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June 11th, 2014

Pennsylvania Work Accident Law – Can you make a claim for a brain injury?

Question: I live in Pennsylvania and hit my head in an accident at work. Can I still make a claim?

Answer: In Pennsylvania, workers injured in work accidents can only obtain workers’ compensation benefits if the employer was provided with timely notice. Failure to provide notice to the employer may result in denial of a workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, you must speak to a lawyer immediately to determine if you are within the workers’ compensation notice time limits.

Related: Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation – Do You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, you may be eligible to make a claim against other non-employer parties (aka, third party liability lawsuits), such as:

  • general contractors,
  • subcontractors,
  • business owners, and
  • property owners.

Brain and head injuries often result from workplace fall accidents, such as scaffold accidents and ladder accidents. In these kinds of fall accidents, the scaffold erection company may be liable, or in a ladder fall accident, the ladder manufacturer may be liable for a defective product.

Related: Liability in a Pennsylvania Construction & Worksite Accident Lawsuit

In addition, work related motor vehicle accidents may result in brain or head injuries. For instance, a delivery driver who is struck by another driver may suffer a brain injury when the driver’s head strikes the side panel of the truck. In such third party claims, it will be important to obtain a diagnosis and make a claim immediately.

Delay Between Accident Date and Diagnosis

In some situations, there may be a delay from the date of the accident and diagnosis of the head injury. This often happens in serious injury cases. For instance, in a serious auto accident in which a delivery driver suffers major internal injuries as well as several broken bones, the head injury may go undiagnosed for several weeks. That’s because the other injuries are treated first. Then, after the driver is released home, he tries to resume his normal activities, but begins to notice other symptoms, like persistent headaches, sensitivity to light, etc. He sees his doctor who diagnoses post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Here, the extensive injuries explain the delay in diagnosis.

More: Work Related Brain-Head Injuries in Pennsylvania Work Accident Lawsuits

In other, less serious work accident cases, the key is providing a reasonable explanation for the delay in diagnosis. Oftentimes, a medical doctor may not make the diagnosis of PCS or head injury until the patient makes several, repeated pain complaints. The medical records should clearly show that the patient complained about brain-head injury symptoms on multiple occasions prior to being diagnosed. This would explain delayed diagnosis of a head or brain injury.

Work Accident-Injury Lawyers in PA & NJ

Our lawyers specialize in handling work accident cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area. For a free case assessment, please call our lawyers at Click To Call.

DISCLAIMER: Since each case is unique, discussion of prior outcomes and settlements in past cases is no guarantee of a similar outcome in current or future cases. This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. Read full disclaimer below.