Workers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury may have difficulties returning to work for a period of time following their injury. Traumatic brain damage can affect a number of areas in the brain, making it hard for people to find a job or continue working in their former position.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2.5 million people were hospitalized, died or were sent to the emergency room for treatment of traumatic brain damage.
How can a brain injury affect one’s life?
Traumatic brain injuries can have a significant impact on one’s life, depending on the severity of the impact and what part of the brain was injured. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, common side effects of brain injuries include the following:
- Cognitive difficulties, including trouble remembering, planning and organizing
- Sensory deficiencies, such as trouble hearing, speaking, seeing or communicating with others
- Muscle weakness, tremors or tingling in the extremities
- Ongoing seizures or convulsions
- Sleep conditions, including chronic fatigue or insomnia
- Behavioral changes, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress
People may suffer from chronic neurological disorders, migraines and epilepsy.
Can one return to work after a brain injury?
All symptoms have the potential to cause long-term problems for workers, both in their ability to work and their home life. A person may be unable to return to their former job if they are unable to perform the designated tasks of that position. In some cases, employers may make accommodations for workers in an attempt to aid their return to work. For example, workers may have special equipment that allows them to hear more clearly or communicate with others. Workers may be able to take frequent breaks or work from home.
If people are unable to return to their former job, they may find a position that meets their special requirements.