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 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.

  • What are ventral hernias and how is surgical mesh used for treatment?

    Ventral Hernias: Risk Factors and Symptoms

    One of the most common types of hernias occurs when a person’s intestines push through a weak area of the abdominal wall muscles. This type of hernia is called a “ventral hernia.” A recent study indicated that patients undergoing abdominal surgery are at an increased risk for ventral hernias due to the weakening of the abdominal muscles at the site of the surgical scar. However, there are several risk factors that can make a person more susceptible to a ventral hernia.

    Risk factors include:

    • Prior abdominal surgeries
    • Pregnanacy
    • Obesity
    • Inujuries and trauma to the abdomen
    • Lifting or pushing heavy objects
    • Genetic predisposition for ventral hernias

    Symptoms of a ventral hernia can range from severe pain and discomfort to no symptoms at all. Typically, patients notice a bulge or an area that is tender. Doctors often make a diagnosis after observing the area in question and ordering tests such as CT scans, ultrasound studies, and MRIs.

    Common symptoms experienced: 

    • Pain in the abdomen
    • Bulging in a specific area of the abdomen that often worsens with certain movements
    • Nausea and vomiting

    Untreated Ventral Hernias Cause Serious Injuries

    Ventral hernias should be treated as soon as they are discovered because as the hernia grows it can become more difficult treat. Some of the most dangerous complications of a hernia are entrapment (strangulation) of the contents of the hernia. For example, a ventral hernia containing a patient's bowels can lead to a serious situation where the bowel loses blood supply and dies due to becoming entrapped. This situation often requires immediate surgical repair. In other extreme cases, intestines can become incarcerated. In this scenario, the intestines become trapped outside of the abdomen and often lose vital blood supply.

    Hernias that have grown over 10 centimeters are considered “giant ventricular hernias,” They often grow so large that they can make separating the herniated tissue from the surrounding abdominal organs extremely difficult. In addition, once a hernia grows to such a large size, the risk of recurrence dramatically increases.

    Treatment Options For Ventral Hernias

    There are a few options for hernia treatment depending on the size and location. These treatment options include:

    Problems With Surgical Mesh Used to Repair Hernias

    Patients that have undergone hernia repair surgery in which a polypropylene mesh patch was implanted are reporting serious complications. These complications include pain, abdominal adhesions, bacterial infections, inflammation, intestinal obstruction, and even recurrence of their hernia. In most situations, additional surgeries are necessary to remove the implanted mesh and any damage it has caused internally.

    Some of the most notable mesh products under investigation are Physiomesh, manufactured by a division of Johnson & Johnson, and Atrium's C-QUR hernia mesh. Due to overwhelming evidence of issues and a high failure rate, Johnson & Johnson's Physiomesh was recalled in May 2016.

     

  • How do you know if your hernia mesh is causing a serious infection?

    Symptoms of Hernia Mesh Infection

    Chronic pain. Pain is perhaps the number one recognized symptom of a hernia mesh infection. This pain is often localized at the site of the hernia repair such as the groin or lower abdomen. The pain is often the result of scar tissue that has developed in the are of the hernia mesh or resultant nerve damage.

    Persistent inflammation. Inflammation at the site of the hernia mesh is typically expected and necessary for the mesh to bond by promoting tissue growth. The problem arises when the inflammation process continues for a problematic period of time. This situation can cause pain and tenderness in the abdomen. If the area at or near the hernia repair site is warm to the touch this could be a sign of an infection caused by persistent scar tissue growth or a biofilm.

    Less Common Signs of Hernia Mesh Infections May Include:

    Seroma. A build-up of fluid at the site of the hernia repair has been reported to be associated with infected hernia mesh.

    Dental problems. The unexplained and sudden onset of brittle teeth may be a sign of infected hernia mesh.

    Other more vague symptoms can include an overall feeling of malaise. This can be as innocuous as a fever, upset stomach, chills, or fatigue. If you experience these symptoms following a hernia mesh repair you should see a physician immediately.

    Bacterial Biofilm & Chronic Hernia Mesh Infections

    Infections involving biofilm involve multiple bacteria that aggregate and often adhere to a surface. The danger posed by this type of formation is that the normal treatment course often doesn't work; the aggregation of the bacteria gives it greater strength to resist antibiotic therapy. Unfortunately, most infections associated with hernia mesh are biofilm infections and are not easily treated with antibiotics.

    An infected hernia mesh will often require additional surgery to remove the mesh implant if a biofilm has formed. In severe cases, multiple surgeries may be required to remove all the necessary film and infected tissue to fully get rid of the infection. Our firm has seen horrible cases of infection where patients have developed what appears to be a biofilm infection but are not able to have the mesh removed due to the location of the implant.

    Biofilm infections are becoming more common due to the rise in implanted medical devices such as hernia mesh.

    Physiomesh hernia mesh and other types of hernia mesh are often implanted deep into he abdominal cavity. However, mesh placed in proximity to the bowel is in extreme danger of helping produce a biofilm if an infection occurs. Mesh manufacturers have marketed mesh as being ok to use in these deep implants when selling their products to surgeons to use in hernia repairs during minimally invasive procedures such as laparoscopic surgeries. This is thought to be one of the reasons why so many patients are developing problems with hernia mesh implants.

    If You're In Kentucky and Suffered from Hernia Mesh, Our Attorneys Can Help

    Gray and White law is dedicated to defending the rights of Kentucky residents who have suffered unnecessarily due to infected hernia mesh. If you live in Kentucky and believe that a bacterial infection caused by your hernia mesh is leading to painful complications, contact our attorneys today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation.

  • Can I recover legal damages for a neck or shoulder injury I suffered in a car accident?

    Neck pain after a traffic collision can be a sign of a serious injuryThere is a wide variety of neck and shoulder injuries that you may sustain in a car accident. You may be able to recover compensation for your injuries in a car crash lawsuit, and a personal injury attorney can be a valuable resource in helping you determine how to seek compensation for your damages.

    Neck Injuries

    Neck injuries are the most common type of car accident injury, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). According to the IIHS, the cost for neck injury insurance claims was nearly $9 billion a year—or about 25% of the total insurance payout for serious car crash injuries in the United States.

    Some of the common neck injuries suffered in car accidents include:

    • Soft tissue injuries. This includes strains and sprains of the neck muscles and is also known as whiplash. This can be very painful and can limit a victim’s daily activities.
    • Pinched nerves. When the surrounding tissue puts too much pressure on the nerve, it may become compressed or pinched. Serious pain, numbness, or weakness can result.
    • Herniated discs. The sudden force of a car accident can put pressure on a disc in the spinal column and cause it to move or slip. The result can be significant pain, numbness, or weakness.

    These neck conditions may occur alone or together with other car crash injuries.

    Rotator Cuff Injuries

    Torn rotator cuffs can occur as a result of an auto collision. Injuries to the ball and socket joint (rotator cuff) in the shoulder can lead to pain and limited movement. The severity of the tear will determine the symptoms experienced. Symptoms may include limited movement, severe pain, and tenderness.

    Treatment for a rotator cuff injury may include:

    • Medication for pain and swelling.
    • Range-of-motion exercises.
    • Wearing a sling.
    • Physical therapy.
    • Steroid injections.
    • Surgical repair.

    Your doctor may recommend one or more of these treatments depending on the severity of the tear and your overall health.

    Other Types of Shoulder Injuries

    Torn rotator cuffs are common types of car crash injuries, but they are not the only shoulder conditions you should be aware of after a car crash. Other types of shoulder injuries include:

    • SLAP tears. SLAP tears occur when the labrum—the cartilage at the end of your arm—tears. Pain, instability, decreased range of motion, and other symptoms may indicate the possibility of a SLAP tear, which may not be able to be confirmed until surgery.
    • Fractured bones. Any of the bones in the shoulder may break and cause significant physical pain, emotional suffering, and limits on daily activities. Your arm may appear out of place or unattached.
    • Strains or sprains. Serious strains and sprains can take a long time to heal and interfere with your ability to work, take care of your family, and enjoy your usual activities.

    If you have suffered one of these injuries—or any other type of neck or shoulder injury—then you may be entitled to legal compensation in a car crash lawsuit.

    Compensation for Neck and Shoulder Injuries

    If someone else caused the accident that resulted in your neck or shoulder injury, then you may be able to recover damages for your past, current, and future:

    • Medical costs. These expenses includes hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, doctors’ visits, physical therapy, and any other health care costs.
    • Lost income. Lost income includes wages, bonuses, benefits, income from being self-employed and any other income that you are unable to earn because of your injury.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses. This includes any costs you incur because of your injury and can include things such as transportation, child care, or household help that you did not need before you got hurt.
    • Pain and suffering. Your physical pain and emotional suffering should be included in your car accident damages.

    Without the help of an experienced lawyer, you may have difficulty recovering the compensation that you deserve. Our attorneys know that you are suffering and we provide each client with the individualized attention an injured person deserves. If you would like more information about your rights or if you would like to schedule a free, no obligation consultation, then we invite you to contact us at anytime via this website or by phone.

  • What is a backover crash in Kentucky, and who is most likely to be injured in this kind of accident?

    Backover crashes occur when drivers negligently pay too little attention to their surroundingsA backover or back-up crash is possible any time that a vehicle is in reverse. However, these crashes most often occur when a vehicle is backing out of a driveway or parking space.

    Who Is at Risk?

    Anyone who is behind the car may be a potential victim of an accident. This includes:

    • Other motorists.
    • Pedestrians.
    • Motorcyclists.
    • Bicyclists.
    • Skateboarders.
    • Rollerbladers.

    Often, the victims of backover crashes are children who are on foot or on bikes. Although these are normally low-speed accidents, the injuries sustained by the victim can still be serious. Children may even suffer fatal injuries from this type of pedestrian accident.

    Older adults, over the age of 70, may also be at increased risk of suffering an injury in a backover accident. Older victims may not have the awareness or reaction time to avoid an oncoming vehicle.

    Drivers Are Often at Fault

    Backover crashes result when a driver is negligent in checking surroundings before putting the vehicle in reverse and backing out of an area. This negligence forms the basis of a legal claim, and the injured party may be able to recover damages. Damages could include compensation for past, current, and future:

    • Medical expenses.
    • Lost income.
    • Out-of-pocket costs.
    • Pain and suffering.

    However, first you have to convince the insurance company to settle or the court to rule in your favor.

    Get Help Before It’s Too Late

    If you or a loved one has sustained serious injury from a backover crash in Kentucky and you're unsure what to do, visit a personal injury attorney for legal help. Your time to file a legal claim is limited by the Kentucky statute of limitations.

    Our attorneys provide free consultations and only help people who have been seriously injured. This allows us to provide individualized attention to each client and to devote the financial resources and time to make sure that each client is properly represented. To learn more about your rights, or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney, please contact us via this website or by phone at 888-450-4456 at any time.

  • I’ve heard that it is hard to get a fair recovery from the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) after a bus crash in Louisville. Is that true?

    If you sit back and do nothing then it may be hard to get a fair recovery after a TARC bus crash. TARC is unlikely to simply write you a check for the full amount of your damages and wish you well. Instead, TARC, through its lawyers and insurers, may make it difficult for you to get a fair recovery.

    But There Is a Way to Do It

    In order to get a fair recovery after a TARC bus injury, you are likely going to have to show TARC and its insurance company that you mean business. They are going to have to believe that you are serious about pursuing your claim, that you know your rights, and that you are willing to fight for what is yours.

    One way to do this is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney can make sure that you:

    • Understand your legal rights.
    • Don’t miss any important deadlines.
    • Don’t do anything to jeopardize your rights.
    • Present your case to the insurance company in a way that encourages a fair settlement.
    • Don’t give up your right to a fair trial if a settlement cannot be reached.

    It is also important to understand some facts about TARC settlements.

    TARC Has Settled Other Cases

    Other people who have been hurt in TARC crashes have recovered damages prior to trial. According to news reports:

    • TARC pays hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in settlements, on average.
    • TARC is more likely to pay out-of-court settlements than either the TANK bus system in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati’s Metro.

    Although TARC bus drivers claim they were struck by another vehicle in the majority of crashes, settlements are still sometimes paid when drivers claim to be not at fault. According to TARC executive director J. Barry Barker, settlements are often paid out after a cost-benefit analysis. If it costs more to fight a case than to settle a case, then TARC will choose to settle it.

    What does this mean for your case? It means most legitimate injury cases—ones where victims have no trouble proving that serious injuries were caused in the bus accident—will be paid out. However, as a government service, all of the money used to pay TARC accident settlements comes directly from Louisville taxpayers. On average, approximately $500,000 a year in injury claims come directly out of the taxpayer’s pocket.

    What to Do Now If You’ve Been Hurt

    The most important thing you need to do now is have your case investigated to see how likely you are to win compensation. Simply contact us today via this website or by phone at 888-450-4456 for more information.

     

  • What is a breach of fiduciary duty?

    If there has been a breach of fiduciary duty, you have the right to seek damagesYou hire certain professionals to help you with things that you they have expertise in and that you could not do as well yourself. You trust these professionals to act in your best interest or in the best interest of your business.

    In fact because of their expertise, these professionals have a legal obligation—known as a fiduciary duty—to act in your best interest. When that fiduciary duty is breached, you could suffer great harm and you have the right to protect your recovery in a court of law.

    When Is There a Fiduciary Duty?

    Before you can determine whether or not a fiduciary duty has been breached, you need to determine whether such a duty existed. A fiduciary duty can be established when:

    • There is a relationship between the professional and the client that involves a special trust, confidence, or reliance on the professional to use his expertise or discretion when acting in the client’s interests.
    • The professional knowingly accepted that trust or confidence when agreeing to act on behalf of the client.
    • The client is entitled to receive the best efforts of the fiduciary and a client should be confident that the fiduciary is acting with skill, due care, and diligence.

    Fiduciary relationships are unlike other relationships. In common, non-fiduciary relationships, people must exercise reasonable care with relation to one another. In fiduciary relationships the standard is not reasonable care, but instead a higher standard of honesty, skill, diligence, and full disclosure.

    When the Fiduciary Duty May Be Breached

    It is impossible to list all of the possible ways in which a fiduciary duty may be breached. However, below are some examples of how such a breach may occur:

    • The fiduciary acts in any way that is adverse to or contrary to the client’s interests.
    • The fiduciary acts for his own benefit.
    • The fiduciary misappropriates funds.
    • The fiduciary misuses confidential information.
    • The fiduciary gives inappropriate advice.

    A breach may occur anytime someone who is a fiduciary fails to exercise his special duty of care to the person or business for which he is the fiduciary. A breach may cost you or your business a significant or life-changing amount of money.

    Examples of Fiduciaries

    There are many different contexts in which a fiduciary duty may arise. Trustees, estate representatives, and business partners may all have fiduciary duties, for example. However, for purposes of this article we are focusing on professionals who may have fiduciary duties. Those professionals may include:

    • Accountants.
    • Stockbrokers.
    • Investment advisors.
    • Attorneys.
    • Doctors.
    • Real estate brokers.

    What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt

    As with other business litigation cases, you must be able to prove your case if you have been hurt and you are seeking damages. As the plaintiff, you will need to establish that:

    • A fiduciary relationship existed.
    • The fiduciary breached the fiduciary duty.
    • The breach of the fiduciary duty caused you harm.
    • You were hurt and have the right to pursue damages.

    You do not, however, have to establish any of this on your own. You have the right to work with an experienced lawyer who will fight hard for your fair recovery and who will make sure that all of your rights are protected.

    Kentucky law limits the time that you have to file most cases of professional malpractice to just one year. If you fail to file your complaint in court before this statute of limitations expires then you may be barred from a legal recovery.

    Accordingly, it is important to take action quickly. Find out about your rights and make a plan to protect your future even after the professional you trusted has hurt you. To learn more about your rights and about protecting your recovery, please contact us at any time via this website or by phone at 888-450-4456. We are available for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • My spouse recently died in a distracted driving accident. The other driver involved in the crash was texting and driving. Is that driver responsible for my loved one’s death or is the person who sent the text message responsible?

    Testing while driving can easily lead to a serious traffic accidentIt is against the law for any driver to text and drive in Kentucky. Thus, if your loved one died in a Kentucky distracted driving accident because another driver was texting and driving, then it is possible that the driver who was texting and driving may be liable for your loved one’s death.

    What About the Person Who Sent the Text?

    Currently, Kentucky does not hold people who send text messages to drivers accountable for distracted driving accidents. Someone may send a text message, but that does not mean that the recipient must read it or respond to it right away. That is a decision that is made by the recipient.

    However, other states are starting to find the senders of text messages potentially liable in court for damages caused by distracted driving accidents. For example, a New Jersey state appeals court has held that the sender of a text message could be held liable in a distracted driving crash if the sender knowingly sends a text to a driver. In other words, the sender must know that the recipient is driving at the time the text is sent and know, or have special reason to know, that the driver will open the text while driving and be distracted. In 2016, a Pennsylvania court allowed someone who sent a text to a driver to be sued for a distracted driving accident. This reasoning is not yet law in Kentucky, but does show how other states are handling this issue.

    Talk to an Attorney If Your Spouse Has Been Killed in a Distracted Driving Accident

    An experienced lawyer can make sure that all potentially liable parties are held accountable and that you and your family get the fair recovery that you deserve after a fatal texting and driving accident. To learn more about your rights and about how an attorney can help you, please contact us any time via this website or by calling 888-450-4456 to schedule a free consultation.

  • How do talc-based powders cause ovarian cancer?

    The connection between cancer and talc-based products has been known for over 30 yearsFor many decades, women have trusted Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder to keep them fresh and dry. They added baby powder to their underwear as part of their daily routine without fear of what could happen.

    But the Connection Between Talc and Ovarian Cancer Is Not New

    As early as 1982, Dr. Daniel W. Cramer found a potential link between talc used in the genital area and ovarian cancer. Dr. Cramer is a professor at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

    In July 1982, Dr. Cramer published a study in the journal Cancer. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the study compared women with ovarian cancer who used talc on sanitary napkins or in their underwear to other women. The study found that talc exposure could be causing ovarian cancer, because when it is used in the underwear it can get into the vagina and upper genital tract.

    Talc is a natural occurring mineral that is made up of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. When found in nature, talc may contain asbestos—a substance that is banned in the United States because it can cause a type of cancer known as mesothelioma. Dr. Cramer found “some support for an association between talc and ovarian cancer hypothesized because of the similarity of ovarian cancer to mesotheliomas and the chemical relation of talc to asbestos, a known cause of mesotheliomas.”

    Dr. Cramer has called for warnings on talcum-based powders, including baby powder. He has reportedly told Reuters Health that it would be easy for women to avoid using talc-based powders in the genital area and that if women knew of the risk that they would avoid it. Dr. Cramer has also testified in lawsuits against the makers of talcum-based powders and products.

    So far, no formal warnings have been issued regarding the potential link between talc and ovarian cancer. However, women have been successful in lawsuits against the makers of talcum-based baby powder and other personal care products. Accordingly, it is important to understand how talc powder may result in ovarian cancer and what to do if you or a loved one develop this dangerous condition.

    Please share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter and help spread the news about what we know about talc powder and ovarian cancer with your friends, followers, and loved ones.