In a case that features many legal complexities, 57-year-old Kathleen “Kathy” Goode was killed in a serious car crash.
Goode, who resided in Adair County, was airlifted from the scene of a two-vehicle collision on Highway 70 in Casey County. But she did not survive. The coroner said the official cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
No other details were available.
Car Crashes and Head Injuries
Stories like this one are common. Vehicle collisions are the leading cause of head injuries. These incidents combine all three major head injury causes, which are:
- Trauma: Today’s vehicle engineers are more advanced than ever, but their safety systems still use twentieth-century technology. As a result, restraint systems cannot hope to contain the massive forces in modern vehicle collisions.
- Motion: The violent motion of a car crash might cause more head injuries than trauma. This injury, which is called whiplash, can cause paralysis. As discussed below, crash-related head injuries like this one are also very difficult to diagnose and treat.
- Noise: Roughly a third of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans come home with head injuries, and many of them were not directly combat-related. Sudden loud noises, like an explosion or car crash, trigger shock waves which disrupt brain functions.
Head injury misdiagnosis significantly raises the cost of these injuries, both in terms of medical bills and pain and suffering. Initially, common head injury symptoms include soreness and disorientation. Many doctors ascribe symptoms like these to shock. So, these victims do not get the help they need until more advanced symptoms develop. At that point, the brain damage is more difficult to contain and impossible to reverse.
A Kentucky personal injury attorney quickly connects vehicle collision victims with vehicle collision doctors. These physicians know how to quickly diagnose and aggressively treat whiplash and other such injuries.
Procedural Issues in Negligence Claims
Location matters in many vehicle collision claims. Typically, low-speed accidents occur close to home. High-speed freeway collisions often occur far from home. Since many serious injury collisions are freeway collisions, these crashes often involve venue issues. Legally, victims can bring damage claims:
- In the county of residence or
- Where the injury occurred.
If there are two different counties involved, it’s important to examine the pros and cons of the different venues rather than rushing to file paperwork.
It is usually more convenient to file a claim in the county of residence. That’s especially true following a serious injury accident. Many of these victims have a hard time getting from Point A to Point B. Attending hearings or trials far from home is difficult.
However, most or all of the evidence is usually located in the county where the accident happened. That includes both physical evidence and eyewitnesses. This point is significant since the victim/plaintiff has the burden of proof. Any evidence difficulties make it harder to obtain fair compensation.
Venue sometimes affects settlement value as well. As a general rule, jurors in rural areas are more conservative than jurors in urban areas. If the jury is likely to side with the victim in a dispute, that fact makes it easier for an attorney to successfully resolve the claim out of court. As outlined below, out of court settlements typically benefit everyone.
Resolving a Negligence Case
Most judges send parties in contested cases to mediation. A third-party mediator works with both sides to facilitate a settlement. If both sides negotiate in good faith, which means they are willing to compromise on some points, mediation is about 90 percent successful.
Mediated settlements save money and time. They shorten the length of the case, often by many months. So, victims do not have to wait as long to receive compensation for their injuries. Additionally, mediated settlements give the participants more control over the outcome.
Damages in a car crash case usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Vehicle collision claims are normally quite complex. For a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.