Construction sites can be messy, chaotic, and noisy, making it difficult for workers to perform their duties safely. Even if workers are following every safety procedure and using their equipment correctly, they always run the risk of suffering a serious injury, especially if someone else is not taking the same precautions. The most dangerous injuries include some form of head trauma. While you may think a minor blow to the head is nothing to worry about, you should still see a doctor, especially if you are experiencing the following symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of a Brain Injury?
A blow to the head, whether the result of a fall or being struck by falling materials, can result in a serious medical condition known as a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. TBIs include a wide variety of injuries, from open head wounds to brain bleeds to concussions. While you may immediately think that you are fine, TBIs should be taken very seriously. In a single recent year, TBIs led to over 2.87 million emergency room visits and 56,8000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even those who survive TBIs can develop brain damage and long-term disabilities, such as seizures, speech impediments, vision loss, and other life-changing injuries.
If you were struck in the head on a construction site, it is important to watch out for the following symptoms:
- Headaches or migraines
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficulties remember important details (name, date, location, etc.)
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Blurry vision
- Mood swings
- Drowsiness or difficulty sleeping
- Hearing problems, such as ringing in the ear
- A lack of coordination
- Difficulty speaking or forming sentences
Any and all of these symptoms should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible, as well as the details of the accident. The specific cause of your injuries may prove helpful in determining the extent of the damage and how a doctor should treat it.
What Types of Construction Accidents Cause Head Wounds?
As a part of their efforts to reduce construction site injuries and fatalities, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has outlined strict regulations to prevent TBIs. Among these regulations is the requirement to wear a hard hat at certain construction sites, but OSHA also enforces several other rules to protect workers. Ranging from how heavy machinery should be operated to providing fall safety equipment, all employers and workers should follow OSHA standards to the letter.
Accidents happen every day in New York that lead to TBIs, including:
- Falls, often from great heights, but even short falls onto hard concrete can cause a TBI
- Falling objects, such as power tools, building materials, debris, and other equipment
- Trench collapses, which can cause loose material and equipment to collapse onto workers
- Dangerous demolitions that result in building or tunnel collapses
- Vehicle collisions, including forklifts, bulldozers, and scrapers
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
What Should I Do If I Hit My Head on a Job Site?
If you have been struck in the head in a construction accident, your health is of the utmost importance. You should contact paramedics immediately to transport you to the hospital or have a fellow worker, family member, or friend drive you to an emergency room. Under no circumstances is it safe for you to drive after a head injury.
In addition, your accident should be reported to your supervisor. This will help protect other workers from being injured and is necessary for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you are an independent contractor, if your injuries were caused by someone else through an act of negligence, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the person or group who injured you. This can include another contractor, a construction company, a property owner, or another third party.
Determining what your legal options are after a construction accident can be difficult while you are also dealing with a TBI, which is why you should contact a New York construction accident lawyer. For more than 50 years, Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, has represented injured construction workers after a wide variety of accidents. We understand how to investigate a claim and can explain all of your options in a free consultation. To discuss your accident with an experienced lawyer, call our office at (212) 986-7353.