If you have sustained a brain injury due to an accident that was not your fault, you have the right to seek compensation. Contact Martin & Wallentine Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Brain injuries are painful and a life-changing experience. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur every year. The impact of these injuries is far-reaching and can be devastating for the victims and their families.
People who sustain brain injuries often face significant financial and emotional challenges, in addition to the obvious physical challenges that a brain injury brings. Medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing rehabilitation costs can quickly add up, leaving families struggling to make ends meet. Physical limitations, such as difficulty walking or performing everyday tasks, can be incredibly frustrating and affect a person's ability to live life to the fullest. The emotional toll of a brain injury can also be overwhelming, leading to depression, anxiety, and a loss of independence.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in Kansas resulting from someone else's negligence, such as in car accidents, workplace accidents, or medical malpractice, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and recover compensation for your losses.
At Martin & Wallentine Law Firm, we understand the challenges that brain injury victims face, and we are here to help. Contact Martin & Wallentine Law Firm today at 913-754-9700 for a free consultation. Our compassionate and skilled brain injury lawyers will review your case, answer your questions, and help you understand your legal options, so you can determine the best path forward.
Types of Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury occurs when there is damage to the brain tissue caused by a blow, jolt, or bump to the head or a penetrating head injury. In 2019, there were 223,000 hospitalizations for traumatic brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These injuries can range from mild to severe and be described as follows:
- Concussion - Concussions occur when a person's head receives a blow or a sudden jolt that causes the brain to move inside the skull. Symptoms of a concussion can include headaches, confusion, dizziness, and sensitivity to light or noise. Long-term effects of concussions can include memory loss, depression, and chronic headaches. Common causes of concussions include car accidents, falls, and sports-related injuries.
- Contusion - This brain injury occurs when there is a bruise on the brain. The bruise can be caused by a direct impact on the head, such as hitting it against a hard object. Symptoms of a contusion can include a loss of consciousness, seizures, and difficulty speaking or understanding language. Long-term effects of bruises can consist of problems with memory and cognitive function. Common causes of contusions include vehicle crashes and physical assaults.
- Penetrating Injury - This injury occurs when an object enters the skull and damages the brain tissue. Symptoms of a penetrating injury can include loss of consciousness, seizures, and a visible wound on the head. Long-term effects of penetrating injuries can include difficulty with motor function and cognitive impairment. Common causes of penetrating injuries include gunshot wounds and accidents involving sharp objects.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury - Diffuse axonal injuries occur when the brain is rotated or shaken inside the skull, causing the brain's nerve fibers to tear. Symptoms of diffuse axonal injuries can include coma, paralysis, and difficulty speaking or understanding language. Long-term effects of diffuse axonal injuries can include cognitive impairment and a decrease in overall brain function. Common causes of diffuse axonal injuries include car wrecks and shaken baby syndrome.
Causes of Brain Injuries in Kansas
Brain injuries can have devastating consequences for those affected and their families, and unfortunately, they can occur in numerous ways. These include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
One of Kansas's most common causes of brain injuries is motor vehicle accidents. According to the Kansas Traffic Crash Quick Facts report, there were 12,874 crashes resulting in serious brain injury in Kansas in 2021. The force of impact from a collision can cause a person's head to strike the steering wheel, dashboard, or other objects in the car, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. Even with safety features like airbags and seatbelts, severe brain injuries can occur in high-speed crashes.
Slip and Fall Accidents
According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, unintentional falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations in Kansas, accounting for approximately 8 percent of all hospitalizations due to injuries in Kansas residents. When a person slips, trips, or falls, their head may strike the ground or another object, causing a traumatic brain injury. Slip and fall accidents can occur on wet or slippery surfaces, uneven flooring, or due to hazards such as loose carpeting or debris.
Sports and Recreational Activities
Sports and recreational activities are also a common cause of brain injuries, particularly among children and young adults. Activities such as football, soccer, basketball, and skateboarding can all pose a risk for brain injuries, especially when proper safety equipment is not used, or rules are not followed.
Assaults and Violence
Sadly, assaults and violence can also lead to brain injuries. Victims of assault may suffer from traumatic brain injuries due to being struck in the head with a weapon, punched or kicked, or falling to the ground during an altercation.
Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Many people may not realize they have suffered a brain injury and may not seek immediate medical attention. Failure to see a doctor right away can be a grave mistake, as early diagnosis and treatment are critical to a successful recovery.
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can vary widely depending on the type and severity of the injury. Some common symptoms of a brain injury are listed below. If you notice any of the following, seek medical treatment right away.
- Headaches or migraines
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Confusion or memory loss
- Difficulty speaking or understanding others
- Changes in mood or personality
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision or sensitivity to light
- Difficulty concentrating or completing tasks
- Seizures or convulsions
It's important to note that brain injury symptoms often may not appear immediately, and can even take days or weeks to manifest. Additionally, symptoms may come and go, or they may get worse over time. If you suspect that you or someone you know has suffered a brain injury, seeking medical attention is crucial.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can be challenging to diagnose, especially in cases where symptoms may not appear immediately. Some standard diagnostic tools used to diagnose brain injuries include:
- CT scans: A computerized tomography (CT) scan is an imaging test that uses X-rays to produce detailed brain images. CT scans can identify areas of bleeding or swelling in the brain, which can indicate a brain injury.
- MRI scans: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed brain images. MRI scans are beneficial in identifying injuries to soft tissue in the brain, such as bruising or contusions.
- EEG tests: An electroencephalogram (EEG) measures the electrical activity in the brain. EEG tests can help identify abnormal brain wave patterns indicating a brain injury.
- Glasgow Coma Scale: The Glasgow Coma Scale is a scoring system used to assess the level of consciousness in a patient with a brain injury. The scale ranges from 3 to 15 and considers eye-opening, verbal response, and motor response.
Common Treatment Options for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Treatment for brain injuries varies depending on the type and severity of the injury. Some standard treatment options include:
- Medication: Medications can manage symptoms such as pain, seizures, and depression. Anti-inflammatory drugs may also be used to reduce swelling in the brain.
- Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation programs can help brain injury patients regain physical, cognitive, and emotional function. These programs may include physical, occupational, speech, and counseling.
- Surgery: In some cases, brain injury patients may require surgery to relieve pressure on the brain or remove blood clots or other obstructions.
- Assistive devices: Assistive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, and communication aids can help brain injury patients manage daily activities and maintain independence.
Costs Associated with Brain Injury Treatment and Long-Term Care
The costs of serious brain trauma, injury treatment, and long-term care can be substantial. The average lifetime cost of care for a single individual with a traumatic brain injury is anywhere from $85,000 to $3 million. This figure includes medical expenses, lost wages, and the cost of long-term care.
However, it is essential to note that the costs of brain injury treatment and care can vary widely depending on the injury's severity and the patient's needs. Additionally, many brain injury patients may require ongoing medical care and support for years or even decades following their injury.
Proving Liability in a Kansas Brain Injury Claim
Negligence occurs when someone fails to take reasonable care to prevent harm to others. For example, a driver who causes an accident due to drunk driving or distracted driving may be considered negligent. Once you file a lawsuit, the legal process for pursuing compensation proceeds as follows:
- Discovery: Both sides gather evidence to support their case, including witness testimony, medical records, and expert opinions.
- Mediation: The parties attempt to resolve the case outside of court through mediation, a process in which a neutral third-party mediator helps the parties settle.
- Trial: If the case is not settled through mediation, it will proceed to court, where a judge or jury will hear the evidence presented by both sides and make a verdict.
How Negligence Must Be Proven in a Kansas City Brain Injury Case
Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care that harms another person. In a brain injury claim, the injured party must prove the following four elements of negligence:
- Duty: The defendant was legally obliged to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm to the injured party.
- Breach of duty: The defendant breached that duty by failing to exercise reasonable care.
- Causation: The defendant's breach of duty was the direct cause of the plaintiff's brain injury.
- Damages: The plaintiff suffered actual damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering, due to the brain injury.
Types of Evidence That Can Be Used to Prove Liability
Types of evidence that can be used to prove liability in a head injury case may include:
- Medical records: Medical records can provide proof of the nature and extent of the brain injury and the treatment received by the injured party.
- Witness testimony: Witnesses, such as bystanders or medical professionals, can provide testimony about the circumstances surrounding the brain injury and the defendant's actions.
- Expert testimony: Expert witnesses, such as medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists, can provide testimony about the cause of the brain injury and the defendant's breach of duty as well as the scope of damages sustained.
- Photographs or videos: Photographs or videos of the accident scene or the injured party can provide visual evidence of the traumatic brain injuries and the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Types of Compensation for Kansas City Brain Injury Victims
The recovery process can be long and arduous, and some people may never fully regain their pre-injury abilities. If you have suffered a brain injury due to someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for a variety of damages, including:
- Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of all medical treatment related to your brain injury, such as hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, medication, and rehabilitation.
- Lost Income: If your brain injury prevents you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and future earning potential.
- Pain and Suffering: This compensates you for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have endured due to the brain injury.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: This compensates you for the loss of enjoyment of life caused by your brain injury, such as the inability to participate in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed.
- Disability: If your head injury results in a disability, you may be entitled to compensation for its impact on your daily life.
How Compensation Is Calculated in Brain Injury Cases
Calculating compensation for a brain damage claim can be a complex process. Factors include the severity of the injury, the victim's age, occupation, earning capacity, the cost of medical treatment, and the impact on the victim's daily life.
In Kansas, there is no limit to the compensation a victim can receive in a brain injury case. However, the state follows a modified comparative negligence rule, meaning a judge may reduce payment if the injured person is found to be partially at fault for the injury.
How an Experienced Kansas Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help Maximize Compensation
An experienced personal injury lawyer can:
- Help you understand your legal rights and options
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury and gather evidence to prove liability
- Work with medical experts to assess the full extent of your traumatic brain injuries and calculate the appropriate amount of compensation
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement
- Represent you in court if a settlement cannot be reached
FAQs About Kansas Brain Injury Cases
How long do I have to file a brain injury lawsuit in Kansas?
In Kansas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is typically two years from the date of the injury. However, certain exceptions can affect the timeline for filing a lawsuit. For example, if a minor suffered a head injury, the court may extend the statute of limitations.
How much compensation can I receive for a head injury lawsuit in Kansas?
The compensation you can receive for brain injury litigation in Kansas will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, including the severity of your injury, the impact it has had on your life, and the extent of your financial losses.
What if the insurance company offers me a settlement?
Insurance companies often try to settle brain injury cases quickly and for less than they are worth. Once you accept a settlement, you will not be able to pursue further compensation. Before accepting any settlement offers, consult a Kansas head injury lawyer who can evaluate the offer and help you determine if it's fair and adequate for your traumatic brain injuries.
Experienced and Compassionate: Contact Martin & Wallentine Law Firm for Kansas Brain Injury Cases
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone else's negligence, you should seek legal representation to help you get compensation to cover the costs of treatment and long-term care. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation for your losses. Don't wait to seek legal help. At Martin & Wallentine, we're here to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us now at 913-754-9700.
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