Vermont may be home to some of the happiest Americans, but ever since your accident, you certainly are not one of them. Ever since your injury, your only joy comes from eating Ben & Jerry's. Whether your injury was inflicted by a skier, a snowboarder, or at Dog Mountain, you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages in Vermont.
In the table and explanations below, you will find answers to your biggest questions about pain and suffering damages in Vermont.
Statute of Limitations
Limits on Damages
Pain and Suffering Damages: The Basics
While some states separate damages into categories for "money losses", "other losses", and "punitive" (punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant for wrongdoing), Vermont instead separates damage awards into much smaller categories. This results in damage pain and suffering damages being available as part of personal injury damage awards in personal injury cases, as well as part of a non-economic damages award in wrongful death cases.
Personal injury damages may also include compensation for disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages in a wrongful death case may also include compensation for loss of love or companionship, as well as compensation for grief and mental anguish.
Does Vermont Cap Pain and Suffering Damages?
If a GMT driver caused your accident, you may have a claim against the state of Vermont. Unfortunately, Vermont limits its own liability by law to $500,000 per person and $2 million total per accident, inclusive of any pain and suffering damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
How long you have to file your claim depends on what kind of claim you have. If you were the one injured, the applicable statute of limitations is three years. If you are bringing a claim for wrongful death because your loved one was killed due to the fault or wrongdoing of another person, you have only two years to file your lawsuit.
Could Anything Else Prevent Me from Recovering?
Many factors go into determining whether a court will award pain and suffering damages. But one addition factor you should be aware of is that Vermont only awards damages to parties who are 50% or less at fault for their own injuries. This is known as "modified comparative fault", and it means that even if you are suffering a tremendous amount of mental distress or loss of companionship, if you were driving too fast or ran through a red light, your recovery may be reduced or denied in its entirety.
Get a Claim Review from a Vermont Attorney
As you can see, injured parties have a pretty good chance of recovering pain and suffering damages in Vermont. But if Vermont's caps on damage awards and confusing comparative fault rules leave you feeling even more turned around than you did in the Great Vermont Corn Maze, you might benefit from a claim evaluation from an experienced Vermont attorney.
Contact a qualified attorney.