Thursday, December 31, 2015

Avoid a Car Accident This Holiday Season

Auto accidents in Florida during the holidays
The holiday season is upon us and, for most Americans, that means celebrations with friends and loved ones. These celebrations often require more hours on the road than one normally spends, between traveling to and from gatherings and late nights spent shopping for the perfect gifts. More hours on the road combined with more people on the road means a higher risk of being involved in a car accident for all.

Car accidents can happen as a result of a variety of factors. One of the most prominent factors is driver negligence. Sometimes, more than one driver acts negligently or recklessly, causing two or more vehicles to collide. Determining which driver was negligent and how, then proving these claims, can be complicated. If you have been injured in a car accident during the holiday season or any other time of year, work with an experienced car accident attorney to file and pursue an effective personal injury claim. 

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry – But Not Too Much

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and other holidays during the winter tend to be drinking holidays for many Americans. During this time of year, motorists are at a higher risk of being involved in accidents caused by drunk drivers.1

In Florida and the rest of the United States, the legal limit for a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%. This means that once an individual's BAC is higher than this level, he or she is prohibited from driving and can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if he or she chooses to do so. Despite this risk, many individuals opt to drink and drive, putting other motorists and pedestrians at risk. If you are hosting a holiday party, you can prevent drunk driving accidents by offering to have your guests stay overnight in your home. The only wait to reduce one's BAC is to wait for the alcohol to fully metabolize. If you are going to a holiday party, plan to use either a designated driver or public transportation to ensure that you get there safely. If you will be driving, do not drink alcohol. 

Adjust your Driving to the Local Conditions

In Florida, adverse weather like snow and ice are not a concern in the winter. However, rainstorms and congested highways during this time of year can create hazards for motorists. During rainstorms, allow for a greater following distance between yourself and other vehicles. Take turns less sharply and drive more slowly to allow yourself a greater reaction time to hazards and sudden stops. Wet conditions can lead to hydroplaning,2 which happens when a car's tires lift off the road temporarily because of water underfoot.

If you Are Involved in a Car Accident

Despite taking the proper precautions, there is always the chance you will be involved in a car accident this holiday season. If this happens, do not panic. By making the right choices after your accident, you can make it much easier for yourself and others involved to collect the information necessary to file an insurance claim and make a full recovery.

If you can remove yourself and your vehicle from the roadway, do this to prevent another collision, but do not attempt to exit the roadway if it is not safe to do so. If you or any other parties involved in the accident are in need of immediate medical attention, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, call the police to have an officer sent to the scene.

Obtain a copy of the official police report and any other involved drivers' insurance information to use to support your personal injury claim. After leaving the scene, the next step is to seek medical attention for your own injury. Do this relatively soon after your accident – the sooner you seek medical attention, the better chance you have of successfully recovering the money you need for your treatment. After you have received treatment, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your claim. 

Contact our St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorneys For Help

Car accidents can happen at any time of the year. When a car accident leads to an injury, the victim can easily find him or herself facing significant expenses. Fortunately, he or she can potentially recover compensation for some or all of these expenses through a personal injury claim with help from an experienced car accident attorney. Contact Dolman Law Group today at 727-222-6922 to schedule your free legal consultation with our firm and learn more about seeking monetary compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim.

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


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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Exercises That Can Help During Injury Recovery

Workout exercises to aid recovery after back & neck injury
You probably know that keeping yourself at a healthy weight during your recovery is important for your mental health and for promoting the recovery process, but this is often easier said than done. Depending on the severity of your injury, exercising might appear to be impossible. You might also simply have no interest in exercising because of the effects of your medication on your mood and your ability to concentrate and your baseline pain level.

It is important that you continue to exercise, though, even if you need to do a significantly modified exercise regimen compared to your normal workout routine. Exercising gives your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones the opportunity to move through their ranges of motion, preventing muscular atrophy and promoting blood flow to those areas of the body. Exercising can also have a positive effect on your mental health, giving you a healthy perspective on the recovery process and providing you with a simple way to gauge your progress. As you work to recover from your injury, work with an experienced personal injury attorney to file and pursue a claim for monetary compensation.

Depending on the circumstances of your accident and injury, you could likely seek compensation for the cost of your physical therapy or exercise classes.

 

Yoga

Yoga is a type of exercise that involves focused breathing, slow movements, and poses that put pressure on specific muscle groups to build strength in them. Yoga is often touted as a great type of exercise for individuals recovering from physical injuries1 because it involves no contact with others and allows an individual to move through the poses at his or her own comfortable pace.

 

Kettle Bell Swings

If you are suffering from a knee injury, kettle bell swings can be an easy way to stay in shape without injuring your knee further. Kettle bell swings2 involve using inertia from your own body weight to swing a kettle bell up over your head, then back between your knees in a controlled movement. Kettle bell swings, unlike many other types of exercise, do not put significant pressure on the back, also making them ideal for individuals who are recovering from back injuries or suffering from back pain.

 

Swimming and Water Exercises

Swimming can be a relaxing way to exercise when you are recovering from an back and neck injury. In the water, there is less pressure on your joints and on the rest of your body. Some individuals find it useful to do exercises in the pool with buoyant weights or kick boards.

 

Stretches for Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff, the group of arm muscles that allow for full shoulder movement, can be injured in a variety of accident types. Rotator cuff injuries can prevent an individual from working and doing a variety of activities. For a rotator cuff injury, the best type of exercise for recovery is usually stretching.3

One type of stretch that can help alleviate the pain of a rotator cuff injury is a doorway stretch. To do this, stand in an open doorway with each hand on the wall beside the doorway, then slowly allow your body weight to pull you forward, using your bent arms as leverage. This exercises the muscles in the front of the arm and the shoulder.

Call our St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys Today

When you are suffering from an injury after an accident, you likely feel consistent pain, stiffness, and soreness. Although these are a natural part of the injury and recovery process, you can minimize these effects through light exercise. Remember, always consult with your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen, especially if you are injured or have certain medical issues that need to be considered. Your doctor can guide you toward the right type of workout for you. While you are recovering from an injury, you need to do all that you can to keep yourself healthy and progressing through the recovery process. Leave your financial and legal concerns to your attorney.

To work with an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney, contact our team at Dolman Law Group to schedule your legal consultation with us. We can examine your case and determine the best way for you to proceed with your claim. Do not wait to contact us – call our firm at 727-222-6922 today.

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


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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Seeking Workers' Compensation For Your Injury Expenses

Workers Compensation Injury Expenses in Florida
In any workplace, injuries can happen. Individuals in certain workplaces, like construction sites and positions that require workers to drive as part of their daily routine, are at a greater risk of being injured on the job than those in sedentary and indoor positions. However, no job is without its risk of injury. Even in seemingly safe work environments, like offices, an worker can become injured in an accident. Fortunately, employees who suffer from preventable injuries on the job have the option to seek monetary compensation through a workers' compensation claim.

If you have been injured at work, seek medical care for your injury as soon as possible. This is the critical first step following any type of accident – even if you think you are not injured, have a doctor examine you to determine if you will need any type of treatment. Sometimes, injuries are not apparent for months or years after an accident occurs. By then, it could be too late to seek monetary compensation for your expenses. Get adequate medical attention as soon as possible after your accident, then contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a workers' compensation claim.

What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation is a type of insurance policy that most employers in the United States are required to carry. The Florida Workers' Compensation Program1 exists to provide injured employees with financial coverage for the expenses that stem from their workplace injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages because of the time spent outside of work, and the need for temporary or permanent disability aids.

Although most employers are required to purchase a workers' compensation policy, not all are. In Florida, employers that meet the following requirements must have a workers' compensation policy2 in place:

·         Construction industry employers who employ one or more full or part-time employees. This includes those based outside of Florida. Only corporate officers and LLC members who own at least 10 percent of their companies may opt to exempt themselves from coverage;
·         Non-construction industry employers who employ four or more part or full-time workers. In these industries, sole proprietors and partners are not required to be considered employees, but may opt to be. Corporate officers and individuals involved in LLCs who own more than 10 percent of their companies may choose to exempt themselves from coverage;
·         Agricultural employers who employer six or more regular workers and/or 12 or more seasonal workers for more than 30 days;
·         Employers located outside of Florida whose statutes include extraterritorial reciprocity clauses, as long as the work performed is temporary.

What Can I Recover through a Workers' Compensation Claim?

Through a workers' compensation claim, you may seek compensation for the following losses:
·         Lost wages;
·         Disability aids;
·         Medical bills;
·         Job training or rehabilitation to return to work.

If you are Injured at Work

Report your injury to your supervisor right away. If you do not take this step, you could invalidate your workers' compensation claim. You must report your accident to your employer within 30 days.

You must then seek a medical evaluation from one of the physicians listed on your company's workers' compensation policy. This is known as an independent medical exam (IME). During this exam, the doctor determines if your injury was caused by work-related activity and it extent. This is where it is important to work with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. In many cases, IMEs are not objective and instead are designed to allow the workers' compensation provider to pay a victim as little as possible. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance provider and the physician performing the IME to get you an adequate settlement amount for your needs.

St. Petersburg Workers' Compensation Attorneys

If you have been injured in an accident at work, you deserve to receive monetary compensation for your losses. After you have notified your supervisor of your accident, the next step is to begin working on your claim with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. Contact the Dolman Law Group to schedule your initial legal consultation with us today. We can provide you with the legal guidance and representation your claim needs to be successful.

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


Sunday, November 15, 2015

How Is a Truck Accident Different From a Car Accident?

St. Petersburg Accident Comparison:  Car vs. Truck
At first glance, a car accident and a truck accident might not seem so different. Sure, a commercial truck is much larger and more powerful than a passenger vehicle, but generally, the types of accidents in which they are involved are fairly similar. Collisions caused by speeding, distracted driving, and failure to observe the rules of the road are common causes of both car and truck accidents.1

But there are a few key differences to keep in mind about truck accidents. Although a truck can be involved in a collision for the same reasons as a car, there are a few types of accidents that can only happen involving large commercial trucks. Likewise, the difference in size between a truck and a passenger vehicle can mean a significantly greater impact in these collisions, causing much greater damage to the car's driver and passengers than the damage suffered in a collision between two cars.

Finally, seeking monetary compensation after a truck accident can be a slightly different process from seeking compensation after a car accident. Because truck drivers are professionals and often working when their accidents occur, a motorist or pedestrian injured in a truck accident must seek compensation from the driver's employer or motor carrier insurance, depending on whether he or she is an employee or an owner operator.

If the prospect of seeking monetary compensation after you are injured in a truck accident sounds confusing to you, seek legal guidance from an experienced truck accident attorney. Truck accident claims, like all other types of personal injury claims, can be complicated. Make yours easier by working with an attorney who has handled this type of case in the past.

Accidents Unique to Trucks

Imagine a tractor trailer. The driver operates it from the tractor, the portion that contains the engine and the operator's cab, pulling the trailer, the portion where the cargo is held. These two halves of the truck are linked with a mechanism that allows the trailer to safely follow the tractor.

This mechanism can also be the cause of a dangerous type of accident known as jackknifing. When the tractor skids, the trailer can push from behind and spin away from the tractor, possibly turning in a complete circle. This can happen because of improper braking, equipment failure, or adverse road conditions. When this happens, the driver often loses control of the trailer and those sharing the road can be hit by it.

Truck drivers face certain difficulties that individuals driving cars do not face. Because of their size, tractor trailers require a much greater span of roadway to come to a complete stop after braking. This is why it is critical to give trucks adequate following distance.

Employee or Owner Operator?

Many truck drivers are not actually employees of the companies for which they are transporting goods, but owner operators who take driving jobs on a contractual basis. These drivers are known as owner operators. As such, they own and insure their own trucks.

If you are involved in a collision involving a commercial truck, one of the most important piece of information to obtain is whether the driver is an employee or an owner operator. If he or she was an employee, you may seek monetary compensation through a claim with his or her employer. If the driver is an owner operator, you will have to file your claim with his or her motor carrier's insurance policy.2 In either case, you will need to prove that the driver's negligence was the cause of your accident and thus, your injury.

St. Petersburg Truck Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in a collision with a tractor trailer that was caused by the truck driver's negligence or reckless behavior, you deserve to receive monetary compensation for your economic losses. After you have received a proper diagnosis and treatment for your injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to begin discussing your truck accident claim.

Contact the Dolman Law Group to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm. We can answer any questions you have and provide you with the legal guidance and representation your case needs to be successful.  Call us today by calling our St. Petersburg office at (727) 222-6922.

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


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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Insurance Carrier Bad Faith Claims

Insurance Carrier's Bad Faith Claims - Explained by St Petersburg FL Personal Injury Lawyer
When an insurance company needlessly delays or denies a legitimate claim, it is known as acting in bad faith. Bad faith1 can cost claimants tens of thousands of dollars and more, leaving them suffering from their injuries as they wait for the compensation they need to recover. Fortunately, wronged injury victims have legal recourse for issues of bad faith: insurance carrier bad faith claims.

A bad faith claim is a way for an individual to seek compensation for the economic damages he or she lost as a result of an insurance carrier's bad faith practices. It can often be difficult to determine the difference between bad faith and good faith practices, especially to those who are not familiar with how insurance claims and policies work. Essentially, good faith practices are those that align with the insurance company's values and promises to its policyholders. Standard practices such as conducting full investigations, requiring claimants to provide sufficient evidence for their claims, and working with objective experts to appropriately value claims are all examples of good faith practices. Bad faith practices, on the other hand, are practices done solely for the insurance company's profit with no regard for the policyholder's needs.

If you feel you have suffered because of bad faith behavior on the part of an insurance carrier after suffering an injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a bad faith claim. Your attorney will examine your case to determine whether you have been a victim of a bad faith practice and if so, determine how you can proceed with your bad faith claim.

Examples of Insurance Carrier Bad Faith
Any action that deliberately attempts to minimize or dismiss a policyholder's claim without a full, fair investigation is considered to be an action committed in bad faith. Examples of bad faith actions include the following:

·         Improperly filling out the paperwork for a claim, resulting in a delayed or denied claim.
·         Claiming to have never received a claimant's claim information despite his or her sending it to the company.
·         Losing a claimant's information.
·         Paying a claimant only partial benefits for his or her claim despite that claimant's policy stating he or she is entitled to receive full benefits.
·         Hiring experts to side with the insurance company while evaluating claims, rather than providing an objective evaluation, in an attempt to justify a lower settlement or denied claim.
·         Failing to conduct a full investigation for a claim.
·         Giving a claimant the wrong information about his or her policy and what he or she is entitled to receive for his or her claim. For example, neglecting to tell a policy-holder about the extent of his or her coverage.
·         Requiring a claimant to provide an unreasonable level of documentation for his or her claim.
·         Failing to provide the services that the company claims to provide in its marketing materials or other discussions with the policyholder.
·         In Florida, violating one of the state laws2 regarding insurance company rates and contracts.

Insurance providers have the obligation to provide their customers with financial protection from unexpected costs that would otherwise be too expensive for the insured to pay without help. Although insurance companies are businesses and thus in business to make profits, failing to meet their promises to their customers for the sake of increased profit is unethical and grounds for a bad faith claim.

If you are a victim of bad faith
Contact a supervisor at your insurance company and explain your experience to him or her. If the company does not resolve the issue internally, contact an experienced insurance attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a claim with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.3

If you decide to file an appeal with the state regulatory office, you will need to provide documentation of your accident and your interaction with the insurance provider. The office then reviews your claim and determines a fair settlement.

Contact a St. Petersburg, Florida personal injury attorney today
Work with an insurance attorney you can trust by working with a member of Dolman Law Group. We are an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury firm who can guide you through every step of the personal injury claim process, including how to work with your insurance provider, so please call today at 727-222-6922.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1St Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL33712
(727) 222-6922


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How Defective Airbags Can Cause Injury?



Every vehicle manufactured in the United States now comes equipped with airbags to protect motorists in the event of a collision. When the car detects a collision, the airbag deploys almost instantly and the large balloon hopefully protects the vehicle occupants from hitting their heads on the dashboard, steering wheel, or windshield. Additionally, in the event of a rollover accident, side-impact airbags can keep an occupant from being ejected from the car. Airbags have, in short, become an important safety feature that is believed to have prevented numerous injuries in car accidents.

Despite the increased safety of having properly functioning airbags, many motorists suffer serious injuries as a result of defective airbags. Like any other type of manufacturer, the makers of airbags have the legal duty to design, assemble, and install airbags in a manner that is safe for motorists. If an airbag has a defect, it can malfunction and result in serious or even catastrophic injuries from motorists. In such cases, you can bring a legal claim against the negligent manufacturer under products liability law.1

Common airbag defects that lead to accidents
The following are some of the ways that airbags can commonly cause injuries:

- Fail to deploy in the event of a collision, which may result in serious head trauma, brain injuries, and other serious injuries.

- Deployment with too much force that may cause facial fractures, broken hands, wrists, and arms, and burns.

- The balloon bursts upon deployment, causing shards of metal and other internal pieces to fly out toward motorists, causing severe lacerations, eye damage, brain injury, puncture wounds, and more.

- The airbag deploys suddenly when no collision has occurred, causing the driver to lose sight of the road and often ending in a serious collision.

Has your airbag been recalled?
When an airbag manufacturer realizes that accidents, injuries, and deaths are happening as a result of malfunctioning airbags, the manufacturer has the legal duty to issue a product recall through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).2 Through such a recall, consumers who own potentially affected vehicles can take their cars in and have the airbag repaired or replaced to avoid the malfunction in the future. Unfortunately, many consumers may not realize that their airbags have been recalled because they are not familiar with the process. NHTSA has a search tool3 that allows you to enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) to see if your vehicle is the subject of any type of recall, airbags included.

Lawsuits involving defective airbags
If you have sustained injuries in a collision that you believe happened due to a defective airbag, you have the legal right to hold the manufacturer liable for your losses including medical bills, lost wages and benefits, suffering and pain, permanent disability, and more. In order to do that you must prove that the manufacturer did one of the following:

- Negligently designed the airbag or airbag component with an inherent flaw.

- Negligently manufactured the airbag, either through incorrect assembly, inadequate materials used, or other mistakes.     

- Failed to warn of potential dangers of the airbag.


Products liability lawsuits can be complex, especially since you are usually facing off against a large corporation. For this reason, it is important to have a car accident attorney on your side who knows how handle the complicated issues that may arise in this type of case.

Discuss your injuries with a qualified St. Petersburg products liability attorney

Defective airbags can malfunction when you least expect it and can cause severe crashes and injuries, especially if you are traveling at high speeds or on a busy road when the malfunction occurs. Any manufacturer that has produced and sold defective airbags should be held fully responsible for its negligence and injured victims should receive the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled under the law. The experienced auto accident lawyers at the Dolman Law Group have represented the best interests and legal rights of numerous car accident victims. If you have been in an accident in or around St. Petersburg, please call our office today at 727-222-6922 for a free consultation.

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


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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Liability Issues in a One-Car Collision




Car accidents are often traumatic, but they can be especially stressful if you are the only one involved. If you crash your car and then get out to discover no one else was involved, you may immediately worry that you will be held responsible for all of the damage. This is not always the case, as other parties can be negligent and cause or contribute to your single-car collision. The following are some examples of common causes of single-car collisions:

Automotive defects – When you purchase a vehicle, you should be able to trust that it has been safely designed and manufactured so that it is safe for you to operate. However, cars have many different parts and manufacturers can make mistakes like anyone else. When an auto manufacturer negligently sells a vehicle with defective parts, there is the risk that the part may malfunction and lead to an accident and this is often the cause of single-car collisions. If you are driving and your tire suddenly blows out or your brakes unexpectedly fail, you may understandably lose control and crash your car. In such situations, the manufacturer responsible for the defective part should be held liable for your losses under the legal principle of products liability.1

Road defects – Another common reason a driver may lose control of a vehicle is a defect or hazard in the roadway. The government has the duty to keep roads safe for use and free from possibly dangerous conditions. Unfortunately, some entities fail to properly inspect the roads to identify potential issues or to maintain problems when they do arise. Allowing large cracks, potholes, uneven lanes, or obstacles in the roadway can easily cause a driver to crash their car. Additionally, if a road is designed with dangerous curves, dangerous intersections, speed limits that are too high, or other defects, single-car collisions can occur. Bringing a legal case against the government can be complicated and can have different deadlines and procedures due to the applicable Florida laws,2 so it is important to have an attorney who understands this type of case.

Other negligent drivers – Even if you are the only one who actually crashes, another driver may still be at fault for the crash. For example, a distracted driver or drunk driver may accidentally veer into your lane, causing you to swerve to avoid a collision with them and sending your vehicle off the road. This type of case is difficult, however, because often the negligent driver may not even realize their actions and may simply keep driving, making it nearly impossible to identify them and hold them responsible. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it may cover your damage though the company will often have specific requirements for single-car accidents caused by such “phantom vehicles.” For example, you must report the incident almost immediately to your insurance company and/or law enforcement. Additionally, your insurer will usually require some type of corroboration of your claim that a phantom vehicle caused the crash. An experienced Florida attorney can help you navigate the insurance claim process and a civil suit if appropriate in your case.

No matter what caused your single-car collision, a resulting legal claim can be complicated. With the help of a qualified attorney, however, you have the chance to receive the same compensation you would deserve in any type of auto accident.

Call our experienced St. Petersburg auto accident attorneys for assistance today

At the Dolman Law Group, we understand that there are many different potentially negligent parties in every type of accident. We never assume that a driver is at fault simply because they were involved in a single-car accident. Instead, we listen thoroughly to your version of events and conduct an investigation into all of the circumstances surrounding your collision, including other drivers, road conditions, possible vehicle defects, and more. We gather evidence such as video surveillance, photos, witness interviews, and expert analysis in order to sufficiently prove the negligence of another party so that you can fully recover financially. We offer free consultations, so please call today our office in St. Pete at 727-222-6922 to find out how we can help you.

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



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