We’ve been rooting for comedian Tracy Morgan’s continued recovery since he was critically injured in a fatal car accident in June 2014. So like many fans, we were heartened when just over a year after his crash, Morgan took the stage on Saturday Night Live in a triumphant return to the work he loves.
For Central Florida sufferers of traumatic brain injury (TBI), return to work is a serious issue; the question occasionally becomes not when they can go back to their jobs in the Orlando area, but if they’ll be able to work at all. According to the Brain Injury Association of Florida, more than 8,200 Floridians are expected to sustain TBI-related long-term disabilities each year. With head injuries sustained in a car or motorcycle accident, slip and fall, or sports-related incident, months of rehabilitation can stretch into years. Memory and judgment can remain impaired even after significant improvement with other cognitive and physical deficits.
One study found that at one year post-TBI, 50% of those with severe injuries had not returned to work, while 20% of those with “mild” injuries had not returned to work at the one-year mark. Although vocational rehabilitation services are available on a state-by-state basis (learn more about Florida’s programs here), these statistics suggest that far too few people with traumatic brain injuries are receiving adequate support in preparation for a return to work.
Those who do return to employment will experience improved self-esteem. They also develop coping mechanisms that contribute to a measurable increase in quality of life. If you or a loved one are considering a return to work after a traumatic brain injury, consider assembling a dedicated team that will support your success. This team could include your doctor(s), physical and vocational therapists, a psychotherapist, a work coach, and helpful friends and family. As you re-enter the workforce, surrounding yourself with those who understand the deep and long-lasting effects of TBI and who are committed to putting together a plan with next steps and emotional reassurance will give you the best chance at achieving your employment goals.
Have you recently sustained a traumatic brain injury and are unable to return to work? Let’s talk about how we can help. Central Florida personal injury attorney Jeff Badgley will help get your life on track; call (407) 781-0420 for a free consultation today at our Orlando office.