An injured worker suffering from a work-related head injury may never be able to enjoy the same quality of life as before the accident.
Workplace accidents may cause head injuries, which can range from minor to debilitating. Head injuries are classified into closed head injuries and open head injuries. While open head injuries are caused when an object penetrates the brain, closed head injuries can be diffuse and are caused by blunt trauma and no object actually penetrates the brain.
Closed Head Injuries
Closed head injuries are more common as compared to open head injuries. Post-concussion syndrome results when a person suffers a blow to the head and the striking object does not actually penetrate the skull, but the impact is strong enough to cause brain damage and results in traumatic brain injury. Every year, 7 million closed head injuries are reported in the United States every year. More serious concussions can have the same consequences as traumatic brain injuries and may cause permanent brain damage. The effects that follow a closed head injury that causes serious brain injury are referred to as post-concussion syndrome.
Causes of Work-Related Closed Head Injuries
Closed head injuries occur when a sharp blow to the head shakes the brain. An injured person may experience symptoms immediately or after a few hours or even days. After suffering a concussion, an injured worker may develop a condition known as post-concussion syndrome. The most common types of workplace accidents that cause closed head injuries include:
- slip and fall accidents
- physical assault
- falling objects
- construction accidents
- motor vehicle accidents
- crane and scaffold accidents
Workers who suffer closed head injuries at the workplace and suffer from symptoms of post-concussion syndrome may not be able to return to work for an extended period of time. They may also require prolonged and expensive treatment and therapy.
Signs and Symptoms of Closed Head Injuries
The injury itself and post-concussion syndrome may have a severe effect on the normal functioning of the brain. Injured employees may not be able to perform the duties that they earlier could and may not remain as proficient at the work as they were before the injury. Common effects of closed head injuries are:
- chronic headaches
- vision or hearing loss
- altered taste or smell
- sleep disorder
- confusion and slurred speech
- inability to focus and think
- cognitive problems
- memory loss (short- or long-term)
All of this can have life-altering consequences for an injured worker and he or she may never be able to enjoy the same quality of life as before the accident. Everything from motor to cognitive abilities may be affected.
An employee who suffers a closed head injury at the workplace may be entitled to benefits under the Missouri workers’ compensation system. If you are facing any problems in getting your rightful benefits, immediately contact a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney from The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann for a case evaluation.