Head Injury and Workers' Compensation

Receiving a head injury while on the job can leave you confused and unsure what steps to take. If you have suffered a head injury on the job and you were left unable to work, would you be able to support your family? There are many benefits through workers’ compensation that may be available to you after an on-the-job injury. These benefits are available to you at no cost.

What You Should Know About Workers’ Compensation

Many of the benefits that workers’ compensation offers are available to employees injured while working. Each state has laws that require most employers to provide a workers’ compensation insurance policy. If eligible, hurt workers can receive assistance with medical expenses, medical care, rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, partial compensation for lost wages, and partial, temporary, or permanent partial disability. These policies are available to workers with no cost. It’s a special type of insurance that protects people who are hurt on the job.

An On-the-Job Head Injury Can Devastate Your Life

Workers are at risk of suffering a head injury while performing their job duties in practically any occupation. However, there are some injuries that are more prone to receiving them than others. Occupations with the highest risk for head injuries are construction workers, loading dock workers, warehouse workers, factory workers, and delivery personnel.

Factory workers, warehouse workers, and even hospitality industry workers have a major risk of a slip and fall. All it takes is a spill of water, flour, oil, or anything that could make the floor slick. Even if you’re wearing the proper shoes, you could still slip and hit your head hard enough to cause a head injury.

Working on a loading dock, in a warehouse, or a construction site is also full of risk. You could fall off of a scaffold, a ladder, or other platform and hit your head. Wearing a hard hat may not totally protect you from a head injury.

Being hit in the head is another risk. A falling object, such as a heavy box on a high shelf, can cause a head injury, a traumatic brain injury, and even hurt your neck and back.

Call 911 if you receive a head injury. Do not continue to work if you suspect you have a head injury. Continuing to work with a head injury is too risky. You may become dizzy and disoriented, leaving you at risk of falling which can cause your head injury to worsen.

Workers’ Compensation Can Help You

You should consider filing a workers’ compensation claim if you suffer from a head injury while on the job. Filing a claim can help you get the medical care that you need. When you file your claim, ask your supervisor for a list of doctors that can treat you free of charge.

Lost wages. If you are left unable to work due to your head injury, you may qualify for partial compensation of your lost wages.

Medical costs. Workers’ compensation may be able to help you with the cost of medical care. A head injury may require an x-ray, MRI, or CAT scan. You may need pain medication or you may be hospitalized. Workers’ compensation can assist you with the associated medical costs such as prescriptions, hospitalization, and follow-up visitation.

Job training. If you’re no longer able to work in your field because of the effects of the head injury, workers’ compensation may provide you with occupational training that allows you to learn new job skills that can be applied to a new field of work.

Cost of a Head Injury

Medical expenses add up quickly, especially when the care is for a head injury. Of course, the severity of the head injury and the kind of the care that you need for that injury will come into play and affect the overall cost of treating the injury.

If your head injury includes a traumatic brain injury, the costs of treating the injury are expected to range from $85,000 to $3 million*. It can lead to permanent disabilities and a lifetime of lost income as well. However, a head injury such as a simple laceration could cost less than $1,000 to treat. A concussion, without complications, could still cost thousands of dollars.

There are many diagnostic tests used to confirm the severity of a head injury. The costs of diagnosing and treating the injury can add up fast. As an example, an MRI can cost about $3,500 and a CT scan can cost upwards of $1,500. An emergency room visit could cost several thousand dollars.

If you are admitted to the hospital overnight for observation and testing, it could cost you more than $20,000. If surgery or lengthier hospitalization is needed, your bill could quickly surpass $100,000. Long-term rehab or physical therapy can cause the bill to escalate even more.

Calculating the Cost of a Head Injury Claim

When you pursue a workers’ compensation claim for a head injury, you will need to come up with a total value of your claim. You will want to determine how much to ask for the damages you suffered because of the injury. You will first need to add up all your medical bills. Some of the more common medical expenses associated with a head injury include:

  • Doctor visits
  • CT scans
  • MRIs
  • X-rays
  • Hospitalization
  • Rehab or physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Home health care
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical devices and bandaging
  • Surgery
  • Future medical care

Be sure to talk with your treating physician about your prognosis and the need for future medical care. You will want to make sure that past, present, and future medical care and treatment for the injury are covered by workers’ compensation. You must consider how you will be affected in the future and if there will be future medical care required and if your ability to work and future earnings will be affected.

Head Injury Settlement

Of course, the workers’ compensation settlement you receive can vary greatly from the settlement received by someone else in a similar situation. Each case is handled individually, and each case can have its own losses and long-term impact on the injured worker.

Workers’ compensation covers very specific things, and you are not going to recover compensation for pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation covers the costs of your medical care and two-thirds of your lost wages. Your medical bills will be added up as will the costs of any future medical care.

Also, when you can return to work or if you must change jobs or professions and earn less will be taken into consideration. If you are unable to return to work at all, that will be taken into consideration and you will want to receive long-term disability benefits because of the head injury received in the workplace accident.

Average Head Injury Settlement

The average compensation received by workers for their injuries received is about $21,800. Some with severe injuries received from $60,000 to $100,000. A workers’ compensation attorney will help you assess your situation and calculate your damages to come up with a fair value for your workers’ compensation claim. If you must retrain for another career, then vocational training costs may be covered as well.

Of course, the severity of the injury and the long-term affect of the injury on you and how it will affect your ability to work will be taken into consideration. A workers’ compensation lawyer will help you gather the supporting evidence and documentation that you need to get your claim on the right track and to ensure you receive a fair settlement for your losses.

Tips for Settlement

Workers’ compensation laws vary from one state to another. You will need to make sure you follow the proper process for your state and that all paperwork is filled out properly and that you have included all the required supporting documentation. Your lawyer will work with your employer and workers’ compensation to try to reach a settlement and resolve the issue.

Often, workers’ compensation claims are settled out of court. But if you cannot reach an agreement with the employer and insurance, then your claim may have to advance to court and you may have to let a judge or jury decide on the outcome. Workers’ compensation attorneys are skilled negotiators, so with the guidance of a lawyer, you can get your claim on track.

To ensure your claim is resolved in a timely manner, maintain thorough documentation and evidence. Keep copies of all medical bills and documents, get witness statements, and maintain all the proof that you can to show the severity of your injury and how your life will be affected for the long haul and how your employment and income will be affected because of the workplace accident.

Most workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that you will not have to pay anything upfront. Instead, your attorney will take the case on a contingency basis.

That means that your lawyer will not be paid until you win your claim and recover compensation through a judgment or a settlement. Consult with an attorney as soon as possible, so you can make sure that your claim is on track in a timely manner and that you don’t miss any deadlines for getting your claim filed.

Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form and make sure you consult with a workers’ compensation attorney who can help you with your workers’ compensation claim because of the head injury you suffered in the workplace accident while on the job.

Protect Your Legal Rights

If you’ve suffered from a head injury while on the job, you should take the time to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney. If your employer or their insurance company asks you to sign anything, take it to an attorney before you sign because you could end up signing away your right to sue or help with future care related to your head injury. A workers’ compensation attorney can explain what your signing, answer your questions, and help you get the care and compensation that you deserve for your head injury.