According to the Vermont Attorney General, there was an increase in impaired driving accidents with a 6% increase in fatalities from 2019 to 2020. The risk of encountering an impaired driver is an unfortunate reality. Whether it is alcohol or drugs, being under the influence and behind the wheel poses a significant threat to the safety of everyone on the road.
When it comes to DUI accidents, the legal system recognizes the gravity of such situations and provides avenues for victims to seek compensation from the responsible party.
Comparative negligence law
Vermont law allows you to seek compensation through personal injury claims under the comparative negligence statute. If you can demonstrate that the impaired driver was negligent and that their actions directly led to your injuries, you may be eligible for payment to cover medical expenses, property damage and other losses.
Under comparative negligence, insurance companies assign liability by determining the percentage of fault for each driver in an accident. Proving the other driver held at least 50% fault can allow you the right to seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. However, the amount you can receive depends on the degree of your responsibility. So, if you are 30% at fault, any award you get will be minus 30%.
You must gather evidence to support your case and prove the percentage of fault of the other driver. Eyewitness accounts, police reports and medical records can strengthen your claim.
While the legal process may seem daunting, seeking compensation is an essential step toward rebuilding your life after an accident caused by an impaired driver. Vermont’s legal framework aims to ensure that victims are not left to bear the financial burdens alone when someone else’s negligence has caused harm.