Will I be able to return to work after a brain injury?

The effects of a brain injury can bring changes to many aspects of your life, including employment. Regardless of whether the car accident caused a mild traumatic brain injury such as a concussion or a severe traumatic brain injury, you may find that post-accident you are no longer able to do the job that you once did in the same way or that you can no longer do your job safely. You may require adaptations in your workplace to accommodate your needs, you may need to find a new job, or in the most serious injury cases, you may not be able to return to work at all after a brain injury. Let’s discuss some of the issues relating to returning to work after a brain injury.

Do not rush back to work after a brain injury

Timing is essential. You should not return to work until you have had enough time to recover from your brain injury. That means waiting until your health is stable and ensuring that symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and nausea are well-controlled. Early medical intervention and rehabilitation are essential to maximize recovery and adaptation to life post-injury. Talk to a personal injury lawyer about applying for Part 7 accident benefits to help cover your wage loss  and medical needs during the recovery period.

Getting the help you need to ensure your return to work is a success

When returning to work after a brain injury – even a “mild” traumatic brain injury such as a concussion – it may be necessary to start gradually (e.g., working half days at first or shorter hours). You may also find that you need to take more breaks throughout the day or take on less of a workload. For some, a brain injury leads to difficulties with memory and concentration. An occupational therapist can help you develop cognitive strategies for performing your job duties, and can also make recommendations for adapting your workstation or equipment to meet your needs. It may also help you to attend a “work hardening” or “work conditioning” program to build stamina and strength, particularly if you sustained other physical injuries in addition to the brain injury. An experienced BC car accident lawyer will help ensure your rehabilitation needs are met and that your ICBC claim covers the costs of such services.

If you suffered a very serious brain injury

If you suffered a serious brain injury, you may not be able to return to your pre accident employment for an extended period of time, and even then, not at full capacity. You may never be able to work full time, or it may be necessary for you to train for a different job. For those who suffer catastrophic brain injury as a result of a car accident, the severity of symptoms may make it so that they are never able to return to work. The rehabilitation team for those with serious brain injuries may include physiotherapists, kinesiologists, occupational therapists, psychologists or neuropsychologists, speech/language therapists, case managers, and vocational consultants.

Compensation for loss caused by catastrophic brain injury

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious brain injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident that is interfering with ability to return to work, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Simpson Thomas & Associates.  We can assist you with bringing a claim to secure personal injury compensation including funding for appropriate rehabilitation and future care needs. In catastrophic injury cases, our lawyers can help sort out coverage and funding issues with other agencies or insurers, such as employment insurance, Canada Pension Plan disability, private extended health care insurers or private disability carriers, unions and their collective agreement provisions, human resource managers, and others. This is important because additional funding sources are often needed for medical treatment and income replacement prior to settlement or trial. Our personal injury lawyers can also handle your tort claim to secure compensation for wage loss and loss of earning capacity. To learn more, request a free consultation or call (604) 689-8888.

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