Introduction to Vermont Car Accident Lawsuits and Lawyers
The State of Vermont derives its name from the French phrase meaning “green mountain.” From Montpelier to Burlington, green can be seen throughout the state as the terrain is mainly forested. Vermont residents generally take great pride in the state’s natural beauty: the state is also home to several historic covered wooden bridges and produces a significant amount of maple syrup. The state’s small size is matched by a small population – according to the 2013 census, Vermont’s population is approximately 625,000. The only state with a smaller population would be Wyoming.
Despite the state’s natural beauty small-community feel, driving in Vermont can be a dangerous venture. A car accident can leave a driver or passenger with catastrophic – or even fatal – injuries. In the aftermath of a Vermont car accident, look to a knowledgeable car accident attorney for help in navigating the complex claim and lawsuit process.
Statistics Concerning Fatal Vermont Car Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Vermont experienced 57 fatal traffic accidents in 2015. The majority of these accidents occurred in rural areas of the state. Franklin County and Rutland County were tied for the highest number of fatal crashes in 2015 (each county experienced 18 fatal traffic collisions). Chittenden County followed with 16 traffic related fatalities. Some of the causes for these fatal collisions included:
- Alcohol or drug impairment: Drivers can become dangerously impaired by drinking alcohol or consuming drugs and then attempting to drive. Alcohol or drugs can deaden a driver’s senses and make it more difficult for that driver to safely drive.
- Excessive speed or reckless driving: Traffic rules and regulations are meant to help drivers arrive at their destinations safely. When a driver disregards speed limit signs or traffic lights, he or she puts himself and other drivers in danger.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving (such as texting while driving or performing other tasks like eating or talking to passengers) is fast becoming one of the major reasons for injury and fatal car crashes nationwide. Driving while distracted takes the motorists attention and focus off of the road, which can have terrible consequences.
Vermont motorists should take care when driving, especially in rural areas. Obeying posted traffic signs, refusing to drink and drive, and putting away distractions while driving can help reduce the chances that a person will be involved in an injury or fatality collision.
Vermont is a Fault-Based State for Insurance Purposes
Vermont motorists must purchase an auto insurance policy that provides sufficient coverage to pay the claims of individuals who may be injured or killed as a result of the motorist’s careless or reckless driving. Because of Vermont taking a “fault-based” approach to insurance claims, injured motorists are able to pursue compensation for their injuries and losses from the individual who they believe is responsible for causing the crash and/or his or her insurance company. If the motorist’s own insurance company pays for the motorist’s claim, that insurance company can pursue the at-fault party or parties and recoup the amount of the claim that was paid.
Vermont allows injured motorists to recover compensation even if they are partly at fault in causing the accident or contributing to the severity of their injuries. So long as the injury victim is 50 percent or less responsible for causing his or her own losses, the victim may pursue a claim or lawsuit for compensation. The amount of compensation that a victim would receive in this circumstance would be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the injury victim. For example, an injury victim that is 20 percent responsible for his or her injuries and who sustains $50,000 in losses will only be able to recover $40,000 from the other, at-fault party.
File Your Lawsuit for Compensation Quickly in Vermont
Under Vermont statute Title 12, Section 512, you have three years from the date of your car accident (whether it results in an injury or death) to file your claim for compensation. This is known as Vermont’s statute of limitations. This statute is designed to keep cases and claims from becoming too “stale” and difficult to determine because of the passage of time. If you fail to file your lawsuit before the expiration of this statute of limitations, you may be prevented from obtaining any compensation at all.
Stern Law, PLLC is Your Vermont Car Accident Law Firm
If you have been injured in a car accident or lost a loved one in a fatality collision, contact Stern Law, PLLC at (844) 808-7529 right away. We will evaluate your case and fight aggressively for a damages award that adequately compensates you for your losses and expenses. The sooner you contact our office, the quicker we are able to begin working on your case and helping you achieve your legal goals.