Spinal cord and brain injuries are among the most devastating, not just because of their initial impact, but because they almost always affect the body long term. Even when the victim can resolve some of the injuries over time, they will likely struggle with myriads of medical complications for their entire lifetime.
If you are pursuing claims involving brain or spinal cord injuries, you may need a workers’ compensation attorney to help you get the money you need to pay for your medical treatment and other damages. Our attorneys at Renfro & Renfro, PLLC always consider the long-term effects of your injuries when calculating damages for our Richmond, Virginia, clients.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain or Spinal Cord Injuries
Traumatic injuries to the brain or spinal cord occur when an impact or trauma bruises or tears the brain or spine. Unfortunately, our everyday workplace environments may present several hazards that can cause these injuries. Some of the common causes of TBI and SCI in the workplace include:
- Motor vehicle accidents: Auto and motorcycle accidents are the leading causes of TBI and SCI, with studies revealing these accidents account for almost 31.5% of new SCI injuries each year. Workers operating company vehicles, forklifts, and other industrial vehicles are at a higher risk for these injuries.
- Repetitive strain injuries: Repetitive movements or poor ergonomics can lead to cumulative spinal injuries, such as herniated discs or compressed nerves.
- Slips and falls: Slip, trip, and fall accidents are other leading causes of SCIs and TBIs in the workplace. Falls from heights, such as ladders, scaffolding, or elevated platforms, can have severe consequences.
- Machinery accidents: Workers operating heavy machinery and industrial equipment are at a higher risk of SCI if entangled in the machinery.
- Falling objects: Spinal cord injuries can occur when heavy objects fall from shelves, storage racks, or other elevated areas and strike workers below.
How Bad Are Workplace Brain or Spinal Cord Injuries?
Brain or spinal cord injuries from workplace accidents often require hospitalization, several surgeries, and months or years of recovery. The following are some of the long-term consequences of TBI and SCI:
- Partial or total paralysis: One of the most devastating effects of TBI or SCI is paralysis. Although they can be short-term, they are more often permanent. Paralysis impairs any part of the body falling below the injury point.
- Osteoporosis and fractures: Immobility and reduced weight-bearing can lead to the loss of bone density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
- Cardiovascular issues: People with SCI may have difficulty regulating blood pressure and heart rate, increasing the risk of orthostatic hypotension and other cardiovascular problems.
- Headaches and seizures: Persistent headaches are common after a TBI. In some cases, individuals may develop epilepsy and experience seizures.
- Cognitive impairment: on the other hand, individuals with TBI may experience difficulties with memory, attention, concentration, and problem-solving. They may also have trouble processing information and take longer to learn new things.
- Emotional and behavioral changes: TBIs and SCIs can lead to emotional and behavioral changes, such as mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, and impulsivity.
- Reduced life expectancy: Complications such as respiratory issues, pressure sores, and infections can reduce life expectancy for individuals with TBI or SCI compared to the general population.
Why Do You Need Long-term Compensation After TBI or SCI?
By law, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance covers all the damages arising from injuries you sustained at work, regardless of who is at fault. As discussed above, TBI or SCI injuries have lifelong effects that impact your activities and compromise the quality of your life. For this reason, long-term compensation is necessary after such accidents. Here are some of the long-term damages that you could recover from your worker’s compensation insurance:
TBI and SCI often require extensive medical treatment, including lengthy hospital stays, complicated surgeries, physical therapies, and ongoing rehabilitation. These treatments can result in substantial medical bills and long-term compensation help cover these costs.
TBI or SCI almost always results in a temporary or permanent disability preventing you from performing your work duties. This ultimately translates to missed work and lost income. Long-term compensation covers the lost income and earning capacity.
Ongoing Care and Assistance
Long-term or permanent disability from TBI may require lifelong care and assistance such as home modifications, assistive devices, personal care attendants, and specialized medical equipment. The compensation covers the lifetime costs related to the care.
Pain and Suffering
Unfortunately workers comp benefits do not provide payment for pain and suffering. However, in cases where an injured worker is permanently and totally disabled they can be entitled to lifetime payments, depending on the medical evidence in the case, and lifetime medical treatment for their injuries. Lifelong compensation provides some measure of solace and recognition for the pain you endure.
Rehabilitation and Reintegration
Long-term compensation can support ongoing rehabilitation efforts, including vocational training, to help the injured person reintegrate into the workforce if possible. If the injury left permanent effects and you can no longer do your previous job, your employer may be compelled to assign you a different role. The compensation may also cover the costs related to training for such new roles.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have recently injured your brain or spinal cord from a workplace accident, you may feel like every aspect of your life has reached a standstill. Fortunately, your worker’s compensation insurance ensures access to the financial support and medical care you need during this difficult time. Long-term compensation guarantees a safety net that helps you cope with the long-term physical, emotional, and financial hardships of your injuries.
At Renfro & Renfro, our Richmond workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive experience representing brain and spinal injury victims. We can help you recover the long-term compensation you deserve for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (804) 601-4433 or contacting us online.
We look forward to serving you!