In Vermont, automobile liability coverage is essential.
Every person who operates a motor vehicle must have a minimum amount of liability insurance. If a negligent driver causes bodily injury to another person, the negligent driver’s liability insurance will provide compensation to the injured person. However, liability insurance has a limit of coverage depending on what is chosen at the time of purchase.
The Vermont Legislature sets a minimum amount of liability coverage which must be purchased by anyone who owns and operates a motor vehicle. Presently, the minimum is $25,000 for injury or death to any one person, and $50,000 for any one crash in which multiple people are injured by a negligent driver. See 23 V.S.A. § 800(a).
The coverage limits for an automobile insurance policy are typically set forth on a 1-page document called a “declaration” or a coverage summary. The following is an example of an Automobile Insurance Coverage Summary for a policy issued by Progressive Northern Insurance Company showing liability coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident (if multiple people are injured in one crash). This $100,000/$300,000 liability coverage is fairly common in Vermont.
Vermont personal injury lawyers
If you have questions about a personal injury case, please contact me for a free consultation. Call 802-863-1191 and ask for Adam or email me by clicking here or use the contact form below.
The term “damages” in a personal injury case consists of the total compensation owed to the injured person.
Every personal injury case includes damages for medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by the person’s injuries.
But it’s important to evaluate whether the injured person has suffered lost income damages as well. Lost income damages can include both past and future lost income when a person is unable to work because of injuries.
Past lost income claims can be easy to calculate. For example, if you are an employee earning $500 each week and missed three weeks of work due to injuries, your past lost income claim is $1,500. Past lost income claims can also be very complicated. Sometimes earnings can vary from week to week because a person works overtime, works multiple jobs with an inconsistent schedule, or is self-employed. In other cases, a person can lose an opportunity to earn income, such as a self-employed contractor who loses a big contract. In the more complicated cases, the key is to document and explain exactly how the past lost income claim is calculated. We do this with paystubs, W2’s, tax returns, contracts, letters, and any other records to help show the loss of income.
Future loss of income, sometimes called lost earning capacity, is another type of lost wages. To show these types of losses, we obtain a medical opinion that the injured person will be unable to perform his or her job in the future, and then if necessary we work with an economist to calculate the future loss of income to the injured person.
We can help. We have offices in Burlington and Essex Junction, VT., and are ready to assist you. If you’ve been injured please contact me for a free consultation. Call 802-863-1191 and ask for Adam or email me by clicking here or use the contact form below.
One of our first priorities in a personal injury claim is determining the source and extent of insurance coverage. In many cases, the negligent driver who caused the crash will have insurance to compensate the injured victims.
However, it’s not always that straight forward. The biggest problem we run into is that the negligent driver does not have enough liability insurance. In Vermont, the minimum insurance coverage that driver must carry is $25,000. 23 V.S.A. § 800(a). Even worse is when the driver does not have any insurance coverage.
So what then? The most frequent source of additional coverage is under the injured person’s own auto policy. Vermont law requires that auto insurance policies issued in this state provide uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in a minimum amount of $50,000. 23 V.S.A. § 941.
In some cases we looked to multiple policies of underinsured motorist coverage and “stack” the coverage when necessary. There’s also situations where we may find coverage under a business policy or an employer policy depending on how and where the injury occurred.
If you’ve been injured and have questions about your claim please feel free to call and ask for Adam at 802-863-1191 or email me by clicking here or use the contact form below.