Head Injury Attorney in Greenwood, South Carolina
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program used in every state to cover injuries and illnesses suffered by employees due to workplace accidents or conditions. It is a no-fault system designed to prevent endless lawsuits between employees and employers. If they’re injured at work or ill because of toxic exposure at work, an employee is entitled to medical benefits, pay for missed time at work, and if necessary, permanent disability benefits.
Head injuries are among the most serious that anyone can suffer. A concussion might be the mildest of the results, but some injuries can lead to what is called a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The National Football League (NFL) had such a problem with players whose on-field injuries developed into TBIs that it was forced to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of 4,500 former players for $1 billion.
In almost every profession except sports, it is not common for employees to butt heads in the literal sense on a routine basis, but an accident at work can result in head injuries. An employee can be struck by a falling object, slip and fall and land on their head, or even be in a vehicular accident while on official business.
If you have suffered a head injury in or around Greenwood, South Carolina, contact Powers Law, LLC. We will provide you with personalized service. Our knowledge of the workers’ compensation system and personal injury law will help you navigate the claims system and meet any challenges the workers’ compensation insurer may place on you, such as providing further medical evidence.
We also proudly serve clients throughout upstate South Carolina, including Saluda, Edgefield, McCormick, Abbeville, Laurens, and Newberry.
Common Causes of Workplace Head Injuries
Construction sites may be the most prone workplaces for head injuries to occur. There are often various squads of people working on different aspects of the project. A worker could fall off scaffolding or be struck by a wrench inadvertently dropped from two stories up. A jitney or other vehicle might knock someone over. Head injuries can result.
Head injuries can result in other workplaces as well depending on the type of work being done. Someone who sits doing data entry all day likely won’t suffer a head injury unless they slip and fall, but someone who lifts heavy crates all day or operates a machine that can malfunction might be more susceptible.
Falls are the leading cause of head injuries, both at work and in society in general. Falls result in some 800,000 hospitalizations each year, mostly for head injuries and hip fractures.
Common Workplace Head Injuries
A concussion is the most common result of a fall or other accident involving the head at work. When the head is struck or jostled, the brain can come into contact with the skull, and a concussion results. Concussions can be mild, moderate, or severe. Other types of head injuries include:
PENETRATING INJURIES: Some object enters the brain or skull and causes damage, maybe a sharp object at work.
INTRACRANIAL HEMATOMA: This refers to bleeding inside the skull, often associated with a skull fracture.
SKULL FRACTURE: The skull can be fractured with or without an associated brain injury.
INJURIES TO THE NOSE, SINUES, OR JAW: These can also sometimes lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
CUTS, SCRAPES, AND OPEN WOUNDS: These generally do not lead to TBIs.
What Are TBIs? What Are Symptoms?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be caused by an object that pierces the skull and enters the brain, but it can also be caused by a forceful bump, blow, or jolt to the head, but not all bumps and jolts lead to TBIs. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIIH):
“Some types of TBI can cause temporary or short-term problems with normal brain function, including problems with how the person thinks, understands, moves, communicates, and acts. More serious TBI can lead to severe and permanent disability, and even death.”
What to Do if You Suffer a Head Injury at Work
The first thing you must do if you suffer a head injury at work is to seek medical attention. You may not feel any symptoms right away because an adrenaline rush can mask any pain. It may be hours or days later before the symptoms become evident. In fact, sometimes symptoms don’t appear for months or years, as in the case of the NFL players. The other insidious part about a head injury is that it can get worse if left untreated. Get checked immediately.
You will also need to notify your supervisor or employer of the accident, so you can get the workers’ compensation claims process going. If coworkers witnessed your accident, and if you’re able, try to get their statements as well. Their testimony could prove vital in the claims process if you’re challenged over what happened.
In South Carolina, your employer can specify the doctor you must see for any issue relating to workers’ compensation. You can request to get a second opinion after seeing the employer-designated physician. If your request is denied, you can request a hearing with a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. Also, keep in mind that, should you fail to report your work-related injury within 90 days, your claim may be declined.
If your claim is approved, workers’ compensation will pay for medical expenses, including doctor visits, surgery, hospitalization, medical supplies, prosthetic devices, and prescriptions. In addition, you are entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses to and from the doctor and the pharmacy. If you miss more than seven days of work on your doctor’s advice, you will be eligible to receive lost-wage benefits on the eighth day. The system pays just two-thirds of your average weekly wage, however.
Head Injury Attorney Serving Greenwood, South Carolina
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer may well challenge your claim and even suggest that your injuries were pre-existing. They may ask for further tests. Let us help you file your claim and include the documentation necessary to improve your chances of success. Reach out to us immediately after your accident at Powers Law, LLC if you’re anywhere near Greenwood or neighboring areas.