Traumatic Brain Injury: A Serious Bakken Field Construction Injury

The CDC defines traumatic brain injury (TBI) as:

"A disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury"

This injury is most likely to occur in the Bakken field as the result of a fall accident. There are many situations in which falls commonly occur. Improperly positioned ladders, electrical shock high above the ground, falls from heights without guard rails, falls from scaffolds, and even slips or trips at ground level can cause a TBI. Improper climbing technique in which a worker fails to keep three points of contact (two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand) with the rungs of a ladder or other climbing surfaces is a common cause of falls. Even climbing out of a truck can cause a TBI because the driver does it so many times, usually while not wearing a helmet. Winter makes the problem worse when workers attempt to use ice-covered scaffolds or truck drivers unknowingly step down ice-covered steps.

Helmets don't always guaranty protection against a TBI construction injury. An old or damaged helmet or one with an improper fit can fail to protect the head. Falls from great heights or heavy objects hitting a helmeted worker from a great height may be sufficient to cause a traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms

  • Unconsciousness lasting between several seconds to several minutes.
  • Sleeping abnormalities. Inability to sleep or sleeping too much.
  • Disorientation, dizziness, or confusion.
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness

A worker who suffers an accident that involved a bump, blow or jolt to the head should be taken to a doctor immediately regardless of whether or not the person experiences symptoms. A TBI can vary from being a minor injury to one that causes death within a few hours even when the person doesn't present any initial symptoms. Sometimes a blow to the head isn't necessary such as when it's violently decelerated in an on-the-job motor vehicle accident, in which the brain slams against the inside of the skull. This type of TBI is called a coup-contrecoup injury.

If a Bakken field accident has left you with a traumatic brain injury, seek legal advice from the experienced lawyers at Odegaard Miller Law. Contact us today.