Thursday, September 14, 2017

Common Types of Construction Site Injuries

Common Construction Site Injuries in Clearwater, Florida

Construction sites have inherent risks because they are often in various stages of demolition and completion for an extended period of time. During this time, many structures, bridges, and roadways may have unstable conditions that can easily lead to injuries. In addition, construction sites often require the use of heavy machinery, equipment, and materials that can result in severe accidents and injuries. Because of these conditions and more, construction is considered to be one of the most dangerous industries by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The following are some of the ways that both construction workers and passersby sustain injuries due to hazards in and around construction sites.

While on the job, a construction worker can encounter many different hazards on a daily basis. For example, some of the accidents and injuries that commonly occur involving workers include:

·         Falling from ladders, scaffolding, or other heights, resulting in broken bones, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), or death.
·         Getting hit by tools or objects dropped from ladders, scaffolding, or other heights, which commonly causes TBI, fractures, spine and neck injuries, and more.
·         Electrocutions from unfinished electrical systems or exposed wiring, which lead to severe burns, heart attack, brain damage, among other injuries.
·         Getting hit or trapped by heavy materials that can result in crushed limbs or torso, shattered bones, TBI, spinal cord injuries and paralysis, and other catastrophic conditions.
·         Accidents involving construction vehicles, which often cause broken bones, head trauma and brain damage, neck and back injuries, and more.
·         Explosions or blasting accidents that lead to severe burns, amputations, or brain damage.
·         Exposure to toxic chemicals and substances that can cause burns, skin disorders, or the development of mesothelioma or other cancers.

If a construction worker sustains serious injuries, they often have different legal rights and options. They can often obtain compensation through the Florida Workers' Compensation program and an experienced workers' comp attorney can help to ensure you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled under the law. However, in some instances, workers' compensation cannot provide adequate recovery if a construction injury was particularly severe of life-changing. Depending on the circumstances of your individual case, a construction accident attorney can identify whether you have the right to file a legal claim to receive the full amount of compensation you deserve.

Workers are not the only individuals at risk due to the hazards of a construction site. Anyone who passes by a site on foot, on a bicycle, or in a motor vehicle can also be at risk for serious accidents. Many of the construction accidents that are common for passersby include:

·         Electrocutions
·         Getting hit by falling materials, tools, or objects
·         Motor vehicle collisions
·         Accidents due to equipment misuse or malfunction
·         Burns from close proximity to explosions or demolitions
·         Ground or trench collapses
·         Collapse of unfinished structures
·         Accidents due to poorly marked road construction sites

These are only some of the types of accidents that may occur involving passersby due to the negligence of a construction crew. Any injured individuals should discuss their rights to recovery with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact a Clearwater construction site injury lawyer today to retain legal counsel
People who are injured in preventable accidents that occur at or around construction sites can often obtain compensation for their injuries and other losses. In some cases, this compensation may be obtained through the Florida workers’ compensation program while, in others, an injured party may be able to sustain a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for their injuries. Whatever the case may be, anyone hurt at a construction site should discuss his or her options with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

The attorneys of the Dolman Law Group have been protect the legal rights of individuals injured at construction sites and in other types of preventable accidents. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Clearwater construction site accident attorneys, call our office today at 727-451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

Friday, September 1, 2017

Know the Difference: CT Scan, MRI, and X-Ray

If you have ever been injured or broken a bone, you may have had certain images taken at the hospital or doctors office. Doctors use these images to get a better view of the injury and to determine the best plan moving forward. But not everyone understands the different kind of images used by doctors, nor do they understand how certain images can be used in specific ways to detect an injury. This article will walk you through the three most common types of images or scans utilized by doctors: CT Scans, MRI’s and X-Rays.

What is an X-Ray?

            If you have ever fallen and broken a bone, you probably had an x-ray to determine the extent of the broken bone and the exact location of the break. At its core, an X-ray uses a small amount of radiation that passes through the body to quickly capture a single image of your body to assess injury, whether that be fractures or dislocations,or diseases such as bone degeneration, infections or tumors.[1] When the image is taken, the dense objects, such as bone, block the radiation and appear white on the X-ray picture.[2] 

An X-Ray is vital in detecting the following diseases or issues:
  • Bone cancer
  • Breast tumors
  • Enlarged heart
  • Blocked blood vessels
  • Conditions affecting your lungs
  • Digestive problems
  • Fractures
  • Infections
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Tooth decay
  • Needing to retrieve swallowed items[3]

What is an MRI?

An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, combines a powerful magnetic field with an advanced computer system and radio waves to produce accurate, detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and other internal body structures.[4] Unlike an X-ray scan, the patient is not exposed to radiation when an MRI is performed. A typical MRI will last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and the machine will scan “slices” of the body until one complete image is produced. You probably had an MRI if you remember being placed in a tube and feeling claustrophobic. 

This is feeling is common. MRI’s are good for detecting the following:
  • Imaging organs
  • Soft tissue an internal structures
  • Showing tissue difference between normal and abnormal
  • Imaging without radiation[5]

What is a CT Scan?

A CT Scan, or computed tomography, is basically a more powerful X-ray and produces 360 degree views of your body. It is unique in that it can take photos of bone, soft tissue, and even blood vessels at the same time. CT Scans are probably most well known for being able to detect cancer in the body. If you remember seeing an image of a person’s chest and all the white spots in the lungs indicating cancer, that was most likely taken with the help of a CT Scan. A CT Scan can detect the following:
  • Imaging bone, soft tissue and blood vessels at the same time
  • Pinpointing issues with bony structures (injuries)
  • Evaluating lung and chest issues (see lung scan image to the right)
  • Detecting cancers
  • Imaging patients with metal (no magnet)[6]

What will I undergo in a personal injury claim?

Because every case is unique, there is no telling what you may need for your own individual claim. It may turn out that your injuries are so severe that you need all three forms of imaging, but that rarely is the case. More than likely if you have a broken bone as the result of your accident, you will need an X-ray. If you have back or neck issues, such as a herniated or bulging disc, you will likely need an MRI to determine how severe your herniatons are, and at which levels they exist. With an MRI, a doctor will be able to tell you how severe your back or neck injuries are and what forms of treatment are likely to resolve your issues. Again, it all depends on your specific incident and what areas of the body you have injured. An attorney can tell you more as far as what tests you are likely to undergo when you see a doctor.

The Right Representation for your Personal Injury Claim

The personal injury attorneys of the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating personal injury claims. They fight hard to protect Clearwater residents from injuries and ensure that they are fairly compensated when injuries do occur. Whether your injuries were caused by a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or other negligence, our experienced team has the legal expertise to ably handle your claim. Call 727-451-6900 to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today. Our experienced, aggressive attorneys will protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses.

Dolman Law Group800 North Belcher RoadClearwater, FL 33765(727) 451-6900

by Geoffery Pfeiffer


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pediatric Medical Malpractice

pediatric medical malpractice florida

Whether it’s the best hospital in the world, or just a small town clinic, accident can occur at any medical facility. We often assume that medical professionals and facilities are incapable of mistakes, however they are humans too; and mistakes happen. And of course, the mistakes or medical negligence can occur to any person, or any age. This includes children. We all do everything we can to protect our children, but some things are out of our control. When a child is injured due to pediatric medical negligence, the only thing we can do to further protect them is to hold the medical professional and facility responsible for their actions so that our children’s medical bills and expenses are properly covered in the future.

Types of Pediatric Medical Malpractice

There are many ways an error can cause harm to your child. One of the most common cases is a doctor making a diagnostic error. This is most commonly in the form of a missed diagnosis or a wrong diagnosis. This can come about in many ways, such as failing to perform the proper testing, ignoring or missing dangerous symptoms, botching a test, or misreading properly performed test results.    
Speedy diagnosis is extremely important for any injured or sick person; this can be especially true for children. If a child is not diagnosed quickly, depending on the severity of the illness, it can cause lifelong harm or even death. One particular area of concern involves children’s immune systems. When it comes to very young children, the immune system is not as strong as older kids, teens, or adults. Depending on the child, their little body may not be able to fight off an infection. This can be serious if a medical professional fails to diagnose an infection in a child.
In a six-month time period, a total of 1,362 physicians were studied at three different medical sites. According to the study, 43% of these doctors reported that they made a mistake while evaluating or diagnosing a patient.
Another common type of pediatric medical malpractice involves mistakes concerning medications. This issue can be serious, especially with dangerous types of medications and dangerous doses. If a child gets a wrong type of medication, or even the wrong dosage of a prescribed medication, it could possibly be fatal. This is especially true for children because of their small size and inability to handle strong or large doses of medications.             
Other medical mistakes that could be considered pediatric medical malpractice include:
  • failure to monitor a patient after delivering a strong or high dose of medication,
  • mistakes during the delivery or effects of anesthesia,
  • surgical errors during procedure or preparation

Of course, these are just some of the medical accidents that can happen due to the negligence of a medical professional.
We trust our medical professionals to take care of us, and our children. At all times while in the care of a medical professional, it’s their duty to make sure your child has the best and most effective care possible. Doctors and facilities who make mistakes out of negligence should and can be held liable for their mistakes.
Any negligent act that could be considered pediatric medical malpractice is potentially more dangerous to a child because of their size and immune system. Negligence during diagnosis, medication delivery, or at any step could mean dire consequences for a child.

Common Injuries Suffered from Pediatric Medical Malpractice

Some of the most common injuries that a child can suffer as a result of pediatric medical malpractice include:
  • Brain injury due to lack of oxygen, medication error, blood pressure drop
  • Organ damage during surgery
  • Hemorrhaging or excessive bleeding during surgery or from medication
  • Pneumococcal infection (of the chest)
  • Strep infections that can potentially spread to other parts of the body
  • Bacterial infections, potentially leading to sepsis)
  • Meningitis, causing brain damage or death

These mistakes could be a result of emergency room over-crowding, the capacity of a hospital being reached or exceed, or because of a miscommunication among staff.
There are many ways that pediatric medical negligence can occur, but this doesn’t provide an excuse when a mistake happens. Our children’s lives are extremely valuable to us as parents, families, and communities. If a doctor makes a mistake that can be considered medical negligence, it is your responsibility to hold all parties involved accountable for the compensation necessary to care for your child now and in the future.

Pediatric Medical Malpractice Attorneys

At the Dolman Law Group we are parents too. We understand that your children are the most important things in your lives and we are here to protect them. Our team of experienced attorneys have tried hundreds of medical malpractice and are ready to handle your case. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation and to get your questions answered. We look forward to hearing from you. 
Call us at (727) 451-6900

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Importance of Spending a Little Extra for Uninsured Motorist Coverage.

uninsured motorist coverage clearwater

Let me start by saying that I hate paying bills every moth just like you do; believe me, I get it. So bear with me for a minute while I justify the increase in your automobile insurance premium that you should make. I know that GEICO is already charging you 'an arm and a leg' because of that one time you rear-ended a Falcons fan at the Bucs game. But joking aside, when you choose your insurance, it's critical that you don’t skip out on Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM).

UM is an abbreviation for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Basically, it’s your safety net against another driver having no insurance or too little insurance. 

Let’s dive into a hypothetical real quick. Bob is driving down to the beach on Labor Day weekend. Bathing suit, shades, and sunblock; he’s about to relax like it’s going out of style. But just as he makes the last turn into the roundabout, Bob finds out just how confusing and dangerous that roundabout can be. Someone had too many PiƱa Coladas, and Bob ends up on a stretcher instead of a beach chair.

Now, hopefully that driver has insurance to cover Bob’s injuries. His car is totaled, his arm is broken, and there is a throbbing pain in his back that just won’t go away. Maybe that other driver has the bare minimum of coverage; or maybe they were illegally drivingwith no insurance coverage whatsoever. Bottom-line is, Bob is sitting in a hospital room with bills stacking up hoping the responsible party has enough coverage to cover his medical costs.

But what happens when the responsible party doesn’t have insurance to cover the bills? That’s where your UM coverage steps in. Unlike your Bodily Injury coverage, which covers the injuries you inflict on others, UM has your back…or in Bob’s case, his back surgery. When you’re not at fault and the other guy doesn’t have the funds, UMsteps in to pay out. That’s why, even if it costs a bit extra, you must make sure you have at least some UM coverage.

Now if this sounds like an automobile insurance commercial, I apologize. And to prove my sincerity for begging you to pump up your premium, let me tell you the rest of Bob’s story. 

Had Bob spent the extra cash and got a decent amount of UM coverage from his whole family, Bob would of left nothing to chance; he would be getting his treatment compensated no matter who crashes into him. But much to his dismay, when his bill comes, guess who refuses to pay?

Unfortunately, your own insurance company may try to avoid paying out on your UM claim. When this happens, you may feel like you have nowhere to turn. After all, this is the same company who hires a lawyer and pays the bills to defend you, when you injure someone else on the road; but instead of covering you as agreed, when you are the one suffering, they decide to pinch pennies. When faced with this type of situation, you may be in need of an attorney to hold them to their promise.

Insurance companies may try to argue that something you did invalidates your coverage. They may claim that certain treatments are unnecessary. But don’t be fooled, even your own insurance company places profits over people. Your premium payments don’t buy loyalty; they create a contract. The reality of our world is that parties breach contracts every day. In fact, sometimes it is in the best interest of a party to breach a contract, because the benefits outweigh the cost. This is known as an “efficient breach,” to legal academics, but I am sure anyone who has been on the wrong end of one would call it something else.

When you hire an attorney to enforce your rights on the contract, it forces the insurance company to recalculate their cost-benefit analysis. Let’s not forget, insurance is the business of risk management. You know they have a team of number-crunchers figuring out the odds of your behavior, so don’t be afraid to take the right steps to make sure they do the right thing.
  1. Get adequate UM coverage. You might have to forgo a luxury or two to get it, but when you need it, you won’t regret your decision.
  2. Document everything. Call the police, even if it’s a hit and run. Should the police never find the culprit, you will still be in good standing to tap into your UM coverage.
  3. Hire an attorney to make sure you get the full benefits you deserve. Don’t think that just because there is no defendant driver, there will be no litigation.

The attorneys at Dolman Law Group know how insurance companies operate. We have litigated first-party claims, third-party claims, and even bad faith claims. When you pay your premium with hard-earned cash, you make a contract that says the insurance company will pay if you get hurt. Make sure that these insurance companies hold up their end of the bargain. Don’t feel embarrassed or disloyal to a company that will break their promise to pay some stockholders. You can email me directly at or call our office at 727-222-6922 and speak with me or one of our attorneys today. Ffind out how we can get you, what you deserve.

-Jack Vasilaros, Esq.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Causes of Rollover Crashes

There are many types of car accidents: rear end, sideswipe, left turn, failure to yield, and many more. While any type of car accident can cause injuries, rollover accidents are particularly dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that rollover accidents have a higher fatality rate than other types of accidents. While rollover accidents account for only 2.1% of all accidents in 2010, they accounted for 35% of all deaths from passenger vehicle accidents in the United States.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact the Dolman Law Group to schedule a free consultation with a Clearwater area personal injury attorney. Our experienced car accident lawyers ensure that your claim is negotiated and litigated aggressively so that you receive the fair compensation to which you are legally entitled.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these are some of the most common causes of rollover accidents:
Speed: NHTSA reports that approximately forty percent of fatal rollover accidents involve excessive speed. Seventy-five percent of all fatal rollover accidents occurred in locations where the posted speed limit was fifty-five miles per hour or higher. Speed makes it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles. This is particularly problematic in SUVs and other vehicles with a high center of gravity.
Alcohol: NHTSA also reports that nearly half of all fatal rollover accidents involved alcohol.
Location: Rural roads - without dividers or barriers - experience more rollover accidents than urban areas. Nearly seventy-five percent of all fatal rollover accidents occurred in rural areas.
Driver Error: Fatal rollover accident data indicates that driver behavior one of the most significant factors in causing rollover accidents. Nearly eighty-five percent of all fatal rollover accidents involved a single car (indicating that there was no other driver whose behavior contributed to the accident). Furthermore, ninety percent of those accidents occurred during routine driving maneuvers, such as driving straight or negotiating a curve. These facts strongly suggest that inattentiveness and distraction are frequent factors in rollover accidents.
The Types of Vehicles Which are Most Susceptible to Rollover Accidents
There is no single vehicle that can be considered the “safest”. This is because driving situations are not uniform, and the needs of the driver will vary based upon the unique present circumstances. Forbes points out that, generally, heavier trucks and sport utility vehicles are at an advantage in a collision, because they absorb less impact from the other vehicle. Yet SUVs and pickup trucks are twice as likely to roll over in a single car accident, and because of this, they have high fatality rates.

The high rollover rate is attributable to physics. Trucks and SUVs have a higher center of gravity that lower, smaller cars. This makes it easier for them to tip over. It also makes it more difficult for a driver to correct the vehicle once something (such as wind) has impaired the vehicle’s balance. New electronic stability control technologies can help drivers maintain control, but such features cannot wholly compensate for the challenging physics of a tall, narrow vehicle.
Large, heavy vehicles are generally more difficult to control. This makes it difficult to correct even small changes in balance. In one tragic case out of Jupiter, two Florida paramedics were killed when a car attempted to make a u-turn in front of their ambulance. In a more bizarre case out of San Antonio, a truck carrying snakes and a baby alligator lost control after a tire blowout. Twenty-three snakes were captured, but the baby alligator was not immediately found. Law enforcement agents had to perform a reverse 911 call operation to make local residents aware of the alligator and remaining snakes. Such cases illustrate the outlandish - and sometimes deadly - consequences of even a simple rollover accident.
Of course, large and heavy vehicles are not the only ones which can roll over. One Virginia Tech medical student has spent years researching lawn mower accidents and found that rollover accidents on lawn mowers are surprisingly common. He hopes to start an injury prevention program in the local region (which experiences a high number of rollover lawn mower accidents). All-terrain vehicles are also prone to rolling over. ATV accidents have recently claimed the lives of victims in Myrtle Point, Oregon; Round Lake Township, Washington; and a thirteen-year-old girl in Bonavista, Canada.
Large trucks pose many hazards to all drivers and passengers on the road. When a big rig is heavy with loaded cargo, it can easily lose control. This can cause the truck to roll over or cause other vehicles to lose control and roll over themselves. Drivers should use particular caution any time there is a big rig on the road:
  • Leave adequate space between your vehicle and the truck (which requires a longer stopping distance). 
  • Make sure the truck driver can see you and use lights or horns as necessary. 
  • Signal any lane changes well in advance. Do not make any unexpected movements.
  • Use particular caution in construction zones and anywhere else large trucks are likely to be found. 
  • Do not allow yourself to become distracted by passengers (such as children or pets) or 
  • technology (such as entertainment systems, navigation systems, or smart phones).
  • Identify hazards as early as possible. This will maximize the time available to respond, and improve your chances of avoiding a collision or rollover accident. 
  • Stay awake and alert behind the wheel. Pull over and rest when you begin to feel fatigued. 

Experienced Representation for your Rollover Accident Claim
The car accident attorneys of the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating car accident claims. They fight hard to protect Clearwater residents from injuries and ensure that they are fairly compensated when injuries do occur. Our experienced team has the legal expertise to successfully handle your claim. Call (727) 451-6900 to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today. Our experienced, aggressive attorneys will protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

Monday, August 7, 2017

Florida Supreme Court Does Not Allow Insurer to Pursue Claims against Doctor

by Darryl Ervin Rouson, Esq.

It is important at Dolman Law Group to know the laws affecting full recovery. Injuries sustained in a car accident do not necessarily stop at the site of the crash. Further injuries may also incur on the way to the hospital or even once a person is under medical care. If an individual’s negligence caused a car accident, they may be responsible not only for injuries to another person from the crash, but also any injuries that person suffered while being treated for the initial injuries, including medical malpractice. The theory behind this is that the injured party would not be in the hospital to begin with if it wasn’t for the negligence of the person who caused the crash. 

The Supreme Court of Florida ruled this month that an at-fault driver, or their insurance company, cannot sue the injured party’s medical provider before the at-fault driver has fully paid a judgment against them. In this case, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Inc. v. Allstate InsuranceCo., a male on a scooter, Benjamin Hintz, was hit by a negligent driver, Emily Boozer. Mr. Hintz was injured and taken to the hospital where he suffered further injuries due to medical negligence. Hintz sued Boozer and was awarded $11.1 million for injuries. Hintz then sued the hospital for medical malpractice and Boozer, the at-fault driver, then tried to enter as a party to the case. 

If an individual is hurt in a car accident, that was not their fault, they can file a personal injury claim against whomever caused the accident and may be able to recover monetary damages. If the party that caused the accident has insurance, their insurance company may be responsible for paying some, or all, of the damages. Furthermore, Florida is a contributory negligence state. That means if one party is 70 percent at fault for the accident and you are 30 percent at fault you can still recover damages, but they will be reduced by the percentage you were at fault. 

In this case, the injured party filed a personal injury claim against the driver and the jury awarded him almost $15 million dollars, which was reduced to $11.1 million dollars due to comparative negligence. The driver’s insurance paid $1.1 million, but the driver nor the insurance company paid the remaining $10 million judgment.

After the verdict from the personal injury claim, the injured party filed a medical malpractice suit against the hospital. The driver of the car, and her insurance company, intervened in the law suit as parties seeking equitable subordination. Equitable subordination would lower the claim for the driver based on damages recoverable from the medical provider. The theory of equitable subordination is that an at-fault party required to pay a legal judgment should be given some financial assistance with the payment by another party that may have been partially at fault. 

The trial court initially dismissed the driver and insurance company because their $11.1 million verdict was not paid in full. However, the 5th District Court of Appeals reversed and allowed them to come in as a party of the suit because the verdict had been entered against them, whether or not it had been paid. The injured party and hospital appealed to the Supreme Court. 

The Supreme Court of Florida ruled that although an at-fault driver may seek equity from a negligent doctor, the at-fault driver must have fully paid their claim before doing so. Therefore, before the driver here seeks money from the hospital for any damages they were responsible for, the driver must first pay the $11.1 million judgment against her. 

The injured party has the right to sue both the at-fault driver and the hospital because the wrongful acts were separate. Additionally, the Court noted that the injured party has a right to a judgment against the driver as well as the hospital as long as there is only one recovery.

If you've been involved in a car accident or the victim of medical malpractice, contact the experienced attorneys at Dolman Law Group for your free case evaluation.

Dolman Law Group
Clearwater-St. Petersburg-New Port Richey-Sarasota