Friday, January 30, 2015

What Are The Risks of Robotic Surgery?

The medical field constantly has new developments to make procedures safer and more cost-effective for patients, as well as to reduce recovery time. One development in recent years has been the use of robotics to perform certain types of surgery. Perhaps the most well-known type of surgical robot is the da Vinci Surgical System manufactured and sold by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. While the da Vinci robot has many benefits for patients, there have been numerous reported incidents of unnecessary injuries and complications caused by a defective robot. In such cases, the negligent manufacturer should be held responsible for all losses suffered by the patient as a result of the defective product and victims can often recover by filing a products liability claim.

Benefits of robotic surgery

The da Vinci robot was designed intending to improve upon general laparoscopy by allowing a surgeon to control the movements of robotic arms from a more ergonomically comfortable seated position a few feet away from the patient. Additionally, robotic arms can be more accurate and have greater dexterity than human hands, which means that insertions can be more precise with less pain, less bleeding, and less overall recovery time. This allows patients to shorten hospital stays and return to usual activities and work sooner. Robotic surgical systems are used most often in procedures such as hysterectomies, prostatectomy, hernia surgeries, cystectomy, urological procedures, gastrointestinal surgery, and more.

Malfunctioning robots

While many patients have successful robotic surgeries, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received numerous reports that a robot has malfunctioned and caused additional and unnecessary injuries to patients. Such injuries suffered include the following:

·         Burns
·         Ruptures and tears in surrounding organs
·         Internal bleeding and hematomas
·         Nicked blood vessels
·         Emergency surgeries to fix robotic errors
·         Infections or sepsis after surgery

In other cases, a heavy robotic arm has malfunctioned and struck patients in the face, as well as clamped onto a body part and would not release it until the entire system was rebooted. Many of the injuries resulting from robotic surgeries require substantial additional medical treatment, extended stays in hospitals, and more. Many injured victims are left with permanent disabilities and are unable to return to work or their normal daily activities. They also can experience severe physical pain and suffering and emotional trauma as a result of their injury.

Patients who choose robotic surgery may not be fully aware of the risks of injury involved with da Vinci and similar robots. If a patient suffers serious injuries due to a defective surgical robot, the manufacturer of that robot should be held liable for any losses the patient suffered as a result, including medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, lost income from missed work, pain,  and much more. Cases against large medical manufacturers can be extremely complex and intimidating. For this reason, it is always important to have the assistance of an experienced lawyer who understands how to handle this type of case.

Contact an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance today

When your doctor recommends robotic surgery or another type of medical procedure, you should be able to trust that the procedure will be successful and that you will be safe from harm. If you have suffered unnecessary injury due to mistakes that occurred during robotic surgery, the experienced product liability attorneys at the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida can help you. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation to discuss a potential legal claim in your case.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900


Monday, January 26, 2015

Can I Recover For In-Flight Injuries?

When people think of the risk of injury while flying, they most often think about deadly airplane crashes. Airline crashes are relatively rare, however as only 716 people died1 worldwide in 2014 from airplane crashes, while 32,719 people died2 in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These statistics puts in perspective that flying may, in fact, be the safest form of transportation as far as fatalities are concerned. However, this does not mean that airline passengers do not suffer injuries, as an estimated 4,500 people suffer injuries during flight travel on an annual basis. If an injury is caused by another party's negligence, victims have the legal right to recover for their losses from the responsible party.

Parties that may be responsible for flight travel injuries

There are many different parties that may act negligently and may be held liable for resulting injuries. Such parties may include:

·        Flight attendants – Flight attendants have many different responsibilities meant to keep passengers safe while they are in-flight. For example, they must adequately secure all overhead compartments in order to ensure that a compartment does no open mid-flight and cause luggage to fall onto the heads of passengers. Additionally, they must keep aisles clear to avoid trip and fall accidents, and must assist passengers as much as possible in the event of an emergency.
·        Pilots – While pilots cannot control turbulence or other weather conditions that may make for a bumpy plane ride, they should always be paying attention to upcoming conditions to properly warn passengers to remain seated and of possible hazards. If a pilot is distracted and fails to notify passengers of the need to fasten their safety belts and a passenger suffers injury as a result, that pilot may be held liable. Additionally, working while impaired or fatigued can lead to negligence that can cause injuries, as well.
·        Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – The FAA3 employs air traffic controllers that have the huge responsibility of directing airplane traffic in order to avoid collisions. If an air traffic controller is distracted, fatigued, impaired, or otherwise fails to correctly do his job, he may be held liable for any injuries that result.
·        Airplane manufacturer – There are many different parts on a plane that have the potential to malfunction and cause injury. If a manufacturer negligently designed or assembled a defective airplane part, that company should be responsible for any losses related to the malfunction.
·        Airport – Like any other type of property, airports have the potential to have dangerous conditions or hazards and cause injuries. Premises liability and inadequate security claims are the most common in airports.

As you can see, many different parties may be responsible for your airport or in-flight injuries. These cases often require investigation and preparation, so you always want to ensure you have the assistance of an experienced Tampa area in-flight injury attorney.

Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Clearwater, Florida for help today

If you have suffered injuries on a flight or in an airport and believe that an employee of the airline or another party acted negligently to cause your injury, call an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, a member of our highly skilled legal team will listen to your side of the story and evaluate whether you have a valid legal claim against any party for your in-flight injuries. We know how to handle personal injury claims against large corporations, such as airports and airlines, and we will work to make sure you receive the full settlement amount that you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900


Friday, January 23, 2015

Steps To Take After a Slip and Fall Accident

Slip and fall accidents1 can happen in an instant, usually when you least expect it. Imagine that one minute you are grocery shopping as usual and the next you are on the ground in serious pain. Many slip and fall victims may not even realize immediately why they fell or may not notice that there was a dangerous condition on the premises that caused them to fall. By failing to take inventory of your surroundings and take other steps after a slip and fall, you may lose your chance to recover for your losses from the responsible property owner. If you slip and fall at a business, store, or another type of property, there are certain important steps you can take to increase your chances or receiving the compensation you deserve for any injuries you suffered.

Take pictures of the premises

Sometimes people simply slip and fall for no particular reason other than simple clumsiness. In many cases, however, slips, trips, and falls occur because a property owner negligently allowed a dangerous condition to exist on the property without properly fixing the condition or warning visitors. If you fall, you should always closely observe the surrounding area to look for hazards, including the following:

·         Wet or slippery flooring
·         Spills that have not been cleaned up
·         Objects or debris left in the middle of walkways
·         Uneven or overly work flooring
·         Torn carpet
·         Cords left unsecured to the walls

These are only a few of the possible conditions that could cause your fall. Take pictures with your phone of the surrounding area if you notice a dangerous condition. These pictures can serve as later proof of the condition.

See a doctor

Though injuries from many slip and falls can be relatively minor, some victims suffer serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI),2 neck and back injuries, broken bones, and more. You may not realize the full nature of the injury you suffered (such as a TBI) right away, so you always want to seek the opinion of a medical professional immediately to ensure that all of your injuries are properly treated.

Do not admit any liability

Following a slip and fall, you should talk to a store manager and fill out a report or take other steps to document the incident. However, you should not admit any fault in the slip and fall during such conversations. Even if you simply say, “I cannot believe how clumsy I am,” a manager or property owner can later use that statement against you to avoid liability and claim that the accident was simply your own fault. Insurance companies for the property owner will also work to avoid liability, so it is always wise to have a personal injury attorney communicate with other parties and insurance companies on your behalf to increase your chances of recovery.

Contact an experienced premises liability attorney for assistance today

If you have fallen on someone else's property due to a dangerous hazard or condition, you should not delay in contacting as experienced premises liability attorney in Clearwater, Florida. An attorney will be able to start investigating the circumstances surrounding your fall and can advise you on whether you have the legal right to recover. Business or property owners will generally work hard to avoid liability, so you always want to make sure you have a lawyer who thoroughly understands how to handle a premises liability case. If you have suffered injury, please contact the highly skilled team at the Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900


Friday, January 16, 2015

Can a Motor Vehicle Accident Cause PTSD?

When most people think of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they think of veterans returning from war zones or of victims of violent crimes. However, you may not realize that PTSD may result from any type of sudden traumatic event. For many people, being involved in a serious motor vehicle accident can trigger PTSD, which can continue for months or even years and cause many complications for an accident victim.

If your auto accident in Clearwater was caused by the negligence of another driver or party, you deserve to recover for all losses you suffered as a result. This includes recovery for your physical injuries and emotional trauma, which includes PTSD treatment. If you have been in a motor vehicle accident and you believe you may be suffering from PTSD, your first step should always be to seek proper medical attention and treatment. Next, you should always call an experienced personal injury attorney to find out how you may recover for your losses.

What is PTSD?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)1 published by the American Psychiatric Association, you can be diagnosed with PTSD if you have been exposed to an event that resulted in actual or threatened injuries, death, or violence and suffer some or all of the following symptoms:

·         Involuntary and recurring intrusive memories of the event.
·         Traumatic nightmares.
·         Involuntary flashbacks that may result in a “blackout” period of lost consciousness.
·         Prolonged or intense psychological and/or physiological distress after reminders of the incident.
·         Persistent avoidance of any traumatic reminders, which may even lead to refusal to leave the house.
·         Memory loss of the traumatic event.
·         Depression, marked loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, alienation from others, self-blame or self-harm, and other emotional responses.

PTSD following a motor vehicle accident
Motor vehicle accidents occur suddenly, generally with little or no warning, and can be very violent experiences. Many motor vehicles involved in accidents can lose control, roll over multiple times, cause chain reaction crashes, and more. This experience can be highly disorienting and traumatic for accident victims, especially younger children who do not understand the risks of motor vehicle collisions.

Studies have shown2 that nearly 10 percent of individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents develop PTSD symptoms as a result of their experience. Some symptoms specifically related to PTSD induced by motor vehicle accidents include fear or driving, fear of riding as a passenger in any type of motor vehicle, and related anxiety disorders. As you can imagine, having an intense fear of traveling in motor vehicles can have a substantially limiting effect on a victim's life. In some instances, victims who refuse to ride in a motor vehicle are unable to get to work or school, medical appointments, and other important obligations. Others require extensive counseling, therapy, and/or medication in order to tolerate motor vehicle travel.

Many factors can put an individual at risk of PTSD following a motor vehicle accident, including the following:

·         Already having limited or poor coping abilities prior to the accident.
·         Having existing mental health problems prior to the accident.
·         Suffering severe physical injury in the accident.
·         Losing a significant other or another loved one in the accident.
·         Slow physical recovery from your accident-related injuries.
·         Serious physical limitations due to your injuries.
·         Challenges with reengaging in school or work following the accident due to your injuries.

If you have suffered physical or emotional injuries in a motor vehicle accident that was someone else's fault, you have the legal right to hold the responsible party liable for your losses. Call the Dolman Law Group in Florida to discuss a possible case at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
(727) 451-6900

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

“Are We There Yet?” - Drivers Distracted by Disruptive Children

During the holiday season, car travel is essential for many families who want to spend time with loved ones, or just take time off for a family vacation. While traffic delays, bad weather, or mechanical breakdowns can make driving dangerous, finding a way to entertain young children in the car is the biggest concern for many parents. While bored children and their pleas of “are we there yet?” can be annoying, bored and disruptive children can prove to be a bigger driving hazard, as they can lead to distracted driving and an inability to focus on the road, leading to accidents. Luckily, there are many ways to keep your children entertained, and to increase the happiness and safety of for everyone on your car trip.


The problem of bored and distracting children should be considered before leaving home. The age and patience of your children should be evaluated, to make sure you have enough things to amuse them for however long is needed. Popular sources of entertainment include laptops or other movie-playing devices, so you can bring along your child’s favorite movies. Books or magazines can also be used to combat boredom, but if your child has been carsick in the past, these should probably be avoided, since the combination of words and car movement may cause nausea. If silent reading isn’t an option, audiobooks or reading aloud is a good alternative, especially if you can find a book that the whole family will enjoy. If you have older children as well as younger ones, suggest that the older children read aloud to the younger ones. Similarly, music is a fun way to provide entertainment, and another way to engage everyone through singing or allowing children to pick favorite songs.

Another method is to buy some small toys, and give your child a new item at certain intervals if they go without complaining or being troublesome. This way, they will be rewarded for good behavior, have something to look forward to, and have something new to keep them occupied.  Examples of fun and easy car toys include figurines, magnetic playsets, paper dolls, coloring books, or modeling clay.  A collapsible travel desk or tray gives them something to play on and keep small toys contained. Frequent stops are also a good idea, particularly if you can find rest stops with playgrounds or parks, so the children can play outside and release some energy.

When driving with the potential distraction of children, it’s important to be extremely aware of other hazards. Since they will be extra distraction from the back seat, minor accidents could turn into more severe ones, due to the lack of focus or agitated driving. Be aware of traffic delays or other accidents on the road that could affect you. Keep on an eye on the forecast to make sure you are prepared for any rain, snow, ice, or other weather events that could make the roads dangerous or extend the amount of time you spend on the road. If you are focused, aware, and prepared, distractions might not have as big of an impact.


During the holidays, and throughout the year, it is important be mindful of any distractions that may arise while driving. Bored children can be easily dealt with through preparation and patience, and if you make an effort to entertain your child during long car rides, you can keep them happy, save your sanity, and keep your entire family safe from distractions to ensure that you have a pleasant trip.

If you are involved in a car accident and suspect that distracted driving may have contributed, please contact the Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900. Our experienced legal team will work with investigators who consider all factors to make sure that you receive just compensation for your injuries.  Our firm has the knowledge and resources to thoroughly represent your interest up to and including a civil trial.  We are available to meet with prospective clients to discuss their rights and options.  There is never a fee to consult about your possible case.

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

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year, New Laws in Florida

With the start of a new year, change is inevitable. On Tuesday, December 30th, 2014, Gov. Rick Scott signed a handful of bills that were set to make changes to Florida law at the start of the New Year. Aside from the surprising increase in minimum wage and the sizeable rate cut for worker’s compensation insurance, Florida law has undergone a few intriguing revisions that have been discussed, delayed, and denied for many years. These are the laws pertaining to child restraint devices within motor vehicles. The changes took place on the first day of the year, January 1st, 2015. The effectiveness of said changes has been questioned by both the general public and child safety advocates alike, but the change as a whole seems to have gone over nicely.

Child Safety Seats in Florida

Before these amendments took place (i.e. before January 1st), Florida was one of the few states that had yet to polish their outdated child restraint laws for the new era of child safety seats. The previous law called for any child aged 3 years or younger to be securely fastened in some form of restraint device. Height was hardly a factor in the law, if it was any at all. Change-hungry speculators have been regarding to this meatless Florida law for years as the cause of the annually growing amount of hospitalized children each year after motor vehicle crashes.  According to the NHTSA, these crashes are “the leading cause of death for American kids between 5 and 14.

Most notably in the new child safety seat law changes is the age in which any child must be strapped in. The previous age requirement of 3 years or younger has been slightly raised. Now, any child that is 5 years or younger must be securely fastened in a car or booster seat. (What is the correct child restraint device for my child?)

The law change, though seemingly minor, was a huge victory for the countless groups and organizations that continue to dedicate their time to securing the safety of the public. One group who played in a major role in the change is the AAA Motor Group, who says they’ve been pushing for the change for over 14 years, and though pleased with the results of their strenuous battle, they want more. The group continues to stress the impact of height and the role it plays in child safety; Florida has yet to incorporate height adaptations into the law.

Unsung Heroes

We should all be appreciative of the groups that continue to fight for our rights, even out of the spotlight. We should also be thankful for the laws that have been set to protect us, even those few that are in need of revision. Sadly, not all auto accidents can be avoided, and not everyone is rejoicing over this small victory. Each and every day of this New Year, an unsuspecting victim will be injured due to someone else’s negligence or lack of care. No set amount of law changes could prevent the ever-varying factor of human error, but there is help.

Here at Dolman Law Group, we strive to assist our clients in securing the compensation they deserve after they’ve suffered losses due to the negligent acts of another party. In these rough times, all you need is a hand, and if the well-being of yourself or a loved one is at stake, the stress may seem incurable. If you’d like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in Clearwater, we offer a free consultation and case evaluation, so call us today at 727-451-6900.

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

Friday, January 2, 2015

Don't Text and Drive

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