Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Truck Driver Shortage Pressure on Trucking Companies

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Unqualified Truck Drivers and the Truck Driver Shortage

The United States is currently encountering a massive shortage of semi-truck drivers. Not only is there a shortage of these drivers but the demand for shipping via tractor-trailers has increased as well. This problem has been slowly growing over the past twenty years due to a number of factors. Generally, the top contributing factors include the problems with high turnover rates, baby boomer retirement, and dissatisfaction with wages and work hours. Each of these issues has put pressure on trucking companies and therefore created an environment where there is an immense risk of unqualified drivers slipping through the cracks.
When an unqualified driver is hired by a trucking company then everyone that shares the road with them is put in danger. Unqualified semi-truck drivers are at especially high risk of causing a semi-truck accident. By letting these semi-truck drivers work for them, a trucking company is acting negligently and can be held liable in the event that there is an accident.

Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuits

Those that have been involved in semi-truck accidents will likely have sustained severe injuries and will be stuck with extensive medical bills, lost wages, not to mention immense pain and suffering. These kinds of damages can be compensated when a semi-truck accident victim takes legal action by filing a semi-truck accident suit. A plaintiff in one of these claims is tasked with proving that a liable party was negligent and that their negligence directly caused their severe injury. Should they be successful, then they can negotiate a settlement that can cover the damages they suffered.
In order to give yourself the best chance at recovering compensation for the damages that you suffered, then consider hiring an experienced semi-truck accident attorney. Those involved in semi-truck accidents will often have to contend with injuries and handling their recovery. Allow the lawyers of Dolman Law Group to assist you in this difficult time. Our lawyers have a long track record of truck accident cases that have successfully recovered settlements that have helped our clients cover the extensive damages that come with semi-truck accidents.

Why is there a Semi-Truck Accident Shortage?

The shortage of semi-truck drivers hurts shipping rates, it hurts consumers, it hurts trucking companies, and most importantly it can hurt people on the road. Many people underestimate just how difficult of a job truck driving is. A single mistake is all it takes to cause a trailer to jackknife or a turn to result in a rollover. On top of this, truck drivers have to sit behind the wheel of these difficult to maneuver vehicles for extended periods of time where they build up a lot of fatigue.
For this grueling work, truckers are actually paid a decent salary averaging around $65,000 a year but for many that just isn’t enough. Adjusted for inflation, many truckers now earn less than truckers in the ’80s. There is a fairly high turnover rate for truckers that learn just how difficult and dangerous the job really is. On top of these drivers that leave the profession, there is a massive exodus of older drivers that are retiring with very few younger drivers to pick up the slack.

Unqualified Semi-Truck Drivers

It is because of this truck driver shortage that standards for new drivers have actually gone down. New drivers are in such high demand that some trucking companies fast track their new drivers through their training programs. This results in many drivers that will not be as skilled as necessary to provide the quality drivers needed to ensure truck accident chance is kept at a minimum. Unqualified drivers can also include drivers that may have problematic histories of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or past semi-truck accidents.
Substance abuse is a big issue facing truck drivers. They have an exceptionally high chance of suffering from addiction which can hamper their ability to operate their vehicles. It can also affect their general health which is another issue truck drivers face. Many truck drivers have serious health issues caused by the sedentary nature of the job. Truck driving doesn’t give much opportunity to prepare healthy meals or engage in regular exercise so many truck drivers have high cholesterol and diabetes.

Hiring Unqualified Drivers and Other Negligent Trucking Company Practices

Trucking companies may feel pressure from the truck driver shortage and resort to shortcuts in training or hiring or retaining unqualified drivers to work for them. This, of course, is against the law but is also considered negligent. They know that there is an increased risk of an accident occurring because of their actions yet they decide to go through with it anyway. Therefore, they are liable for any accident that results because of their reckless behavior.

Contact a Clearwater Truck Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Truck accidents can cause devastating injuries that are often much more severe than the injuries caused by passenger vehicles. Victims are left with large medical bills and frequently cannot return to their jobs. As a result, victims and their families live under constant stress, which reduces their quality of life and can sometimes tear families apart.
Fortunately, help is available. If the truck driver was responsible for the collision, then you can hold him and his employer legally accountable for your injuries. By bringing a lawsuit for negligence, you can receive financial compensation for your economic and non-economic losses, which will take a huge load off of your shoulders.
At Dolman Law Group, our lawyers have handled dozens of truck accidents and understand how to construct a case from the ground up. We are ready to fight to obtain full compensation for your injuries, and all you need to do is reach out. Our firm offers a free consultation and case evaluation to potential clients. Call 727-451-6900 or fill out our contact form.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

Florida Truck Accident Lawyer

Friday, March 1, 2019

If I Am Hit by an Uber Driver, Who Can I Sue?

Uber has garnered deserved, worldwide popularity since its founding in 2009. The ridesharing company’s convenient and affordable service connects customers with private rides to their favorite locales in and around Clearwater and Pinellas County. Yet, with popularity comes risks and complications. Uber drivers may hit other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists in the course of performing Uber-driving tasks. In fact, because of a lack of regulation in the ridesharing space, Uber drivers who work longer-than-safe hours may run an extra risk of causing accidents.

In this post, we discuss the legal and practical implications of bringing a lawsuit for damages after an Uber driver collides with you while you in your car, on your bike, or on foot. In some cases you may have the right to sue the Uber driver. And, in still other cases, suing Uber (the company) might be an option.

After discussing Uber services in Florida, below we cover the causes of Uber accidents, auto insurance requirements for Uber drivers, and the steps you may need to take before seeking compensation from an at fault party. If you don’t find answers to some of your Uber accident-related questions below, call the experienced ridesharing accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group in Clearwater today at (727) 451-6900. We may be able to help.

Uber Services in Florida

Florida visitors and residents have been able to utilize Uber’s services throughout the state for a number of years. Those who reside in Clearwater can use Uber to go short distances to places like Largo or Pinellas Park, but they can also use Uber to travel longer distances, such as to Ft. Lauderdale or Daytona Beach. Uber has also partnered with some of Florida’s local government and transit authorities to reduce fares, making Uber a viable public transportation option in some locales.

In Pinellas County, for example, Uber has partnered with Pinellas SunCoast Transit Agency’s (PSTA) Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) Program. Pinellas County residents who are economically disadvantaged may request up to 25 free Uber rides per month as long as the ride occurs during the TD Late Shift, which runs during off-peak hours from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Some other Florida cities, such as Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Longwood, and Lake Mary also subsidize Uber rides within city limits.

In addition to the positive developments spurred by Uber’s increased presence across Florida, there have also been some negative consequences. Although exact data is unavailable, dozens of anecdotal stories support the notion that Uber drivers contribute to the 400,000 traffic, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents each year on Florida’s roads and the 17,000 accidents on the roads in Pinellas County.

Causes of Uber Accidents

A wide variety of scenarios might lead to an Uber driver colliding with a motorist, biker, or pedestrian. Each case is different, but many Uber drivers wrestle with one or more of the following factors that increase the risk of an accident:

Drowsy driving. Uber company policy limits drivers to 12 hours of driving per day. You might think this would curb driver fatigue, because drivers must take a mandatory six-hour break after 12 hours of driving. Unfortunately these rules don’t take into account other employment or ridesharing gigs. Ridesharing companies are not federally regulated like the trucking industry, so your Uber driver might have a day job, or she might drive for other ridesharing companies, like Lyft. It’s not uncommon for drivers who work for both companies to sign out of one company’s app and sign into the other’s multiple times during the day.

Distracted driving. Distractions might affect any driver’s attention in their vehicle, but Uber drivers face additional challenges. Distractions can include adjusting the radio, eating, drinking, cell phone usage, and more. Uber drivers are more likely to use a GPS to find their pick up and drop off locations, and they pay constant attention to their Uber and other ridesharing apps while looking for their next fare. Additionally, Uber drivers must deal with passengers who might talk too much or behave in an unruly manner. Uber drivers who work late at night especially must deal with those who have been drinking in bars and restaurants.

Drunk or drugged driving. Uber drivers who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol put others on the road at risk. When drowsy Uber drivers use alcohol or drugs while driving, the likelihood of an accident is even higher. Florida law has a zero tolerance policy for rideshare drivers using drugs or alcohol.

Speeding. When Uber drivers don’t follow traffic laws, it might lead to an accident, but speeding is of special concern for Uber drivers. Passengers are in a hurry to get to their destination and Uber drivers make more money by giving as many rides as possible. This motivates Uber drivers to speed. Speeding isn’t always the cause of an accident, but speeding-related accidents are more likely to cause death or serious injury.

Following too closely. Tailgating is another artifact of Uber drivers and riders being in a rush. Following another vehicle too closely doesn’t give the driver enough distance or time to make adjustments when the vehicle makes an abrupt turn or stop, most often leading to a rear-end collision.

Poor maintenance. Uber drivers who don’t adequately maintain their cars put others at risk. Tire blowouts from not changing tires and loss of braking capabilities from not changing worn brake pads are examples of maintenance items that might cause an Uber driver to lose control of their vehicle and collide with another motorist, cyclist, or pedestrian.

Auto Insurance Requirements for Florida Drivers

Under Florida law, all motor vehicle drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) coverage, but Uber drivers have additional requirements due to a bill passed in 2018. The increasing popularity of ridesharing led to statewide legislation providing for increased minimum insurance requirements for drivers of transportation network companies like Uber. In addition to the PIP and PDL coverage required for all motorists under Florida law, drivers for those companies must now carry the following insurance that covers them at all times they are signed into the ridesharing app:

  • $50,000 minimum death and bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $100,000 minimum death and bodily injury liability coverage per incident
  • $25,000 minimum PDL coverage per incident

In addition, drivers must also carry at least $1,000,000 in liability coverage for the times when they have a passenger in their car. Drivers can obtain these mandatory coverages through a commercial insurer, or through Uber.

Steps to Take After an Uber Driver Hits You

After an accident involving an Uber driver, you can take the following steps to protect your wellbeing and legal rights:

See a doctor immediately.
You might feel okay after a driver hits you, but some injuries do not present with symptoms right away. If you aren’t transported to the nearest hospital by ambulance, head to a local emergency room or visit your doctor in Clearwater as soon as possible. This provides medical documentation for any injuries that you sustained during the accident, which will be important for your insurance company and potential lawsuits.

File a police report. It’s likely that law enforcement was called to the scene of the accident, but if not, it’s advisable, and probably legally required, to file a police report with Clearwater police or with the department where your accident occurred. You should gather as much information as possible including the name, address, license plate, and insurance information from the Uber driver. This information will most likely be on the police report, but it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Take pictures at the scene. If you are physically able, use your cell phone to take photos of damage to your car, the Uber driver’s car, injuries, hazards, and any other things that you think might be useful for your insurance claim or lawsuit.

Report the accident to uber. Uber drivers are supposed to report accidents, but you should also report the accident to the company to document the event. You can report accidents on Uber’s website.

File an insurance claim. Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that before you can take any legal action against an Uber driver or other party, you will need to have filed a claim under your own PIP and PDL policies. If you have a car and carry PIP coverage, it will also cover medical expenses you sustain as a bicyclist or pedestrian. Remember that you must seek medical care within two weeks after an injury for your PIP insurance coverage to apply in most cases. Don’t risk your rights by failing to see a doctor.

Seek legal counsel. Insurance companies don’t stay in business by paying out on every claim and PIP policies only cover 80 percent of medical expenses and 60 percent of lost wages. A skilled personal injury attorney with Uber accident experience can help you through the claims process. Once you have exhausted your PIP limits, you may have the right to file a claim with the Uber driver’s insurance carrier, which is Progressive Insurance in Florida, to recover additional damages.

Seeking Damages After an Uber Driver Hits You

If you sustained serious injuries in an Uber-driver accident, your lawyer might advise you to take legal action against the driver or Uber itself. Under Florida’s no-fault insurance laws, only accidents resulting in serious injuries or wrongful death can form the basis of a personal injury lawsuit in most cases. If your attorney advises you can seek compensation through legal action, some of the damages you may recover include:

  • Medical costs that haven’t been covered by your PIP policy, such as ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, prescription medication, radiology, and surgery.
  • Future medical costs when your injury results in a permanent disability or requires long-term health care for extensive recovery.
  • Lost wages beyond the 60 percent covered by your PIP policy when an injury or hospitalization requires you to miss days, weeks, or even months at your job.
  • Future lost wages when a permanent disability prevents you from returning to your job.
  • Non-economic damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, scarring and disfigurement, and others that might apply to your particular case.

Comparative Negligence in Florida Uber Accidents

If you have been hit by an Uber driver, Florida law may entitle you to seek compensation for your injuries. The amount of damages you may recover in that case will take into account your percentage of fault for the accident. In Florida, courts that a plaintiff partially responsible for his or her injuries will reduce damages by the percentage of the plaintiff’s fault.

For example, if you were speeding at the time of the accident and the court assigns 40 percent of the fault for the accident to you, it will also reduce your potential damages by 40 percent. So, if you claim $1,000,000 in damages in that case, the maximum amount you would be able to recover would be $600,000. An attorney experienced in litigating personal injury claims in Florida courts can advise you on how these so-called comparative negligence rules may affect your claim for damages.

Contact Dolman Law Group in Clearwater After an Uber Accident

At Dolman Law Group, we understand the emotional and financial stress that you might be facing after an Uber driver hit you. Not only must you contend with your own insurance claims, you also face the potential difficulty of sorting through how and when to seek compensation from the Uber driver and, potentially, Uber itself.

We may be able to help you through this challenging time in your life, but it may be important for you to contact us right away. In Florida, you have limited time to take legal action to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact one of the members of our skilled legal team in our Clearwater office at (727) 451-6900 to schedule a free consultation today.

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Failure to Diagnose a Traumatic Brain Injury

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Injury Caused by Traumatic Brain Injury Misdiagnosis

We all rely on the expertise of medical professionals to treat the range of health issues that we may come to suffer. Doctors and many other kinds of medical professionals have to undergo years of schooling and training to become certified for whatever field of practice they are in. Despite this level of preparation, medical professionals still make mistakes and occasionally are negligent when it comes to the care of their patients.
Doctors are human beings and are not exempt from our innate flaw of being prone to error. However, some mistakes that a medical professional makes could have been foreseeable and avoided had they elected to not act negligently. One mistake that doctors make is failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing health conditions like traumatic brain injuries. When this occurs, a patient can suffer an even worse injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury Medical Malpractice Claims

When a doctor makes a medical error that could have been avoided had they taken appropriate action, it is called medical malpractice. Medical malpractice accounts for a massive amount of injuries in the American health system every year and causes significant damages to the affected parties. One of the worst forms of medical malpractice that patients can experience is misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a traumatic brain injury.
Those that suffer injuries because of a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose their traumatic brain injury reserve the right to seek compensation for their unjustly suffered damages through a medical malpractice claim. By proving that a medical professional acted negligently and caused them significant injury, a plaintiff can successfully make a case for receiving a settlement that will cover damages caused by said injury. Such damages can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is when the brain suffers damage because of a blow or jolt to the head. Traumatic brain injuries are all fairly serious and should be addressed immediately by a certified physician. Traumatic brain injury is a blanket term used to refer to a number of brain injuries that can occur. These types of brain injuries are usually characterized by symptoms that revolve around issues with the brain’s cognitive functions and their potential to cause long term damage and complications.

Common Traumatic Brain Injuries

How are Traumatic Brain Injuries Diagnosed?

Traumatic brain injuries are often fairly obvious; at least when they are of moderate severity. Traumatic brain injuries will often involve a blow to the head which every doctor should know to follow up on since the chance of traumatic brain injury when this occurs is high. The circumstances in which a traumatic brain injury occurs can often be a large indicator that someone suffered that kind of injury since traumatic brain injuries will often be suffered in accidents that can cause visible damage to the head like a car accident.
When it comes down to proper detection of a traumatic brain injury, radiology is the best course of action. In order to unequivocally determine that someone has a traumatic brain injury, a doctor may order that brain imaging be conducted. This brain imaging can take a few different radiological forms. The most popular would be CAT, MRI, SPECT and PET scans. This brain imaging technology can directly show the physical damage to the brain. Neurological examinations by a certified physician can be used to evaluate issues with cognitive function that may indicate a traumatic brain injury.

Misdiagnosis of a Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury is not likely to be misdiagnosed in the event that it is severe. It is much more likely that milder traumatic brain injuries may be misdiagnosed since their symptoms are not quite as overt as in severe cases. A doctor can fail to request brain imaging to determine if there may be a brain injury and a traumatic brain injury could go untreated. They may fail to consult with a specialist like a neurologist on a possible traumatic brain injury or they could fail to monitor a patient with suspected traumatic brain injury for further developments in their status.
A doctor has to meet the standard of care when it comes to their diagnosis of an injury. The standard of care is the expected level of professional care given to a patient determined by comparing the average level of care given by doctors across a field and the situation. So if a doctor makes an avoidable mistake that their peers in the same field would typically not then that is considered a breach of the standard of care.
In any case, the effects of not treating a traumatic brain injury no matter how mild can be significantly damaging to a patient. Milder traumatic brain injuries like concussions usually get better with enough time but make the brain more vulnerable as they recover. There is a risk for second impact syndrome which is when someone recovering from a brain injury suffers a blow to their, especially vulnerable head. This causes massive damage that can often prove to be permanent. That is just scratching the surface. Any number of complications can occur if a brain injury is left unmonitored and untreated and these complications can develop into some very damaging health issues.

Discuss your situation with an experienced Clearwater medical malpractice attorney today

If you had a serious condition that was not properly tested and diagnosed and you sustained unnecessary complications or injury as a result, you should call a qualified medical malpractice lawyer to learn about your legal rights and options as soon as possible. Additionally, if you have tragically lost a loved one because a doctor negligently failed to diagnose their serious health condition, you should discuss your rights to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible medical professional.
The highly experienced team of attorneys at the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida have assisted many injured victims to recover in medical malpractice cases. We have the knowledge and resources needed to take on this often complex type of case, so please do not delay in contacting our office for a free consultation by calling 727-451-6900 or using our online contact form today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Don’t Delay a Diagnosis After an Injury

After sustaining an injury in a slip and fall accident, auto accident or workplace accident, many injury victims are hesitant to seek medical treatment. For some, the cost of medical treatment is prohibitive. Others may feel that their injuries are not serious enough. Others are concerned that seeking medial treatment will increase insurance premiums and avoid going to the doctor unless absolutely necessary. However, only qualified medical professionals can accurately diagnose and treat injuries. This is important both to ensure the best recovery possible and also to protect a victim's right to compensation for their injuries. The experienced Clearwater personal injury attorneys at the Dolman Law Group encourage anyone injured in an accident to seek a medical diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible to ensure both the best possible recovery from your injuries—and the best possible legal recovery.

The Medical Complications Associated With Delayed Diagnoses

In general, injuries which are timely diagnosed and treated tend to have better outcomes than injuries with delays in diagnosis or treatment. The Journal of the American College of Surgeons published a study which examined admission records at a European trauma center over a four year period. Of the delayed diagnoses identified, more than half resulted in a delay in treatment. Nearly one in four of these patients required surgery. Even more concerning is that more than half of the delayed diagnoses could have been detected simply by reevaluating the patient.

Other studies have examined the effect of delayed diagnoses on specific types of traumatic injuries. For example, the Journal of Trauma and Injury reported that patients often experience a delay in treatment of occult hip fractures, which are difficult to diagnose by x-ray. The researchers found that patients who experienced a delay in having their hip fracture diagnoses were more likely to have a displacement of the bone. These patients were also nearly three times as likely to require surgery. Surgery exposes patients to an entirely separate set of potential complications, such as allergic reactions to anesthesia, infection, blood transfusions, and other dangers.

In addition, Surgery Today reported on the effects of delayed treatment on children who had suffered perforation of the stomach or bowels as a result of an injury to the abdomen, caused mostly by falls and motor vehicle accidents. The study found that children who were diagnosed quickly had reduced chances of experiencing complications as a result of their injuries. Because these injuries were fatal for nearly ten percent of patients, minimizing the risk of complications was extremely important in victims’ survival. Both adults and children can experience this type of blunt force abdominal trauma in a car accident, a workplace accident, a slip and fall, or other types of accidents.

These are only a few of many medical studies conducted over decades of research that found better outcomes for trauma patients who have early diagnosis and treatment. But the improved medical outcome is only one of the crucial reasons why injury victims should seek immediate medical attention. Timely treatment can also prevent an unfavorable legal outcome in a personal injury case.

The Legal Complications of Delayed Diagnosis

When an injury is caused by a negligent driver, unsafe working conditions, or a hazardous consumer good, victims often have the right to compensation for the financial losses they incur as a result of the accident. These losses can include property damage, lost wages, medical bills, and other documented losses attributable to the injury. Many times, the greatest component of a personal injury award is the victim's pain and suffering.

Insurance claim adjusters often focus on challenging pain and suffering awards as a result. Many adjusters will claim that the victim's pain was caused by pre-existing conditions, underlying injuries, or other factors beyond the defendant's control. If a victim's own actions contributed to his or her pain and suffering, this can be grounds for reducing an award for it.

In many cases, a delay in diagnosis or treatment increases the victim's pain and suffering. Some delays can even limit the treatment options available to the victim. In either event, the insurance claim adjuster is likely to argue the victim made his or her pain and suffering worse by delaying necessary medical treatment. A claims adjuster can, therefore, reduce the value of the victim's claim to only that pain and suffering which was caused by the defendant's negligence - not that caused by the delay in treatment. This also opens the door for the adjuster to challenge other aspects of the claim. For example, if the victim required surgery, the adjuster may claim that this was an avoidable expense that only became necessary because the victim delayed treatment. The best way to avoid this devaluation of a personal injury claim is to seek immediate medical attention and follow all treatment recommendations from health care providers. This can prevent legal challenges that ultimately result in a lower settlement offer or jury verdict for an injured victim who would otherwise be entitled to recover more compensation.

Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys to Aggressively Advocate for Your Legal Right to Compensation

Florida law protects the rights of injury victims to be compensated for their medical bills. They are also legally entitled to be compensated for all other financial losses attributable to a defendant's negligence. Because of this, it is important for injury victims to access all necessary medical treatment without delay. The Dolman Law Group has years of experience protecting the rights of personal injury victims in the Clearwater and surrounding areas. Call us at (727) 451-6900 to set up a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney who can advocate for your rights.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

Monday, February 4, 2019

5 Design Defects That Can Lead to Accidents

Many car accidents are caused by negligent or reckless drivers who do not look out for the safety of others on the road. However, a good number of accidents can be blamed on defective automobile parts. In these situations, neither driver is at fault for the accident. Instead, the fault lies with the manufacturer of the defective part or the manufacturer of the car. If you have been injured in a car accident, you might be able to sue the manufacturer or others for injuries caused by the accident.

Defective Brake Systems

Poorly designed or manufactured brakes can lead to horrifying crashes. One minute you driving down the highway, the next you are frantically pumping on your brakes to no avail in order to avoid hitting cars in front of you. When brakes fail, accidents are sure to follow unless you can somehow slow the vehicle in another way, such as pulling onto a grassy median or crashing into a barrier.

  • Brakes are very complex, and when there is a design defect any of the following could result:
  • Hydraulic lines that leak
  • Brakes that overheat
  • Calipers that crack
No two design defects are the same. However, each will result in a loss of braking ability and an increase in the risk of a traffic accident.

Defective Tires

Tire blowouts can be unexpected and devastating. Drivers who experience a blowout may lose control of the vehicle and struggle to keep it from pulling them into the other lane and into oncoming traffic. Frequently, the driver compounds the problem by overcompensating for the blown tire. As they feel the car jerk, they instinctively pull too hard on the steering wheel. This response can lead to rollovers, which cause many deaths every year.

Tread separation is one cause of tire blowouts. The tread separates from the casing or body, causing drivers to lose control. Sometimes, a mistake in the adhesive chemical compound renders it too weak to keep the tread and casing together. This design defect is avoidable and can lead directly to accidents.

Malfunctioning Windshield Wipers

You need functional windshield wipers to see where you are going. When heavy rain or hail falls, drivers will be blinded unless they can quickly clear the windshield. If your windshield wipers don’t work—or if they work poorly—an accident can quickly ensue.

Of course, not all malfunctioning windshield wipers are defective. For example, windshield wipers won’t work as well when they have ice or snow on them. After a very cold morning, you might need to clear the wiper of ice or frost so that it can wipe properly. Also, the windshield wiper fuse might burn out, which happens over time, and may not necessarily be a sign that the windshield wipers were malfunctioning.

Steering Wheel Failure

In March 2018, Ford recalled 1.3 million cars because the steering wheels might fall off the steering column. In particular, the bolts that join the steering wheel to the column could loosen over time and ultimately fall off, leaving drivers unable to control their vehicles. Had Ford designed its steering column properly, the steering wheel should not have fallen off, and accidents could have been avoided. According to reports, this particular defect caused at least two accidents.

Airbag Defect

Airbags are meant to protect us in a crash. As your vehicle impacts another object, the vehicle slows or stops, but your body continues to move forward. If nothing stops your forward momentum, you can slam your head into the steering wheel, the dashboard, or the windshield. Although a defective airbag rarely causes an accident itself, its failure may increase your chances of suffering a devastating injury in a collision.

  • Defectively designed airbags can fail for many reasons:
  • The crash sensors do not work or were not placed in the proper place.
  • The airbag’s inflation system does not work properly, failing to inflate the bag.
  • The airbag inflation system shoots out metal shrapnel along with the airbag.
  • The airbag inflates too quickly or too slowly.
Motorists can suffer severe injuries to their face, neck, back, arms, and hands. Some victims also die because their airbags were defective.

Proving a Design Defect

To hold the manufacturer legally responsible for your accident, you need to show that the vehicle part was unreasonably dangerous because of a design defect. In Florida, you can prove a design defect by showing that the product did not operate as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when using the product as intended. This is the “consumer expectations test.” Steering wheels that fall off, brakes that fail, and airbags that don’t inflate should easily satisfy this test.

Some confusion continues to exist about whether consumers can also show a design defect by using an alternate test, the “risk-utility” test. The Florida Supreme Court has rejected that test. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has also said that injured consumers can argue that there is an alternative design that is safer than the one used, and defendants can argue that no reasonable alternative design exists. Oddly, these factors have no meaningful role in the consumer expectations test, so it is unclear why the Florida Supreme Court has endorsed their application in a defective products case.

Because this is a very confusing area of law, you need a products liability attorney who understands how the law has developed and where it currently stands. At Dolman Law Group, we have substantial experience in products liability cases and understand the intricacy of these types of case as few law firms do.

Speak With a Clearwater, Florida Products Liability Attorney

Design defects put the safety of the consumer public at risk. Manufacturers must be held accountable when their defective products cause injury or death. If you have suffered an injury and think a defective design may be to blame, contact Dolman Law Group for a free consultation today. Our team of products liability attorneys will advise you of your legal rights and develop a plan for gathering the evidence you need to achieve a favorable outcome. Call 727-451-6900 or fill out our online contact form.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, Florida 33765


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Failing to Seek Medical Care After a Car Accident

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Your Car Accident Claims When You Don’t See a Doctor

An average of 3 million people every year are injured in car accidents. These injuries range from small bumps and bruises to lifelong disabling wounds that can ruin a person’s life. Naturally, people will address these injuries by making their way to a hospital or clinic. This would seem like the logical thing to do but you would be surprised by the number of people that elect to delay their trip to a physician or outright not bother going.
The reasons for this delay in seeking medical assistance are different depending on the case and injured person but the results for a potential car accident claim tend to always be negative. By not seeking medical assistance after being involved in a car accident, a person is figuratively shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to seeking compensation for damages caused by an injury later.

Car Accident Claims and Injuries

People that have been in car accidents that were not their fault and that injured them, reserve the right to file a car accident claim to recover money for damages that they may have sustained because of their injury. Things like lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering damages can be extremely costly for a person but they luckily are damages that can be part of a car accident claim’s settlement.
In order to pursue a car accident claim successfully, a plaintiff must prove that a liable party like the other driver was at fault and that their negligence caused their injuries. Negligence is the failure to do something within reasonable ability to prevent damage done to another person. For example, drinking and driving is a negligent behavior since an accident caused by this would be easily avoidable if the person that was intoxicated had taken proper care to not put others at risk with their drinking and driving.

Failing to Get Medical Help After an Accident and Your Claim

One part of the claim is proving a liable party’s negligence and that negligence’s causing of the plaintiff’s injury. On the other side, a defense will do everything in their power to make a case that the behavior was not negligent and they will also attempt to discredit the root of the claim which is the injury that the plaintiff suffered.
When someone involved in an accident fails to seek treatment immediately after a car accident they risk having their injuries appear less credible. If this happens a defendant will try to reason that since the plaintiff didn’t seek treatment right away after an accident then the injuries were not as serious as they may claim. Every day that goes by after an accident where a plaintiff did not go seek medical care increases the chance that a defendant may effectively call the credibility of an injury into question.

What to do in the Car Accident’s Aftermath

If medical assistance is offered at the scene of the accident from a medical professional, do not turn it down. An insurance company can find out if you did and it can affect your claim. Also when you are speaking to anyone after an accident, remember not to say that you are fine or that you have no injuries. The defense in a car accident claim can dig up the fact that you said something like this and use it against you to decrease the value of your claim.

Delayed Car Accident Injuries

There are many instances where someone may be involved in a car accident and they do not have any symptoms that would indicate that they were injured. They may feel fine for a bit after an accident only to develop certain symptoms later which from the outside can seem like they may not be honest about their injury. An injury can take a day or even a week to start showing symptoms depending on the injury.
The most common of these delayed injuries is whiplash. This injury is caused by the intense jerking motion a drivers neck will experience when they collide with a car. The bones in the neck, as well as its muscle tissue, suffer damage but due to the lingering effects of endorphins and adrenaline released during the accident, a person will not start to feel pain for a period of time. Delayed accidents happen all the time and symptoms taking time to appear is understandable but that should not stop someone getting checked up after an accident regardless. You never know what kind of injuries you may have missed that can actually get worse when you don’t address them right away.

Delayed Symptoms of Car Accident Injuries

After an accident, a person may not experience any symptoms for a bit and then all the sudden will start to feel pain. It is important that you do not ignore these symptoms with the expectation that they will go away on their own. If you experience any of the following symptoms, get examined by a medical professional as soon as possible.
  • Headaches
  • Neck or Shoulder Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Abdominal Swelling or pain
  • Back Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling Sensations in the Extremities
  • Trouble Concentrating

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.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Costs of Medical Treatment after a Motorcycle Injury

Most motorcyclists believe that riding a motorcycle evokes an exhilarating feeling of freedom. Unfortunately, with this freedom also comes a serious risk. Car accidents are horrible as is, but motorcycle accidents present much more fatal risks because there is less protection in the event of a collision. Motorcycles are especially vulnerable to collisions involving cars and in turn, the riders are more exposed to serious or even fatal injuries.

The medical costs of a motorcycle injury can be extremely high, although, as usual, the expense is always relative to the nature of the injury. For example, a head injury would be billed differently from a road rash, muscle injury, and etc. The following is a general overview of possible costs after a motorcycle accident.

Cost Breakdown

According to a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average medical cost of an accident in which the rider suffers brain injury is estimated at $27,671. The average medical cost of an accident in which the rider does not suffer brain injury is estimated at $12,454. This study also highlighted the fact that riders wearing helmets incurred lesser hospital bills than those who were not wearing helmets. Riders wearing helmets amassed an average of $11,164 in hospital bills. While those who did not wear helmets amassed an average of $17,738. Charges included in these medical costs are:

  • Emergency medical services 
  • Admission or readmission to the hospital 
  • Professional fees 
  • Ambulatory care services 
  • Rehabilitation 
  • Nursing home care. 

Who bears the cost?

Most of the medical bills resulting from a motorcycle injury are not the sole responsibility of the victims. If the motorcyclist was not at fault in the crash, they can seek compensation from the negligent party who caused their injuries.

There are different ways to obtain compensation for the medical costs of a motorcycle injury. First, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Because of the often extensive costs of such injuries, however, insurance policies may not always be adequate to cover your cost. Sometimes legal action may be needed to get the compensation you deserve and this legal process can take time.

For this reason, victims might be responsible for the initial costs of medical treatment before coverage from an external source becomes effective and they may hesitate to incur those medical bills out of fear of the cost. It is important to note that seeking immediate medical care should be your utmost priority. Neglecting treatment for the fear of medical costs could potentially put you at greater risk of complications, both physically and legally. No matter how insignificant you believe the injury might be, it is advisable to seek professional medical help immediately.

Contact an Experienced Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you or your loved one has suffered an injury resulting from a motorcycle accident in Clearwater, Florida do not hesitate to call Dolman Law Group. We are here to help, and we have significant expertise in motorcycle injury cases. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are skilled in fighting for and obtaining the compensation and legal justice that you deserve. Give Dolman Law Group a call today at 727-451-6900 or contact us online.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765