Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Causes And Effects Of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries1 can be serious and cause lasting complications. Some good news may be that victims of spinal cord injuries may have a legal right to recover damages whenever their injuries are the result of another's negligence.

A spinal cord injury occurs when communication between the brain and body is blocked because of damage to the spinal cord. A victim's nervous system may be impaired as a result of the injury. Impairments to sensory capabilities, motor skills, and one's reflexes are common. The effects of a spinal cord injury can be quite serious. Some examples include:

Loss of movement. Serious damage to the spinal cord can result in permanent or temporary paralysis. Individuals may lose their ability to move limbs and extremities. While the loss of movement may be limited to certain areas of the victim's body, it may also be a full-body paralysis.

Loss of sensation. Although paralysis is the effect most commonly associated with spinal cord injuries, loss of sensation is quite common. Victims can lose the sensation of touch or even the ability to feel heat and cold in extremities. In other cases, a victim may also develop painful, intense, and even phantom sensations as a result of the injury.

Loss of bowel and/or bladder control. Blocked nerve communication caused by a spinal injury can affect a victim's bladder/bowel control.

Spinal cord injuries can occur for several reasons. The traumatic injuries causing spinal cord injuries can be everyday events as well as accidents. Examples include:

Motor vehicle accidents. According to reports, motor vehicle accidents account for approximately 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries.2 These injuries can be serious given the sheer size of vehicles and the rate of speed at which they move.

Sports. Sports-related injuries can be severe. They are also many times avoidable. Contact sports such as football and rugby can cause spinal cord injuries even in the regular course of play and the risk increases with reckless play.

Falls. Falls, even minor ones, can cause injury to the spinal cord. The height from which the victim falls as well the surface he or she impacts directly affects the severity of the injury.

Violence. Spinal cord injuries may be the result of violence. Records exist of victims suffering spinal cord injuries due to being victims of physical violence, including gunshots.

The time to recover from a spinal cord injury will vary by person and the severity of the injury. As a result, medical bills and other expenses/losses can be significant. Therefore, it is important that victims of spinal cord injuries seek to recover damages whenever possible.

Some potentially recoverable damages include:

      Medical Expenses - The costs of all medical treatment you have already received and the estimated costs of the treatment, medical equipment, and care services you may need in the future.
      Loss of Wages - This includes the income you have already lost from time away from work, as well as the estimated wages you may lose in the future, as well as lost earning power if you cannot return to your job.
      Loss of Consortium / Enjoyment of Life - If the effects of your spinal injury are lasting or permanent and they have completely changed the quality of your life, you can receive damages for this loss.
      Pain and Suffering - Spinal cord injuries can cause serious physical suffering, as well as emotional distress due to limitations.

The process of recovering damages for a spinal cord injury is complex and often lengthy. Spinal cord injury victims should retain legal counsel to maximize their chances of recovery.


Schedule your free consultation with the Dolman Law Group by calling (727) 222-6922 today. Our team of skilled and experienced attorneys can prepare and execute an effective legal strategy in order to maximize your recovery of damages. Call us today for more information.

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



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Parking Lot Accidents are Common During the Holidays

The holiday season is a busy time for stores and shopping centers. Parking lots fill up as people scramble to buy last minute gifts or food for holiday parties. Unfortunately, the number of accidents in parking lots increases with the influx of shoppers.1

Crowded parking lots can be particularly dangerous places due to a high risk of car and pedestrian collisions. Reports estimate that nearly 1 in 5 accidents during the holiday season will occur in parking lots.2 Parking lots are problematic as a result of several hazards that can exist, and some of those hazards include the following:

- Congestion. Crowds of holiday shoppers can lead to overcrowding. This can increase the probability of collisions, whether it be multiple-vehicle collisions or a vehicle striking a pedestrian.

- Speeding. Many drivers fail to slow down in parking lots, even during the holiday season. This is true even despite the awareness of overcrowding. Instead, speeding continues to occur in parking lots because people are in a hurry and are impatient. Diminished reaction times do nothing to reduce the risk of accidents.

- Blind Spots. Parking lots often feature several blind spots. These blind spots can occur as a result of traffic or the parking lot's layout. Simply pulling into a parking spot in a crowded parking lot can create blind spots. As drivers pull out of a spot, they may struggle to see other hazards or other drivers (especially those who are speeding).

- Distracted Driving. Congested parking lots feature a surprisingly significant amount of distracted driving. Holiday drivers tend to focus on finding an available parking spot and they often fail to pay attention to pedestrians or other vehicles as a result.

- Lack of Enforcement. Most stores and shopping centers do not employ traffic enforcement in their lots. Drivers can get greedy or reckless, causing more accidents as a result.

- Layout. Parking lots often involve tight turns and numerous intersections that may or may not have a stop sign. It can be confusing whose turn it is and who has the right of way in many situations. In smaller lots, it may be challenging to back out of a space without hitting other vehicles.

Injuries and Damages
Accidents occurring in parking lots can result in injuries and significant damages. Injuries, as well as property damage, can range from minor to severe. Examples of potential injuries occurring in parking lot-related accidents include:

- Concussions. Concussions occur whenever the brain suffers trauma, typically when it rattles and strikes the inside of the skull. Concussions can result in a loss of consciousness, nausea, and even damage to the brain. Symptoms and repercussions can be temporary or even permanent.

- Spinal Injuries. Spinal injuries can occur during an accident or if a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle. These injuries can impact a victim's ability to walk or use certain limb functions. They can create minor discomfort or lasting complications.

- Bruises or Broken Bones. The sheer size of an automobile can cause bruising or broken bones in many parts of the body. Some broken bones can require surgery and physical therapy.

- Property Damage. Parking lot accidents can result in property damage, either to vehicles, fixed objects in the parking lot, or even, on rare occasion, the store/shopping center itself.


You may be entitled to compensation if you are injured or your property is damaged as a result of an accident. An attorney can help you recover damages. Allow the car accident attorneys of Dolman Law Group the opportunity to review the facts of your case. Our knowledge and experience handling personal injury cases will help us develop and implement a sound legal strategy custom tailored for your case. Call 727-222-6922. and schedule your free consultation today.


1663 1st Ave S.

St. Petersburg, FL 33712



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wrongful Death Claims for Nursing Home Abuse

The elderly are a particularly vulnerable population, as they are more likely to be dependent upon the care of others. In the case of those placed in a nursing home, abuse or neglect on the part of the staff can result in severe injury, and in some cases, death. If your loved one has passed away due to the action or inaction of a nursing home, you are not without recourse. A St. Petersburg nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can help you recover for the loss you and your family suffered as the result of the nursing home’s negligence.1
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death claims arise when someone dies as the result of another’s negligent conduct. The responsible party can be an individual, or an institution, such as a nursing home.
In the case of nursing homes, wrongful death suits can arise in a variety of situations. Negligence or forgetfulness can lead to a wrongful death suit. For example, if medication necessary to a patient’s health is withheld or incorrectly administered and the patient dies as a result of that negligent administration of medication, there is a right to bring a wrongful death suit. Wrongful death claims can also be brought as the result of intentional actions and abuse.
Florida Law
The Florida wrongful death statute2 outlines important details about the way these claims operate. Some of the most important details regarding the law are detailed below.
Who Can Bring A Claim: The personal representative of the decedent’s estate can bring a wrongful death claim. This suit can be brought two different ways:
(1) on behalf of the estate and the beneficiaries of the estate. However, if the personal representative brings the suit on behalf of the estate, the damages available may be limited.
(2) on behalf of the survivors. This group is different from the beneficiaries of the estate, though there may be some overlap. Survivors may be entitled to a greater recovery than beneficiaries.
Florida law on this subject can be complicated, so it is best to address your specific situation with a St. Petersburg attorney.
Time: In Florida, nursing home abuse claims must be brought within two years. It is important that you contact a Florida nursing home abuse and neglect attorney right away to protect your rights.
Do You Need an Attorney to Recover Compensation?
There is no rule or law that requires surviving family members of nursing home residents that were the victims of a wrongful act to retain legal counsel. It is important to understand, however, that wrongful death actions often involve substantial sums of money, so nursing homes and other defendants are highly incentivized to defend cases whenever possible. As a result, people who choose not to retain legal counsel after an incident resulting in the death of a loved one are putting themselves at a significant disadvantage.
An attorney will investigate your claim and determine whether you have the right to recover. If you do, your lawyer will do everything possible to maximize the amount of your recovery, including using expert witnesses and other specialized evidence to establish the full extent of your losses.

Contact a St. Petersburg Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation!
If you have a loved that one has passed away as the result of nursing home abuse, contact a St. Petersburg nursing home abuse and neglect attorney right away. In many cases, surviving family members are entitled to significant financial compensation for their losses. While no amount of money can change the past, it can certainly help survivors obtain financial security and have the sense that justice has been served. In addition, holding nursing homes responsible for the wrongful deaths of their residents may change their policies and the conduct of their staff, potentially saving other families from having to go through the same painful scenario.
Since 2009, the Dolman Law Group has been representing the legal rights of people who have suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of nursing homes. Unlike many other law firms, we provide individualized representation to each client we take and are prepared to take each case to trial if the best interests of our clients demand it. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at 727-222-6922 or send us an email through our online contact form.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Medical Malpractice Damages – How much is a Plaintiff entitled to receive?

Medical malpractice claims as well as the damages that are sustained due to malpractice are widely debated topics in our country today. The points of some contention are whether the provider was responsible for the injuries, the cost of medical malpractice insurance, and the states’ movements toward limiting recoveries for devastating harm that is often inflicted. The statistics surrounding these claims are staggering. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study1 indicating that one percent of all doctors in the United States account for nearly a third of all paid medical malpractice claims.
With respect to the damages in a medical malpractice case, an individual who has been injured through the negligence of a medical provider can recover a few different types of damages. Those damages would include medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, as well as future earnings losses. If a patient dies as a result of a practitioner’s negligence, the patient’s family and heirs can also receive damages. There are three categories of damages that are generally available in medical malpractice cases. Those categories are general, special and punitive damages.
General Damages or Non-Economic Damages
General damages exist to compensate the patient for his or her suffering. The difficulty with general damages is that they cannot readily be ascertained. Some examples of general damages are loss of enjoyment of life, physical and mental pain and suffering, and loss of future earning capacity. In most cases, both sides will retain experts to evaluate the injuries sustained and surrounding circumstances in order to determine the dollar figure.
For example, with the loss of future earning capacity, both plaintiff and defendant may retain a forensic accountant to opine on the damages amount for the future earning capacity. This is especially true if the patient is relatively young and will be impaired long term. General damages are only available for injuries sustained in the accident and not for any pre-existing conditions. Should any pre-existing conditions exist, it may be useful to retain experts who will be able to testify whether or not the pre-existing condition has been aggravated and if so, the degree of impairment.
Special Damages or Economic Damages
Special damages do not bring as many challenges with them as general damages do, as they are fairly ascertainable. For example, medical bills and past missed work, which is typically called wage loss. While there may be some guesswork to calculate future medical expenses, special damages are not hard to determine. An expert may not be necessary with respect to these damages, except to prove that your treatment and missed work were necessary for your injuries.

Punitive Damages
In a limited number of circumstances, a patient can recover punitive damages in addition to his or her general and special damages. Punitive damages are more difficult to prove, however. The general requirement for punitive damages is that the medical provider knowingly or intentionally caused harm to the patient. An example of such a behavior is that the doctor knew that he had to fix two hernias but he only fixed one in order to bring the patient back for a second surgery. A judge or jury will determine the amount of punitive damages in accordance to the severity of the behavior by the medical professional, however there are state and federal constitutional limits on punitive damages. The limit is generally that punitive damages cannot be more than several times the amount of special and general damages.
Florida Limitations on Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Many states, including Florida2, have limits on what patients can recover for their non-economic damages such as anxiety, scarring, loss of companionship, and pain suffering. Florida does not, however, cap recovery for patients’ economic losses. In 2003, the Florida Supreme Court, removed the cap on economic damages in wrongful death cases.3 The cap for other medical malpractice claims remains. It is also noteworthy that Florida also utilizes different caps for medical practitioners including doctors and other care providers. There is no such cap for other defendants. Florida’s courts also have the power to increase that cap should the cases so warrant.
Call our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at our St. Petersburg, FL location today
If you have suffered an injury because of medical malpractice, please contact our skilled and experienced attorneys at the Dolman Law Group. We can assist you with evaluating your case and what your legal rights are. Please call our office at 727-222-6922 today.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922