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Work-related injuries that affect the head and neck are among the most serious injuries that an employee can suffer. Many of these injuries are life-altering, and the person may no longer work again or find themselves unable to perform the duties of their current job.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) often occurs in a workplace accident when an employee is directly hit on the head. The mildest form of a TBI is a concussion, and most people will recover within a few weeks. However, debilitating effects of a concussion can last longer for some individuals, and it may take months for a full recovery. Signs of a concussion include:
Moderate to severe TBIs may result in long-term or permanent impairment. In a worst-case scenario, other than a fatality, the person may lose mobility, the ability to communicate, or require full-time care. One example is a diffuse axonal injury, which results from the brain shaking within the skull due to the forceful trauma. Tissue inside the brain is torn, and death, coma, or severe brain damage can occur.
The most frequent cause of brain injury is trauma, and that may occur from a slip and fall in which a worker’s head hits the floor or a sharp or hard item. Objects falling and hitting an employee may cause a TBI and falls from heights. Workers driving while on the job are also vulnerable to brain and neck injuries if they are in a car accident.
Neck injuries may happen due to heavy lifting, repetitive tasks, or long hours spent at the computer. While TBIs occur suddenly, neck injuries often develop over time due to strain and wear and tear. Early signs of neck injuries include:
Any type of head injury is a medical emergency. The worker should go directly to an emergency room, and they will require transportation. Report the injury to a supervisor immediately. Not all TBIs are apparent right away, but the longer a worker waits to seek medical treatment, the more likely continued brain swelling can cause long-term damage. Failure to go to the doctor quickly may cause the insurance company to allege the injury did not result from a workplace accident, seriously harming your claim.
A neck injury, if more gradual, still requires reporting and medical treatment. Unless the condition comes on suddenly, the worker may have to visit a healthcare provider recommended by the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company. The injured worker should document workplace activities that are contributing to the neck pain.
There are more serious neck injuries, such as fractures, which may cause paralysis. Of course, these injuries also require treatment in the emergency room.
If you experienced a brain or neck injury due to a workplace accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our dedicated Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will fight to protect your rights and help you obtain maximum compensation. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.