Roger N. Braden

I am Caroline’s husband, a father and a grandfather. I’m also a trial lawyer who helps ordinary folks who find themselves in bad situations due to someone else’s negligence or bad conduct.

A lot of the people I represent have significant injuries like brain injuries or brain damage, paralysis or debilitating back injuries. Sometimes I represent the estates of people who have died due to someone or some company’s wrongful conduct.  I try to limit the amount of cases I’m involved in at any given time so I can ensure each case gets the attention it deserves.

Before I became a lawyer, I served as a medic in the Air Force. After I was honorably discharged, I worked as a registered nurse and as a law clerk to put myself through college and law school. My medical training gives me greater insight into the medical issues my clients face. This gives me an advantage over many attorneys in representing people with brain injuries, paralysis or other types of personal injuries. I’ve authored or co-authored numerous articles related to medical and legal issues.

I grew up in Providence, a small coal mining town in Western Kentucky. I understand that relationships and giving back to your community are important.  In 2005, I co-founded the Democratic Veterans of NKY at the Point and our group has worked with the VA Community Centers serving veterans, both at the Fort Thomas Community Center and at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati.   During that same period Secret Manna Society was founded to raise funds to purchase December groceries for families at risk of hunger during the holidays. That led to an opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors of Action Ministries, one of the largest food pantries in Northern Kentucky.

In 2007, along with others, I co-founded the Traumatic Brain Injury Conference of Northern Kentucky and also served on the Board of Trustees for BRIDGES, Inc. (Brain Injury Demands Guidance, Education & Support) and on the Board of Directors for the Brian Injury Alliance of Kentucky, serving as the Board’s President in 2014.  Due to my interest in helping severely injured folks find sustainable employment, I was appointed to the Commonwealth of Kentucky Statewide Vocational Rehabilitation Advisory Council for six years by Governor Steve Beshear.  My firm belief that education is the future of our children found me serving as co-chairperson of the B.E.S.T. Committee for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and serving on the Chase Alumni Association Board of Governors for several years, and as the Board’s President in 1997 and 1998. In 2010 I was humbled when I received the national Making a Difference Community Service Award by the American Bar Association, General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division in Austin, Texas.   Most importantly, I fully understood in accepting the award, that I was being recognized simply as a representative for the others involved who had devoted endless hours of care and work in the projects listed above.

As far as legal honors go, I’ve received a few. In 2019 I was honored to be selected to receive a Nationally Ranked Top 10 Attorney Award for excellence in the field of personal injury by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys.  In 2015-2018 I was selected for the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. I’ve been named by CincyBusiness Magazine as one of the top lawyers in the Greater Cincinnati area since 2007. I’ve been named a Kentucky Super Lawyer and a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the American Trial Lawyers Association, among others. In 2019, I received the Top 10 Attorney Award from the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys and was name one of the 10 Best Attorneys in Kentucky by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys.

I have been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. The Kentucky Supreme Court has appointed me to serve as a Trial Commissioner. While Kentucky does not certify specialties in legal fields, I’ve am board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in Civil Procedure and Civil Pre-Trial Practice.

Most of my work is based on a contingency fee structure. I only get paid if we settle your case or get a favorable jury verdict. I generally represent the Davids of the world against the Goliaths of the world.

If you’ve been injured or damaged by someone else’s negligence or intentional acts give me a call. There’s no risk, I don’t charge for an initial consultation and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

    FAQs

    In representation of traumatic brain injury clients and other community activities dealing with professionals, TBI survivors and their families, and the general public, there are 10 questions that are most frequently asked.  Below is a listing of those questions from the least common to the most common and my answers to them.

    How does an attorney know if you have a brain injury?

    ANSWER:  Some brain injuries are very obvious to the observer.  In many cases however, a brain injury can be categorized by the medical profession as “Mild Brain Injury” cases.  In these cases, it is likely that the attorney will not recognize the brain injury unless he has had medical training.  Attorneys therefore, must rely upon the evaluations of  medical care providers.  It is important for the attorney to obtain all of your medical records and meet with your doctor(s) to ensure the attorney understands the nature of the injury, the likelihood of your improvment/recovery from a medical standpoint, what future medical care will be required, what costs have been incurred for your medical care and will be incurred in the future, and how the injury has affected your ability to work and live a normal life. Keep in mind, that the only cure for a brain injury is prevention.  Also keep in mind, that you generally have one chance to be fully compensated for your injuries in the civil tort legal system.  Your attorney needs to understand your injuries, the effects of those injuries to you medically and on your life, and have the passion to fight for you to be fully compensated.

    How much do attorneys charge to represent people in brain injury cases?

    ANSWER  Attorneys may charge on an hourly basis or on what is known as a “contingency fee” basis.  Either method is acceptable.  Most attorneys, myself included, charge on a contingency fee basis.  A contingency fee is a fee that is based upon the amount recovered, either at trial or at the time of settlement.  The primary purpose of the contingency fee is to make the “courthouse remedies” available for someone who would not be able to pay a competent law firm for its services on an hourly basis.  The percentage of the fee may vary based on various factors, such as how strong the case is on the liability issue, or how much costs will have to be advanced in the case.  Often times the fee may be 40% or higher.  In my experience, most cases have a fee of 33-1/3% of the total recovery, plus reimbursement for expenses advanced to prosecuting the case by the law firm.

    Do I have a case?

    ANSWER:   There are two major components in determining whether you have a case.  The first component is referred to as liability or “who was at fault?”  The second component is “are there recoverable damages?”

    Fault is defined differently in different states.  For example, there can be more than one person or entity at fault and the amount of fault for each person or entity may vary.  In some cases, the injured person might be partially or completely at fault.  In cases where the injured person was partially at fault, the percentage of fault (depending on the state) may affect the ability to partially recover or recover at all.  The attorney needs to investigate the facts and reach a determination as to how strong your case is based on “fault”.  Obviously, in many cases, this cannot be done during the initial meeting with the attorney because it requires investigating the facts.

    Recoverable damages are damages that you can obtain by law because of someone else’s conduct or negligence.  Recoverable damages differ depending on the state in which your case is being filed and if injury or death is involved.

    Generally, there are two broad types of damages: compensatory and punitive.  Compensatory damages are meant to fully compensate the injured person for his injuries.  Damages, such as lost wages and future loss wages, pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, medical bills, future medical bills, and loss of consortium (how the injured person’s spouse or child has been affected by the injuries to the injured person) are examples of compensatory damages.  In a death case, the damages may be destruction of the earning power to the Estate of the person.

    Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer or deter the conduct of the wrongdoer to make sure the action isn’t repeated again. The answer to the question therefore,  is not as simple as one might think.  In some cases, the attorney may be in a position to assess that you have a case as early as the initial meeting.  In many cases, the attorney must do a thorough investigation before the question can be competently answered.

    Do we have to file a lawsuit in order to be financially compensated?

    ANSWER   Not necessarily.  You have a period of time to investigate and attempt to negotiate a settlement prior to having to file suit.   Depending on what type of case it is, it is likely that the case can be resolved without filing suit. This holds true for some cases more than others.  For example, a large number of automobile collision cases are resolved without filing a lawsuit.

    On the other hand, a much smaller number of medical malpractice cases are settled without filing suit.  In product liability cases, such as defective automobile or medical products claims or claims against drug companies, suits are very common.   In those cases, and in many other cases, obtaining the information you may need concerning the product or what happened, may be  ascertainable without filing suit.  Also, it is very important to keep in mind the Statute of Limitations, which means there is a certain amount of time you have to file a legal cause of action.  If you fail to file the case within that period, it is probable your case will be dismissed and you will be denied compensation for your injuries.

    How long does a lawsuit take if we have to file suit?  How does an attorney know if you have a brain injury?

    ANSWER   It depends.  Each case varies depending on the complexity of the case, which state or courtroom you are in, and how many defendants and plaintiffs are involved in the case.  There are essentially three parts to a lawsuit:  First, you file the lawsuit, known as the “Complaint.”  Each person sued then files a response to your allegations.  The Response is generally known as the defendant’s “Answer”.  Third, is the “trial”.  A trial may last a day, several weeks, or longer depending on the complexity of the case.  It is the second part, known as “Discovery,” that creates the major problem in trying to estimate how long the lawsuit will take.  “Discovery” consists of the actions taken by the attorneys to try and find all the pertinent facts about the case.  I’ve had cases involving obtaining “Discovery” from countries, such as England, Finland, Mexico, Canada, and most of the states in the United States. The more complex the “Discovery”, the longer the case will take to get to a jury. While there is no magic time period in which a case gets concluded, many lawsuits will go to trial 1-2 years after the lawsuit is filed.  While each case can be appealed, the majority of cases are not.  The more complex cases may take several more years, even if they are not appealed.

    What if I am injured while working on the job?

    ANSWER   You should notify your employer and report the injury immediately.  Strict compliance with the employer’s NOTICE policy is mandatory.  If you do not recall what the policy is, or did not read it at the time of your hire, you should go back and review it.  Knowing your employer’s policy regarding NOTICE and providing your employer with prompt notice of your injury should assure that your worker’s compensation benefits will be timely processed.  In many situations, if your injury resulted from your employer’s conduct, you may only have a worker’s compensation claim.  In other situations, you may have claims in addition to a worker’s compensation claim.

    Regarding your rights, I recommend you consult with a competent worker’s compensation attorney as soon as possible after the injury has occurred.  In many states, your worker’s compensation claim benefits are limited to a portion of your lost wages and your medical bills.  In Kentucky and Ohio, there are no claims for pain and suffering and spousal loss of consortium in a worker’s compensation claim.  If you are permanently disabled or are partially disabled, you may have long-term benefits for these disabilities.  If you are injured while working in the scope of your employment, and your injuries were caused due to the conduct of a third party (someone other than your employer), you may have a cause of action against the third party, in addition to any claims you have against your employer.  A competant personal injury attorney should be contacted as soon as possible after you are injured.

    How can I financially survive until I receive monies from a settlement or judgment?

    ANSWER    There is no easy answer to this question.  If you are injured on the job, there may be some monies coming to you through your worker’s compensation benefits.  These monies should pay your medical expenses related to the work-related injury and may provide you with a portion of your lost wages.   If you are involved in an automobile accident, at least in Kentucky, you may be able to receive ”no-fault” benefits up to the amount of the benefits in your insurance policy (basic no-fault benefits are generally $10,000.00).  No fault benefits generally cover medical bills, a portion of your weekly income, and replacement costs (as defined by the statute).  Ohio does not have “no-fault” benefits, but sometimes an insurance policy will have “med-pay” benefits.

    Additionally, if you are eligible, there is Medicare-Medicaid and you may have some type of disability policy privately or through your employer or may be entitled to social security benefits, if you are disabled.  The reality is that, in many cases, none of these benefits will put the injured person and his or her family in the same position they were in before the injury occurred.  Hence, the importance of the civil justice system.  Your best chance at being made ‘whole’ is having the person or entity responsible for your injuries compensate you for the damages caused by their conduct.  In a great number of cases there is a hard reality.  Until the injured are fully compensated, they may find ways to survive, but their lives will not return to normal.

    Why do I feel like I’m all alone in this situation?

    ANSWER    You are not alone, but it is normal to feel that way.  Every injury is unique and only the injured person can truly appreciate all aspects of his injury.  There are several things to consider and several reasons to have hope.  First, you are not the only person to travel this road.  Kentucky has over twice the national average of traumatic brain injuries.  Over 850,000 people, in Kentucky alone, have suffered from a traumatic brain injury.  At some point, many of those individuals were where you are today.  About 1 in 5 households in Kentucky have been affected by a traumatic brain injury. BRIDGES and 18 other support groups state-wide provide support to survivors and their families.  The Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky provides support and has contacts with various medical care providers state-wide.  To contact these groups, click on the links listed on this website.  Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    Second, reaching maximized recovery from a traumatic brain injury may take a long time and requires a lot of patience.  Listen to what your doctors are telling you and ask about rehabilitation programs that will help you get to the next level of recovery.

    Third, recognize and rely on your resources for support: family members, friends and others who care about you.

    What is your experience level dealing with traumatic brain injuries?

    ANSWER    Traumatic brain injury is a very personal issue for me.  My first experience with a traumatic brain injury was when I was about 10 years old.  My cousin died after sustaining a spinal cord/brain injury in an automobile accident.  His accident occurred the night he graduated from high school.  My second experience occurred about 24 years ago when my nephew suffered a very serious head injury in an automobile accident. Over time, I witnessed the consequences that injury had on him and his family.  Shortly after that incident, my brother and nephew, were involved in an motorcycle accident and both sustained head injuries.  In the late 1980’s, my wife’s brother, a Professor at Temple University, fell while working at home and died from a traumatic brain injury.  Having had a close personnal ‘look’ at brain injury survivors and their families has made traumatic brain injury a very important issue in my life.

    I have dealt with traumatic brain injuries either from a medical standpoint or from a medical-legal standpoint in many capacities.  I have worked as a “medic”, nursing student, registered nurse working in trauma, or an attorney, since about 1971.  During that time, I have seen traumatic brain injuries in every category.  I have come to understand not only the acute stage of care, but also the sub-acute and post-acute stages of care required for many of the injuries and  the effects the injury has on the person and his family.  We have been successful in resolving many cases and assuring the injured person and their families have funds available in the future to assure proper medical care and income, as well as a comfortable lifestyle, from a financial standpoint.

    As an attorney, I have represented and evaluated dozens, if not hundreds, of cases involving acquired brain injury and traumatic brain injury survivors and their families.  In 2007, I co-founded the Northern Kentucky Annual Traumatic Brain injury Conference.  Also in 2007, I incorporated the Northern Kentucky Brain Injury Support group BRIDGES (Brain Injury Demands Guidance & Support) and currently serve on its Board of Trustees.  For the past 2 years, I have served on Kentucky’s state-wide organization for brain injury, the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky. From 2009 until February 2010, I was involved with the creation of the City of Covington’s Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force and since February 2010, I have served as an advisor to the City regarding the Task Force. I am also a member of the National Association Brain Injury Society and the Ohio Brain Injury Association.

    Why should I hire you?

    ANSWER:      Your choice of legal representation is one of the most important decisions you will make.   When selecting legal representation, I would recommend you ask the following questions:

    (1) Does the attorney and his firm have experience regarding the type of injuries I have?

    (2) Does the attorney have an understanding of the nature of my injuries?

    (3) Does the attorney have a passion for what he is doing?

    (4) Is the attorney a person that I have a comfort level with in communicating about my case?

    (5) Does the attorney have the support of his Firm and is he willing to fight as hard as he can for me?

    Do I need a Will and a Durable Power of Attorney?

    ANSWER:  Every adult, including a married couple that thinks they own everything jointly, still needs to have a Will and a Durable Power of Attorney.

    Do I need a Health Care Surrogate?

    ANSWER Every adult, including a married couple, needs to sign a document appointing a Health Care Surrogate to make health care decisions for them in the event such person is unconscious and/or unable to communicate their treatment wishes.  Further, every adult needs to sign a Living Will Directive stating their end of life care decisions.