Workers in a wide variety of jobs may be at risk of suffering head injuries in the workplace, whether it involves being struck by merchandise falling from a store shelf or suffering a serious fall due to unstable scaffolding. Employees in the construction, home repair and trucking industries are particularly susceptible to accidents that can cause head injuries.
Among all the various types of work-related injuries, head injuries are particularly concerning. Not only are they likely to be painful, but they can also affect a person’s ability to work. Head injuries can have serious, long-term consequences for injured workers and their family members.
Causes of Workplace Head Injuries
Head injuries can occur in many different workplaces such as warehouses, construction sites, factories, and car or truck crashes. Some common causes of head injuries on the job are:
- Falling merchandise or debris
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Mechanical malfunctions
- Trauma triggered by an explosion or accident involving heavy machinery
- Falls from ladders or scaffolding
- Motor vehicle accidents, such as those involving semi-trucks or delivery vans
Types of Head Injuries
Work-related head injuries range from mild to fully disabling. The recovery period for such injuries can last several days, weeks or even months. Concussions and closed head injuries sustained on the job may not necessarily by fatal. However, even a head injury that is perceived to be mild can leave a worker temporarily or permanently unable to perform their previous duties.
Although there may not be external signs of harm, symptoms can appear gradually over time after the recovery period. For example, an injured worker may suffer from lingering effects such as sound sensitivity, dizziness, chronic headaches or difficulty concentrating.
In serious cases, head injuries may be accompanied by brain damage. Due to the severe consequences of even a minor brain injury, employees are likely to require ongoing medical care. Work-related traumatic brain injuries should not be treated lightly. They have been linked to many serious, often long-term medical conditions such as seizures, depression, cognitive problems or coma.
Compensation for Head Injuries at Work
Head injury victims can find themselves struggling with medical bills while being unable to return to work for a lengthy period of time. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act allows employees who have suffered a head injury on the job to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Under the law, workers are compensated for their lost wages and medical expenses such as doctor visits, physical therapy and prescription medications regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
Workers are also entitled to other types of payments depending on the extent and severity of their work-related injury. These include:
- Temporary total disability benefits if an individual is unable to work while recovering. For example, an employee who has suffered a concussion may experience headaches and dizziness that may prevent them from performing key job duties.
- Permanent total disability is paid to an injured worker who is permanently unable to work. Permanent partial disability benefits apply when an injured employee has suffered some type of impairment or disfigurement but is able to return to work in a limited capacity.
Dealing with employers and insurers can be challenging for injured workers who are trying to recover from their injury. As a result, it is important for individuals who have suffered a head injury at work to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Briskman Briskman & Greenberg represents workers who have been injured on the job in Chicago. Our experienced attorneys help our clients seek full compensation to cover lost wages and medical expenses for their injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your options and legal rights.