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"I want you protected, and your case handled correctly from the start."
James R. A. Martin, Esquire's objective is to obtain the highest damage settlement or award for each personal injury client. He is involved with each aspect of each claim, to fulfill this objective. James R. A. Martin, Esquire only does personal injury VT law.
Jim practices law with more than 25 years of Personal Injury experience. He was admitted to the Vermont Supreme Court on January 12, 1989 and to the United States District Court, for the District of Vermont, on January 24, 1989.
Jim has successfully completed an array of personal injury cases. These include, but are not limited to cases that involved bodily injury, emotional injury and economic damage caused by motor vehicle collisions, wrongful death, property owners liability, harm caused by intoxicated persons, defective products, animal attacks, lead poisoning, insurance bad faith, worker’s compensation, and other wrongfully caused injuries.
Jim investigates the underlying facts of each case, and establishes liability through applying the facts of each particular case to one or more applicable legal causes of action, regardless if it is prescribed by common law or by statute. Jim does a comprehensive study of his client’s damages, which often include pain of body and mind, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, loss of income, and permanent impairment. These damages may also include permanent disfigurement, loss of consortium, prospective damages and punitive damages. Jim prepares a thorough and effective presentation of the liability and damage aspects of each claim, and provides his work, with the evidence, to the tortfeasor’s insurance carrier or jury, as the case may be.
Areas of Practice
Motor vehicle accidents often result in bodily injury, emotional injury and economic damage. A significant portion of Jim’s practice is devoted to those who have suffered bodily injury, emotional injury and economic losses as a result of motor vehicle accidents. These cases involve clients suffering from the full spectrum of bodily injuries, including but not limited to: herniated discs; bulging discs; torn ligaments and muscles; broken bones; closed head injuries; nerve damage with and without paraplegia, and soft tissue injuries. Jim has successfully completed a tremendous amount of motor vehicle collision cases.
Wrongful deaths result from wrongfully caused motor vehicle collisions, as well as other wrongful acts and omissions. As an example, Jim successfully completed a wrong death claim for the Estate of an 18 year old young man and his Parents. At that time, Jim challenged the plain language of a relevant statute that allowed the next of kin, (in this case the Parents), a recovery for loss of love and compassion for the wrongful death of a minor child. That matter stayed in litigation until the Vermont Supreme Court construed the statute to allow the next of kin to recover for loss of love and compassion for the wrongful death of an adult child, as well as a minor child. Jim successfully obtained all available proceeds for the Estate and the young man’s Parents. Jim has successfully completed a significant and substantial amount of wrongful death cases.
These cases involve property owned by landlords, homeowners or businesses. They result from a dangerous condition on the owner’s property, and the owner’s breach of its responsibility to keep the property free of dangerous conditions. At times, when the dangerous condition is not identified, these cases involve the doctrine of “res ipsa loquitur,” which means that the burden shifts to the would be defendant or actual defendant to provide evidence to exonerate itself. When the would be defendant or actual defendant fails to provide that evidence, an insurance carrier, the court or a jury, as the case may be, is allowed to draw an inference therefrom and find liability. Jim has successfully completed a significant and substantial amount of cases when the dangerous condition has been identified and when it has not been identified.
There are several legal theories that often apply to a defective product claim, including strict liability, negligence, breach of implied and express warranty, and possibly consumer fraud. Jim includes each of the legal theories, that are applicable, to not only provide liability through the use of one or more, but also to pursue the highest damage settlement or award for his client. For example, pursuant to Vermont’s consumer fraud statute, a would be defendant or actual defendant, as the case may be, that has violated Vermont’s consumer fraud statute is liable not only for compensatory damages, but also reasonable attorney’s fees and possibly punitive damages. Jim has successfully completed a significant and substantial amount of defective product cases ranging from a defective dog leash that struck and permanently disfigured a woman, to defective hunting equipment that ripped a finger off of a hunter’s hand, to a defective automobile that permanently injured a mechanic.
These cases often involve liquor establishments, and fall under Vermont’s dram shop law. A child or adult who is injured in person, property or means of support by an intoxicated person may bring a claim or cause of action against any liquor establishment that wrongfully caused in whole or part the person’s intoxication. Wrongfully caused intoxication occurs when the servers knew or should have known that its patron was or would become intoxicated and continued to furnish the patron with intoxicating liquor. Wrongfully caused intoxication also occurs when the servers furnish intoxicating liquor to a minor, and when the servers furnish intoxicating liquor to anyone after hours. Moreover, a social host may be found liable where the social host served a minor, and otherwise the social host may be found liable pursuant to common law principles of negligence. Jim has successfully completed cases against liquor establishments where the burden was to show that the servers of the liquor establishment should have known that the patron was or would become intoxicated and continued to furnish the patron with intoxicating liquor.
Often these cases involve bodily injury, with resulting permanent disfigurement. They involve young children, older children, and adults. Vermont’s law requires that a person, attacked and/or bitten by an animal, such as a dog, must prove that the owner, or caretaker, knew, or had reason to know, that its dog had vicious propensities before it attacked the person. Without this proof, the dog’s owner, or caretaker, is not liable and the owner’s liability insurance coverage will not be reached. Jim has successfully completed a significant and substantial amount of animal attack cases by the use of expert witnesses and lay witnesses to show that the owners knew, or should have known that their animal had vicious propensities, regardless of whether or not the owner’s animal had previously injured a person.
These cases most often involve rental units with deteriorated lead-based paint that have poisoned a young child. Children younger than six are at special risk for lead poisoning because they absorb more lead per unit of exposure than older children or adults. Lead poisoning in children can cause intelligence deficiencies, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity and behavioral problems. The Vermont legislature has enacted legislation to allow children that are wrongfully lead poisoned to seek recovery from a landlord. Jim has used that statutory scheme, as well as an array of other statutory law and common law, to prosecute lead poisoning cases. Jim has also sought out and used exceptional Boston based experts to quantify each child’s damages. Jim has successfully completed a significant amount of lead poisoning cases.
Unfair insurance practices are too often present in insurance claims. Protective statutory law and common law are used by Jim to not let insurance bad faith interfere with your reasonable recovery. Moreover, Jim has successfully completed claims direct against insurance companies that arose from insurance bad faith.
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