Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
From Minor Kansas City Work Injury
This Kansas City Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury case is an example of the complexity that can be present in cases involving a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Not only were multiple medical specialties and rehabilitation specialists involved, the duration of the treatment and rehabilitation efforts lasted for over 3 years.
Our injured client was a 43-year-old Kansas City, Missouri man employed as a supervisor and electrician for a Kansas City area electrical contractor. He had been employed by this company for five years and had a steady history of employment as an electrician before that.
The incident that brought him to us involved an industrial accident where an electrical box behind him exploded, causing the door on the box to fly open and strike him in the back of the head. The blow knocked him out and he was discovered by co-workers having a seizure.
His employer was notified of the closed head injury and the client was taken to a local occupational medical clinic for evaluation. He was examined and found to be oriented as to person and place but not as to time. He had trouble recalling exactly what had happened and reported a headache and neck ache. The examining physician diagnosed him as suffering a mild concussion.
Within five days of the accident, our client reported experiencing increasing difficulties with headaches, loss of balance, inability to concentrate and loss of memory. He also reported sleeping for up to 17 hours per day. Further medical evaluation suggested some functional neurological deficits and our client was diagnosed as suffering from post-concussion syndrome. Because of the nature of the injury, he was referred to a Kansas City area neuropsychologist for purposes of neuropsychological testing in order to evaluate his ongoing deficits.
Neuropsychological testing revealed abnormal results, with the report indicating numerous areas of concern including: cognitive deficits; left visual field deficits; impairment of sensory perceptual skills; attention and concentration deficits; problems with sequencing and mental flexibility; mental and motor speed deficits and some compromise in grip strength. Our client was judged to be in the mildly to moderately impaired range on most tests performed.
On the basis of the neuropsychological testing, it was recommended that our client seek additional medical treatment with a Kansas City area neurologist and a Kansas City ophthalmologist. Rehabilitative care to deal with the existing deficits was also recommended as was follow-up neuropsychological testing in one year.
As recommended, our client thereafter sought additional medical care from a neurologist who confirmed the diagnosis of post-concussion syndrome with significant cognitive dysfunction. Neuro-ophthalmological evaluation was also performed and additional care was provided.
In addition to the medical care, our client was seen by numerous Kansas City area providers with regard to his cognitive rehabilitation needs. The rehabilitation process was long and arduous. Numerous ups and downs were experienced.
Follow up neuropsychological testing indicated that our client had no significant improvement in his neuropsychological profile. In fact, many of the areas of testing showed a decrease in function.
Our client participated in more than one traumatic brain injury rehabilitation program and vocational re-training program. Unfortunately, the efforts in this regard were without success.
Ultimately, our client was found to be significantly disabled due to his brain damage and vocational assessment indicated that it was unlikely that he would ever be able to return to work in the competitive labor market on a full time basis. This was a very sad situation.
Because of the permanent nature of our client’s deficits, this matter was able to be resolved under the Missouri Workers Compensation system using a structured settlement with guaranteed payments for the life of our client. The settlement achieved by attorney James Roswold was intended to compensate for permanent total disability resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI) work accident.