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How Should Employees Handle a Concussion at Work?

Coatesville Workers' Compensation lawyers helping injured workers.

One of the worst, yet least understood, work injuries is a severe concussion. An employee who has had multiple concussions or a significant blow to the head can experience debilitating symptoms. Most of the time, these systems will last a short time and then fade. However, some concussions are so severe that the symptoms are long lasting. When this happens, it is called post-concussion syndrome. It is important to remember that work-related concussions need to be taken seriously and immediately treated by a medical professional. This will also facilitate a Workers’ Compensation claim.

Common Causes of Work-Related Concussions

Brain injuries such as concussions are very common in some industries. Many workers who suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can suffer from concussions. Approximately a quarter of TBI incidents reported to emergency rooms across the United States is caused at work.  However, a concussion is often overlooked as compared with other obvious brain injuries such as fractured skulls. The same types of accidents that cause TBI can also cause concussions:

  • Falling objects without the employee wearing proper head protection such as a hard hat
  • Slip, trip, and falls in which the employee hits their head on a hard surface
  • Falling from heights when the employee hits their head when they land
  • Defective equipment or machines causing employees to fall or be struck in the head
  • Automobile accidents

Car accidents and truck accidents are some of the major causes of work-related concussions. A significant portion of employees travel in vehicles for at least a portion of their jobs. Also, the collision does not have to be particularly violent for the occupants to suffer from concussions. Even with relatively minor fender-benders in which the occupants are using their seat belts, people can still suffer from a concussion. When a car is struck from behind, it causes a whiplash motion with the head and neck. This motion can be so severe that it can cause a serious work-related concussion.

Common Symptoms of Concussions

Concussions can have varied symptoms. No two concussions are the same, and a blow to the head might affect one worker differently than another. The following are the more common symptoms of concussions, and TBI generally:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Change of personality

How Do I Prove Disability from a Work-Related Concussion?

Most work injuries in Pennsylvania are easy to prove because they have a clear physical component to them. It is easy to prove a broken arm or herniated disk just with an X-ray or MRI film. However, with work-related concussions, it is different. It is more difficult to prove to a Workers’ Compensation judge that the symptoms the employee is experiencing are real. The most important thing for an injured worker who has suffered a head injury to do is to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. A doctor will be able to note the symptoms and diagnose a concussion. Also, over time, the doctor will be able to give support to any ongoing symptoms by making sure they are noted in the medical records. Therefore, it is important to not only see a doctor immediately after work injury, but also continue seeing the doctor throughout the treatment protocol so the medical records will support the injury, the symptoms, and the ongoing disability from work.

Coatesville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Advocate for Injured Workers

If you have suffered a head injury at work and have concussion symptoms keeping you from working, you need to have an experienced law firm representing you. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation system can be confusing. The Coatesville Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC have been helping injured Pennsylvania workers for over 40 years. We will fight for your rights to receive the wage and medical benefits for which you are entitled. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.