Traumatic Brain Injuries in the Construction Industry

October 6th, 2021|Construction Accidents|

Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most serious injuries that any individual can experience. The injuries can have long-lasting effects that may never get better and are most prevalent in the construction industry. Incredibly, construction workers are at the highest risk of traumatic brain injuries compared to any other type of employment in the United States. The people who support our infrastructure and work on construction projects throughout the state deserve a safe working environment. If someone suffers a traumatic brain injury on a construction site, there are often legal consequences for their employer and/or a third party.

What Are Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries in the Construction Industry?

The most common reason construction workers suffer traumatic brain injuries in the industry is because of falls and being struck by equipment or heavy machinery at the worksite. Falls from roofs, ladders, and scaffolding lead to the majority of all traumatic brain injuries.

What Should I Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries?

The most serious traumatic brain injury, of course, is brain damage. Brain damage can be caused by a forceful blow to the head, or a whiplash that knocks a person’s brain around in their skull. Traumatic brain injuries in some instances can resolve and a person can fully recover from the traumatic brain injury physically. Even if a person is able to fully recover from their traumatic brain injury the person may still have lingering emotional and financial hardships.

How Do I Know if I Suffered From a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include headaches, confusion, loss of memory, slow thinking or speaking, inability to sleep or constant fatigue, sensitivity to light and sounds, moodiness, and more. Sometimes, the symptoms of brain damage are clear immediately after a construction accident head injury.

The Mayo Clinic advised that the following are signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury:

Mild traumatic brain injury

  • Physical Symptoms
    • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
    • No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
    • Headache
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Fatigue or drowsiness
    • Problems with speech
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Sleeping more than usual
    • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Sensory symptoms
    • Blurred vision,
    • Ringing in the ears
    • A bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell
    • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Cognitive or mental symptoms
    • Memory or concentration problems
    • Mood changes or mood swings
    • Feeling depressed or anxious

Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries

  • Physical symptoms
    • Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
    • Persistent headache or headache that worsens
    • Repeated vomiting or nausea
    • Convulsions or seizures
    • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
    • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
    • Inability to awaken from sleep
    • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
    • Loss of coordination
  • Cognitive or mental symptoms
    • Profound confusion
    • Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
    • Slurred speech
    • Coma and other disorders of consciousness

Who is Responsible for Ensuring Construction Sites Are Safe

Construction companies are in the position to make sure their construction sites are safe and free of hazards. Construction companies and their workers can and should take precautions to eliminate the risk of traumatic brain injuries at construction worksites. Construction companies can and should require and routinely enforce rules requiring the use of protective equipment, like hardhats and safety harnesses. Damaged equipment can and should be routinely inspected and replaced when damaged. Moreover, construction companies can and should install guardrails, safety netting, and require workers the use of all necessary personal protective equipment.

If you have sustained a traumatic brain injury, the construction companies operating at the construction site may be responsible.  You should speak with one of Morrow & Sheppard LLP’s experienced and knowledgeable traumatic brain injury attorneys. You can call us toll-free at 800-489-2216 or complete our online contact form and one of our attorneys will speak to you and provide you with a free consultation.