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Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers

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Traumatic brain injuries can vastly change a life

Many people in Denver may think that traumatic brain injuries, despite their name, are not serious enough to prevent someone from returning to work, but these kinds of accidents can severely restrict what an individual is able to do. While not all work-related head injuries in Colorado are going to keep an employee from ever working again, there are a number of serious workplace head injuries that force employees onto workers’ compensation every year.

Though one snowboarder’s severe head injury didn’t exactly happen at work, his story shows how some of the most serious head injuries can change a person’s life. Even after receiving extensive medical care at Denver’s Craig Hospital’s with their brain injury specialists, the snowboarder is no longer able to snowboard. Which, for a former Olympic snowboarder, is quite a serious diagnosis.

For the past 3 1/2 years, the young man has been recovering from his injury, but his doctor still doesn’t want him on a snowboard. More than that, he is still learning to get used to his brain injury: the memory loss, the dependence on others and more. Fortunately, he is getting better, but whether he will ever be able to return to his old life is unclear.

Imagine instead that this snowboarder was a factory worker in Denver. A similar brain injury would strip the employee of his or her work and, potentially, of his or her ability to earn a living. If the head injury happened at work, however, he or she would be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits to cover the employee’s daily living costs, at least until he or she recovered.

Source: U-T San Diego, “Snowboarder Kevin Pearce’s new film airs on HBO,” Pat Graham, July 15, 2013

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