There are many ways that you could potentially hurt your brain while working. You might slip on a loose piece of paper and fall down a flight of stairs. A co-worker above you could drop a tool that hits you on the head. You might even get into a car crash while on the clock.
A brain injury could be minor or severe, and it could create a broad range of different symptoms. While you might hope to continue working your job as you did before, you may have to move into a different profession or stop working entirely because of the possible consequences of a traumatic brain injury, including – but not limited to – the three described below.
1. A change in personality
Many people report a distinct shift in their personality or daily behavior. Their mood may change as well. Brain injuries can cause such profound behavioral shifts in people that they can no longer maintain the same relationships with their co-workers or clients and may struggle to perform the same job functions.
2. Issues with memory or cognition
Any injury to your brain can affect how you think and how well you recall information. The cognitive consequences of a brain injury could include difficulty solving complex problems or retaining short-term information. The effects of brain injury on someone’s thought process or memory could prevent them from safely doing a job.
3. Changes in motor function
The brain doesn’t just determine how someone behaves. It also controls someone’s physical experience. A brain injury might result in persistent vertigo or a loss of equilibrium that makes it hard for someone to walk, let alone drive a vehicle safely.
People may also notice issues with fine motor control and could have shaky hands. In some cases, a brain injury can even affect sensory perception, reducing someone’s visual acuity. Any of these major changes to an individual’s experience and abilities could affect how well they perform a job.
Workers’ compensation benefits can cover both treatment costs after an injury and also lost wages when people can’t continue doing the same work or need time off to recover. Understanding what benefits are available through the workers’ compensation system can help those adjusting to a significant work-related injury.