If you or your loved one recently sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to someone else’s negligence, you can sue for compensation. Kentucky gives plaintiffs one or two years to pursue legal action against the liable party or parties.
A traumatic brain injury is a condition that occurs when sudden trauma is inflicted on the head. These injuries usually result in devastating physical, emotional, psychological, and financial consequences for victims. In most cases, a victim’s life is never the same following the injury.
Understanding How Much Time You Have to File
According to Ky.Rev.Stat.§304.39-230, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit if you sustained a TBI in a vehicle accident due to someone else’s negligence. Ky.Rev.Stat. §413.140(1) affirms you have only a year to file a personal injury lawsuit if you sustained a TBI in any other accident caused by someone else.
On the other hand, Ky.Rev.Stat. §413.180 states you have a year to file a wrongful death lawsuit if you lost a loved one to a TBI caused by someone else. The time limit for personal injury lawsuits usually starts from the accident’s date, while those for wrongful death begin on the date of the victim’s death.
With such a short timeframe to pursue legal action against the liable party, it’s best to reach out to us as soon as possible. This way, we can gather evidence and prepare your case before the deadline elapses.
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Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
Yes. In some cases, Kentucky allows a time extension for those planning to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable parties. For example, some TBI victims don’t show any symptoms of the condition until years later. In such cases, the victims are granted a time extension out of fairness.
Also, if the victim was a minor when they sustained a traumatic brain injury, the clock is paused until they turn 18. The clock is also paused for victims declared mentally unfit to pursue legal action. In these cases, the clock will start ticking once the victim is declared mentally fit to begin the legal process.
Additionally, the state awards a time extension to the victim if the liable party flees the state before a lawsuit is filed. The clock will only start ticking once the negligent party returns to the state. If the defendant remains in hiding in Kentucky, the clock will remain paused until they’re found.
What Happens if You Miss the Deadline?
The primary purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure claims are handled in time while the evidence and facts are still fresh and intact. These time limits protect defendants from getting convicted through deteriorated or compromised evidence.
Therefore, if you file a lawsuit after the deadline, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss the case without responding to the charges. In such a case, the judge will enforce the existing Kentucky statute of limitations and dismiss your case altogether.
This means you’ll lose the right to recover financial compensation from the defendant, regardless of your injuries’ severity or high medical bills.
Do Statutes of Limitations Apply to Settlements?
No. In a traumatic brain injury case, you can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or file a lawsuit in court against the liable parties. While most cases settle outside a courtroom, the only upper hand you have over the defendant is your ability to sue. Any ongoing negotiations with the insurance company won’t stop the statute of limitations clock from ticking.
If you don’t settle with the insurance company and liable party before the statute of limitations expires, you’ll lose your leverage. This means the responsible party can go free. On the other hand, if you file a lawsuit against the liable parties on time, it won’t matter if the case takes months or years to resolve.
Therefore, the best way to negotiate with the insurance company and defendant’s team is first to file your lawsuit with the court as leverage before the statute of limitations expires.
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What Are the Common Causes of TBIs?
There are several ways a person could sustain a traumatic brain injury. Darryl “The Hammer” Isaacs represents clients who suffer TBIs for the following reasons:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall accidents
- Boating accidents
- Assault and battery
- Defective products
- Nursing home abuse
Let Us Handle Your Traumatic Brain Injury Case
Did you or a loved one suffer a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence? The attorneys at Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers can help you file a claim or lawsuit and fight for your legal rights against the liable parties.
We’ll also ensure all preparations for your case and investigations are done within the required time limits. Contact us today for your free consultation.