Frequently Asked Questions About Kentucky Personal Injury Lawsuits
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Are criminal background checks required for nursing home employees in Kentucky?
Yes. Nursing home employees whose duties may involve one-on-one contact with a nursing home resident should have criminal background checks completed before they are hired. The only exception to this law is for employees who are contracted to work at the nursing home and are already subject to a criminal background check as a condition of professional licensure. For example, a doctor may have already completed a criminal background check as a condition of being licensed to practice medicine, so would not have to undergo another check by the nursing home.
What Is a Criminal Background Check for a KY Nursing Home Employee?
Kentucky State Regulations define a criminal background check as, “a state and national fingerprint-supported criminal history background check performed by the Department of Kentucky State Police (KSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and includes a comparison of the applicant’s fingerprints with any fingerprints that may be on file with the KSP or FBI” (See 906 KAR 1:190).
How Is a Criminal Background Check Done for Kentucky Nursing Home Employees?
Kentucky’s criminal background check system is known as the Kentucky Applicant Registry and Employment Screening System (KARES). Once an application for a background check is submitted to KARES, the applicant will be notified of where to go to be fingerprinted. The applicant’s fingerprints are then compared to the fingerprints in the KSP and FBI systems. This background check does not only happen during the employment application process. KARES offers a “continuous assessment” feature that will provide a notification if an active employee is arrested.
Criminal Background Checks Are Important, but They Won’t Always Prevent Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
National criminal background checks may prevent people with criminal histories from working in Kentucky nursing homes. However, it won’t prevent the employment of people who have committed crimes and not been caught, people who may abuse other people for the first time, or people who may be negligent.
Therefore, even if a criminal background check was done, abuse and neglect injuries are possible. If your loved one is in a nursing home, we encourage you to know the signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse and to learn what you can do if you suspect nursing home abuse by reading our free report, Fighting Back Against Nursing home Abuse: What Families Need to Know to Help Their Loved One.
We also encourage you to contact us directly to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced lawyers. We will investigate what happened to your loved one, evaluate whether the nursing was liable for your loved one’s injuries, and fight hard for your loved one’s fair recovery.
How does the settlement process work if my child was injured at birth?
Your child has been hurt by the negligence of a doctor, a nurse, or a hospital. There is no doubt in your mind about the cause of your child’s injuries or about the extent of your child’s injuries. Your child—and your whole family—have suffered enough due to someone else’s negligence. As much as you want to go back to prevent your child’s injuries, you can’t do that. Instead, you can only look to the future, and your child’s future depends on a fair recovery for the injuries that have been suffered.
A Fair Birth Injury Settlement Is Not Automatic
While you are fighting for a fair settlement for your child, the insurance company has another motive. The insurance company wants to minimize your child’s recovery so that it can maximize its profits. The insurance company makes more money if it pays you as little as possible for your claim. It is up to you to convince the insurance company to compensate you fairly.
How to Fight for a Fair Birth Injury Case Settlement
Typically, the settlement process goes like this:
- The settlement process begins when your birth injury lawyer sends a demand letter to the insurance company. The demand letter will explain why you are filing a claim, it will describe the extent of your child’s damages, and it will state the amount of compensation you are seeking from the insurance company.
- The insurance company will likely respond to your demand letter by describing the reasons why the doctor, nurse, or hospital was not negligent and by arguing that your claim for damages is too high.
- You will respond to the issues raised by the insurance company.
- The insurance company will make a settlement offer.
- You will make a counter offer.
Those last two steps will be repeated until a settlement can be reached or until it is apparent that a settlement cannot be reached and that your child’s birth injury claim will need to be resolved in a Kentucky courtroom.
The Stakes Are High in Birth Injury Settlements
Once you say something or provide something to the insurance company, you can’t undo it. Thus, it is important that your child’s interests are represented by experienced legal counsel from the beginning of the settlement process. Do not try to do this on your own and then hire a lawyer—you may have inadvertently already compromised your child’s recovery.
To learn more about settling your child’s birth injury case, please contact the experienced lawyers of Gray and White Law at any time. We are here for you 24/7/365. Call us or reach out to us via this website today to schedule a free, no-obligation meeting with us at your convenience so that you can be sure that your child’s rights are protected.
My child with special needs choked in a Kentucky daycare. Is the daycare liable for his injuries?
We are sorry to hear that your child went through this terrifying incident and suffered injuries as a result. You understandably want to hold the adults responsible for supervising your child accountable for the injuries your child has suffered. Whether the daycare is liable for your child’s eating-related injuries depends, however, on whether the daycare or its staff was negligent.
How to Know If the Kentucky Daycare Was Negligent
A full investigation will need to be done into why your child choked, how your child was being supervised at the time he choked, when the staff realized your child was choking, and what the staff did at that time. Our staff nurse and experienced daycare injury lawyers can do this investigation for you and look at all of the relevant evidence. That evidence might include:
- Whether the daycare knew, or should have known, about your child’s special needs.
- Whether your child had an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) that covered feeding and whether the IFSP was followed.
- Staff to child ratios at the time your child choked.
- The certifications and trainings of the staff who were present at the time your child choked.
- How quickly staff recognized your child was choking and what actions they took.
- What food was served to your child.
This evidence, and any other evidence that is relevant to your child’s case, will be carefully analyzed in order to determine if the daycare exercised reasonable care with regard to your child.
A Failure to Exercise Reasonable Care That Results in Injury Is Negligence
If we find that the daycare failed to exercise reasonable care and that this failure caused your child’s choking injury, we may be able to pursue a daycare negligence claim on your child’s behalf.
To learn more, please contact us today for a free consultation and download our free legal guide, A Parent’s Guide to Daycare Injury Cases: How to Obtain Justice When a Kentucky Daycare Facility Harms Your Child.
My loved one died after choking in a nursing home. Why should I file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Your loved one died not because of her age or illness, but instead because of a choking incident at her nursing home. Right now, you are mourning the loss of your loved one and, before you can decide whether or not to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home, you need to understand why you might want to take action. After all, a wrongful death lawsuit will not bring your loved one back and you do not need any additional stress in your life during this already difficult time.
But There Are Benefits to Consider
As you consider whether or not to pursue legal action, it is important to think about the potential benefits of a wrongful death case. The benefits include:
- Compensation for any financial losses related to your loved one’s death. This includes, but is not limited to, any medical costs your loved one incurred as a result of the choking incident.
- Compensation for any pain and suffering caused by your loved one’s death. Your loved one’s physical pain and emotional suffering prior to death may be included in a wrongful death recovery.
- Encouraging the nursing home to develop safer policies and procedures. As a result of legal action, the nursing home may develop new or revised policies and procedures to prevent future choking incidents.
Other benefits, such as compensation for your family’s suffering and your loved one’s funeral costs, may also be possible.
Make the Informed Decision That Is Right for You and Your Family
Every potential wrongful death case is unique. What happened to your loved one, the potential evidence against the nursing home, your potential legal recovery, and your own opinions need to be weighed carefully so that you can make a fully informed decision about whether to pursue a claim. Our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers are here to help you make this difficult decision. As you consider your options, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Get the information you need so that you can make the choice that is right for your family. Call us, or contact us via this website at any time 24/7/365, to learn more.
Is infant dystonia disorder a birth injury?
Some children who are diagnosed with infant dystonia disorder have suffered a birth injury. To know for sure, it’s important to understand the condition and determine what may have caused it.
Infant dystonia disorder is a neurological condition with a variety of known causes. Those causes include:
- A genetic mutation of the DYT1 gene
- Oxygen deprivation during birth
- Adverse drug reactions
- Lead or carbon monoxide poisoning
Knowing If Your Child Suffered a Birth Injury
It’s not always easy to determine if your child’s infant dystonia disorder occurred due to medical negligence. If he suffered oxygen deprivation or contracted an infection because a doctor, nurse, or hospital failed to act with reasonable care, it’s possible that your child’s condition could be considered a birth injury.
Even if you don’t remember every detail about your child’s birth, Gray & White will conduct a full investigation into what happened. Our team includes a staff nurse and experienced birth injury lawyers; we know what to look for in medical records; and we know what questions to ask to get the necessary information to help you determine whether a birth injury occurred.
What to Do If Your Child Suffers a Birth Injury
If your child suffered infant dystonia disorder because of medical negligence, we will advise you of your rights and the potential for a financial recovery. Your child may be compensated for medical costs, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering. However, in order to recover these damages, you will need to take action on your child’s behalf. We will be here to your family every step of the way.
Contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. You can also learn more about your child’s rights by downloading our free report, Family First: How to Get the Help You Need After a Birth Injury to Your Child Happens in Kentucky.
My loved one suffered a burn injury because her nursing home staff was negligent. What can she recover if she pursues a lawsuit?
The exact amount that your loved one will recover will depend on many factors including, but not limited to: the extent of her injury, the quality of the evidence available to prove what caused her burn injury, and the legal arguments that she makes during the settlement process or in court. Given these variables, it would be impossible to tell you exactly how much your loved one will recover if she pursues a case, but we can tell you what types of damages she may be able to recover and how to find out what her specific compensation may include.
Types of Damages in Nursing Home Negligence Cases
Your loved one may be able to recover compensation that includes:
- Healthcare costs. This includes all past, current, and future medical costs related to the burn injury. It includes, but is not limited to doctors’ appointments, hospitalizations, surgeries, and medications. It may also include medical costs associated with any secondary infections that were caused by the burn injury.
- Funeral costs. If your loved died from a burn injury, then funeral costs may be included in her recovery.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering. These may have been your loved one’s most significant damages, and they should be fully compensated in a nursing home neglect case.
- Other costs. If your loved one incurred any other costs, such as expenses related to changing nursing homes, then those costs may be included in her recovery.
Recovery of these damages will not be automatic, however. Instead, the nursing home, the nursing home’s insurer, and the nursing home’s legal team are likely to fight the allegations and to fight against your loved one’s fair recovery. Your loved one may lack the strength to fight back, but you can help her by learning what her case may be worth and how an experienced nursing home lawyer can help her.
How to Find Out What Your Loved One’s Case May Be Worth
Our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers will review your loved one’s case and help you understand the potential value of her unique recovery. Call us or contact us via this website to schedule your free and confidential consultation today. Then, you and your loved one can make an informed decision about whether to move forward with a nursing home negligence claim.
My infant suffered from meningitis. Is that a birth injury? Can my child make a legal recovery?
It depends on how your child contracted meningitis. If your child has developed meningitis because a doctor, nurse, or hospital was negligent, then your child may have suffered a birth injury and may be able to make a legal recovery.
Meningitis Is a Dangerous Condition
Meningitis is a virus or a bacterial infection that spreads to the membranes around the spinal cord and brain and causes inflammation. It is a very serious medical condition that can result in brain damage or death. While treatments are available, an accurate and prompt diagnosis of meningitis may be difficult in newborns.
The symptoms of infant meningitis include fever, sleepiness, and difficulty eating. These symptoms can also be signs of other more common conditions and doctors may be hesitant to perform a lumbar puncture or spinal tap to test for meningitis. Other symptoms, such as confusion and stiff neck may be difficult to ascertain in infants. Therefore, there can be a dangerous delay in diagnosing meningitis among newborns
But Infant Meningitis May Have Been Preventable
While there are many causes of meningitis, many cases of infant meningitis are caused by exposure to group B strep and E. coli. Pregnant women may have group B strep infections without any symptoms or knowledge that they have the infection. Accordingly, pregnant women should be tested—typically between the 35th and 37th week of pregnancy—to determine if they have group B strep. If the test is positive for group B strep, then the mother should be treated with antibiotics to decrease the risk of passing the infection to her child during birth.
The failure to test or to treat group B strep or the failure to diagnose an E. coli infection and watch for signs of meningitis in the newborn may result in a birth injury that could have been prevented with reasonable care and the doctor, or other medical provider, may be liable for damages resulting from the infant’s meningitis infection.
What To Do If Your Infant is Diagnosed With Meningitis
If your newborn has meningitis, then it is important to find out why and to take action to protect your child’s right to a fair recovery for any injuries that he has sustained.
You can take the first step by contacting our birth injury law firm for help. Our experienced staff nurse and birth injury attorneys will make sure that your child’s rights are protected. To learn more, please contact us any time—24/7/365—to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Additionally, you can learn more about birth injury cases in Kentucky by downloading our free guide, Family First: How to Get the Help You Need After a Birth Injury to Your Child Happens in Kentucky.
Should I file a lawsuit if I have already filed a complaint against a Kentucky daycare?
Yes. Complaints filed with the Kentucky Division of Regulated Child Care are important, but they won’t have the same outcome as a daycare abuse or negligence case that you file on behalf of your child who has been hurt.
Possible Outcomes of a State Investigation
Kentucky regulations set forth the penalties that may be imposed on a daycare center that is found to have violated specific safety regulations. A child care center that is found to have violated a safety regulation will be issued a statement of deficiency that explains the violation. Daycare providers that are found to have committed a:
- Type A violation must correct the violation within five working days and are subject to a civil penalty of no more than $1,000 per violation.
- Type B violation must provide a written corrective action plan with 10 days and are subject to a civil penalty or no more than $250 for each occurrence.
Any civil penalties will be paid to the Kentucky State Treasurer and not directly to the children who were hurt.
Possible Outcomes of a Civil Lawsuit
While complaints are important and may result in dangerous violations being fixed, they will not result in your child’s fair compensation for any injuries that your child suffered. In order to get your child the recovery that he deserves for past, current, and future healthcare costs, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages, you will need to pursue a civil lawsuit on behalf of your child.
Our experienced daycare injury lawyers can help you understand your legal options and take the necessary steps to protect your child’s future. We will make sure that complete investigation is done and that your child’s rights are protected whether or not the state has already investigated any allegations of wrongdoing.
To learn more, we encourage you to read our free report, A Parent’s Guide to Daycare Injury Cases: How to Obtain Justice When a Kentucky Facility Harms Your Child, and to contact us directly at any time to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
What should I do if my child suffers a brain injury at a Kentucky daycare?
You sent your child to daycare and you expected to pick your child up without a life-changing injury. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Your child has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury because of something that happened while your child was in daycare, and it is up to you to take action during this traumatic time.
What You Can Do to Help Your Child After a Brain Injury is Sustained at Daycare
Since your child is too young to take action alone, it is up to you as your child’s parent and protector to help your child recover for his significant injury. Specifically, it is up to you to:
- Get your child the necessary medical care. Immediate medical attention is important so that your child can receive a proper diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan to prevent the injury from worsening.
- Find out how your child’s accident and resulting injury happened. You need to know how your child was hurt. Some brain injuries do happen from unavoidable accidents. However, others happen because of nursing home negligence or abuse. For example, a daycare may be negligent if staff let your child climb on a chair or unsafe playground equipment, and daycare abuse may have occurred if your child suffers a brain injury from shaken baby syndrome or because of other intentional actions of daycare staff members.
- Find out whether your child may be able to make a legal recovery. If the daycare or a staff member was negligent or abusive and that negligence or abuse resulted in your child’s brain injury, then your child has the right to recover legal damages for the injury that was suffered.
- Talk to daycare injury lawyer. Daycare injury cases can be hard to prove. You need information from the daycare and the daycare may be unwilling to provide it unless they are legally compelled to do so. An experienced lawyer can help you get the evidence that you need, negotiate with insurance companies, and go to court, if necessary, to protect your child’s fair recovery.
Unfortunately, your child is not alone. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, brain injuries cause about 2,685 deaths, 37,000 hospitalizations, and 435,000 emergency room visits for children age under age 14 annually.
If your baby has been hurt, then we encourage you to learn about your rights as soon as possible so that you can make the important decisions that will impact your child’s future. You can begin immediately by reading our free report, A Parent’s Guide to Daycare Injury Cases: How to Obtain Justice When a Kentucky Daycare Facility Harms Your Child, or by calling us anytime—24/7/365—to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and empathetic injury lawyer.
My adult child is nonverbal and is residing in a nursing home. I think he’s been abused. What should I do?
You ask an important question, because you need to take action immediately to protect your loved one and potentially other people who are being hurt in that nursing home.
If your loved one is in immediate danger, then you should call 911 and remain with your loved one, if possible.
Many forms of nursing home abuse or neglect, however, happen over time. For example, your loved one may be suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, or repeated verbal abuse. In these situations it is also important to take action quickly. In addition to finding another nursing home or living arrangement for your loved one as soon as possible, you might also want to take formal action.
Here’s What You Can Do If a Loved One With a Disability Is Being Abused or Neglected in a Kentucky Nursing Home
You can take formal actions, which include:
- Filing a complaint with Adult Protective Services. You can begin by calling the Adult Abuse Hot Line or contacting the agency through its website. Your complaint may be investigated by the state.
- Contacting the Kentucky Long-Term Care Ombudsman. It’s the ombudsman’s job to advocate for nursing home residents and others in long term care facilities. Investigating and resolving allegations of abuse and neglect is part of the ombudsman’s job responsibilities.
- Filing a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit in a Kentucky court. If your loved one was neglected or abused in a nursing home then the law was broken. Your loved one may have the right to recover damages in a civil lawsuit. If you are your loved one’s legal guardian, then you may have the right to file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one.
There are pros and cons to each of these options, and it is important to do what is in the best interests of your loved one. To find out more about what specific actions you should take to help your loved one, please contact our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers today. We will review your claim with you, advise you of your loved one’s rights, and work with you to make sure that your loved one is safe and protected. Contact us any time—24 hours a day—to schedule your free consultation.
- Filing a complaint with Adult Protective Services. You can begin by calling the Adult Abuse Hot Line or contacting the agency through its website. Your complaint may be investigated by the state.