Traumatic Brain Injuries and Iowa Workers’ Compensation Benefits

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Posted by Emily Anderson

There are a variety of Iowa workers’ compensation benefits you could receive while recovering from a traumatic brain injury after a work accident. Additionally, it’s important to understand what a traumatic brain injury looks like and what to do after suffering a brain injury while at work.

What to Do After Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury on the Job

If you believe you have suffered a brain injury after a work accident, there are a few things that you need to do.

First, seek medical treatment right away.  Brain injuries – even “mild” injuries like concussions – are serious.  Even if you don’t feel like you are injured after an accident at work, it’s a good idea to see a doctor anyway.

A common misconception is that you need to hit your head against something in order to suffer a brain injury.  This is not true.  A simple jolt of the body is enough to cause a brain injury.  Even if you didn’t hit your head an injury can occur from your brain smashing against your skull.

Second, you need to protect your workers’ compensation claim.  That means following the unique deadlines of Iowa work comp law.  One of these deadlines is the “notice to employers” deadline.  Iowa law says you have 90 days from the date of your injury to inform your employer you were injured at work.  If you do not inform your employer of your work injury within 90 days, you may lose out on workers’ compensation benefits.

Common Traumatic Brain Injuries at Work

One of the most common ways to suffer a traumatic brain injury on the job is by falling from a ladder, stool, or other elevated surface.  Other ways brain injuries can happen while at work are:

If you have experienced one of these accidents, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible to rule out the possibility of brain injury.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

If a traumatic brain injury has left you unable to work, you may be entitled to weekly workers’ compensation checks from the rest of your life.  Understand that insurance companies are unlikely to consider you are entitled to these lifetime benefits; therefore, in order to receive these types of benefits, it will likely require you to hire an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney to fight for these benefits on your behalf.

Social Security Disability Benefits after a Head Injury at Work

You may also be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.  To know whether you qualify, we recommend you download a copy of the Law Guide to Iowa Social Security Disability Claims.  If you have further questions, feel free to call our office at 1-319-774-1783 and speak with one of our disability attorneys.

Settling Your Brain Injury Work Comp Claim

We recommend that you do not settle your claim quickly after a traumatic brain injury.  This type of injury can take years to fully heal.  If you settle your case before you are done healing, you will be financially responsible for any medical bills or treatment incurred after settlement.  This could leave you with very little money in your pocket after you have paid these bills.

To keep that from happening, we tell our clients to wait until a doctor says that you are as healed as you’re going to get before discussing settlement.

If you have further questions about traumatic brain injuries and Iowa workers’ compensation claims, contact RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783.

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