What Types of Damages Are Available in a Personal Injury Case in Vermont?

When someone suffers a personal injury, they may have the right to compensation for their losses. Damages in personal injury cases serve to compensate the injured party for their medical bills, lost income, and other costs associated with the accident. In Vermont, there are several types of damages available in a personal injury case.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages aim to make the plaintiff "whole" again after the incident. These damages are designed to cover all measurable losses that the injured party has suffered. There are two types of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are those that can be easily quantified. This type of compensation is meant to cover the actual monetary losses suffered by the plaintiff. Economic damages may include:

  • Medical expenses: medical bills, hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, pharmaceutical costs, etc.
  • Lost wages: any income that was missed as a result of the injury.
  • Loss of future earning capacity: damages awarded to a person who cannot return to their former profession following an injury.
  • Property damage: the cost of repairing or replacing any property damaged as a result of the incident (e.g. vehicle, bicycle, etc.).

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify than economic damages and are meant to cover subjective losses suffered by the plaintiff. Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering: covers physical pain and suffering and the emotional distress caused by the injury.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: compensates the plaintiff for any inability to participate in activities that they enjoyed before the injury.
  • Loss of consortium: damages awarded to a plaintiff’s spouse for a loss of companionship, affection, and sexual relations caused by the injury.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are rare and are designed to punish the defendant for outrageous conduct. This type of compensation is awarded when the defendant’s behavior was willful or malicious. Punitive damages are meant to deter the defendant from engaging in similar conduct in the future. In Vermont, there is a cap on punitive damages, which cannot exceed three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.

Wrongful Death Damages

If the plaintiff dies as a result of their injuries, their family members may be eligible to receive wrongful death damages. In Vermont, the following damages may be awarded in wrongful death cases:

  • Economic damages: compensation for medical expenses and funeral expenses.
  • Loss of support and services: compensation for the loss of financial support and services provided by the decedent.
  • Loss of companionship: compensates the family members for the loss of companionship, guidance, and comfort provided by the decedent.

Statute of Limitations

In Vermont, there is a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. The plaintiff must file their lawsuit within three years from the date of the injury. If the plaintiff does not file their lawsuit within this timeframe, they may be barred from recovering damages.

Conclusion

If you have suffered a personal injury in Vermont, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. While no amount of money can undo the harm you have suffered, damages can help to ease the financial burden associated with the injury. Contact a personal injury attorney in Vermont to discuss your legal options and potential compensation.

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