Thursday, January 28, 2016

Drugs Causing Impaired Florida Drivers

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence [1] sets forth many disturbing facts regarding the use of alcohol and drugs by impaired drivers:

- An estimated 32% of fatal car accidents involve an intoxicated driver or pedestrian. (NHTSA)

- 3,952 fatally injured drivers tested positive for drug involvement. (FARS)

- Over 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. (FBI)

- Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and about a quarter of those accidents involve an underage drinking driver. (SAMHSA)

- On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving accident in their lifetime. (NHTSA)

The 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use [2] by Drivers published by the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speaks to the use of illegal and prescription drugs and impaired driving:

In this study, for marijuana, we tested only for THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive substance in marijuana, and 11-OH-THC, its active metabolite. When marijuana is smoked or ingested, THC is absorbed into the blood stream and is distributed into areas of the body, including the brain. There are over 100 marijuana metabolites detectable in blood that research has not associated with the psychoactive effects of marijuana use.”
“[E]ven as drinking and driving continues to fall, use of illegal drugs or medicines that can affect road safety is climbing. The number of weekend nighttime drivers with evidence of drugs in their system climbed from 16.3 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2014. The number of drivers with marijuana in their system grew by nearly 50 percent.”
With regard to drug use, both illegal and prescription drugs, the study found that 22.4 percent of those participating in the study tested positive for drugs during weekday daytime hours and that 22.5 percent of those in the study tested positive for weekend nighttime drug use.  The study further found that the prevalence of illegal drug use increased from daytime to nighttime, with 12.1 percent testing positive for illegal drug use during weekday daytime hours increasing to 15.2 percent testing positive during weekend nighttime hours. 
Drugged Driving

The National Institute on Drug Abuse [3] provides that the effects of specific drugs differ depending on how they act in the brain. For example, marijuana can slow reaction time, impair judgment of time and distance, and decrease motor coordination. Drivers who have used cocaine or methamphetamine can be aggressive and reckless when driving. Certain kinds of sedatives, called benzodiazepines, can cause dizziness and drowsiness, which can lead to accidents.  Further, research studies have shown negative effects of marijuana on drivers, including an increase in lane weaving and poor reaction time and attention to the road. Use of alcohol with marijuana makes drivers more impaired, causing even more lane weaving and increased impaired driving.  That Institute further states:

A 2010 nationwide study of fatal crashes found that 46.5 percent of drivers who tested positive for drugs had used a prescription drug, 36.9 percent had used marijuana, and 9.8 percent had used cocaine. The most common prescription drugs found were (Wilson, 2010):

                alprazolam (Xanax®)—12.1 percent
                hydrocodone (Vicodin®)—11.1 percent
                oxycodone (OxyContin®)—10.2 percent
                diazepam (Valium®)—8.4 percent

Clearwater Automobile Accident Lawyers

Clearwater drivers should never get behind the wheel impaired, whether as a result of prescription drug use and/or illegal drugs.  Many prescription drugs even specify that the patient must avoid or use extra precautions in operating a motor vehicle.  If you are taking prescription drugs or have even used illegal drugs, it is important not to drive a motor vehicle until the effects of the drugs are gone.  If you are involved in an automobile accident that included an impaired or drugged driver, it is critical to speak to a Clearwater automobile accident attorney.  At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled accident attorneys can help you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding At Home Product Injuries

What are some common at-home products which can cause injury?

Individuals can suffer various different injuries while at home. However, some of the more serious injuries are caused by at-home products that may be defective. Among those are the following:

·      Appliances: At-home appliances play an important role in facilitating our lives. However, each year, appliances cause numerous at-home injuries and deaths. For example, cooking equipment such as ovens and microwaves help contribute to 162,400 structure fires, 430 deaths, and 5,400 injuries per year.1
·      Electric Wiring - When incorrectly installed, it can cause electric shock as well as create a fire hazard.
·      Improperly Installed Flooring - When flooring is improperly installed, individuals run the risk of slipping, falling, or tripping. This can result in individuals suffering minor to serious injuries.
·      Defective Furniture - Individuals may be injured as a result of defective furniture that breaks and strikes someone or causes someone to strike another object.

What kinds of damages can I seek for my Injuries?

If you suffer injuries caused by at-home products, you may be entitled to recover damages such as medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, as well as the loss of personal property. Sometimes, judges and juries decide to award punitive damages in order to both punish the offending party and to discourage others from conducting themselves in the same manner that resulted in injuries.

Who is liable for injuries caused by a product in my home?

Sometimes an accident is simply an accident. At-home products will naturally tarnish with age. Still, some injuries may be the result of either a defective product or negligent installation. If you are injured by a defective product, you have a right to recover losses from the product’s manufacturer. Whenever a manufacturer produces a product, it asserts that it is safe for its intended use as well as those uses that are reasonably foreseeable. If cooking equipment or other at-home appliances malfunction, they can cause dangerous situations that can injure the home’s occupants.

Individuals may be injured by complications caused from negligent installation. For example, an electrical fire may start as a result of negligently installed electric wiring. Negligently installed floors can create conditions making it easier for individuals to slip, trip, or fall.2 Injured parties can recover from those whose actions breach a duty of care.

What should I do if I am injured by an at-home product?

If you are injured, you should always seek medical attention if you so require. Once you have recovered from any injuries, you should strive to assemble as much information and evidence that you can. This includes information regarding the cause of your injuries and any losses that you have sustained as a result. In order to recover damages, you will be required to show that you suffered damages. For example, you should assemble documentation such as paystubs in order to demonstrate a loss of income caused by your inability to work as a result of your injuries.

Do I need an Attorney?

Individuals injured by at-home products may seek to recover damages without first retaining legal counsel. Individuals may attempt to recover damages either by negotiating directly with manufacturers or by representing themselves at trial. However, representing yourself can result in significant difficulty negotiating with the opposing party as well as recovering the amount, if any, that you deserve. An attorney familiar with personal injury claims can help you prepare your strongest case and work with you to maximize your chance at recovering those damages to which you are lawfully entitled.

Contact The Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida to Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney

Individuals should feel that their home and the products they purchase for at-home use are safe to be used as intended. These products do, however, sometimes cause consumers to suffer avoidable injuries. The Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, is committed to representing those affected by design defects and negligence. Our team will carefully analyze your case and assist you in recovering the full extent of compensation for your losses. Call us today at 727-451-6900 and schedule a free consultation with one of our team’s skilled personal injury attorneys.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Birth And Labor Injuries Caused By Malpractice

Issues surrounding pregnancy, labor, and the birth of a child are very personal to a woman. Women and their partners seek professional assistance from obstetricians in order to help them plan or avoid a pregnancy. Still, injuries and complications can occur and cause the woman significant physical and emotional pain.

When injuries and complications arise, an obstetrician may have committed malpractice. Of course, injuries and complications can and do often occur naturally. Still, malpractice is a potential cause that should not be ignored. Malpractice may impact the physical, emotional, and financial well-beings of women and children.

Obstetrician Malpractice
Obstetricians are held to a certain standard of care for the medical services which they provide. Whenever an obstetrician’s care dips below the baseline standard, he or she is committing malpractice and risks causing injury to the mother and any potential offspring. Some of the more common examples of obstetrician negligence include:

Wrongful Death1 - Negligence can result in the loss of life of either the mother, the child, or both.

Failure to diagnose a medical condition of the mother - An obstetrician is charged with helping ensure the health of both the mother and pregnancies. Whenever an obstetrician fails to perform regular and comprehensive medical examinations, he or she may fail to diagnose a medical condition of the mother and thereby force the mother to face a dangerous pregnancy. Medical conditions may not only affect the health of the child but also the health of the mother and her ability to carry to term and deliver the child.

Failure to identify birth defects - Failing to diagnose birth defects could result in lifelong complications for the child. Scientific advancements can help detect defects that may influence a mother’s personal decision relating to her pregnancy.

Failure to respond to signs of fetal distress - Sometimes, a fetus may show signs of distress and complications that could affect not only its viability but the health of the mother. If a doctor fails to reasonably identify and respond to signs of fetal distress, there could be serious complications for both the mother and the fetus and the mother may lose the child as a result of this negligence.

Wrongful Pregnancy - While obstetricians are instrumental in helping soon-to-be-mothers throughout their pregnancy, obstetricians are also an important piece in helping women avoid pregnancies. When a woman seeks medical services from an obstetrician to avoid pregnancy, she trusts that that she will not become pregnant. A resulting pregnancy can create physical, emotional, and financial complications for the woman.

Recovering Damages from Malpractice
An individual who is injured by an obstetrician’s malpractice is entitled to seek compensation for those losses suffered as a result of the negligence. Some of the more common forms of recovering damages include:

Medical expenses - A woman who experiences avoidable medical complications may require additional medical care, medical treatment, and potential hospitalization. This can also include long-lasting complications that may impact a woman’s health.

Loss of consortium2 - Malpractice can result in the loss of life. Whether it is the child or the mother, an aggrieved party may be able to bring forth a cause an action for the damages from the loss of a loved one as a result of the obstetrician’s negligence.

Pain and suffering - Pregnancy, whether planned or wrongful, has a significant impact upon the mother. Whenever malpractice causes health complications, a loss of life, or other injuries, the woman may suffer a combination of physical and mental suffering.

Contact The Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney

Women should feel confident that the medical help they receive from their obstetricians will be adequate and safe. Malpractice by an obstetrician can have a serious impact on the physical and mental health of a mother and/or child. Additionally, it can have an adverse impact on the woman’s finances. The Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida is committed to representing those affected by medical malpractice. Our team will carefully analyze your case and work diligently to assist you in recovering the full extent of compensation for your losses. Call us today at 727-451-6900 and schedule a free consultation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Obtaining Compensation Following An Accident Caused By Failed Brakes

One of the last things a driver wants to experience when in a motor vehicle is facing the prospect of failed brakes. Brakes play a critical role in helping a car is reduce its velocity and stop before colliding into other vehicles or fixed objects or before running off roads. When brakes fail, it may result in a collision as well as serious injuries to the driver or multiple parties.

Potential Injuries Caused by Failed Brakes

Serious Physical Injury - In 2015, Florida car accidents have already resulted in 220,340 injuries.1 When brakes fail, drivers and passengers are at risk of collisions with objects. This can cause an individual to be thrown from the vehicle, strike a part of the vehicle’s interior, or suffer injuries such as whiplash or head trauma.

Emotional Trauma - Cars are designed with safety in mind. Whenever an ever-important safety feature fails, it can cause emotional trauma.

Deaths - Florida was home to 2,494 fatalities car accident related fatalities in 2014.2 Failed brakes can cause result in the deaths of drivers and passengers who are unable to stop before colliding with other vehicles or obstacles.

The above-discussed injuries can result in losses which include medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. When these losses are caused by the negligence of another, the injured party may be able to recover damages.

From Whom Can I Obtain Compensation?
There are different parties who can be complicit in causing failed brakes. It is, of course, important to understand who could be potentially at fault whenever bringing forth a cause of action to recover damages.

Vehicle and Component Manufacturers – The company that designs and assembles the vehicle and its components is commonly referred to as a manufacturer. This includes large manufacturers such as Ford, BMW, and Honda. A manufacturer may be liable for damages caused by a manufacturing defect or a defectively designed vehicle. Recently, Ford recalled its F-150 trucks as a result of a manufacturing defect which rendered the vehicle unsafe for use.3 Drivers who are injured as a result of an accident caused by the manufacturing defect or defective design may be able to bring forth a liability claim against the manufacturer. If brake components of the finished vehicle were defective but were produced by another company, the injured driver will also have an ability to bring forth a liability claim against the manufacturer of the brakes.

Negligent Mechanics – Vehicles require regular repair and maintenance in order to continue functioning safely. Most drivers do not perform automotive repairs on their own cars. Instead, when a vehicle’s brakes and its components require repairs, most car owners seek out an automotive mechanic. Drivers entrust their vehicles to the mechanic because the understand the mechanic to be offering a service for which they have requisite knowledge and a certain level of expertise. Mechanics may not perform their job to the basic and reasonable standard. Instead, their installation or repairs of a vehicle’s brakes and components may be performed negligently. Whenever this negligence causes the brakes to fail, the driver may be able to recover damages for those losses incurred.

Reckless Drivers – Some drivers are aware of brake issues with their vehicle and choose to avoid making any necessary repairs. When an individual knowingly acts in a manner that is unreasonable, he or she is acting negligently. If the brakes of a vehicle fail and lead to an accident, the driver of the vehicle whose brakes failed will be responsible for the collision.

Contact a Clearwater, Florida Personal Injury Attorney Now to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you are involved in an accident that occurred as a result of failed brakes, you have legal options to ensure you receive compensation for your losses. Our team of attorneys at the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, will thoroughly investigate and analyze your car accident case in order to identify all possible theories under which you may be able to recover. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your rights and zealously represent your interests. We will make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 727-451-6900 and schedule a free consultation with one of our team’s skilled attorneys.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756