Scores of Texans are disabled every year by traumatic brain injuries.
If you’re injured by a negligent driver, you’ll be able to file an insurance claim – or a personal injury lawsuit – but what are your rights and options if you sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at your job? Can a San Antonio workplace attorney help?
Any impact to the head could cause a traumatic brain injury. Indirect force to the head may also cause the brain to “bounce” against the inside of the skull and cause a traumatic brain injury.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES?
Medical authorities recognize five kinds of traumatic brain injuries:
1. Contusion: an impact to the head that causes the brain to bleed
2. Coup-contrecoup contusion: an impact that slams the brain to the other side of the skull and creates another contusion
3. Concussion: a blow or impact to the head or body that jars or “bounces” the brain inside the skull
4. Penetrative injury: when a foreign object penetrates the skull and goes into the brain
5. Diffuse axonal injury: when the brain is shaken or “rotated,” causing tearing and other damage
WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO SUFFER AN ON-THE-JOB BRAIN INJURY?
If you are a construction worker, a truck driver, or a professional football player, you are more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury on the job than workers in any other professions.
Any traumatic brain injury can be minor, moderate, or severe. The typical symptoms of TBI include headaches, dizziness, sleep disorders, confusion, and loss of coordination. Emotional symptoms – depression, withdrawal, and sudden mood shifts – may also be indications of TBI.
Additionally, memory, reasoning, and the ability to focus and concentrate may be affected.
Every working person in Texas has the right to expect a safe workplace, but serious on-the-job injuries are going to happen – and not only to truck drivers and construction workers.
WHAT STEPS SHOULD YOU TAKE AFTER A JOB-RELATED INJURY?
If you suffer a work-related injury, seek medical treatment at once. Then seek the advice of a good personal injury lawyer.
If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, after you’ve been seen by a doctor or by another healthcare professional, you must submit a written accident report to your employer within thirty days and apply for workers’ compensation benefits within one year.
Texas is one of the few states that does not require private employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Employers who do not offer workers’ compensation are called “nonsubscribers.”
By choosing not to carry workers’ comp insurance, nonsubscribers forfeit the protection from personal injury lawsuits that workers’ compensation provides to employers.
If you sustain a traumatic brain injury because your nonsubscriber employer was negligent, you can take legal action against that employer.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER?
Whether or not your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, if you sustain a traumatic brain injury on the job in the greater San Antonio area, after you’ve been treated for your injury, get in touch immediately with an experienced personal injury attorney.
If you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, a personal injury lawyer can make sure that you meet the deadlines and that your paperwork is accurate and complete.
However, if your Texas employer is a nonsubscriber, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages. These cases are usually settled out of court. Personal injury courtroom trials are rare in this state.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER POTENTIAL SOURCES OF COMPENSATION?
Additionally, if you sustain a work-related brain injury – whether or not your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance – you may be able to recover compensation from a third party if that party was liable in any way for your injury.
Here’s an example: if you’re working as a delivery driver, and a negligent motorist crashes into you and injures you, if your employer carries workers’ comp insurance, you may file a workers’ compensation claim as well as a personal injury claim against the negligent driver.
Traumatic brain injuries are serious business. After any accident that involves any head injury or blow or impact to the head, have your doctor or healthcare provider check for TBI.
Get immediate medical attention – otherwise, a brain injury could remain latent for several days or weeks and then emerge as a serious medical condition.
HOW WILL A TEXAS INJURY ATTORNEY HELP YOU?
Then – as quickly as you are able – discuss your rights, options, and legal alternatives with qualified San Antonio personal injury attorney.
If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, your attorney will ensure the paperwork is complete, and if your first application for benefits is denied – that’s not unusual – your attorney will handle an appeal on your behalf.
Workers’ compensation benefits are frequently approved when a workers’ comp attorney handles the appeal for the injured worker.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS IF YOU’RE INJURED AT WORK?
Your attorney will investigate your workplace accident and injury and determine who was liable. In some cases, liability will fall exclusively on the employer, and if that employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you’ll be limited to the benefits that workers’ comp provides.
But in many cases, an injury victim will be eligible to file a personal injury claim that will allow you to seek compensation for all of your accident-related medical bills, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and all other related losses and damages.
In Texas, when anyone sustains a brain injury or any physical injury because someone else – an intoxicated motorist, for example – was negligent, the injury victim is entitled to compensation.
CAN PSYCHOLOGICAL OR EMOTIONAL INJURIES BE COMPENSATED?
Accident-related mental and psychological states like depression and anxiety are also considered injuries under Texas law. Potentially, a TBI victim may be compensated for both emotional and physical injuries.
Every personal injury case is unique. Every brain injury case is unique. And the complications of Texas law make a good attorney’s help imperative if you have sustained a traumatic brain injury in a work-related accident.
WHAT WILL SOME TBI VICTIMS REQUIRE?
While mild and moderate contusions often heal quickly, the most severe traumatic brain injuries are permanently disabling, and victims will need the maximum available compensation to cover a lifetime of treatment and care.
If you or someone you love has sustained a traumatic brain injury at work – or if you are injured in any way at your job, now or in the future – you must be advised and represented by an aggressive and experienced San Antonio personal injury lawyer who knows what it takes to win.
Nothing is more important than your health and your future. If you are injured at your place of work anywhere in the state of Texas, get the legal help you need, and get it immediately. That is your right.