Friday, February 24, 2017

Who Is Liable if I Slip and Fall on Someone Else’s Property?

Slip, trip, and fall accidents are some of the most common accident types, happening every year to people of all ages throughout the state of Florida. Liability for a slip and trip accident - and who will be responsible for paying for your medical bills and other losses - depends upon the location of the accident, the circumstances surrounding the accident, and the duty of care that a property owner owes to you.

Property Owners’ Duty of Care

Those who enter onto a property that is not their own are characterized in three different ways under Florida’s law, with each being associated with a different duty of care on the part of a property owner. These are:

  • Invitees. An invitee, as the name implies, is someone who is invited onto a property and therefore has the right to be on that property. There are two types of invitees: public invitees and business invitees. Public invitees are those who are invited, by nature of being a member of the public, to enter public lands and buildings (i.e. parks, post office, etc.); a business invitee is a person who is invited to enter a property for the purpose of conducting some sort of business (i.e. buying groceries).

  • Licensees. Licensees, according to the Florida Bar Association, are “social guests” when the licensees are invited by the property owner to be on the property. A licensee might also be someone who has the legal right to be on the property, but wasn’t expressly invited onto the property by the owner, such the company responsible for checking a utility meter.

  • Trespassers. Finally, trespassers are those who enter the property without license or invitation for their own purposes.

The duty owed to invitees and licensees by property owners is the same: to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition, to correct any hazards on the property that could lead to a slip and fall (or other injury type), and to warn of any existing hazards.

On the other hand, property owners have no duty to a trespasser other than to refrain from causing the trespasser harm willfully or wantonly.

Who Will Pay for My Injuries?

If you slip and fall on someone else’s property and you were on the property as an invitee or a licensee, and the slip and fall occurred as a result of a hazardous condition that the property owner knew or should have known about and should have remedied, then the property owner may be held liable for your damages. If, instead, you were trespassing at the time of the accident or you were on the property legally, but the slip and fall was not caused by a hazardous condition that a property owner should have remedied, then you may be responsible for your own medical bills.

How Our Florida Slip and Fall Law Firm Can Help

At the Dolman Law Group, our experienced Clearwater Attorneys are very knowledgeable about slip and fall laws and know how to best represent you. If you need help recovering compensation after a slip and fall, call our law firm today or contact us online for your free consultation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Surgical Errors that Can Lead to Malpractice Claims

Every surgery – no matter the type – has risks associated with it. Although surgeons generally take every conceivable measure to avoid mishaps during surgical procedures, mistakes still sometimes happen and serious injuries can result. When a surgeon makes a preventable mistake during surgery and personal injuries and damages occur, the injured patient may be able to bring a medical malpractice claim1 against the surgeon and/or the hospital or other treating facility.

If you have sustained injuries and damages as a result of a medical error, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Our experienced Clearwater medical malpractice attorneys have the necessary medical knowledge and legal expertise to assist you with your case every step of the way.

Types of Medical and Surgical Errors
Some of the most common types of medical and surgical errors that result in medical malpractice claims are as follows:

  • Surgeon Error – typically where the surgeon was incompetent or lacked the necessary medical knowledge, training, or experience
  • Neglect – typically where hospital staff failed to sterilize surgical instruments or equipment, resulting in a healthcare-associated infection2 or another injury
  • Poor communication – typically poor communication – or lack of communication – between the surgeon and hospital staff
  • Misdiagnosis or, in some cases, failing to recognize symptoms of distress
  • Poorly-Performed Surgery – including when a surgeon leaves a sponge, towel, or something else inside of a patient prior to completing the surgery
  • Surgeon fatigue – usually from surgeons working long shifts and working for long periods without sleep
  • Failing to inform patients of potential surgical risks
  • Performing unnecessary surgeries – including performing a surgery on the wrong body part or performing an unnecessary procedure to which the patient did not consent
  • Premature discharge – including failing to follow-up with the patient post-surgery

Basis for a Medical Malpractice Claim
In order for an injured patient to prove that a surgeon committed medical malpractice, he or she must prove a breach of the applicable standard of care. A surgeon is held to the standard of care of a reasonable surgeon acting under the same or similar circumstances. An injured patient must establish – usually through expert testimony – that the surgeon breached this standard of care, approximately resulting in injuries and damages.

Potential Damages Available in Medical Malpractice Cases
When a surgeon commits medical malpractice, injured patients may be entitled to recover some or all of the following types of damages:

  • Payment of medical bills
  • Compensation for time missed from work
  • Compensation for past, present, and future pain and suffering
  • Payment for future corrective procedures or surgeries
  • Compensation for mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Compensation for loss of consortium or spousal support

Contact a Clearwater Medical Malpractice Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Despite all of the protocols in place, surgical errors are still all too common, and the results of medical mistakes can be devastating and costly. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys will be able to review your case and symptoms with you in detail, and seek recovery for your injuries and damages on your behalf.

You can contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Dolman Law Group by calling 727-451-6900, or contact us online.

Friday, February 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Day is a Popular Time for Drunk Driving

St. Patrick’s day is that one day each year that we all get to add an O’ to our last name and become honorarily Irish. However, with the fun, the parades, and the green beer come complications and risks, including the inevitable drunk drivers that may be on the roads. Not only is drunk driving illegal1 but it presents a particularly serious risk of injury, and one report indicates that drunk drivers killed a person in the U.S. every 51 minutes on St. Patrick’s Day in recent years.2 Keep the luck of the Irish close and avoid drunk driving accidents on St. Patty’s Day whenever possible.

Drinking and Driving – Always a Bad Combination

The dangers of drinking and driving are well established, but sometimes the excitement of the festivities can get the better of you and affect your judgment. Your best course of action to remain safe is to keep your wits about you and avoid getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol. However, even if you are as careful as you can possibly be, there will always be other people making potentially dangerous decisions that you cannot control. Be encouraging for friends and family members to make safe choices, as well, and keep an eye out for any drivers who seem like they may be intoxicated.

Your Lucky Driving Charms

St. Patrick’s Day is actually one of the most dangerous holidays for drivers. Deceptively, it’s a day just like any other – with all the traffic of a normal day – but it also happens to include a great deal of celebrating and revelry. This year it falls on a Friday, which tends to amp up the no-holds-barred party attitude considerably. There are several safety techniques you can employ when planning your festivities:

  • Avoid driving altogether by celebrating at home with your family;
  • Choose a designated driver – or offer to be one yourself;
  • Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up;
  • Eat your corned beef and cabbage (don’t drink even a small amount on an empty stomach);
  • Help your friends make safe decisions, too; and
  • If you are the designated driver, employ all of your best defensive driving techniques – it’s likely that you are sharing the road with impaired drivers.

It is important to remember that you should always take your driving responsibilities very seriously and this is never truer than on a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day. If you or someone you care about gets involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver on St. Patrick’s Day – or any day – first seek immediate medical attention and then call an experienced drunk driving accident attorney to learn about your legal rights.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Clearwater Today

If you or your loved one is the victim of an accident caused by a drunk or impaired driver in the Clearwater area, do not hesitate to call Dolman Law Group to discuss what happened. Our highly experienced personal injury attorneys are committed to holding drunk drivers and other negligent parties fully liable for their actions and for your losses. Call Dolman Law Group a call today at 727-451-6900 or contact us online.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Who Can I Sue if I’m Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident?

Drunk drivers not only take their own lives in their hands when they get behind the wheel after having too much to drink but the lives of others, too. When a drunk driver loses control of their vehicle and causes an accident, the damages to the other driver, and any passengers, can be significant.

If a drunk driver hits you in Florida and you suffer serious injuries as a result, you have the right to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit. The following considers who you may be able to sue if you are injured in a drunk driving accident:

The Drunk Driver

Clearly, the most obviously liable party in a drunk driving accident case that results in injuries is the drunk driver themselves. Not only may the driver face criminal penalties for their actions, but civil penalties as well. In order to hold the driver liable, you will need to prove their negligence. Remember, negligence doesn’t just mean a violation of a law or statute (i.e having a blood alcohol concentration - BAC - over .08 percent), but the failure to exercise a reasonable amount of care. This means that even if the driver’s BAC was below .08 percent but above 0.0 percent, you may still have a case for impairment and therefore negligence.

The Parents of a Drunk Teen Driver/Owner of the Vehicle that Hit You

If the drunk driver who hit you was a teen, you may be able to hold their parents liable for your damages. Further, you may be able to hold the owner of the vehicle - if it was a party other than the drunk driver - liable. Florida’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine holds that the owner of an “inherently dangerous” tool, such as a vehicle, is liable for any injuries caused by that tool. For teen drivers, parents can be held legally liable for their teen’s actions until that teen is 18.

The Person Who Provided the Alcohol to the Drunk Driver

While dram shop laws rarely apply in Florida, the person who sells or furnished alcohol to a person who then causes an accident based on intoxication may be held liable if:

  • The person who sold/gave the alcohol did so knowing that the recipient was not of legal drinking age; or
  • The person who sold/gave the alcohol did so knowing that the recipient was “habitually addicted” to alcohol.

Helping You to Recover Your Full Compensation Amount

If you are injured by a drunk driving, our experienced Clearwater drunk driving accident attorneys want to help you get every penny you deserve. We will investigate your case to determine who’s to blame and how much money you should be compensated with. Call us today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765