Why Is It Important Which Lawyer Evaluates Your Case?

Usually, people do not know very much about the lawyer they are considering to hire to evaluate their personal injury case. They may have selected the attorney because they have seen them on tv ads or have a familiar name due to mass advertising.

Obviously, it is important who determines what your case is worth. The insurance company will always want to offer you less than your case is worth. As a result, the playing field has to be equalized by hiring an attorney who knows the rules and has experience to be on your side.

We offer free consultations to help you make a more informed choice. Our background and experience (see the “In The News” page of this website) can help in making a good decision about who should be hired to handle your case. We have offices in Bennington and Manchester, Vermont and handle cases throughout the entire State.

What If I Am Confined To A Hospital Or Home And Need Your Services?

Winburn Law Offices offers free consultation by telephone and we are also available to meet with you at the hospital or your home personally to discuss the matter and provide advice. Give us a call toll free at 1-800-640-5100 or contact us by email at winburn@sover.net and we will be pleased to review your case.

Winburn Law Offices accepts cases throughout the State of Vermont. We have tried cases from St. Albans in the northern part of the state to Bennington in the southern part of the state and in most points in between including Rutland, Burlington, Woodstock and Brattleboro.

Comparative Negligence

Vermont adheres to a comparative negligence law that allows multiple parties to be negligent for causing an accident. Although an accident may be 100% the fault of only one person, sometimes two or more people contribute to the cause of the accident. This percentage is determined by a jury if the case is not resolved.

There are a variety of different comparative negligence laws and each State adopts its own. This is an artificial system that legislatures create in order to provide rules that limit lawsuits. There is no right or wrong comparative negligence law – only the one that your elective representatives determine is the one that should be followed. The determination of whether the Vermont comparative negligence law applies to your case can be complicated and you should consult an attorney to further review the circumstances of your case.

We only practice personal injury law and have represented clients from all over the United States as well as the State of Vermont who have had accidents in Vermont – in Springfield, Manchester, Burlington, Montpelier, Woodford, Rutland, Woodstock, Brattleboro, St. Albans, the Northeast Kingdom, Wilmington, Bennington and anywhere else where there is jurisdiction in the State of Vermont.

If you have a personal injury problem feel free to contact us.

Statute of Limitations

The Statute of Limitations is an artificial time period that a person has to file a lawsuit after events giving rise to the case. Statutes of Limitations are created by the legislature and are arbitrary deadlines that must be followed in order to protect your rights. If your case is not filed in Court within these time limits you can forever lose your right to make your claim. The determination of a Statute of Limitations can be tricky and there may be exceptions to the time periods given for some. Accordingly, it is important to have an attorney promptly review your case and advise you as to a Statute of Limitations along with the other aspects of a potential case.

Our law office reviews cases throughout the State of Vermont – in Manchester, Bennington, Rutland, Burlington, Woodstock, St. Albans, Brattleboro, Montpelier, Woodford, Springfield, Wilmington, the Northeast Kingdom and anywhere else where there is jurisdiction in the State of Vermont. If you believe you have a personal injury claim feel free to contact us toll free at 800-640-5100.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are allowed in a civil suit but under a very limited type of circumstance. In Vermont, it is rare for punitive damages to be awarded. Punitive damages are essentially a civil fine that is assessed by a jury as punishment for a wrongdoer and are different than consequential damages such as pain, suffering, loss of income, medical expenses, etc.

We handle cases all over the State of Vermont – in Bennington, Burlington, Brattleboro, Rutland, Woodstock, St. Albans, Montpelier, Manchester, Springfield, the Northeast Kingdom and anywhere else where there is jurisdiction in the State of Vermont. If you have a personal injury problem feel free to contact us.

What Do I Do If I Am In A Car Accident In Vermont?

Initially, you should do the obvious – stay calm, call 911, provide comfort to others, but do not move injured people and await the arrival of an ambulance and police. You should leave your vehicle exactly where it ended up after the collision unless it is a hazard to you or others and cooperate fully with all authorities.

Later on, you should report the accident to your own insurance company. You are contractually obligated to cooperate in some ways with your own insurance company even if the accident is not your fault.

If you google the title of this blog you will see listings for advice from a number of insurance companies and there is a reason for that. Despite advertisements to the contrary, insurance companies are not your friend. Insurance companies are businesses that make a profit by not paying claims. They know the rules and their adjusters are trained to ask seemingly innocent questions that may hurt your case later on.

For example, the first question that an insurance adjuster usually asks is “Is everyone all right?”. Almost everyone says “yes” even if they are in the hospital. However, the person answering this question is not giving a detailed medical assessment. They mean that they are not dying and are grateful to have survived the accident. This is the way a person normally talks. Later on, when an injury claim is made, the insurance company has you on record as being “all right” which will be used against you.

That is why you should have legal counsel before you talk to insurance companies. There are other questions like this that are designed to elicit statements that misconstrue the real circumstances. You need someone on your side to advise you and even the playing field.

We have handled thousands of car accident cases and have first-hand experience that we can share so you will be treated fairly. We handle cases all over the State of Vermont – in Bennington, Burlington, Brattleboro, Rutland, St. Albans, Montpelier, Springfield, Woodstock, the Northeast Kingdom and anywhere else where there is jurisdiction in the State of Vermont. If you have a personal injury problem feel free to contact us.

What Is A Tort?

The term “tort” is a legal word that essentially means a wrong committed by someone against another. Tort cases include automobile accidents, snowmobile accidents, medical malpractice, aviation accidents, falls, ski accidents and most other types of negligent events. Different laws apply to different types of cases. For example, an agreement that is broken is not a tort case – it is a contract case. The determination of what type of case you have determines what laws are applicable and should be reviewed with an attorney.

We handle cases all over the State of Vermont – in Bennington, Burlington, Brattleboro, Rutland, Woodstock, St. Albans, Montpelier, Manchester, Springfield, the Northeast Kingdom and anywhere else where there is jurisdiction in the State of Vermont. If you have a personal injury problem feel free to contact us.

Should I Give a Statement to an Insurance Company If I am Involved in an Accident?

Insurance companies frequently want to take statements from people involved in accidents. Their representation to the public is that they want to take statements to preserve evidence and investigate the liability of the person they are providing insurance for. Sometimes this is the case but giving a statement also provides the insurance company with information that can be used against you at a later time. Insurance companies are professionals at taking statements and asking the types of questions that are designed to prevent cases from being made against their insured (and themselves). If a statement is made voluntarily without legal advice it can sometimes hurt the case of the person giving the statement no matter how good the motives are for the person giving the statement. It is always better to have legal advice so that there is an equal playing field in this type of circumstance.

We handle cases all over the State of Vermont – in Bennington, Burlington, Brattleboro, Rutland, Woodstock, St. Albans, Montpelier, Manchester, Springfield, the Northeast Kingdom and anywhere else where there is jurisdiction in the State of Vermont. If you have a personal injury problem feel free to contact us.

When Will A Case Settle?

Cases can settle at any time. Most cases are settled – but sometimes later rather than sooner. It is in the insurance companies’ interest, especially in large cases, to withhold payment for as long as possible. For example, if an insurance company owes $1,000,000.00 to someone and can pay them three years later it does not cost them $1,000,000.00 to pay them in three years because of the savings by investing that money over the course of time. If the insurance company has made 10% interest on your money, in 3 years they are really paying you $700,000.00. If this scenario is repeated multiple times involving huge amounts of money then the insurance company has made a good business decision for themselves.

That is why it is important to not let the insurance company drag out the resolution of a case. Of course, certain information has to be known before a case can be evaluated and sometimes does take time. And not all cases are worth $1,000.000.00.

A person usually should be at a medical end result so that a proper evaluation can be made. A medical end result is generally determined by a doctor. However, sometimes cases can be evaluated before the medical end result if the injuries are bad enough. If a person’s injuries are obviously going to be long-standing and the medical bills are large and/or the insurance policy limits small this determination can be predicted causing an earlier settlement.

We handle cases all over the State of Vermont – in Bennington, Burlington, Brattleboro, Rutland, Woodstock, St. Albans, Montpelier, Manchester, Springfield, the Northeast Kingdom and anywhere else where there is jurisdiction in the State of Vermont. If you have a personal injury problem feel free to contact us.

Insurance Policy Limits

Every insurance policy has an insurance limit that states a maximum amount of money the insurance company will pay on a claim. The lawyers and their clients know what it is although it is rarely something that can be explained to a jury if a trial is required. Juries are usually not allowed to be told whether insurance even exists.

Since most cases settle without a trial, it is extremely uncommon for a person’s personal assets to be at risk if a trial takes place. Very few people have the resources to pay verdicts and besides, that is why they have insurance. If a jury award exceeds the limits of an insurance policy our office can sometimes make a bad faith claim against the insurance company since they would have had an opportunity to settle within the policy limits. Instead, they gambled with their insured’s money with the hope that a jury would allow them to pay less so that they would save money. When they have an opportunity to settle and protect their insured’s assets but end up with a verdict that exceeds the policy limits, the argument can be made that they have been negligent in their handling of the matter to the detriment of their insured.

As a result, after an assignment of rights by the insured to the plaintiff, the plaintiff can actually sue the defendant’s insurance company to recover the excess of any verdict. This is known as a “bad faith” claim. However, it is uncommon for a verdict to exceed an insurance company’s policy limits. Generally the plaintiff’s lawyers do not ask the jury for more than they know they are going to be able to actually recover from the case.

We handle cases all over the State of Vermont – in Bennington, Burlington, Brattleboro, Rutland, Woodstock, St. Albans, Montpelier, Manchester, Springfield, the Northeast Kingdom and anywhere else where there is jurisdiction in the State of Vermont. If you have a personal injury problem feel free to contact us.