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What you need to know about how your traumatic brain injury will impact your work

Even the 'mildest' of traumatic brain injuries make it hard for you to function, especially at work. Sometimes, in mild brain injuries, such as a concussion or post concussive syndrome, the injury appears to be invisible to the outside viewer.

Traumatic brain injuries are more common than you think

Did you know that according to the Brain Injury Association of California, an estimated 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year? They also found that 20 percent of those injuries are caused by car accidents or collisions involving cars, motorcycles or bicycles-and pedestrians.

What symptoms you should watch for immediately after the accident

Many of the symptoms can be open to interpretation by employers, especially if you if you don't advocate for yourself after a brain injury. Below are some of the common symptoms to look for after an accident:

  • You can't seem to concentrate or focus on your tasks long enough to make any progress
  • You can't remember details or just things in general
  • You can't look at a computer because you have blurry vision and it strains your eyes
  • You have a headache that won't go away that only gets worse when your colleagues play loud music near your desk
  • You can't sleep or experience a change in sleep patterns, making it hard to get up to come into work on time
  • You lose your balance or get dizzy when you stand up or try to walk
  • Your mood changes uncontrollably, making it hard for your colleagues to understand how to act around you
  • You are depressed or anxious all the time making it hard to participate in team projects

How can you injure your brain in an accident?

Even minor collisions can result in your head or neck being jolted or hitting the head restraint or window. This can result in a concussion or traumatic brain injury.

According to the mayo clinic, the causes of your brain injury can include:

  • Damage to brain cells limited to the area directly below the point of impact on the skull.
  • A severe blow or jolt causing multiple points of damage because the brain may move back and forth in the skull.
  • A severe rotational or spinning jolt causing the tearing of cellular structures.
  • Bleeding in or around the brain, swelling, and blood clots can disrupt the oxygen supply to the brain and cause wider damage.

If you or your loved one has been in a car accident, and you suspect that they have suffered a traumatic brain injury, it is important to recognize the symptoms and receive proper medical treatment as soon as possible. It is also important to communicate the injury to your boss so that you can get the time off work you need for doctors visits. They also need to understand how the symptoms might impact your work performance. If they do not respect this, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer who can help you advocate for your rights so that you can focus on becoming well again.

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