Head injuries and Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina and Virginia

Posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 at 2:27 pm    

Injuries to the head can be caused by slips and falls, merchandise or inventory that falls, vehicle accidents, equipment that doesn’t work, diving accidents, and for many other reasons. Some head injuries heal with time. More serious injuries, like severe traumatic brain injuries, can change a life forever. In the worst cases, an on-the-job workplace head injury can cause death.

Industries where head injuries are common

Jobs that have the highest risk for a head injury are:

  • Police officers
  • Construction work
  • Firefighters
  • Loading dock workers
  • Delivery personnel
  • Professional sports
  • Healthcare work

This does not mean to say we have not seen severe head injuries occur in all kinds of occupations such as nurses, certified nursing assistants or truckers. You can slip on water or ice and get knocked unconscious in almost any occupation.

How head injuries are categorized

The various types of head injuries include:

  • Concussions. A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurs due to a violent blow or shaking of the head. Symptoms include memory loss, poor balance, difficulties with concentration, and headaches. A concussion can (but doesn’t necessarily) mean a loss of consciousness. While a single concussion is often temporary, the cumulative effects can be devastating and even cause death. Evidence is now beginning to show that even one concussion often causes permanent damage.
  • A traumatic brain injury (TBI). Aside from concussions, TBIs include:
    • Closed head injuries. Here, the head is injured but the skull doesn’t break. These may include a subdural hematoma, or brain bleed.
    • Open/Penetrating head injury. Here the injury breaks the skull.

Traumatic brain injuries are typically categorized as mild, moderate, or severe.

  • Contusion. This is a bruise to the brain. Surgery may be required to stop any bleeding.
  • Coup-contrecoup. This type of injury causes multiple brain contusions – one at the impact site and another at the side of the brain opposite the impact site.
  • Diffuse Axonal injury. Here, nerve tissue is torn which can affect communication. Car accidents and accidents that cause the head to rotate usually cause this type of head injury
  • Anoxic brain injury. Here, the brain doesn’t get the oxygen it needs.
  • Recurrent traumatic brain injury. A second brain injury that occurs before the first TBI has healed.
  • Skull fracture. Skull fractures are categorized as either a depressed skull fracture or a compound fracture.

Physicians generally use the Glasgow Coma Scale (CGS) do determine the severity of any brain injury. The CGS categories for TBI injuries are:

  • Mild TBI symptoms. Headaches, nausea, difficulty sleeping, problems with memory and concentration, mood swings, and balance problems.
  • Moderate TBI symptoms. Loss of consciousness, coma, headaches, and changes in behavior
  • Severe TBI symptoms. Consequences include coma, minimal responsiveness, and living a vegetative state.

Other symptoms include pain, loss of vision and hearing, inability to reason, and loss of cognitive function.

Finally, there are often symptoms that last for six months to a year after a concussion that may include difficulty concentrating, dizziness, increased irritability, loss of desire to be in social situations, and other symptoms that form a constellation of symptoms known as Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS).  Typically a neurologist would be in the best position to diagnose and treat these symptoms.

Steps to take if you have a head injury

Any employee who suffers any type of head injury should:

  1. Report the injury to your employer. The sooner you see a doctor or go the emergency room, the less likely the employer will claim that your injury isn’t work-related. It is best to report the symptoms and leave the medical classification of your injury to your physician.
  2. Seek medical attention. Head injury symptoms can take a while to appear. Early intervention can save a life. Once you complete the necessary work injury forms, your employer will give you a list of approved doctors to see. These doctors are paid by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If these doctors aren’t helping, aren’t fighting for you and not the employer, an experienced North Carolina or Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer will help direct you to a doctor of your choice.

In head injury cases, you will normally see a neurologist or neurosurgeon. These doctors will normally order a CT scan to see if you have a skull fracture, hematoma  or other brain injury.  An MRI and in some cases a PET scan may also be administered to head injury patients to evaluate brain function.

In addition, in many cases, a neuropsychologist or neuropsychiatrist may administer a battery of written tests to the brain injury victim in order to determine the extent and nature of any cognitive deficits that may have occurred as a result of the head injury.

Workers compensation benefits for head injuries

Whatever your type of head injury, you are entitled to have the insurance company for the employer pay your medical bills until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Common head injury medical bills include:

  • Any surgeries in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center
  • Doctor visits
  • Medical equipment
  • Medications
  • Diagnostic tests such as EEG’s MRI’s and PET scans.

Many head injury victims also need to see different types of rehabilitative therapists including occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, and other doctors and counselors.

Head injury victims often need attendant care services such as home-health nurses and aides to help them with daily living matters.

Once you reach MMI, an evaluation will be made by your doctor about whether you can return to work at your prior job, a different job – or if you can’t return to work.

Workers are entitled to 2/3rds of their lost wages during the time they can’t work for up to 500 weeks while disabled from work.

Severe brain injuries are one of the categories of injury in Virginia and North Carolina that may entitle a worker to lifetime compensation instead of just the 500 weeks based on permanent and total disability.  This is if the brain injury renders the employee permanently unemployable in gainful employment.

If you can return to work but at a lesser-paying job, you are entitled to 2/3rds of the difference between your current wages and your prior wages.

Employees should never attempt to settle their head injury claim before they reach maximum medical improvement – which can take months or years.

Workers may also be entitled to vocational training if they can’t do their old job but may be able to do a new job – if they acquire new job skills.

Speak with a trusted North Carolina and Virginia work injury attorney today

Attorney Joe Miller understands the complex cases. He works with medical professionals to properly prepare your medical reports and to properly relate your injuries to your inability to work. He has helped thousands of employees get strong work injury settlements. For help now, please phone Joe Miller Esq. at (888) 694-1671 or complete his contact form.

Health Care Workers Suffer Work-Related Injuries in North Carolina and Virginia

Posted on Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 2:00 pm    

Healthcare workers can suffer injury almost anywhere. There are over 18 million health care workers in the US. Some of the common types and areas of healthcare work injury occur:

  • At long-term care facilities. Most of these patients are older have mobility issues. The care at these places ranges from skilled to non-skilled
  • Acute Care. This includes hospitals, ER rooms, ambulatory surgery centers and medical clinics.
  • Home Health Care
  • Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Centers
  • Dental Offices – Dentists and dental assistants

Areas that have bathing rooms, diagnostic units (radiology, X-Ray, MRI), and extended care locations also can cause a health care work related injury.

Health Care Workers Can be Injured Any Day

Some health care professionals are hurt because of one incident at work. Others are hurt due to years of helping handle patients. Whatever the exact cause, all health care workers know is that they need medical care themselves for their pain and an income while they are not working. North Carolina and Virginia lawyer Joe Miller can provide that help. He has successfully advocated for thousands of injured workers over the past 25 years. Contact attorney Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or email me at jmiller@joemillerinjurylaw.com.

Why Health Care Workers Need Workers’ Compensation Help

Posted on Friday, December 4th, 2015 at 2:00 pm    

It’s easy to think that most work injuries happen to men and happen in work industry that involve heavy machinery and construction. The data from the US Department of Labor actually shows that healthcare work is the leading cause of work related injuries. For 2012, there were 621,100 work- related injuries in the United States that were related to health care and social assistance. The second leading group was fire and police. The transportation industry was third and construction was fourth.

As the population ages, it is expected the numbers of health care injuries will only increase.

In addition to musculoskeletal injuries, back and spine injuries; healthcare workers are also susceptible to chemical and biological harm. Injuries and diseases can be transmitted through infections, using a needle on patients and the exchange of blood.

Why are Health Care Injuries Complicated?

Many health employers and insurance companies will contest worker’s compensation claims because often a single incident does not cause the worker to be unable to work. Often, the health care worker suffers many small injuries that continually worsen his/her health until the worker just reaches the point where he or she cannot work anymore. The insurance company will try to argue that they only have to pay for single incident accidents or that factors outside of work also contributed to the worker’s poor health condition.

It is quite common for an employer or insurance company to try to rush the worker back to work before he or she is really ready.

Attorney Joe Miller Advocates for Injured Health Care Workers

Joe Miller has helped thousands of injured workers get their full benefits. He has been fighting for employees for over 25 years. The insurance company will try to limit your pay and try to get you to return to work before you are ready. If you suffered an injury or illness while helping patients, you may have a significant recovery coming your way. To get answers, call Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or email me at jmiller@joemillerinjurylaw.com.

Healthcare Workers Suffer a High Number of Musculoskeletal Disorders

Posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 at 2:00 pm    

According to the Occupation Health Safety Administration (OHSA), musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are a leading cause of injury to health care workers. In 2010, there were over 27,000 cases nationwide of MSDs suffered by nursing aides, orderlies and other attendants. The rate of injury was nearly three times that of construction workers and significantly higher than workers who move freight and stock.

MSDs in healthcare workers are mainly due to patient handling, over-exertion, and just the heavy lifting involved in moving and transferring patients. Adding to the difficulty is that many patients are difficult to move because of their medical condition. Some common healthcare tasks that cause injury include moving a patient from a chair to a bed, from a bed to a toilet and from a commode to a chair. Many patients need to be moved and lifted while they are in the bed.

Typical injuries include sprains and strains. Low back injuries are also common. Many healthcare providers suffer chronic long term pain as a result of their injuries which requires extensive medical treatment and significant lost time from work.

Musculoskeletal Disorders Can Cause Lifelong Pain

Injuries to health care workers can be quite severe. Many healthcare workers have to live with their pain for the rest of their life. The pain can prevent them from working or limit the amount and type of work they can do. Injured medical care providers need the help of a skilled worker’s compensation lawyer. Joe Miller has the skills you need. He has been helping workers in Virginia and North Carolina for over 25 years. He has represented many healthcare workers injured by moving patients and obtained substantial recoveries for them. Please call attorney Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 to discuss your case and make an appointment. You can also complete my online form.


Patient Handling the Number One Cause of Job Injuries for Healthcare Workers

Posted on Monday, November 30th, 2015 at 2:00 pm    

According to the Centers for Disease Control (in an article by PT in Motion), the top category for work injuries is health care. One in five nonfatal work injuries are health care related. The main reason health care is tops in worker injury is due to physical harm caused by handling patients.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed Occupation Health Safety Network (OHSN) data to reach its finding. The OHSN statistics examined over 100 health care facilities. The CDC analysis of the data concluded that handling patient injuries; slips and falls and workplace violence due to patients were leading factors of healthcare injuries.

Nurses and nurse assistants were injured the most often. Some of the reasons nurses and nurse assistants suffered injuries were due to patients who were overweight, long work shifts, too many patients for each nurse/nurse assistant to handle and the desire to get patients on their feet as quickly as possible.

The OHSN numbers also showed that better lifting equipment could help reduce the number of healthcare provider injuries. Better safety programs could also help.

While the finding did not specifically categorize physical therapies, other research shows that physical therapy is another high category for work related injuries.

Experienced Virginia Lawyer Joe Miller Fights for Medical Care Professionals Who are Hurt on the Job

Medical care helpers have strenuous work requirements. They have to move patients who can weigh hundreds of pound multiple times a day. The lifting and moving can cause serious chronic pain. Health care workers need experienced legal counsel to fight for them. Joe Miller Esq. has that experience. He has been helping North Carolina and Virginia workers for a quarter century get the benefits they deserve and has in fact represented a number of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s) and obtained substantial recoveries for them. Contact Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 to discuss your case or complete my online form.


Types of Disability in Worker’s Compensation Brain Injury Cases

Posted on Friday, November 27th, 2015 at 2:00 pm    

Does the patient have a disability due to a brain injury? Generally, workers get paid 2/3rds of their average weekly wage for as long as they cannot work, for up to 500 weeks. In addition, workers determined to be a permanently disabled are entitled to lifetime pay. Once MMI is achieved the worker will be evaluated to determine the exact nature of the disability.

  • Temporary Total Disability. (TTD) In this case, the worker does have a disability but eventually may be able to return to work. The worker will be evaluated by the treating doctor who will typically refer the employee for a functional capacity exam of some kind, when the doctor determines the employee has reached maximum medical improvement. (MMI). In the case of a brain injury, the examination may include a neuro-psychological evaluation and other tests to determine brain function and cognitive impairment.


  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) If the injured worker returns to work his pay rate may be much lower. For example, before the injury a worker may have earned $800 a week. After MMI, the worker may only earn $500 a week. The worker will continue to get 2/3rds of the difference or $200 (800-500 x 2/3) for as long as he or she works in that job.


  • Permanent and Total Disability. This can be pertinent in brain injury cases in both Virginia and North Carolina, which have a special provision for permanent and total disability. The Commission must find that the worker is permanently and totally disabled due to the brain injury. In this case, the worker cannot return to work in any capacity and the brain injury must be severe, as evidenced by severe sensory, communication, motor, functional, or neurological Here, the worker gets 2/3rds of his/her average weekly salary for life. It is not limited to the 500 weeks.

The difference between a temporary vs. permanent and total disability can thus be very substantial. It is thus imperative that the right classification be determined. It also essential that workers should not enter into any settlement agreement until they have reached MMI and the right classification is made.

North Carolina and Virginia Lawyer Joe Miller Knows Workers’ Compensation Law

Injured or ill workers need an experienced lawyer who knows the worker’s compensation laws. The proper classification of a work-related injury can mean the difference between getting and not getting large sums of money. Workers who suffered a work-related injury in North Carolina or Virginia need the help of an experienced law. Attorney Joe Miller has the experience to advocate for all your rights. To make an appointment or discuss your case, call Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or complete my online form

Settlement Issues in Brain Injury Cases

Posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 at 2:00 pm    

Workers who suffer a brain injury in North Carolina or in Virginia are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits if the injury is related to their job. Several key points a worker’s compensation lawyer will review are:

  • What caused the injury? It is necessary to show that the injury or illness was related to work and not to some other event.
  • Has the patient reached maximum medical improvement (MMI)? Until a worker reaches MMI, the worker should not consider a full settlement of his or her claim – because there is no way to know what medical complications may arise. Brain injury cases do require a lot of medical care before the patient and his/her family can be reasonably sure that the medical condition has stabilized. Often the end of the doctor visits is really just the beginning of the medical treatment because the patient/worker will then undergo long-term therapy. Progress in brain injury cases can be very slow.
  • What type of disability does the worker really have? Is it a permanent disability or can the employee do some type of work?

Before Settling a Work Injury Case, Contact Experienced Worker’s Compensation Lawyer Joe Miller

A settlement of a work-related case lasts a lifetime. Workers cannot come back and ask for more money after the case is settled. An experienced North Carolina or Virginia lawyer such a Joe Miller knows all the pitfalls. He has been representing injured workers for 25 years. Make the right settlement. Contact Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or email me at jmiller@joemillerinjurylaw.com.

Long-Term Effects of Brain Injuries

Posted on Monday, November 23rd, 2015 at 2:00 pm    

The amount of treatment needed for brain injuries will depend on the severity of the brain injury. Common problems include:

  • Cognitive difficulties – an inability of lessening of the ability to think, reason, and remember
  • Difficulty in talking and understanding
  • Inability or lessening of the ability to see, hear, taste, touch or smell
  • Loss of mobility including paralysis
  • Behavior problems such as depression, anxiety, and aggression
  • Seizures

Serious brain injuries can cause the patient to be:

  • In a coma
  • A persistent vegetative state – like a coma but with periods of alertness and sleep-wake cycles.
  • A low conscious state – like a persistent vegetative state but with some cognitive ability
  • Brain Dead – the patient/worker has no measurable brain function. Removing life support would cause physical death.


Skilled Worker’s Compensation Lawyer Joe Miller Fights for Brain Injury Victims

Brain injuries are often catastrophic. Workers are never the same physically, mentally and emotionally. When a brain injury happens, you need an aggressive worker’s compensation lawyer on your side. Attorney Joe Miller has helped thousands of injured workers in North Carolina and Virginia. Please hone Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or email me at jmiller@joemillerinjurylaw.com.

What are the Long Term Effects of Brain Injuries?

Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2015 at 2:00 pm    

Brain injury symptoms often do not appear right away. When they do appear, the worker may not even know that he or she has suffered a brain injury. Any worker or family member who suspects an employee has suffered a work related injury should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Delay can hurt the person’s chances for getting better and may even cause harm.

Patients with brain injuries will often incur the following expenses:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital stays if surgery or emergency room care is required.
  • All types of therapies may be required. These therapies include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and more. These therapies can last months, years or even a lifetime.
  • Psychiatric or psychological help for behavioral and/or memory issues
  • Home health care


Experienced Virginia Lawyer Joe Miller Knows How to Help Injured Workers

Anyone with a brain injury will need extensive medical care. This care can cost a fortune. While they are getting this care and even when they are done their medical treatments, workers will usually not have an income. Some workers may qualify for additional benefits. When brain injuries at work occur, you need a strong advocate. North Carolina and Virginia worker’s compensation lawyer Joe Miller is that advocate. You can reach attorney Joe Miller at 888-694-1671 or complete his online form for an appointment.

How Do Brain Injuries Happen at Work?

Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 at 2:00 pm    

There are many reasons a person can suffer a traumatic brain injury at work. Many of these are due to some type of trauma such as:

  • Falling off a ladder or scaffold
  • Having an object fall on your head
  • A motor vehicle accident that occurs while you are working
  • Slipping and falling on a loose rug, a cracked pavement, a hole, or over some obstruction, or just not being able to see because of improper lighting.
  • Wind slamming a heavy door or other object into your head or face

The cause of the fall does not matter in North Carolina and Virginia Worker’s Compensation Claims. The key is that the worker was an employee at the time the incident occurred and that the onset of injury was due to a sudden, identifiable occurrence.

Brain injuries can also happen through diseases or when there is exposure to certain toxic chemicals.

Workers who suffer a work-related brain injury or illness often need extensive physical and occupational therapy. Many workers never return to the life they once knew and have lower abilities than they had before the work injury happened. The medical costs can be quite extensive. Workers may be out of work for a long time, may have to work at a less demanding job or may never return to work.

Brain Injuries at Work – Why you need a skilled Worker’s Compensation lawyer

Insurance companies try to get workers back to work before they are they ready. They will contest every aspect of your case if it means they will pay less money. Workers who suffer brain injuries need experienced worker’s compensation lawyers who will fight to get every dollar the law allows. North Carolina and Virginia lawyer Joe Miller has helped thousands of personal injury victims. He will fight the insurance companies. Phone Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 or complete his online contact form.

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