When the brain is injured, the effects can be devastating and life-changing, since the brain controls all our bodily and mental functions. Brain injuries can produce changes in personality, intellect, creativity, and memory, and severe injuries can lead to paralysis, inability to communicate, coma, or death. Those who survive may need life-long care, face financially draining medical and rehabilitation costs, and be unable to work again.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to another party’s negligence or fault, you may be entitled to compensation through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. While no amount of money can make up for the suffering a brain injury can cause, a successful brain injury claim can ease your financial burdens and pay for the care and treatment needed.
How do you know if you are in a position to sue for a brain injury? In Kentucky, individuals can seek legal recourse if they sustained a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. However, there may be many factors that go into causing an accident, and it is not always easy to prove who was at fault and where negligence came into play. In addition, the insurance companies and attorneys involved with defending their clients will take every opportunity to deny or minimize payments or even try to make it seem that the brain injury was your fault.
That is why anyone considering suing for a brain injury should consult with an experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney. Every case is different, but an attorney knows what to look for in building a legal claim and can assess the circumstances of how the injury happened, identify the parties who were at fault, determine liability, and guide you through the legal hurdles involved with winning the compensation you deserve.
Do not delay in seeking legal advice. Kentucky has a statute of limitations, a strict deadline on your ability to file an injury claim. According to the law (KRS 413.140), with only rare exceptions, you must file a lawsuit within one year or the courts will refuse to hear your case.
When Can I Sue for a Brain Injury?
The short answer is that you can sue for a brain injury that was caused by another party’s negligence or fault through actions or failure to act. There are many ways someone’s negligence can result in an accident that causes brain injuries. Common examples include:
Vehicle Accidents — If the crash was due to another driver’s negligence, such as situations where the other driver was speeding, intoxicated, or distracted, or where a poorly maintained roadway led to a crash, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Slip-and-Fall Accidents — Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their premises so they do not harm others, and to warn about and fix hazards they know or should have known about. If they fail to do so and a slip-and-fall accident is caused by the property owner’s negligence — such as failure to clear ice and show from walkways, floors left wet without warning signs, or broken steps and handrails — you can sue for compensation.
Defective Products – Companies that make and sell products do have a legal obligation to provide safe and effective products that do not cause harm when used correctly, and to warn of any dangers inherent in the product. When they fail to do so and brain injuries occur due to defective products — such as faulty car parts, unsafe children’s toys, or malfunctioning industrial equipment — the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may be held responsible through a product liability lawsuit.
Medical Malpractice — Medical professionals are expected to provide a certain standard of care to their patients. If a health care provider’s negligence leads to a brain injury, such as through mistakes made during surgery, administration of anesthesia or medications, or childbirth, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be possible.
Sports and Recreational Activities – If brain injuries occur during sports or recreational activities because of someone else’s reckless or intentional behavior, you may have legal grounds for a lawsuit. This can include incidents in organized sports leagues, amusement parks, or other recreational facilities.
Proving Negligence When Suing for a Brain Injury
Proving negligence is essential when suing for a brain injury or any other personal injury lawsuit. To win your case, your attorney would have to show the existence of the following legal elements:
- Duty — The defendant had a duty of care not to cause harm.
- Breach — This duty was breached due to actions or failure to act.
- Cause – This breach caused the accident that led to your brain injury.
- You suffered damages as a result.
Your attorney will look to prove negligence by doing careful investigations to obtain evidence –obtaining photos and videos of the accident scene, interviewing witnesses and first responders, examining medical, police, and safety records and reports, and hiring expert witnesses to reconstruct the accident and testify as to fault and the costs and effects of your brain injury on your life into the future.
In some cases, there are multiple parties who may have been negligent and contributed to the accident. They should all be named as defendants in your lawsuit, as they all may have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement.
Compensation in a Brain Injury Lawsuit
In a successful brain injury lawsuit, you may win an award that provides payment for all your damages, the expenses and losses you have suffered from the injury. Kentucky allows compensation for your:
Economic damages — calculable monetary losses, such as:
- Medical, hospital, therapy, and continuing care expenses
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Property damaged by the accident.
Non-economic damages — for losses that do not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact your life, such as:
- Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium, companionship, and enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death.
Punitive damages. In some rare cases involving a defendant’s gross negligence or malicious intent to harm, you may also receive punitive damages, intended to punish the at-fault party and deter similar actions in the future.
Amounts of Damages Awards – There are a wide range of damage awards possible in a brain injury case. The amount you may receive will depend on the individual circumstances involved in your case and factors such as the severity and permanence of the damage and the costs of care. Juries tend to be sympathetic when brain damage is severe, and awards often range from the thousands to millions of dollars. The skill of your attorney and ability to present your case is also a factor.
Call Our Brain Injury Attorney in Kentucky for Help
Suffering a brain injury is a traumatic experience that can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial consequences, and you should look for the best personal injury attorney you can find. At the Johnson Law Firm, we have successfully represented people from across Kentucky who have suffered serious brain injuries for decades. Attorney Billy Johnson has the skills, experience, and resources to help personal injury victims and their families get justice and win the compensation they need to put their lives back together, and he is ready to help you.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case and determine the best way to help. There are no costs to you unless and until we win, so call us today.