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Head injuries and workers' compensation

When a worker suffers a head injury on the job, he or she may be unable to return to work for a long time. This can create a hardship for the entire family.

One source of financial assistance in North Carolina is workers' compensation, which pays medical and other benefits when a worker is injured in a job-related accident. "Job-related" may include accidents that occur in the workplace or outside of it. For example, driving to a client's location or to a work function outside of work may be considered job-related.

What benefits are available to head injury victims?

Workers' compensation benefits for a head-injury victim may include:

  • Free medical treatment and reimbursement for travel expenses
  • If needed, home modifications and attendant care services
  • Payment to family members for providing in-home care to injured employee
  • Disability income equal to two-thirds of the worker's average weekly wage for up to 500 weeks from the date of injury.
  • If the injury causes permanent impairment, the worker may receive a settlement based on his or her disability rating
  • If the worker cannot return to his or her regular job, he or she may qualify for retraining or continue receiving 75 percent of their pre-injury earnings.

If the head injury was caused by someone other than the employer, the worker may have the right to seek additional compensation by filing a third-party lawsuit against the party who caused the injury. An example of a third party is another driver in a car accident or the manufacturer of defective equipment. Such third party lawsuits can recover the benefits listed above, and in addition, can recover for the pain and suffering to the injured individual.

If you are not receiving all of the benefits you think you should receive, seek prompt advice from an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

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