Friday, March 30, 2018

Injuries at Florida Theme Parks



People visit the State of Florida to take advantage of beautiful beaches, resorts, theme parks, and other tourist attractions. With popular theme parks like Disney World, Universal Studios, and Busch Gardens only hours away, St. Petersburg is the perfect vacation destination. However, vacation plans sometimes go awry when tourists sustain painful injuries at theme parks.

When people visit theme parks, they expect that the premises will be clean and well-maintained and that the rides will be in safe operating condition. This same expectation also extends to transportation provided by the park to and from nearby hotels and resorts. When there are dangers on theme park premises, the park owes a duty to visitors to either provide sufficient warning of the defect or to take the necessary actions to correct it. When this does not happen, serious accidents and injuries can occur on the premises.

If you or someone you love has sustained serious personal injuries at a Florida theme park, you may be entitled to pursue monetary compensation under the law. The knowledgeable theme park injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group can discuss the circumstances of your accident with you and may be able to help you pursue monetary compensation for your injuries.

Common Theme Park Hazards


Unbeknownst to theme park guests, hazards may be lurking around every corner. Theme park guests should be vigilant at all times and always remain aware of their surroundings. Some common theme park hazards include:

  • Slippery floors and surfaces – Slippery surfaces can exist both indoors (i.e. at theme park restaurants) and outdoors in heavily trafficked pedestrian areas. These slippery surfaces usually result from spilled food and drink. When spills are not cleaned up in a timely manner, the theme park could be deemed responsible for any injuries that occur. The theme park is also responsible for placing warning signs or placards near slippery surfaces to warn park patrons of the dangers.
  • Poor security – Theme parks should have security cameras located throughout the park, as well as in the parking areas. Moreover, security guards should be present throughout the park and be able to respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice. If an injury occurs to a theme park patron as a result of poor security, the theme park may be deemed responsible.
  • Poorly maintained rides and other attractions on the theme park premises – All too often, injuries occur on amusement rides and other attractions due to improper maintenance, and in some cases, from poorly trained ride staff or personnel who are employees of the theme park. 
  • Transportation provided by the theme park – Theme parks oftentimes provide transportation or shuttle services to and from nearby hotels and resorts. If these buses and shuttles are operated by theme park employees, and these employees drive in a careless or reckless manner and cause a motor vehicle accident, then the theme park may be liable. The theme park is also liable for making sure that these buses and shuttles are properly inspected, repaired, and otherwise kept in proper working condition at all times. 

Proving Fault and Damages in Theme Park Accident Cases


Theme park accidents can be difficult to prove because the insurance company is likely to place some – or all – of the blame on the injured patron. This is especially true with slip and fall accidents that occur on the premises. For example, the theme park may argue that the injured patron was not paying attention to where he or she was walking, or that the patron was wearing worn shoes with little or no tread on them. The theme park may further argue that under Florida’s comparative fault doctrine, the patron is entitled to little – if any – monetary compensation.

Nevertheless, the owners and operators of theme parks owe an affirmative duty to their patrons to provide a safe, clean, and well-maintained park that is free from dangerous and hazardous conditions. In the event a hazard exists, the park must take reasonable measures to warn patrons of the hazard or to correct it in a timely manner.

  • Duty of Care – Since a theme park patron is present on the premises to provide a monetary benefit to the park, the patron is owed the highest legal duty of care. Consequently, theme park owners and operators – as well as the employees who are under their direct supervision – have a duty to warn of or correct known dangerous conditions on the premises – and to regularly inspect the premises for any unknown dangerous conditions. If they discover a condition upon inspection, they have a duty to warn patrons of it or correct it in a timely manner. 
  • Violating the Duty of Care – This means that the theme park violated the duty of care by failing to warn patrons of the defective condition or take remedial action to correct it.
  • Causation – The injured accident victim must be able to show that the injuries sustained directly resulted from the accident. The accident, in turn, must have resulted from the theme park’s carelessness or negligence. 

If the theme park patron can show that their injuries were accident-related, they may be able to recover monetary compensation for all medical bills and expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment or quality of life, emotional distress, and mental anguish.

In cases where the theme park acted in a particularly egregious manner, the accident victim may be able to recover punitive damages. However, these damages are only available under extremely limited circumstances.


Contact an Experienced St. Petersburg, Florida Theme Park Injury Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case


If you have sustained injuries at a Florida theme park and you suspect that the theme park may be at fault, you should contact the experienced lawyers at Dolman Law Group. Our team of attorneys can investigate the circumstances of your accident and may be able to advocate for you during settlement negotiations or in court.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg theme park injury lawyer, please call us or contact us online.

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

 


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Swimming Pool Accidents in Hotels




When hotel and resort guests book a hotel in St. Petersburg, they expect that their hotel – including the pool – has been properly inspected. Guests also expect that the pool is reasonably safe from dangers and defects and that pool lifeguards will be present and on duty for a reasonable period of time. However, that is not always the case, and swimming pool accidents occur at hotel pools. When these accidents or drownings occur on hotel property, the hotel may be responsible.

If you or someone you love has sustained serious personal injuries at a Florida hotel or resort swimming pool, you may be entitled to recover monetary compensation for all of your injuries and damages sustained. The experienced St. Petersburg pool injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group can investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding a hotel swimming pool accident and may be able to help you recover monetary compensation for your injuries and damages.

Slip and Fall Accidents


Anywhere water is present, there is the possibility of a slip and fall accident. Such is the case with pool decks and other areas surrounding swimming pools at Florida hotels. When hotel staff fail to maintain the area around the pool and keep it clear of water puddles and other slippery conditions, the hotel may be held responsible for any accident and injuries that occur.

Drownings and Near-Drownings


According to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control, children die from swimming pool drowning accidents every day. Hotels and resorts have a duty to keep their pool guarded during peak hours and to take the necessary precautions to prevent drownings and near-drownings. When lifeguards fail to do their jobs and a child or adult drowns, the hotel can be deemed liable for the drowning accident. The same is true of near-drowning accidents which result in brain damage, spinal cord injuries, fractures, and broken bones.


Common Causes of Hotel Swimming Pool Accidents


Hotel swimming pool accidents occur under a variety of circumstances and for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of hotel swimming pool accidents which can lead to liability on the part of the hotel include:

  • Lifeguard negligence
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Improper or damaged pool barriers or entry gates into the pool area
  • Inadequate maintenance of the pool deck or sun deck areas
  • Lack of warning and safety signs, such as “No Diving” or “No Running”
  • Broken glass in or around the pool
  • Electrocution
  • Inaccurate pool chemical or sanitizer treatment of pool water (i.e. strong chlorine which burns pool bathers’ skin after they exit the water)
  • Broken drains and pool water filter systems

Proving Liability and Damages in a Hotel Pool Accident Case



Pool accidents at hotels can sometimes be difficult to prove because insurance companies will oftentimes dispute liability. For instance, the hotel’s insurance company may claim that the hotel or resort was not aware of the dangerous pool condition or was not given timely notice of the defect in the pool area. The insurance company may even go so far as to claim that the injured hotel guest caused or contributed to the accident and injuries – and that he or she is not entitled to any monetary recovery at all.

Hotel pool guests are business invitees. This means that they are on the premises for the monetary benefit of the pool owner (i.e. the hotel or resort). The owners and operators of Florida hotels and resorts owe an affirmative duty to their guests to provide a safe, clean, and well-maintained pool area that is reasonably safe and free from all dangers and hazards. When a hotel or resort violates this duty of care and a guest injures himself or herself, then the hotel may be liable for damages.

Since a hotel or resort guest is on the premises to benefit the owner of the property, the hotel owes a duty to warn all guests of any known dangerous conditions on the premises – and to regularly inspect the pool area for unknown dangerous conditions. If a dangerous condition is uncovered upon inspection, then the hotel must take reasonable measures to correct it or to warn guests of it. If the hotel or resort fails do so, then it may be held responsible for any accidents or injuries which occur on the premises.

The injured hotel guest must also be able to show that the failure on the part of the hotel directly resulted in certain injuries and damages. Available damages in hotel pool accident cases may consist of both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can be calculated in terms of dollars and cents, while non-economic damages are more subjective in nature.

Hotel guests who are injured in pool accidents may be eligible to recover all causally related medical bills and expenses, including hospital, doctor, and physical therapy bills; lost wages and time missed from work; out-of-pocket expenses; pain, suffering, and inconvenience damages; lost earning capacity damages; loss of spousal or family support damages; loss of enjoyment of life damages; and loss of spousal companionship or consortium damages.

With swimming pool accidents also comes the possibility of drowning. This is especially true during times when the pool is unsupervised. If the hotel or resort’s negligence led to a drowning death, the accident victim’s family may be able to open an estate on behalf of the decedent. The personal representative of the estate can then bring a wrongful death action on behalf of the estate to collect money damages.


Call a St. Petersburg Pool Injury Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation



People go on vacation to relax, and they trust that the hotels and resorts they visit will be safe, clean, and enjoyable places. However, when hotels fail to abide by this standard of care, they can be held responsible for the injuries and damages they cause. The pool injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group may be able to pursue monetary compensation on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg pool injury lawyer, please call us or contact us online.

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

 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Watch for Drunk Drivers over Spring Break



St. Petersburg, Florida is a popular Spring Break destination for college students around the country. Spring Break should be a fun time for college students to get away from the daily grind and constant rigors of academic life. Unfortunately, however, many spring breakers choose to consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a car.

Drunk driving is dangerous because alcohol is a depressant. Consequently, it has the potential to significantly slow down a person’s central nervous system functioning. Drunk driving can also result in impaired motor skills, delayed reaction time, blurred vision, and altered depth perception while behind the wheel of a car. Many impaired drivers – particularly young drivers – may think that they are “ok to drive” or that their faculties are not impaired enough to take a cab. Unfortunately, most of these drivers do not appreciate the consequences of their actions until it is too late, the accident has already occurred, and the damage has been done.

If you have been injured in a Spring Break car accident that was caused by a drunk driver, you may be eligible to file a claim against the at-fault driver and pursue monetary damages. Drunk driving is punishable both civilly and criminally. Therefore, in addition to being responsible to injured accident victims for monetary damages, a drunk or impaired driver may also face criminal charges.

The experienced car accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group may be able to help you prove the legal elements of your personal injury case, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, reach a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or litigate your case through the Florida court system.


Warning Signs of Drunk Driving



There are many tell-tale signs of drunk driving that you should be on the lookout for as you operate your motor vehicle over Spring Break. Some of these signs include making wide turns and cutting corners, disregarding signs and traffic control devices, following other vehicles too closely or weaving in and out of traffic, exceeding the speed limit or driving way under the speed limit, and driving on the roadway shoulder for a long period of time.


Types of Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers



If you observe another driver operating a vehicle in a strange or erratic manner, chances are that the driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk drivers pose a danger to everyone else on the roadway and can cause serious motor vehicle accidents, including:


  • Rear end collisions
  • Multi-vehicle accidents
  • Collisions with pedestrians at or near traffic intersections
  • High-speed collisions with other vehicles on the highway

Florida law takes drunk driving seriously. If a driver blows a .08 or higher, he or she can be arrested for DUI. Minors and commercial drivers holding a CDL license are held to more stringent standards. For example, Florida law imposes a zero tolerance policy for minors and a .04 threshold for commercial drivers.


Proving Negligence in a St. Petersburg Drunk Driving Case



If you have sustained injuries in a motor vehicle crash that was caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that driver’s insurance company. Under Florida law, you can file a claim if you sustained a permanent injury – or if the medical bills or lost wages in your case exceed $10,000.

In order to recover monetary compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you must be able to show that the other driver was impaired. Oftentimes, the police report will note that the other driver was impaired or received a citation for drunk driving. Otherwise, you may need to rely on witness testimony – including the testimony of the investigating police officer – to show that the other driver was impaired or received a citation.


The accident victim must also prove that he or she sustained serious injuries in the accident – and that these injuries directly resulted from the accident, as opposed to predating the accident. The drunk driver’s motor vehicle insurance policy will likely provide the insurance coverage necessary to compensate an accident victim for the injuries and damages sustained.

Victims of St. Petersburg drunk driving accidents may also be able to recover monetary compensation for all medical and physical therapy bills; lost wages from missed work time; past, present, and future pain, suffering, and inconvenience damages; compensation for mental anguish, emotional distress, and psychological or psychiatric harm; compensation for lost earning capacity; and compensation for loss of use of a body part or for loss of enjoyment of life.

In drunk driving accident cases where the accident victim claims personal injuries, insurance adjusters are sometimes skeptical of those injuries – especially when the accident victim makes claims that they are permanent. A medical expert, including a medical doctor or specialist, may be able to examine you and help you prove that you did, in fact, sustain a permanent injury as a direct result of the drunk driving motor vehicle accident.


Call a St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation



If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by a drunk or impaired driver, time may be of the essence in your case. Insurance companies are not on your side in a personal injury case, and their adjusters will do everything in their power to downplay the nature and extent of the injuries you sustained in the accident. Their job, plain and simple, is to poke as many holes in your personal injury case as they possibly can.

In addition to being skilled negotiators, the St. Petersburg car accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group are also skilled litigators. Our attorneys welcome the opportunity to litigate personal injury car accident cases when insurance company adjusters refuse to make favorable settlement offers. When that happens our attorneys can take your case to trial in the Florida courts.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer, please call us or contact us online today.

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

Friday, March 23, 2018

What Type of Settlement Can I Expect after a Slip and Fall?




Slip and fall accidents can occur almost anywhere – both indoors and outdoors. Slip and fall accidents may be difficult to prove because the owner or operator of the premises must have known of the defective condition beforehand. Moreover, the owner must have had a reasonable amount of time to correct or warn of the condition.

Assuming that you can prove the slip and fall occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover monetary compensation. Some slip and fall cases settle, while others go to trial. The value of a slip and fall settlement depends primarily upon whether or not the property owner is contesting fault (i.e. liability), as well as the nature and extent of the injuries and damages you sustained in the fall.

If you have been injured in a St. Petersburg slip and fall accident, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who can represent you throughout your case. The slip and fall personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group can review the facts of your accident with you and may be able to represent your interests during settlement negotiations and in court if your case goes to trial.

Common Locations for Slip and Fall Accidents


Slip and fall accidents can occur almost anywhere – both indoors and out. Some of the most common locations for St. Petersburg slip and fall accidents include the following:

  • Sidewalks
  • Staircases
  • Grocery stores
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Parking lots
  • Parking garages

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents


Some of the most common causes of St. Petersburg slip and fall accidents include the following:

  • Damaged or pothole-filled sidewalks, walkways, or driveways leading into a business
  • Wet floors with unmarked puddles or spills
  • Slippery substances that are not cleaned up in a timely manner
  • Improperly maintained or broken staircases 
  • Broken railings on walkways or staircases
  • Poorly maintained parking lots and parking garages near a business 
  • Debris on sidewalks, walkways, and other heavily trafficked areas

Steps to Take Following a Slip and Fall Accident


If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, the first step toward recovering monetary  compensation is to report your injuries to the property manager or other supervisor on duty. The property manager will likely have you fill out an incident report. When you fill out this report, it is important to detail exactly how the fall occurred and to be as complete as possible about the injuries and damages you sustained.

After filling out an incident report, the next step in the process is to file a claim – usually with the property owner’s insurance company. Unlike automobile accident cases, Florida slip and fall accident cases may have several potential defendants, including individuals, corporations, or governmental entities, such as cities, counties, or local governments. It is important to note that when these potential defendants are part of a slip and fall accident claim, different statutory time periods and notice deadlines may apply. An experienced St. Petersburg slip and fall accident lawyer will be aware of these special deadlines and can ensure that they are met in a timely manner.

Once the claim has been filed, the insurance company will most likely make a determination about whether to admit or deny liability for the accident. If the insurance company admits liability, they may also make an initial settlement offer on your case. These initial offers are usually very low and are much less than what your case is actually worth. A St. Petersburg slip and fall accident lawyer can examine the facts and circumstances of your case and help you determine its settlement value.


Factors to Consider when Evaluating St. Petersburg Slip and Fall Accident Cases


The amount of an injured accident victim’s monetary recovery depends largely upon the amount of insurance coverage available. The amount of available coverage depends upon the insurance limits for any and all available insurance policies at stake – usually those of the property owner. If the at-fault party’s insurance policy is insufficient to cover the accident victim’s medical bills and damages, then the accident victim’s own insurance policy may come into play via an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. Factors that insurance adjusters use when determining the settlement value of a slip and fall accident case include:

Liability contests – specifically, whether the defect on the premises was discoverable upon reasonable inspection; whether the property owner or manager had ample time to correct the defect; whether the accident victim did anything to cause or contribute to the slip and fall accident (such as wearing shoes with worn soles); and whether or not the accident victim could have done something to prevent the slip and fall accident.

The extent of the accident victim’s personal injuries and damages – where the more serious the accident victim’s injuries and damages, the more valuable the case, in the insurance company’s mind. Common injuries sustained in St. Petersburg slip and fall accidents include twisted feet and ankles, fractures and broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), neck and back injuries, and knee injuries, including patella fractures.

The accident victim’s need for future medical care or follow-up medical procedures – where a health care provider must recommend future medical care or procedures, and the injured accident victim must not delay in obtaining the treatment or procedure.

The presence of Medicare liens or other health insurance liens – where a private health insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid is entitled to a lien or set off against a portion of the accident victim’s recovery obtained via settlement, arbitration award, or jury verdict.

Call a St. Petersburg Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Legal Consultation and Case Evaluation


Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries, costly medical bills, and other damages. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group have considerable experience working with insurance companies and adjusters and know the games that insurance companies play when settling and litigating cases. Our lawyers can work hard to maximize the settlement value of your case and help you to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg slip and fall accident lawyer, please call us or contact us online today.


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

Thursday, March 22, 2018

HAZMAT Trucks can Explode in Crashes




When trucks transporting hazardous chemicals and other hazardous materials are involved in a crash, serious consequences –including explosions – can result on Florida roadways. Trucks are commonly used to transport hazardous materials on highways and roadways across America. Consequently, the federal government has set up certain regulations and guidelines for transporting these hazardous materials, in part to lessen the consequences in the event of a serious trucking accident.

Hazardous materials are often transported on large trucks, including tractor-trailers. These potentially hazardous materials include combustible forms of:

  • Liquids
  • Gases
  • Explosives
  • Chemicals
  • Petroleum

When a truck carrying one or more of these hazardous materials is involved in a roadway collision, serious injuries and damages, including loss of life, can occur.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a roadway explosion that was caused by a truck carrying hazardous materials, you may be eligible to recover monetary compensation in your case. The St. Petersburg truck accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group can meet with you to discuss the facts and circumstances of your accident and may be able to pursue monetary compensation on your behalf by way of settlement or jury trial.


Hazardous Materials that can Cause Explosions on Roadways


Hazardous materials which are commonly transported on roadways throughout the State of Florida include corrosives, radioactive materials, poisonous substances, flammable substances (including solids, liquids, and gases), oxidizers, spontaneously combustive materials, and explosives. When a truck carrying these substances is involved in a collision, the force of the impact can cause the HAZMAT to explode. The explosion, in turn, can result in injuries and damages to nearby motor vehicle drivers on the highway or roadway.

In order to help prevent explosions and other accidents during transport, hazardous materials must be held and shipped in the proper way. Consequently, trucking companies, shippers, and others who are involved in the shipping process must follow certain federally mandated guidelines and regulations. When they do not follow the proper government regulations and protocol, very serious accidents and injuries – including dangerous explosions – can result on the roadway.


Moving Hazardous Materials throughout Florida


When hazardous materials are being transported on Florida roadways, the transport vehicles (usually large trucks or tractor-trailers) must display the necessary warning signs and safety placards. This signage will let other motor vehicle drivers know that hazardous materials are being transported on that vehicle.

Likewise, in addition to possessing a valid commercial driver’s license, or CDL, Florida truck drivers who transport hazardous materials must complete various training sessions and must also pass certain required tests. Drivers must also complete continuing education courses on a regular basis to ensure that they understand the protocols and dangers associated with transporting hazardous materials on Florida roadways.


Responsibility for Safe Transport of HAZMATS throughout Florida


HAZMAT transportation in Florida involves several parties – any one of whom could be deemed liable in a truck accident case that involves an explosion. The shipper, for example, owes a duty to ensure that the hazardous materials being transported, including explosives, are properly packaged, marked, and labeled before the shipment leaves its original location. The carrier of the hazardous materials is responsible for transporting these materials to their final destination. The shipment containing the hazardous materials must also be properly packaged, marked, and labeled. If the any of these is lacking, the carrier must refuse the shipment.

Finally, the driver of the truck carrying the hazardous materials must follow all of the pertinent safe-transport regulations and must drive in a reasonably safe and prudent manner while operating the truck on the roadway. Failing to do so can result in a serious accident or explosion.

Proving Negligence in Truck Accident HAZMAT Cases


There are several individuals or entities who may be at fault in the event of a HAZMAT explosion on a St. Petersburg, Florida roadway. Potential defendants may include:


  • The hazmat shipper
  • The carrier
  • The driver of the truck or other vehicle transporting the hazardous material 

In HAZMAT explosion cases, as in all personal injury cases, the injured accident victim has the burden of proving fault, injuries, and damages. In terms of fault, HAZMAT shippers and common carriers must act reasonably under the circumstances. This means that shippers must ensure the HAZMAT materials are properly packaged, marked, and labeled in accordance with all applicable state and federal guidelines and shipping regulations. Common carriers, including truck drivers, must operate their vehicles safely and taken into account all roadway and weather conditions. When shippers and carriers (including their drivers) fail to act reasonably and an explosion results during a roadway crash, those individuals or entities may be held legally responsible.

Assuming the injured accident victim is able to prove fault – or liability – he or she must also be able to show that the injuries and damages resulted directly (or indirectly) from the accident. The available damages in truck accident cases may consist of both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages may include payment of all causally related medical bills and expenses (including hospital, doctor, and physical therapy bills), lost wages, and out-of-pocket costs and expenses. On the other hand, non-economic damages may include compensation for pain and suffering, mental distress, loss of earning capacity, loss of use, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of spousal companionship or consortium, and punitive damages, in limited circumstances.

Call a St. Petersburg Truck Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Case Evaluation and Legal Consultation


HAZMAT explosions on Florida roadways can result in serious injuries and damages to nearby drivers. The sad fact is that many of these accidents are preventable if shippers, carriers, and drivers follow the proper HAZMAT rules and regulations, as well as the Florida Rules of the Road. If you have been injured in a trucking accident or roadway explosion that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you should contact the experienced lawyers at Dolman Law Group Our attorneys can evaluate your case and may be able to pursue monetary compensation on your behalf.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg truck accident lawyer, please call us or contact us online today. 

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




Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Third-party Negligence in Workplace Accidents



A third-party claim is a claim for monetary compensation which is typically filed against the at-fault party or parties. The at-fault party’s insurer generally provides the insurance coverage. For example, in a St. Petersburg motor vehicle accident case, a third-party claim may be filed against the driver and/or the owner of the at-fault motor vehicle. In a slip-and-fall case, a third-party claim may be filed against the owner or occupier of the premises where the slip-and-fall accident occurred. In a defective products case, a third-party claim may be filed against the manufacturer or distributor of the defective product.

Third-party claims differ from workers’ compensation claims. In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation, the injured worker must have sustained injuries while on the job and while in the course of his or her employment. An injured worker may be able to recover monetary compensation regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Third-party claims also differ from first-party claims. Most of the time, when a first-party claim is being made, the accident victim is taking legal action against the accident victim’s own insurance company, based upon an uninsured or underinsured theory (i.e. where there is not enough coverage – or no coverage – available through the third-party claim).

If you sustained injuries in an accident on the job that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to assert both a workers’ compensation claim against your employer, along with a third-party negligence action against the at-fault party. For example, if you were driving a company vehicle and were involved in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by another driver, you may have both a workers’ compensation claim against your employer, as well as a third-party claim against the other driver. The St. Petersburg third-party claim lawyers at Dolman Law Group can review your workplace accident case with you and may be able to assist you with recovering monetary compensation from every available source.

Proving a Third-Party Claim in a Workplace Accident


If your accident case involves both a third-party claim as well as a workers’ compensation claim, it is usually better to resolve the workers’ compensation claim first. Once the workers’ compensation claim is fully resolved, you can then turn your attention to the third-party claim. Workers compensation/third-party liability claim cases are likely with car or truck accidents and slip and fall accidents. The basic steps to recovering monetary compensation in the companion third-party case involve filing a claim, attempting to negotiate a favorable settlement offer with the at-fault party’s insurance company, filing a lawsuit, and litigating the case through the Florida court system. You can file a third-party claim against the at-fault party if you sustained a permanent injury in the accident – or if the medical treatment or lost wages in your case exceed $10,000.

In order for an injured St. Petersburg accident victim to recover monetary compensation in the third-party portion of a case, the accident victim must be able to meet the required burden of proof. Specifically, the accident victim must show that the at-fault party failed to act reasonably and that this breach directly resulted in the accident victim’s injuries and damages. The accident victim must also demonstrate that the accident was at least one cause of the specific injuries and damages sustained.

Collecting on a Third-Party Claim by Way of a Personal Injury Settlement


Some personal injury cases settle long before trial. Settlement negotiations usually occur between the accident victim’s personal injury attorney and the at-fault party’s insurance company adjuster (or defense attorney). The process usually begins when the accident victim’s attorney makes an initial demand for settlement and the insurance adjuster comes back with an initial offer. Negotiations usually continue until the parties reach a settlement agreement or an impasse. If the accident victim decides to settle the case, the accident victim will likely have to sign a release of all claims, prohibiting a future claim or lawsuit arising out of the same accident or occurrence.

Litigating a Third-Party Case and Collecting on a Personal Injury Claim


If the insurance company and the injured accident victim cannot agree on an acceptable settlement offer, the third-party personal injury case will be litigated through the court system. Once a lawsuit is filed and written and oral discovery take place, the parties may attend a settlement conference or a mediation or arbitration proceeding. During mediation, a neutral, third-party mediator – usually a lawyer or retired judge – will work with all parties to try and resolve the claim amicably. Instead of or in addition to mediation, the parties may agree to binding or non-binding arbitration, during which monetary parameters are set and the parties informally try their case in front of the arbitrator. The arbitrator then makes a decision in the case as to monetary damages.

The Value of a Companion Third-Party Claim


One of the main factors which determines the ultimate value of a companion third-party claim is the amount of compensation and benefits received in the workers’ compensation case. When insurance adjusters see a workers’ compensation case accompanying the third-party case, they often become skeptical. Their view is that since the accident victim likely received some compensation and benefits in the workers’ compensation case already, additional compensation in the third-party case would be duplicative and unnecessary.

If workers’ compensation benefits already paid for some or all of the accident victim’s treatment, then the workers’ compensation carrier may also be able to assert a lien against any recovery obtained via third-party settlement or jury award.

Call a St. Petersburg Third-Party Claims Lawyer Today for an Initial Case Evaluation and Consultation


Damages recoverable in companion third-party injury cases may include compensation for the accident victim’s medical bills and lost wages, as well as the accident victim’s pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, lost earning capacity, permanent damages or disabilities, causally related psychological or psychiatric treatment, loss of spousal companionship or support, and punitive damages in rare cases. If you have sustained injuries in a work accident as a result of another person’s carelessness or negligence, the lawyers at Dolman Law Group are here to help. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg third-party claims lawyer, please call us or contact us online today.

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Were You in a Crash Without a Seat Belt?





Fastening a seat belt is one of the simplest actions that a motor vehicle driver or passenger can take to lessen the likelihood of sustaining injuries in a car or truck accident. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, seat belts saved approximately 13,941 lives. Likewise, more than 90% of drivers and passengers fasten their seatbelts as soon as they step into a motor vehicle. However, approximately 27.5 million people nationwide still do not buckle up when they get in a car.

If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may still be eligible to recover monetary compensation even if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time. However, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may try and allege that your failure to wear a seat belt contributed to your injuries. The insurance company may, therefore, try and limit your compensation – or even deny you compensation altogether.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, it is important that you have experienced legal representation on your side. The St. Petersburg, Florida car accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group can review your case with you and may be able to respond to insurance company disputes and help you maximize the settlement or verdict value of your claim.


How Seat Belts Prevent Injuries


There is no disputing that wearing a seat belt while driving or riding in a motor vehicle helps to prevent serious injuries and death in the event of an accident. This is because a seat belt helps to keep a person’s head, neck, and back stationary. In some car accident cases, motor vehicle drivers and their passengers sustain concussions or other serious head injuries when their heads strike the steering wheel or headrest at the point of impact. Motor vehicle occupants can also sustain soft tissue injuries when their necks, backs, and shoulders move forward or backward at the point of impact, resulting in whiplash-type injuries. seat belts help to reduce or eliminate the chances of sustaining these types of injuries in motor vehicle accidents.


Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Case


In order to prove negligence in a car accident case, you must be able to show that another driver (or your driver, if you were a passenger in the vehicle) behaved in careless or reckless manner – and that the driver’s action or inaction caused the accident and your injuries. You must also be able to show that all of the injuries and damages you claim actually resulted from the accident, as opposed to some other source.

When a motor vehicle crash occurs in Florida, an injured accident victim must first turn to his or her own insurance company to pay the costs of medical care and lost wages. However, in cases of permanent injuries – or where the accident victim’s total medical bills or lost wages exceed $10,000 – the injured accident victim may be able to bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurer to recover those damages.

Pure Comparative Fault Law in Florida


If you were involved in a motor vehicle crash and you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company may allege that you caused or contributed to your injuries. In some jurisdictions outside of Florida, an injured accident victim can be completely barred from monetary recovery if a jury finds that the plaintiff caused or contributed to the subject accident or injuries in any way, whatsoever.

Fortunately, in the State of Florida, the law provides for a pure comparative fault standard. Under this standard, if an injured accident victim is partly to blame for the subject accident and injuries, the accident victim’s recovery is reduced by an amount that is equal to his or her percentage of fault for the accident.

For example, if a jury finds that the injured accident victim contributed to his or her injuries by 10% for not wearing a seatbelt, and the defendant motor vehicle driver is deemed to be 90% at fault for the accident, then the accident victim’s available damages will be reduced by 10%. Therefore, even if the accident victim may have contributed to his or her injuries by not wearing a seatbelt, the accident victim may still be able to obtain monetary compensation from the case.

Motor vehicle crashes can result in serious injuries and damages, including fractures and broken bones, concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and death, in the worst cases. In the event of a fatal collision, the accident victim’s surviving family members may be able to open an estate. The personal representative of the estate can then file a claim on behalf of the estate for wrongful death damages.

In non-fatal cases, the car accident victim may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages, including compensation for medical bills and expenses, physical therapy costs, lost wages for time missed from work, pain and suffering, causally related mental anguish and emotional distress, loss of earning capacity, and loss of consortium or spousal support. Of course, these damages can be offset to the extent the accident victim contributed to his or her injuries by failing to wear a seatbelt.

Call a St. Petersburg, Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Case Evaluation and Legal Consultation


Personal injuries sustained in a car crash that resulted from someone else’s negligence can be severe and may have lifelong impacts. Even if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of your accident, you may still be eligible to recover monetary compensation in your case and obtain damages.

The St. Petersburg, Florida car accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group can review your case with you and may be able to take the necessary legal action to maximize the value of your personal injury claim. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg car accident lawyer, please call us or contact us online today. 

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


https://www.dolmanlaw.com/st-petersburg-car-accident-attorneys/

Monday, March 12, 2018

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists for Spring





During the Springtime, many motorcyclists across Florida head to the roads to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather. Florida motorcyclists are responsible for following the same rules of the road as their fellow car and truck drivers. Therefore, it is important for motorcyclists to keep basic safety guidelines in mind when operating their vehicles on Florida roadways, in order to prevent accidents. These regulations include obeying signs and traffic control devices, lane markings, and other signals.

Sometimes, however, no matter how carefully a motorcyclist operates his or her vehicle, an accident will still occur. These accidents can happen anywhere, and the results are oftentimes severe and catastrophic. The many busy multi-lane highways and roadways in and around St. Petersburg, Florida are prime territory for motorcycle accidents.

When motorcycle accidents occur, the injuries to operators and their passengers can be very serious. This is because the motorcycle occupants do not have the body of a car surrounding them when the accident occurs. Therefore, they are more likely to strike another vehicle or the ground, injuring themselves. Even motorcycle helmets are not accident-proof and cannot protect motorcyclists from injuring other parts of their body in an accident.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence (either the motorcycle operator or another driver), the knowledgeable St. Petersburg, Florida motorcycle accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group are here to help. Our skilled team of attorneys can review the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident and may be able to pursue monetary compensation through a personal injury settlement or litigation proceeding.

Tip #1 – Always Wear a Helmet


Motorcycle helmets save lives. Period. Statistically, according to both the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% in motorcycle crashes and reduce the risk of head injuries by 69%. Motorcycle helmets can prevent or significantly lessen injuries by acting as a buffer between the accident victim’s head and the ground (or another vehicle).

Motorcycle helmets also provide eye protection to motorcycle operators and passengers and eliminate wind noise, allowing the motorcycle operator to see and hear the road better. Finally, motorcycle helmets and other protective gear put motorcycle operators in the proper mindset, subconsciously encouraging them to operate their vehicles safely and to take extra precautions.

It is important to understand, however, that motorcycle helmets are not foolproof. Motorcycle operators and their passengers can still sustain serious injuries in an accident. Even well-constructed motorcycle helmets can crack and they always keep the wearer’s face either fully or partially exposed. Obviously, helmets only protect the head and offer little, if any, protection to other body parts in the event of a serious crash. Motorcyclists can still sustain serious and potentially catastrophic injuries to other body parts in a motorcycle accident, including injuries to the hands, limbs, feet, and hips.

Tip #2 – Obey the Rules of the Road


Motorcycle operators are responsible for following the same rules of the road as are the operators of cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles. Thus, motorcycle operators should take care to follow traffic signs (including stop and yield signs), traffic control devices (e.g., traffic lights and railroad crossing signals), as well as lane markings. Since motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles, they can maneuver themselves in and out of traffic very easily – especially on Florida highways. Motorcycle operators, therefore, should take care to use turn signals regularly and make sure that they are functioning properly at all times.

Tip #3 – Do Not Drink and Drive


Florida DUI laws apply to motorcycle operators just as they do car and truck drivers. Under Florida law, a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a Florida highway or roadway with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Minors and commercial drivers who hold a CDL license are held to much more stringent standards.

Drunk driving alters a motorcycle operator’s depth perception, causes blurry vision, and delays reaction time. When those problems are combined with already heavy traffic conditions and other fast moving vehicles on the roadway, they create the potential for disaster.

Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident Case


Sometimes, no matter how carefully a motorcycle operator drives his or her motorcycle, accidents will still occur. In order to show that another driver caused the accident, the injured motorcycle operator or passenger will need to show that the other driver failed to drive in a reasonably prudent and careful manner under the circumstances. The accident victim must also be able to show that his or her injuries and damages were a direct result of the accident. These injuries can include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), fractures, broken bones, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, cuts, abrasions, and soft tissue injuries. If the accident victim was killed in the accident, his or her estate may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver.

Upon successfully proving damages, the accident victim may be able to recover monetary compensation for all medical and physical therapy bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of use, and loss of enjoyment of life. Call a St. Petersburg, Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Legal Consultation and Case Evaluation When motorcycle operators follow the Florida Rules of the Road, they are taking a major step in preventing serious accidents. However, when an accident occurs as a result of someone else’s negligence, and you sustain injuries, you need experienced legal representation on your side every step of the way. The St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group are skilled negotiators and have the necessary legal knowledge and expertise to help you to obtain a fair value for your case. If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to settle your case favorably, our lawyers welcome the opportunity to litigate your case through the Florida court system.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer, please call us or contact us online today.

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