Head injuries can result in traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that can have long-term effects on a multitude of your abilities. Damaging brain tissue or brain cells usually results in permanent damage and loss of skills due to the fact that brain cells do not replace themselves. Some of the most common ways that people develop traumatic brain injuries include, slipping or falling on hard surfaces, car accidents, or playing a sport. In general, everyone is exposed to conditions that can lead to a TBI causing you to lose motor skills and other functions.
If you suffer a work-related injury that has led to a concussion or other traumatic brain injuries, you should seek immediate medical attention and report the incident to your employer. Due to the common injuries that result from slips, trips, and fall (STF), it would appear that everyone is exposed to TBI, however, construction workers, athletes, motor vehicle operators are more likely to develop a traumatic brain injury. In the state of California, if you have suffered a head injury as a result of employer negligence or other work-related factors, you are entitled to seek workers’ compensation which provides wage loss and medical coverage.
The Orange County Workers’ Compensation Attorneys understand that traumatic brain injuries resulting from head concussions are life-altering and you should receive the compensations you deserve to ensure a quick recovery. Filing a workers’ compensation form should be quick and easy. Our attorneys are ready to fight on your behalf so that your workers’ compensation benefits are in your possession when you need them the most.
Don’t let anyone deny your workers compensation claims in the event of a work-related injury. Injured workers are protected by various laws and regulations that protect their right to claim benefits. To learn more about your rights as an injured employee, please contact the Orange County Workers Attorneys at 949-423-3212 or you may visit our office at 505 N Tustin Ave #103, Santa Ana, CA 92705. Our experienced lawyers are ready to hear your case and provide a comprehensive step by step solution.
Head Injuries Statistics
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a branch governed by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 52,000/yr. deaths have resulted from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In the same year, 275,000 people were hospitalized while 1,365,000 people visited the emergency room as a result of a TBI. On average hospitals have been tasked with an estimated 1.7 million cases of people suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
The Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that between 2002-2006 about 35% of TBI related cases resulted from falls, 17.3% resulted from motor vehicle accidents, and 16.5% resulted from being struck on the head with an object. There were also 21% of TBI resulting from unknown reasons and 10% resulting from assaults. Head injuries occur very easily if you are walking on surfaces with obstructions or while driving a company vehicle or while walking around on the job. In the event of a work-related injury resulting in a traumatic brain injury, you are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage.
The number of head injuries reported by the CDC is significantly high which is why the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has implemented regulations that specifically target the use of protective head great while on the job.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Protective Headgear
People suffering from traumatic brain injuries resulting from a violation of OSHA regulations are entitled to workers’ compensation and have the right to request an OSHA inspection without the fear of employer discrimination. Your employer and company have the right to keep you safe and provide you will all the information and equipment that will assure your safety in the workplace.
The following regulations if violated are proof enough to file a workers’ compensation claim if your employer negligence led to your TBI. It is crucial that you understand these regulations so that you are able to identify possible safety violations and have the capacity to determine the proper steps for taking care of the hazardous conditions in your workplace. If your employer fails to correct the violations of a given regulation and you feel that he or she has put in danger the well-being or life of other employees, please contact OSHA for an inspection.
Employer responsibilities under OSHA:
- Your employer is responsible for providing a safe working environment meaning that they are tasked with adhering to all the regulations that govern the company’s trade. For example, in construction, the employer has the duty to follow the specific regulations relating to the scaffold, heavy equipment, and other related regulations that aim to provide safe working conditions.
- Your employer should provide daily inspections on equipment and sections of the workplace that are prone to hazardous conditions making sure they adhere to OSHA standards.
- Provide all employees with the safety information. The employer should hang OSHA posters, labels, and other safety signs so that all employees have access to the information.
- Your employer needs to provide training (in the employees preferred language) so that employees can handle the daily tasks and are knowledgeable about how to deal with hazardous situations.
In addition, employers need to make sure their employees are wearing their hardhats while at work. OSHA explains that there are three types of hard hats:
- Class C - Conductive Helmet: the lightweight helmet that does not protect electrical hazards and provides little protection against flying objects
- Class E - Electrical Helmet: this helmet can protect against flying objects and are able to protect against 20,000 volts
- Class G - General Helmet: like the Class E, this helmet can protect against heavier impacts and provides electrical protection of up to 2,200 volts.
If you are in the construction industry working with heavy equipment or electrical power, you should always wear your helmet. Failing to wear your helmet, exposes you to dangers that can lead to a traumatic brain injury or in the worst cases death. OSHA provides these standards to establish employer liability and to decrease the probability of a work-related death or injury.
Head Injuries at Work
People who experience head injuries that cause traumatic brain injuries may experience nausea, headache, confusion, dizziness, or difficulty with remembering events. You should seek immediate medical attention if you suffer from a TBI. A medical evaluation will determine the severity of the situation which will affect the size and type of your workers’ compensation insurance. Regardless of the situation, a head injury can have long-term effects on the employee's physical and mental well-being. If you suffer a head injury, it is crucial that you receive the workers’ compensation coverage you deserve so that you are allowed to recover without financial stress.
Workers compensation insurance puts the health and well-being of the injured employee at the forefront of the claim. You are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim under the law of California without fear of employer discrimination.
The workers’ compensation system works to assure that all employees who have suffered from work-related injuries receive benefits that aid their recovery. Workers’ compensation benefits include a medical package that covers medication, medical treatment, and other costs associated with your recovery. Workers’ compensation also establishes a wage loss program so that the employee is freed from financial stress during his or her recovery. This wage loss coverage includes biweekly payments of up to 2/3rds of your monthly salary. In addition, if your head injury has caused severe complications to your ability to perform your job-related tasks, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. Vocational rehabilitation benefits may cover tuition or other specialized training so that you are trained to perform another profession. Workers compensation is a right that all employees are entitled to. In the state of California, if your employer has more than one worker, she or he must provide this insurance to his or her employees.
Filing for workers’ compensation is easier than pursuing a lawsuit. The Division of Workers Compensation (DWC) under the Federal Department of Industrial Relations, has established a “no-fault” principle to the worker's compensations laws so that employees can file a workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits without having to enter a negotiation or lawsuit with their employer. This clause establishes that if you are at fault for your injury while performing a work-related task, you are still capable of receiving workers’ compensation benefits. In workers’ compensation laws, it does not matter if you and/or your employer were at fault so long as the injury occurred while performing duties within the scope of employment. Under workers’ compensation, both you and your employer give up their right to sue each other which prevents you from seeking additional compensations from your employer.
Workers compensation insurance covers anyone that is injured while performing a task within his or her “scope of employment”. If you were climbing scaffold and you fall to the ground causing a TBI, you were injured while performing a work-related duty. If you are driving a company vehicle and you suffer an accident, if you were performing a work-related task, you would also be covered by workers’ compensation. If your car accident occurs while on your break or while you were carrying out a personal errand, you may receive some pushback from the insurance companies when filing your claims. In any case, speak with an attorney to determine ways in which you can receive compensation. You are most likely covered by the company vehicle insurance or other third-party insurers.
If you suffer a head injury while at work, follow the next steps to ensure that you are filing a strong workers’ compensation claim. When filing for workers’ compensation you should:
- Immediately report the incident to your employer and seek medical attention. In the event of a work-related injury, it is crucial that you report the incident to a supervisor so that he or she assesses the situation immediately. In addition, seeking medical attention will ensure that you receive medical documentation of your injury. Do not wait for your injury to heal before you seek medical evaluation.
- Once you receive the workers' compensation claim form (DWC 1), fill out the employee section and return it to your employer or supervisor. He or she is then required to fill out the company or employer section and send it to the insurance company for an evaluation. Your employer cannot deny you the right to fill out a workers’ compensation form. If he or she denies your workers' compensation claim form, please let an attorney know when you have the chance to speak to one. You have access to the DWC 1 form at: dir.ca.gov/dwc/forms.html
- Gather all information and data regarding your injury and the overall accident. Take pictures and if possible gather the contact information of all individuals who witnessed your head injury.
Head injuries can be identified through open scars, bruises, scratches, or bleeding. Head injuries present a very strong case for workers’ compensation claims due to the fact that the injuries are visually present unlike with repetitive stress injuries that need to be evaluated by a medical professional. After your workers' compensation claim is processed, you should receive a notification of acceptance or rejection of your claim within 14 days.
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of employer negligence or you were hurt while performing a job duty, you are more than likely to be insured by workers’ compensation. The safety regulations established by OSHA to protect all employees in the labor force are to be implemented in the workplace to help prevent work-related accidents. If you feel your workplace is unsafe or if you wish to file a workers’ compensation claim, please contact the Orange County Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at 949-423-3212. We are ready to provide legal support and advice so that you receive your workers’ compensation when you need it the most.