You have worked as a roofer for years but never had a serious injury until now when you fell from a ladder and were diagnosed with TBI.
How does the doctor rate your injury, and how long can you expect workers’ compensation benefits to continue?
A traumatic brain injury damages the neurons in the brain. A serious TBI has the potential to block access to information you have learned over a lifetime. Full recovery may not be possible, but through programs of rehabilitation and physical therapy, you can relearn forgotten skills and compensate for any lasting impairments.
How rating works
In terms of seeking workers’ compensation benefits for your work-related injury, a rating process will apply. This will indicate whether your TBI is an impairment or a disability. Workers’ compensation rates an impairment as a permanent condition that has reached “maximum medical improvement” and is not likely to change in the next year. If your injury is a disability, your doctor will assign a rating. Those who qualify to do so must have certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties.
What to expect
A serious brain injury almost always results in some level of impairment or disability that will remain throughout the lifetime of the patient. Therefore, depending on the severity of the brain damage you sustained, you may experience cognitive, emotional, physical or communication issues. If these are serious enough, you may need a program of rehabilitation either short-term or possibly for the rest of your life. While you concentrate on your recovery from TBI, you can rely on an advocate to help obtain the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.