One of the most serious workplace injuries is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These types of injuries usually occur from a blow to the head and are not always quickly diagnosed. We've provided these frequently asked questions to help you understand this complicated injury, and how to protect your rights to Michigan workers compensation benefits.
For help now, call one of our workmans comp lawyers at (855) 221-COMP, or you can fill out our free contact form. There's no cost or obligation.
What are symptoms of traumatic brain injury?
Will workers comp cover the medical care for my TBI?
What should I do after a traumatic brain injury?
What workers comp benefits can I receive?
Are work comp TBI injuries often denied?
Q. What are symptoms of traumatic brain injury?
A. A person with a traumatic brain injury can develop a contusion, hematoma or swelling of the brain. This can be a dangerous and life changing event. Long-term effects include memory problems, headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, nerve damage, seizures and personality change.
A person affected by a traumatic brain injury might find themselves quick to anger and unable to deal with family or co-workers. We also see people who suffer from depression and severe fatigue.
Always see a doctor after a blow to the head. You might not even realize the extent of your own injury.
Q. Will workers comp cover the medical care for my TBI?
A. You are entitled to reasonable and necessary medical care for your traumatic brain injury. Some people get better with just rest while others need significant medical treatment. All medical care should be paid under workers compensation.
You have the right to choose your own doctor after 28 days. The best thing you can do is to find a doctor who supports your claim and can coordinate your medical care. It may be necessary to see multiple specialists and it can quickly become overwhelming.
Q. What should I do after a traumatic brain injury?
A. If you have been hurt at work, it's important to tell your employer and to file an injury report.
You should also seek medical care, and document any symptoms and complaints as soon as possible. Ask your doctor for the proper tests to diagnose a brain injury. Most doctors will order tests looking for any structural changes in the brain. If you continue to have problems, ask your doctor for a referral to a neuropsychologist.
Q. What workers comp benefits can I receive?
A. Michigan workers compensation will cover all reasonable and necessary medical expenses for your traumatic brain injury.
You might also need attendant care (in-home nursing services) to help with activities of daily living. Your family members can be paid up to 56 hours per week to help. If you need more assistance, workers compensation must pay.
You are also entitled to wage loss benefits if you cannot work. You will receive approximately 80 percent of your after-tax average weekly wage for as long as you are disabled. The amount of wage loss is fixed at the time of injury. It stays the same even if the economy changes or your job is eliminated.
Q. Are work comp TBI injuries often denied?
A. Individuals with a traumatic brain injury often find their workers compensation benefits denied. Employers and insurance companies know that traumatic brain injuries can cost a significant amount of money for rehabilitation and therapy.
Insurance companies frequently accuse people of exaggerating their injury and will often have them followed by investigators. Do not let the insurance company deny your workers compensation benefits for no good reason. Speak with an experienced workmans comp lawyer who can help you recover all the benefits available under the law.
Q. I've been sent to an IME, now what?
A. Employers and insurance companies regularly send people to their doctors for an "independent" medical examination (IME). An IME is a second opinion medical exam. You are required by law to attend.
These "independent" doctors are selected by your employer or a workers comp insurance company, and they often find "nothing wrong" with seriously injured workers in order to save the employer/insurance company money.
Many people find their work comp benefits disputed or cut off based upon an IME report. Make sure that you're treating with your own doctor — who has your best interests in mind.
If your benefits have been disputed after your TBI, it's very important that you speak with an experienced workmans comp lawyer to protect your legal rights.
Call us at (855) 221-COMP, or fill out our free consultation form. The call is free and the advice is free.
We've been protecting injured workers like you for more than 35 years, and we're here to answer all of your questions and to help you recover.