Accidents can happen at any time on the job site. Workers can slip or fall, and objects can fall and hit workers, as well. Concussions are common injuries experienced on many job sites, and the results of concussions can be extremely serious if not debilitating for the employee.
It can affect the employee’s ability to continue working, leaving him or her with no choice but to seek a remedy from the employer or employer’s insurance company.
However, in doing this through an employer’s workers’ compensation policy, is an attorney necessary, or is it advisable for the employee to handle to the matter on his or her own? We have asked attorney Alaina Sullivan about what you should do. Here is what she had to say:
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance offered through employment that helps employees who are injured on the job and need medical assistance and extended period off of work for recovery due to the work-related injury.
An employee elects to seek workers’ compensation, thus waiving his or her right to pursue a personal injury claim against his or her employer.
Workers’ compensation will cover medical expenses related to the injury, lost injury, cost of re-training and even survivor benefits if the employee was killed in the accident. Workers compensation normally covers approximately two thirds of the employee’s lost earnings in terms of lost wages.
What Happens with a Concussion?
Concussions are considered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and can be very serious. These injuries usually come from a blow to the head and can result in the individual losing consciousness or at minimum can result in an altered mental state.
The effects from a concussion cannot always be seen right away and can last for weeks or even months. Most symptoms are headaches or dizziness, but even brain injuries can result from a concussion.
Symptoms also include lack of coordination, issues maintaining balance, uneven pupil size, unusual eye movement, nausea and vomiting and lapse in consciousness or even coma. Depending on the injury, an employee could be out of work for weeks or even months.
If medical attention is not sought following a concussion, death could even result, although this is a rare occurrence. Regardless, concussions should be taken seriously and handled appropriately.
Why an Attorney May Be Needed
The problem with concussions is they may not always be so readily apparent. Unless an employee is outwardly complaining of the symptoms or loses consciousness, after a blow to the head, it may not be obvious that he or she is suffering from a concussion.
Many individuals will continue to work and will only experience the symptoms later. Because the symptoms are not so outward and obvious as a broken bone or cut, an employer may argue that the individual is exaggerating the injury and can still work.
If that is the case and the employer denies the initial claim made for workers’ compensation benefits, that individual may believe he or she has no recourse but to accept the denial.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can push for the employee and ensure that the injuries are taken seriously and that the claim goes through properly.
In addition, the effects of the injuries do not happen or end right away in many concussion situations. They can affect the individual for longer than expected. The expenses can add up and the employee could be out of work much longer than anticipated.
The first figure given by the insurance agency might not even begin to cover what the employee deserves. The employee may not know what a good estimate would be, and when given a “low-ball” figure, he or she may simply accept the figure, not knowing any better.
A workers’ compensation attorney can negotiate with the insurance company and can handle an appeal of a denial if that happens. They know the tricks of the trade and can push back when a small and unfair figure is given to the injured employee.
Having a professional on the side of the employee can go a long way in tipping the scales in his or her favor.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you have been hurt in an accident while on the job and have suffered a concussion, it is always recommended that you contact an attorney to answer your questions.
A licensed attorney trained in workers’ compensation law will be able to review your case and determine your best course of action. To receive the compensation you deserve, contact an attorney in your area today.