Our office has represented numerous injured workers with head injuries. Head injury cases can run the gamut from a significant open head injury with internal damage and bleeding to a closed head injury with no verifiable (with objective testing) symptoms. Significant head injury cases can be much more easy to handle. A CT scan, pet scan and MRI can discover the damage, especially if there is internal bleeding. The more common case we see is the closed head injury with little or no objective (verifiable with tests such as CT scan, MRI, or pet scan) damage. Many of these clients complain of symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headaches or other symptoms.
With the closed injury case without verifiable damage, insurance companies will oftentimes utilize physicians who are more friendly to the interest of the insurance company. This puts our clients in a difficult position.
In a recent case, our client was sent to an insurance company friendly physician who said that the injured worker had no objective symptoms of a head injury and discharged the patient from the doctor’s care. This patient complained to our office of dizziness, light headedness and constant headaches.
Upon receiving the negative report from the insurance company friendly physician, our office arranged for an evaluation by an objective neurologist. The neurologist examined our client, performed testing, and concluded that our client did suffer a significant head injury which resulted in chronic headaches and dizziness. The doctor recommended treatment modalities which assisted the worker in returning to work.
This worker received a significant settlement although the workers’ compensation friendly physician said nothing was wrong with the worker. We see this in a lot of cases – the workers’ compensation physician saying nothing is wrong and our office is then required to hire a physician to prove that physician is incorrect.