Over 15,000 people visited a Kentucky hospital with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 2018. Of that number, over 1,000 died. And this only accounts for hospital visits. Experts estimate that over five percent of Kentucky residents currently live with a head injury. That's over 200,000 people!
If you recently suffered a TBI in an accident caused by another party's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The Central Kentucky personal injury attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey can work with you through each step of the claim process.
Common Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
It's possible that you suffered a TBI without even knowing it. Perhaps the blow to your head didn't seem serious at the time. But now, you're developing symptoms. And they're getting worse. Every injury is unique. You might feel some of these right away. Or they might emerge over time.
Examples of symptoms characterizing TBIs include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Seizures or convulsions
- Confusion or disorientation
- Weakness or numbness
- Headaches, both acute and chronic
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurred vision
- Increased sensitivity
- Ringing in the ears
- Cognitive problems
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulty speaking
- Sleep issues
One of the first steps you should take is to talk with your doctor. Get a full assessment. And make sure your symptoms are documented.
What Might Cause a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Many situations can lead to a traumatic brain injury. They most often involve a blow to the head, but not always.
You may experience a bodily injury, like in a car crash, that also impacts your brain. Neck and shoulder pain are common with whiplash, for instance. But, the sharp movement can also injure the brain. It can strike against the inside of your skull. Sudden falls can cause concussions too.
Common causes of TBI include the following:
- Car accidents, like head-on collisions or getting rear-ended
- Workplace accidents, like getting hit by tools or machinery
- Slip and fall accidents, like slipping on ice and falling on your head
- Oxygen deprivation, like severely poor ventilation at a workplace
- Exposure to toxins, like in a commercial or industrial environment
- Explosions, like in combat situations with the military
- Violent acts, like an aggravated assault with a weapon
Regardless of the cause, a TBI could profoundly impact the rest of your life. It can affect your memory, mood, and ability to concentrate. This can affect if and how you can work. It can impact how well you can maintain personal and professional relationships.
If someone else is at fault for your TBI, they can to be held liable. A Kentucky brain injury lawyer at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey can work to get you the compensation you deserve.
Eligibility Requirements for a Kentucky Brain Injury Case
If someone else is liable for causing your brain injury, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against them. This works similarly to other personal injury claims. The difference is the symptoms are often both psychological and physical. The physical damage may not be clearly visible. But, a traumatic brain injury can profoundly affect your quality of life.
When considering whether a personal injury suit makes sense, you and your lawyer may consider the following factors:
- Statute of limitations. In Kentucky, the standard statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is one year. This means you have one year to file a suit in civil court. If the injury is related to a car accident, then the statute of limitations extends to two years. Your Central Kentucky personal injury attorney will help you determine the statute of limitations applicable to your claim. Any claim you make after these timelines are likely to be dismissed.
- Negligence. To present the strongest case possible to the court, you may need to show that the TBI was the result of negligence. Did the workplace ignore safety regulations? Was the person in the other vehicle driving recklessly or under the influence?
- Extent of injury. The more severe the brain injury, the stronger the case for the personal injury lawsuit. You and your lawyer need to demonstrate the negative impact that the TBI has had on your life, plus the impact it may continue to have in the future. For example, a severe brain injury that prevents you from continuing to work will have substantially higher damages than a mild TBI from which you are expected to fully recover.
- Comparative fault. Kentucky is a comparative negligence state. Blame is distributed as a percentage between parties who are to blame for the injury. For instance, a driver may have been speeding when they were hit by someone who ran a red light.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may seek payment for:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitative therapy
- Lost wages, both past and future
- Long-term care
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
What Documentation Do I Need for My Claim?
Every case is different. An experienced injury lawyer at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey can advise you on the best documentation to support your claim.
Your lawyer may will probably want to review your medical records, like doctor assessments and hospital reports. Your lawyer will also want to review relevant police reports. If the injury resulted from an accident with a drunk driver, the police report should cover this information. Witness statements and expert testimony can be valuable pieces of evidence too.