Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Florida Disability Employment Discrimination

Florida Disability Employment Discrimination lawsuit claim

Disabled Employees are Protected by Employee Discrimination Law

Going through life with a disability presents a whole new set of challenges that have to be faced and hurdles to overcome. Many people with disabilities face these challenges head-on and work twice as hard to overcome them. Unfortunately, there are many employers that may view a disability as a hindrance or a less desirable characteristic in an employee they would want under their employ.
Naturally, this is a sentiment that is generally considered to be unfair since many disabled employees do not have their work affected at all by a disability they must contend with. Disability is actually one of the many characteristics protected by various instances of legislation related to the protection of employees from discrimination.   
Disability discrimination is defined as when an employer treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because she has a disability. When this occurs, a perfectly qualified individual can suffer damages in the form of lost wages and earning potential. These discriminated against disabled individuals can seek compensation in the form of an employment discrimination claim.

Defining Disability for Employment Discrimination

Simply having a medical condition does not always mean that you are considered disabled and have the same protections. To be protected, an individual must have a disability as defined by the law and be qualified for the job.
  • A person can show that he or she has a disability in one of three ways:
  • A person may be disabled if he or she has a physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity (such as walking, talking, seeing, hearing, or learning).
  • A person may be disabled if he or she has a history of a disability (such as cancer that is in remission).
  • A person may be disabled if he is believed to have a physical or mental impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six months or less) and minor (even if he does not have such an impairment)

How can Someone Suffer Employment Discrimination Due to Disability?

Employee discrimination extends to any aspect of employment. This includes hiring, training job, assignments, promotions, benefits, pay, firing, layoffs, and any other condition of employment. This means that not only are those currently employed protected but also prospective employees. The interview process and employee application process must not discriminate against those without a disability. Employers may also not discriminate against those with a disabled significant other on the basis of their partner’s disability.
Harassment is another aspect of discrimination in the workplace. Workplace harassment can be defined as unwelcome or threatening behavior towards a certain employee that is done on the basis of a certain characteristic that employee displays which in this case would be a disability.  Disabled individuals can experience workplace harassment in the form of name calling, inappropriate jokes, unwanted physical contact, threatening messages or confrontations both in person or via something like an email or note.

Isolated Cases of Harassment May Not Warrant a Full Discrimination Claim

It is important to note that isolated cases of harassment such as a manager calling a disabled employee an offensive name that targets their disability, may not always classify as workplace harassment on the level in which a discrimination claim would be called for.
In this situation, the manager would be making an improper remark and the disabled employee would be in their right to seek a superior to report the incident too but an employment discrimination claim calls for the employee to face an environment that would be considered hostile. In this isolated case, the manager could possibly receive a disciplinary action and apologize to the employee for their behavior or they could go unpunished due to negligence on the superior’s part and repeat their harassment which could lead to what an employee would rightly consider a hostile work environment.

Disabled Employees and Employers Reasonable Accommodation

Disability employment law requires that an employer provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer. A reasonable accommodation is any alteration to a disabled employee’s workplace environment that will assist them in their job or make their application for the said job easier with regard to their disability.
Common examples of reasonable accommodation can include ramps for the wheelchair-bound, allowing an employee to work from a home office, scheduling concessions, interpreter or reader assistance, transfers to more suitable work positions, and providing specialized training. These all are accommodations that would be considered reasonable and the refusal of an employer to provide such accommodations after they have been demonstrated to be beneficial to a disabled employee and it is within the employer’s ability to do provide them, could be considered a form of employment discrimination.
A point of contention in many cases where accommodation is the focal point is where the line is drawn between reasonable and unreasonable accommodation. If providing an accommodation would cause undue hardship on an employer, then it would be considered unreasonable. If the accommodation becomes too difficult or expensive to implement because of an employer’s financial resources, their size, or the businesses needs then that would be considered undue hardship. An employer may not reject an accommodation simply because it will necessitate some expense and an employer has the right to choose the accommodation if there is more than one suitable for the same need.

Seek an Experienced Florida Employment Discrimination Attorney

If you or a loved one have suffered discrimination in the workplace because of a disability then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group about a free consultation on your potential claim. Our experienced lawyers will sit down with you to go over the details of your case and suggest possible options of legal action to take. Allow us to represent you and ensure that those liable for discrimination are held accountable and that you receive the settlement that you deserve.
Call our office at (727) 222-6922 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney. We fight hard to help accident victims access the many different types of compensation that are available to them.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Premature Birth Complications: How to Seek Help

In the past two decades, improvements in neonatal care have made it possible for children born very prematurely to survive. A study in 2017 found that infants born, after a healthy pregnancy, weighing a little more than two pounds within a 27-week gestation, can live. But the study also showed that of 13,000 low birth weight children, born in 12 different countries, had a higher likelihood to have lower IQs, autism, and increased trouble with careers and relationships.

When your baby has been born premature, you may find yourself wondering what the health consequences may be, and where to turn for answers to your questions. In this article, we outline some of those complications and the resources available to you.

Health Issues

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, the number of infants born prematurely in the US in 2005 increased to 12.7 per 100 live births. In this study, prematurity increased in most part for infants born at gestation periods of 34 to 36 weeks. The report added that premature birth is:

A strong predictor of infant mortality and morbidity and is shown to be significantly associated with a number of poor health outcomes. These outcomes include cerebral palsy, problems with vision and hearing, poor motor skills, asthma, and learning disabilities. Infants born full-term experience much lower rates of health problems throughout their lives.

Twenty-five percent of babies born before 28 weeks of gestation can experience:

  • Higher rates of behavioral problems
  • Increased possibility of hospital readmissions

But late preterm babies can suffer, as well. Babies delivered at 34 to 36 completed weeks of gestation, compared to full-term infants, stand the chance of higher rates of:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures
  • Apnea
  • Feeding problems
  • Periventricular leukomalacia (decreased blood flow to brain tissue)

Preterm Delivery Warning Signs

Preterm delivery can occur because of the following conditions:

  • The mother has had a preterm infant delivery in the past
  • Problems with the uterus, such as an infection
  • Multiple babies in the womb
  • Genital infections
  • Cervical abnormalities
  • Amniotic fluid infection
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Placenta previa
  • Kidney disorders
  • Clotting disorders, and more
Any of these risk factors must be monitored by a physician to allow him or her to determine if a mother is showing signs of premature labor. In some cases, the delivery can be stopped so that the infant may be carried to term. If it cannot be checked, the birth must take place in a hospital that can provide exceptional care for premature babies.

Premature Labor and Medical Malpractice

Sadly, there are times when doctors fall short in their duties. Malpractice, as it relates to preterm labor, can include:

  • Failing to provide medications that would stop or slow premature labor
  • Neglecting to treat an ineffectual cervix with sutures
  • Not ensuring that an at-risk mother maintains bed rest
  • Not recognizing the signs of preterm labor
  • Not prescribing steroid injections for accelerating baby’s brain and lung development, and more
Physician mistakes or negligence often occur in connection with the following conditions or circumstances:
  • Perinatal asphyxia - A decrease in the oxygen content in fetal blood, caused by an insufficient supply through the placenta before or during birth, or, after birth, by an alteration of the adaptation mechanisms to extra-uterine life, such as the beginning of breathing, which may not correctly start. This condition is closely related to the development of severe brain disability. Physicians must monitor this condition thoroughly.
  • Labor suite prioritization - Must occur if the obstetrician is to successfully deliver a preterm infant. Coordination with other doctors, anesthetists, and members of the labor team develops leadership skills and proper delegation. Without this symbiotic relationship, a birth mother and her child may not receive the care they need.
  • Preventable fetal infection - Infections passed on by the mother to her fetus can affect fetal development. Doctors must strictly manage fetal diagnosis and intrauterine treatment. Counseling of parents and a multidisciplinary approach are crucial.

The law says that if a doctor, who has the same background as the obstetrician on duty, and who is reasonably competent, would have diagnosed preterm labor, but the attending physician did not, the attending doctor is liable for any injuries.

Obstetric lawsuits against OB-GYN doctors usually relate to the management of the labor and delivery, not perceived mistakes in prenatal or postpartum care. More malpractice cases concern the following:

  • Improper monitoring of the infant for signs of oxygen deprivation
  • Inappropriate timing and route of delivery
  • Unsuitable decision-making
  • Inept fetal observation
Although it is difficult to consider, some malpractice OB-GYN cases are brought against the parties concerned due to the wrongful death of an infant. Naturally, grieving parents do not want to concern themselves with legal matters just after they have lost their babies. But, if a child’s death is because of someone else’s negligence, it’s imperative for parents to take this step to avoid having it happen again to another family. The Cerebral Palsy Guidance site states:

For a parent going through the worst possible grief, trying for an infant wrongful death settlement may seem insignificant in comparison, or even greedy and selfish. These kinds of lawsuits and settlements are important, though. They give the parent a sense of justice and a source of money to cover expenses associated with the tragedy.

Obtaining Assistance

There is help for mothers and families who go through this type of trauma. The March of Dimes organization says there are risk factors that mothers should know and understand during their pregnancies, such as:

  • A previous preterm birth
  • A pregnancy with multiple babies
  • Uterine or cervical abnormalities
  • Clotting disorders

To prevent preterm delivery, mothers must receive pre-pregnancy and pregnancy medical care; get help quickly if preterm labor begins; know that medications exist that can slow or stop contractions if received promptly enough, and recognize what to do in case of an emergency. Healthcare provider teams are ready to assist you and are trained to help.

Mothers also have the right to request what they prefer to happen during their delivery even if they signed an informed consent document before the birth of their children.

Call Dolman Law Group if Your Child Endured Premature Birth Complications

If you have a premature baby and know or suspect that you or your baby were harmed during or before labor and delivery, you can contact a reputable and experienced birth injury lawyer to assist you with your case. It is possible that your doctor or other healthcare providers acted negligently.

At Dolman Law Group, we take the time that is needed to hear our clients’ stories and, if appropriate, seek compensation for their losses. We are proud to offer compassionate help to our clients during an extremely difficult time.

If you have experienced a preterm delivery that caused injury to you or your infant, contact Dolman Law Group’s St. Petersburg office online or by phone at (727) 222-6922 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts and circumstances of your preterm delivery.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

Monday, October 22, 2018

Was Your Uber Accident Caused by a Driver Impaired by Prescription Medications?

Uber has fairly strict requirements for their drivers. They conduct background checks and driving record checks before allowing drivers to work for them, and drivers who are found guilty of certain crimes behind the wheel, including driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are quickly removed from their employ.

Unfortunately, these standards do not always prevent Uber drivers from getting behind the wheel when they’re under the influence. Worse, drivers who are on certain prescription medications that may impact their driving ability or increase the odds of an accident may not recognize the dangers associated with those medications until it’s too late. Was your Uber accident caused by a driver impaired by prescription medications? Working with your lawyer is the most effective way to be sure that you receive the compensation you’re due for your accident.

Prescription Medications and the Law

“Well, my doctor prescribed it. That means I’m fine to drive while I take it.” That’s the argument that many drivers make when they have to take prescription medications that could negatively impact their ability to drive successfully. The law against driving while impaired, however, is not limited to illegal medications. Drivers can be pulled over for driving while on prescription medications that slow their reaction times or cause them to behave erratically. Drugged driving carries serious legal penalties in the state of Florida—and Uber drivers will lose their gig with Uber if they’re caught driving under the influence while they’re on the clock and accepting rides.

Beyond Pain Medications

When most people think of medications that impact a driver’s ability to successfully and responsibly handle their vehicle, they think of prescription pain medications. These medications, however, aren’t the only ones that can make it difficult for a driver to handle themselves on the road. Many doctors recommend that patients who are taking any new medication take time to see how it will impact them before they attempt to drive while taking those medications. According to the Food and Drug Administration, non-pain medications that may impair driving ability can include:

  • Anxiety medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Cold medications
  • Medications used to treat Parkinson’s
  • Medications used to treat pain or muscle spasms
  • Any other medication that is known to cause significant side effects

Both prescription and nonprescription medications can cause dangerous side effects that can cause negative consequences on the road, including an increased risk of accidents. Knowing how medications will impact them is critical for many drivers.

Did Prescription Medications Play a Role in Your Uber Accident?

Prescription medications can cause a wide range of side effects that could be potentially detrimental to an Uber driver’s ability to successfully operate a vehicle. These may include:

Difficulty focusing or concentrating. Drivers, especially Uber drivers who may spend large periods of time behind the wheel, need to be able to focus on the road and what’s going on around them. Inability to concentrate, on the other hand, can leave drivers unable to safely navigate on the road.

Blurred vision. Blurred vision makes it difficult to see what’s going on outside the vehicle, which can in turn make it difficult to navigate the vehicle successfully. Drivers experiencing blurred vision may not be able to see lines on the road, clearly judge oncoming traffic, or read traffic signs and signals.

Drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel are a serious hazard at the best of times. It’s even worse when they’re operating an Uber vehicle, when they may spend excessive amounts of time behind the wheel or have multiple passengers in the car. A driver who is struggling to stay awake will also not be as alert or able to respond.

Dulled reflexes and response times.
In the car, drivers need to be able to respond quickly to a variety of situations. When their reflexes are dulled by prescription medications, drivers are unable to respond quickly to anything from swerving or quickly stopping vehicles to unexpected pedestrians.

Nausea. While nausea might not impact a driver’s ability to drive, it can make it difficult to concentrate on the road. As a result, it can be difficult for nauseous drivers to concentrate on the situation around them, leading to serious problems when unexpected events occur.

If you suspect that prescription medications played a role in your Uber accident, it’s important to report your suspicions to an emergency first responder at the scene of the accident. This will enable the authorities to conduct appropriate testing or collect evidence to evaluate the driver’s condition, which can in turn ensure that they face the right consequences for their actions and play a role in any legal action you pursue.

How Does an Uber Driver’s Medication Use Impact Your Rights?

If your Uber driver was using prescription medications at the time of your accident, how does it impact your right to compensation for any injuries you sustained the accident? In many cases, the answer is, “Not significantly.” Regardless of the condition of the driver at the time of the accident, as the passenger, you may qualify for compensation for:

  • Medical expenses associated with the accident, including therapy and ongoing medical care
  • Lost wages at work
  • Lost earning potential as a result of permanent injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral and burial expenses related to the death of a loved one due to an Uber accident where the driver was under the influence of prescription medications
This compensation does not change based on the condition of the driver at the time of the accident, since compensation is based on your injuries, not on the driver’s actions leading up to the accident. If Uber was aware that the driver was driving while on prescription medications or had failed to discipline the driver appropriately in the past, however, you may face different circumstances. In some cases, you may be entitled to seek additional compensation from Uber for their failure to keep the driver off the roads. Working with your lawyer is the most effective way to determine who may be legally liable to compensate you for your injuries.

Were you injured in an Uber accident where the driver was using prescription medications that could have contributed to the crash? If so, contact the St. Petersburg office of the Dolman Law Group online or by phone at (727) 222-6922 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts and circumstances of your Uber accident.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Whose Insurance Should Cover Accident Damage to a Rental Car?

When you pick up a rental car, your goal is to return it safely to the rental car agency, ideally in the same condition it was in when you left the lot. Unfortunately, things don’t always end the way you hope they will. If you’re involved in an accident while driving a rental car, you’ll need to know whose insurance is responsible for paying for rental car damage. While the answer to that question will depend on a range of factors, including who is responsible for the accident, there are some basic guidelines you can count on when it comes to rental car damage insurance.

The Other Driver’s Insurance

If the other driver is 100 percent responsible for the accident, they or their insurance company will be responsible for paying for the damages to your rental car. In this case, the circumstances are very similar to any other accident. Filing through the other driver’s insurance company will allow your rental car company to receive full reimbursement for any damages to their vehicle as a result of the accident. You may also be able to get another vehicle very quickly, since you’re already renting through the rental company; however, you should be prepared for delays during this process.

When the other driver doesn’t have insurance and they are responsible for the circumstances of the accident, you may find yourself in a more difficult situation. In this case, you, as the driver of the car, are liable for handling those charges. You can then attempt to sue the driver for compensation. Do, however, keep in mind that in most cases, a driver who isn’t carrying insurance may lack the funds to handle those fees. You may be able to recover few of those fees by suing the other driver.

Your Insurance

If you were responsible for the accident, in whole or in part, you’re going to find yourself picking up at least some of the bill for the charges associated with the accident. The good news is, if you have comprehensive coverage on a vehicle you own, your insurance company may cover the damages. There are several things that you should be prepared for.

Your deductible will still apply. Just as if you were in an accident in your own vehicle, you will be responsible for paying your deductible for damage to the rental car. In this case, you will be responsible for paying that amount to the rental car company or to their preferred garage.

Your insurance may cover an uninsured motorist. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a driver who isn’t insured and you carry uninsured motorist coverage on your primary vehicle, the damages may be covered by your insurance policy. In this case, the terms of your policy will determine whether or not a deductible applies.

Be conscious of the caps on your insurance coverage. Your comprehensive insurance is designed to provide coverage for a specific vehicle: yours. If you’re driving a rental car that is considerably more expensive than your vehicle, your insurance may not pay enough to cover the damages to the car. Make sure that you’re familiar with the coverage your policy provides before renting a car.

Your insurance may be highly specific about the terms under which it will cover a rental car. Some insurance policies, for example, aren’t designed to provide coverage and protection if you’re in a rental car long-term or if you’re driving a rental car for business purposes. If you’re driving for business, make sure that you know how to handle company insurance claims and what coverage your company provides, since they may also be held liable for any accidents that occur while you’re driving the rental vehicle on company time.

Check for any other policies that apply to your rental car use. For example, some companies may provide insurance companies for their employees when they must drive a rental car for work. You may also receive some insurance coverage if you use your credit card to rent a car. Check your policies to fully understand what coverage you’ll receive.

Your personal injury protection insurance will cover your injuries. Florida’s no-fault laws apply to injuries obtained during car accidents: each driver is responsible for carrying personal injury protection insurance that will provide coverage for the first $10,000 of their injuries or their time off work. Your insurance will cover your injuries, while the other driver’s personal injury protection insurance will cover theirs, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Rental Car Insurance

If you don’t carry comprehensive coverage on your primary vehicle, or you don’t receive coverage through your employer or the credit card you use to book the rental, it may be a wise (if expensive) decision to take the rental car company up on the offer of rental car insurance before you drive off the lot. This insurance is designed to help provide protection in several circumstances. Rental car insurance is expensive, but it does provide significant protection in a variety of circumstances. Consider taking the rental car agent up on their offer of insurance if:

  • You aren’t sure of the exact terms of your insurance policy.
  • You carry only liability insurance on your vehicle and know that you don’t have the means to pay for the rental vehicle if it is damaged.
  • You don’t carry insurance on a vehicle of your own.
  • You will be driving your rental car for business purposes, which may not be covered under the terms of your insurance policy.
  • Your coverage isn’t adequate to cover the potential damages to a rental car

Many people instinctively turn down rental car insurance, assuming that it won’t help them enough to be worth the additional expense. When an accident hits, however, you may be grateful for the protection provided by that insurance. But remember, the cost of rental car insurance can pile up. It may be more economical to call your primary insurer before you go on a trip and add a “rider” to your policy covering rental car damage for the period of time you’ll need it, or sign up for rental car coverage through your credit card issuer.

Get the Legal Help You Need From the Dolman Law Group

If you’ve been involved in an accident in a rental vehicle, you need legal support to navigate the claims process. Contact the St. Petersburg office of the Dolman Law Group today online or at (727) 222-6922 to schedule your free consultation.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Beginner Motorcyclist Mistakes That Cause Accidents

Florida Beginner Motorcyclist Mistakes Accident Injury Lawsuit

Common Errors That Motorcyclists Make When Starting Out

Riding a motorcycle is a surprisingly more complex undertaking than the majority of people realize. Most equate the mode of transportation to a bicycling except with a powerful motor attached and you have to share the road with several large vehicles that can easily crush you at high speed. There are a number of nuanced details in the operation of a motorcycle, much like with truck driving or regular passenger vehicle driving.
What is important is education. Before motorcyclists hit the road in earnest, they take training courses in order to familiarize themselves with the operation of their motorcycle as well as learn proper procedure and laws relating riding their motorcycle. Despite this, many of these beginner riders can make some very common mistakes that can put themselves and drivers sharing the road in danger.

Trying to Ride Everywhere is a Risky Beginners Mistake

When a rookie motorcyclist gets onto the road for the first time they can get caught up in the fact that they now are able to ride a motorcycle that they try to ride everywhere they possibly can. This often leads to a new motorcyclist biting off much more than they can chew. New riders will go from the low-risk roads that they trained on to rush hour traffic that can place them in situations where their inexperience and lower level abilities can cause a motorcycle accident.
New riders should take their time learning to drive starting out in lower intensity and lower risk routes in order to build up their skills and confidence. Once they have developed their abilities then they can move from low-risk roads off the beaten path to routes with a bit more traffic or more complex maneuvering.

Riding With a Passenger Too Early Can Be Dangerous

Another risky thing that new motorcyclists may do is try to ride with a passenger before they are ready. Riding a motorcycle with a passenger changes the way that the motorcycle maneuvers and handles completely. It requires more spatial awareness, handling skill, as well as a good understanding of the vehicle’s limits.
It’s understandable that a new rider may be excited to give their boyfriend or girlfriend a ride but it can put both bike passengers at high risk for severe injuries. New riders that make the mistake of trying to ride their motorcycle with a passenger too early are very likely to wipe out on turns due to the difference in bike weight which can send them and their passenger flying from their bike and into traffic. New riders also have a tendency to want to show off for their passengers as well. Behavior such as speeds higher than a new rider is comfortable at and risky maneuvering are exceptionally dangerous for new motorcyclists.  

Forgetting Countersteering Can Lead to Accidents

Countersteering is an integral skill to motorcyclists that can sometimes be neglected by newer riders that are not as accustomed to riding their bikes at higher speeds and requiring tighter maneuvering.
Countersteering is when a motorcyclist pushes the side of their steering bar in the direction of the turn they want to make rather than the opposite direction than normal steering would require. At higher speeds, the leaning of the bike and pushing of the handlebar side of the direction you want to go will initiate the appropriate turn. So basically its just push the left side of the handlebar while leaning to turn left at higher speeds as opposed to regular steering. There are many motorcycle accidents that occur because young riders do not know about this principle.
For example, a rookie rider is riding at high speed and then makes a turn that he can’t see around while a truck starts to come around the bend. As he approaches a collision with the truck, he has a few seconds to narrowly evade the truck as long as he makes a sharp turn to the right. He begins to turn the handlebars of his bike to the right and leans in the same direction only to have his bike forcibly level out to his surprise before he collides with the truck. Had he counter-steered by pushing the right side of the handlebar forward while leaning right, he could have avoided a collision.

Starting Out on a Bike That’s Too Advanced is a Rookie Mistake

There are a surprising amount of options in terms of available motorcycles to ride. You could get anything ranging from a small moped to a heavy duty trike. All these different bikes have their own unique quirks that change how they handle requiring different levels of skill. Unfortunately, many newer motorcyclists see a fancy high-speed sports bike or heavy-duty cruiser and think they can just jump from their starter bike to a much more demanding vehicle.
When they do this they drastically increase the chance of being involved in an accident. When a rookie motorcyclist jumps to a more advanced bike they are neglecting to refine their skills on a trainer bike. In doing this they will not be prepared for a more advanced bike’s handling and nuances without a developed skill bedrock on a beginner bike meaning they will be more prone to lose control and cause accidents

Seek an Experienced Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group about a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers will sit down with you to hear the details of your case and outline the legal options available to you. Consider Dolman Law Group as your legal representation so we can fight to secure you the settlement that you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer, please call us or contact us online today.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712

What to Do If Your Child Gets Hit on a Bicycle in Florida

It’s every parent’s nightmare. You get a call from an emergency responder. Your child has been rushed to the hospital after being struck by a moving vehicle while riding a bicycle. It’s a terrifying moment, but you need to make quick, informed decisions.

It’s an unpleasant scenario to imagine. Research shows, however, that having a plan for what you’d do in such an emergency can have a dramatic effect on the outcome. In this blog post, we break down some steps you can take in the aftermath of receiving that nightmare phone call, to protect your child’s and family’s health and rights.

Background: Bicycle Accidents Cause More Than 100 Deaths Per Year in Florida

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report published earlier this year, Florida ranked first among states for bicycle fatalities in 2014 and 2015, with 139 deaths and 150 deaths, respectively. California ranked second both years. In Florida, these numbers amount to an average 7.4 bicyclist deaths per million residents, more than double that of California.

Each Injury Case Is Unique

Florida law permits bicycle accident victims to seek compensation if their injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. To prevail, you must prove that your child’s accident resulted in at least one of the following injuries:

  • A permanent injury,
  • A significant and permanent disfigurement or scarring, or
  • A significant and permanent loss of one or more bodily functions.

Without sufficient medical evidence, it is unlikely that the defendant’s insurance company will be willing to settle your claim.

Seeking Damages in Florida’s Legal System

If your child was injured in a bicycle accident, you should act now! Florida law provides victims with four years from the date of their accident to file a claim. While most cases are settled out of court, some go to jury trial. Contact the Dolman Law Group today, and have an experienced attorney assess the validity of your claim.

Types of Damages in Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists involved in an accident with a car a face serious risk of injury. They generally have limited protection from the impact of a collision, even if they are wearing basic safety gear, like a helmet. It’s important to contact an attorney before disclosing any information to the defendant’s insurance company. At the Dolman Law Group, we help you understand the legal process, and review any communications from the insurance companies, including your own carrier. As attorneys with experience representing children injured in bicycle accidents and their parents, we can help you seek compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Future lost earnings
  • Prescription drug costs
  • Therapy
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Pain and suffering
  • Attorneys’ fees and costs
  • Punitive damages (awarded by a jury only in certain cases).

Determining Liability in Bicycle Injury Claims

At the Dolman Law Group, we have experience helping clients assess the validity of their claims, and deciding what steps are needed to achieve the best possible result. Determining who is liable for a bicycle accident may require extensive investigation; we often review accident reports, take witness statements, collect medical records, and preserve relevant evidence. To ensure compensation, we also must determine whether the defendant has insurance coverage and/or recoverable assets.

Risk of Traumatic Brain Injury

Children involved in bicycle accidents run the risk of serious injury or even death. Severe injuries may make it difficult for your child to live a normal life, get a job, and support a family. As a result of his or her accident, your child may suffer from permanent brain damage, paralysis, loss of limbs, internal organ damage, and/or loss of one or more bodily functions. While these types of injuries likely meet Florida’s serious injury threshold, that determination must be made using medical evidence. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most severe, and common, injuries that may result from a bicycle accident. According to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of TBI include:

  • Change in eating or nursing habits
  • Unusual irritability
  • Persistent crying and inability to be consoled
  • Reduced ability to pay attention
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Seizures
  • Sad or depressed mood
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of interest in favorite toys or activities

Bicycle Safety Tips

To keep your child safe, make sure to discuss safe riding practices to prevent avoidable accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these practices include the following:

  • Ride a bike that fits properly.
  • Ride a bike that functions properly.
  • Wear protective equipment, including a helmet and bright clothing.
  • Equip the bicycle with a front white light, a rear red light, and reflectors (adhesive stickers that reflect headlight beams at night).
  • Ride one person per seat.
  • Ride with both hands grasping the handlebars (unless making a turn signal).
  • Carry all items in one backpack attached to the back of the bike.
  • Take care that shoelaces and pant legs are clear of the bike chain.
  • Plan all routes with your child.

Hiring a Bike Accident Lawyer

Contact the Dolman Law Group at (727) 451-6900, or online, and speak with an experienced attorney today. We offer free consultations with no obligation to hire us. When you contact us, you may speak with multiple attorneys, and choose a representative who meets your needs.

Why Choose Our St. Petersburg Bicycle Accident Lawyers

If your child is seriously injured or killed while riding a bicycle, someone should be held accountable. Florida law does not require that people are convicted of crimes to name them as defendants in civil suits. As the plaintiff, you must demonstrate how the defendant caused your child’s injuries, which often requires medical evidence and testimony. At the Dolman Law Group, we regularly represent bicycle accident victims and their families. Let us focus on gathering evidence and litigating your claim, while you focus on your child’s recovery.

Our Experience With St. Petersburg Bicycle Cases

While not as common as motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents that result in serious or fatal injuries have the potential to change a victim’s life forever. At the Dolman Law Group, we have experience sending demand letters to insurance companies, negotiating settlements, and litigating cases. While we cannot promise a favorable outcome in your case, we can evaluate your claim and estimate potential damages based on industry averages. Damages depend on the severity of your child’s injuries, and how those injuries will affect his or her future medical expenses and earnings. We have experience representing bicycle accident victims, including children, and have secured favorable settlements or damages awards in many of our cases. Call us at (727) 222-6922 or write to us online for a free consultation!

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

What You Need to Know About Florida Scooter Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidental death was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States in 2015, following heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disease. In 2015 alone, 146,000 individuals died from an accidental/unintentional death.

While currently not widespread, accidental deaths that result from scooter accidents are on the rise. In St. Petersburg, Florida, two individuals recently lost their lives in scooter accidents. In one, a scooter and car collided at an intersection; the other involved a collision with a taxi. When involved in an accident, scooter drivers are at a disadvantage, as nearly every other vehicle on the road weighs more and offers more structural protection than a scooter.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed while riding a scooter in Florida, you deserve justice! At the Dolman Law Group, we understand that obtaining relief can be complex, and take a significant amount of time. Hire an experienced attorney today to evaluate your claim and protect your rights.

Scooter Safety Tips

To safely share the road with larger vehicles, including semi trucks, while riding on a scooter, you should be aware of your surroundings, and abide by the following safety tips:

  • Always wear your helmet.
  • Ensure that you are visible to other drivers.
  • Follow the safety rules of the road.
  • Don’t whip around other drivers just because your vehicle is smaller.
  • Ensure that your turn signal and all of the scooter’s lights work properly.
  • Purchase scooter insurance, including personal injury protection and/or medical payments coverage, even if it is not required by law.

More Facts About Scooter Accidents in Florida

In Florida, the risk of colliding with a car, truck, SUV, or semi-truck while riding your scooter may be higher than you think. Even if you do not collide with another driver, you could still be involved in a single vehicle accident due to a stray tire in the road, objects in a construction zone, or inclement weather. If you are involved in a scooter accident, your life could change forever. It’s important to remember that under Florida law, you must file any claim within four (4) years from the date of your accident. You should contact an experienced traffic accident attorney today to discuss the details of your case.

Choose Our St. Petersburg Scooter Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a scooter accident, you likely want to seek compensation from the responsible individual(s). However, personal injury cases can take multiple years to resolve, regardless of whether they go to trial or settle. Prior to seeking compensation from other parties, you first must assess whether your own vehicle insurance will cover your expenses, and it’s important to note that you may not be covered for driving a scooter. If your expenses exceed $10,000, you will then have to seek compensation from your private health insurance company. But if you have suffered severe injuries as a result of a scooter accident, you may have a valid claim against the at-fault driver and/or insurance company. While this process can prove complicated, you don’t have to tackle a personal injury case alone! Contact the Dolman Law Group today for answers to your most pressing legal questions.

Our Experience With Scooter Injury Cases

If you sustained serious injuries in a scooter accident, you may be wondering if you will be able to return to work, and how you will continue to support your family. Some injured victims are unable to continue the same line of work, and are crippled by enormous medical bills. We have experience negotiating favorable settlements and securing large jury awards in personal injury cases. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, we will do our best to secure the compensation you deserve.

Each Scooter Accident Case Is Different

Florida law provides relief for people hurt in a scooter crash. Injured victims must prove that their injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence. To succeed, you must establish that you suffered, or continue to suffer from, one or more of these conditions:

  • Permanent injury,
  • Significant and permanent scarring/disfigurement, or
  • Significant and permanent loss of at least one bodily function.
  • Without medical documentation, the at-fault carrier will be unlikely to offer any settlement amount.

Seeking Damages in Florida

Florida law requires that you file your case within four (4) years from the date of the accident. For some claims, like those against public entities, you may only have two years to file. Contact the Dolman Law Group today to determine how long you have before your time is up.

Typical Damages in Scooter Crash Cases

Individuals injured in a scooter accident must prove that their injuries were caused by the other driver’s negligence. We help clients recover the following expenses:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost earnings
  • Prescription drug costs
  • Physical therapy
  • Transportation to doctors
  • Pain and suffering
  • Attorneys’ fees and costs
  • Punitive damages (awarded by a jury when the at-fault carrier does not make an offer prior to trial)

Determining Liability in Scooter Traffic Crashes

It’s difficult to determine who is responsible for a scooter accident without knowing all of the facts. When we take a case, we first review the accident report to assess whether any special circumstances indicate liability (i.e. a drunk driver or a defective vehicle). If your accident involved multiple vehicles, determining liability is even more complex. Contact the Dolman Law Group today to discuss the facts of your case with an experienced attorney, and determine the validity of your claim.

Types of Injuries

If you have been injured, or if you lost a loved one, in a scooter accident, make sure to keep track of all medical records. Some of the most common injuries that we have experienced are:

  • Paralysis
  • Broken bones
  • Neck/back pain
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Nerve damage
  • Surgery
  • Scarring/disfigurement
  • Damaged or broken teeth
  • Death

How Will the Defendants Pay for Injuries Caused by Scooter Accidents?

Many factors affect whether a defendant’s insurance company is likely to offer a settlement. We first assess all applicable insurance policies that may provide coverage. Next, we calculate your total damages claim based on the severity of your injuries. Personal injury cases may take multiple years to be finalized, and some victims never get the financial relief that they deserve. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result, we will do our best to make sure that you are compensated for your injuries.

How Do I Pay My St. Petersburg Accident Lawyer?

At the Dolman Law Group, we have experience representing individuals who have been injured in a vehicle accident. We offer a free consultation and a contingency fee arrangement, meaning that we only collect attorney’s fees if we secure a settlement or jury award in your case. Contact us today at (727) 222-6922, or online, to schedule your free consultation.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922