The state of Vermont does not cap damages awarded in medical malpractice cases. In lawsuits for wrongful death claimants can recover compensatory damages. The recoverable losses include pecuniary losses. Minors can recover pecuniary losses in the form of loss of love, companionship, destruction of parent-child relationship.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations on personal injury actions in Vermont is 3 years. For wrongful death actions the statute of limitations is 2 years; however, if the defendant is absent from the state the actions may be commenced in 2 years of his/her return.
Almost universally, contingent fee agreements are used in cases concerning nursing home neglect and abuse. Under a contingent fee agreement, an attorney charges a percentage of the money obtained for clients by settling or winning their case. In, Vermont all contingent fee agreements are required to in writing and should state what the attorney’s percentage will be, whether the client will be billed for costs and expenses, and whether deductions will be taken from any settlement or award prior to calculating the fee.
Vermont Nursing Home Laws
Vermont law requires nursing homes and long term care facilities to help each resident attain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being. Nursing homes and long term care facilities must create a plan of care in accordance with a comprehensive assessment of each patient’s needs. The medical care and treatment must meet prevailing standards of care in the industry. This includes promoting a standard of care that assures each resident’s activities of daily living does not diminish unless the resident’s ability is diminished solely as a result of a change in the resident’s clinical condition. Vermont has created a “residents rights” statute that assures each resident certain rights. Some rights which are of frequently considered important to residents and their representatives, include:
- The right to be treated with dignity and respect
- The right to make a complaint without being treated differently
- The right to visit or communicate with anyone you choose; or to refuse visitors you don’t want to see.
- The right to receive proper care free of mistreatment or abuse.
- The right to be free from physical and chemical restraints for the convenience of the nursing home facility
- The right to keep and use personal belongings (if adequate space and they don’t interfere with other residents)
- The right to privacy and confidentiality.
- The right to share a room with your spouse or your reciprocal beneficiary if you both live in the nursing home.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The legal statutes, laws and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.
Image via Flickr via Yvonne Brown