Beware of Brain Injuries On-the-Job

  • In New York State, 2,000 people die, 18,000 are hospitalized and 82,000 visit the emergency room due to a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • Work-related incidents account for 15% of the more than 1.7 million new brain injuries each year in the U.S., totaling at least 255,000 cases nationwide, according to the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute (NRI).

Workplace incidents that result in traumatic brain injury (TBI) can permanently disable or even take the life of a victim. As a leading law firm in New York State, we believe it’s our responsibility to ensure that our fellow New Yorkers know their rights when it comes to a traumatic brain injuries that occur in the workplace.

We compiled this information to help TBI victims and their families deal with the aftermath of a workplace brain injury by answering 8 of the most frequently asked questions:

What are common causes of workplace brain injuries?

The NRI states that traumatic brain injuries may result from four different types of trauma:

  • Closed Head Injuries – This occurs from the brain tissue hitting the inside of the skull. Many of these brain injuries are caused by a fall.
  • Penetrating Injuries – These result from any entry of a foreign object into the brain, open fractures or gunshot wounds.
  • Anoxic Injuries – These TBIs are a result of little or not oxygen reaching the brain, causing the cells to die.
  • Toxic Injuries – Hazardous chemical exposure can kill or damage brain cells, causing these brain injuries.

Most workplace brain injuries fall into the penetrating or closed head injury categories, and most of them result from a fall.

What should I do after sustaining a traumatic brain injury?

You should seek medical care immediately after being injured. The next step is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney, who can immediately begin investigating the incident and building a case on your behalf.

You can help by documenting everything related to your injury, beginning with writing down the events before and during the incident. If possible, have someone take photos of the job site where the injury took place and any equipment involved, as well as of your injuries. Have a loved one help you record every statement from doctors, insurance representatives and anyone else who speaks to you about your case. If your loved one suffered a brain injury and is unable to help in this process, you can contact an attorney and begin the claim on his/her behalf.

Who is to blame for the brain injury I suffered at work?

Many brain injuries that happen at work are the result of negligence on the part of the business owner or manager. Supervisors and owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of the worksite and any equipment used on it. They are also accountable for thoroughly training employees to perform their job safely. Unfortunately, many employers cut corners on training, equipment maintenance and workplace safety measures, thereby putting their employees in danger. Even if you caused the incident in which you were injured, it may not be your fault. An experienced attorney can help determine if your employer’s negligence caused your injury.

I knew my job was dangerous when I took it. Do I still qualify for compensation?

Many jobs are inherently dangerous, meaning the work itself creates a risk for injury. However, the risk can be lessened and, in some cases, completely be eliminated with the use of proper safety equipment and thorough safety training. It is the responsibility of your employer or manager to ensure that you are properly trained, your equipment is well maintained and your job site is hazard-free. If employers follow these guidelines, you should be safe from harm.

What does Workers’ Compensation cover? What about other compensation?

Workers’ Compensation includes weekly payments of a percentage of the worker’s average wages. These cover total disability, partial disability, permanent and total disability, and permanent loss of function and disfigurement. Other compensation may pay for medical bills, job training for a career change, lost wages and death benefits.

The problem with Workers’ Compensation is that it is rarely enough to cover all the associated costs of a serious injury, such as TBI. A knowledgeable attorney can help you seek compensation to cover your medical costs, as well as damages for your physical and emotional pain and suffering.

What kind of compensation is available after a traumatic brain injury?

You and your family may be eligible to receive compensation to offset the burdens of:

  • Medical Bills – This includes past hospital bills as well as future treatment, rehab and/or adaptive devices
  • Lost Income –Applies to income lost during treatment, and, for permanently disabled TBI victims, income you would have earned throughout your wage-earning lifetime
  • Other Financial Damages – Any other costs that result from the injury
  • Physical Pain and Losses – Damages are available to compensate for immediate and ongoing physical suffering
  • Emotional Suffering – These damages are not only available to the victim for his/her mental and emotional anguish, but also to family members who care for or are dependent on the TBI victim

What if the “bread winner” of my family suffered a fatal traumatic brain injury?

If the main financial contributor to your family died as a result of a TBI, your family may be left without the resources to survive. This is not fair, particularly if your loved one’s death was caused by employer negligence. You and your family deserve compensation for the loss of income, related hospital bills and funeral costs, as well as damages for loss of companionship and emotional distress. Our attorneys can help you file for this compensation.

How long do I have to file for compensation?

There are statutes of limitations set by the state of New York that limit your time to file a claim. For cases of traumatic brain injury that are not fatal, you have 3 years to file a personal injury claim for yourself and/or your family. If you lost a family member to a traumatic brain injury, you have 2 years to file a wrongful death suit.

How can The Oshman Firm Help?

If you believe your injury or the injury of your loved one was caused by the negligence of a business owner or manager, you deserve compensation. Contact the experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys of the The Oshman Firm firm for a free consultation, during which we will help you better understand your rights and options. The path to compensation could be just a phone call away. You can reach us at 800-400-8182 or by filling out a simple form.

Ted Oshman


Ted Oshman has been with The Oshman Firm since 1988 serving clients for over 25 years. Learn more about Ted's background and featured practice areas here.

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