Kentucky Back Injury Lawyers
Because the back is connected to the shoulders, hips, and neck, it plays a key role in the function of the entire body. Back injuries can create many types of major challenges for those who are injured, including missed work and difficulty with daily tasks. Unfortunately, insurance companies notoriously underpay back injury claims – especially when back injury victims try to handle their claims alone.
If you or a loved one has suffered a back injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault in Kentucky, don’t talk to the insurance company until you get a lawyer. The Paul Baker Law Office helps people who have suffered back injuries in Barbourville and surrounding areas of Kentucky. Call us or contact our firm online for a completely free consultation and a thorough evaluation of your case.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Back Injury in Kentucky
After suffering a back injury and receiving medical attention, the next step is to contact a lawyer for help in taking legal action against those who caused the accident. An experienced attorney can conduct an independent investigation to determine the true cause of your injuries and who is at fault. Your attorney can also calculate the full extent of your losses.
The time in which you have to file a claim is limited. Kentucky Revised Statute § 413.140 states that any legal action seeking compensation for an injury caused by an accident be brought within one year of the date of the accident that caused the injury. Therefore it is very important not to wait too long to get a lawyer after you have been injured.
An attorney is also experienced to handle any settlement negotiations with insurance companies. Most insurance companies would rather agree to a settlement than take on the expense of litigation or even a trial.
Filing for Disability in Kentucky After a Back Injury
Some back injury victims could be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. In order to be eligible for SSDI, a person must be unable to work for at least 12 months. In determining whether your injuries qualify for SSDI, the Social Security Administration (SSA) relies on a list of impairments found in its “Blue Book.” Back injuries may qualify if they are listed under section 1.04 (relating to disorders of the spine) or section 1.08 (relating to soft tissue injuries).
In most back injury cases, the SSA will need to determine if your symptoms qualify as a disability under the Blue Book definition. They will also perform a residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment to determine any limitations you may have sustained as a result of your injury. Finally, they will evaluate the credibility of your SSDI back injury claim. The SSA will take into consideration the amount of time you have been receiving treatment for your back injury, how your back injury affects your life, and all medical treatments you have undergone to help alleviate your back pain.
The Paul Baker Law Office has been handling SSDI claims for clients throughout Kentucky for over two decades. Our firm understands the standards the SSA uses in evaluating back injury claims, and we know how to obtain the necessary medical records and documentation to help our clients obtain benefits.
Compensation for a Back Injury in Kentucky
For many people who have back injuries, compensation may come from a settlement with insurance company that covered the person responsible for the accident. This settlement is usually designed to cover the related treatment costs that an injured individual may face over their entire lifetime. If an insurance company fails to make a settlement offer that provides adequate compensation, the injured person can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If the victim proves their case, a court may then award compensatory damages.
In most cases, compensatory damages are some combination of economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages refer to calculable losses a victim has sustained or will incur, while noneconomic damages are for more subjective types of harm. Common economic damages include medical expenses and lost wages. Noneconomic damages may involve awards for disability or disfigurement, pain and suffering or even the effects suffered by a family as a result of the victim’s injury.
A court can also award punitive damages, but such awards are rare and require that the injured party prove that the at-fault party acted in an oppressive, fraudulent or malicious manner.
Damages for a back injury can also be complicated by a victim’s degree of fault for their injury. Kentucky uses a “pure comparative fault system” for negligence claims. This means that an injured party can recover damages even when they were primarily at fault. However, their damages are reduced by their degree of fault.
Common Causes of Back Injuries
Back injuries can include strains, sprains, fractures, and other painful conditions. Some cases may involve spinal cord injuries, while others may involve slipped, ruptured, or herniated discs, for example.
Some of the most frequent causes of back injuries in Kentucky include:
Back injuries may also stem from workplace accidents or person-to-person interactions such as assaults. In most cases, a person who suffers a back injury can seek damages from the person responsible.
Symptoms of a Back Injury
There are many symptoms associated with a back injury. The most obvious symptom is overwhelming pain. The pain may be a constant ache or can be sharp and localized. Because pain is not measurable, pain alone is seldom enough to prove most back injury claims. It is therefore important to seek treatment to document the injury.
Some victims of back injuries may also experience stiffness and difficulty standing. Other cases may involve bruises, swelling, or spasms. Those who are dealing with back injuries can experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Serious back injuries may even complicate a person’s ability to control bowel movements.
Treatments for Back Injuries
In most cases, treatment for a back injury will involve the patient’s rest and avoidance of putting any kind of pressure on the back. Your doctor may prescribe any one of a number of medications as part of your treatment. Recommended treatment may include over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, opioids, or other types of painkillers. Anti-inflammatory injections may also be utilized in some instances, and antidepressants may also be prescribed for mental anguish.
In certain severe cases, victims may require surgical procedures and extended hospital stays. Additional treatment for back injuries often involves long- or short-term physical therapy.
Long-Term Effects of a Back Injury
Perhaps the most pressing concern following a back injury is how the injury will affect a person’s ability to work and perform daily tasks. For some people, back injuries can create persistent lifelong problems that prevent them from being able to return to their previous job or way of life. A back injury can prevent or even discourage a person from taking part in recreational activities that they once enjoyed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 154,180 cases involving back injuries in one recent year. The United States Department of Labor said in a fact sheet entitled “Back Injuries –The Nation’s #1 Workplace Safety Problem” that BLS data showed more than 1 million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for 1 of every 5 workplace injuries or illnesses. The BLS also reported that 191,450 injuries involving time away from work in one year involved the back. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has reported that half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. The ACA estimates that Americans spend at least $50 billion annually on back pain.
If you or your loved one has sustained a back injury in an accident caused by someone else in Kentucky, it is in your best interest to get help from an attorney as quickly as possible. You should work with a personal injury attorney in order to seek the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Contact a Kentucky Back Injury Attorney Today!
The Paul Baker Law Office has been helping all types of injury victims in Kentucky for 25 years. Our firm understands the many ways that a back injury can disrupt your life. Call us or contact us online to have a lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free consultation.