A serious head injury can lead to weeks, months or even years out of work. Some severe head injuries can leave you permanently disabled and unable to return to work in any capacity.
If you suffered a head injury while on the job in Georgia and are out of work for a week or longer as a result, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It is extremely important to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney after suffering a head or traumatic brain injury (TBI) on the job in Georgia. Your employer may work with the workers’ compensation insurance company to try and deny your claim or make a settlement offer that does not cover your full medical and lost wage costs. The actual value of your claim depends on several factors, including the severity of your injury and the length of time it will cause you to be out of work. Often, the long-term impact of a serious workplace head injury cannot be fully understood right after it occurs.
Our Augusta workers’ compensation attorneys at Gregory Smith Law, LLC can review your accident and discuss the benefits available to you under Georgia’s workers’ compensation law. We can file your claim and fight for you if there is a dispute about your benefits or appeal a denied claim.
What Are the Common Causes of Head Injuries on The Job?
Head injuries are among the most common injuries suffered on the job. The most common causes of head injuries at work are:
- Falls. A worker can fall and hit his or her head in numerous ways, such as falling from a ladder, scaffold or a roof at a construction or manufacturing site, slipping and falling on wet floors or stairs in an office building, or tripping over debris in the workplace. Truck drivers are especially prone to head injuries due to falls from climbing in and out of the tractor and tarping loads on a flatbed.
- Motor vehicle accidents. Many jobs involve traveling by car or truck, whether it is to business meetings, sales calls or along delivery routes. Thousands of employees suffer head injuries in job-related car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents every year.
- Being hit by an object. A particular danger on a construction or manufacturing site is being hit on the head by a falling object or dropped tool.
- Assault. A worker who is physically attacked on the job may suffer a head injury, whether from being struck in the head, knocked down, or from a gunshot wound. It is an unfortunate fact that workers who deal with the public are at risk of job-related assault injuries.
What Happens After Suffering a Head Injury?
A blow to the head, violent shaking, or a skull-penetrating injury can damage the brain. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can range from a concussion to brain damage that causes lasting physical and cognitive disability.
Any blow to the head warrants a visit to the doctor. Loss of consciousness due to a head injury requires emergency medical care.
A concussion victim might spend a night in the hospital for observation. Usually, a concussion resolves after a few weeks of rest and reduced activity. This may involve time off work, for which he or she may be eligible for workers’ compensation disability benefits.
A moderate to severe TBI can cause cognitive and physical issues. How severe a head injury is depends on what part of the brain is injured and how widespread the damage is.
A patient with a more serious TBI may require surgery to relieve pressure and swelling on the brain or to repair damaged tissue. In some cases, the patient will be transferred to a hospital’s neuro intensive care unit that specializes in brain injuries.
As a moderate to severe TBI patient recovers, he or she will undergo rehabilitative therapy to regain walking and speaking skills, physical strength and cognitive and fine motor skills.
Recovery from a significant TBI can require years of effort. Many patients do recover and lead normal, satisfying lives. But some TBI patients never return to work. In the worst non-fatal cases, a TBI patient is permanently, totally disabled and requires life-long disability benefits and around-the-clock attendant care.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for a Head Injury in Georgia
If you suffer a head or brain injury on the job and qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be entitled to receive:
- Payment of all medical costs related to your occupational injury, including payment of transportation costs for medical visits.
- Temporary Total Disability benefits worth two thirds (66.66%) of your normal salary / wages for up to 400 weeks as you recover.
- Temporary Partial Disability benefits if you have recovered enough to return to “light duty” work or a different job that pays less than your previous job. TPD payments make up the difference in pay up to 66.66% of the difference in your pay for up to 350 weeks.
- Permanent Partial Disability benefits if you have a suffered permanent partial disability because of a head/brain injury, you may be entitled to weekly income benefits for up to 300 weeks in addition to any TTD or TPD benefits already paid.
Get Help With Your Georgia Head Injury Claim
If you suffer a work-related head injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Even if your employer seems to be cooperating, they may not be aware of what workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to. The insurance claims adjuster may try to intimidate or threaten you into accepting a settlement that does not reflect the full extent of your injuries and the money value of your claim.
If you have been out of work with a head injury, contact our Augusta workers’ compensation attorneys at Gregory Smith Law, LLC. We can assess your injury diagnosis and discuss your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. We have the legal skills and experience necessary to fight for you to receive the full benefits you deserve. Call us today at 706-724-9700 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.