Thursday, July 30, 2020

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

car accident lawyer cost injury attorney Florida lawsuit claim

Florida Car Accident Attorney Cost

If you have been involved in a car accident then there is a fairly high chance that you have suffered significant injuries. It is very common for car accident injuries to leave those affected with a very expensive stack of medical bills, lost wages due to time spent recovering from injuries, as well as pain and suffering in general. Dealing with these damages can often lead to taking legal action which means hiring a lawyer but how much does a lawyer, let alone a good lawyer, cost?

For many of those that are in dire need of compensation for damages caused by car accident injuries the process of hiring a lawyer to help them take legal action is something very new. Even those that may have hired attorneys for a different legal situation may have some questions regarding selecting a personal injury attorney for filing a car accident injury claim. Most of the time, the biggest concern when it comes to choosing a lawyer or even hiring a lawyer at all is the cost. 

How Much a Personal Injury Attorney Will Cost You

Dolman Law Group understands that those that have been involved in car accidents and suffered severe injuries are typically in a difficult financial situation which can make the idea of paying for yet another significant cost unattractive, to say the least. Balancing the cost of getting good legal assistance versus breaking the bank may seem daunting but personal injury attorneys are well aware of this common predicament and have practices in place to provide their expert services while not harming their client’s finances any further.

Car Accident Injury Attorney Contingent Fees

A common concern many people have when hiring a personal injury attorney for the first time is how they can afford a lawyer when they are already in financial trouble to begin with. Many people mistakenly assume that personal injury attorneys are paid by the hour like many other professionals and even certain lawyers typically are. This is not conducive towards the business a personal injury attorney conducts so they work on what is called a contingent fee basis. A contingent fee works by having the lawyer not be paid upfront for their services but instead, they get paid once they manage to get a settlement or favorable verdict for their client.

Unlike hourly pay rates, a personal injury attorney’s cost will be determined by the percentage that you agree to pay them out of your settlement. The average percentage will sit somewhere around 33% with some variation depending on the lawyer and the details of the case. If your personal injury attorney fails to get you any compensation then you owe them nothing. Since their pay depends on a favorable outcome of the case they are working, personal injury attorneys invest more time and energy into making sure a case is handled to the best of their ability. Unlike other lawyers that may use retainers, a personal injury attorney will not require upfront payment but they will require that your arrangement to pay them a percentage of a settlement be made in writing. 

Contingent Fees are Different, Not Cheap

Given the situation that many car accident victims find themselves in, paying a lawyer via a contingent fee is the best payment scenario they can hope for since the alternative requires funds they simply might not have at the time. While contingent fees are a useful way to secure the assistance of a personal injury attorney, they still require careful consideration and negotiation. 

Contingent Fees and Your Settlement/Court Award

For example, you may have a case where you have suffered a traumatic brain injury that brings the value of compensation to a very high amount. Let's say you manage to get $100,000 dollars in a settlement. Your attorney has a contingent fee of 33% so they would get $33,000 from the $100,000 settlement leaving you with $77,000. On top of contingent fees, there are also expenses for things like expert witnesses and court costs that are subtracted from the compensation you get as well. So after contingent fees, there might be $10,000 in expenses subtracted as well leaving you with $60,000 after all is said and done. 

Keep in mind that a lawyer’s contingent fee can take a significant portion of your settlement. In many cases, the amount of compensation that you get even after a lawyer takes their contingency fee is more than enough to handle the damages that you need covered but there are instances where you need to carefully consider how you will take away less than what you get from the insurance company in a lawsuit or claim. 

Do Better Personal Injury Attorneys Cost More?

Most personal injury attorneys will work for a contingency fee that sits between 30-40%. Some may ask for more and others may ask for less but this is not a good indicator of the level of expertise that an attorney can bring to your case. It is not always about getting the best lawyer so much as it is about getting the best lawyer for your case. It is important to do your due diligence and see which lawyer is the right fit for you and your case. Look at their successes and failures in their history of case results. Look at exactly what kind of cases an attorney handles and especially if they settle out of court or if they are willing to go to trial to fight for their client. 

Seek an Experienced Saint Petersburg, Florida Car Accident Attorney

When another driver’s careless choices behind the wheel result in a collision and cause you harm, you deserve full and fair compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial pain those choices inflict. Letting an experienced attorney guide you through the process of seeking compensation can free-up your mind and body to focus on healing and recovery.

If you were involved in a car accident, our lawyers at Sibley Dolman will investigate your case, and may help you obtain the compensation you need for damage done to your person and property.  The skilled attorneys of Sibley Dolmen  To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Sibley Dolman attorney, please call us at (727) 222-6922 or fill out a contact form online

Sibley Dolman

1663 1st Ave S.

St. Petersburg, FL 33712

(727) 222-6922

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Can I File a Lawsuit Over Food Poisoning?

personal injury lawsuit food poisoning injury attorney Florida

Personal Injury Lawsuits Over Injuries Caused by Food

Personal injuries have the potential to occur just about anywhere. People find themselves getting injured when they trip and fall, collide with a motor vehicle in a car accident, or even receive treatment from a physician. These are all common situations where an injured person will want to seek compensation for damages that they suffered as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence but only scratch the surface of potential personal injury cases. For example, many people can suffer severe personal injuries as a result of the food that they eat.

Can I Sue because I was Injured by Food?

There is definitely potential to litigate in cases where someone has suffered a severe injury because of the food they ate. Like any other personal injury case, a case involving injuries caused by food has to fulfill several criteria in order to be considered viable. 
Before anyone can consider filing a personal injury lawsuit, they need to have suffered an injury severe enough to warrant the process of seeking compensation for damages through legal action. Many people suffer injuries because of something that they ate but that does not necessarily mean that they have a case. For example, someone can go to a restaurant and order something that later on makes them sick for a day with nausea, vomiting, and fatigue but resolves itself on its own. Sure the food they ate made them sick but not enough to cause them any significant damage that warrants filing a personal injury claim. On the other hand, if their injury was bad enough that it warranted seeking medical treatment and left them unable to work for a period of time then the level of damage would warrant the trouble of taking legal action. 

Proof Specific Food Caused Food Poisoning

Another criterion for filing a personal injury claim over food poisoning is the ability to link the injury to the food that someone ate. In cases of direct physical injuries caused by food such as lacerations and damage to the mouth caused by bones, shells, or similarly hazardous objects negligently left in food the damage and pain is immediate and easily linked to the food. However, in cases where someone has gotten food poisoning, it can sometimes be a bit more difficult linking the food in question to the injury. While a claimant may know that the specific meal is to blame for thor injury, they need to be able to prove this against a defendant’s argument that the injury could have possibly been caused by another meal or something else entirely. 

Liable Party Negligence and Food Poisoning

If you have suffered food poisoning or another type of injury as a result of eating at a certain establishment then not only the owners of the establishment can be found liable for your injuries but several other parties as well. Being able to prove that a certain party’s negligence resulted in you eating dangerous food is an integral part of a potential personal injury claim. You could end up eating dangerous food for a number of reasons and be injured in a number of ways but regardless of this, it is imperative that you investigate the circumstances of your injury thoroughly to gather evidence that can help prove that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. 
This does not mean just proving that the reason you ended up injured by food was someone else’s fault. There needs to be demonstrable negligence in order for them to be found liable. For example, you can end up eating something at a restaurant that causes an injury because the ingredients are contaminated. If the restaurant had no way of knowing the ingredients were contaminated because a recall had yet to be issued it injured the person then they weren’t negligent. If a restaurant serves something and doesn’t take reasonable care to ensure that it is safe then they can be considered negligent. 

Who Can be Liable for Injuries Caused by Food?

  • Restaurants
  • Food Distributors 
  • Manufacturers
  • Farms/Slaughterhouses
  • Grocery Stores
  • Cooking Equipment Manufacturers/Designers

Injuries Caused by Food

What you put into your body generally has a significant effect on your health. Food with contaminated ingredients or improperly prepared can cause a number of health issues. Most of the time, people may come away with a high degree of discomfort and upset digestive system that sorts itself out after a day or two. However, there are many times where food can cause more significant injury to consumers. 
Anaphylaxis (Allergic Reactions): A person may have an allergy to a certain ingredient used in a dish or food product which can lead to their body reacting negatively. Allergic reactions to food can range from mild swelling and discomfort to life-threatening anaphylaxis. A major concern is a person’s airways swelling up and preventing them from breathing. 
Food Poisoning: Contaminated or improperly prepared food can cause severe illness. Undercooked and uncooked food can have dangerous bacteria and viruses that can lead to severe infection. Certain ingredients can also have these contaminants as well and lead to consumers suffering injuries especially at risk demographics like the elderly, pregnant, and immunodeficient. 
Lacerations or Punctures: A person can suffer mouth and internal organ injuries when they eat food that has foreign objects in it. Food can also have been prepared in a way so that components not meant to be in a dish may be present like sharp bones or shells in something like a boneless wing. 

Seek an Experienced St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney

If you suffered an injury because of an accident, do not try to handle your claim on your own! Working with a lawyer can help increase the amount of your claim, ease your stress, and make it easier for you to handle many of the challenges that come your way as you recover from the accident. Do not hesitate to at least speak with a legal professional about your potential personal injury claim. 
Dolman Law Group has been representing injured accident victims successfully for years. Our lawyers have the skill, experience, and resources to help ensure your claim has the best chance possible at getting you the compensation that you not only need but deserve as well. Regardless of the path a case takes, we will always aggressively pursue the best possible outcome. Call the Dolman Law Group in St. Petersburg at (727) 222-6922 or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation to learn your rights when seeking compensation through a personal injury claim.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL, 33712

Monday, June 22, 2020

Florida Semi-Truck Wide Turn Accidents

Commercial Tractor Trailer Accidents Caused by Wide Turns

Florida sees its fair share of accidents involving commercial tractor-trailer also known as semi-trucks or big rigs. Any accident involving these kinds of vehicles are generally much more destructive and cause much more severe injuries than most accidents only involving smaller cars. Semi-trucks have their own set of issues that can easily cause an accident to occur. In fact, it could be said that semi-trucks are significantly more difficult to operate in a safe manner due to the number of ways things can go wrong. One of the common reasons why semi-trucks cause dangerous accidents is problems with wide turns.

Semi-trucks and Wide Turns

Due to the immense size of semi-trucks, the process of doing something as simple as turning can be complex and fraught with the risk of causing an accident. Semi-trucks are generally several car lengths long or more accurately 72 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, and 13.5 feet tall on average. In some cases, a semi-truck may even be longer if it is hauling several trailers or if it is hauling a unique trailer. 
Since semi-trucks are so long, they have to take their turns extra wide which means they have to occupy much more space on the road. This increases the chance of an accident occurring but the greatest risk comes from the fact that semi-truck trailers can easily become imbalanced if a semi-truck driver does not maneuver their vehicle correctly. When a semi-truck driver fails to take a wide turn properly a semi-truck trailer can tip over and fall leading to rollovers, the spilling of debris, and even jackknifing in certain cases. 

Common Causes of Semi-Truck Wide Turn Accident

  • Driving a route where certain types of turns are unsafe
  • Swinging wide when it is unnecessary to do so
  • Swinging into oncoming, moving traffic
  • Distracted driving
  • Not using a turn signal
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Improper loading tips the imbalance trailer
  • Driving under the influence
  • Not waiting for a clear opportunity in traffic

A major factor that precipitates many of these mistakes that cause wide-turn semi-truck accidents is the lack of or improper training of many semi-truck drivers. Some trucking companies will expedite the training times of the drivers that are being trained to work for them due to the demand for drivers. As a result, many drivers don’t get the full training necessary to help them ensure that they are able to perform wide turns properly in a number of situations. 

Semi-Truck Accident Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries: When someone is involved in a semi-truck accident they are very likely to suffer a blow to the head which can result in a traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury can be defined as an injury that involves the brain suffering damage because of strong physical forces that act upon the head. This damage to the brain regularly causes cognitive issues that result in disability. The damage to the brain also can end up being permanent causing those affected to suffer a drastically lowered quality of life. Common forms of traumatic brain injury include concussions, penetrating brain injuries, diffuse axonal injuries, and brain contusions.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Semi-truck accidents also can deal significant trauma to the back of those involved in the accident. As a result, a person can sustain severe damage to their spine and by extension, their spinal cord. The spinal cord is one of the body’s most important sensory and information relaying structures part of the nervous system. It consists of spongey nerve bundles that run the length of the inside of the spinal cord’s vertebrae. When the spinal cord is damaged, a person can end up suffering symptoms like weakness, incontinence, sensations like tingling or pins and needles, and even paralysis
Amputations: There are many instances where the damage inflicted by a semi-truck accident can result in the need to amputate. Truck accidents regularly cause severe lacerations, bruising, and broken/fractured bones. There are times when these injuries are severe enough when located on a limb that there is no hope for the part to recover and it should be amputated or removed from the body. 

Filing a Florida Truck Accident Claim

Those that have been injured as a result of Florida accidents with semi-trucks may be able to seek compensation for the injuries they suffered if the accident was caused by the negligence of another liable party. Filing a semi-truck accident injury claim or filing a truck accident lawsuit can get truck accident victims the money they need to cover damages like medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, and more. 
Florida truck accident injury claims work by using evidence of a liable party’s negligence as leverage to negotiate an out of court settlement with the defendant liable party or parties. Negotiating a fair settlement takes time, expertise, and resources that the average person is able to provide. It is strongly recommended that those that seek to take legal action after a semi-truck accident seek the professional assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney

Seek an Experienced Semi-Truck Accident Attorney

At the Dolman Law Group, we regularly assist individuals who were involved in serious car accidents involving semis. We offer a free consultation, which gives you the opportunity to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys, and determine if you have a valid claim.
Our free consultation does not involve any obligation to become a client. If we agree to represent you, you will need to sign a retainer agreement before we start work on your case. Every case is different, and recovery depends on the specifics of each individual case, so we cannot guarantee a favorable result. However, we always do our best to ensure that our clients are fully compensated for their injuries.
Many factors could limit full recovery, and these factors are best explained by a truck accident attorney licensed to practice law in Florida. Contact the Dolman Law Group in St. Petersburg online or at (727) 222-6922, and talk to one of our experienced attorneys today.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL, 33712

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Bicycle Laws Floridians Don’t Know

Florida bicycle laws rules injury lawsuit claim attorney

Lesser-Known Bicycle Laws That Affect Bicycle Accident Cases

Florida bicyclists have a responsibility to know all of the laws relevant to their riding. For the most part, Florida bicyclists are aware of rules that pertain to their pastime but there are a few laws that are surprisingly unknown to many bicyclists despite how they can influence a claim. A disturbing number of bicyclists end up involved in severe accidents every year. 
As a result, these bicyclists will suffer brutal injuries that can upend their life with damages. Bicycle accident injury claims are typically the best way to go about getting compensation for bicycle accident injuries and damages. However, it is important that bicyclists be aware of the following lesser-known rules that may affect their ability to seek compensation. 

Bicycles are Considered Vehicles Under Florida Law

What many bicyclists may fail to realize is that under Florida law, their bicycle is considered a vehicle like the cars and motorcycles that utilize the roads. This may seem a given but many Floridians don’t really consider their bikes to be a vehicle in the same classification as a car that utilizes the roads since they are so much smaller, cheaper, and readily available. However, bicycles being considered vehicles under Florida law can be a good thing. Since a bicycle is classified as a vehicle under Florida law that means that it is entailed to the same rights as motorists to use the road to travel. 
On the other hand, many motorists are not aware of this fact so many bicyclists will experience a great deal of danger when using Florida roads for travel. Motorists that violate bicyclists’ rights to the road can be liable for any injuries they cause that bicyclist as a result. 

Bicyclists are Expected to Respect and Follow All Traffic Laws

Since bicycles are classified as vehicles under Florida law, they are expected to follow all the rules of the road just like motorists do. Having a bicycle offers a certain amount of freedom that leads many bicyclists into conflict with this. It is much easier to hop the curb and navigate areas that many motor vehicles cannot which causes many bicyclists to look at their choice of travel as more of an enhanced form of pedestrian travel rather than vehicle travel which can lead to ignorance of important traffic laws. Bicyclists need to respect the same signage and signals that motorists have to. That means stopping at stop signs, red lights, etc. 

Bicycles and the Right of Way  

Bicyclists also need to respect the right of way of other vehicles on the road. Just because someone is on a bicycle does not mean that they do not have to yield. They also have to ride with the flow of traffic. Some bicyclists might think riding against traffic can help them since they can see the oncoming cars and they don’t have to worry about being rear-ended but head-on but a bicyclist can be in even more danger since they are riding in a direction drivers aren’t expecting. 

Florida Bicycle Light Laws

Bicyclists are also expected to use lights when they ride at night just like how motorists are expected to use lights when they drive at night. This comes as a surprise to many cyclists since this law is not known for being well enforced. Lack of visibility is one of the top reasons why many bicyclists end up getting involved in accidents with motor vehicles. Bicycle lighting requirements include:
  • A lamp on the front of the bicycle. The lamp must project white light that can be seen from at least 500 feet away.
  • A lamp on the rear of the bicycle. This lamp must project red light that can be seen from at least 600 feet away.
  • A red reflector on the rear of the bicycle. The reflector must also exhibit red light that is visible from at least 600 feet away.

Using Headphones While Riding a Bicycle

Many people enjoy listening to music, the news, and podcasts when they engage in exercise or on their commute. Bicycling occupies the overlap of the Venn diagram regarding these two subjects but you actually are not supposed to have your headphones in while riding a bicycle. Many people are unaware that it is actually against the law to ride a bike with headphones in but there is a good reason for this rule. Auditory cues are extra important when riding a bicycle so the inhibition of a person’s ability to hear via headphones places bicyclists and others in danger. There is a caveat for hearing aids however. 

Why Following Bicycle Laws is Important

Aside from avoiding the penalties attributed to disregarding certain bicycle laws like fines, following bicycle laws can help prevent you from being considered partially liable in a bicycle accident case. If you are caught breaking a bicycle law when you are hit by a car then your actions could be considered negligent and possibly reduce the value of any settlement you may be entitled to. Tanks to comparative negligence you may still seek compensation in the event you are contributed negligence in an accident but you will not be able to get the same level of compensation you would have gotten if you had not broken the rules.  

Consider Dolman Law Group as Your St. Petersburg, Florida Personal Injury Lawyer

Choosing to ride your bicycle to work or for pleasure should not result in a catastrophe. Drivers have a legal obligation to “share the road” and keep cyclists safe. At the St. Petersburg office of the Sibley Dolman law firm, our team has years of experience representing victims of cycling accidents in South Florida. 
If you've been severely injured in a bicycle accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Aggressive insurance companies often seek to settle a case quickly by offering victims of driver negligence a low dollar settlement. Before you respond or sign anything, come see us. We offer a free consultation for cycling accident victims and their families to discuss whether we can help you recover costs not covered by your own no-fault insurance policy
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

Friday, May 8, 2020

Medical Malpractice vs. Medical Error

Medical Malpractice vs. Medical Error injury claim Florida lawsuit attorney

Did I experience Medical Malpractice or Medical Error?

We all rely on a number of healthcare professionals and institutions to provide treatment and care for whatever happens to negatively impact our health. Our reliance on these healthcare providers can put us in a very compromising position when doctors fail to provide adequate care that ends up causing injuries. Thousands of people every year go to see their doctor in order to treat health conditions and end up suffering even more severe injuries because of some complication that occurs because of the care that they receive. In many cases, this is caused by medical malpractice but there are also many other cases where the injuries are caused by medical error. Knowing the difference between these can help you determine whether or not you may be entitled to compensation because of your injury.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Suffering an injury at a medical facility or as a result of your medical treatment is not that uncommon but this does not always mean that you have suffered because of medical malpractice. In order for an injury caused by your treatment to be considered caused by medical malpractice, it must be the result of a medical professional’s negligent actions or failure to act. 

Medical Malpractice Standard of Care

Generally, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to adhere to the standard of care. The standard of care is the expected level of medical treatment and care within the profession of the doctor or other healthcare professional in question. The violation of the standard of care involves a doctor or other medical professional being aware of the proper procedure yet going against it resulting in a patient being injured. This might be because of costs associated with treatment, insurance coverage, or personal reasons. Regardless of why, this violation of the standard of care makes a healthcare professional liable for patient injuries. 
Medical malpractice also requires that a patient suffers an injury that results in significant damages. You can’t try to claim medical malpractice when the only injuries that you have suffered are minimal, otherwise, the effort that you would be putting forth to seek that compensation would be hardly worth the amount of compensation that you would get for your injuries. 

What is a Medical Error?

As opposed to medical malpractice, a medical error does not involve a doctor violating the standard of care. A medical error is defined as when a medical professional makes a mistake that causes harm to a patient. Medical errors will often involve unexpected or atypical factors that will lead to a medical professional making a harmful misstep. The key difference between these medical errors and medical malpractice is that in a medical error, the medical professional responsible is not intentionally foregoing or neglecting some aspect of their treatment. The medical professional is doing everything they believe that they can. The medical error is caused by things like incompetence, unforeseen factors, and communication problems, clerical errors, and simple human error. 
Causes of Medical Malpractice Injuries
Injuries caused by medical malpractice can occur in a host of different settings other than just a doctor’s office. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities can be considered liable for medical malpractice as well. They can also involve more than just your average primary care provider. All kinds of healthcare professionals can be considered guilty of medical practice. This includes everyone from radiologists to nurses. The most common causes of medical malpractice include:

Common Medical Malpractice Injuries

Filing a Florida Medical Malpractice Claim

If you have suffered an injury when seeking treatment and suspect it was because of a doctor’s malpractice then you may be able to seek compensation for the damages that you suffered by filing a medical malpractice claim. If a claimant is able to prove that their healthcare provider violated the standard of care causing them to suffer a severe injury then they can attempt to negotiate an out of court settlement or file a lawsuit. 
Filing a medical malpractice claim requires a heavy amount of investigation, preparation, and negotiation ability. Trying to handle a medical malpractice claim on your own is a good way to reduce the value of a settlement you may possibly receive. There are a number of mistakes that claimants can make that insurance companies will be happy to exploit so that they can either reduce the value of your settlement or deny your claim completely. Consider speaking to an experienced attorney about your case. You owe it to yourself to do your due diligence and talk to a professional that can give your case a significantly better chance at getting you compensation than if you attempted to handle matters all on your own. 

Seek an Experienced St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you believe you have suffered an injury because of a healthcare provider’s medical malpractice, contact the Florida medical malpractice attorneys of Dolman Law Group immediately to avoid being prohibited from filing suit due to time restrictions. Our lawyers are happy to sit with you to discuss the details of your claim and provide some options on how you can go about taking legal action. The skilled attorneys at Dolman Law Group will fight for your right to compensation and ensure that your case is not put on a back burner but receives the full attention that it deserves. 
An attorney can help connect you with the right doctors to diagnose and treat your injury, but who will also testify on your behalf and on behalf of their professional standards. Dolman Law Group has the medical malpractice experience you need in order to get the compensation you deserve after a painful and damaging injury.
Call (727) 222-6922 or contact Dolman Law Group online today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced and committed medical malpractice attorney.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Sunday, April 26, 2020

How to Prove Distracted Driving

Florida distracted driving accident injury claim attorney lawsuit

Proving Distracted Driving in a Car Accident Claim

Perhaps the most common cause of car accidents across the country is distracted driving. Millions of Americans get behind the wheel every day to commute to work, go to the store, pick up their kids, etc. and are put at risk by other drivers that consider certain things more important than paying attention to the road while driving. This results in hundreds of thousands of people suffering severe injuries every year and having to face financial hardship when they are faced with enormous medical bills and an inability to work. 
Those that have suffered severe injuries at the hands of distracted drivers reserve the right to seek compensation for the damages they have sustained through car accident injury claims. However, in order to effectively secure a fair settlement, a claimant must be able to prove that the at-fault driver was driving distracted which is much more easily said than done. 

What is Distracted Driving?

When you are behind the wheel, you have control over a ton of metal and plastic that can travel at dangerous speeds and cause immense destruction. You have a responsibility to make sure that the operation of your vehicle does not endanger the lives of others. Many people neglect this responsibility by prioritizing other tasks above making sure they pay attention to driving their vehicle. Distracted driving is generally defined as when a person fails to pay attention to their driving because they are performing some other task. Since humans are incapable of multitasking, despite what you may like to believe, the mental faculties essential to driving safely are reduced. Distracted driving can fall into three categories of driving impairment which include
Visual: Taking eyes off of the road or reducing visual perception
Manual: Taking your hands off of the wheel to perform other tasks 
Cognitive: Taking your mind off of driving your vehicle and thinking about other tasks
There are a number of examples of distracted driving that can actually fulfill all of these categories. The most notable being texting and driving. You have to look at your phone which counts as visual impairment of driving skills. You take a hand off of the wheel to type out the text on your phone and you actively have to think about what you are texting or reading. This all comes together to create a driving behavior that causes the most accidents out of any other form of distracted driving. Smartphone use, in general, is a primary cause of most accidents these days and a deadly form of distracted driving whether you are checking social media, your music, maps, etc. Other examples of distracted driving include:

How Can I Prove That Someone was Driving Distracted?

Being able to prove that a driver at-fault for an accident was distracted is integral to a car accident claim but can require some investigation. This all starts with the scene of the accident in the immediate aftermath of the collision. Make sure to be perceptive of any details that may betray how the other driver was distracted. The at-fault driver may be in the middle of a call that distracted them or they may have their phone on and mid text. They might also have food or drink spilled in their car or maybe makeup as well. If you can, try to record the accident scene with pictures or videos if you possibly can. 
Remember to prioritize your own health and safety and the health and safety of others first before worrying about gathering evidence at the scene of an accident. If you cannot take pictures of the scene of an accident because you are injured then try to get someone else to get some record of the state of the accident scene. 

Texting and Phone Records as Proof of Distracted Driving

The most common form of distracted driving is smartphone usage for texting and a number of other tasks. Luckily, smartphone usage is very well recorded by the device itself and can definitively prove if someone was texting or calling while driving. If there is good reason to believe that smartphone distraction was the cause of the accident then the phone can be subpoenaed as evidence in a case. In some instances, the police may actually confiscate a phone as evidence or inspect it. 

Social Media Activity and Distracted Driving

Drivers are often distracted by social media use on their smartphones which can cause an accident just as easily as texting and driving. Social media posting does come with a record of the time of posting which can make connecting social media use to the distracted driving cause of an accident possible. 

Vehicle Data

Many cars now have significantly more electronic systems than ever before. This means that there are many monitoring systems that keep a record of what goes on in a car. These systems can be accessed to retrieve useful information to tell what a driver was doing at the time of an accident whether it was adjusting music, the speed they were going, when brakes were activated, etc. 

Eyewitness Testimony of Driver Distraction

There can be other parties that witnessed the accident occur. These witnesses can possibly testify as to whether they saw the at-fault driver engaging in distracted driving. Possible witnesses could include car passengers in your or the at-fault driver’s vehicle, other drivers, pedestrians, and members of law enforcement.

Seek an Experienced Distracted Driver Car Accident Attorney

Suffering an injury at the hands of a distracted driver can rack up medical expenses, lost wages, and many other costs that deserve compensation. Consider Sibley Dolman as your legal representation in your pursuit of compensation with a car accident claim. Our lawyers have the experience needed to ensure that your case receives the best chance of success so that you can focus on recovery and getting your life back to normal.
If you were involved in a car accident, our lawyers at Sibley Dolman will investigate your case, and may help you obtain the compensation you need for damage done to your person and property. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Sibley Dolman attorney, please contact us at (727) 222-6922, contact us online, or visit us at one of our three office locations in Florida. We look forward to hearing from you and will vigorously advocate on your behalf for the compensation you deserve.
Sibley Dolman
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712