Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Wrongful Death After a Violent Crime

As reported1 by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), 970 people lost their lives in the state due to violent crime in 2013 alone. Though this number is the lowest since 2005, it still means that almost one thousand families were left mourning the sudden and needless death of loved ones. Though these families may attend the criminal trial of the perpetrator and see them sent to prison, surviving family members are often left with financial and emotional issues following a violent homicide.

The courts recognize the issues that surviving loved ones face and Florida law2 allows them to file a wrongful death claim against the person who was responsible for the death. Though wrongful death claims are usually associated with car accidents or other unintentional deaths, this type of case also can arise following a violent act. If your family member has been killed, you likely have a strong case for wrongful death and should consult with a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to discuss how you can recover.

Separate criminal and civil cases
Following a homicide, law enforcement officers will hopefully be able to arrest the responsible individuals, who will then usually face criminal charges issued by the prosecutors. Homicide cases often go to trial, where the prosecutor will have to prove that the defendant committed the homicide beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. A convicted offender will then face penal consequences such as a long-term prison sentence or even the death penalty. While these criminal consequences can be severe, a criminal case often does little in the way of compensation for the surviving family members.

A wrongful death suit is filed in civil court and is completely separate from any case that takes place in criminal court. However, much of the evidence used in the criminal case can be also used in the wrongful death case. An attorney who understands this type of violent crime wrongful death claim will know how to use the prosecutor's evidence and a criminal conviction to help surviving family receive a proper financial award.

Additionally, even if the perpetrator is found “not guilty” in criminal court due to a lack of evidence, it is still possible that surviving family members may win in a wrongful death claim. This is because the burden of proof is considerably lower in a civil wrongful death case than in a criminal case. Because of the possibility that a convicted offender will lose their freedom or even their life, a criminal jury must find that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest burden of proof in any type of legal case in the United States. In a wrongful death case,  no one's life is at stake and a win only has financial implications. For this reason, family members must only prove the wrongful death by a preponderance of the evidence, which means it is “more likely than not” that the wrongful death occurred. This often makes it easier to recover in a wrongful death case even if a defendant was not convicted.

Contact an experienced wrongful death attorney at the Dolman Law Group for a free consultation today
Though no amount of compensation will ever turn back time or bring your loved one back to you, it ca help your family cover expenses related to the death and other bills after losing the support of the deceased individual. Wrongful death claims can further bring about a greater sense of justice and closure, especially in tragic cases of violent homicides. However, you only get one chance at a wrongful death case, so you do not want to risk losing your chance to hold the offender accountable by not having adequate representation. At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, our team of lawyers has extensive experienced successfully handling wrongful death claims under Florida law. We understand the type of evidence that must be presented to prove your claim and have the resources necessary to gather such evidence. We have the skill and ability to handle any legal issues that may arise, so please call our office at 727-451-6900 to discuss your case for free today.

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


Friday, May 15, 2015

Dangers of Rollover Accidents

A rollover accident1 occurs when a vehicle rolls onto its side or onto its roof. This type of accident is one of the most dangerous because it has the potential to cause severe and often life-threatening injuries. Victims of rollover accidents often suffer head trauma, traumatic brain injuries, shattered or crushed bones, neck and back injuries, road rash, burns, and much more. Though many rollover accidents involve vehicles with a high center of gravity, such as trucks or sport utility vehicles (SUVs), any vehicle has the potential to rollover under certain circumstances.

Causes of rollover accidents
Many rollover accidents only involve one vehicle, however, this does not mean that the driver of the rolled over car is always the one at fault. In fact, rollover accidents are usually caused by an outside force, though sometimes the responsible force is difficult to identify.

Vehicles most often rollover after they are somehow “tripped,” meaning that the tire struck something and caused the vehicle to lean sideways and tip over. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),2 an estimated 95 percent of rollover accidents occur due to tripping. The more momentum a vehicle has when it is tripped, the more force it will have when it rolls over and there is a greater chance it will roll onto its roof or even roll several times.

The following are some of the most common factors that lead to rollover accidents:
  • Getting run off the road – If another driver is not watching and runs your vehicle off the road, you can hit a curb or other object that can result in tripping.
  • Hazardous road conditions – If you are traveling at a higher speed and suddenly hit a pothole, large crack, an uneven patch of road, or another hazard in the road, your vehicle can trip and rollover.
  • Tire blowouts – If your tire suddenly fails, your vehicle can easily get thrown off balance and can lead to a rollover.

As you can see, other drivers, government entities, and auto manufacturers can all be negligent and lead to a rollover crash. Though you may have a suspicion regarding the cause of your accident, you may not know how to gather evidence of negligence and prove that a party was responsible after the fact. This is when the assistance of an experienced rollover accident is imperative to make sure you properly recover.

Rollover truck accidents
Rollover accidents are particularly dangerous when the rolling vehicle is a large commercial truck. These trucks and trailers have a very high center of gravity and can therefore easily roll over in a collision or tripping incident. When a trailer rolls over, it can cause serious damage to any objects, vehicles, or other motorists in its path. If the truck was driving at highway speeds at the time of collision, rolled over trailers also can keep moving down the highway and runaway trailers can cause extensive damage and injury. Additional damage can occur if the cargo spills out of a trailer that has rolled over. Cargo can not only hit other vehicles as it falls, but can also contribute to more collisions for oncoming traffic. If the cargo is flammable or toxic, it can cause fires or exposure injuries.

Contact an experienced auto accident lawyer in Clearwater, FL to discuss a case today
Following an auto accident, many injured victims may not be offered an adequate amount of compensation from the responsible party's insurance company. In such cases, victims may not know where to turn or how to go about obtaining the full amount they deserve to cover all of their accident-related losses. Your first step in recovering should be to call the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida. Our personal injury attorneys are highly experienced and skilled in handling all types of auto accident claims, including rollover accidents. We will explore all possible options for recovery from other drivers, negligent auto manufacturers, and more. Please do not delay in contacting us to schedule a free consultation so that we may begin investigating the circumstances of your case as soon as possible. Call today at 727-451-6900 to find out how we can help you.

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


Friday, May 8, 2015

Recovering for Dangerous Hip Replacement Complications

According to the United States Department of Health & Human Services agency of Healthcare Research and Quality,1 an estimated 285,000 patients undergo hip replacement surgery on an annual basis in the U.S. Common reasons for hip replacements2 include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hip fracture or injury, and more. During this procedure, medical professionals remove an individual's damaged hip joint and cartilage and replace it with an artificial joint. This joint is comprised of two pieces—a ball and socket—that will move together to allow regular hip mobility after recovery. The materials commonly used for these implants are ceramic and/or metal.

Though hip replacement surgery is intended to relieve long-term pain and increase mobility, some patients have experienced dangerous complications following a hip replacement surgery, and many of these complications are due to the type and quality of the artificial joint implant that was used. Some patients have suffered unnecessary pain and have had to undergo numerous additional procedures to repair the issues caused by their hip implants. If a hip implant was not safe for use in patients, the company that manufactured and sold the implant should compensate any victims for all of their unnecessary expenses, pain, and other losses.

Injuries from certain hip implants
The majority of problematic hip replacements are metal-on-metal,3 meaning that that both the ball and socket are made from metal. Though these metal hip implants were supposed to be more durable and last longer than other types of implants, they have proven to cause many medical issues in many recipients. When the metal parts rub together like a normal hip, the metal can flake off and be released into the body.  Various patients have had different complications due to hip implants, including the following:

  • Metal poisoning from cobalt, chromium, and more
  • Bone and tissue damage from metal particles
  • Infections
  • Severe inflammation around the hip joint
  • Loosening of the implant
  • Severe and chronic pain
  • Decreased mobility
  • Complete hip joint failure
  • Need for another hip replacement within a short period of time

The manufacturers of problematic implants include DePuy Orthopaedics, Biomet, Stryker Orthopaedics, Wright Medical Technology, and Zimmer Holdings. These companies have all faced lawsuits by patients who have suffered injuries as a result of using the implants.

When an individual makes the decision to undergo a hip replacement, they know that the procedure is extensive with possibly substantial recovery time. However, patients are willing to face surgery, therapy, and recovery in the hopes of eventually living life with a pain-free hip that is stronger and allows them to move around freely. Unfortunately, the introduction of metal-on-metal hip implants has increased the risk that, instead of a better life, hip replacement patients will face increased pain, expensive medical treatment, and may even require a wheelchair to get around. The corporations that negligently manufactured and sold these hip implants should be held responsible for the losses of every patient who has experienced unnecessary complications. By filing a lawsuit, you have the potential to receive a settlement or award that compensates you for the following:

  • Medical expenses related to the defective implant
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income if you are unable to work
  • Costs of caregiving
  • Damaged relationships

Contact an experienced Clearwater product liability attorney for a free consultation
Health is very important and companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals or medical devices should use appropriate care when marketing and selling health-related products to avoid injuries to consumers. If a company sells a defective hip implant that can cause serious injuries, the company should be held responsible for all injuries that result. A recall is often not sufficient for injured patients to recover for all of their hip implant-related losses, so anyone injured should consider filing a legal claim. An experienced product liability lawyer will be able to evaluate your situation and advise you on whether you have a viable claim and have a good chance of receiving a proper settlement. If you have suffered injury, please call the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida for help. Our highly skilled attorneys know how to take on large pharmaceutical companies, so call 727-451-6900 for a free case evaluation today.

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