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Laws for Working After a Brain Injury

What to Expect Going Back to Work After a Brain Injury

Once an individual recovers from a brain injury, they will have the urge to go back to work. However, the side effects of a brain injury could change the individual’s work ethic and make them approach their job position differently. One of the most common problems with victims of brain injury is that they return to work too soon. They are not fully aware of the effects of their brain injury and how it may impact their work performance.

This is why it is best to check with a medical expert and get their opinion on whether or not you should go back to work. If you get the approval, but you do not feel fully confident in your work skills, you may request for reasonable accommodations until you get back to that level.

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Requesting for an Accomodation

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) the employer is required to make reasonable adjustments to the work environment for a disabled employee. An employer could provide various accommodations for an employee, which include:

  • Offering more breaks.
  • Providing a different position in the firm.
  • Offering less work to do.
  • Allowing the employee to gradually come back to work.
  • Offering less hours.

It is suggested for the employee to keep the employer updated on their health status so the employer has an idea on how to make adjustments to their reasonable accommodations. If the employee is fully recovered and capable of performing their duties as previously done, then the employer can remove the accommodation and have them work the same way prior to their injury.

Maintain a Positive Mindset, but Be Realistic

It is important to have a good attitude when you return back to work. Try to:

  • Accept others’ constructive criticism.
  • Be comfortable with asking others if you need something.
  • Use strategic methods to help you enhance your work skills.

When a brain injury victim is headed back to work, instead of worrying about what they will do wrong, they should focus more on how to overcome that wrong. Figuring out ways to approach difficult situations will help them become more organized and efficient when handling work-related duties. Unrealistic expectations will only lead to low self-esteem and disappointment.

Speaking to Your Employer

You do not have to go into detail about your brain injury to your employer, but you should mention information about your health if it puts you or others at risk. Suggestions on how you should communicate with your employer include the following.

  • Make sure that you are keeping track of your sick pay entitlement. Do not be afraid to reach out to your employer and ask questions about it either.
  • Be open with your employer about limitations you are currently experiencing due to your brain injury. They must be understanding towards your condition and provide you with reasonable accommodations.

Communication With Your Coworkers 

It is up to you to decide whether or not to tell your coworkers about your brain injury. Do not feel obligated to mention anything, but it could be beneficial to speak to them about the situation. Informing your coworkers about your condition will help them get an idea on what you are capable of performing and what you may need extra help on. Special arrangements could be made on their behalf to make it more convenient for you to complete your duties.

Consider sharing either full or limited information, it is your choice. You have the right to not inform others about it if they ask.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Contact Us 

If you have any questions regarding your brain injury, West Coast Trial Lawyers has skilled brain injury attorneys that have extensive experience with handling cases relating to personal injury.

We offer a free, no-obligation consultation at our firm. Reach out to our friendly legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected].


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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