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Study: Returning to work after suffering brain trauma

Studies show that a number of people who receive traumatic brain injuries are unable to return to their former positions at work.

According to the National Library of Medicine, up to 1.7 million people in the U.S. sustain brain injuries each year. A number of these injuries occur from Colorado workplace accidents involving slip-and-fall incidents, falls and other incidents where workers experience a serious head injury.

Some cases of traumatic brain injury can result in mild symptoms, which may be treated with physical, speech, occupational and psychological therapy. Yet more moderate to severe symptoms of TBI may lead to long-term and sometimes permanent cognitive damage that can affect a person for the rest of their lives. TBI can also result in chronic health problems that require ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation.

The study

The National Institutes of Health conducted a comprehensive review of 49 studies that looked at the rate at which people suffering from traumatic brain injuries returned to work. They found that 40.7 percent of people with TBI returned to work one year after the injury date. Approximately 40.8 percent of people suffering from TBI returned to work two years after the injury date. Researchers also found that a number of people who went back to work after sustaining a brain injury were not able to go back to the job that they had prior to the workplace incident. In some cases, people who worked full-time prior to their injury were only able to come back as part-time employees.

Implications of TBI at work

Traumatic brain injuries can make it difficult or even impossible for people to earn a living. Depending on the severity of the injury and where the injury occurred in the brain, people may experience various disabilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries can affect a person's ability to concentrate, focus, organize, problem-solve and plan activities. Brain trauma can also result in mood and/or personality changes. Workers may find themselves feeling anxious, depressed or suffering from a number of other mood disorders.

What you can do

If you have been involved in a workplace accident and suffer from a traumatic brain injury as a result, you may have gone through many adjustments. Your ability to work, socialize and perform everyday tasks may be in jeopardy as well. You may require the legal assistance of a Colorado attorney, who can help you through the workers' compensation process. A lawyer may be helpful in sorting through your legal options and discussing your rights.