Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an estimated 5.3 million Americans live with permanent TBI-related disabilities. Now, a New Jersey Assemblyman has introduced new legislation that would require that injured workers who could have sustained a TBI be examined as part of the compensation process to ensure that their TBI does not go untreated.
What Causes TBI?
Force to the head can cause an injury that affects the way the brain works. In the U.S., the leading cause of TBI is falls, followed by being struck by an object. Other common causes include motor vehicle accidents and assaults. A TBI can range from mild, with no lasting effects, to severe, with permanent injury. A severe TBI can result in a coma, where the depth and length will depend on the location and severity of the injury. Treatment of TBI depends on the unique injury and may involve medication or surgery for deep brain stimulation. Some patients with a TBI will need life-long rehabilitation, including physical, occupational, or speech therapy.
A TBI can have many lasting effects depending on the severity and location of the injury. A person’s sense of smell, vision, or hearing can be altered. Some people experience seizures or vertigo. Cognitive skills, such as decision making, memory, and judgement, can be affected after a TBI and difficulty focusing, communicating, or keeping up with conversation is common. Some changes are emotional and present, such as sudden bursts of anger or depression.
Educating Employers and Insurers About TBI
The new legislation would require employers to complete training and education on TBI as part of the conditions for Workers’ Compensation coverage. Insurers and third-party administrators would also have to receive information about TBI protocols, as outlined by the CDC. Physicians conducting exams for Workers’ Compensation purposes would have to be competent in the diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries. Additionally, insurers would not be able to release employees from Workers’ Compensation coverage unless it was involved in treating physicians’ recovery plans. If the proposed bill is signed into law, it would modify the existing New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act and take effect immediately.
Vineland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Workers Suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries
At DiTomaso Law, we have experience assisting injured workers. Brain injuries can have serious consequences, so it is vital to make sure you are receiving the benefits you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with a skilled Vineland Workers’ Compensation lawyer, call us at 856-414-0010 or contact us online. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we represent injured workers throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Mt. Holly, and Vineland.