Dolman Law Group is an award winning Clearwater car accident and personal injury law firm. Matthew Dolman has been selected as a Florida Super Lawyers in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by his colleagues. Mr. Dolman has been nominated as a top 100 trial attorney and top 40 under 40 by National Trial Lawyers. He is a lifetime member of both the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocacy Forum.
Millions of Americans are injured in accidents that are
caused by the negligence of other people every year across the United States.
These accidents can range from simple car accidents to those caused by
defectively designed, manufactured, or marketed consumer products that cause
injury to the innocent consumers that have the misfortune of buying them. While
the injuries may vary, the law is clear; people who are injured because of an
accident caused by someone else’s negligence have the legal right to obtain
compensation for the various losses that they incur as a result of their
In many cases, the people who are injured in these accidents
are not lawyers and may not understand their legal rights. Unscrupulous
insurance companies and other parties may try and take advantage of these
victims by offering them an unreasonably low settlement offer in exchange for
their right to sue, or in some cases may try and get them to unwittingly admit
partial or full fault for an accident in the guise of trying to help them
settle their case. Fortunately for victims, personal injury attorneys like
those of the Dolman Law Group have devoted their careers to helping victims of
accidents obtain full and fair compensation for their injuries and ensuring
that their legal rights are protected.
Below is some information about some of the specific ways
that a personal injury attorney may be able to help you.
Represent you in any
settlement negotiations that may occur
indicate1 that the overwhelming majority of personal injury
cases are settled prior to a lawsuit ever being filed. This fact should not be
taken that victims should not hire an attorney, however. As mentioned above,
potential defendants in a personal injury matter may try and take advantage of
unrepresented parties in a variety of ways. In addition, the mere involvement
of an attorney makes the threat of litigation a much more real possibility, immediately
strengthening an injured party’s bargaining position. Consequently, having an
attorney during settlement negotiations can often result in a much higher
settlement offer than an unrepresented party would be able to secure on his or
Investigate the cause
of your accident
While some in personal injury cases fault is relatively
clear, this is not always the case. When fault is contested, both parties often
engage in significant investigation in order to obtain evidence either
supporting or denying fault. Proving legal negligence can be a complicated
matter, and an experienced lawyer will be able to know what kinds of evidence
to gather as well as how to procure such evidence. During the pretrial phase
known as discovery, you are entitled to obtain certain evidence from other
parties that may support your case. This evidence can include documents, oral
statements, depositions, and physical evidence. The rules of discovery can be
fairly complicated, and it is highly advisable for anyone who has been injured
in an accident to retain an attorney to represent them in the process.
File and litigate a
case on your behalf
The Florida civil court
system2 can be confusing even for out-of-state attorneys who
have not worked in our jurisdiction before. In addition, the process of filing
a lawsuit and trying a case in subject to many substantive and procedural
rules, including the rules of evidence, constitutional law, case law, the rules
of procedure, as well as many others. Consequently, retaining an attorney will
almost always significantly improve your chances of bringing your case to a
Contact a Clearwater
personal injury law firm today to schedule a free consultation
Individuals who have been injured in a preventable accident
can often recover for the economic and noneconomic losses that they sustain as
a result of their injuries through a Florida personal injury claim. Among the
various types of losses that are often compensable are those that involve
medical expenses, damage to personal property, lost income, and physical and
emotional pain and suffering, among others. The Dolman Law Group is a team of highly
skilled personal injury attorneys that are committed to helping their clients
obtain the best possible outcome available under Florida law. To schedule a
free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at (727)
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
Our modern day traffic system bears the
intricacies of clockwork in some areas, and is astoundingly imperfect in others.
Most minds fail to ponder just how complex the inner workings of our roadways
are; often taking it all at face value as a simple “stop and go” operation.
What drivers fail to realize is how much of an impact their driving choices
have on others that they share the road with. Sadly, an overwhelming amount of
drivers have a selfish attitude when it comes to the roadways. They’re not
“sharing” the roadways; they’re simply “tolerating” the presence of other
drivers. That means that a good portion of traffic system consists of drivers
who refuse to work as a team.
Imagine a distracted driver rapidly approaching
his intended destination. He notices just moments before it’s too late. Instead
of dangerously yanking the wheel to make a sudden right turn, he has options
that could prevent otherwise serious or fatal accidents from occurring. From
the driver’s perspective, his unexpected turn won’t cause any harm. Sure, his
tires are going to screech, but that’s no big deal, right? Well, considering
the turn came with such short notice, there’s no way the driver had time to
consider all the consequences of his impending decision. If so many of our drivers are like this, we’ve
got a serious problem on our hands.
Interestingly enough, it’s a problem we’ve all learned
to deal with—human error is incalculable and therefore unpreventable. Our
traffic system currently consists of a massive amount of vehicles that simply
enter and exit the roadways to get from place to place. Why is it so refreshing
to see an act of kindness expressed by another driver? Shouldn’t coordination
and cooperation be expected in a system built around team effort? Our traffic
system works, and it has for a long time, but would we be so reclusive in an
ideal traffic system? Furthermore, what is the ideal traffic system? I can
imagine roadways replete with drivers who are confident that the intersection
ahead is free of danger as they travel in coordinated groups that resemble an
experienced marching band.
TRAFFIC PATTERNS CONTRIBUTE TO CONGESTION AND
I would imagine that’s how it’s always been
pictured by the brains that created early roadways, advanced traffic regulation
devices (and even simple ones like stop signs, which are advanced in their own ways), and the systemic approach to
vehicular travel as a whole. I also imagine that they failed to include
negligence as an altering factor in the first traffic light demonstration, but
understandably so. In the early stages of our traffic system, there simply
weren’t enough grounds for testing to have tangible crash statistics. Ideas
needed to be tested before they could be dismissed; flaws needed to be found
before they could be fixed. The foundation left behind by the masterful
engineers of the past is what we have continued to build our traffic system
atop for decades.
Unfortunately, making changes to public roadways
is far more impactful than a car manufacturer altering its chassis for the next
year’s model. Because of that, cars have become more advanced than the roads
could ever keep up with. I strongly believe that when the advancement of cars
and the technology in and around them settles, and our traffic system has a
chance to advance and adapt to those chances, travel will be safe, fast, and
affordable. However, creating a scene of the likes is a job better suited for a
sci-fi special effects artist; our current traffic system is lacking in those
Nowadays, negligence and accidents are expected
to happen—and they are expected to happen in the most devastating of forms. Car
manufacturing companies set up exaggerated crash tests to determine how well a
vehicle can hold up to damage received from a collision. This is a great
example of a step that has been taken to better provide safety in the event of
an accident. In other words, a problem has been identified (i.e. collisions can
cause serious damage to vehicle occupants), but trying to prevent the problem
is illogical (i.e. it’s not possible to completely prevent all vehicle
collisions), so they instead aim to reduce the harmful effects of these
unavoidable crashes (i.e. by increasing the safety of their vehicles).
PRESENCE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT PREVENTS SOME
So where does our traffic system lack? Car
manufacturers seem to be doing pretty well at reducing injuries sustained in a
vehicle accident, but what steps has our traffic system taken to accommodate
negligence and unexpected happenings? Well, the truth is, not many. The best
form of “negligence regulation” that we have on our roadways are the men and
women of law enforcement. They keep an eye out for careless drivers that put
others at harm, but they can only do so much on their own—and even they are
negligent at times.
But it’s not only the poor choices of people that
cause motor vehicle accidents, and it’s not only motor vehicle accidents that
cause devastating injuries and losses for unsuspecting individuals. Sometimes,
just the pure force of Mother Nature can cause generally unavoidable accidents,
but in the end, a driver’s choice to operate a motor vehicle in poor weather
conditions once again leads back to human error. However, should there ever be
a time when a driver is absolutely required to drive in poor weather conditions
for whatever reason; they should view these bad-weather-driving safety tips beforehand.
In the end, it’s safe to assume that negligence
will never be something easily determined or prevented. By definition,
accidents are never meant to happen, so how can we ever expect to craft a
traffic system that expels them completely? The best thing we can do is
continue to create technology and devices that nullify or reduce physical
damage. Only time can tell what steps will be taken to further prevent
accidents, but for now, we’re forced to live with these accidents in all forms.
People are hurt in accidents every day that are
caused by someone else’s negligence. It doesn’t have to be a motor vehicle accident; the act of negligence doesn’t have to be blatantly obvious; if you or
a loved one has suffered any physical, mental, or financial losses due to
someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek significant financial
compensation. Depending on the severity of your injuries, the amount of
negligence that each involved party expressed in the accident, and a countless
amount of other factors, your losses could be covered.
YOU CAN SPEAK WITH AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY TODAY
If you’re interested in discussing your personal
injury case with an experienced attorney, you should do it in a timely manner.
Believe it or not, the time you have to make a claim is limited and you could
end up paying out-of-pocket for medical expenses or the funeral costs following
the wrongful death of a loved one. Don’t give up your right to seek
compensation; don’t accept a heartless minimum settlement agreement put forth
by an insurance company.
Instead, call one of our Florida personal injury
and civil trial attorneys today for a free consultation and case evaluation
regarding your case. We strive to tell you what you need to know to ensure
speedy compensation and a healthy recovery, so call us today 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900
Gas stations are like pit stops for the public.
With most offering a huge array of food, drinks, snacks, and other convenient
products, it’s no wonder they’re a hit. Since consumers have the ability to
swipe their cards for gasoline purchases, there’s no need to go inside the
store itself, but we always want more. Should you decide to go in and grab a
quick drink, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way more than you know. Just
crossing the parking lot from the gas pump to the building is dangerous. A reckless driver that fails to spot a pedestrian in a gas station
parking lot can cause serious injuries to both parties.
Once you’re inside, however, the setting changes.
Sure, you’re indoors now, but the danger is still real. The kid that just
walked away from the soda machine didn’t pick up after himself; ice cubes are
scattered upon the ground. In just a couple minutes, those ice cubes will be a
barely visible puddle of water—the one which could lead to a slip-and-fall accident for an unsuspecting customer. These slip-and-falls can lead to serious
back and neck injuries, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and other
debilitating conditions. Who is there to be held responsible for your injuries?
How will you recover?
No matter where you look, there’s someone
doing something in a negligent
manner. Sadly, there’s no way to absolutely guarantee your safety; instead, you
should make yourself aware of the steps you can take to recover should you get
injured due to someone else’s lack of care.
Do I have a legitimate claim?
There are a handful of key pieces of information
that are required to make a personal injury claim. Determining things like who
was involved, where the accident occurred, if the losses could have been
prevented, and if the case is a civil or criminal matter are just a few of
examples of what makes each personal injury case truly unique. The main area of
law regarding personal injury in a gas station or any other specific place is
known as premises liability. Basically, these laws aim to hold property owners
accountable for injuries that take place on their property. Without these laws,
those who were truly injured on a property other than their own may have a hard
The laws are far from straightforward though.
They go as far as actually categorizing attendees into certain groups based on
their relationship with the property and its owner(s) or caretakers, their
intent and/or reason for being there, and more. Personal injury cases are
handled differently depending on which category the injured attendee in placed
in. For the different types of property attendees, and to determine which kind
of attendee you are/were during your personal injury, read our premises
Once you’ve determined what kind of attendee you
are, it’s time to look into the different acts of negligence that were
expressed in your situation. For example, a negligent employee may have spotted
but failed to clean up the puddle of water resulting from the dropped ice
cubes. If the employee was too busy cleaning up the mess because there was a
long line of impatient customers, the store manager(s) could be considered
negligent for a lack of staff. It’s a long line of blame to get to the real
culprit of a case like this. Because there are so many variables in a personal
injury case that can affect the outcome or your amount of financial
compensation, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as
Why do I need an attorney?
If you’ve gotten this far, you’re most likely injured and actively
seeking financial compensation for your losses. However, in the event that you
aren’t sure what steps to take yet and you’re simply trying to educate
yourself, consider this: take the same ice cube melting scenario again; the
whole situation consisted of poorly timed circumstances with mostly innocent
parties. It’s very unlikely that the child purposely dropped the ice cubes. Even
though the employee is trained to halt everything
and rush to put up a “wet floor” sign, he may have been truly overrun, both
physically and mentally.
A true accident like this sometimes ends up best as a settlement
between the injured(s) and the liable party(s). In other words, an agreement between
you and the liable party that aims to please both sides in the end. However,
it’s common for insurance companies to offer the lowest possible settlement to
keep a plaintiff quiet. Don’t settle for this unfair behavior. The injuries
which are visible after your accident aren’t always the ones that end up
costing a fortune in medical bills. Occasionally, especially with the brain and
other delicate internal organs, injuries will become worse over time,
unexpectedly developing into something more serious and possibly
life-threatening. If you settle too soon, injuries may appear later on which
will leave you—once again—financially unstable.
Some cases have just got
to go to court. If a settlement is not an option, you’ll want an aggressive
attorney to litigate on your behalf in a court of law. By having an attorney,
you can be sure that every method of recovery will be exhausted and it will be
a vigorous battle to secure the compensation that you deserve. Insurance
companies don’t give up without a fight; State
Farm has proved that.
SPEAK WITH AN EXPERIENCED PREMISES LIABILITY
ATTORNEY IN THE CLEARWATER & TAMPA BAY AREA FOR FREE
It’s possible that you or a loved one
has recently been injured on someone else’s property and you need help now. It
can be hard to find the right party to hold liable; the insurance company isn’t
going to help you, they want to save money. The property owner will want to
avoid a court case, but they’ll also want to minimize their losses. If you feel
like you’re running out of people to ask for help, look no further. The
experienced premises liability and personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law
Group are here to help you make a claim and secure the most financial
compensation for your physical, mental, and/or financial losses.
We offer a free consultation and case
evaluation, meaning you can speak to a knowledgeable attorney about your case
and learn what you need to know for no charge at all. For more information,
visit our website or give us a call at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900
to the Centers for Disease Control and
approximately 2.2 million individuals in the United States were diagnosed with
traumatic brain injury (TBI) in emergency rooms in 2010 alone. An additional
estimated 280,000 people required hospitalization for their TBI and/or related
injuries, and over 50,000 TBI victims died from their injuries. Even if a
victim survives a TBI, the treatment for this type of injury can be extensive,
lengthy, challenging, and costly. The following is some information regarding
common treatments for TBI.
immediately after a suspected TBI
arrive at a hospital with a suspected TBI, medical staff will focus on
stabilization. Depending on the severity of your state, this may include
resuscitation techniques, monitoring of vital signs, and other trauma care. For
different patients, trauma care may include respiratory therapy, psychological
education and counseling about your injury, as well as social work assistance
to your family if necessary.
treatment is focused on keeping a patient stabilized, reduced swelling or
hemorrhaging, and keeping the pressure low in and around the brain. This
includes constant measuring of intracranial pressure2 and often mechanical ventilation to
support breathing. Medications will likely be administered to prevent seizures
and for sedation to limit brain function as much as possible. Sometimes,
patients may be placed in a medically-induced coma to reduce pressure and limit
any secondary injuries. Medications may also be used to control agitation,
increase concentration, and address other cognitive effects of a TBI.
require surgery depends on the nature of your TBI. Different surgical
procedures may include:
blood or other fluid on the brain
or removing damaged blood vessels or brain tissue
any wounds in open-head injuries
of an intracranial pressure monitor into the skull
of rehabilitative treatment are often to prevent any secondary injuries or
complications and to help a patient overcome obstacles and symptoms. This
includes restoring lost abilities and relearning how to perform basic, everyday
activities such as talking, walking, using the bathroom, and more.
Rehabilitative staff also often include psychologists, physical therapists,
occupational therapists, social workers, and support for your family and
caregivers. This treatment is aimed at helping you to cope and recover over the
long-term from the effects of your traumatic
brain injury, including regaining practical skills and movement
expense of TBI treatment
If you have
sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident due to the negligence of
another party, you will likely require some type of medical treatment and may
need long-term medical attention. Obviously, the cost of such medical care can
be extensive and the bills can quickly add up and become overwhelming. In many
situations, medical expenses can lead to other financial problems and even
else's negligence caused your traumatic brain injury, you should not have to
suffer the financial consequences. Instead, Florida tort laws allow you to
recover for your financial, physical, and emotional losses by filing a personal
injury claim against the responsible party in court. Personal injury cases may
often be complicated and involve several different legal issues, so you should
always consult with an experienced brain injury attorney to discuss a possible
an experienced Florida brain injury lawyer for a free consultation today
Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, our team of attorneys has extensive
experience handling brain injury cases and is committed to helping injured
victims recover for their losses. Do not hesitate to call our office today at
727-451-6900 for a free consultation.
Dolman Law Group
800 N. Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756 (727) 451-6900
It is a regular occurrence in the hospitality and
restaurant industry to pay servers, bartenders and other tipped employees less
than the full minimum wage. It is also
common practice to force the servers and bartenders to split their tips with
bus boys and hostesses, thereby supplementing the pay of those individuals to
allow the restaurant owner to pay those employees at a rate lower than the full
minimum wage. Currently, in Florida, all tipped
employees must be paid $5.03
per hour by the employer
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of
Labor regulates The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which establishes minimum
wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards that may affect
full time and part time workers in private businesses and also State, Federal
and local governments. The FLSA provides
protections to servers, bartenders and tipped employees. For example, an employer cannot force a
tipped employee to work off the clock for any reason. Tipped employees are entitled to overtime wages.
Every tipped employee has at least two parts to
their job. One part relates directly to
earning tips. Activities such as talking
to tables, taking orders, running food, bussing table etc would fall in this
category. Then there are the behind the
scenes responsibilities such as opening and closing sidework. Some restaurants actually have server assist
in the preparation of food. A good
general rule is that if more than 20% of your hours are spent doing the tasks
not directly related to service of the customer then the employer must compensate
the employee at the full minimum wage amount of $8.05.
ARE ENTITLED TO OVERTIME PAY
Another big area where tipped employees are at risk
is the payment of overtime hours. Tipped
employees are entitled to be 1.5 times the full minimum wage amount less the
maximum tip credit amount allowed. In Florida, that means that
a tipped employee must be paid at least $9.06 per hour for each hour of work in
excess of 40 during a particular work week.
Commonly, employers either refuse to pay overtime at all or attempt to
pay 1.5 times the lower tipped employee rate.
Neither are acceptable solutions.
dilemma that is common to hear is that the employer is keeping a portion of the
tips to pay the kitchen staff or to pool to pay for broken dishes. This practice is also prohibited by the
FLSA. Tipped employees may be required
to tip pool with other commonly tipped employees such bartenders, other servers
and hostesses. However, if the employer
forces tipped employees to share tips with non-tipped employees or tries to
retain tips for other improper purposes the employer will be forced to pay that
tipped employee the minimum wage amount of $8.05. Remember, the tips you earn are your property.
An employee looking to file a claim for wage or
overtime compensation must do so within a specified time period. There is a statute of limitations in the
State of Florida
for filing such claims. In Florida, you must file
your claim within two years of the date which you were entitled to earn the
pay. As an employee, you are eligible to recover wages retroactively two (2)
years from the date of filing your claim.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
AS AN EMPLOYEE
There are certain exceptions to the general rules
for tipped employees. If you or someone
you know are faced an employer paying tipped employees correctly, contact an
experienced St. Petersburg
wage and overtime attorney for a free
consultation to determine your rights.
If you feel that your employer has not paid you
hours for which your are entitled or has misappropriated you tips, you should
immediately call The Law Offices of Bobby Jones at (727) 571-1333 during
regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business
hours. I can be reached via email at email@example.com
We will evaluate your case for free and you will
never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your unpaid hours.