Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Are All Accident Hotlines the Same?

Most people do not have the name and number of a skilled personal injury attorney on hand. Unless you have a lawyer in the family or have been involved in an accident in the past, you may be confused about who to call to help you seek compensation for your medical bills and other losses. You may not know whether to seek medical attention right away or to wait. Suddenly, you remember that you saw a billboard or a commercial promising accident victims $10,000 for calling 411-PAIN or 1-800-ASK-GARY. It seems like an easy solution to call one of these hotlines and simply follow their instructions.

The above is an experience of many people throughout Florida and unfortunately, the end result is often disappointing, to say the least. In fact, many car accident victims are left with lasting injuries, little compensation (if any), pain and suffering, and few options.

Be Wary of Hotline Ads

While we cannot speak about every accident hotline and whether they are all the same, the major ones such as 411-PAIN and 1-800-ASK-GARY have a lot in common. First, they are owned and operated by chiropractors. Yes, chiropractors are the ones promising that you will receive legal assistance following an accident. Because they are not lawyers, they are not subject to the same ethical rules and obligations as attorneys are when they practice in the state of Florida.

You may be wondering why a chiropractor would want to run a hotline for legal assistance after car accidents. The answer is simple - these hotlines direct auto accident victims to first visit their network of chiropractic clinics before they even meet with an attorney. The chiropractors then lock them into a treatment plan at the clinic to ensure that the network will get the proceeds of any insurance claims.

When you finally meet with the lawyer assigned to your case, it may be at the chiropractic clinic. You do not get to choose the lawyer based on their experience handling car accident cases. Instead, you will be connected with an attorney who pays for a membership in the network. This means that their practice focus may not even be personal injury law or PIP insurance claims and they may not be the best choice for an attorney. The hotlines hope that you will not know better than to follow their instructions, which can result in an inadequate result for you.

Consult with a Dedicated St. Petersburg Auto Accident Attorney Today

When you are in an accident, it can be difficult to know where to turn. However, you should never think that calling an injury hotline will be an easy fix to your problems. Instead, you should take the time to find an experienced car accident lawyer who has specific experience handling PIP claims and personal injury lawsuits. At Dolman Law Group, we are always straightforward about your options and the legal process. We will never pocket any money without your knowledge and we are completely transparent about our contingency fee arrangements. Please call to discuss your case for free at 727-222-6922.

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Common Causes of St. Petersburg Playground Injuries

Playgrounds are where kids can be kids. Whether during recess or at the park on weekends, playgrounds are meant to be a place of enjoyment. However, this is not always the case, and children are often can injured while playing at playgrounds. In fact, the CDC reports1 that each year an average of 200,000 children 14 years or younger are injured in playground-related injuries.

Playground injuries can occur for a variety of different reasons. The severity of the injury suffered can range from minor bruising to fractures to even death. Some of the common causes of playground injuries include:

Lack of supervision Playgrounds are often found at daycares and schools. Children and students often play outside during recess. Knowing this, parents entrust teachers and caretakers with their child's safety. Teachers and caretakers do not always pay attention, and children can be (avoidably) injured as a result. Failing to pay attention may amount to negligent, and an injured party may be entitled to recover for his or her injuries.

Defective Equipment and/or Poor Maintenance Being outside, playgrounds are exposed to the elements. Rain (and even ice) can make playgrounds slippery and dangerous. Time and temperature changes can also affect equipment, leading to rust and fatigue. Rust and fatigue can compromise the playground's structural integrity, and children can be injured in an accident or fall that occurs as a result. Protruding nails can catch or cut children at play.

Trip and Fall Playgrounds are full of obstacles that can cause a child to trip and fall and injure him or herself. This can include rubber flooring, rocks, potholes, trashcans, and much more. Playgrounds should be regularly assessed for these avoidable hazards.

Injuries Inflicted by Other Children – Sometimes, children will intentionally injure others. Fights are not uncommon on playgrounds, especially at a young age. This is especially true in instances of bullying. Therefore, parents should be aware and vigilant, as should caretakers. Failing to adequately supervise children can not only result in physical violence but also children being pushed off or into playground equipment.

Animal Attacks Children and playground goers may be injured because of an animal attack. Family dogs are often present at public parks, and under Florida’s dog bite statute,2 victims can often recover compensation. St. Petersburg-area playgrounds may also be located near areas where other potentially dangerous animals may live.

Potential Damages

An injured party may be able to recover damages whenever playground injuries are caused by the negligence of another. Some examples of potential damages include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Wrongful Death
  • Punitive Damages
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Future Damages

The extent of damages will depend on the cause and severity of the injury as well as the ability to provide proof of expenses. Retaining an experienced attorney is highly advisable.

Contact a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney Today for a Free Case Evaluation

The Dolman Law Group has the experience and knowledge necessary to help you recover the damages to which you are entitled in a personal injury case. Call us today at (727) 222-6922 today for your free initial consultation or contact us online.

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

Monday, January 23, 2017

Can You Appeal a Foreclosure in Florida?

When a trial court enters a judgment of foreclosure against you, it can be difficult to have that decision overturned. However, there are certain situations in which it is possible to overcome the trial court’s decision through one of the methods of appeal. The following are some of the options you have to appeal the decision.

Motion for Rehearing - This is filed with the trial court and requests that the court grant you another hearing based on facts or law that you believe were overlooked or misinterpreted by the court. There are often no opportunities to appear at a hearing on this type of motion, so it is imperative that the motion is as persuasive as possible.

Motion to Vacate - You may request that the trial court sets aside its judgment of foreclosure1 if a serious issue existed in your case, including fraud, excusable neglect, mistake, newly discovered evidence, or a similar legal basis.

Filing an Appeal - You may file a petition for the Florida District Court of Appeals2 to overturn the decision of the trial court. Homeowners who were represented by a qualified foreclosure lawyer often have a better chance of obtaining an appeal because legal issues must be preserved to be brought to the attention of the appellate court.

It is critical to realize that there are strict time limits for most appeals, such as 15 days for a motion for rehearing or 30 days to file a claim with the Court of Appeals. In addition, you want to ensure you clearly state all of the legal and factual reasons why you believe the judgment should be overturned or reconsidered and must support these arguments. For these reasons, you should always have a highly skilled foreclosure defense attorney drafting, filing, and arguing your appeal. 

Contact a St. Petersburg Foreclosure Defense Lawyer to Discuss Your Case

Whether you are about to default on your mortgage or whether you are seeking to appeal a foreclosure decision, the highly experienced foreclosure defense attorneys at the law firm of Berkowitz & Myer can help you. We will explore every option to help you keep your home, so if you have foreclosure concerns in or around St. Petersburg, FL, please call our office at 727-344-0123 today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

3 Ways that Whiplash Can Affect Your Life after a Car Accident

Car accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries, including whiplash.1 Whiplash is a non-medical term that refers to injuries sustained to the soft tissues of the neck and back and can be thought of as a serious neck strain. It can occur in cases when a person’s head is snapped backward and then forward with significant force, as often happens in rear-end motor vehicle conditions.
Whiplash involve damage to the muscles tendons of the neck, making it an extremely painful condition. Some of the more common symptoms associated with whiplash include the following:
-Pain and tightness in the neck
-Decreased range of motion
-Pain when moving your head side to side
-Pain when turning your head to look to the right or the left
-Pain that radiates into your back or shoulders
Whiplash has the potential to affect victims in a number of adverse ways. Some of the more common are discussed below.
Whiplash Can Make It Difficult to Perform Daily Tasks
When your neck hurts, it can come as a surprise just how often you use it. Consider this, if you are sitting up reading this article, the muscles in your neck are busy keeping your head in place. Whiplash can make it painful to perform routine daily tasks, such as washing dishes, cooking dinner, showering or bathing, getting dressed, or any other tasks that may activate the muscles in your neck.
Whiplash Can Keep You from School or Work
When whiplash injuries are serious, it can require immobilization of the neck and bedrest. As a result, many people who sustain whiplash in car accidents are unable to return to school or work for a significant period of time. In fact, if your job involves physical activity of any type, you may not be able to return to work for weeks or even months after your accident. Consequently, for working adults, whiplash can result in a significant amount of lost income. Thankfully for victims, lost income is recognized as a compensable loss under Florida law.2
Whiplash Can Result in Significant Medical Expenses
Many people who sustain whiplash in car wrecks require intensive and ongoing medical care. Common treatments often associated with whiplash include the following:
-Prescription painkillers
-Muscle relaxers
-Lidocaine injections
-Muscle relaxants

-Foam collars
-Surgery, in rare cases
Depending on the severity of your injury, whiplash could result in several thousands of dollars in medical expenses over the course of your recovery. Fortunately, if your accident was caused by the negligence of another person, you will likely be able to recover compensation for these and any other losses you have sustained.
Contact a Clearwater Auto Accident Attorney Today to Protect Your Legal Rights
If you have sustained whiplash or any other type of injury in a car accident, you should speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for the losses you have sustained as a result of your accident, including your medical expenses, property damage, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. To speak with a Clearwater car accident lawyer about your case, call the Dolman Law Group today at 727-451-6900 or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Common Causes of Parking Lot and Parking Garage Injuries

Parking lots and parking garages can be found all over the landscape of America. While they offer easy access to shopping centers, schools, and office buildings, they also pose a unique danger.
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one in every five car accidents occur in a parking lot or parking garage. These locations typically contain a large amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, leading to a large amount of injuries each year.
Whether you are injured while driving or walking, another person may be liable for your damages, including car damage, medical bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. In certain cases, the owner of the parking lot or parking garage may be liable for breaching their duty of care to maintain reasonably safe premises.
Although parking lot and parking garage owners cannot be held responsible for all injuries that occur on their property, a failure to maintain reasonably safe premises may be considered negligent. Regardless of whether the property owner or another driver is at fault, an injury can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life.
Some common causes of injuries that can occur in a parking lot or parking garage include:
Poor pavement condition
Parking lot and parking garage owners are required to maintain the condition of their property to avoid foreseeable injuries. This includes filling large cracks and potholes in the asphalt and concrete of the lot or garage and fixing uneven surfaces that can cause pedestrians to trip and fall. Oil spills create an excessively slippery walking surface that can lead to a slip and fall accident, causing a pedestrian to injure themselves. Although snow and ice on the ground is not an issue for Clearwater pedestrians, an excessive buildup of these in areas where the ground commonly freezes poses a danger for those using the parking lot or garage. To avoid being held liable for injuries that occur due to these conditions, the owner of the parking lot or parking garage must act when the danger is made apparent or reported to them. Failing to do so can be considered negligent.
Insufficient lighting
Although a property owner should maintain the condition of their premises to avoid being held liable for injuries caused by those conditions, failing to provide adequate lighting can make pedestrians more susceptible to injuries. When there are cracks, potholes, or curbs that are not clearly visible because of a lack of lighting, someone can easily become injured, especially when natural sunlight is not available. Proper lighting includes sufficient fixtures along the parking lot or parking garage. When lights stop functioning, the property owner must make an effort to repair them within a reasonable time. Darkness not only makes dangers on the ground more dangerous, but also provides criminals the opportunity to lurk under cover. It would be unjustified to expect that the owner of a parking lot or parking garage should be held responsible for crimes committed on their property, but this may be the case when insufficient lighting is a reasonable cause. Since light is a form of deterrent for thieves and attackers, property owners would do well to maintain a proper amount.
Inadequate or ineffective signage
Another main cause of injuries in a parking lot or parking garage is signage that is ineffectively placed or not placed at all. To maintain order for drivers moving through the premises, there must be enough stop and yield signs. Appropriate signage must also be posted to alert drivers of pedestrian crossing areas. These may be signs or markings on the ground strategically placed to maintain the safety of pedestrians.

This is especially true for parking garages with multiple floors. A poor design at turns can contribute to an auto accident involving a pedestrian. When effective signage and adequate space are provided, a driver may be held liable for accidents involving a pedestrian. When signage is not obvious or poor design leads to unclear lines of sight, the property owner may be held partially or fully liable if these hazards contributed to the injury.
Negligent drivers
Not all injuries and accidents are the responsibility of a parking lot or parking garage owner. In situations where the owner of the property has maintained the condition of the premises and provided adequate lighting and signage as is their duty of care, a driver’s negligence may be the cause of injuries sustained on the premises. Whether the driver is distracted, driving recklessly or aggressively, or otherwise not taking proper care while in control of the vehicle, they may be found liable for injuries to another vehicle or person. Speeding through a parking lot or parking garage is dangerous because it may not provide adequate time for the driver to stop or slow down. This may be especially problematic during busy times when it seems that there are not enough parking spaces for all the cars in a lot or garage. Regardless of the situation, a driver must always take appropriate precautions to avoid causing damage to another vehicle or injuries to another driver or pedestrian.
While we should not fear parking lots and parking garages because of some inherent increased risk, we should always take precautions to avoid causing or sustaining injuries to another. This includes driving more slowly in these areas, where pedestrians and cars may be entering or exiting at all times. When walking, we should ensure that the ground in front of us is clear of damages, debris, or slippery substances to avoid tripping or slipping. If possible, alert the property owner of damages that need to be remedied for the future safety of other pedestrians and drivers.
Still, not all responsibility lies with the injured. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a parking lot or parking garage, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to review your case. Whether the injury was caused by unsafe conditions or a negligent driver, you may be able to recover damages.
For a free case evaluation, please call us at (727) 222-6922 or email us through our Contact Us page. At Dolman Law Group, we work to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries. Our work is contingent on the outcome of your case, so we don’t get paid unless you do.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922