Brain injuries can lead to a wide range of physical, mental, social, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Whether it’s the result of trauma during birth, medical malpractice, or a motor vehicle accident, a brain injury touches nearly every aspect of a person’s day-to-day life. If you or your loved one have suffered a brain injury, Gray & White Law will fight for your right to compensation.
How Brain Injuries Occur
Common causes of brain injuries include:
- Trauma during labor and delivery. Brain damage that occurs during childbirth is rare and nearly always the result of medical negligence. Potential causes include a long labor where the baby’s head remains compressed in the birth canal too long, a difficult labor where the baby loses oxygen, or blunt force trauma to the infant’s head, such as a forceps or vacuum extraction injury.
- Medical malpractice. Brain injuries that occur as the result of medical malpractice are often the result of a botched surgery or anesthesia errors. Deprivation of oxygen can permanently impair brain function, even if the surgery was not neurological in nature.
- Motor vehicle accidents. Brain injuries from motor vehicle accidents can occur when an object pierces the head or when the force of impact causes the brain to collide with the hard bones in the skull. Brain injuries are most likely to occur at high speeds or when the victim isn’t wearing a seatbelt, but they can happen in nearly any auto accident.
Types of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can be classified in several different categories. Types of brain injuries include:
- Acquired brain injury. An acquired brain injury is caused by events that occur after birth and can’t be attributed to genetics or a congenital disorder. This type of injury can have traumatic or nontraumatic causes. Stroke is a common cause of nontraumatic acquired brain injury.
- Concussion. A concussion is considered a mild traumatic brain injury, but even this type of injury can create lasting problems. Post-concussion syndrome can lead to severe headaches and dizziness several months after the accident that caused the initial injury. Sometimes, the condition can persist for a year or more.
- Contusions. Brain contusions are bruises of the brain tissue most often caused by an impact to the head. They are considered more serious than a concussion because they involve structural damage to the small blood vessels in the brain.
- Coup-contrecoup injury. This type of brain injury occurs both at the site of trauma and the opposite side of the brain. For example, in a car accident, the brain can be injured when your head strikes the steering wheel as well as when the force of this impact pushes the brain back in the skull.
- Diffuse axonal injury. Characterized by scattered lesions in white matter tracts as well as gray matter over a widespread area, diffuse axonal injuries are a severe type of brain injury associated with coma and a persistent vegetative state.
- Skull fracture. A skull fracture can lead to brain injury by creating bleeding inside the skull itself. Signs of a skull fracture include visible cuts or lacerations on the head, pain and swelling, bleeding or bruising around the eyes, leaking of cerebrospinal fluid, and changes in the size of pupils.
- Traumatic brain injury. This is an umbrella term for head injury caused by external force. A loss of consciousness for more than a few minutes is a strong indicator that someone has suffered a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury.
Symptoms of Brain Injuries
The signs of brain injury can vary, but often include the following:
- Loss of consciousness
- Sleep problems
- Memory loss
- Language and speech impairments
- Balance problems or physical disabilities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Cognitive problems
- Visual problems
- Anger and irritability
- Low mood, depression, and anxiety
- Personality changes
Please note that many symptoms of a brain injury are not immediately obvious and can overlap with other medical conditions. A doctor can perform a physical examination and order a CAT scan or MRI to see if there are abnormalities in the brain.
Serious brain injuries can make it difficult to work, maintain relationships, or even continue to live independently. Rehabilitation can address specific symptoms, but some victims may require 24/7 care for the rest of their lives.
Damages Available in Kentucky for Brain Injuries
When a brain injury is the result of negligence, you can seek compensation for:
- Past medical bills
- Anticipated future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages intended to punish the defendant and deter future wrongdoing are only awarded in cases of egregious misconduct. For example, a car accident claim might involve punitive damages when the driver was drunk or drag racing at the time of the crash.
Kentucky currently has no caps on compensation in personal injury or medical malpractice claims.
For a claim involving a child under age 18, the child’s parent or legal guardian brings the case in the child’s name. The final settlement must be approved by the court.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation
To ensure that you receive the maximum possible compensation, there are several key steps you must take.
- See a doctor as soon as possible after the injury. The doctor needs to document your symptoms and establish their cause. Prompt treatment is also the best way to improve your long-term prognosis.
- Follow the doctor's treatment plan. If you ignore your doctor’s advice, the defendant can argue that you're exaggerating your injuries.
- Document changes in your condition and how your injuries affect daily life. One way to do this is by keeping a journal outlining your symptoms in relation to your daily activities.
- Avoid talking to an insurance adjuster until you know the full extent of your injuries. Anything you say could be misinterpreted and used against you. It’s best to let your attorney talk to the adjuster on your behalf.
- Hire an aggressive and knowledgeable attorney who has experience with medical malpractice cases. The experienced attorneys at Gray & White Law are committed to advocating for the interests of Kentucky brain injury victims and their families. Since we accept cases with a no-fee agreement, there’s no cost unless we are able to procure a settlement on your behalf. To learn more, call us at 888-450-4456 to schedule a free consultation.