Kentucky Brain Injury Lawyers
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is usually the result of a severe jolt or blow to a person’s head or an object penetrating the skull. TBIs involve physical, psychological, and cognitive consequences that may affect a person’s ability to work or even take care of their basic daily needs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2.8 million TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths occur in the United States in a typical year. TBIs frequently occur in car crashes, motorcycle wrecks, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, and many other incidents.
If you or your loved one has suffered a TBI in an accident that was someone else’s fault, your time to file a claim is limited under Kentucky law. It is in your best interest to get help from a qualified TBI injury lawyer as soon as possible.
The Paul Baker Law Office helps TBI victims in Barbourville and many other nearby communities in Kentucky. Call us or fill out an online contact form to have one of our experienced Kentucky personal injury attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.
Filing an Injury Claim for a Traumatic Brain Injury in Kentucky
People can suffer TBIs in any one of a number of different accidents. If your head was struck or jolted in an accident caused by someone else, you should seek immediate medical attention.
TBIs are especially complicated because victims do not always know that they have suffered these injuries at first. Symptoms may take time to appear. For this reason, medical care is important because a doctor may be able to identify a TBI and recommend proper treatment.
A person who has been diagnosed with a TBI may be able to pursue compensation for their injury from the negligent party. In most cases, this will require dealing with an insurance company. It is important that you avoid speaking to anyone especially an insurance company about your case until you have legal representation.
Insurers are notoriously difficult when it comes to TBI claims. They routinely offer meager settlements that do not truly account for the full lifetime of costs a victim will incur. The Paul Baker Law Office will aggressively seek a fair and full settlement that provides for all of your past, present, and future needs.
Filing for Disability Benefits After a Traumatic Brain Injury
Many TBI victims are permanently unable to work again and may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. A TBI victim generally must be unable to work for at least 12 months in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits.
TBI is included among the listing of impairments found in the Social Security Administration (SSA) “Blue Book.” In order to qualify for SSDI benefits under this listing, a victim’s medical records must demonstrate:
- Disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in an extreme limitation in the ability to stand up from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities, persisting for at least 3 consecutive months after the injury; or
- Marked limitation in physical functioning, and in one of the following areas of mental functioning, persisting for at least 3 consecutive months after the injury: Understanding, remembering, or applying information; interacting with others; concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or adapting or managing oneself.
Paul Baker Law Office helps clients throughout Kentucky obtain SSDI benefits, including TBI victims. Our firm understands the types of evidence necessary to submit successful claims. Paul Baker has decades of experience handling SSDI claims.
Compensation for a Traumatic Brain Injury
In civil actions filed against negligent parties, the insurance companies representing the negligent parties often agree to settlements rather than bearing the hefty costs of litigation. Some TBI cases do go to trial. There, the injury victim must prove their case in order to be awarded compensatory damages.
Compensatory damages typically involve economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are actual past or future losses that can be easily calculated and documented, while non-economic damages are more subjective types of harm.
Some of the most frequent kinds of economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Noneconomic damages may include disability or disfigurement, pain and suffering or even the effects suffered by a family as a result of the victim’s injury, for example.
In certain rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Kentucky Revised Statute § 411.184(2) establishes that punitive damages can only be recovered when the injured party proves by “clear and convincing evidence” that the at-fault party acted in an oppressive, fraudulent or malicious manner.
Common Causes of TBI in Kentucky
TBIs are caused by an object penetrating or making a hard impact with a person’s skull. A TBI can also result when a severe jolt causes the brain to slam into the inside of the skull.
Numerous situations can cause the types of accidents that result in TBIs. Some of the most common kinds of accidents that result in TBIs include:
In some cases, people may suffer TBIs as the result of a sport-related injury or criminal conduct such as assaults or gunshots. Virtually any type of incident in which a person’s head is struck can potentially result in a TBI.
People may suffer TBIs in various circumstances, including work or leisure. When a TBI is caused by the negligence of another party, the victim can be entitled to damages for the costs of treating their TBI and other related losses.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
TBIs can involve a wide variety of symptoms. In many cases, victims suffer from nausea, headaches, and loss of balance. Some victims suffer from involuntary eye movements, others have ringing in their ears, and certain people experience loss or diminished senses of smell or taste.
In some cases, TBI victims may lose consciousness for several minutes or even hours. Other cases may involve convulsions or seizures. Appetite changes and loss of stamina are common.
Additional physical symptoms can include numbness in a victim’s fingers and toes. Some victims may suffer from fluids draining from their nose or ears.
Cognitive or mental symptoms of a TBI may involve significant confusion, slurred speech, or agitation. Concentration may be difficult for some victims, while others can struggle with simple memory functions.
Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries
The simple truth is that there really is no hope of a complete recovery for many TBI victims. In most cases, the nature of these injuries is such that the damage is permanent and victims must learn to adapt to newfound limitations.
Most TBI cases begin in emergency rooms before victims are transferred to intensive care units and then specialty care facilities. TBI victims may be prescribed various medications, including analgesics, anti-anxiety agents, anti-coagulants, anti-convulsants, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, muscle relaxants, sedative-hypnotic agents, and stimulants.
Emergency surgery may be required in some cases as well. Surgery may be needed to remove clotted blood (hematomas), repair skull fractures, stop bleeding in the brain, or open a window in the skull to relieve pressure from brain swelling.
Most TBI victims will also require extensive rehabilitation. This may include working with an occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech and language pathologist, neuropsychologist, social worker or case manager, rehabilitation nurse, recreational therapist, vocational counselor, and others.
In the majority of cases, TBI victims first undergo acute rehabilitation before being transferred to post-acute rehabilitation. Sub-acute rehabilitation may be required in some circumstances, and day treatment and outpatient therapy are also options.
Long-Term Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury
According to the CDC, a TBI can cause a wide range of functional short-term or long-term changes affecting a person’s thinking, sensation, language, and emotion. The CDC states that a TBI can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders.
In many TBI cases, victims face lifelong struggles remembering or even processing information. These types of issues often make it difficult for victims to create new social relationships and maintain employment.
Over time, TBI victims also suffer from decreased cognitive function and loss of motor skills. Some victims may suffer from uncontrolled movements or spasticity (muscle stiffness).
If you or your loved one suffered a TBI in an accident caused by another party’s negligence in Kentucky, it is in your best interest to say absolutely nothing to any insurance company until you have legal representation. The Paul Baker Law Office understands the lifelong impact a TBI can have. We fight to help victims recover all of the compensation they are entitled to.
Contact a TBI Attorney in Kentucky Today For Help Getting Compensation!
Our firm is prepared to work tirelessly to help you obtain compensation for all of your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. You can have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call us or contact us online to receive a free consultation.