Mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur any time a person suffers a blow to the head, and may cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may seriously compromise the victim’s ability to do his or her job. While this is true for just about any line of work, professionals who perform mentally taxing work and must maintain communication with other people throughout the course of their workday may find a mild TBI particularly frustrating and destructive to their careers.
Mild TBIs may affect each victim differently, with some victims experiencing primarily physical symptoms like ongoing headaches or nausea. In some cases, a victim may even suffer from seizures he or she never experienced prior to the injury. While these symptoms are certainly painful and disruptive, they also indicate that the victim clearly suffers from some medical issue and needs ongoing care to recover properly.
Unfortunately, not all symptoms of mild TBIs are easy to identify. Some of the most destructive symptoms are far more difficult to identify and explain to a victim’s employers and co-workers, who must understand that changes in the victim’s behavior are likely completely beyond his or her control.
Commonly, a victim may suffer from clouded thinking, or may find it difficult to remain focused on a task that was easy or familiar before the injury occurred. In many cases, this accompanies a shortened temper and a tendency to respond to frustrations with outbursts that seem childish or mean-spirited.
If an employer or coworkers do not understand the nature of the injury, they may assume that these behaviors are simply character flaws in the victim, and may choose to terminate the victim for this behavior.
It is also common for a mild TBI to scramble the connections in a victim’s brain that help create contextual understanding when reading or having a conversation. While the victim retains all or most understanding of the meaning of individual words, understanding the contextual meaning of things he or she reads or hears in a conversation is much more difficult.
It is crucial for those around the victim to understand how the injury may compromise reading and verbal comprehension, especially if the victim’s job involves understanding and interpreting information and communicating it clearly.
If you or someone you love suffers a mild traumatic brain injury, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you assess your injury and build a strong claim to keep your rights secure and your priorities protected in the workplace and elsewhere.