Employers and their risk managers are concerned with preventing absenteeism and the ability of their employees to work effectively. Not all injuries are work related, however. The following should be considered when determining if the employee’s multiple concussion injury or Second Impact Syndrome or other related injury such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is “work related” and occurred “in the course of the employment,” and therefore is compensable:
- Whether the employee’s multiple concussion injury occurred at work, either on the employer’s premises or within the scope of the employment
- Whether the employee’s Second Impact Syndrome or CTE flowed directly from an injury incurred during the employment or is linked to the injury (For example: the employee played contact sports in a number of recreational sports leagues, and had missed time from work due to sports injuries before experiencing an on-the-job head injury)
- Expert testimony that the employee’s multiple concussion injury or Second Impact Syndrome or CTE was, or was not, work related
- Expert review of the employee’s medical records indicating other causes for the Second Impact Syndrome or CTE, or employee conduct exposing the employee to risks of multiple concussions, second impact injuries, or CTE (For example: the employee played contact sports while in elementary school, high school, and college, and suffered documented concussions several times in the past)
- Expert testimony that even if the employee’s Second Impact Syndrome or CTE was work related, the employee is not permanently disabled, can work after the medical problems resolve, and could work in the future, possibly with reasonable accommodation
See: Attorneys Medical Advisor, Concussion §§, 36:56 to 36:70; Traumatic Brain Injuries, 72 Proof of Facts 3d 363; Personality Changes Due to Closed Head Trauma, 34 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 3d.