Photosensitive Epilepsy at Work and Personal Injury Lawsuits
Epilepsy is an unpredictable neurotic disease that causes many difficulties in a person’s life. Photosensitive epilepsy is just one variation of this disease and one that can be particularly difficult in a busy work environment. In certain situations, people with this problem who suffer personal injuries on the job due to this type of epilepsy may be able to sue their employer.
Learn more about photosensitive epilepsy and personal injury lawsuits.
Photosensitive Epilepsy Can Be Unpredictable
Individuals with photosensitive epilepsy experience seizures when lights flash in specific geometric patterns. The trigger frequency may be different for each person with this disease. For example, the Epilepsy Foundation defines the most common triggers as between 3 to 30 hertz or flashes per second. However, they also estimate that some individuals may be sensitive to 60 or more hertz.
When lights trigger an epileptic seizure, an individual may lose all control of their behavior, black out, and fall to the ground. This experience is painful enough to experience in the comfort of home but is likely to be even more painful — physically and emotionally — if it occurs at work.
Work-Based Epilepsy Injuries Can Be Severe
Individuals in businesses with light flashes — such as theaters or supermarkets — may be at high risk of dangerous epileptic seizures. These seizures may strike while a person is in the middle of their work duties, such as chopping meat, driving a bulldozer, or climbing a ladder to stock shelves.
Even in less obviously dangerous scenarios, an individual with photosensitive epilepsy could experience bumps and cuts. Unfortunately, severe seizures coupled with falls in the workplace could also cause broken bones or severe internal damage that isn’t immediately obvious. And in many situations, the workplace may be culpable in this seizure.
Workplaces Must Create Reasonable Accommodations
People with epilepsy cannot be legally discriminated against by their employers. For example, a person cannot refuse to hire a worker or fire them based strictly on their epilepsy. In fact, the Epilepsy Foundation states that employers must make reasonable accommodations for individuals with epilepsy based on a case-by-case scenario.
For example, the employer should try to minimize these light flashes as much as possible in the workplace or change the bulbs to lights with safe frequencies. These simple actions are reasonable because each makes the affected employee’s work life more comfortable to handle. Unfortunately, not all employers may perform their duties and end up putting their workers with epilepsy at risk.
Lawsuits May Be Necessary in Some Cases
While a person injured at work due to an epileptic seizure may receive workers’ compensation, some employers may try to deny their claims. These employers may try to argue that they made reasonable accommodations for their works and that there was just no way to predict that a person would suffer from a photosensitive epileptic seizure.
Therefore, anyone injured by an epileptic seizure at work needs to collect evidence to prove that the employer did not make reasonable accommodations. For example, the injured plaintiff could get tests on the lights that triggered their seizure. If these frequencies are within typical trigger ranges — and, most importantly, the employer knew and did not change the bulbs — the plaintiff is likely to win their case.
However, other types of evidence may also be necessary for this type of personal injury case. For example, the individual could show paperwork that indicates denied requests to change the problematic lights. Eye-witness testimony of the situation can also help because these witnesses can discuss how the individual with epilepsy reacted when the dangerous lights went off.
Legal Help Can Give You a Chance
People with photosensitive epilepsy deserve the chance to work and live a healthy and stable life. If their employer failed to provide reasonable accommodations for their epilepsy and caused injuries, a lawsuit can ensure that these individuals get compensation. So please call or contact The Cochran Firm of the Mid-South about this problem right away.