Head Injuries Attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Head injuries are among the most frequent workplace injuries, often resulting from slips and falls and from collisions with objects or workplace equipment.
A head injury can run the spectrum from a minor bruise or cut to a concussion to a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and even a fatality. In the construction industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists the top two causes of fatalities as falls (33.5 percent) and struck by an object (11.1 percent).
Employers in Pennsylvania are required to offer workers’ compensation insurance, which is a no-fault system that will compensate the injured worker for medical expenses, lost time from work, physical therapy, and more. But the workers’ compensation system imposes deadlines and requires sufficient medical evidence to substantiate your injury. Many workers don’t understand the deadlines. They think that just reporting the injury along with a doctor’s initial evaluation should be enough. It often isn’t.
If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury at work in or around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, contact H. Rosen Law, P.C. We are dedicated to helping you pursue a full range of benefits under workers’ compensation. Our workers’ compensation attorney will help you assemble a compelling package of medical evidence to advance your claim and navigate the system.
H. Rosen Law, P.C. proudly serves clients in Philadelphia and throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg and Scranton.
Causes & Prevention of Head Injuries
Both OSHA and the CDC agree that slips and falls and contact with objects or equipment at work are the primary causes of head injuries, and many other injuries as well. In addition, overexertion is another common cause when it leads to fainting or passing out and hitting your head as you fall.
Contact with objects includes being struck by a motorized vehicle, which can happen at construction sites where loaders, cranes, concrete mixer trucks, and other vehicles are being operated. On rare occasions, an explosion at work resulting from a chemical or flammable, explosive substance can send people flying and injure themselves.
To prevent slips and falls in the workplace, policies, and procedures must be in place to inspect surfaces for spills and loose objects that can lead to accidents. The spills should be mopped up and the objects removed as part of everyday procedures. If the situation requires more than routine clean-up, then the area should be cordoned off so no one will walk into it unexpectedly.
As for the collision with objects or equipment, OSHA recommends avoiding positioning yourself between moving and fixed objects. It also recommends wearing high visibility clothes near equipment and vehicles. If flammable or explosive substances are being used, safety standards must be established and observed, and workers trained in those standards. The substances themselves must be treated with the greatest caution and respect for their destructive potential.
Types of Head Injuries
Head injuries at work can run the gamut from having very little impact—perhaps a bruise or cut—to the more serious, including traumatic brain injury (TBI). The most common injuries beyond minor bruises and cuts include:
Torn nerve tissue
Anoxic brain injuries (oxygen deprivation)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?
The most common form of a TBI is a concussion, which can cause dizziness, disorientation, and even loss of consciousness. It can last for minutes or longer. Concussions are often mild, but repeated blows and repeated concussions can lead to long-term effects. A moderate TBI may last for weeks or longer.
A severe TBI can lead to the victim being in a vegetative state, a coma, or having amnesia. According to the CDC, the five-year outcomes of persons with TBI are that 22 percent die, 30 percent become worse, 22 percent stay the same, and 26 percent improve (estimates add up to more than 100 percent).
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The first thing to remember is that in Pennsylvania, you have 21 days to file your workers’ compensation claim if you wish your benefits to commence from the day of your injury. If you wait longer than that (up to 120 days maximum), your benefits will start from the date of your filing.
Of course, once you are injured, you should seek medical attention and report the accident to your employer, who will then file a First Report of Injury to the state to begin the process. Note that for the first 90 days, you must use an employer-approved physician. After that, you may choose your own provider.
When you do file, you must do so with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, just as your employer did. The department will notify the insurance company for your employer, or notify your employer if the employer is self-insured, about your injury.
You might expect that the insurance company will immediately see that you’ve been injured from reading your claim and doctor’s report, but that is not always the case. They will often demand further medical evidence (X-Rays, MRIs, lab results, and more) and challenge the results you’ve submitted. Meanwhile, your benefits are put on hold even as your expenses may be rising.
The company’s claim representatives will do everything they can to challenge the extent of your injuries in order to lower the cost of the benefits owed to you. Insurance companies, after all, are for-profit entities.
This is why you should seek the guidance and assistance of an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney from the start of the process. Let your legal representative help you gather sufficient evidence to support your claim and deal with the claim adjusters on your behalf.
Head Injuries Attorney Serving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
At H. Rosen Law, P.C. we are dedicated to helping people with their workers’ compensation claims. We know how the system works and are familiar with the tactics and administrative hurdles used by insurers. If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury at work in or around Philadelphia, contact us at H. Rosen Law, P.C. Don’t wait until a deadline is nearing or the insurer has already started questioning the extent of your injury. Reach out to us today.