Returning to work in Rhode Island after suffering a traumatic brain injury

Returning to work after a traumatic brain injury presents certain challenges, but can be extremely beneficial to the injured patient.

Traumatic brain injuries affect thousands of people in the United States every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, brain injuries contribute to approximately 30 percent of injury deaths in the country. People who live with brain trauma may experience debilitating symptoms that can affect their lives in various ways. In some cases, TBI patients may be unable to return to work. According to Brainline.org, an estimated $56 billion each year in lost economic production and wages can affect more than just the injured worker. New technological advances in the diagnosis and treatment of TBI have helped more brain injury patients in Rhode Island and across the country return to work. Not only does this help people financially, but returning to work can help to improve the symptoms of brain injury.

Challenges for people going back to work

Returning to work after suffering a traumatic brain injury can be difficult. Since every brain injury is unique, people may have different challenges when reentering the work force. According to Brainline.org, potential problems include:

  • Transportation issues: Some workers may be unable to drive due to their injuries and may rely on public transportation or other means of getting to and from work.
  • Emotional issues: TBI patients may experience significant mood changes and have trouble interacting with others. Some people may suffer from depression, stress and anxiety.
  • Neurological deficiency: Brain injuries can cause issues with memory, judgement, multi-tasking, attention-span, decision making and sequencing. Some people may have trouble understanding directions and following through on tasks.
  • Physical limitations: Workers with TBI may have weak muscles, decreased sensitivity, lack of coordination, sleeping problems and decreased endurance. This can prevent people from doing certain tasks.

Traumatic brain damage may make it hard for Rhode Island workers to see, hear and communicate with others. This can present problems in understanding what an employer needs and getting along with other workers.

Adjusting to work life

Studies show that a number of things can help people who want to return to work after suffering a traumatic brain injury. For example, fellow workers and supervisors may provide essential feedback to help TBI workers understand their strengths and weaknesses. They can then work on adjusting their behaviors and adapting to the workplace environment.

Some people with TBI may be able to return to the same type of work they did before they were injured. Others may need vocational training to relearn certain skills or may be forced to find another type of job altogether. Vocational rehabilitation specialists can help determine injured workers' interests, weaknesses and strengths. They can then help them find a job where they will be productive. When people are successful at their job, they are more likely to stay with and enjoy that type of work.

Contact an attorney

Traumatic injuries can be caused by devastating car accidents, slip-and-falls and any other type of forceful impact to the head. When people have received a brain injury because of another person's negligence, they may be able to receive compensation for their injuries. An attorney in Rhode Island may be helpful in organizing a case to get you the compensation you need.

Keywords: TBI, brain, injury, accident