Challenges Faced By Brain Injury Victims Returning to the Workplace - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Friday, 16 June 2017

Challenges Faced By Brain Injury Victims Returning to the Workplace

#AskZevBergman


The statistics about brain injuries are shocking. Out of 100,000 children living in Ontario this year, 795 of them will become the victims a brain injury. There are almost half a million people in the province suffering from a brain injury with another person becoming a victim every 3.5 minutes. A brain injury can be severe enough to cause death or lifelong disabilities. For those victims able to do so, returning to work can help to improve their lives, but returning to the workforce can be a difficult transition to make.

Disabling effects of brain injuries

The effects of a brain injury depend on many factors including the location of the brain affected by it. The various symptoms and impairments experienced by a victim might include:

  • Paralysis
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disorder
  • Seizures
  • Sensory impairment
  • Memory loss
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Behavioural issues
  • Personality disorders

Each person and each brain injury present unique combinations of symptoms and disabilities posing challenges for victims and their families. For some people, the ability to return to work following an injury never becomes an option due to the extensive nature of their impairment and disability. Other victims, however, may recover sufficiently to be in a position to return to the workforce.

Ontario Human Rights Code helping people with disabilities

People who hesitate returning to work following an injury to the brain frequently do so because they fear lingering impairments might prevent them from being accepted by a new or former employer. The Ontario Human Rights Code ensures individuals returning to work following a disabling injury are provided the same opportunities enjoyed by other workers.

Under the law, employers must make reasonable accommodations to permit someone with a disability to do his or her job. Included among the types of accommodations an employer could be expected to make are the following:

  • Flexible work hours and breaks
  • Providing large print or other special types of reading material
  • Offer services to accommodate hearing impaired workers
  • Make common areas, such as restrooms and breakrooms, accessible to all workers
  • Offering retraining or a modification of duties

The goal of the law is to make it possible for individuals with disabilities to return to the workplace. If a person suffering from impairments related to a brain injury cannot return to the same job he or she once held, the law requires employers to work with the individual to find another job for which the person is qualified or train the person for another position.

Communication between an employer and an employee is essential  

The worst thing a worker can do is try to hide a disability from his or her employer. The accommodation requirements of the Ontario Human Rights Code depend upon workers being open and honest with their employer about their condition and their ability to perform the duties of their job.

Victims accidents resulting in a brain injury cannot assume that employers, co-workers and others will recognize they are having difficult at work because of a disability. A person’s impairment might not be obvious to others.

For example, a brain injury may cause a person to suffer diminished short-term memory. Others might wonder why a person is ignoring instructions soon after they were given without realizing the individual forgot them. Once the worker speaks up, an easy accommodation can be made by supervisors at work to provide written instructions.

Compensation for brain injury victims

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond understand the devastating nature of brain injuries pursue compensation for victims when the injuries are the result of negligent conduct and assist with disability claims. Call our 24/7 personal injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to one of our team members. We have offices located throughout Ontario and offer free consultations and case evaluations.

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