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Concussions Are Serious Construction Injuries

New York construction workers are at a higher risk for concussion

Construction workers are at an elevated risk of getting a concussion at work compared to other professions.

Accident of a male worker at the construction site. A man with an injured head.

This type of work injury is often diminished. Injured people may be told by employers and insurance providers that “it’s not a big deal” or you can “walk it off.” Some even call it a mild injury.

But we know there are no minor brain injuries. Concussions are often misunderstood. In fact, a university poll says that 9 out of 10 adults cannot correctly define a concussion. To help promote awareness of the seriousness of work injury concussions, this September, we are participating in National Concussion Awareness Day.

If you are a construction worker who sustained a concussion on the job in New York, you are entitled to compensation. Contact us for a free case consultation to learn more about your options to recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. We can explain how the law applies to you and help you pursue maximum compensation

Concussion hazards at construction worksites

A concussion is a type of brain injury typically caused by blunt force trauma. Either rapid back and forth movement or a powerful blow to the head can cause the brain to bounce and twist around inside the skull, leading to chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching brain cells.

Here are some examples of construction work accidents that have led to concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries:

  • Fall from ladder
  • Fall through floor opening
  • Fall from roof
  • Struck by a loader bucket
  • Hit by PIT (powered industrial truck)
  • Struck by falling steel beam
  • Struck by crane
  • Slip and fall on ice
  • Fall from truck
  • Struck by falling branch
  • Explosion
  • Fall from scaffolding
  • Assault

Concussion signs and symptoms

Concussion symptoms include loss of consciousness, headache, confusion, memory problems, difficulty balancing, nausea, vomiting, sleep problems, blurry vision, slowed processing and reaction time, feeling hazy, and light sensitivity.

Symptoms usually clear up in 7-10 days. If they continue after this initial period, you may have Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS), which can last for weeks or even years.

PCS is typically diagnosed around 3-6 months after the initial injury. Symptoms include difficulty paying attention, memory and problem solving. Depression, anxiety, mood swings, and impulsiveness are also signs of PCS. Treatment often involves talk therapy and/or medication.

It is also possible that you have a more severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which may require intensive treatment to repair or cause permanent brain damage.

Up to half of all concussions go undiagnosed and untreated. That’s why you always need to get medical attention after a construction accident, even if you feel okay – and why you need to follow your doctor’s orders and stay away from concussion hazards until your injury has healed.

Returning to work too soon

If you are rushed back to work and sustain another concussion before being fully healed, you run the risk of developing Second Impact Syndrome, which can be serious and life-threatening.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) can occur in people who have repeated and/or sustained concussions. CTE is not well understood and, so far, it is most frequently diagnosed with an autopsy. There is no official CTE diagnostic test and symptoms may take years to develop. CTE can cause irritability, mood swings, depression, anxiety, and memory problems. Lack of impulse control and impaired judgment may also be symptoms of CTE.

Consult your doctor to determine your health and whether you are fit enough to return to work at full duty or with a reduced workload.

Concussions are serious and deserve serious compensation

The risk of concussion can be reduced at construction sites by wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as hard hats and safety training. Employers must maintain safe work environments and should remove falling hazards when possible. Risks to worker safety should be assessed - and measures taken to improve safety - before every task to avoid concussion and other injuries.

If you were injured or a loved one died in a construction work accident in New York, contact Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP for a free case consultation. A member of our experienced work injury and workers’ compensation team can explain your options for compensation and estimate the value of your claim.

Our law firm has 12 offices conveniently located throughout New York, including five offices in New York City. Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation.

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