.