Notes from Vermont Supreme Court Decision (in PDF Format) – Watson v. Village at Northshore Supreme Court Decision
Below are links to various useful resources we’ve compiled. We will keep this list up to date on the Resources page of our website so please be sure to check back.
Call Jarvis, McArthur & Williams at (802) 658-9411 for an experienced legal consultation.
- Easy to understand information on surgeries: yoursurgery.com
- General Medical Information: webmd.com
- Vermont Department of Health: healthvermont.gov
- United Cerebral Palsy: ucp.org
- March of Dimes: marchofdimes.com
- New England Journal of Medicine: nejm.org
- BreastCancer.org: www.breastcancer.org
- National Cancer Institute: cancer.gov
- American Cancer Society: cancer.org
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- Merck Manual: merck.com
- American Heart Association: americanheart.org
- American Board of Medical Specialties: abms.org
- Physicians Desk Reference: pdr.net
- E-Medicine: emedicine.medscape.com
- National Guidelines Clearinghouse: guideline.gov
- Docfinder Searches (Administrators In Medicine): docboard.org
Motor Vehicle Accidents
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: nhtsa.gov
- US Department of Transportation: dot.gov
- Product Liability Consumer Product Safety Commission: cpsc.gov
- American National Standards Institute (safety standards): ansi.org
- American Society for Testing & Materials: astm.org
- S. Food and Drug Administration: www.fda.gov
- Drug information A-Z: pdrhealth.com/drugs
- Recreational Accidents Consumer Product Safety Commission: cpsc.gov
- Recreation & Sports Safety Publications: cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Guides/Sports-Fitness-and-Recreation/
- American Society for Testing & Materials: astm.org
- Toxic Torts Lead Paint Poisoning Resource Guide: gov/enviro/lead/lead.aspx
- Lead Law Overview: leadsafevermont.org/html/rent_leadlaw.html
- What To Do About Lead-Based Paint: cvoeo.org/vti/leadactioninfosheet.pdf
Vermont Legal Resources
- Vermont Courts on-line: vermontjudiciary.org
- State of Vermont Website: vermont.gov
- United States District Court, District of Vermont: vtd.uscourts.gov
- Vermont Association for Justice (Vermont Trial Lawyers Association): vermontjustice.org
- American Association for Justice (Trial Lawyers Association): justice.org
- National Association of Personal Injury Lawyers: napil.com
Criminal Law Resources
- American Bar Association: www.americanbar.org
- NAACP: www.naacp.org
- Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform: www.vcjr.org
- The sentencing project: www.sentencingproject.org
- American Civil Liberties Union: www.aclu.org
- Vera Institute of Justice: www.vera.org
- Pew Research Center: www.pewresearch.org
- Prison Policy Initiative: www.prisonpolicy.org
- Brennan Center for Justice: www.brennancenter.org
- Vermont Department of Health: www.healthvermont.gov
- The Innocence Project: www.innocenceproject.org
- Find Law: www.findlaw.com
The Client should be focusing their energy on treatment so they can resume their life as it was prior to the injury
After a personal injury incident, such as a car accident, your No. 1 priority should be to receive medical care. In many cases, particularly those that may benefit from the services of a personal injury attorney, more than one doctors visit will be necessary. Doctors may require a series of tests and follow-up visits to document the recovery process, and it’s important that you keep up with these appointments.
A proven consistency of care will likely benefit you greatly down the line. On the other hand, a “gap” in treatment could strike a serious blow in your settlement negotiations in a personal injury case.
What’s A Gap?
In general, there are two types of gaps in treatment:
First, there is the gap between when you were involved in the incident and when you first got treatment for the injuries from that incident. For example, you were involved in a car accident in June, but did not go see a doctor until December.
The second type of gap is treatment is when you see a doctor immediately after an injury incident, but let several weeks or months go by before you see the doctor again. Skipping appointments and not following doctor’s orders (physical therapy, etc.) may significantly devalue your injury claim.
After a personal injury claim is filed, the insurance company’s adjuster will be looking for any way possible to devalue your claim. One of the first things they’ll look for is a gap in medical treatment. These adjusters will use these gaps as evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you are claiming. Their argument will boil down to this: if you were truly as injured as you say you were, you would not delay treatment or skip doctor’s appointments.
Insurance adjusters may also say that your injuries may not have been incurred during the claimed personal injury incident. Having a documented treatment plan is key.
Many personal injury attorneys, including the attorneys at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams, recommend that their clients keep a log or journal of their doctor’s visits, pain and suffering symptoms, and work logs. This gives both sides a timeline for your injuries and the recovery process.
Legitimate Reasons For A Gap In Treatment
While it’s paramount to avoid any gaps in medical treatment, sometimes these situations are unavoidable. Just because there are gaps in treatment does not mean you are not injured. Some injury victims experience an illness that prevents them from getting to the doctor. Maybe other life events supersede the treatment (surgery, disease, sick relative, etc.). Many times gaps occur because a victim is waiting to see a specialist.
Of course, if you must miss a doctor’s appointment or delay treatment, it’s important that you communicate this with your personal injury attorney. A lawyer will be able to document these gaps and the legitimate reasons behind them, making sure they can’t be used against you by the insurance company in settlement negotiations.
Insurance companies will try to use missed or skipped appointments to their maximum benefit to avoid paying as much as the personal injury case may be worth.
Why Do People Have Gaps In Medical Treatment?
It may seem like a no-brainer, but plenty of people do not make their own well-being a priority after an injury incident. The two most common reasons why people have gaps treatment are:
- The pain is not greater than the “inconvenience” of receiving treatment:This reason is extremely frustrating for personal injury attorneys. Treatment is one of the main sources of evidence in an injury claim, and clients that do not take time to see a doctor make the entire process difficult. If work or other life events are more important to the client than receiving the necessary treatment, those gaps will almost assuredly come back to bite them.
- No health insurance: If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence and do not have health insurance, you can still receive treatment after the incident. You can receive the treatment necessary, but must satisfy the balance of the medical provider’s lien before you receive your cut of the settlement money. If you do not have insurance, the attorneys at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams can attempt to work with medical providers to make sure they are paid at the end of the personal injury case.
Listen To The Doctors
One of the most important pieces of advice you can follow from the personal injury attorneys at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams is to LISTEN AND FOLLOW THE ADVICE OF THE MEDICAL PROVIDERS
Once you begin the healing process by seeing a medical professional, follow orders. If your doctor recommends you take time off from work, then take time off from work. Though it may seem like an inconvenience in the short term, that missed time from work may establish a lost wage claim.
If you are told by a doctor to refrain from physical activities such as athletics, stay on the sideline. If the insurance company can prove that you didn’t slow down – possibly with social media photos and videos – they’ll argue your injuries must not have been that serious.
While the above scenarios detail how your claim may be devalued, your physical well-being may also be affected. Gaps in treatment will delay the healing process for you. The more proactive and disciplined you are during the recovery process, the faster you’ll be back to 100 percent.
Contact Jarvis, McArthur & Williams Today
Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side is important. That is why you need to contact the legal team at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams today. Our staff will advise you and your loved ones of your legal options. Contact our office at (802) 658-9411, or www.jarvismcarthur.com
The death of a family member or loved one is always a tragic loss. When your loved one or family member has been killed due to the negligence or medical malpractice of someone else, you may have several questions, including the following:
- What should I do after the suspicious death of a loved one?
- Where can I get help if someone else is at fault?
- How will my family survive financially with this loss of income?
- Who will help my family and me get through this?
The attorneys at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams understand that this time can be painful. We know that right now you and your family need support, as well as someone you can trust to answer your many questions. Jarvis, McArthur & Williams is prepared to help you find answers to your questions and give you peace of mind if we represent you and your family in a wrongful death case.
When filing a wrongful death case, we will investigate the case for you and determine how the accident happened, why it occurred, and who is to blame. Our wrongful death lawyers help families obtain all compensation available under federal and Vermont state law.
Those benefits may include monetary compensation for the loss of the income your loved one would have earned had he or she survived; the loss of companionship, society and comfort; and other monetary losses from that death. In some instances, an award of money designed to punish the responsible party (known as “punitive damages”) may apply.
Although no amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one, a monetary award can help families survive financially after their tragic loss. Sometimes, this is the only way the law can penalize the party or parties at fault.
Unfortunately, in the state of Vermont, there is a limited period of time a wrongful death case can be submitted. If you have lost a family member or loved one due to the negligence of someone else, the attorneys at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams is prepared to help you. We have years of experience and skill in helping people deal with the death of a loved one. We can help you.
Call Jarvis, McArthur & Williams at (802) 658-9411and let us help you obtain all of the remedies available to you because of the wrongful death of your loved one.
If you’ve been injured, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams at (802) 658-9411. Jarvis, McArthur & Williams will help you out.
When you’re involved in a car accident, injuries can be very severe and there are important things you should do at the scene of the accident and immediately after.
- The first thing you should do after a car accident is to stay at the scene until it’s appropriate to leave. If you leave, you can face serious criminal penalties for being a hit-and-run
- Next, make sure to check on all drivers and passengers. Before looking into property damage, make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay. Get medical attention for anyone who needs it and if a person is unconscious or has neck or back injuries, don’t move them until qualified medical help arrives.
- Next, call the police. If there is property damage, physical injury or death, you need to call the police. Ask for a police report and obtain the name and badge numbers of the officers. Personal injury claims can be significantly effected if the police are not called. A police report is often times the best evidence of liability in a car accident / personal injury claim.
- Next, make sure you exchange information. Get the names, numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from all drivers involved. If there are passengers, obtain that information from them. It’s very important that you do not claim responsibility of the accident. Fault isn’t determinative of which insurer will pay for any loss so do not claim any liability. If there are any witnesses, make sure to talk to them and get their information.
- Next, inform your insurance company. Cooperate with them and tell them the truth about what happened and the extend of your injuries. Do not minimize your injuries. Explain the facts clearly. If you had to see a doctor, physical therapist, chiropractors or other medical professionals, make sure you keep track of such treatments. Get any medical reports and bills so your lawyer can use them to get you compensation. Although medical expenses are relatively easy to document, pain and suffering is trickier to prove so keep a record of daily notes on progress.
Getting property damage valuation is a very important step. Take photographs of any damage and obtain your insurance company’s damage valuation.
It’s very important that you only talk about your accident to your personal injury attorney, your insurance company and the police. Do not talk to any other insurance company without your attorney or insurer.
The final step would be to contact an experienced attorney at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams who can help your specific case.
When Should I Contact a Car accident / Personal Injury Attorney at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams?
Every case is different and it depends on what happened and what injuries were suffered. If you haven’t been injured, you probably won’t need a lawyer. But if you or anyone you know has been injured in the car accident, you should contact the personal injury attorneys at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams.
There are certain situations that you should definitely the car accident / personal injury attorney at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams, such as:
- A death occurred
- Broken bones / head injury / whiplash injuries were sustained
- Other severe injuries occurred
- Pedestrians were involved
- The accident occurred in a construction zone
- The police report doesn’t accurately describe the accident
- Important technical, legal or medical issues are involved
Contacting the car accident / personal injury attorneys at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams who deal with personal injury can give you the peace of mind when it seems like everything is chaotic. Even if you feel like you don’t need a personal injury attorney it might be a good idea to see one to get advice or seeking information on how to proceed with an insurer.
What Should I Do If The Police Didn’t Take A Traffic Collision Report?
Police reports are important for the post accident claims process but there are 3 reasons the police might not arrive at the scene.
- If there are no injuries, the police usually assign certain levels of priority to incidents. Depending on what else is going on, your accident may not be a priority.
- In some jurisdictions, a police officer will not come if the damage is minor. If you think the damage is under $500, the local police may not be required to take a report at the scene.
- Third, during extreme weather conditions like thunderstorms and blizzards, the police might not be able to take your report in person.
If the police do not show up to the scene of the crime, reporting your accident is still very important. The police dispatcher may be able to explain how you can file an official report after the fact. You can always go to the police if they don’t come to you after a car accident.
Even if the damage seems minor, an official report can help in case something unexpected happens. Before you go to the police, make sure you have names and insurance information of the drivers involved, names and phone numbers of any witnesses, and pictures of both vehicles at the scene. You may always call our office for a free consultation with one of car accident / personal injury lawyers at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams
How Do I Deal With Property Damage After A Car Accident?
The first thing you should do is contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company to inform them of the accident. You want to make arrangements to have the damage to your car assessed at this time. You should also ask about a rental car if you are going to need one.
If the at-fault driver has not yet reported the accident, they may want to see the accident report before admitting liability. You may be able to speed up the process by getting a copy of the report yourself and furnishing it to them. You are entitled to recover the difference between what your car was worth immediately before the accident and what it was worth immediately after the accident. This is determined by either the cost of repairing the vehicle or the fair market value of the vehicle. The insurance company will make the decision on which method to use.
- If the estimated repair cost is more than 75% of your car’s value, they will probably total your car and pay you that value.
- If the insurance company decides to repair the vehicle, you can then arrange with the repair shop of your choice to do the work.
- If the shop finds damage that the adjuster overlooked or underestimated, the shop will contact the adjuster to work out additional payment.
- If your car is totaled but you want to keep it, the insurance company may reduce what they will pay you. Also, the title may have to be sent to DMV so that the fact that the car was totaled can be noted. This may affect the cars future resale or trade-in value.
- If you will still owe more than what your totaled car is worth, you should discuss substitution of collateral with your lender.
- If the lender agrees, you can use the insurance money to purchase a replacement and have that vehicle stand as security for the loan.
- If the other person’s insurance refuses to pay for the damage, contact your own company about getting the repairs done if you have collision insurance. Let them deal with the other insurance company about payment. You will have to pay a deductible, but if the other company eventually pays, this will be reimbursed.
- If you don’t have collision coverage, you will have to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you.
- If the other person doesn’t have insurance, talk with your insurer about using your uninsured motorist coverage.
The Insurance Company Is Offering Me A Settlement For My Car Accident Claim. Should I Take It?
Before you decide on accepting a settlement offer, you need to understand how the adjuster operates and comes up with the amount.
- It begins with the adjuster investing the case. The adjuster’s goal is to obtain the same facts that the plaintiff’s personal injury attorney Part of the investigation process is finding out what the insured had to say about what happened.
- The adjuster will read any written police report or accident report that the insured may have sent to the insurer. Insurers have claims databases that allow adjusters to determine whether the plaintiff has ever filed a personal injury claim before.
- The adjuster will write the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer to introduce him or herself and request that the plaintiff provide documentation relating to the plaintiff’s claim.
- The adjuster will usually request documents such as medical records, medical bills, proof of earnings, tax returns and proof of property damage. If the initial medical records indicate that the plaintiff may have had prior injuries or complaints to the body part that was injured in the accident that led to the current claim, the adjuster will request that the plaintiff provide all prior medical records for any treatment that the plaintiff has ever had for that condition.
- Once the adjuster has all of your medical records and bills and all of the other information that he/she needs to value the case, he/she will put a value on the case. In order to value the case, the adjuster has to think about what the plaintiff’s chances of winning are and how much might a jury award the plaintiff.
- Once the adjuster has decided what the plaintiff’s chances of winning are, he/she will think about the plaintiff’s damage claim.
- Damages in personal injury cases are usually divided into two categories: damages capable of exact calculation and damages not capable of exact calculation such as pain and suffering. For medical bills and lost earnings, the adjust will just add it up. But for pain and suffering, it gets a little trickier.
- Once the insurer has arrived at a settlement value, he/she has to decide what to offer. The first offer is going to be a percentage of what the insurer thinks is the final value of the case. The insurer may require that the first offer be 40% of the value of the case, but every insurers have different requirements.
- Accepting the offer right away means that you will not have the option to ask for additional compensation at a later date, should you discover your injuries require more healing than you first thought.
- You are not obligated to accept any offers from an insurance company.
- Adjusters often have leeway to adjust the first offer depending on who he/she is dealing with.
It’s always best to contact the experienced car accident / personal injury lawyers at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams who can give you advice about your specific case.
How long do I have to file a claim after a car accident?
After a car accident, you have a limited amount of time to go to court and file a personal injury lawsuit. The amount of time is called a statute of limitations and every state has one. If you want too long and try to file your lawsuit outside of the time, the court will almost surely throw out your case as time-barred and you’ll lose any right to compensation for injuries and other losses stemming from the car accident. You also need to keep these deadlines in mind when it comes to filing a claim with an insurance company after a car accident. It’s a good idea to get the claims process started as soon as possible after the accident, leaving yourself the option of going to court and the time it takes to do so.
Speak With Our Car Accident / PERSONAL INJURY Lawyers AT JARVIS, MCARTHUR & WILLIAMS About YOUR Case
Contact our office to discuss your injuries with an attorney. We offer a free initial consultation to all new clients. You can reach us by phone at (802) 658-9411 or send us an email to schedule an appointment.
Top 9 Tips for a Personal Injury Claim
The lawyers at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams understand that accidents can happen at any time. Handling the legal aspects of a personal injury claim can be challenging. Personal injury claims can involve many different types of injuries, including automobile accidents, traumatic brain injuries, wrongful death, dog bites, slip and fall accidents, or defective products.
Jarvis, McArthur & Williams recommends several steps you can take after a personal injury to prepare you for filing a claim or a lawsuit. Here’s a list of the top 9 tips for personal injury claims:
1) Seek out medical attention immediately
If you have been seriously injured, the first thing you should do is to get medical attention. Do not attempt to handle any claims before you have properly addressed your injuries with a medical professional.
You should be aware that failing to seek medical attention after an accident can sometimes reduce the amount of damages you are able to recover. As the injured party, you may have a duty to “mitigate your losses.” This means that you must take steps to ensure that the injury does not cause any further injuries or economic losses.
2) File a Police Report
Filing a police report can help ensure that you have records of important information. This may include the names and contact information of other parties that were involved. Also, the report itself can serve as a record of the important facts involved in the accident. The police report can be used in court if a lawsuit arises.
3) Be aware of what you say at the scene of the accident
While it is necessary to communicate with the other party after an accident, exercise discretion when speaking with other parties. You are under no duty to state whose fault the injury was or to offer additional information. Avoid making statements that might make the situation more complicated, and avoid creating conflicts in relation to the event.
4) Keep accurate records of all costs and expenses related to the injury
These may include hospital bills, medical diagnosis statements, bills related to property damage, and insurance records. You may also need to maintain records of lost wages if the injury has caused you
miss work. It’s also a good idea to make a written account of the injury, especially while the events and facts are still fresh in your recollection.
5) Be cautious…
…when dealing with insurance companies Involving insurance companies can sometimes make the legal process more complicated in a personal injury claim. However, in most cases, working with an insurance company will be necessary to completing your personal injury claim or lawsuit. Be sure to protect your interests when negotiating with an insurance company. It may be helpful to have a lawyer on hand for advice when dealing with third parties.
6) DO NOT sign any forms or documents without understanding them
Make sure you completely understand the terms of any forms and documents to be filled out in relation to the personal injury. Do not sign any forms if you are not sure of how they will affect you in the long run. This includes any forms that may be presented to you well after the actual event. Be especially wary of any documents or contracts that ask you to release the other party from liability, or that require you to forfeit your right to a lawsuit.
7) Avoid trying to settle on your own if you don’t understand what to do
Trying to settle on your own with the other party or with their insurance company can sometimes be a complicated process. If you are unsure of what you are doing, it is best to find some help through the advice of a legal expert. This is especially important if the other party will be hiring a lawyer. Working with a lawyer at Jarvis, McArthur & Williams can help you avoid costly mistakes that can have negative effects on your claim.
8) Be aware of filing deadlines
Make sure that you file your legal claim or lawsuit in a timely manner. For most personal injury claims, you only have a certain window of time after the accident to file with the courts. This is known as the “statute of limitations,” which can vary depending on the state and the type of accident involved. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you might not be able to file your claim anymore.
9) Do some preliminary research on the legal process
It may be worth your while to familiarize yourself with the basics of personal injury lawsuits. Local rules may vary, and personal injury claims can take some time to fully resolve. At Jarvis, McArthur & Williams, we understand you may not be well versed in personal injury law. As such, we believe our job is to fully counsel our clients on the process and what to expect.
Contact our office today at (802) 658-9411 to schedule a free consultation.