Friday, December 9, 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was considered one of the best phones on the market when it was first released back in August of 2016. The Android fanatics of the world were ecstatic with the phone’s new features and how they were superior to that of Apple’s most recent iteration of the iPhone.

Unfortunately for Samsung, the Note 7 had a battery defect which caused some phones to suddenly explode, causing damage to individuals and their property. Samsung recalled1 the Note 7 on September 2, 2016, and has been suffering the losses ever since. The recall itself is expected to cost Samsung as much as $17 billion in lost revenue Samsung stated that the recall will expand to all Note 7 devices, including the original and replacement device. For some individuals, however, simply getting a new phone through the recall program is not enough.

Examples of Injuries and Damages

There have been a number of reported cases of Galaxy Note 7’s causing personal injury as well as damage to people’s property.

  • The New York Times2 reported that a phone exploded in a 6-year-old boy’s hands, causing him harm. The child was apparently watching videos on the phone when the phone suddenly burst into flames in his hand.
  • A Florida man3 claimed that his Jeep Cherokee was totaled because of the Note 7. The driver of the Jeep left his phone in the vehicle to charge while he was unloading something he had purchased. He went inside for a moment and came back out to find his entire truck engulfed in flames.
  • Finally, the Federal Aviation Administration4 went as far to issue a statement strongly urging passengers to not use or even turn on a Note 7s on an airplane for safety reasons.

Product Liability

From a legal standpoint, many of these cases involving injury from exploding Note 7s fall within the realm of products liability law. Product liability law is an area of the law that deals with defective or dangerous products. Manufacturers are generally responsible for products that leave their factories or warehouses. Who is responsible for the injury can vary depending on the reason for the injury. For instance, any party who may have come in contact with the product along the product’s chain of distribution may be to blame for the incident, such as:

  • The manufacturer of the product
  • The manufacturer of the components used in the product
  • The person who puts the components together to create the final product
  • The installer of a product
  • Wholesalers or retailers

There is no federal product liability law. Instead, states have found a way to deal with product liability claims by allowing them to be brought under a number of legal theories such as negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.

Call a Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney Today

There have only been a few lawsuits filed against Samsung so far regarding exploding Note 7s. The attorneys at Dolman Law Group have handled a number of product liability lawsuits and are well-equipped to represent clients who may have suffered from Samsung’s mishap. If you live in the state of Florida and have been personally injured or your property has been damaged because of a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 explosion, call us at 727-451-6900 today to discuss your potential product liability lawsuit. Samsung dropped the ball on this one and should be held responsible for their actions.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

12 Things to Do After a Car Accident

Over 6 million car accidents occur in the United States each year. Fortunately, most of them only involve damage to the vehicle(s), as opposed to the occupants. However, 1 in 3 accidents involve an injury to the driver or passengers. And 2 out of every 10 accidents lead to fatal injuries.
Luckily, if you or a loved one is involved in a motor vehicle accident, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your interests. The law clearly allows for victims of negligence to recover their damages; but it’s not a given. You must be proactive in protecting yourself. The following are 12 initial ways you can do that.
Stay Put.
Never leave the scene of an accident, even if it’s only a minor incident. Not only is it illegal, but it will look bad if you—or the other driver—are injured. It also speaks to fault. So just find a safe place to get off the road and pull over.
Notify the Police.
Call the police as soon as possible after an accident. It is a mistake to assume that ‘everything can be worked out between the drivers’ or that the driver who now assumes liability will later tell the same story to their insurance company. Police officers are trained to document the details of a crash and also to take statements from those who were involved. This is crucial information when it later comes time to figure out what actually happened. Police reports do not have all the answers, and they may not tell the whole story, but police officers are considered trusted authorities, so the information they record could be crucial later.
Seek Medical Care
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, allow a medical professional to check you out anyway. If you are in pain—even if it’s minor—document it by having a doctor examine you. You don’t technically have to get medical attention right away in order to be able to file a claim later, but the sooner you do it, the more credible your injuries will seem.
You should also check on the other people involved in the accident to see if they’re okay. Get medical attention for anyone who needs it. If a person is unconscious or has neck or back pain, don't try to move them until the EMTs arrive; it could cause additional damage. If you are injured severely and must be transported to the hospital, it’s a good idea to have a trusted person gather as many of the following things as they can, as soon as they can.
Gather Information

Gathering information at the scene of the accident will be extremely beneficial later. Trade information with the other driver(s) involved. Take down their name, address, phone number, and their driver’s license number. Also make sure you obtain their insurance carrier and policy number. Likewise, you should get all the information you can from police officers. Get their names, badge numbers, and write down the police report number. This is one of the many times that having a smartphone changes everything. Just snap some photos of their IDs, insurance info, etc. and you’ll have all the information in one place. You should also ensure that you take note of and gather any information from any witnesses who may be nearby. This is critical. Note their names and contact information, do this quickly as many of the witnesses will leave after making sure everyone is "all right." Later, witnesses could play a crucial role in supporting your claim.
Take Pictures
Keep that cellphone out after taking photos of everybody’s info. Take pictures of everything. Take pictures of the damage and position of all the vehicles involved before they’re moved. Record the weather and road conditions, placement of the traffic lights, intersections, and people at the scene. Likewise, take picture of all your injuries, including scrapes, bruises, cuts, etc. Basically, you want to capture as much information as possible, right away. Pictures are often an integral part of putting together what happened. If you are unable to take pictures because of your injuries, have someone you trust do it; this step should not be skipped. Make sure to back up your originals when you get home by emailing them to yourself or by transferring them to another medium.
Do Not Discuss Fault
If you were the one at fault, or if you think you may have been at fault, do not make any statements or say anything that could be taken as an admittance of fault. Even if the other driver admits fault, do not talk about it. You should, however, speak truthfully with police officers and your own insurance company describing exactly what happened. Don't talk to a representative of any other insurance company besides your own until you have discussed it with your attorney or your own insurance company. If the other insurance company wants to speak with you, politely ask them to contact your attorney or insurer to arrange an interview. Be sure to let your people know about the call, as well.
Call Your Insurance Agent
All insurance policies require that you notify your carrier immediately when you are involved in a collision. You must do it as soon as possible. Insurance is generally a complicated subject. How and whose insurance will cover what is dependent on PIP, bodily injury coverage, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and so on. It goes without saying that before you’re ever involved in an accident, be sure to assess your coverage. It doesn’t seem important, until it is.
Take Notes/Keep a File
As soon as you are able, write down everything you can remember. Document what happened, the road conditions, what was said afterward, whether any citations were issued, your injuries, who you have spoken with, etc. Insurance disputes and personal injury claims are two things: First, they’re not cleared up overnight; Second, they are all about details. For these reasons, documenting as much as possible—so you can remember them later and so you have records of important details—is a beneficial idea.

Put any notes you take, along with all the documentation you have gathered, into a large, secure folder. It is also helpful to scan each document into a file on your computer. It may be months, or years, before the crash is fully resolved. Keep all your accident-related documents and information together. This information should include everything from the claim number to every medical bill you’ve received.
Add to your Notes
Over the next several days, weeks, and months you will most likely make several phone calls and exchange many e-mails. Document everything that was said, dates and times, appointments, diagnoses, etc. Take notes on any medical care you received including the dates and doctor's names with the care you received. 
Be Aware
Everything that you do and everything you say—including what is posted on social media—could come back to haunt you later in your case, even if you believe that it was said in confidence or posted on a private social media account. Although it’s by no means mandatory, we highly recommend that clients disable their social media accounts while their case is active. The opposing attorneys could gain access to old photos, current posts, or people who may know you; it’s perfectly legal. Just be cautious about any information you give out.
Be Wary of Early Settlement Offers
If you're offered a settlement from an insurance company early in the case, be extremely cautious. They are a business, and just like any other business, they keep their costs low by paying out as little as possible. What may sound like a lot of money now, may not even come close to compensating you for all the costs that may lie ahead. Before any offer is considered, confirm all your physical injuries have been treated, since some injuries don't show up or reach their greatest level of discomfort until many days, weeks, or months later. Don't settle a claim until you know you'll be compensated for all your injuries, and consult an attorney before signing any settlement documents. The insurance companies have a team of lawyers to consult, and so should you.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
It’s absolutely imperative that you protect your rights, especially during a time when you’re vulnerable, like after an accident or while you’re injured. Personal injury attorneys devote their professional lives to protecting the rights of injured victims and getting them all of the compensation they deserve. An attorney who focuses their practice on personal injury law knows the ins-and-outs of insurance practices, civil laws, and courtroom procedures. Additionally, they often have an extensive network of doctors, investigators, and experts who have the interest of injured victims—not insurance companies—in mind.
Dolman Law Group

If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident or injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group. We have devoted our practice to helping those injured victims who may not be in a position to take on the large insurance companies by themselves. It’s our aim to provide big firm results with a small firm’s personal touch. One of our experienced attorneys will be happy to go over your case with you during a free case evaluation. You deserve to recover physically, emotionally, and financially. Call to schedule a free consultation at 727-451-6900 or email us on our contact page.

Friday, December 2, 2016

6 Common Workplace Deaths and How to Prevent Them

Nearly 5,000 workers die each year as a result of preventable injuries while on the job. These work-related incidents—whether they occur at work or while performing job duties off-site—devastate families in unimaginable ways. But these workplace deaths are not inevitable; there are things that can be done to prevent them. However, if a family does experience an unfortunate loss, there is a way for the, to recover financially once they’ve grieved their loved one.

All workplaces have a set of standards and rules that they expect their employees to follow in order to both keep their workers safe and to limit their liability should an unfortunate accident occur. If employees adhere to these guidebooks of safety regulations they have much more reduced chance of being injured. These guidebooks are often put together by professionals who specifically consult on workplace safety. They allow for the employee to both properly complete their work tasks and to ensure they go home safe. In addition to safety manuals, employers often spend thousands of dollars to ensure that employees are trained in the proper ways to execute tasks. When finances are tight, these precautions are, unfortunately, some of the first to go in small businesses. In these instances, a worker may not get the proper training they need in order to stay safe. Despite safety regulations and guidebooks, whether the place of employment has strict rules or none-at-all, workplace accidents still happen. Sometimes, the employee pays the ultimate cost and loses their life.

In 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,821 men and women died in U.S. workplaces as a result of serious traumatic events. This includes a range of incidents including falls, explosions, vehicle collisions, fatal contact with equipment or machinery, and workplace homicides. Most of the events on the list are preventable. This category only takes into account accidents. When illness from long-term exposure to on the-job hazards and unsafe practices is considered the death toll becomes much larger. It is estimated that more than 53,000 deaths occur each year from respiratory, cardiovascular, and kidney diseases, in addition to cancers and other conditions which can be linked directly to workplace exposure.

Since there are roughly 5,000 workplace deaths from traumatic events and 50,000 deaths from long-term exposure, it is clear that workplace illness is a serious problem, accounting for ten times the loss. The estimated yearly cost to the nation of these workplace deaths is $51 billion, including medical care, lost wages, loss of productivity, and other costs.
If non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses are taken into account, it costs the nation an additional $200 billion dollars. It is clearly a big problem.

Of course, no dollar amount can be placed on the immense cost in human suffering to workers and their family and friends when their loved ones are hurt, maimed, and killed as a result of these tragic and preventable workplace injuries and illnesses.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies six major categories of events which result in workplace deaths:

-Transportation incidents (for example, car accidents)
-Workplace Violence (for example, a cashier being robbed)
-Contact with objects and equipment (for example, forklift accidents)
-Slip-and-falls (for example, slipping in a puddle of water)
-Exposure to harmful substances (for example, exposure to asbestos)
-Fires and explosions (for example, a chemical factory explosion)

There are clear and deliberate steps that can be taken to prevent each one of these workplace causes of workplace injury and death. Gathering from different organizations in charge of these areas, we have put together a list of how to prevent these workplace deaths, according to the experts.

Transportation incidents

According to the CDC, millions of American workers drive or ride in a vehicle as part of their jobs. Because of this, it is easy to see why they also classify motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of work-related deaths in the U.S. From truck drivers to taxi operators, from curriers to those just riding to the job site, there are thousands of jobs relating to riding in a vehicle. Each one, no matter how minor or infrequently they require driving or riding, they still pose a serious threat.

In 2013, just over a thousand U.S. workers died in work-related crashes involving motor vehicles. This amounts to 24% of all work-related deaths; this is a significant portion. Another 521 deaths were non-roadway crashes involving motor vehicles and pedestrians struck by motor vehicles. One does not have to be driving the vehicle to be at-risk of being killed by it.
Of these motor vehicle deaths related to the workplace, the transportation and warehousing industry had the highest share of deaths, followed by construction and agriculture, then the wholesale and retail trades.
Although the majority of vehicles involved in fatal crashes were semi, tractor-trailer, and tanker trucks, together passenger vehicles, pick-up trucks, and SUVs accounted for the same proportion of deaths.

The CDC suggests the following for preventing these accidents:

-Incorporate safety devices on highway and construction equipment.
-Make sure that your company leaders are modeling good road safety and practices.
-Implement policies to guide motor vehicle safety, like banning texting and driving.
-Select drivers based on skill and qualifications; train them well.
-Ensure that all vehicles are well maintained and safe.
-Provide adequate staffing and barriers separating vehicles from workers on highways and other roadways.
-Use spotters and backup cameras to prevent back-overs.

For more information on work-related vehicle safety, see this CDC PDF.

Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. Workplace violence can occur from customers or from co-workers.

Each year, nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence; many more surely go unreported. Certain jobs obviously increase one’s risk of violence, such as exchanging money with the public, working alone or in isolated areas, or working where alcohol is served. Additionally, other factors may contribute, no matter what the jobs, such as working late at night or in areas with high crime rates. Although workplace violence is not often thought of when recounting what constitutes workplace injuries and death, it is a significant portion of the thousands of incidents each year in the US.

According to OSHA, some ways to prevent workplace violence are:

-Implement a workplace violence prevention program, including written protocols, training, and preparedness workshops.
-Ensure adequate staffing levels in dangerous locations and at dangerous times.
-Make use of protective safe barriers, key cards, and door locks.
-Establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence.

Contact with Objects and Equipment

Moving machine parts are responsible for large portion of work-related injuries, and some work-related deaths. Although factory jobs have decreased over the last couple of decades, the threat remains. Contact with objects and equipment have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands; burns; broken bones, backs, and necks; blindness; or nearly any other injury. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries.

According to OSHA, some ways to prevent injuries and deaths from work-place objects and equipment are:

-Replacing outdated equipment with modernized machines to take advantage of current, safer technologies.
-Eliminate unnecessary hazards where possible.
-Train workers to the highest degree possible and encourage best-practice protocols.
-Keep equipment that requires multiple people well-staffed.
-Encourage employees to use the proper equipment and practices, even if takes longer.


Slips, trips, and falls can occur on ground level, or from very high heights, depending on the nature of the work. Both can cause serious injury and death. When it comes to falling, spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries are often involved. When these vital organs play a role in an injury, the results are likely to be serious.

Falls are the top cause of construction fatalities and account for one-third of on-the-job injury deaths in the industry. Each year in the U.S., more than 200 construction workers are killed, and over 10,000 are seriously injured, by falls. In addition to construction job falls, many more employees slip, trip, or fall while working in places like retail stores, nurseries, on farms, or in jobs requiring lots of walking like delivery drivers.

Ways to prevent slip-and-falls on the job, include:

-Identify high-risk situations and heights in your workplace, then implement safeguards.
-Install railings and hand-railings, even in places that seem unlikely to cause a fall.
-Provide adequate protection, including guarded work platforms, harnesses and other fall arrest equipment.
-Implement prevention programs to train workers on height safety.
-Always clean up and spills or slip hazards.

Exposure to Harmful Substances

If you do not use chemicals to do your job, it may surprise to you find out that many hundreds of thousands of Americans use a wide variety of chemicals every day. While many of these chemicals are suspected of being harmful, only a small number are regulated in the workplace. As a result, workers suffer more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths annually related to chemical exposures. Workplace chemical exposure has been linked to a wide range of cancers and a wide range of other diseases affecting the lungs, kidneys, skin, heart, stomach, brain, nerves, and reproductive organs.

Chemicals can take many forms, and are found in almost every workplace in America. Harmful substances in workplace can be cleaning products such as toilet cleaners, disinfectants, mildew remover and chlorine bleach; art supplies, such as paint thinner and pottery glazes; shop supplies, such as parts de-greasers and cleaning solvents; and office materials, such as photocopier toner.

Ensure employees do the following to protect them against harmful workplace chemicals:

-Follow the directions and precautions listed on the label.
-Always use protect gear.
-Always dispose of a chemical properly.
-Reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals whenever possible.
-Maintain adequate ventilation systems to reduce concentrations of airborne chemicals.
-Practicing good personal hygiene and maintain regular workplace cleaning routines.
-Introduce administrative controls to minimize exposure to chemicals.
-Maintain equipment in good order to prevent leaks and breakdowns that may release toxic substances.

Fires and Explosions

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fires and explosions account for 3% of workplace fatalities each year. From factory explosions to kitchen fires, there is a very real threat of serious injury or death from this workplace hazard.

According to OSHA, ways to prevent workplace fires and explosions, include:

-Practice good workplace housekeeping by eliminating clutter and maintain access to exits and emergency equipment.
-Dispose of flammable materials properly and on a regular basis.
-Maintain machinery to prevent overheating and friction sparks.
-Report any electrical hazards.
-Use and store chemicals safely.
-Read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards.
-Ensure proper and adequate ventilation when using dangerous chemicals and substances.
-Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment, or emergency exits.
-Teach employees how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

[Click here to read more about filing a wrongful death or workers’ compensation claim.]

Dolman Law Group

Unfortunately, thousands of employees are left maimed, injured, and/or disabled every year because of workplace hazards and accidents. Additionally, thousands of families are left devastated when their loved one leaves for work and never returns home. These accidents can be prevented and employers should be taking every step possible to do so.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a work-related accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and/or a wrongful death suit. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group are experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys who are prepared to review your case and assist you with the process which will make certain that you receive all of the compensation you are entitled. A consultation is free, so please do not hesitate to call our office today at (727) 451-6900.