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Return to Work After Traumatic Brain Injury a Sensitive and Complex Matter

Traumatic BrainEach year, an estimated 1.7 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Those sustained while on the job (falls, being struck by an object, etc.) are among the leading causes. While most are considered “mild” in nature (75 percent), even mild traumatic brain injury sufferers are at risk for long delays in returning to work. Some never do. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury on the job, learn why the return to work is a complex issue, and how it may relate to your work injury claim.

What to Expect After a Work-Related TBI

Concussion sufferers often experience a range of symptoms and impairments following their injury. They may find it difficult to concentrate, or they may struggle with retaining or remembering new information. Headaches, balance problems, sensitivity to light and/or sound, and even nausea and vomiting are common. They may be irritable, moody, sad, or they may feel sluggish. Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping more or less than usual, having difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, etc.) may be experienced as well.

While healing, it is important to rest, eat, and stay hydrated. You should also avoid doing any activities that are either physically or mentally demanding (i.e. reading, crossword puzzles, and even video gaming). You should also avoid alcohol use during the healing phase, and you should never drive or operate heavy machinery until you have been cleared by your doctor.

Returning to Work After a TBI

Studies on returning to work after a TBI have come up with highly varied success rates that range anywhere from 42 percent to 97 percent. This is thought to be due to a number of factors, including geographical location, pre-injury occupation, available compensation systems, and specific patient characteristics, such as age, TBI symptoms, pre-existing conditions, and even education level prior to the injury. It is also worth noting that those who do return to work tend typically do so within three to six months after their injury. However, some may be out of work longer, and a smaller percentage may be never be able to return.

The return to work after a TBI is not only a complex matter, it is a sensitive one as well. Associated with several negative effects, such as boredom, depression, frustration, and feelings of social isolation, long-term disability can significantly impact the lives of those who wish to return to work but cannot. Emotional support is important during this time. Also, since financial stressors during this time can exasperate any negative feelings you may be experiencing, it is important that you contact an attorney who is willing to fight for the compensation that you need and deserve.

Contact Our Experienced San Jose Work Injury Attorneys

If you or someone you love has experienced a traumatic brain injury at work, contact Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. Our dedicated and experienced San Jose work injury lawyers will work with you on your claim and ensure your rights are protected, every step of the way. We offer consultations to clients throughout the Bay Area, including San Mateo, Alameda, and Santa Clara Counties. Call (408) 289-1417 to schedule yours today.

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