Animation of two wrecking balls hitting a brain.

Understanding Concussion Injuries and PA Workers’ Compensation

Concussions in the workplace are more common than many might think, and they can have serious consequences for the injured worker. Despite their potential severity, concussions can sometimes be overlooked or not taken as seriously as they should be, both by workers themselves and by those responsible for their care and compensation. In Pennsylvania, the workers’ compensation system provides important protections and benefits for workers who suffer head injuries like concussions while on the job. With this in mind, we’ll shed light on concussion injuries, why they’re something you need to take seriously, and how the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system supports workers who sustain a traumatic brain injury.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is the result of a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a hit to the body. Usually, the head and brain move back and forth rapidly, causing the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, leading to chemical changes and sometimes even stretching and damaging your brain cells. Concussions are very serious medical conditions that require immediate attention, as they can make even basic everyday functions like walking, running, working, or driving much more difficult and dangerous.

What Happens When I Get a Concussion On the Job? Pay Attention to These Signs

Have you ever suffered a concussion? Concussions are one of those things that do not have a certain threshold for when and how you get them. Sometimes, they come from serious hits to the head, but they can also occur from actions you’ve dealt with before. If you’re on the job, it’s important to stay aware of some of the critical signs you’ve suffered a head injury, even if the hit feels minor. Signs include:

  • Confusion or feeling dazed
  • Clumsiness or balance problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Sluggishness or grogginess
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Unusual mood, behavior, or personality changes

Why Are Concussions So Dangerous? Why Are They Often Treated So Lightly?

As with any head injury, concussions are dangerous because they affect brain function. Effects can include headaches, concentration problems, memory loss, and, in severe cases, permanent brain injury. However, concussions often don’t receive the attention they deserve for several reasons. Since this is a traumatic brain injury that sometimes won’t have any visible injuries, they can be easier to dismiss. Secondly, the symptoms of a concussion can be subtle or delayed, making it harder to immediately link them to the injury. There’s also a cultural tendency to “shake off” a head injury, especially in work environments, where stopping to recover can be seen as a sign of weakness. “Out of sight, out of mind” can sometimes be a very effective phrase, but you don’t want to apply it to the possibility of any head injury.

What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome refers to a disorder in which various concussion symptoms like headaches and dizziness last for weeks and even months after the injury that caused the concussion. Not everyone who suffers a concussion gets post-concussion syndrome, and it’s not clear why some people develop the condition while others do not. Symptoms can include difficulty concentrating, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, sensitivity to noise and light, and noise and smell sensitivity. It’s something that can make going back to work or performing your job effectively much more difficult. 

Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in PA for Concussions?

Yes, workers in Pennsylvania can file a workers’ compensation claim for concussions sustained on the job. Under PA workers’ compensation law, employees are entitled to benefits for injuries that occur during the course of employment, including concussions. It’s important to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible and seek medical attention to properly support your claim.

What Benefits Can I Get From a Workers’ Compensation Claim in PA?

The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system provides various benefits for workers who suffer concussions, including:

  • Medical benefits for treatment related to concussion
  • Wage loss benefits if you are unable to work or if your earning capacity is affected
  • Death benefits for dependents in the case of a fatal workplace injury

These benefits aim to cover the cost of medical treatment and partially compensate for lost wages due to time off work.

Find Paula Robinson, and You’ll Find the Ideal Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in PA for Concussions and Other Head Injuries

If you or someone you know has suffered a concussion or another head injury on the job, securing expert legal representation should be your next step. Paula Robinson is an experienced, resourceful workers’ compensation attorney in PA who offers the knowledgeable and compassionate support you need on head injuries like concussions. Look to Paula to make the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim as smooth and stress-free as possible so you can focus on recovering from your injury. For more information, contact Robinson Law LLC today.