Oct 14, 2010

How Do I File a Lawsuit in Vermont for an Injury?

Vermont Law Pertaining To Personal Injury — A Q&A

If you have been injured and are considering filing a lawsuit for personal injury in Vermont, or if you are a Vermont resident who may have a claim in Vermont arising out of an injury suffered elsewhere, the following Q&A offers some introductory information to help you explore a potential lawsuit.

What is the role negligence plays in filing a personal injury lawsuit in Vermont?

Generally, a personal injury action requires an injury sustained as a result of the failure of another to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Under Vermont's comparative negligence statute the plaintiff may not recover damages if her negligence exceeds the negligence of the defendant. However, if the plaintiff's negligence is less than that of the defendant, the plaintiff's verdict will be reduced in proportion to the amount of negligence attributed to the plaintiff.

Are there special circumstances related to auto accident injuries and truck accident injuries in Vermont?

The law governing personal injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents (including auto accidents, truck accidents, tractor trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents and bus accidents) can be found in Vermont's safety statutes and Vermont case law. Generally, drivers are required to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances in their operation of motor vehicles. Violation of Vermont's safety statutes constitutes a rebuttable presumption of negligence.

How long do I have after an accident to file a lawsuit? (What is the statute of limitations in Vermont?)

In order to preserve potential legal rights, contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible from the date of an injury or death is critical. All states have statutes of limitations which prohibit bringing old claims for personal injury or medical malpractice under certain circumstances. However, even if a person was injured some time ago, she may still be able to bring a claim despite these laws.

Generally, the statutes of limitations in Vermont require that personal injury and medical malpractice claims be brought within three years from the conduct giving rise to the claim, but there are significant exceptions to these laws. Consultation with an attorney specializing in Vermont personal injury lawsuits regarding the nuances of the applicable statute of limitations is important. Generally, the time periods do not begin to run until the injured party has or should have discovered her injury and the fact that it may have been caused by defendant's negligence.

More on Statute of Limitations in Vermont

Cases for wrongful death in Vermont must be brought within two years from the discovery of the death, subject to specific exceptions.

For cases relating to a skiing accident, the statute of limitations is only one year.

This information is adapted by permission from information published by Vermont personal injury attorneys at law firm Maley and Maley of Burlington, VT. For more information on personal injury law in VT and how to file a personal injury claim, please visit their web site for more details.

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