Burlington Personal Injury
Personal injuries cause tremendous upheaval as victims struggle with intolerable pain and bodily limitations. In addition to needing medical care, many accident victims suffer from depression and the loss of enjoyment of life. If you were hurt in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or other accident, please contact Larson & Gallivan Law. Our firm has decades of combined experience bringing claims on behalf of accident victims. Our legal team will gladly meet to go over your legal rights and discuss whether you can seek compensation.
Our Personal Injury Practice
The Burlington, VT personal injury lawyers at Larson & Gallivan Law have stepped in and helped people hurt in all sorts of accidents, including:
- Auto accidents. Car wrecks are a common sight in a rural state like Vermont. Anyone struck by a negligent driver can seek compensation by filing an insurance claim on the at-fault driver’s policy or suing in court.
- Truck accidents. Commercial trucks injure hundreds of people in Vermont annually, and they can leave deep scars and painful injuries. Suing a truck company is not the same as bringing a car accident case, so call our firm today.
- Product liability cases. Defective products harm consumers who are not expecting a product to malfunction. Our clients can seek compensation for defective appliances, toys, motor vehicles, clothing, and furniture—whether those products were subject to a recall or not.
- Medical malpractice. Medical professionals owe their clients a duty of care and should use sufficient skill to render competent care. Our legal team can sue if you are hurt by a negligent provider.
- Premises liability claims. Many types of property defects injure innocent people. We can help someone hurt by falling merchandise, dog attacks, or negligent security.
- Slip and falls. Rain, snow, ice, trash, and other defects can send people tumbling. You should sue for compensation to cover a concussion, neck injury, or back injury.
- Workplace accidents. Injured employees can seek workers’ compensation benefits when hurt on the job. They might also sue a non-employer for negligence and obtain even greater compensation than what workers’ comp provides.
If you were hurt in these or other accidents, please call our firm. Our lawyers have broad practice experience and will analyze whether we can help.
Compensation for Personal Injuries
A personal injury claim seeks monetary compensation from the defendant who injured you. Our lawyers will review all medical records and other documents to put a price tag on your injuries. This is a necessary step before we can begin the negotiation process.
Typically, we have sought compensation for certain damages:
- Lost income or wages when an accident victim must miss work. Our clients often need to take weeks or months off to rehab, go to the doctor, and rest at home.
- Property damage. An accident could total your car or damage other property, and the defendant should pay for repairs.
- Medical bills and related expenses. Accidents often send victims to the emergency room. Medical care includes ambulance transportation, prescription drugs, rehab, physical therapy, surgery, and diagnostic tests.
- Pain and suffering. We can’t forget the physical pain, inconvenience, depression, and distress that often accompanies bodily injuries. You should receive compensation from the defendant for these losses.
Call Larson & Gallivan Law to meet with a Burlington, VT personal injury lawyer. Our goal is to seek the most compensation available.
Services We Provide Our Clients
You might wonder why you need a personal injury lawyer when you could possibly negotiate your own settlement. Vermont law does not require that you hire an attorney. But a lawyer can lighten the workload and help you focus on what matters most—healing from your accident. Our firm assists our clients in many ways.
Investigation & Legal Analysis
Accidents leave most people in intense pain. Someone who cannot sleep or even move around easily cannot fully investigate their case and collect evidence. This is where we step in to document your accident.
Our lawyers swing into action and seek evidence to show who is liable for the crash. Liability is critical: you can’t sue someone unless they were liable for your injuries, meaning they were “at fault.”
Vital pieces of evidence include:
- Evidence from the accident scene
- Witness testimony
- Medical and other records
- Police reports
Our lawyers can also work with expert witnesses to help us reconstruct an accident or analyze whether a product is defective. Once we have gathered all evidence, we can pinpoint who is at fault. We might sue one person, a business, or several defendants at once.
Communication & Paperwork
Opening a claim is more complex than filling out a form. Insurers often request endless medical records. They could demand that you fill out a questionnaire or answer questions over the phone. If hired, we will handle all communication and paperwork for you.
Negotiation & Settlement
The majority of our personal injury cases settle, which works out well for all sides. With a settlement, you can guarantee yourself some compensation while avoiding the difficulties and stresses of trial. Defendants also agree to settlements (reluctantly) to avoid losing big in front of a jury.
Negotiation can be challenging. Many defendants and their insurance companies immediately deny fault—even before engaging in a full investigation. They might blame you, which could reduce your compensation. Others will question whether you really feel as much pain as you claim.
Negotiation is more of an art than science. Based on our research, our lawyers know how much an insurance company has paid for similar injuries, and we have the tools for getting them to offer more. Nobody should automatically accept an initial settlement when we can often obtain more.
If settlement hits an impasse, then our law firm can march into court and file a lawsuit. Taking your case to a jury might be the only way to obtain justice.
Important Vermont Personal Injury Laws
Several laws on the books apply to personal injury cases. You deserve an attorney who is intimately familiar with personal injury law, including:
- Statute of limitations. Injured victims must file a lawsuit before the statutory deadline expires. The deadline will depend on the case. Most personal injury cases in Vermont have a three-year deadline, but there are exceptions. If you are injured while skiing or snowboarding, for example, then you typically only get one year. Our clients must meet this deadline or else they lose the ability to sue for compensation.
- Comparative fault. Some victims also contribute to their accidents due to negligence. Think of a motorist who is looking at their phone when they are hit by a speeding driver.12 VSA § 1036 says this negligence will not prevent you from suing so long as it is “not greater” than the defendants’ negligence. However, any contributory negligence will reduce your compensation by a like percentage. So you will receive 30% less compensation if you are 30% at fault.
- Medical malpractice certificate of merit. When filing a medical malpractice lawsuit,12 VSA § 1042 states that your attorney must attest that they have consulted with an expert who believes there is a reasonable basis for the lawsuit.
These are some of the most critical laws that apply to cases. Your attorney should know these laws and others to use them to your advantage.
FAQs about Personal Injury
How long will I wait for a settlement?
It depends on the case. If the defendant readily agrees to fault, then your case might only take a few months. On the other hand, some cases drag on for over a year, especially when the other side rejects that they are at fault.
Can I use the lawyer who handled my DWI or divorce?
You could. A lawyer with a Vermont bar license can represent clients in all types of cases. Still, it’s best to use someone with deep experience in personal injury law. The process for valuing personal injuries is not something most lawyers are familiar with.
Can I really afford you?
Yes! Our law firm handles most of our cases on a contingency basis. In essence, you only pay us if we end up winning your case. Otherwise, you don’t owe us a dime.
What is negligence?
Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care in the circumstances. Most (but not all) personal injury cases are based on negligence. This test asks what a reasonable person would have done in the situation and compares the defendant’s actions to this standard. Doctors and medical providers must meet the standard set by other medical professionals.
Contact Our Burlington, VT Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Accidents strike out of the blue, leaving victims and their families with large medical bills and little hope for the future. We can help. Larson & Gallivan Law has built its reputation on protecting the rights of accident victims like you who are injured at work, on the road, or in the operating room. We will do everything possible to get you the justice you deserve. Please call our firm today to schedule a consultation.