Thursday, May 26, 2016

Clearwater Burn Injuries

According to the American Burn Association[1], in 2015, there were 486,000 burn injuries in the United States.  40,000 of those burn injuries required hospitalization. Burn injuries are the number two leading cause of all accidental deaths in the US, behind automobile accidents.  Fires and other accidents involving burn injuries can be tremendously painful and often leave behind permanent scars. Excision, skin grafts and physical therapy for burn patients can mean a long recovery and extensive pain. Personal injury claims involving fires and burns are often filed on behalf of people who have been burned as a result of another person’s negligence.

Factors Causing Florida Burn injuries

Burn injuries can be caused by a variety of factors including injuries from steam burns, contact burns, scalds and electrical burns which include lightening strikes, chemical and flash burns.  Common causes of Clearwater burn injuries include:

                Scalding from steam or hot liquids
                Touching hot objects
                Electrical burns
                Chemical burns
                Car accidents
                Playing with matches
                Unsafe use of firecrackers
                Kitchen accidents

Categories of Clearwater Burn Injuries

There are four categories of burn injuries:

           First-degree burns usually affect the outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis. A first-degree burn tends to be moist and red in color. A burn of this nature is generally resolved within a week.

           Superficial second-degree burn penetrates the entire epidermal layer of skin and extends down to the next skin layer, known as the dermis. A second-degree burn[2] may appear moist and pinkish in color. A superficial second-degree burn may heal spontaneously, often within two weeks.

           Full thickness second-degree burns differ from the superficial second degree burns because the tissue destruction runs deeper into the dermis. A burn of this nature will be dry and whitish in color. It will not produce red blanches with an application of pressure. This type of burn may take three to four weeks to heal.

           Third-degree burns are the most severe classification. This occurs when the burn destroyed both the epidermal and dermal layers of skin and extended down to the subcutaneous tissue. These burns may be physically depressed, charred, and often leather-like in appearance.These burns are very serious and often require skin grafting[3] or other reconstructive procedures.

Preventing Burn Injuries

The prevention of fire and burn injuries can be extremely effective if done right. Statistics show that most of the burn injury accidents could have been prevented if the necessary safety measures were in place.  This includes smoke alarms which are tested regularly. Statistics also show that smoke alarms can really save lives, however, only 75% of homes proved to have a working smoke alarm installed. It is highly recommended that you install a smoke alarm in each room of your home or apartment.

Another thing to keep in mind in regards to burn injury accidents is that most home fires start in the kitchen. To prevent fire and burn injuries:

                Always stay in the kitchen while you are cooking.

                Keep easily flammable items away from the hot surfaces.

                Never cook while at the same time holding or playing with a child or a pet.

                   Keep small children and pets away from hot surfaces or easily flammable items.

Clearwater Burn Injury Attorneys

When a burn injury happens as the result of faulty equipment, an unsafe work environment, or even children left unattended with dangerous products, legal action may be needed to recover damages for victims and their families.  On the outset, they may not seem like a big deal, but burns of any degree are serious injuries. A burn scar lasts forever and not only disfigures one’s appearance but can sometimes create a permanent feeling of increased pain and sensitivity. The residual damage can cause a significant amount of emotional distress. Although money will not cause a burn or scar to disappear, the law has created a system to compensate you for the damages these injuries have caused.

If you were involved in an accident or otherwise sustained burn injuries, it is important to speak to a Clearwater burn injury attorney as soon as possible.  At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled burn injury attorneys investigate your case and protect your rights under Florida law to make sure 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, May 19, 2016

Who Is Responsible For Injuries From a Defective Product In Clearwater?

When an individual is injured by a defective product[1] and they wish to sue to recover for their injuries, one of the first things they need to do is to identify which people and companies might be liable for those injuries.  Unfortunately, identifying all of the parties that may be liable for their damages and injuries can be complicated.

Parties in the Chain of Distribution Resulting in Clearwater Injury

As a general principle, it is important to identify and include any and all parties involved in the path that the product took from manufacture to distribution to the customers of the injury-causing product known as the chain of distribution. At any stage in that process, there can be one or more parties responsible for the defective product.

Manufacturer of Clearwater Products

The manufacturer is at the beginning of the chain of distribution. The manufacturer may range in size from a multinational company to an individual working by themselves.  If the defective product is part of a larger product, it may be possible to include both the manufacturer of the defective part and the manufacturer of the whole product containing the defective part.   It may also be necessary to include any additional parties involved in the manufacture, design, or marketing of the product who might potentially be linked to the defect, especially if they are a separate entity from the manufacturer, such as an outside consultant or contractor.

Manufacturing defects are caused by an error in assembly that are not intended to be a part of the product.  A manufacturer is liable for any manufacturing defects that occur as a result of faulty construction, regardless of whether they took care during the manufacturing process.  A separate type of liability concerns a design defect including a flaw in the original blueprint of the product allowing the product to become unreasonably dangerous and creating a hazard for potential users. 

Retailers Linked to Clearwater Injuries

Even though the retail store where you bought the injury-causing product may not have manufactured the product, the retailer may still be liable for selling adefective product. When considering whether or not a retailer is liable for the damages or injuries it is important to review all aspects of the case including:

       Buyer:  It is not necessary to be the purchaser of a defective project to file a claim for damages and injuries.  Even if you were not the actual buyer of a defective product that caused your injury, you may still be able to recover. For example, if you were injured by some improperly manufactured product given to you by a family member, the fact that you did not purchase the product yourself would not prevent you from bringing a defective product claim or naming as a defendant the retail store where your family member purchased the product.

       User:  It is not necessary to be the individual who directly used the product in order to request compensation for damages and injury.  If you were injured by a defective product that someone else was using, you may still be able to bring a defective product claim.

       Wholesaler or Distributor:  In between the manufacturer and the retailer, there may be any number of wholesalers, suppliers, distributors, or others involved in the process.  Each are part of the chain of distribution of the defective product and are therefore potentially liable.

Clearwater Joint and Several Liability

One reason it is important to identify every possible defendant in a product liability case concerns the legal doctrine known as "joint and several" liability[2] which means that every defendant is liable both "jointly" (together) and "severally" (separately) for the entire award of damages. The defendants may end up fighting among themselves as to how to divide the damages awarded, but that is not the concern of the victim.

Call a Clearwater Product Liability Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured or even killed as a result of a defective product, an experienced Clearwater product liability attorney can review your situation and determine which third parties may be responsible for your damages. At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled single vehicle accident attorneys investigate your case and protect your rights under Florida law to make sure 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, May 12, 2016

Proving Fault For Injury Received At a Dangerous Clearwater Property

Accidents that are caused by defective or dangerous property, either inside or outside a building, are called "premises liability" accidents. These accidents can take place at commercial buildings such as stores or offices, residences including both private homes and rental properties, or on public property including parks, streets, or public transportation.  A premises can be dangerous for many reasons including:

       Faulty design
       Improper construction
       Inappropriate building materials
       Poor maintenance
       Dangerous clutter

A premises that is dangerous or defective can lead to a slip and fall accident, can cause an individual to trip or cause an object to fall or hit one or more individuals.  If a dangerous property condition has caused you or someone you love to become injured, it is important to understand who might be responsible for your injuries. 

Basic Clearwater Premises Liability

There are two basic rules to determine who is responsible for a premises accident.

1)    Keep the Property Safe:  The owner or individual who occupies the property has a legal duty to anyone who enters to keep that person free from unreasonable risk of injury because of the design, construction, or condition of the property.

2)    Visitor Use of the Property: The second rule of premises liability applies to the conduct of the injured person. If a person gets injured while acting in an unexpected, unauthorized, or dangerously careless way, the property owner or occupier may not be responsible.

Injured Clearwater Employees

The rules regarding premises liability extend to employees who are injured on their employer's property.  In that instance, however, the employee must file a worker's compensation claim rather than a personal injury claim.  If an employee is injured on a premises not owned by his or her employer, the employee can file a personal injury claim against the property owner based upon premises liability.

Injury on a Clearwater Commercial Property

When an individual is injured at a store[1], office, amusement park or another business, whether the owner or occupier is legally responsible for the accident is often times determined by where the accident occurred and what the lease or other business contract says about such liability. The injured person should notify the business about the accident and injuries and the business's insurance company will either handle the claim itself or pass the matter on to the building owner's insurance company.  This issue should be discussed with an experienced Clearwater premises liability attorney who can determine who is responsible for compensating the victim for damages and injuries.

Clearwater Private Residences

The rules of legal responsibility for accidents occurring on private residences depend, in part, on the type of residence.

           Rented apartment. If you are a guest or tenant who is injured in an accident on rental property, the individual who is responsible for maintaining the area that caused the accident is usually responsible for the damages.  The landlord, for example, is responsible for everything outside an apartment including hallways, stairs and entrances and for the immovable things inside such as floors, walls, fixtures and appliances that came with the apartment.  The tenant is responsible for the movable things inside an apartment.

           Private home. If you are injured in an accident caused by a dangerous or defective condition at a private home, the owner of the home is likely responsible. If the entire home is rented out, the tenant might also be responsible.

                Adjoining Properties. If an accident that occurs at the edge of two properties, such as at a fence on a property line, it may not be immediately clear whose property caused the accident. In these situations, it is very important to retain the services of a skilled Clearwater premises liability lawyer. 

Trespassing in Pinellas County

It is important to note that when an individual is a trespasser onto a defective or dangerous property, there may be no legal basis for a request for compensation.  Florida law defines a trespasser[2] as someone “who enters the premises of another without license, invitation, or other right, and intrudes for some definite purpose of his own, or at his own convenience, or merely as an idler with no apparent purpose, other than perhaps to satisfy his curiosity.”

Contact a Clearwater Premises Liability Lawyer

If you have received an injury while visiting a defective or dangerous property, a third party may be liable for your damages.  At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled premises liability attorneys will investigate your case and protect your rights under Florida law.  Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

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


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Common Clearwater Errors Leading To Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice cases arise when a patient is harmed by a doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals who fail to provide proper health care treatment. Fortunately, doctors, nurses, and hospitals make mistakes in a small number of cases but within that small minority of cases, there are certain common errors that occur more often than others leading to medical malpractice. 

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis in Pinellas County

Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis account for a large percentage of medical malpractice complaints. When a doctor misdiagnoses a condition or fails to diagnose a serious disease for some time, the patient might miss treatment opportunities or options that could have prevented serious harm or even death. The key in proving a medical malpractice claim based on misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis may be to compare what the treating doctor did or did not do to how other competent doctors within the same specialty would have handled the case. If a reasonably skillful and competent doctor under the same circumstances would not have made the diagnostic error, then the medical professional may be liable for malpractice.

In the state of Florida, section 766.102[1] of the statute provides: “[I]n any action for recovery of damages based on the death or personal injury of any person in which it is alleged that such death or injury resulted from the negligence of a health care provider as defined in s. 766.202(4), the claimant shall have the burden of proving by the greater weight of evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider. The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.”

Childbirth Injuries

A number of fetal injuries can be caused by medical malpractice, including brain injuries such as cerebral palsy and seizure disorders, fractured bones, and erb's and klumpke's palsy (damage to nerves that control the arms and hands).  In many instances, these birth injuries can be caused by something other than medical malpractice making it necessary to speak to a skilled Clearwater medical malpractice attorney.         

Negligent Prenatal Care

A physician or obstetrician's negligence can happen during childbirth or long before. If negligent medical treatment is provided during the pregnancy, it could harm the fetus or the mother or both. Negligent prenatal care can include:

                failure to diagnose a medical condition of the mother, such as         preeclampsia, Rh incompatibility, hypoglycemia, anemia, or gestational diabetes

                failure to identify birth defects

                failure to identify ectopic pregnancies, or

                failure to diagnose a disease that could be contagious to the mother's fetus (such as genital herpes or neonatal lupus).

Negligence During Childbirth

A doctor's negligence during childbirth could cause injury to the baby and harm to the mother. Common medical errors during childbirth include the physician or obstetrician's:

                failure to anticipate birth complications due to the baby's large size or because the umbilical cord got tangled
                failure to respond to signs of fetal distress

                failure to order a cesarean section when one was appropriate, or

                incompetent use of forceps or a vacuum extractor. 

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia mistakes are usually more dangerous than surgery mistakes. Even a small error by the anesthesiologist can result in permanent injury, brain damage, or even death. An anesthesiologist can commit medical malpractice even before anesthesia is administered:

                failing to investigate the patient's medical history for possible complications, or

                failing to inform the patient of the risks involved if preoperative instructions are not followed (like not eating for a certain period of time prior to surgery).

Anesthesia errors that can occur during surgery include:

                giving too much anesthesia to the patient

                failing to monitor the patient's vital signs

                improperly intubating patients (putting a tube in the trachea to assist with breathing), or

                using defective equipment.

Medical malpractice cases are regulated by complex rules in the state of Florida so it is often essential to get advice or representation from a lawyer who has experience handling Clearwater medical malpractice lawsuits.

Call a Clearwater Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice lawsuits differ from other personal injury cases because they involve two intertwining areas of expertise: law and medicine. These cases are inherently complex and require the attention and skill of an attorney who is well-versed in both of these areas. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group are experienced Clearwater medical malpractice attorneys who are prepared to review your case today.  Please call our office at 727-451-6900.

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