Construction workers are at increased risk for nearly all types of injury, including a blow to the head that results in traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the highest number of work-related TBI occurs in the construction industry. Performing work at heights, near cranes, or around flying debris can all contribute to brain injuries ranging from mild to severe—and unfortunately, many of these injuries are fatal.
Common Forms of Traumatic Brain Injury Suffered by Construction Workers
Although head and brain injuries qualify a construction worker for workers’ compensation, these benefits may not be enough to cover the full effects of the injury. A TBI can result in permanent changes to motor and speech patterns, altered behavior or personality, or cognitive difficulties that make it impossible for the victim to work or care for themselves independently.
The most common kinds of traumatic brain injuries in construction employees include:
- Concussion. A concussion is caused by a sudden blow to the head, such as a fall on one level or being struck by a piece of lumber. While concussions are considered a mild form of traumatic brain injury, a severe concussion can have lifelong effects.
- Bleeding in the brain. Falling debris or a fall between levels can cause a bruise (contusion) or bleed (hematoma) inside the brain. A hematoma will often require surgery to relieve the pressure on the brain.
- Lesions. Electrical shocks can cause nerve damage, burns, and lesions within the brain, preventing the brain from communicating with the rest of the body and resulting in paralysis.
- Penetrating head wound. These injuries occur when projectiles are driven into the brain. A fall from a ladder may cause pieces of the skull to become lodged in the brain, while tools or flying debris may penetrate through the skull.
- Closed head injury. Closed head injuries often occur from falls from extreme heights, such as a roof or scaffolding. Although the victim’s skull may be intact, the brain can suffer irreparable damage due to the impact.
The costs of a TBI can range from hundreds of thousands to even millions of dollars, causing lifelong financial difficulty for a victim and his family. While there may be no treatment that can restore a loved one’s lost abilities, NY construction workers can sue owners and contractors for injuries that occur on unsafe worksites, helping victims get compensation to pay for medical treatment, lost income, and pain and suffering.
If you were injured while working on a New York City construction site, you should seek the advice of a work injury attorney as soon as possible. Simply fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a construction injury lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer about your legal rights and options.