What Is “Best Lawyers” and “Super Lawyers”?

Lawyers are selected to be included by Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers by anonymous means. The rankings seem to correspond to the Martindale-Hubbell rankings but not always. The rankings are made anonymously and therefore are deemed reliable indicators to the public as to the abilities of attorneys they are considering to hire. The significance of these rankings are indicators to the public as to the background, training and experience of a lawyer. Unless they are personally acquainted with the lawyer, the general public has no way of knowing whether the lawyer being hired is someone they want handling their case. These rating groups are a good way of evaluating this type of information in the hiring process. Patrick Winburn has been listed in Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers for many years. Winburn Law Offices limits its practice to personal injury matters. It is one of the few offices in Vermont to restrict its practice in this way. No matter where you live in the United States, if your accident happened in Vermont, we can help. We accept cases throughout the State of Vermont – in the Northeast Kingdom, Woodford, Rutland, Wilmington, St. Albans, Montpelier, Middlebury, Manchester, Woodstock, Bennington, Brattleboro, Springfield, Burlington and anywhere else where there is jurisdiction in the State of Vermont. If you have a personal injury problem contact us for a free consultation.

What Is “Martindale-Hubbell”?

Martindale-Hubbell is the oldest attorney ranking/listing group and for decades was the only one. The requirements are stringent, anonymous and rate lawyers from Av to Cv (or no ranking at all). Av means that lawyers in a geographic area, such as Vermont, have given their anonymous opinion about the legal abilities of their counterparts. There is no way to influence the ranking and an Av rating means that that lawyer is considered “preeminent”. A rating of Bv and Cv are actually very good ratings and if an attorney is not rated at all it probably means that they have not practiced long enough or there may be no reason at all.

Patrick Winburn of Winburn Law Offices has been rated Av by Martindale-Hubbell’s highest ratings for many years. Winburn Law Offices limits its practice to personal injury matters. It is one of the few offices in Vermont to restrict its practice in this way.

Our clients come from all parts of Vermont – in Rutland, St. Albans, Manchester, Bennington, Springfield, Londonderry, Brattleboro, Woodstock, Montpelier, Wilmington, the Northeast Kingdom, Burlington and anywhere else where there is jurisdiction in the State of Vermont. We also represent people from other states who have had accidents in Vermont. If you have a personal injury problem contact us for a free consultation.

Should I Hire An Attorney Based On A TV Ad?

This type of advertising seems to be most prevalent in the personal injury field of law. Some say that this is because consumers have no understanding of the value of their cases and if they engage a law firm that, in essence, is a “factory” that settles these cases for whatever is easily obtained by legal staff (i.e. sometimes not trained lawyers but instead by paralegals or other non-lawyers) then the business can be profitable based on the volume of business they handle. For example, if a seasoned veteran thinks a case is worth $100,000.00 it may not be that hard for an inexperienced law firm that is looking only for a quick end to the case to accept $25,000.00 for the case. By having a volume of cases, their business is profitable by settling case after case for whatever can be easily obtained.

At Winburn Law Offices, we do not advertise on TV. We put our credentials and history of success (see the “In The News” page) up on our website for you to consider when deciding to hire a personal injury lawyer.

Winburn Law Offices keeps its practice limited to personal injury matters and provides information to legal consumers so that they can make their best decisions on their own. We handle cases throughout the State of Vermont and have offices in Bennington, Vermont and Manchester, Vermont.

Attorney Advertising

Since the Bates case was decided in the 1970s by the U.S. Supreme Court, attorney advertising has been allowed. Prior to that, there were significant restrictions on any advertising by a lawyer. The Supreme Court decided that this was a restriction on first amendment freedoms and was not permitted.

The result of the decision, although founded in free expression and rights as Americans, also produced a plethora of advertising on television and other mass media that is usually meaningless to potential consumers of legal services. Essentially, any person who wants to spend enough money can be constantly on television promoting their product – their legal practice. Sometimes these are associated with theme songs, jingles and other advertising gimmicks that are typical of any product from used cars to soap. Many lawyers believe that this has diminished the image of the legal profession in general and contributes nothing to the ability of legal consumers to make an informed choice.

We put our credentials and history of success (see the “In The News” page) up on our website for you to consider when deciding to hire a personal injury lawyer. Winburn Law Offices limits its law practice to personal injury matters and provides information to legal consumers so that they can make their best decisions on their own. We handle cases throughout the State of Vermont and have offices in Bennington, Vermont and Manchester, Vermont.

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.