Post-Concussion Syndrome and Workers’ Compensation

If you suffered a concussion in a workplace accident and you ended up with post-concussion syndrome or some form of traumatic brain injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

Post-concussion syndrome occurs after a head injury and can involve prolonged dizziness and headaches. It is classified as a mild traumatic brain injury. The effects tend to last from between 7 and 10 days and have usually disappeared after 12months.

The effects can be quite debilitating and may include chronic headaches, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, memory lapses and blurry vision.

If you have had an accident while at work and you have been diagnosed with post concussion syndrome you may need a long recovery period. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation as most employers take out WC insurance to cover their workers.

Any kind of head injury, including a mild concussion, can end up having lasting effects on you. Even injuries that seem minor from the get-go might end up worsening or having serious symptoms that disrupt your life and impact your ability to work. Concussion symptoms usually subside within three months, but sometimes, they can last long-term and affect you for years.

What is Post-Concussion Syndrome and How Long Does it Last?

A traumatic brain injury can result from impact to the head or body. These injuries may affect the accident victim’s skull and can cause serious damage. Post-concussion syndrome is when some concussion symptoms symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, and dizziness, last for weeks or even months after the time of the injury. Studies show that the risk of post-concussion syndrome is not affected by the severity of the concussion. For the most part, people suffer from concussion symptoms for seven to 10 days after the incident then they go away within three months or so. With post-concussion syndrome, those symptoms can last for a year or longer.

Can I get workers' compensation for post-concussion syndrome?

How to Treat Post-Concussion Syndrome

If you have suffered post-concussion syndrome or some form of traumatic brain injury from an injury at work, on top of seeking immediate medical treatment right away, you should follow a treatment plan after to try to alleviate some of the pain from the head injury.

You should consult with your doctor to see how they recommend you treat your post-concussion syndrome after a workplace injury, but some common treatments include:

  • Plenty of rest
  • Avoid driving
  • Avoid operating heavy machinery
  • Avoid bright screens such as your computer or smart phone
  • Make sure the room your darkened

If after your treatment, you are suffering from post-concussion syndrome, it may be a more serious injury, in which you could be eligible for a higher workers' compensation damages. You may want to file for workers' compensation benefits.

Post-Concussion Syndrome and Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits include medical benefits coverage. Medical benefits will cover the cost of your care while you are recovering from your injury. The goal of your physician when treating your condition is to effectively manage the symptoms you are suffering. Some of the more common symptoms suffered with post-concussion syndrome include:

  • Loss of memory
  • Concentration problems
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Light sensitivity
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Mood changes

The severity of post-concussion headaches can vary greatly. For some people, they feel like tension headaches or migraines. Usually, these headaches are like tension headaches and are caused by a neck injury that happened in conjunction with the head injury.

The Steps to Take When Filing for Compensation with Post Concussion Syndrome

If you have been involved in an accident at work that has caused post concussion syndrome, there are certain steps you need to follow to help ensure you get worker’s compensation.

The first thing you need to do is tell your supervisor or manager about your injury. In some states there is a deadline set after the injury to report the incident.

You should of course ensure you have received the medical treatment you need first. As you will be filing an application for workers’ compensation it is important to discuss your claim with a worker’s comp. attorney too.

Evidence to Support Claim for Post Concussion Syndrome

Your employer’s insurer may not process your claim until you have presented the evidence that proved where the accident took place. Often, claims are denied because the victim has no proof that the accident that caused post concussion syndrome happened while at work.

This can include eyewitness reports and photos from video cameras installed in your work place.

What Is Included In A Worker’s Comp Post-Concussion Syndrome Settlement?

When you reach a settlement after having post-concussion syndrome, you can recoup compensation for the damages you suffered. These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, lost benefits, and legal fees, such as attorney fees and court costs.

You will need to maintain supporting documentation to show the losses incurred. This could include medical bills, hospital bills, prescription receipts, and receipts for any medical devices or medical tests. You will need proof of missed work, as well as medical excuses from your treating physicians.

Be sure to document everything and keep all supporting evidence and documentation. You will also need copies of all your medical records, so you can show the severity of your condition, when your doctor released you to return to work, and what losses you suffered while you were suffering post-concussion syndrome from your work-related injury.

A workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine the value of your claim by reviewing the extent of your injuries and how long you are off work because of the condition.

You should keep your employer informed about the status of your condition as well as when you are expected to return to work. Be sure to keep copies of all medical excuses that indicate you are unable to work as well as your abilities and when you are released to return to work.

Medical records and medical bills should be kept until your claim is settled and you have been compensated for your damages. Also, state laws come into play because some states indicate you must be off work 7 days before workers’ comp pays lost wages and other states require you to miss 14 days or so.

Potential Settlement Amounts for a Post Concussion Syndrome

Once your claim for workers’ compensation has been approved a calculation will be made to determine how much you will get. In some states you may find there is a wait period. Oregon and California’s wait periods are only 3 days while other states may impose 7 days.

You don’t typically receive any payment for this wait period unless you are off work for the retroactive period. This again depends on your state but is generally around 21 working days. This means if you are off work for this period or more the wait period will be included in your workers’ compensation payment.

Most states base your disability payments on 2/3rds of your weekly wage while all your medical treatment is automatically included in your WC payments.

Workers’ Compensation Calculation

It may take several weeks to recover from post concussion syndrome so assuming it is more than 21 days you will get the full amount from the day the injury took place. The calculation for 8 weeks off work at $16 per hour for a 40 hour week is as follows

Disability payments calculation

2/3rds of 40 x $16 = $426 x 8 weeks =$3,408

Medical Treatment Costs

  • Ambulance $1,000
  • Emergency room consultation $300
  • CT Scan $1,000
  • Magnetic resonance Image $1,200
  • Neurologist consultation $300
  • Total=$3,800
  • These are approximate amounts and will depend on the severity of the injury that led to post concussion syndrome and if there is any need for counseling.

    Total worker’s compensation = $3,408 + $3,800 = $ 7,208

    What Can Speed Up or Slow Down a Settlement

    If you have a workers’ compensation lawyer helping you with your claim it shouldn’t take too long for your disability payments to start. A WC lawyer will ensure that all the evidence required to prove your post concussion syndrome occurred while at work cannot be disputed.

    Any medical report from your physician will be made available to your employer’s insurer indicating how long you need to take off work and the medical treatment you are receiving. What is most likely to slow down your settlement is if you negotiate with your employer’s insurer on your own.

    What to Do If You Have Post-Concussion Syndrome and are Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

    If you are injured on the job, try to remember as many details as possible about your accident. That can be challenging with a head injury. Make sure any witnesses give their accounts as well. Seek immediate medical care from a physician on the approved workers’ comp provider list. Also notify a manager or supervisor as soon as possible about your injury.

    To make sure your rights are protected, you should consult with a workers’ compensation attorney. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page, so your details can be shared with an attorney near you. You will get a free case review and you will be told how to proceed with your claim.

    Your attorney will review your accident details and gather the necessary evidence and documentation to support your claim. Now is the time to proceed with your workers’ compensation claim because of post-concussion syndrome.

    Additional Resources