Monday, April 29, 2019

Can I Handle My Uber Car Accident Claim On My Own? No.

You called for an Uber ride, trusting it would provide safe transportation to your destination. Unfortunately, during your ride, your Uber got into an accident, and now you’ve been burdened with injuries and costs you never expected. You need money to help you recover, but you don’t know the best way to obtain it from Uber, insurance companies, or other parties who have legal liability.

Some Uber accident victims wonder, “Can I handle my car accident claim on my own?” They think handling a claim on their own might be quicker and cheaper than seeking the help of a lawyer. We understand why they feel that way, but the fact is, trying to handle a car accident claim on your own is almost guaranteed to be a costly mistake for most people, especially after an accident involving an Uber ride.

Working with a lawyer experienced in pursuing claims against ride-sharing companies, their insurance companies, and other parties, is the best way to ensure you recover the maximum compensation due to you under the law.

Working With a Lawyer Helps Figure out How Much Money You Deserve

Most insurance companies have a formula for determining how much money to offer car accident victims as a settlement. The formula takes into account factors such as the type and severity of the injuries involved and the victims’ age, family situation, and employment status. They also calculate the probability of a victim winning a claim in court, and estimate how badly a victim needs money right now. Then, insurance companies offer the lowest settlement they think they need to offer to make a claim “go away.”

Personal injury lawyers, like insurance companies, have years of experience estimating the amount of damages caused by a car accident claim. Unlike insurance companies, however, these attorneys don’t look for ways to make a claim “go away.” Instead, they look for all of the ways a car accident has harmed a victim and place realistic estimates on how much money victims need to recover. A lawyer will consider, for instance:

Payment for medical expenses. Medical costs pile up quickly after an accident involving severe injuries. Even when a car accident victim has insurance to cover the cost of emergency care, a bad car accident can inflict medical costs that exceed insurance policy limits, especially when victims need surgical care, long hospitalizations, expensive medications, and medical equipment, or when an accident causes disabilities that will require a lifetime of care and treatment.

Compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can account for a large portion of the damages accident victims deserve to recover. Working with a lawyer can help you establish how to put a dollar value on your pain and suffering by analyzing:

  • The limitations your injuries have caused on your daily life.
  • The embarrassment caused by your injuries, such as the inconvenience of life in a wheelchair or errors made after a traumatic brain injury.
  • Your lack of enjoyment for activities that would have previously given you joy.
  • Lost wages. After a serious injury in an Uber accident, you may miss a lot of time at work. Initially, you may miss work due to hospitalization, surgeries, or rehabilitation. In some cases, your doctor may not clear you to return to work immediately. That lost time at work represents a devastating loss of income at a time when bills add up quickly. Working with a lawyer can help you assess how many hours you have lost at work.
  • Lost income potential. Ideally, you would like to return to your job after your accident. Unfortunately, some injuries prevent you from returning to work altogether, or if you can return, you have a diminished capacity to do your job. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury during your accident, for example, you may struggle to return to normal daily activities. An attorney can help you measure the impact of your injuries on your future earning potential.

In summary, working with an attorney helps you assess your financial damages as a result of the accident: not just the physical items you lost but, more importantly, the present and future value of all of the costs an injury has inflicted on your life.

Working With an Attorney Eases Your Stress

It’s stressful dealing with injuries caused by an Uber accident! All of a sudden, your already-busy life has to accommodate unplanned doctor visits, physical therapy appointments, financial complications, and physical pain. Trying to handle your claim on your own don’t do anything but add to that stress. Working with a lawyer, in contrast, can help ease your stress in at least two critically important ways:

  • A lawyer will take over negotiations with the insurance company. Instead of dealing with negotiations yourself, you can put those negotiations in experienced, professional hands. You will not have to worry about making yourself available to take a call at any moment, nor will you have to stress about saying exactly the right thing. Instead, you can leave that to a lawyer who has negotiated on behalf of many clients in the past and will bring that experience to your negotiation.
  • A lawyer will relieve you of uncertainty about how much your claim is “worth.” Are you worried you won’t get enough for your Uber accident claim? Do you lose sleep over the thought that the amount an insurance company offers will not be enough to pay the bills you’ve already accumulated (let alone the ones you know you’ll face in the future)? 

Lawyers can ease these stressors by giving you the best possible shot at recovering the maximum compensation available under the law, by:

  • Showing the insurance company you mean business. Many times, simply bringing a lawyer to the table can increase the insurance company’s willingness to negotiate.
  • Identifying every potential source of payment of damages, from insurance policies to liable parties.
  • Helping you explain difficult concepts and navigate legal complexity.

When you work with an attorney, you do not have to go through the legal process alone. That alone can take significant stress off of your shoulders and make it easier for you to move forward with your life following your injuries.

An Attorney Provides Valuable Legal Advice

When you hire an attorney to help you pursue an Uber accident claim, you get a professional with years of schooling and experience with the legal system, who has a duty to represent your best interests above all others. The attorney-client relationship is a special one protected by detailed rules and centuries of tradition. An experienced car accident attorney gives advice and counsel on topics you may not even have thought of, but which could have a material impact on the value of your case, such as:

Information about what you can post on social media. Your claim could hinge on the details you post on social media, from pictures of you enjoying your favorite activities to information about the accident or your claim. By working with an attorney, you will decrease the odds that your social media posts will come back to bite you when you least expect it.

Advice about the claim amount you should expect—and when you should settle. Sometimes, the insurance company will provide a settlement offer significantly lower than the funds you think you should receive. A lawyer will provide valuable advice about what you should really expect from your claim—and when to take the offer.

Information about when to expect your claim process to resolve. Working with a lawyer may streamline the process, helping you get the funds you need in your hands faster. While your lawyer cannot predict exactly how long it will take to get the money from your claim, a lawyer can help give you a better idea of what to expect. This can make it easier for you to plan your life moving forward after your accident, from deciding how to handle a return to work to deciding how to juggle your finances during this very difficult time.

Advice about how and when to talk to the insurance company. Are you required to give a statement to the insurance company? Should you give a statement to the insurance company, even if you do not have to? Working with a lawyer can help answer these critical questions. If you do decide to talk with the insurance company, a lawyer can help you determine what you should say to help maximize your claim amount and prevent saying anything that could decrease the amount of your claim.

Uber Claims Present Unique Challenges

In general, you should consider consulting with a lawyer any time you suffered injuries in an accident. Victims of Uber accidents, however, may need to consider unique challenges as they prepare their claims.

Who bears responsibility for paying for the accident? In general, Uber drivers must carry special car insurance that allows them to operate their vehicle as a service, rather than driving it for personal use alone. Depending on the insurance they carry, drivers may have different policies for the hours when they drive passengers versus the time they spend driving to pick up a passenger or waiting for a fare. Uber may also offer coverage for its drivers when they actively drive passengers. You may need to ask several questions to determine who must pay for the accident.

Did the Uber driver carry appropriate coverage? Had that coverage been allowed to lapse?

Were you a passenger in the Uber vehicle at the time of the accident, or were you a driver or passenger in another vehicle?

Did your Uber driver cause the accident?

Did extenuating circumstances contribute to the accident? In some cases, the Uber driver may not bear full responsibility for the accident. If other factors contributed to the accident—another driver’s actions, geographic problems, or conditions specific to your accident, for example—someone else may bear partial liability in the accident. Working with an attorney can help you better identify exactly who bears responsibility for paying for your injuries and give you the tools you need to go after the right parties, rather than trying to place full responsibility on the Uber driver regardless of circumstance.

Was a specific driver known to have a high accident history? Uber demands certain standards from its drivers. Drivers must have a reasonably clean record, without excessive accidents. They cannot have a history of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, nor can they have many traffic tickets. Unfortunately, sometimes, Uber drivers may continue driving in spite of a high accident rate or other problems with their driving. If you discover that Uber knew about the problem and took no action to remove the driver from the road, Uber may bear a higher level of responsibility for the accident.

Did you help contribute to the accident? Most of the time, passengers in a vehicle bear no liability for the accident. In some cases, however, passengers in Uber vehicles may offer unique distractions. If, for example, you summoned an Uber vehicle because of inebriation and you became sick during the drive, or if you caused an excessive distraction while the driver was on the road, you may still bear partial liability for your own accident. Even if you did not do anything to cause the accident, the insurance company may attempt to prove that you contributed—and working with a lawyer can help you protect yourself.

Get the Legal Help You Need After an Uber Accident

If you suffered an injury during an Uber ride, do not try to handle your claim on your own! Working with a lawyer can help increase the amount of your claim, ease your stress, and make it easier for you to handle many of the challenges that come your way as you recover from the accident. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today at (727) 222-6922. Our experienced team of attorneys cannot guarantee results, but we will work with our clients to help ensure that they get the best possible outcome after a car accident. Schedule your free consultation now to learn more about the help we can provide, how we can work with you, and what your rights look like after an Uber accident.

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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Understanding Your Car Insurance: What’s Covered and What’s Not

Most drivers understand that car insurance exists to protect them financially from the consequences of an accident. Fewer drivers understand just what their insurance covers, and what it doesn’t, in various car accident scenarios. In this guide, we aim to help you understand what to expect your own car insurance to cover, and what someone else’s policy might cover, after a St. Petersburg-area car accident leaves you injured and in need of financial support.

Fault and Insurance in Florida

Before exploring what an auto insurance policy will cover, it helps to start by discussing the effect of fault on car insurance coverage in Florida. As you likely know, Florida is (for now) what is known as a no fault auto insurance state. What that means is that drivers and others who sustain personal injuries in a car accident must look first to their own car insurance to cover those injuries, regardless of who was at fault for the accident, before seeking compensation from insurance carried by anyone else.

The legislature enacted no fault insurance laws as a tort reform measure to cut down on personal injury lawsuits. The laws were supposed to slash the cost of insurance by reducing the probability of an expensive court battle over who bore the fault for someone’s injuries. Unfortunately, that isn’t how things turned out. Insurance rates stayed higher than expected because no-fault insurance led to a rash of fraudulent insurance claims. Worse, the laws often left accident victims struggling to obtain the compensation they deserved for their injuries. As a result, the legislature has tried repeatedly to do away the no fault laws in recent years, and may yet pass reforms. But, for the time being, in order to register a car in Florida, you still must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover at least the first $10,000 of your own injuries in any car accident.

The staying power of Florida’s no fault laws does not mean, however, that the concept of fault has no place in Florida car accident cases involving personal injuries. Considering the high cost of healthcare these days, the statutory minimum PIP coverage of $10,000 rarely covers much more than minor injuries and hospitalizations. When Floridians suffer severe injuries in car accidents, or when someone dies as a result of an accident, Florida law permits those injured and the families of those killed to seek compensation from the at fault driver in more-or-less the same manner that accident victims in most other states can. In those cases, insurance carried by the at fault party may cover the victims’ injuries and losses.

Typical Florida Auto Insurance Policy Coverages

Drivers in Florida must buy two types of car insurance. They also have a wide range of other, optional coverage to choose from. Below, we summarize the two mandatory coverages and some common types of optional insurance.

Mandatory Car Insurance Coverages

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) - As discussed above, by law every driver must carry at least $10,000 worth of PIP coverage to serve as the primary coverage for personal injuries and lost wages the driver sustains because of an accident, regardless of fault. Many people choose personal injury protection insurance with a $1,000 deductible.

Property Damage Liability (PDL) - All drivers must also carry at least $10,000 in PDL coverage, which pays for property damage they cause to others in an auto accident, such as damage to another vehicle. This coverage does not cover damage to your own property, which you must purchase separately.

Optional Car Insurance Coverages

Personal injury liability - this coverage protects you against liability for personal injuries you cause to others as the at fault party in an auto accident. As noted above, it becomes available to the other party if the accident causes someone severe injuries or results in a wrongful death. Drivers purchase this insurance to protect against having to pay damages to someone else out of their personal assets.

Collision -
Covers damage to your own vehicle in an accident that is your fault. If you took out a loan to pay for your car, the lender may require you to carry collision insurance. Collision insurance usually carries a deductible.

Comprehensive - Covers non-accident damage to your vehicle, such as might result from the theft of your car, from a weather event like a tornado, hurricane, or hailstorm, or from striking an animal in the road. Some loan companies require borrowers to carry comprehensive insurance for the life of the car’s loan.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist - Covers your personal injuries and property damage in the event the other driver was at fault but did not carry any or sufficient insurance to compensate you for the harm you sustained. Because of Florida’s no-fault rules, this coverage becomes available in circumstances in which the other driver fails to carry mandatory PDL coverage and/or optional personal injury liability coverage.

Other - Your car insurance can also help protect you in some very specific circumstances, if you elect to spend the extra money for protection against them, such as:

Coverage that pays for a rental car if you can’t drive your vehicle

Roadside assistance, which will cover the need for help if your car breaks down on the road. Roadside assistance may include towing, help with a car that will not start, or locksmith services.

  • Glass coverage, which will cover your windshield or windows if they break
  • Gap insurance, which will cover paying for a car loan that exceeds the amount the car is worth
  • Ridesharing coverage, which will specifically pay for a vehicle used during ridesharing services

Car Accident Damages Covered

In a car accident that does not result in severe injuries or a loss of life, your own PIP insurance covers your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages if you must miss work because of a car accident. In a collision with another vehicle, the other driver’s PDL will cover damage to your car.

In car accidents where the other driver was at fault for causing severe injuries or a wrongful death, after your exhaust your own PIP coverage the other driver’s insurance coverage may pay additional damages (depending on the types of insurance coverage that driver carries). The damages the other driver’s car insurance may pay in those cases can include:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses, which can include:
  • Immediate hospitalization, including ambulance transport to the hospital if needed.
  • Any surgeries or procedures needed to repair your injuries.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Ongoing medical care for severe injuries such as paralysis or traumatic brain injuries.
  • Medical equipment and modifications to your home or transportation to accommodate a disability caused by the accident.
  • Pain and suffering, to compensate you for the physical and emotional pain caused by severe injuries. Pain is subjective, so the amount of money you should receive for pain and suffering can vary. Typically, insurance companies use a sliding scale, based on the extent of your injuries, to determine what they will offer a settlement for your pain and suffering. A lawyer can help you determine whether the insurance company has been fair in its estimate of these damages.
  • Loss of consortium/life enjoyment. The damages you deserve to recover after a car accident can include compensation for the loss of your ability to enjoy engaging in life activities that are important to you and/or for the negative impact severe injuries have on your personal relationships.
  • Lost wages or lost earning potential: Serious injuries can impact your ability to return to work after an accident. You may need to take time off from work while you recover physically and emotionally. Even when you’re able to return, injuries can affect whether you can go back to the same job function you had before the accident. For example, an accident that leaves you with a disability may prevent you from doing the same job you did in the past. A traumatic brain injury could make it difficult for you to sustain a level of activity throughout the day. In some cases, these injuries are permanent and impact your ability to earn a living. The other driver’s insurance should compensate you for all wages you lost, and all wages you cannot earn in the future because of your injuries.
  • Property damage: After a car accident, the insurance company will cover property damage to either or both vehicles, depending on the type of coverage carried by the responsible party. Most policies have limits to the property damage they will cover per accident. Property damage in an accident may also include expensive items that suffered damage in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

What’s Not Covered

In Florida, there is a danger of some car accident expenses not being covered by adequate insurance. As we explained above, you are not entitled to seek compensation from the other, at-fault driver in Florida unless your injuries meet a threshold of severity (such as being permanently disabled or disfigured). That means that even if you suffer extreme pain from an injury in a car accident, the law may still bar you from seeking compensation from the other driver if the pain results from an injury that will heal. Instead, you will be limited to the medical expense and partial lost-wages benefit of your PIP policy.

In other words, when an accident does not result in injuries that are severe enough to fall under the exception to the no-fault insurance law allowing for a lawsuit against the at-fault party, a person can be left with inadequate PIP coverage to meet their needs if they haven’t purchased enough of it. Likewise, if a person fails to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, they can be left without an insurance policy to cover them in the event they suffer severe injuries in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Because of this loophole, Florida drivers must think carefully about their potential needs when buying auto insurance. $10,000 of PIP coverage is the minimum required by law, but it can leave Florida drivers and passengers without adequate protection when their injuries aren’t severe enough to entitle them to sue the at-fault driver in an accident.

Hire Our Law Firm After a Car Accident

Because of the complexity and pitfalls of car insurance in Florida, hiring an attorney after an accident can make a big difference in whether you recover the funds you deserve for your injuries. An attorney can negotiate directly with insurance companies to help you recover the maximum compensation due under your own PIP policy, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and the other driver’s insurance (if it’s available). And, an attorney can advise you when it’s time to reject an insurance company’s offer and pursue legal action instead.

An attorney can also help you if it turns out your own and the other driver’s insurance policies aren’t sufficient to cover your losses. Insurance plays an important role in compensating car accident victims, but it’s not the only source of funds to pay damages. Sometimes, other parties have liability for causing an accident. Other times, an uninsured driver may have personal assets from which damages can be paid. An attorney can help you uncover these potential sources of funds to help make sure you have the best shot at recovering every dollar you deserve.

Every car accident is different, and that includes the mix of insurance coverages available to compensate those injured. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers PA, we are committed to providing high-quality legal services to our clients, including providing valuable advice about the compensation you should expect from an insurance company following an accident. When our clients need to take their cases to court, we fight with passion and diligence to make sure they receive what they deserve. Contact us today online or at (727) 222-6922 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team of top quality car accident attorneys.

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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

St. Petersburg Renter Injured by Toxic Black Mold in Home

St. Petersburg Toxic Black Mold rent landlord injury lawsuit lawyer

Landlord Liability for Black Mold Injuries on Property

A St. Petersburg tenant of a rental property developed a fungal infection requiring sinus surgery after being exposed to dangerous amounts of black mold on the property. Renter David Sawyer and his roommates moved into a property located on 74th Avenue NE in St. Petersburg in the Summer of 2018.

Toxic Mold Severely Injures Renter

Upon moving into the property they began to experience issues such as the air conditioning unit failing which would bring the temperature of the house up to scorching 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the dead of Summer. The property management company in possession of the building called, Invitation Homes, took a week to get back to the tenants who had to suffer through the heat. Invitation Homes eventually fixed the air conditioning and some additional plumbing issues that David Sawyer reported to cause raw sewage to be pushed up through the shower drain.
Soon after these terrible conditions were experienced by David Sawyer and his fellow tenants, he began to develop symptoms such as headaches, extreme drainage from his nose, as well as nose bleeds that would require an entire box of tissues a day to address. A private inspector was hired by David Sawyer to check his home for a possible cause. The private inspector documented toxic black mold in his bathroom and strongly recommended that he leave the building as soon as possible.
According to David Sawyer, it took a while to finally get in contact with Invitation Homes about the severe toxic black mold situation on the property. It apparently took a full 20 days for David Sawyer and his fellow tenants to not hear from anyone at invitation homes before they decided to pack up and leave the building in the interest of preserving their health. David Sawyer is now recovering from sinus surgery undertaken to address the fungal infection he suffered likely as a result of exposure to toxic black mold.

Toxic Black Mold and Landlord Lawsuits

When someone rents a property out to someone, they do so with the expected assurance that the conditions of the property are within the expected standards of safety for a tenant. Should someone rent a property out to a tenant and negligently leave conditions in a way that can injure them then they may be liable in a premises liability lawsuit. There are a number of harmful conditions that can exist on a property. Poorly maintained structure, uneven flooring, lack of basic security features, and of course toxic black mold all can cause serious injuries that can be the focus of a premises liability claim.

What is Toxic Black Mold?

Most of us have encountered mold or fungus in some variety either out in the wild or within some manner of building. The basics of mold are fairly simple. It is an organism that subsists off of the decomposition of biological materials and exists primarily in dark damp areas that can be either cool or very warm and reproduce by releasing spores into the air. Stachybotrys more commonly known as black mold is a particularly dangerous type of mold that releases spores that are toxic if ingested in sufficient amounts.

Black Mold Injuries

Believe it or not, people inhale mold spores almost every day. They are much more common than we realize and for the most part, it is completely harmless. However, more toxic molds like black mold exist and can cause serious injuries to all that are exposed. Black mold is prone to grow in dark damp and generally neglected areas in buildings like in crawlspaces, attics, basements, and ventilation systems.
When someone breathes in black mold spores they run the risk of suffering a number of injuries including.
Irritant Effects: Generally the exposure to black mold can cause wheezing, sniffing, congestion, coughing, nasal drainage, headaches, sore throat, and a host of other respiratory related symptoms.
Allergic Reactions: Some people have especially bad allergic reactions to black mold in even the smallest of quantities. These reactions depend on the person and can range from itchy skin and irritated throat to respiratory issues that can endanger someone's ability to breathe.
Infections: Black mold spores that are inhaled have a chance to cause respiratory infections that can be particularly painful. These infections can even land people in the hospital where they require heavy antibiotics or even surgery depending on the intensity of the infection.
Toxic Effects: Black Mold itself is a toxic organism that can cause serious damage to the throat and lungs of those that are exposed to it. This toxicity can cause long term breathing issues among those exposed depending on the length and intensity of the exposure.

Seek an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury on a property that you were renting because of the negligence of a landlord or other liable party then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group about a free consultation on your claim. Our lawyers are more than happy to meet with you and discuss the details of your potential claim so that we can offer some legal insight into your situation and offer some options on how you can take legal action.
Injuries on rental properties can come from a variety of sources other than just black mold and those injuries can cause significant damages. Those that are injured can be stuck with extensive medical bills, lost wages, disability, as well as pain and suffering over a long period. When someone faces the financial repercussions of these damages they will likely have to turn to legal action in order to seek compensation which is where Dolman Law Group can come in and provide you experienced legal representation.
When you hire Dolman Law Group to represent you in a personal injury lawsuit, you are ensuring that your case stands the best chance possible at recovering the compensation you need and deserve after suffering an injury because of a liable party’s negligence. Dolman Law Group offers clients the personal attention expected from smaller firms with big law firm results.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Florida Birth Injuries and Failed Diagnosis Lawsuits

Florida Birth Injuries Failed Diagnosis Lawsuit claim attorney medical malpractice

Delayed or Failed Diagnosis Causes Birth Injury

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life where the prospect of having a child changes everything a person knows. On the other hand, there is a lot of anxiety that can be felt regarding how the pregnancy will go and whether there may be any health issues or complications of concern. Health issues and complications during pregnancy have the potential to cause some serious damage to pregnant mothers and their children. There are times when these kinds of health issues can crop up out of nowhere but in other instances, a medical professional may fail to diagnose a possible health issue or have a delayed diagnosis that could injure the child or mother.

Medical Malpractice and Failure to Diagnose

These failures to diagnose or delayed diagnoses can potentially be considered medical malpractice. When a doctor fails to diagnose an injurious health injury in one of their patients because of negligence caused by deviance from the expected standard of care then they could be considered guilty of medical malpractice. The standard of care expected of a medical professional varies depending on the context. For example, a rural pediatrician is not going to have the same standard of care as a major metropolitan heart surgeon in a top hospital.
Not just doctors can be found liable for injuries caused by failed diagnosis or delayed diagnosis of health conditions or complications when it comes to childbirth. Medical staff in the delivery room and hospital can contribute negligence that results in an injury to the child or mother. For example, there can be errors resulting from tests or staff can be negligent when taking a patient’s medical information which could contribute to a failure to diagnose a health condition that could be affecting a pregnant mother.

Consider Hiring a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Having an expert lawyer on your side can be beneficial since they can assist you in determining who and how someone is liable for a birth injury caused by a failure to diagnose. If you or a loved one have had a child and suffered a birth injury or had the child suffer a birth injury then you may be entitled to compensation for the damages that you suffered as a result. You can take action by filing a medical malpractice claim with the assistance of the experienced Florida medical malpractice lawyers of Dolman Law Group. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation on your claim online or by phone at (727) 222-6922.   

Commonly Undiagnosed Helth Conditions That Cause Birth Injuries

Anemia: Pregnant women need to produce extra blood for their child which can be hindered by anemia. Anemia can occur as a result of insufficient levels of iron, folate, vitamin B12, and other nutrients essential for the generation of red blood cells that get oxygen and nutrients to a child. When anemia is undiagnosed then a child could be born premature, underweight, or with birth defects.
Maternal Infections: Infections can be one of the most damaging injuries that someone can sustain and this rings doubly true in the case of maternal infections. Pregnancy can make women more susceptible to infections that if left undiagnosed and untreated may cause miscarriage, preterm labor, birth defects, and other health issues that can be life-threatening to the mother and child.
Gestational Diabetes: It is not uncommon for women to develop diabetes during their pregnancy and if diagnosed and properly treated, it is not a big issue. In the event that gestational diabetes is not diagnosed and treated, then several complications and dangerous health issues can occur for the mother and baby. These complications can include high birth weight, preterm birth, respiratory distress syndrome, hypoglycemia, and risk for type-2 diabetes.
Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a health condition where the placenta does not receive enough blood and can lead to what is called eclampsia. Preeclampsia can usually be handled fairly successfully when it is diagnosed and treated but when untreated can lead to preterm birth, low birth weight, cerebral palsy, stroke, seizures, heart failure, and more.
Prolapsed Umbilical Cord: The umbilical cord can sometimes exit the uterus before the baby does. When this happens the baby’s weight can compress the umbilical cord and cut off the flow of blood to the child. This can cause a reduced heart rate as well as oxygen deprivation that can harm the baby.
rH Incompatibility: People can either be rH-positive which means that they have protein in their red blood cells, or they can be rH-negative which means they do not. There are rare cases where a mother and child will be the opposites and non-rH compatible. If this is not diagnosed early on then there is a risk of severe injury to the baby occurring.
Uterine Rupture: There is a chance of uterine ruptures occurring in late pregnancy or during childbirth. A uterine rupture occurs when there is a breach in the myometrial wall which can result in the uterus spilling out into the peritoneal cavity. Uterine rupture can be injurious to the mother and child since it can cause abdominal pregnancy, abdominal bleeding, decreased heart rate, hypovolemic shock, and other serious complications.

Call Dolman Law Group if Your Child Endured Premature Birth Complications

If you have a premature baby and know or suspect that you or your baby were harmed during or before labor and delivery, you can contact a reputable and experienced birth injury lawyer to assist you with your case. It is possible that your doctor or other healthcare providers acted negligently.
At Dolman Law Group, we take the time that is needed to hear our clients’ stories and, if appropriate, seek compensation for their losses. We are proud to offer compassionate help to our clients during an extremely difficult time.
If you have experienced a preterm delivery that caused injury to you or your infant, contact Dolman Law Group’s St. Petersburg office online or by phone at (727) 222-6922 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts and circumstances of your preterm delivery.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Should I Get an Attorney for an Injury Caused at a Casino or Hotel?

Casinos and hotels create environments geared toward comfort, relaxation, and (particularly in the case of casinos) entertainment. Many of these establishments rely on serving alcohol as a means of encouraging guests to let their hair down and spend more money on the property. Unfortunately, with alcohol comes accidents, especially slips, trips, and falls that can result in serious injuries.

After you sustain an injury caused by conditions at a casino or hotel, the hotel may take swift action to try to smooth things over. You may be tempted to accept their overtures. But, beware. The resort may also try to limit its legal liability to you by offering free nights or discounted amenities. Your safest course of action is to retain an attorney to make sure your rights stay protected and you receive the compensation you deserve for an injury that wasn’t your fault. In this blog post, we discuss the ways hiring an attorney can help you after an injury at a casino or hotel.

Common Hotel and Casino Injuries

Any type of injury can occur at a casino or hotel, but some happen more than others. Common hotel and casino injuries include:

Slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, at any time. In a hotel or casino, however, the odds may increase. Guests may pay less attention to their footing due to inebriation, or they may struggle more on unfamiliar ground. Talking with a lawyer can help establish whether the casino or hotel bears liability for a slip and fall, including assessing whether the hotel created unsafe conditions or failed to post proper signage to help prevent injury. Slip and fall accidents make up the majority of accidents in hotels and casinos.

Injuries from damaged seats and furniture. At casinos, in particular, furniture sees heavy wear and tear. Many casinos may fail to take appropriate precautions or to repair rickety furniture on a regular basis. Patrons may fall from a chair, suffer injury when it breaks, or suffer injury due to broken parts.

Food poisoning. Hotels and casinos must provide a high standard of food service to their customers. Unfortunately, sometimes food poisoning causes serious illness in hotel and casino patrons. This can occur when food sits out on buffet lines for too long, when kitchens fail to dispose of out-of-date food, or resorts fall short of their obligations to keep premises clean and germ-free. Not only is food poisoning inconvenient and uncomfortable, especially for patrons on vacation, it can cause ongoing medical problems and even death.

Assaults. When you visit a hotel or casino, you expect a reasonable level of security. Patrons who cause violence usually receive a swift escort from the premises, and the hotel or casino usually provides adequate security to prevent injuries to guests. Unfortunately, in some cases, hotels and casinos fail in their duty to provide adequate security. In other cases, guests fall victim to assault by a member of the hotel staff. Assault can lead to serious mental trauma as well as significant physical injuries.

Injuries on hotel or casino transportation. Many hotels and casinos provide transportation to and from local airports and attractions. When hotels and casinos provide this service, they take on a high duty of care to their passengers. They must ensure that passengers can safely reach their destination. Their duty of care includes providing safe drivers, seat belts or other passenger restraints as required by law in the area, and adequate signs and other indicators for passengers to follow. If the transport includes stairs, those stairs must have clear markings. Without this exercise of care, hotel and casino patrons may suffer serious injury.

Burns. From exposed electrical wiring with improper labels and warnings to cigarettes left unattended by guests and staff members, casinos and hotel environments pose burn hazards. Burns often cause extreme pain and long-term disfigurement.

The Advantages of Working with an Attorney

Many people who suffer personal injuries, including those injured in hotels or casinos, struggle to make a decision regarding legal help. Will a lawyer make a difference? Is a lawyer necessary? Other victims of personal injuries may attempt to handle their personal injury claim on their own, rather than turning to an attorney. Working with an attorney, however, offers several advantages.

An attorney can negotiate on your behalf. When you first hear from the casino or hotel’s insurance company, they may make a low settlement offer that fails to reflect your financial needs or expectations following your accident. Worse, they may refuse to budge on that offer. By hiring an attorney, however, you may significantly increase the odds that the resort or its insurance company will negotiate. Not only that, the attorney will conduct those negotiations on your behalf, freeing you up to focus on your recovery and the other tasks requiring your attention. Your attorney brings extensive negotiating experience to the table, which significantly increases your odds of recovering the compensation you deserve.

An attorney can provide valuable advice. When you work with an attorney, you will receive valuable advice that can make it easier for you to navigate the process of making an insurance claim and to pursue legal action. An attorney can provide advice about:

How much money you can realistically expect to recover for your injuries.

When to walk away. Many attorneys have extensive experience working with a wide range of insurance companies and facilities, including hotels and casinos. As a result, they can provide you with valuable advice about when to accept a settlement offer and when to keep fighting.

How to communicate with the insurance company. In many cases, the attorney will take over those communications, providing a buffer between you and insurance adjusters whose job is to minimize the insurance company’s financial exposure.

How to comport yourself on social media. Do you know what you can and can’t post about your pending case? Do you know how to handle posts about your injuries—or how to avoid them? An attorney can provide valuable advice on these topics.

An attorney can explain what is happening. For many people injured in an accident at a casino or hotel, everything about the process of recovering compensation feels unfamiliar. They wonder when they can expect payment. They feel uncertain about timelines and what to expect from interactions with lawyers, insurers, and courts. Working with an attorney helps ease some of those concerns. When you know what to expect, you can better prepare your finances and your plans for the journey in front of you.

An attorney can increase the compensation you receive for your claim. In many cases, simply hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will let the insurance company know you are serious about pursuing a claim. An attorney who understands the ins-and-outs of negotiating with insurers and opposing attorneys can also protect you from defense tactics and lowball estimates of how much compensation you should receive.

An attorney can help identify who has responsibility for your injuries. If your injuries occurred on hotel or casino property, you may assume that the hotel or casino has legal responsibility for your injuries. In many cases, that is true. But, that doesn’t mean the resort is the only party on the hook for your damages. Others may also share blame and legal liability, including:

  • Third-party services hired by the hotel or casino, including caterers who may have caused food poisoning or other errors.
  • Other guests at the hotel or casino, especially if they behaved negligently or took actions that led to your injuries.
  • Manufacturers of products and equipment at the hotel, such as poorly designed furniture.

Working with an attorney can help identify the individual or entity—or, potentially, more than one individual or entity—who bears responsibility for your accident. An attorney can also help prevent you from making any incriminating statements that could suggest you bear responsibility for your own injuries.

Many people assume that working with an attorney is too expensive because an attorney takes a percentage of any recovery. While an attorney does require payment, working with one can actually increase the settlement you receive, leaving you better off in the long run than if you attempt to handle your claim on your own.

What Damages Are Typically Claimed in Personal Injury Cases?

Working with an attorney makes it easier to identify the categories of damages you can expect to recover for injuries you sustained at a hotel or casino. These may include:

Medical costs.
Medical costs make up some of the most significant expenses you face after your injuries. Working with an attorney will help you effectively add up all of your medical costs, including:

Transport to the hospital or to medical facilities, both immediately after your injury and for future treatment.

  • Your emergency room visit.
  • Ongoing hospitalization.
  • The cost of surgery or treatments.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Anticipated future medical expenses, if your medical bills remain ongoing after the accident.

Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering often accounts for the largest portion of the damages you deserve for a personal injury. After your injury, you experienced significant pain and suffering: physical pain, from your injuries, and emotional pain as you struggled to return to your day-to-day routine. You might struggle to participate in activities that are important to you. You might find your relationships have suffered. All of these elements make up a portion of the pain and suffering claim—and working with a lawyer provides you with an effective way to quantify your pain and suffering as you establish and file your claim.

Lost wages. Did your injuries prevent you from returning to work for a period of time? Did you have to miss work to attend physical therapy sessions or have surgery? If so, the hotel, casino, or other responsible party may bear responsibility for covering your lost wages during this period. Your bills remain constant even when you suffer from serious injuries—and in many cases, they increase! Including lost income as part of your claim can help you recover those lost wages and keep moving forward with your life after an injury.

Lost earning potential. Some injuries do not allow you to return to work as you recover. In some cases, including traumatic brain injury or paralysis from a fall, you may need to choose a new form of employment or you might never be able to return to work. In these cases, the hotel or casino may need to cover lost earning potential. Insurance companies base your earning potential on the income you made at the time of your accident. Some exceptions may occur, however, if you recently experienced a layoff or a temporary change in the industry. Working with a lawyer can help more effectively identify the income you lost and how much you should receive in compensation.

As you put together your claim, working with an attorney will prevent you from missing anything. Once you accept an offer from the hotel or casino, you cannot go back and submit a new claim because of a forgotten damage or element. By working with an attorney, you decrease the odds that you will miss anything important—and as a result, you may increase your claim amount.

Get an Attorney for Injuries Caused by a Hotel or Casino

If you suffered serious injuries due to the actions or negligence of a hotel or casino, hiring a lawyer is the single best way to ensure you recover every dollar of compensation you need. You can be sure the casino or hotel where you sustained your injury will have a lawyer (and probably more than one!) on its side. Trying to pursue your claim alone leaves you vulnerable to the resort taking advantage of you and to you losing important legal rights.

If you have suffered an injury at a casino or hotel in the St. Petersburg area, make sure you have experienced, compassionate, skilled legal counsel on your side. Contact Dolman Law Group today online or at (727) 222-6922 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.

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