You suffered a jarring blow to your body or head. Maybe it was whiplash. Maybe you had a concussion. If the result was a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it can leave lasting impacts on your memory, concentration, mood, sleep, vision, hearing, and more.
Your TBI could change your life. It could mean you can’t work. Now you’ve got to worry about your injury — and about money.
You deserve all the compensation you need to rest, recover, and secure your future.
Here are two ways you — or a loved one — can seek financial relief after a brain injury:
- A Personal Injury Claim. If you believe someone is at fault for your traumatic brain injury, you could pursue a personal injury lawsuit against them.
- Social Security Disability. If you can’t work for the long term because of your injury, you could get monthly benefit checks from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The compassionate brain injury lawyers at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer look for every option to help you —including a workers’ compensation claim if your injury happened on the job. We want you to have all the resources available to stabilize your life after a brain injury.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and let us explain how we can help.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Brain Injury?
Brain injuries can come from falls, car accidents, sports injuries, oxygen deprivation, exposure to toxins, medical malpractice, violent attacks, and explosions in combat situations.
If you believe someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you need to speak with a Kentucky brain injury attorney as soon as possible. Brain injuries are complicated, and for a personal injury claim, you’ll need a strong case showing exactly what caused your injury.
Personal injury lawsuits rely on proving negligence. You must show that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care (the law required them to be reasonably careful).
- The defendant failed to exercise reasonable care toward you.
- The defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care caused your injury.
- You suffered a measurable injury in the eyes of the law.
To ensure you have the evidence needed to show the connection between the defendant’s actions and your injury, it’s crucial that you work with an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney. The more time you give your attorney to gather proof, the stronger your case will be.
At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, we understand how scary it can be to think about how your life could change due to your injury. It takes courage to fight for your physical, emotional, and financial recovery during this difficult time. Our attorneys provide you with the Kentucky Courage you need to get through it.
Do I Qualify for SSDI or SSI with a Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury is on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) list of impairments for qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits. To qualify, you must demonstrate that, for at least three months after your injury, you suffered one of these problems:
- The inability to move 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.”
- Marked limitation in physical functioning and limitation in one of the following areas of mental functioning:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace
- Adapting or managing oneself
If your TBI did not leave lasting physical problems but instead caused neurological damage, you may still qualify for disability under the criteria for neurocognitive disorders.
Every TBI case is different. Social Security recognizes that, so if the administration denies your initial claim, the SSA might reconsider it in six months.
If an SSA claims examiner finds your injury doesn’t match a specific impairment, he or she will still assess how your symptoms are affecting your ability to function. The examiner will consider whether you could do your previous job — and whether you could do any other job.
At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, our traumatic brain injury lawyers will listen to you and take a look at the specifics of your situation at no charge.
Get your free case evaluation today.
Compensation for a Traumatic Brain Injury
Because a traumatic brain injury can have such wide-ranging and long-term effects on a victim’s life, compensation needs to be comprehensive. An insurance company may offer you a fast settlement to cover immediate medical expenses, but you and your family need to think about the future.
Our experienced head injury attorneys will thoroughly evaluate all the ways in which your injury will affect you ─ both now and in the future. We will work with medical specialists and other experts to support your claim for maximum compensation.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may demand payment for:
- Medical bills, including the costs of emergency care, surgeries, hospital stays, and doctor visits
- Rehabilitative therapy, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.
- Counseling for your mental and emotional recovery
- Long-term care needs, such as assisted living facilities
- Past and future lost wages
- Property damage, such as in motor vehicle accidents
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship with a spouse or partner
- Emotional distress
Kentucky law also allows a person to recover punitive damages when a defendant acted with oppression, fraud, or malice. These damages are intended to punish defendants for unforgivable conduct.
People who have suffered head injuries frequently have a solid foundation for filing a brain injury lawsuit. However, many cases are resolved through settlements rather than going all the way to trial. This is because insurance companies for the negligent parties often find settling out of court to be cheaper and less risky than going to trial.
At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, our TBI lawyers are skilled negotiators and respected litigators, so we will be prepared to fight for your best interests no matter what.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injury?
People can suffer head injuries in a wide variety of different situations. Even seemingly minor accidents can cause TBIs, so it is always recommended that people seek medical attention after any kind of impact to the head.
In general, some of the more common causes of brain injuries in Kentucky include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Car wrecks and other collisions are among the most common causes of TBIs. It is incredibly easy for a person in a motor vehicle during an accident to have their head strike, or be struck by, foreign objects.
- Slip and fall accidents. People can fall in many different ways. When a person slips (or trips) and then falls, the head can hit the ground hard, causing a brain injury.
- Medical malpractice. Failure to properly diagnose or treat a pulmonary embolism, failure to diagnose a stroke or heart attack, incorrect medication dosages, decreased oxygenation due to excessive bleeding, or failure to monitor a patient under anesthesia are all devastating medical errors that may result in TBIs.
- Workplace accidents. Many people know their work areas well and consider them to be safe places, but accidents on the job are incredibly common in Kentucky. Brain injuries are a common type of workplace injury.
- Violent acts. People who are the victims of physical assaults may suffer brain injuries. If the assault happened at work or on dangerous property, victims may be able to pursue compensation for damages.
No matter what type of accident caused your injury, you should consult with a head injury lawyer to learn about your legal rights. Contact our firm now for a free consultation.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
There are many symptoms that can signal a traumatic brain injury. The Mayo Clinic states that physical symptoms of mild TBIs can include:
- Brief loss of consciousness
- States of confusion and disorientation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Speech problems
- Difficulty sleeping
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Changes in the ability to smell
- Sensitivity to light or sound
With brain injuries that are classified as moderate to severe, the loss of consciousness could be much longer and headaches may be more persistent. Victims could also suffer from:
- Convulsions or seizures
- Fluid that drains from the nose or ears
- Weakness or numbness in the fingers and toes
- Possible lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
Some victims may be in a vegetative state or minimally conscious state. Many others deal with cognitive problems and issues with basic functioning.
Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury
Treatment for so-called mild brain injuries, such as concussions, usually starts with rest and possibly over-the-counter pain relievers. A doctor will let a person know when it safe to resume work and recreational activities again.
With a moderate-to-severe TBI, the nature of care could be completely different. Doctors will focus on making sure a victim is getting enough oxygen to the brain, as well as a proper blood supply.
Victims with moderate-to-severe brain injuries may be administered a number of drugs, including diuretics, anti-seizure drugs, or coma-inducing drugs.
Surgery could also be required if:
- Hematomas need to be removed
- A window to the skull needs to be created
- There is bleeding in the brain
- Skull fractures need to be repaired
Many TBI victims will require lengthy terms of rehabilitation, and they may work with a number of experts, including physical, occupational, and recreational therapists. Some people could also work with psychiatrists, social workers, or neuropsychologists.
TBI victims also frequently join support groups that allow them to discuss many other issues that they are dealing with relative to their injuries. Support groups help victims learn new ways to cope with certain problems.
How a Brain Injury Can Alter Your Life
Even mild brain injuries can have an incredibly disruptive effect on a person’s life. Brain injuries often make it difficult for victims to maintain their personal and professional relationships.
Some brain injuries also make it impossible for victims to obtain employment. The nature of such an injury can result in a loss of ability to focus, making it impossible for a person to satisfy the necessary requirements of certain jobs.
Even partaking in social activities can be more difficult for TBI victims, as they often suffer from self-doubt and discomfort regarding their abilities in certain activities. It is important to remember that the impairments caused by a brain injury are simultaneously social, cognitive, behavioral, emotional, communicative, and physical.
Types of Brain Injury
While brain injuries are often classified as being mild, moderate, or severe, there are also specific kinds of TBIs. They include:
- Concussion. Concussions are the most common types of brain injuries. They are often the result of mild blows to the head. Recovery typically takes a matter of days.
- Penetration injury. A penetrating brain injury involves some kind of object actually entering a person’s skull and impacting the brain.
- Contusion. Contusions are essentially severe concussions, but they are more localized injuries that pose a greater danger because of possible blood clotting issues.
- Coup-contrecoup. Coup-contrecoup injuries involve contusions both at the site of impact and the opposite side of the brain. This is generally the result of a force strong enough to cause a contusion at the site of impact, along with a second contusion as the brain strikes the opposite side of the skull.
- Diffuse axonal. A diffuse axonal TBI refers to the tearing of nerve tissue in the brain that results in a brain lagging behind the movement of the skull. It can be the result of shaken baby syndrome.
- Hypoxia. Hypoxia refers to deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues of the body. A hypoxic brain injury, therefore, involves a lack of oxygen to the brain.
- Anoxia. Anoxia is a complete absence of oxygen, and therefore a severe form of hypoxia. Anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain is completely deprived of oxygen. Without oxygen for too long a period, the neural cells will quickly begin to die off.
How a Kentucky Brain Injury Attorney Can Help You
A brain injury can trigger long-term changes in your life, including the way you behave. You may have less self-control and lower capacity to be caring toward other people. It can damage your relationships. It can leave you in need of constant supervision.
The costs, both emotional and financial, are high.
Some resources are available through programs like the Kentucky Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund, but people often find they need financial help beyond what’s offered by the state.
When everyday, hardworking people are hurting, the Kentucky brain injury attorneys at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer step up to help. Our traumatic brain injury law firm has the skills to handle every aspect of your case, including pursing a personal injury lawsuit, filing for Social Security Disability benefits, and seeking workers’ compensation, if applicable.
Tell us about your case now in a free consultation.