Frequently Asked Questions About Kentucky Personal Injury Lawsuits

Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Gray and White Law. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. We offer free, no obligation consultations.
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  • How often should a doctor visit a resident in a nursing home?

    Every nursing home resident in Kentucky is supposed to be under the supervision of a physician, but how this supervision works may be different for each individual resident.

    Kentucky nursing home regulations establish minimum standards of physician care that must be provided for each nursing home resident. It is the doctor’s job to evaluate the resident’s current and long-term needs and to prescribe a “planned regimen of medical care.” This planned regimen should include medications, treatments, rehabilitation services, special dietary modifications, special procedures recommended to maintain the health or safety of the patient, activities, and plans for continuing care and discharge.

    When a Doctor Should See a ResidentA doctor visits an elderly resident of a nursing home

    A doctor should see a resident any time that a medical need arises or a health concern is reported. While state regulations can’t predict when a medical need or health concern will occur, the regulations do provide for a minimum number of physician visits regardless of medical need. Specifically, every nursing home resident should be evaluated by a doctor:

    • At least once every 30 days for the first 60 days following admission to the nursing home.
    • Every 60 days following the first 60 days of admission unless justified and documented by the attending doctor in the resident’s medical record.

    This is the minimum amount that is required by regulation, but it does not prevent a doctor from seeing a resident more often.

    If the doctor is absent, then arrangements must be made for each resident’s medical care while the doctor is unavailable. The nursing home is required to have arrangements with at least one other doctor who can provide medical care in an emergency if a resident’s regular physician is not immediately available. This list of alternative doctor(s) must be kept at each nursing station.

    The Failure to Provide Physician Services May Be Relevant in a Nursing Home Negligence or Abuse Case

    Without proper medical care, a nursing home resident may suffer significant and unnecessary injuries. If your loved one has been hurt by a lack of medical care or has died in her nursing home, then it is important to find out exactly what happened and to hold the right people accountable for your loved one’s injury or death. Our experienced nursing home injury lawyers can help you do that. Please contact us at any time —day or night, all year long—to find out more or to schedule a free, initial consultation.

  • Who are the potential defendants in a delayed C-section case?

    delayed c-section birth injury lawsuitIf your baby was hurt because your Caesarean section (C-section) was delayed, you may be able to file a birth injury case and your baby may be able to recover damages for the injuries that were suffered. However, before your baby can make such a recovery, you have to know exactly why the C-section was delayed and who is legally responsible.

    The Defendants Are Not the Same in Every Case

    Instead, the person or facility that should be named as a defendant in your case depends on why your C-section was delayed. Depending on the facts of your case, the defendant(s) may include:

    1. Nurses. If nurses fail to check on a laboring mom frequently enough, fail to identify a baby (or mother) in distress, or fail to notify a doctor of any concerns in a timely manner, they may be negligent.
    2. Doctors. If doctors fail to diagnose a medical emergency or fail to promptly treat the medical emergency, they may be negligent.
    3. Hospitals. If hospitals fail to have operating rooms, staff, medications, or other necessary provisions ready for emergency C-sections, they may be negligent.

    More than one defendant may be named in your lawsuit if more than one person or facility was legally responsible for your delayed C-section and your baby’s injuries.

    Get the Evidence You Need Before You File a Case

    If you file a case against someone who is not legally responsible for what happened to your child, you can expect the defendant you name to file a motion to dismiss with the court. The court will likely grant the motion and dismiss your case without awarding any recovery to your child.

    This problem can be prevented, however, if you gather evidence to prove who is liable for your child’s injuries. Our experienced birth injury lawyers and law firm nurse can ask the right questions and review the right documents to get the evidence you need to identify the right defendants and begin your claim. For more information, please call us or contact us via this website today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

  • My child was hurt by a specific staff member at daycare. Is the daycare responsible for my child’s injuries?

    In all cases, your child’s injuries are tragic and should never have happened. However, who is liable for your child’s injuries depends on the unique facts surrounding how he got hurt. It is important to make sure that a full investigation is done so that you can hold the responsible party (or parties) accountable and so that you can get your child the full and fair recovery that he deserves.

    Our experienced attorneys are committed to completing a full investigation for each of our clients. Our team will get all of your questions answered, get a full understanding of what happened to your child, and determine who should be held responsible for your child’s injuries. Then, we will use that information to make sure that your child recovers for his past, current, and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering and other damages.

    So Who Is Responsible?

    In the situation that you describe, the daycare may be responsible if the daycare:

    • Did not provide the required training for the staff member and the lack of training contributed to your child’s injury.
    • Was understaffed at the time of your child’s injury.
    • Did not provide sufficient supervision for staff members.
    • Failed to conduct the required background checks prior to hiring the staff member.
    • Maintained an unsafe facility that contributed to your child’s injury.

    Additionally, the individual staff member may be responsible if she acted criminally or if she acted outside the scope of her employment.

    Don’t Contact the Daycare Directly

    Instead, let our experienced lawyers do it on behalf of your family so that you can be confident that all of your questions will be answered and that all applicable evidence will be maintained.

    Please contact us today for a free consultation about your child’s rights and please know that we will not charge you an hourly fee for our services. Instead, we will not get paid unless your child makes a financial recovery. Let us help you through this difficult time and, together, we will help your child recover damages from the parties that caused his injuries.
     

  • My loved one is a picky eater. Does the nursing home need to make accommodations?

    A nursing home resident is not enjoying the food he has been givenNursing homes have a duty to provide food that meets the dietary needs of each resident. This includes dietary modifications or restrictions as prescribed by the attending doctor. If you have any specific concerns about your loved one’s diet, then you should discuss those concerns with your loved one’s doctor and with the nursing home facility before your loved one becomes a resident.

    There Are Certain Things Kentucky Nursing Homes Must Do

    Some facilities are better than others at making food accommodations. However, Kentucky regulations require that nursing homes in the Commonwealth:

    • Provide meals that are “planned, written, and rotated to avoid repetition.”
    • Account for the resident’s sex, age, activity level and physician orders when serving meals to an individual resident.
    • Provide modified diets if there is a written order from a doctor, an advanced practice registered nurse, or a physician assistant.
    • Prepare foods in such a way as to conserve nutritive value, flavor, and appearance.
    • Serve food “attractively” and at the proper temperature.
    • Serve food in a form that meets the individual resident’s needs.

    The nursing home also has a duty to provide a nutritional substitution if a resident refuses the food that is served.

    How to Know If Your Loved One Is Eating

    You can’t be present for every meal, but you can be aware of signs that your loved one is not eating. Some signs may include:

    • Unexplained weight loss.
    • Wounds that don’t heal as expected.
    • Weakness.
    • Dizziness.
    • Depression.

    Not eating enough can be dangerous and it can lead to malnutrition or dehydration.

    What to Do If Your Loved One Isn’t Eating

    The nursing home is required to monitor what each resident is eating and to address any problems before malnutrition or dehydration creates a serious health risk. If your loved one is a picky eater or is not receiving proper nutrition in a Kentucky nursing home, then it is important to talk to your loved one’s doctor and the food service personnel at your loved one’s nursing home to see what can be done before your loved one suffers a serious injury.

    To learn more about how you can help your loved one, please download a free copy of our guide, Fighting Back Against Nursing Home Abuse: What Families Need to Know to Help Their Loved One today.

  • My baby died at birth. Should I file a wrongful death case?

    Preparing for childbirth surgeryIt depends on why your child died. Whether your child died because of a medical condition that could not have been prevented or a birth injury caused by a nurse, doctor, or hospital, one thing is true: you are suffering a tragic and heartbreaking loss.

    However, not all newborn fatalities result in birth injury wrongful death lawsuits

    Do You Have a Case?

    You may have a wrongful death claim if someone else’s negligence was responsible for your child’s death. More specifically, you may have a wrongful death claim if you can prove that the defendant whom you believe is responsible for your child’s death:

    • Owed your child a duty of care. Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and others have a responsibility to provide mothers, unborn babies, and newborn babies with reasonable care.
       
    • Breached the duty of care by failing to act like a reasonable person would in similar circumstances. A doctor, nurse, hospital, or other responsible party may be liable for any injuries that result if they fail to exercise reasonable care.
       
    • Caused your child’s death by breaching the duty of care. In other words, your child would not have died but for the actions (or inactions) of the defendant.

    Additionally, you will need to establish that you have a legal right to damages.

    Why You Would File a Wrongful Death Claim

    It may be overwhelming to think about filing a wrongful death case. Why should you put yourself through the stress of filing a claim when nothing can bring your child back?

    There are a few reasons. For example:

    • You may be able to prevent a similar tragedy from happening to another child and another family.
    • Holding the person(s) responsible for your child’s death accountable may help you move forward.
    • You may be able to recover for any financial expenses you incurred because of someone else’s negligence. This could include, for example, medical bills and funeral costs.

    Deciding whether or not to file a wrongful death case after a fatal birth injury is a big decision, but it is not one that you have to make alone. Please contact our experienced birth injury lawyers at any time—24/7/365—via this website or by phone to learn more about your rights and about how to make the decision that is right for your family.

  • How long do I have to file a case if my child was hurt at daycare?

    Children play with toys at their daycare facilityYour time to pursue a civil case against the daycare is limited by the Kentucky personal injury statute of limitations. According to this law, you have one year from the date of the injury (or the date when you reasonably should have known about the injury) to file your lawsuit.

    What This Means—and What It Doesn’t

    The statute of limitations requires you to file your lawsuit within one year, but it does not require you to resolve your lawsuit within one year. Accordingly, even if you are currently negotiating with the daycare or its insurer, it is important to make sure that your complaint is properly filed in state court before the year ends. Settlement negotiations may continue after the complaint is filed.

    If you do not file a lawsuit on your child’s behalf within one year and you try to do so after the statute of limitation expires, then the defendant will file a motion to dismiss your claim. That motion will be granted by the court—and you will automatically lose your case—unless a relevant exception applies to the statute of limitations.

    Don’t Wait for Your Child to Take Action

    Your child was the one who was hurt, and the lawsuit that you could file is on behalf of your child. Since minors do not generally have the legal authority to file a lawsuit in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the law allows a minor child to file a personal injury claim within one year of his 18th birthday if no such case has been brought on his behalf before his 18th birthday.

    While the law allows this tolling of the statute of limitations, it is not in your child’s best interest for you to wait and have your child bring his own daycare injury lawsuit. The time between when your child is hurt at daycare and his 18th birthday is too significant. Evidence that could have been available will be unattainable, and your child will be denied a legal recovery during all of the years between the time of his injury and his recovery.

    Accordingly, as your child’s parent or legal guardian, it is up to you to protect your child’s rights by filing a daycare injury lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. For more information or for help filing a case, please contact us soon as possible via this website or by phone for a free, no-obligation consultation.

  • My loved one died from pneumonia in a nursing home. Could I have a wrongful death case?

    Empty hospital bedIt depends. While every pneumonia-related nursing home death is sad, not every pneumonia-related death is the result of nursing home abuse or neglect. In order to bring a successful wrongful death claim, you will need to prove that your loved one’s death was the result of nursing home abuse or neglect.

    More specifically, you will need to prove that the nursing home failed to act with reasonable care toward your loved one and that the failure to act with reasonable care resulted in your loved one’s death.

    How Pneumonia Can Be Caused by Nursing Home Neglect

    People in nursing homes are typically more susceptible to pneumonia than people in the general population. While nursing home staff do not purposely infect residents with pneumonia, nursing home neglect may allow the infection to progress and become fatal. For example, nursing home staff should be aware of the symptoms of pneumonia and take prompt action to have a qualified medical provider examine any resident who could have this type of infection. Prompt treatment could prevent the infection from becoming fatal and the failure to provide this treatment could be nursing home neglect.

    Find Out More Before You File a Wrongful Death Case

    In order to file a successful wrongful death claim, you are going to have to prove that it was nursing home neglect and not the pneumonia itself that killed your loved one. This is going to require evidence including medical records, nursing home records, and witness testimony.

    Our experienced nursing home wrongful death attorneys understand how these cases work and would be pleased to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights. If you have a viable wrongful death claim, then we will work hard to make sure that the nursing home is held accountable for your loved one’s death. Please contact us any time—24 hours a day—to learn more.

  • My baby was injured at birth. How can I get help if I can’t afford to pay an attorney?

    Woman on the phone while holding her baby in her armsThe last thing that you want to think about right now is money. Your child has been hurt because someone who was supposed to care for your child was negligent. Your child is now suffering from an injury that never should have happened and the doctor, nurse, midwife, or hospital that is responsible for your child’s injuries is refusing to acknowledge the negligence and provide your child with the fair recovery that your child deserves.

    It is up to you to protect your child’s future. While you can’t undo the harm that has been done, you can fight for your child’s fair recovery of past, current and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other damages.

    You Can Help Your Child Regardless of Your Ability to Pay a Lawyer

    You have one chance to make a fair recovery for your child and that opportunity should not be dependent on your income or your ability to pay an hourly fee. Instead, our experienced birth injury lawyers can help you by:

    • Providing a completely free, no-obligation consultation. We want you to know more about your rights and to make an informed decision about how best to protect your child’s future. Accordingly, before you make a decision about whether or not to hire a lawyer, we will sit down with you—for free—and discuss your potential claim.
       
    • Working on a contingency fee basis. We will not charge you an hourly fee. Instead, we will enter an agreement with you known as a contingency fee agreement. If we settle your child’s case or win your child’s lawsuit then we will be paid a previously agreed upon percentage of the settlement amount or court verdict. You will not have to pay anything out of pocket while your case is pending.

    You can expect that the medical provider or hospital that was responsible for your child’s injury is going to be represented by counsel. You deserve the same advantage. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help you protect your child’s future.

  • How long does a personal injury case take in Kentucky?

    Large red alarm clockIn 2016, it took an average of 13.23 months from the time a civil lawsuit was filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court to the time the lawsuit was resolved. However, this statistic only accounts for the time once a lawsuit is filed and does not begin from the date of injury. Additionally, it is only the average amount of time for one circuit court in Kentucky. Many cases in Jefferson County and throughout the Commonwealth took shorter or longer amounts of time to resolve.

    Five Things That Influence How Long Your Case Will Take

    After you’ve been hurt, the following things may influence how long it will take until your case is resolved:

    • The extent of your injuries. A prompt evaluation of your injuries is important. Then, doctors must have adequate time to diagnose your injuries and to determine your prognosis before a lawsuit can be resolved. It can be frustrating to wait until a diagnosis is made, but it is important. If you settle before you know the full extent of your injuries, then you may settle for less than your case is worth.
       
    • The details of your accident. It may take longer to gather evidence and to prove negligence in a complicated crash.
       
    • When you contact an attorney. An attorney can help move your case along by gathering evidence, negotiating with the insurance company, and filing your case with the court in a timely manner.
       
    • Insurance company negotiations. Your case may be resolved more quickly if your lawyer is able to effectively negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
       
    • Trial scheduling. If your case goes to trial, then it may take months for the case to be scheduled on the court’s docket.

    While it can be frustrating to wait for a personal injury recovery, you don’t want to accept a settlement offer without speaking with an attorney first. Once you accept a settlement offer then it is binding and you will be unable to recover additional compensation for your injuries in the future.

    Our experienced personal injury lawyers know how to keep claims moving with insurance companies and courts in Kentucky. We fight hard for the full and fair recoveries that each of our clients deserve. Throughout the process of resolving a claim, we keep each client apprised of the case’s status and we stay on top of the insurance company and the court to keep each case moving as quickly as possible. To learn more about how the timeline for your own claim, please contact us directly via this website or by phone for a free, no-obligation consultation.

  • I was in an accident with a government vehicle in Kentucky. Can I recover damages?

    Police car travels through congested trafficYes, you may be able to recover damages if you are injured because of the negligent actions of a driver in government vehicle. However, the rules for pursuing damages are different than they are in a personal injury case involving private vehicles. For example:

    • Your time to file a case may be different than what is typically allowed by the Kentucky Statute of Limitations.
    • You may need additional evidence to prove your claim.
    • The filing procedures may be different than they are in a claim involving private vehicles.

    Accordingly, it is important to know about your rights and to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

    Why Actions Against the Government Are Different

    Both the state and federal government are protected by a concept known as sovereign immunity. This protects the government from lawsuits filed by its citizens unless a specific law exists that creates an exception to that immunity. Such laws do exist for personal injury (tort) actions against the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. However, while the laws allow private citizens to sue for personal injuries, they also create special rules for pursuing such a recovery.

    Suing the U.S. Government

    If you are hurt in a crash with a mail truck or another federal vehicle, then you may be able to pursue a recovery pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act. The Federal Tort Claims Act allows you to recover if you can prove that:

    • The driver was acting within the scope of the driver’s duties to the federal government.
    • The driver was negligent pursuant to Kentucky law.

    Before you can file a lawsuit, you must pursue an administrative remedy. This begins when you file Standard Form 95 within two years of your injury. The agency has six months to respond to your claim. If the agency decides not to compensate you or you do not hear back from the agency, then you have six months to file your claim in federal district court.

    Suing the Kentucky Government

    Since 1891, Section 231 of the Kentucky Constitution has allowed the General Assembly to create laws that allow lawsuits against the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Pursuant to that authority, Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 44.070 establishes how a lawsuit may be filed against the Commonwealth. Personal injury claims typically must be filed with the Kentucky Claims Commission (previously the Board of Claims) within one year of the date of injury. If you disagree with the decision of the Commission and your claim is worth more than $1,000, then you may have the right to appeal to the Kentucky Circuit Court.

    You may also be able to recover damages if you hurt by a local government vehicle such as a police car or school bus. Each town, city, and county has specific procedures on how to file this type of accident claim.

    Some cases—especially cases against emergency vehicles such as fire engines—may be more difficult than other types of motor vehicle accident cases. However, regardless of which government vehicle was involved in your crash, it is important to get help from an experienced Kentucky lawyer who knows how to pursue damages from the government and who will fight hard for your recovery. To learn more, please contact us any time—24/7/365—to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team.