Thursday, December 31, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions About Clearwater Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slip & Fall Accident leads to injury lawsuits in Florida
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common way that people hurt themselves in the Clearwater area. While people may believe that slip, trips, and falls are minor incidents that rarely result in serious injury, these kinds of types of accidents are actually responsible for nearly 9 million emergency department visits every year, according to the National Safety Council1 (NSC). Many people who are hurt in slip and fall accidents are entitled to compensation under Florida law.2 As a result, victims should be certain to speak with an attorney as soon as they can. Below are answers to some of the questions that are frequently asked by our clients. For specific information regarding your case, call the Dolman Law Group today at 727-451-6900.

Will I be able to obtain compensation for my losses?
Whether you will be able to recover compensation for your depends on whether you can establish that your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. Examples of the kinds of negligence on the part of property owners that can cause a serious accident include exposed electrical wiring, inadequate lighting, cracked pavement, accumulations of snow or ice, stairs without handrails, inappropriate flooring materials, liquid spills, and others. Determining whether these or other hazardous conditions that existed on a piece of property can often involve an extremely fact-specific legal analysis, so it is important to have your case reviewed by an attorney.

Should I see a physician even though I feel okay?
Many slip and fall accidents result in injuries that do not require emergency medical treatment. In many cases, people who are hurt after slipping and falling simply put their injury on ice or use other kinds of self-care to manage their injury. While it is very likely that in many of these cases this type of care will be sufficient, from a legal perspective, it is important to see a physician after an accident. Doing so will maximize your chances of recovery and the amount any settlement or award that you may receive.

When you see a physician, he or she will thoroughly examine your injuries and determine their severity. In addition, he or she will prescribe a course of treatment that may involve medication or rehabilitative care, or both.  Finally, an official record that connects your injuries to the slip and fall accident in which you were involved will be created.

Can I afford an attorney?
After a slip and fall accident, you may believe that the business or property owner should be held liable for your losses, but you may not know how to go about seeking compensation. You also may be hesitant to contact an attorney because you are concerned about the cost of legal representation. Fortunately, at the Dolman Law Group, we handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means the following:
·         All consultations and meetings are free.
·         We initially cover the costs of your case including court fees and other litigation expenses.
·         We only receive legal fees and reimbursement for expenses if you are able to obtain financial recovery in your case.
·         Our legal fees will be an agreed-upon percentage of your recovery that comes right out of your settlement or award.
This payment arrangement means that clients do not have to pay anything out of pocket and, therefore, all injured slip and fall victims can afford an attorney.

Contact a Clearwater personal injury law firm today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer

People who are injured in slip and fall accidents can often recover financial compensation for the losses they incur. The kinds of losses that are often recoverable in cases arising from slips, trips, and falls include medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as others. For this reason, it is important for anyone who has been injured in an accident involving a slip and fall to have their case reviewed by an experienced lawyer. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Clearwater personal injury lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group today at 727-451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form.

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


References:

2 http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Smartwatches Can Lead To Crashes

Smartwatch could lead to car accidents due to distracted driving
According to the official government website for distracted driving,1 this dangerous practice caused an estimated 424,000 injuries and 3,154 in only one year in the United States. One of the most dangerous and most commonly practiced forms of distracted driving is using a smartphone while behind the wheel. In this day and age, many individuals feel the need to be constantly connected to work, social media networks, and others, even while driving. Drivers may engage in many different types of activities using a smartphone including texting, emailing, searching for information on the Internet, browsing social media, looking up directions, and more. All of the activities result in cognitive, visual, and manual distractions and, therefore, using a smartphone is considered to be one of the most dangerous distracted driving activities.

Because of the risks of texting and other uses of a smartphone, Florida has a law2 that bans the following uses of smartphones for all drivers: “manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.” This means that drivers can potentially receive a traffic citation if law enforcement officers believe they were wrongfully using a smartphone.

Do smartwatches encourage distracted driving?
A relatively new trend in mobile technology is the smartwatch, which looks like a regular wristwatch, but has many of the capabilities of a smartphone. These watches connect to your phone via Bluetooth and allow you to use many of the functions of your phone without actually holding your phone. For example, smartwatch owners can engage in the following activities on their watches:

·         Accept or reject calls
·         Play music
·         Receive social media, news, and other updates from apps
·         Read emails, calendar reminders, and incoming text messages
·         Read GPS directions

Smartwatch manufacturers often tout that these devices are safer than smartphones while driving because they can be “hands-free.” However, in order to read notifications, emails, texts, and other updates, a driver will still have to look away from the road and at their wrist. Some smartwatch users hold their wrist up in front of their faces so they can try to look at both the watch and the road at the same time. This, however, not only still causes a visual distraction (as they are not actually focusing on the road while reading) but also a manual distraction because they must remove their hand from the wheel. Overall, smartwatches can be just as risky as using a handheld smartphone.

However, because they are not necessarily typing into the watch, looking at a smartwatch is not covered under prohibited activities under Florida law. These devices then may be tempting to use instead of smartphones because there is not a risk of receiving a ticket for using a handheld device. This means that more people may be tempted to drive while distracted and, if a driver using a smartwatch causes a distracted driving accident, they should be held liable for any losses sustained by crash victims.

Discuss your legal options with a skilled Clearwater distracted driving lawyer

Any driver who engages in any type of distracted driving and causes injuries in a crash should be held fully accountable for their negligent actions. Victims of distracted drivers face many serious losses, including the costs of medical care, income lost from time off work to recover, physical suffering and pain, emotional issues, and sometimes permanent impairments, disabilities, or disfigurement. These victims do not have to face these losses alone, as the experienced distracted driving attorneys of the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, FL are here to help.

Our legal team understands what types of investigation and evidence are needed in distracted driving cases and will always strive to maximize the recovery you receive for your losses. We offer free consultations and never collect a fee unless you are able to recover. To start a case evaluation, please call 727-451-6900 or use our online contact form today.

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


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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Travel: Putting Drivers at an Increased Risk of Injury

Holiday Travel & Accidents
With the winter holiday season right around the corner, many of us are planning trips to see friends and family elsewhere in the state or even across the country. According to the Bureau Travel Statistics,1 91 percent of long-distance holiday travel is accomplished using a personal vehicle, like a car, leading to an increase of traffic on the road. In fact, the agency reports that the number of long-distance trips taken in the number of long-distance trips taken during the 6-day Thanksgiving holiday increased by 54 percent.

Whenever there are more people on the roadways, there is an increased risk of involvement in an accident. Fortunately for accident victims, people who are injured in accidents that are caused by the negligence of others are often legally entitled to compensation under Florida law. Consequently, anyone involved in an accident should talk to an experienced lawyer immediately.

Common causes of holiday travel crashes
Accidents that occur during holiday travel can occur for a number of reasons. Some of the most common are detailed below.

·         Poor weather conditions – The winter months often bring adverse weather conditions such as snow, ice, hail, sleet and extreme cold. When people travel by car during the holiday season, they often encounter poor weather along the way. This can be particularly dangerous, particularly when people who are unfamiliar with driving in winter weather are driving in a storm or in snowy or icy conditions.

·         Driver error – Statistics2 consistently indicate that driver error is the most common cause of car accidents. The kinds of errors that have the potential to cause serious accidents during the holiday travel season include speeding, failing to yield, failure to signal lane changes, and not observing traffic signals.

·         Poor vehicle maintenance –Vehicle maintenance plays a significant role in roadway safety, and failure to properly maintain a vehicle may rise to the level of legal negligence. Common examples of the kinds of maintenance issues that could potentially lead to a holiday travel accident include the failure to check brakes, windshield wipers, headlights, or tire pressure prior to a road trip.

·         Drinking and driving – The holiday season often involves parties and other gatherings that involve the consumption of alcohol. For this reason, there are often more drunk drivers on the road during the holidays than there are at other times of year. Drunk drivers can often cause serious accidents that can have leave victims with severe injuries.

What should you do if you are involved in a holiday travel auto accident?
While a car accident around the holidays can be disruptive, confusing, and leave you confused about what to do next. Unfortunately, the things that car accident victims say and do immediately after an  accident can have a direct impact on whether you will be able to recover for your losses. Some of the steps that people involved in car accidents should take include the following:

·         Call 911 and make sure that law enforcement generates a report detailing the way in which the accident occurred.

·         Undergo a thorough medical evaluation to ensure that your injuries are identified, treated, and properly documented.

·         Collect information about the accident, including the names of the other drivers involved in the accident, the weather conditions at the time of the crash, any road hazards that you believe may have contributed to the accident, and contact information for any onlookers that may have witnessed the accident take place.

Contact a Clearwater personal injury law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation

The holidays should be a time for friends and family, not hospitals and rehabilitative care. When people are injured in accidents while travelling from city to city, they are often entitled to substantial compensation. The lawyers of the Dolman Law Group are skilled Clearwater personal injury attorneys who are dedicated to helping people who have been hurt by the negligence of others recover for their losses. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, please call our office today at 727-451-6900. Individuals who are seeking legal representation can also send us an email by utilizing our online contact form available here.

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


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