Thursday, November 29, 2018

Clearwater Diffuse Axonal Traumatic Brain Injuries

Clearwater Diffuse Axonal Traumatic Brain Injuries claim lawyer

Diffuse Axonal Traumatic Brain Injuries

Many accidents can result in someone suffering a head injury that can range from a mild bump to a full-blown fracture of the skull depending on the circumstances. Regardless of the perceived severity of a head injury, they should always be taken seriously and examined by a doctor. A head injury can potentially damage a person’s brain which classifies it as a traumatic brain injury. Among the many kinds of traumatic brain injury, diffuse axonal injuries rank among the most severe.

What is a Diffuse Axonal Injury

As mentioned before, a diffuse axonal injury falls under the category of traumatic brain injuries which are a type of brain injury that causes damage to a person’s brain via an outside force acting on the brain like blunt impacts or violent shaking. In the case of diffuse axonal injury, the damage done to the brain is not done with a physical impact like a concussion but rather a violent jerking or shaking which causes the shearing of axons against the bony surface inside of the skull. Axons are the long connecting fibers that receive and send electrochemical signals and make up the brain and nerves.
Diffuse axonal injuries are one of the most common of traumatic brain injuries mostly because the forces that cause a diffuse axonal injury can cause other traumatic brain injuries like a coup-contrecoup injury or even a concussion.

Symptoms of a Diffuse Axonal Injury

The shearing of the brain’s axons due to acceleration and deacceleration of the brain against the inside of the skull results in massive damage to the brain and consequently causes issues with cognitive function. When someone suffers a diffuse axonal injury their life can be put in danger by the swelling caused by the damage done to the brain. Brain swelling can cut off blood passages in the brain and cause even more brain cells to die.
What diffuse axonal injury symptoms manifest depends on exactly which part of the brain was injured and developed lesions due to the axonal shearing. The most immediate sign of a diffuse axonal injury is unconsciousness that can last six or more hours with more extreme cases resulting in a coma or vegetative state.
Diffuse axonal injury symptoms common after someone regains consciousness include:
  • Confusion and Disorientation
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness and Fatigue
  • Sleeping Issues
  • Dizziness 
  • Loss of Coordination

Diagnosing a Diffuse Axonal Injury

In order to diagnose a diffuse axonal injury accurately a series of tests will typically be run in order to pinpoint the type of brain injury as well as the extent and area of damage. These tests will usually be ran in response to the traumatic cause and the red flag symptom of diffuse axonal injuries that as prolonged unconsciousness. These tests can include Magnetic Resource Imaging(MRI), CT Scans, Evoked Potentials that examine the visual, sensory and auditory paths to the brain, and Electroencephalogram(EEG). These tests all measure and image the brain to determine what may be causing suspicious symptoms.

Treating a Diffuse Axonal Injury

The treatment of a diffuse axonal injury begins with the immediate concern of reducing any swelling to save a patient’s life. This will usually be done with steroids and other medications. Other than that there isn’t much that can be done in the way of treatment when it comes to diffuse axonal injuries. The damage that is done by this kind of brain injury is typically permanent and cannot be repaired with surgery or some other procedure.
After ensuring that someone’s life is no longer in danger because of brain swelling, the next course of action when it comes to diffuse axonal brain injuries is therapy and rehabilitation. While the damage to the brain cannot be outright repaired, the symptoms caused by the damage can be managed and adjusted to with the use of therapy and rehabilitation.
Some of the ways this is done is via:
  • Speech therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Adaptive equipment training
  • Counseling

Common Causes of a Diffuse Axonal Injury

The most common cause of many diffuse axonal injuries is motor vehicle accidents like car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. These tend to have the required forces that can impact a skill and jerk it around in a motion that causes diffuse axonal injuries. Other common causes of diffuse axonal injuries include:
  • Violent Attacks or Assaults
  • Trips and Falls
  • Sports Accidents
  • Child Abuse, such as Shaken Baby Syndrome

Diffuse Axonal Injuries and Personal Injury Claims

The effects of a diffuse axonal injury are life-altering and put someone that suffered said injury through a great deal of pain and suffering. When someone suffers an injury such as this because of the negligence of a party that can be held liable like a business or organization then the injured individual may be able to seek compensation for the damages they suffered in a personal injury claim.
The assistance of an attorney well versed in the effects of a diffuse axonal injury can make a personal injury claim based on receiving compensation for such an injury, go smoothly. Going at it without a lawyer drastically reduces a claim’s chance for success and can vastly reduce the amount one receives in a settlement if any at all.

Seek an Experienced Clearwater Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

Traumatic brain injuries not only can debilitate an individual physically, but they also can cause life-altering changes in a victim’s mental health and personality. Traumatic brain injuries often occur when a person slips and falls, in car accidents, and in motorcycle accidents, and those who are the victim’s of the injuries are usually not the ones responsible for the accident.
If you, a loved one, or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of another party’s negligence, contact Dolman Law Group’s proven team of experienced traumatic brain injury lawyers. Call 727-451-6900 for a free and confidential consultation today, or fill out our online contact form here.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Understanding Lyft Insurance Claims

Lyft is Uber’s most significant competitor, and although its platform is smaller than Uber’s, Lyft rewards drivers for opening accounts; after 25 - 100 rides, the driver receives a lump sum; riders can tip the driver through the Lyft app, and the money the driver makes in one day can also be deposited that very day. In other words, there are signs that Lyft, as a company, is making money, will be around for the long haul, and will continue to have individuals signing up as drivers.

However, when it comes to Lyft’s passenger insurance policy protections, things get a bit more complicated. The policy guidelines of Lyft’s insurance coverage can be downright challenging. Riders may also find the coverage insufficient. Here’s how.

Lyft’s Coverage Distinctions

Lyft uses a structure in which they identify two distinct periods of the driver’s Lyft ride experience. They are:

Period 1 - The driver looks online and waits for a request. During this time, the Lyft vehicle is not covered for collisions, and the driver has much lower liability limits. The driver will probably not receive coverage from his or her personal insurance company during this time, as well.

Period 2 - The period from when the driver accepts the request until the end of the ride. During this period, Lyft drivers have $1,000,000 in liability coverage (per accident), uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (the amount of which varies by state) and “contingent” collision and comprehensive coverage that cover the driver’s vehicle. This last coverage is called “contingent” because it applies only if the driver also has identical coverage under their own auto insurance policy.

What About Drivers’ Personal Insurance?

Ride sharing companies, also known as a Transportation Network Company (TNC), have not entirely addressed all the gaps that currently exist in the industry’s insurance coverage efforts. And still, each state’s law will influence how coverage is determined. Lyft drivers are considered by the company to be independent contractors. By treating its drivers this way, Lyft seeks to deny responsibility for its drivers’ accidents.

In most cases, someone driving his or her personal vehicle for commercial activities (which includes ride sharing programs) can face their insurance company’s exclusions of one kind or another. Steven Weisbart, who is a senior vice president and chief economist at the Insurance Information Institute, says:

We have, essentially, a commercial activity on the one hand, a personal activity on the other. Private policies cover personal [but] exclude commercial, and that’s pretty conventionally settled across — as far as I know — across every state.

The Lyft Company’s Insurance

Once a driver has accepted a rider and is driving to pick up the passenger, Lyft furnishes $1 million in primary liability coverage for any damage caused by the driver. Lyft supplies another $1 million in coverage for a collision with an underinsured or uninsured driver. These are used as primary coverage, so if the driver has a separate commercial insurance policy, he or she may be the responsible party for payment.

Lyft driver’s cars are covered during the time the passenger enters the vehicle and is dropped off. During this period, Lyft will be responsible for the driver’s automobile in case of collision or a comprehensive claim, such as vandalism. This only happens, however, if the driver has his or her own comprehensive and accident policies.

After an accident, Lyft advises drivers to call the company and contact their insurance company, as well. It also asks that drivers furnish their personal insurance documents as evidence if required while on the accident scene. Lyft does ask that drivers have an auto insurance policy.

When a Passenger Suffers Injuries

How easy is it for passengers to reach a settlement when they have been involved in a Lyft accident? The answer is dependent on several conditions. By that we mean there are conditions to be considered before a settlement can be reached, such as:

  • Which driver was at fault?
  • In what period of the ride did the accident occur?
  • What types of injuries ensued?
  • Whose insurance will apply?

Another fact to be aware of is that organizations like Lyft (that now have approximately 700,000 drivers) are able to maintain an army of highly-experienced attorney teams whose sole purpose is to defend the enterprise from any liability.

What to Do After a Lyft Accident

If you have experienced a car crash while you were a passenger in a Lyft-driver’s vehicle, your response after the collision will be much like the actions you take if you are in a car wreck in your own vehicle, such as:

  • Getting the names and contact information of everyone involved
  • Obtaining insurance details from everyone involved
  • Asking witnesses for their contact information
  • Photographing the scene if you are able
  • Calling 911, if it has not already been done, when the crash included bodily injury or any property damage that is more than minor
  • Alerting police after any Lyft accident
  • If necessary, obtaining a copy of the police report
  • Making sure that all the information concerning the investigation is accurate

As with any accident that occurs, some Lyft-driver accidents have resulted in severe injuries to the passengers in the crash. Injuries from a collision can include:

  • Spinal cord issues
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones, and even more egregious results

Call an Experienced and Knowledgeable Attorney

At Dolman Law Group, Clearwater, we represent clients who have been involved in a crash while riding with a Lyft driver. The complexities of working toward getting the proper compensation for your injuries can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with a relatively new industry like ride-sharing.

Fortunately, our personal injury attorneys have experience in this field. And, even though the laws and regulations surrounding this industry continue to shift and change, our skilled team is steady and works hard to keep up on the latest developments.

Dolman Law Group, Clearwater’s initial consultation is free, and in appropriate cases we work with our clients on a contingent fee basis in which we only receive fees if we recover a settlement or judgment in our client’s favor. Reach out to our attorneys today using our online contact form or call (727) 451-6900 to schedule your free consultation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Florida Road Trip Safety

 Florida Road Trip Safety car accident injury claim lawsuit

Staying Safe on your Florida Road Trip

Florida is one of the most heavily traveled states in the entire country. The Florida tourism industry is the largest in the state and saw 33.2 million visitors pass through in the first three months of 2018 alone. Many of these visitors undertaking long road trips arrive via car and have to traverse the many highways and interstates that make up our state’s road system.
As the many visitors and native resident’s of Florida travel these roads for long periods of time, they are likely to see at least one car accident on the side of the road. Many of the worst accidents in Florida occur on Interstates like I-75 or I-4. High speeds, large concentrations of cars, and monotonous driving increase the risk of accidents occurring on these dangerous roads where many taking road trips frequent.
When going on a road trip it is important to remember the risks of driving through Florida for long periods of time. The longer you’re on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in a car accident so follow these helpful tips when preparing to embark on your road trip or long distance drive.

Distracted Driving Causes Car Accidents

One of the largest contributors towards the number of car accidents in the state of Florida and even the whole country is distracted driving. This can encompass a multitude of things like eating while driving or rubbernecking while passing another car accident. The largest source of distracted driving is smartphone use. Too many people die every year on the road when they value the answering of a text message or updating of a facebook status over driving safely without distraction. It only takes one look away at a mobile device to miss a car switching into your lane or slamming the brakes.
People going on road trips can be especially more at risk to take a peek at a mobile device when they should be focused on driving. Long hours on the road can lead to boredom and the temptation to relieve that boredom by using a phone or similar electronic device. Something as small as just changing a song on a music playlist can be risky since every second with your eyes off the road at high speed is several feet traveled completely blind. Accessing an electronic device with it held up so that you have the road in front of you in the background does not eliminate risk. Focusing on a small mobile phone screen can narrow your peripheral vision by over half.

Preparations to Make To aVoid Distracted Driving

Don’t take the risk. Prepare playlists ahead of time so that you won’t need to change or search for music. Get toll money ready beforehand or invest in Sunpass. Have your navigation set up so that you don’t have to look up destinations on the road. If possible, set your phone to airplane mode while you drive to avoid any distracting messages and keep your phone out of reach.

Drowsy Driving is Dangerous

It goes without saying that driving under the influence is dangerous and likely to cause a severe car accident. What many people do not know is that driving while exhausted, fatigued, and drowsy can be just as dangerous. When driving long distance, many people can feel pressured to continue driving long past their limit. People have destinations that they need to make it to in time or they may feel that they can drive longer than recommended.
When someone drives drowsy they lose motor coordination, their judgment is negatively affected, their reflexes decrease, and their perception suffers. Those things may sound familiar since they are very similar to the effects of alcohol consumption when driving.
You don’t necessarily need to feel sleepy. The simple act of driving long hours through monotonously flat and empty Florida roadways can have a fatiguing effect as well. When someone feels that they are beginning to fatigue while driving on their road trip, they should consider pulling over as soon as possible and resting. Taking turns driving with another member of a trip is recommended if possible. If you absolutely have to drive then keeping yourself lucid and awake can be done with a bit of coffee, energy drinks, and even some soda to a degree.

Be Aware of Reckless Drivers

Florida roadways are notorious for reckless driving. Keep an eye on your fellow drivers and maintain a policy of defensive driving. While driving on an interstate keep an eye on your rearview mirror for speeding cars wishing to pass you or switch into your lane. Some drivers do not pay attention to vehicles that may switch lanes at the same time as them or may be in their blind spot. If you are taking your time on your road trip then try driving in the far right slow lane. The fast lane is where some of the worst instances of reckless driving and road rage occur.

Seek an Experienced Clearwater Car Accident Attorney

Have you or a loved one been involved in a car accident while on a road trip? Consider contacting Dolman Law Group about receiving a free consultation on your potential claim. Car accidents can have lifelong repercussions, ranging from significant health issues to heavy financial burdens. It is vital to have a qualified advocate ready to walk you and your family through the litigation process.
The court system can be tricky to navigate, and insurance companies are skilled in ending the process as quickly and cheaply as possible, which can be problematic if your injuries or health care needs are more extensive than you know. If you or a loved one has suffered through a car accident, the Dolman Law Group is here to help you obtain the results you need. The Dolman Law Group includes the premier personal injury lawyers in the Clearwater area, and we stand ready to fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve.
Contact us online or call (727) 451-6900 today for a FREE consultation.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

Friday, November 9, 2018

Primary Causes of Ride sharing Accidents

Ride sharing has gained popularity in recent years with travelers and urban dwellers relying on companies like Uber and Lyft to get them where they need to go safely and quickly. Proponents of using these companies argue that ride sharing companies increase safety by taking more drivers off the road, especially late at night. Yet, ride sharing companies have gained media attention for drivers who have caused accidents.

If you were injured in a ride sharing accident in Clearwater, you will likely need to go to the doctor immediately, file a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, and contact a personal injury attorney for guidance on next steps. Causes of ride sharing accidents are very similar to any other vehicle accidents, but ride share drivers have a duty of care to make sure their passengers arrive safely to their destination without injury. Primary causes of ride sharing accidents include the following:

Distracted Driving

Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) defines distracted driving as “anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or mind off driving.” Eating, talking on a cell phone, texting, or adjusting a radio are all distractions that may lead to accidents. While these things might distract a ride share driver, meeting passenger needs creates the largest distraction for ride share drivers. Often times a driver must find a new address, so they might adjust their GPS or make a phone call to get directions, pulling their attention away from driving safely.

It’s not only the Uber or Lyft driver that might drive distracted. In fact, the most common type of distraction in Florida is inattentive driving, causing more than 34,000 crashes in 2017. Other drivers who are texting, using their phones, putting on makeup, eating, or adjusting their radio or GPS might also crash into a ride share vehicle and cause injury.


Ride share passengers are in a hurry to get to their destination and ride share drivers have the same sense of urgency to get passengers to their destination. Ride share drivers are paid by the mile, so the faster they drive, the more miles they get in during a day’s work. Speeding alone doesn’t necessarily lead to a ride share accident, but the behaviors that come with it often do. For example, when a ride share driver is going too fast for conditions, he or she might lose control on wet or poorly maintained roads. Similarly, speeding leads to other traffic violations such as failing to yield and accidentally blowing through stop lights or stop signs. All of which may result in a serious accident.

Driver Fatigue

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 7 percent of all crashes and 16 percent of all fatal crashes involve fatigued drivers that are “drowsy driving.” Driver fatigue is especially rampant among those who carry commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL). Although Uber and Lyft drivers are not required to have a CDL, they do spend their day driving like a taxi driver, truck driver, or any other person that drives as a source of income.

Ride share companies hire drivers as independent contractors who can work as little or as much as they want and the government does not heavily regulate the industry like they do with truckers. In the spring of 2018 Uber began to limit drivers to 12-hour shifts with a minimum six-hour break in between and Lyft’s policy is no more than 14 hours without a six-hour break. Drivers who want to go around these rules drive for both companies and are still driving while fatigued, getting into accidents, and putting lives in danger.

Driving Under the Influence

As independent contractors that don’t hold a commercial driver’s license, ride share drivers are exempt for the random drug and alcohol tests that other drivers and industries must undergo. Uber and Lyft have strict no-tolerance policies and encourage passengers to report drivers if they think they are under the influence. Exact data is hard to come by because ride sharing is a new, but anecdotal evidence supports the fact that ride share drivers are driving impaired and causing accidents. A recent case involves a driver in Denver with a history of alcoholism and prison time. Further, the State of California recently fined Uber more than $1,000,000 for impaired drivers.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Uber and Lyft require inspections of a new driver’s car to make sure it’s not too old, has at least four doors and five seats, and has seat belts for each passenger. Ride share companies do not require safety inspections and responsibility for vehicle maintenance lies squarely on the shoulders of the driver. When drivers don’t adequately maintain their vehicles, multiple things may lead to an accident. Here are some common poor vehicle maintenance scenarios:

  • Not changing and filling fluids including oil, water, and antifreeze will result in engine failure at some point, which can lead to stalls in the middle of busy streets and highways that might result in a collision.
  • Not changing or rotating tires as needed will result in a blowout, most likely causing a ride share driver to lose control of the vehicle and have an accident.
  • Not changing brake pads, rotors, or drums when necessary will result in brake failure, which can lead to a treacherous accident on a busy street or highway.

Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

If you have sustained an injury in a ride sharing accident, you might be entitled to recover damages, so it can be important to contact a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Accident injuries often create additional emotional, physical, and financial stress. A qualified attorney can fight to get the best outcome for your situation, investigate, your accident, talk to witnesses, and guide you through the court process, which is often complicated in Florida because of no-fault insurance laws. Email the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater or dial (727) 451-6900 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900

Friday, November 2, 2018

What to do After a Florida Boating Accident

Florida Boating accident aftermath lawsuit injury claim

Steps to Follow After a Boat Accident

Boating accidents are becoming increasingly common in the state of Florida. Florida had 766 boating accidents in 2017, 52 more accidents than in 2016. However, there was no change in the number of fatalities. A total of 67 people lost their lives last year in boating accidents. People can be found experiencing collisions year round and suffering injuries. Florida’s peninsular shape and warm climate year-round make it a veritable boater’s paradise. With the sheer amount of boaters hitting the water and the general lack of requirements needed to take a boat out, boating accidents tend to happen more frequently here than anywhere else.
Most people have a basic understanding of how to approach a car accident but boat accidents present their own unique set of challenges. The actions you take in the aftermath of a boating accident and how you take those actions will determine how successful a possible claim will be.

Immediately After a Boat Accident

The first and most important thing in any accident situation is to concern yourself with your safety and health. A boating accident often puts those involved into a state of shock in the immediate moments following a collision. It is important to act quickly and assess whether you or anyone else involved in the accident has been injured and is everyone's safety is ensured on the boat.

What to do if Someone is Seriously Injured

If someone in your party is seriously injured as the result of a boating accident, one of the first things you will need to do is to stop the bleeding if they have been cut. If you suspect a head, neck, or spinal injury, it is important that you keep the injured person immobilized and comfortable until help arrives.
Help to manage their pain until you can get them medical attention, and make sure that they stay hydrated; dehydration can occur quickly when out in the sun and can make their condition worse. Remember that medical assistance must be provided to injured individuals when possible and needed. Failure to provide appropriate medical assistance can result in criminal charges, and imprisonment.

Assess the Boat’s Integrity After a Collision

Once you have addressed the health of those involved in the accident then you should move on to assess the state of any watercraft involved in the boating accident. Low-speed boat collisions are similar to a fender bender and generally will not cause a boat to capsize or spring a leak. However, there have been plenty of instances where someone assumes their watercraft is fine only to realize down the line that they have been slowly taking on water or that some integral component has been knocked loose. Don’t take the chance and find out your boat is sinking later. Move your watercraft out of boat traffic and do a full inspection to verify that you are ok. High-speed boat collisions can do a lot of damage to watercraft that is pretty obvious.
If your watercraft has been compromised, do not be afraid to request to board another more stable craft. If possible, call the coast guard to report the accident. They can arrive to provide assistance and record the information on the accident which will come in handy down the line.
A Florida boating accident report must be filed when at least one the following incidents occur:
  • Death of one or more individuals
  • Disappearance from the boat under circumstances indicating death or injury
  • Occurrence of injury that requires more medical attention than basic first aid
  • Damage to boats and other property totaling $2,000 or more

Collecting Evidence of a Boat Accident

You should prioritize your safety in the event of a boating accident but if possible, try to collect some evidence. Naturally, you will want to get all the basic information on your accident such as:
  • The Names, addresses, and contact info of everyone involved in the accident
  • The registration or identification number of the other vessels involved in the accident.
  • Insurance company names and the insurance policy numbers of those who were involved in the accident.
  • The exact time and location of the accident

It is also a good idea to get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident if possible. Pictures of an accident scene can aid your case down the line. Video can be helpful as well and in some cases be even better than photos.

What You Say After a Boat Accident Affects Your Case

Just like with many accidents where the question of liability is a major concern, being careful about what you say is integral to any boat accident claims down the line. When reporting the accident and even just speaking to the others involved in the accident do not apologize or say anything incriminating. Even if you know that you contributed to an accident the other parties involved may have had a hand in it as well so it’s best to remain tight-lipped and volunteer only the most necessary of information. Even something as simple as apologizing can come back to bite you later since it can be interpreted as an admission of fault.

Were You Injured in a Boating Accident?

If you or a loved one are injured in a boating accident, it is vital that you get immediate medical attention. Even if you feel fine, your injuries may be more serious than you realize. In particular, head injuries may not immediately show symptoms; however, serious complications can arise as time progresses.
If the injuries you or a loved one acquired in a boating accident are a result of another boater’s negligence, you should seek legal counsel immediately. Contact us at (727) 451-6900 to learn how our experienced attorneys have been able to help victims of boating accidents, and what compensation you may be entitled to under the law.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Breaking Down Medical Expenses of a Car Accident

How Much are Car Accident Injury Medical Expenses?

After being involved in an accident, those involved have to contend with a torrent of issues. Cars need to be repaired. Insurance companies need to be contacted. Most importantly, injuries need to be addressed. The sooner this is done the better but that much easier said than done. Medical bills for injuries sustained in a car accident are anything but cheap to deal with. To be fair, any significant injury is anything but cheap in today’s current healthcare environment.
Some that experience a car accident injury start to make inquiries into medical care and discover that their treatment will likely go far beyond a visit to a doctor and a prescription for some pills. Depending on the injury medical care can be surprisingly extensive in its content and by extension, complex in terms of expense. There are some things that should be taken into account by every injured car accident victim when they seek medical assistance.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident then consider contacting Dolman Law Group about a consultation on a possible claim. In some cases, you may have the ability to seek compensation for the damages that you suffered as a result of an accident caused by a driver’s deliberate negligence. Matt Dolman and the Dolman legal team will discuss the legal options available to you so that you may be able to deal with your accident injuries with a bit `more peace of mind.  

Aspects of Car Accident Injury Treatment and Their Expense

We all try to do our best to avoid an injury and ever have a reason to walk into a hospital or similar medical service provider. Unfortunately, accidents happen completely unforeseen and put you in a spot where you need medical help yet you might not have experience on what to do, where to go, or how much things should cost.
One of the things that catch many people who are injured for the first time in car accidents is how much an ambulance can cost. When you are injured to the point that you need an ambulance you don’t consider the cost at all during the moment since your health hangs in the balance. Most people don’t realize that these ambulances can run over $1000 and even go up as much as $2000.

Where to go For Post Car Accident Medical Care

You may not always have to worry about the ambulance since many injuries cannot be life threatening although they do require treatment eventually. You may not even realize that you have an injury since symptoms can sometimes be delayed like with whiplash or a soft tissue injury. Eventually, you will have to contend with your injury which means seeing some form of medical professional. Which form you choose is up to you and the nature of your injury. Some may choose to see their primary care provider about a suspected case of whiplash. Others will choose to visit an urgent care clinic to determine whatever pains they might be feeling in their back. Lastly, someone may choose to go to a hospital emergency room. An important thing to note is that out of all of these options, the hospital is usually the most expensive by far.
Which of these options you will take up depends on your injury. If an injury is life threatening then by all means, get to the nearest hospital. They are open 24/7 and have the expertise and equipment needed for complex life-saving treatment.
If you have an injury that’s not quite life-threatening then you may want to consider an urgent care clinic. If you do something like suffer a large cut, broke some fingers, or just want an examination then a clinic can be a good choice if one is open. They are usually not open 24/7 have less specialized equipment and won’t be the right choice if you smashed your skull open but they will cost a couple hundred dollars in comparison to the thousand a hospital will charge for the same thing.  
Lastly, there's your primary care physician. The best option for a full medical examination after an accident so you can be thorough and catch anything lying beneath the surface. A primary care physician will often refer to a specialist like an orthopedist or neurologist depending on whatever injury they suspect you have sustained.

Additional Treatment Costs of Car Accident Injuries

When you are being treated there are a variety of things that can stack up and significantly increase your medical expenses. When you are being treated, you will likely need to have tests done and this could mean only a few or a lot of tests which can add a good amount of money. Things like simple blood tests can be modestly priced but things like MRI’s and advanced radiology technology can cost a pretty penny.
Next, you will likely be prescribed some kind of medication. Medication may not seem too expensive at first but depending on your injury, you could be needing to fill a prescription for some time and that can add up.
What drives up medical expenses more than anything is recurring costs. Like the aforementioned prescriptions, things like recurring checkups, physical therapy, and tests can drive up the costs of your medical bills over time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking short term. Ask whoever is treating you about the long-term implications of your injury and what could happen should it have any complications.

Injured in a Car Accident? Contact a Clearwater Car Accident Lawyer at Dolman Law Group

If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision, you might qualify for financial compensation for your injuries. The key will be whether you can show the person who struck you was at fault for the crash. Often, when drivers speed, they are engaging in reckless behavior which makes them legally accountable for other people’s injuries.
In Florida, few law firms can match our depth of experience and dedication to our clients. We have helped hundreds of clients reach favorable settlements or jury verdicts. To schedule a free consultation to talk about your injuries, please call 727-451-6900 or submit our contact sheet. Avoid delay.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

Friday, October 12, 2018

SCI Costs: The Expense of Living With Spinal Cord Injuries

No doubt you’ve known at least one person in your life who’s experienced spinal cord injuries that led to them becoming a paraplegic. How they ended up this way was most likely due to some form of accident, possibly through a car accident.

These people may not like discussing their life-altering injuries with you. Even so, there isn’t a doubt that the expense of living with SCI is beyond devastating. What would happen if you ended up with similar paralysis due to a car accident? Would you know what to do when facing likelihood of overwhelming medical bills?

If this recently happened to you, we’re here to help at Dolman Law Group.

SCI Statistics

Here in Clearwater, we see far too many car accident scenarios where the victim becomes paralyzed for the rest of their life. While places like Florida Health provide a Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program to help people manage injuries after accidents, the costs are still going to add up.

On a national level, 17,500 spinal injuries occur each year, meaning 54 out of every one million people deal with SCI. These statistics don’t account for those who die from SCI after experiencing a major accident. Currently, between 245,000 and 353,000 Americans now suffer from an SCI, with a majority of those from falls. However, car accidents are still a major cause.

With Florida leading the nation in motorcycle and biking accidents, you can see why SCI has become so prevalent. What kind of costs might you encounter living with paralysis?

What Is the Total Cost of SCI?

According to, the total cost of living with SCI can well exceed a million dollars. This sobering number shouldn’t surprise anyone when you add everything involved from an initial hospital stay to lifelong rehabilitation. Keep in mind: this million-dollar cost is just in the first year.

A lot of this is going to depend on the extent of your spinal cord injuries. The site above notes that those with high tetraplegia are ones who see the costs balloon to one million dollars in their first year of treatment. Similar spinal cord injuries include low tetraplegia and paraplegia. These still cost close to half a million dollars within the first year of being diagnosed. Afterward, costs lower somewhat, yet stay well into the six figures when calculating long-term treatment expenses. Ordinary Americans and limited incomes obviously can’t afford this, especially when you can’t work any longer to support your family.

The Initial Surgery

Not long after your car accident occurs, you’ll likely require spinal surgery in an attempt to save your spine. Rarely, surgical procedures may prevent you from suffering paralysis. Most others aren’t so lucky. Spinal surgery alone may cost within the $100,000 range; you may have health insurance to cover part of this, though perhaps not all.

Once other treatments begin, what your insurance doesn’t cover could still swell into the six figures. Even worse is when the insurance company of the driver who hit you refuses to cover your medical expenses due to disputing fault for the accident.

The Cost of Trauma Care

After your medical team realizes you’re facing permanent spinal cord injuries, you’ll likely end up in trauma care for weeks. This could mean a ventilator or related life-support equipment, adding even more to your medical bills. Despite the Christopher and Dane Reeve Foundation reporting hospitalization for SCI has gone down in recent years, these statistics do not include lengthy time spent in rehabilitation centers. Length of stays in rehab have also gone down in recent decades, but nonetheless serve as a major expense for recovering victims.

The foundation statistics also show 30 percent of those with SCI end up having to resort to re-hospitalization at some point in their lives.

How Much Does Rehab Really Cost?

Studies done within the last decade show that first-year rates for most SCI rehab cost over a quarter of a million dollars. As you likely know, rehab is going to continue for the rest of your life in this scenario. You can’t expect to spend time in rehab for a few months and think it’s going to provide a full return to normalcy.

Consider how long and exhausting rehab would be for you and your family. The time it takes to do rehab will obviously cut into your life, and likely make you unable to hold a job again. Without income to help your family, any savings you might have will end up going toward paying for rehabilitation.

Some health insurance policies pay a portion of rehab, but don’t expect 100 percent coverage in these circumstances. Only a large settlement or judgment from the driver who caused your injuries helps cover at least a portion of your rehab costs.

The Cost of In-Home Care and Equipment

You obviously don’t want to live in a nursing home after suffering paralysis. As a result, in-home care is going to become a reality. The costs of this can now exceed well over $125 per day on a median scale. Over a period of years, you can see the costs go into the six figures once again. In addition, you may need to invest in equipment like wheelchairs and other devices those with SCI use to stay mobile. All these costs need documentation to pursue an adequate settlement from a liable party.

Finding a Legal Team for Immediate Help

Contact us at Dolman Law Group immediately if you’ve experienced an accident in Clearwater and may have spinal injuries. Call us at (727) 451-6900 so we can set up a free consultation to discuss your case. We represent clients with passion and dedication, and can start gathering the evidence you’ll need to win the compensation you deserve.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900