Workers Compensation Head Injury Settlement Amounts in North Carolina

September 7, 2023 1:52 am

Workers Compensation Head Injury Settlement Amounts in North Carolina

Workers Compensation Head Injury Settlement Amounts in North Carolina

Settlements for head injuries in North Carolina workers’ compensation cases can vary significantly based on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the extent of medical treatment required, the impact on an individual’s ability to work, and the specific circumstances of the case.

Workers Compensation Settlement Amounts for Head Injuries

According to data from the National Safety Council (NSC), the national average cost of a worker’s compensation claim for workplace head injuries stands at $93,942. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of estimated settlement amounts based on the NSC’s claim cost average for head injuries:

  • Medical Costs: An average of $60,875 is allocated to cover medical expenses related to head injuries.
  • Indemnity Costs: The average indemnity cost, which includes compensation for lost wages and disability, amounts to $33,067.

Head Injuries and Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina

Head injuries can manifest in various workplace scenarios, ranging from slips and falls, incidents involving falling merchandise or inventory, vehicular accidents, equipment malfunctions, diving mishaps, and numerous other causes. While some head injuries may naturally resolve with time, others, especially severe traumatic brain injuries, have the potential to dramatically reshape an individual’s life. In the most tragic instances, workplace head injuries can result in fatal outcomes.

Industries Prone to Higher Risk of Head Injuries

Certain professions carry a heightened susceptibility to head injuries, including:

  1. Police officers
  2. Construction workers
  3. Firefighters
  4. Loading dock personnel
  5. Delivery drivers
  6. Professional athletes
  7. Healthcare professionals

However, it is essential to acknowledge that severe head injuries can occur in diverse occupations, such as nursing, certified nursing assistants, or truck driving. Accidents like slipping on wet surfaces or icy patches can render anyone unconscious, irrespective of their job description.

Categorizing Head Injuries

Head injuries manifest in diverse forms, encompassing:

  1. Concussions: These constitute traumatic brain injuries stemming from forceful head impacts or shaking. Symptoms may encompass memory deficits, impaired balance, concentration challenges, and headaches.
  2. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): TBIs encompass a spectrum of head injuries, including:
    1. Closed head injuries, where the skull remains intact, may involve conditions like subdural hematomas or brain bleeding.
    1. Open/Penetrating head injuries, characterized by skull fractures.

TBIs are graded as mild, moderate, or severe based on their gravity.

  • Contusions: This refers to brain bruising, occasionally necessitating surgical intervention to mitigate bleeding.
  • Coup-Contrecoup: Such injuries yield multiple brain contusions, occurring at both the point of impact and the opposite side of the brain.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury: This injury category involves torn nerve tissue, disrupting intra-brain communication. Car accidents and incidents causing head rotation are often associated with this type of injury.
  • Anoxic Brain Injury: In this scenario, the brain experiences oxygen deprivation.
  • Recurrent Traumatic Brain Injury: This pertains to a second brain injury occurring before the initial TBI has fully healed.
  • Skull Fracture: Skull fractures are further differentiated as either depressed skull fractures or compound fractures.

Healthcare professionals commonly employ the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) to gauge the severity of brain injuries, with GCS categories for TBI injuries encompassing:

  • Mild TBI symptoms: These may involve headaches, nausea, sleep disruptions, memory and concentration issues, mood swings, and balance disturbances.
  • Moderate TBI symptoms: Symptoms may encompass loss of consciousness, comatose states, headaches, and behavioral alterations.
  • Severe TBI symptoms: Consequences can include coma, minimal responsiveness, and a vegetative state.

Additional symptoms include pain, vision and hearing deficits, impaired reasoning, and cognitive decline.

Furthermore, it’s common for individuals to encounter persistent symptoms that endure for six months to a year after experiencing a concussion. These enduring symptoms often form a cluster of issues recognized as Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). The diagnosis and treatment of PCS are typically most effectively managed by a neurologist.

Steps to Take Following a Head Injury

Steps to Take Following a Head Injury

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Report the Injury to Your Employer: Quickly inform your employer about the injury. Reporting it promptly can help prevent disputes regarding whether the injury is work-related. Focus on describing your symptoms, and leave the medical diagnosis to your physician.
  2. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Head injury symptoms may not manifest immediately, so seeking medical help is essential. After completing the necessary documentation for a work-related injury, your employer will provide a list of approved doctors covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If you believe these doctors are not prioritizing your best interests, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in North Carolina can assist you in finding a doctor who may be a better fit for you.

In cases of head injuries, consulting a neurologist or neurosurgeon is common. These specialists often order a CT scan to assess for skull fractures, hematomas, or other brain injuries. Additional tests such as MRIs and, in some instances, PET scans may be administered to evaluate brain function.  Sometimes you may be referred to a neuropsychiatrist or neuropsychologist.  These doctors will begin to map the damage of what may be going on inside your brain as it affects your activities of daily living (ADLs).

Exploring Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Traumatic Brain Injuries

Along with paying for medical costs, Workers’ Compensation can provide either Temporary Total Disability (TTD) or Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) compensation depending on the circumstances. Aside from covering any medical expenses accrued, your situation may warrant one of these two benefits.

  • If you are still working but experiencing a reduction in earnings compared to your average weekly wage due to the injury, you may be eligible for Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits.
  • However, if you are unable to work entirely due to the injury, you would typically be entitled to Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits.

Will Workers’ Compensation Extend to Medical Treatment for Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Yes, Workers’ Compensation can cover medical treatment for Post-Concussion Syndrome, provided that the underlying brain injury leading to the syndrome is connected to workplace factors like vibration, shaking, whiplash, or a sudden incident such as a work-related fall. 

Proving a concussion can be challenging since it may not always appear on standard CT scans and MRIs. However, once this connection is established, and with enough time to demonstrate the presence of Post-Concussion Syndrome, seeking coverage for treatment becomes a more manageable process.

Consulting a Workers’ Comp North Carolina Attorney for Head Injury Claims

Consulting a Workers’ Comp North Carolina Attorney for Head Injury Claims

If you’re dealing with a head injury claim in the realm of Workers’ Compensation, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney who can guide you through the complexities of the process and help ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.  Perry Morrison has many years of experience in dealing with traumatic brain injuries, and he will put his experience to work for you!

Contact us now at or call 252-243-1003. To learn more, please visit our website at

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