If you suffered a workplace injury that involved head trauma in Minnesota, you might be unable to return to the same occupation. If there was no penetration of your skull, the changes might not be noticeable for others, but they might significantly impact your ability to return to work. Cognitive difficulties often result from traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Even though you may not have any putward physical damage, your ability to remember, concentrate and acquire knowledge could be impaired. The type and severity of the impairments will depend on the area of the damaged brain cells. In some cases, brain damage affects overall intelligence.
The following cognitive activities may be affected by a brain injury. This can, in turn, impact your daily life:
- Organizing, assembling and planning
- Judgment, reasoning, decision-making and problem-solving
- Controlling desires and impulses
- Impatience and restlessness
Your TBI might make it difficult for you to concentrate on several matters at once. For instance, you might be unable to focus on someone talking while you eat. A sudden contact or noise can confuse you while you are busy with a task. Coping with lengthy conversations and sitting in one position for extended periods are other aspects of attention difficulties you might experience.
Communication and language difficulties
TBI can adversely affect your ability to express yourself verbally. You might struggle to find the right words when you talk or write. Moreover, you may no longer be able to follow lengthy conversations. When you attempt to participate in such an exchange, you might be unable to stay on the topic.
Organizing your thoughts before expressing them could be impossible, and your facial expressions may not go with the words you speak. Similarly, your body language could confuse others, and you may have no control over your voice tone and volume, which might vascillate between high and low.
Another cognitive problem that could harm your ability to return to work is the inability to process information. You might no longer understand what others say, making it difficult to follow directions and instructions. Although this may not affect your ability to read, you might be unable to process and comprehend the information you glean from magazines, books and articles online.
The inability to process information would make it impossible for you to drive. Also, impaired reaction times and the ability to recognize changing traffic lights and other warnings may risk your life. Other routine activities that could present problems include dressing and cooking.
Your legal options
You will likely be eligible for compensation through the Minnesota workers’ compensation system. The benefits typically cover medical expenses and lost wages. However, brain injuries might involve long-term care and rehabilitation, with significant financial consequences.
Suppose your injury happened in a car accident or another accident that resulted from a third party’s negligence. In that case, you might recover more damages than what is possible through the workers’ compensation system. An experienced attorney can not only assist with the navigation of a workers’ compensation benefits claim but also with assessing the viability of filing a personal injury lawsuit in a civil court.