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Receiving benefits for brain injuries caused by work injuries

In our last post, we wrote about former NFL player who committed suicide after suffering from a severe brain injury for years. Shane Dronett, like many professional football players, sustained repeated blows to the head as part of his job. Unfortunately, because he did not realize the hits caused a brain disease - chronic traumatic encephalopathy - so he did not apply for workers' compensation.

When individuals in Ohio suffer brain injuries because of their professions, they may receive workers' compensation. Workers' compensation is commonly awarded to individuals who were injured in an accident at work. However, people who suffer from work-related repetitive stress injuries can also receive compensation.

In any disability case, it is important to visit your doctor regularly to make sure you have a good understanding of your injury and its cause. Accurate medical reporting is essential in proving your injury was caused by your work.

Individuals who work in high risk occupations may be more likely to develop health problems or repetitive stress injuries. For example, people who work in factories may be exposed to chemicals every day. However, if the connection is not made between a lingering illness and the individual's profession, he or she may not apply for the benefits to which they are entitled.

Shane Dronett, like many individuals who suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, never identified the cause of his problems. Had he realized his nightmares, paranoia and episodes of confusion and rage were caused by his football career, he could have applied for benefits to help find the proper treatment for his brain injury.

Source: CNN, "Ex-Falcons lineman had brain disease linked to concussions," Stephanie Smith, CNN Medical Producer, 1 April 2011

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