A closed head injury means that the skull is still intact. There’s no fracture. From the outside, the injury might not even look severe.
Still, don’t be be fooled. These types of injuries can be incredibly serious. If you suffer a closed head injury or any type of head injury on the job, it’s important to understand the potential severity and all your options for getting the workers’ compensation benefits you need.
How closed head injuries happen
According to John Hopkins Medicine, which is one of the most prestigious medical institutions in the country, closed head injuries are often the result of quick and violent movement. While your skull typically protects your brain from injury, the skull can also pose a threat when the brain is jostled or jerked. If the head is moving in one direction and suddenly stops, the brain can collide with the interior of the skull, and this can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that happens entirely within the body. There may not be an open wound, but the injury is still very severe.
For example, you could suffer a TBI after falling from a ladder and hitting your head on the ground. Even if the fall was only from a few feet high, the quick stop of the head on the ground can damage the brain. These types of injuries are also common in car accidents or accidents involving heavy equipment on the job.
One of the most dangerous developments that can happen after a TBI is when there is bleeding within the brain tissue itself or in the space between the brain and the skull. This type of bleeding, if not stopped quickly, can cause a tremendous amount of pressure on the brain. That pressure can make symptoms worse in the days or even weeks after the accident, and the results can be fatal. This is one reason you should get medical treatment after a head injury, even if you think the injury is not severe.
Seeking workers’ comp after a serious injury
If you suffer a head injury on the job, you could be facing heavy medical bills and a long road to recovery. That is why workers’ compensation benefits exist — to help you cover the cost of medical expenses, as well as provide benefits for the wages you miss while you are unable to work. To learn more about filing for workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia, please see our Workers’ Comp FAQ.