When a company or person is at fault for causing the death of a loved one, a surviving family member may be entitled to compensation. Wrongful Death claims in Vermont are a specific type of personal injury lawsuit that can be made when someone dies as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity. Attorney David I. Schoen is a personal injury lawyer experienced in litigation and the handling of Wrongful Death claims.
The Vermont Wrongful Death Statute, 14 V.S.A. section 1492(b), provides spouses, children, and other designated family members with an opportunity to recover from “pecuniary injuries.” Vermont case law has interpreted that these damages not only include the non-economic damage to family members such as loss of love and companionship and loss of care, nurture, and protection, but also the grief and mental anguish caused by the loss.
The Vermont statute has followed a national trend toward recognition of these elements of loss, so as not to limit the value of a loved one’s death to its purely monetary components. In states where damages are limited to pecuniary loss, the value of a case involving a high-wage earner may have great value whereas that of a cherished minor child could have no value. The Vermont Wrongful Death statute and the subsequent case law interpreting that statute, have attempted to correct this inequity, especially over the course of the last 40 years, since an amendment to 14 V.S.A. section 1492(b) was amended.
Accordingly, whether you have lost a spouse or sibling, are a parent that has lost a child, or a child that has lost a parent, you may have recourse for the emotional loss as well as the financial cost and loss that has resulted from the death of your loved one. It is important that you consult with an experienced personal injury/wrongful death lawyer as early as possible in these situations so that all aspects of a potential claim can be fully explored.
Attorney David I. Schoen has over 35 years of experience handling wrongful death claims and other personal injury matters. Contact David at (802)484-3900 for a free consultation.