Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Who Can be Liable for a Construction Site Accident?


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Not Just Employers Can be Sued for Construction Site Injuries

Construction is an industry that is well known as being one of the most dangerous someone can be employed in. You can find construction sites in almost every civilized part of the country with millions of workers employed in positions ranging from electricians to heavy machinery operators. 

Regardless of the construction site and position, there is an ever-present shadow of danger all construction workers toil under. One mistake on a construction site or one safety regulation ignored can mean someone’s death or grievous injury. Many construction workers find this out the hard way and end up with life-changing damages they suffer because of construction accident injuries. In many cases, the employer is the first party those seeking compensation look to as being liable for their damages. However, there are actually many parties that may have contributed negligence to a construction accident.

Construction Equipment Makers and Manufacturers

One of the most common causes of construction site accidents is heavy machinery and equipment. Construction sites utilize a wide array of devices that can inflict severe injuries just by falling on someone let alone through their incorrect usage. These devices have the potential to harm people in a number of ways which makes the safety standards put in place for them very high. A malfunction can easily kill someone or at least cause severe injuries which is why manufacturers and designers of this machinery and equipment try to make it as safe as possible. 

Despite this, many construction workers end up severely injured by defective or malfunctioning construction equipment. In the event that these defects and malfunctions are caused by an issue with the manufacturing or design of the machinery in question then the company that made the product can be considered liable in a product liability lawsuit. Even problems with the caution labeling of certain tools and equipment that fail to inform of certain dangers that end up causing an injury could potentially be grounds for liability. 

Construction Equipment and Machinery Maintenance Malfunction Liability

Some construction machinery malfunctions may not be caused by a defect but instead will occur because of problems with the maintenance. A business that was responsible for the maintenance of construction equipment that malfunctioned may be held liable for the injuries that the malfunction caused. In order to be held liable, there would need to be proof that their negligent actions led to the malfunction. For example, they could have failed to do perform the full scope of maintenance expected or replaced parts with cheaper versions, etc.

Other contractors Working on the Site

Construction Sites are often not only worked on by a single unified group of construction workers. It takes a number of specialized workers with different skills and training to properly construct just about anything. As a result, there are often different groups of contractors with different employers all working in the same site. 

Most of the time, this is not an issue since all groups working on a site try to be as safe as possible by communicating with other groups efficiently and observing safety protocol. However, there are many instances where a construction worker is injured not because of their employer’s negligence but because of negligence caused by another group of contractors. 

If you are injured because of another worker on a construction site that is not employed by the same company, you should be able to sue the other worker’s employer. The legal doctrine respondeat superior dictates that employers are liable for the negligent actions of their employees and is applicable in this situation. 

Property Owners

There are some accidents that can occur because of issues with the property construction is taking place on. For example, the owner of the property construction is taking place on could be negligent in their handling of a beehive reported at the site that causes a worker to fall off some scaffolding and injure themselves severely due to an angry swarm of bees. 

Premises liability ensures that those that own the property can be held accountable for accidents that occurred because of conditions that were within their control. Construction workers are invited onto the property which means that the owners of that property have a duty to ensure that there are no conditions within their control that can harm someone. 

Drivers in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Those that drive on Florida highways are more than aware of the constant construction that is always going on in seemingly every part of the state. Road construction can be the site of some of the worst construction accidents because of reckless drivers. Cars can crash into construction sites and cause widespread damage and injure many. These kinds of catastrophes do not always have to involve road construction. There are cases where cars careen off the road when they lose control and crash into construction sites of roadside structures. If a driver caused the accident then they may potentially be liable for the damages you suffered as a result of their negligence. 

Seek an Experienced Clearwater Construction Injury Attorney

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 Sibley Dolman Gipe have been protecting the legal rights of individuals injured at construction sites and in other types of preventable accidents. Our attorneys specialize in helping those injured at work get the full value of compensation owed to them and can assist you with your case. 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.

Sibley Dolman Gipe

800 North Belcher Road

Clearwater, FL 33756


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Common Car Accident Types That Cause Whiplash


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Which Car Accidents are More Likely to Cause Whiplash?

One of the most common types of car accident injuries that people suffer are whiplash injuries. These injuries can be quite severe yet they can easily be missed when those involved in car accidents ignore symptoms and fail to get medical attention. Whiplash injuries have the potential to inflict severe damages which can lead to the need to file a car accident injury claim. Some accidents more than others are more likely to inflict these kinds of injuries. 

What is a Whiplash Injury?

The human spine is a reasonably sturdy structure within the human body responsible for keeping us upright as well as functioning as an integral part of our nervous system as well. Like many of the body’s hardened structures, there is little that can be done to avoid its destruction in the face of severe physical trauma. The area of the spine that reaches up into the neck is no different. The tissue and vertebrae of the neck can suffer under the trauma generated by a car accident and cause what is known as whiplash or a neck sprain. 

Whiplash injuries are specifically caused by the extreme jerking movements of the head caused by the sudden deacceleration generated by a motor vehicle collision. These jerking movements can cause damage to the tissue and vertebrae of the neck that can get worse with time if not addressed by a medical professional. Whiplash can cause very painful symptoms that can disrupt a person's life. The damage inflicted can be even worse if complications develop.

Whiplash and Delayed Symptoms

Whiplash is known to cause very painful symptoms among those that are afflicted. The most typical symptom is extreme pain in the neck and surrounding areas. However, symptoms of whiplash can take time to surface which makes diagnoses a bit more complicated. Some of the most common whiplash symptoms include:

  • Neck stiffness

  • Severe neck pain

  • Headaches

  • Loss of range of motion in the neck

  • Tingling in the arms

  • Dizziness

  • Soreness in the shoulders and upper back

A common scenario that occurs among those afflicted with whiplash consists of an accident occurring where a jerking of the neck causes damage to its tissue or vertebrae. In the immediate aftermath of of the accident, the pain that this kind of damage normally causes is masked by the adrenaline that pumps through the body because of stress induced by a car accident. 

Symptoms can take up to the next day to show up and make diagnosis a bit more difficult. Sometimes whiplash symptoms can end up being delayed for as long as several days which is why it is imperative that those involved in accidents that are at high risk to cause whiplash injuries seek medical assistance as soon as possible even if they do not exhibit any symptoms immediately. 

Rear-End Accidents Cause the Most Whiplash Injuries

The type of accident that most often causes whiplash among those involved is the rear-end accident. This accident consists of one vehicle driving into a vehicle in front of them causing the front of one vehicle to collide with the rear of the other hence the name “rear-end” accident. Rear-end accidents have the potential to occur in almost any setting whether it be a highway or parking lot. They can also occur at high or low speeds but regardless of this detail, they can almost always cause severe physical harm. Whiplash injuries occur in rear-end accidents involving a number of motor vehicles including commercial tractor-trailers, motorcycles, and the average car. 

Why do Rear-End Accidents Cause Whiplash?

When a rear-end accident occurs, both car’s occupants can experience severe forces that can act on their necks and cause an intense jerking motion that can result in a whiplash injury. When the vehicle in front has the vehicle behind it collide with its rear, the full force of the impact moves the front vehicle forward suddenly and a person’s head jerks backwards due to the sudden acceleration. There can be further exacerbation of this damage if further collision is caused by something like an object or other vehicle positioned in front of the rear-struck vehicle. 

Filing a Personal Injury Claim Over Whiplash

Even though whiplash may consist of a period of time in which symptoms are delayed it can still cause severe damages among those affected. People that have suffered whiplash as a result of another driver’s negligent actions may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. 

With the assistance of an experienced attorney, you may be able to reach a settlement with the responsible party’s insurance that can cover the whiplash-related damages you suffered such as medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. If need be, your attorney can also take your case to court so that your right to compensation can be pursued in a trial in the event a settlement cannot be reached.

Seek an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney

Car accidents often have serious consequences for all of those involved, including catastrophic injuries and fatalities. If you have been injured in a car accident you may be struggling with significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens, in addition to the potentially long road to recovery.

Speak to an experienced car accident attorney from Sibley Dolman Gipe as soon as possible and learn if you may be eligible to recover your economic and non-economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, property loss, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys can evaluate your case and determine all potential claims, and we have a record of success helping clients to settle their claims when possible and litigating them with necessary. We work to aggressively pursue all avenues of compensation. Call Sibley Dolman Gipe today at (866) 963-6954, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation and case review.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

800 N Belcher Rd

Clearwater, FL 33765

Phone: (866) 963-6954

Monday, March 29, 2021

How Long Will My Personal Injury Claim Take?


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Clearwater Personal Injury Claim Length 

A personal injury claim is one way in which a person that has suffered a severe injury due to another party’s negligence can seek compensation for damages they have sustained. Filing one of these personal injury claims is often the only option many people have for seeking compensation yet the prospect of going through this form of legal action can be daunting for a number of reasons. Primarily, the length it may take to get compensation via a personal injury claim is a chief concern.

Why Length is a Concern When Filing a Personal Injury Claim

After suffering an injury severe enough to warrant filing a personal injury claim, there are typically a number of costs that cannot wait. Dealing with the various damages that surface after a severe personal injury can put immense pressure on someone. This pressure often leads people to make mistakes like accepting lowball settlement offers and complying with unreasonable demands from the insurance company. 

The promise of fast money from a settlement offer to pay for immediate and pressing expenses after a personal injury can often outweigh the possibility of getting better compensation through more effort in the minds of those dealing with personal injuries. Personal injury claims are seldomly fast affairs and this may dissuade someone from taking this course of action. However, the rewards one obtains from doing their due diligence and going through the full process of filing a personal injury claim are very much worth the effort and time. 

Why do Personal Injury Claims Take Time?

After suffering a personal injury a potential claimant will typically undergo treatment for their injury and may be contacted by the insurance company while they are recovering about their claim. At this point in time, the pressure to deal with medical bills and other assorted damages may ramp up and lead a claimant to start pursuing a claim and seek the assistance of an attorney. 

By this time several weeks or even months may have passed. Each step of the claims process can take an equally long amount of time or perhaps longer depending on the details of the case. Since personal injury cases can vary greatly in terms of damages, injuries, types of accidents, liable parties, etc. The steps of the process can equally vary in time so it is important to remember that a personal injury attorney will never be able to give you an exact estimate on when they will have a settlement for you. 

A personal injury claim will often rely on the agreement between a defendant’s insurance and a claimant and their representation to a compromise in the form of an out-of-court settlement. As with all negotiations, this can take time since both parties will spend time investigating the accident to gather evidence and build their cases. Sometimes an attempt to settle a personal injury case can fail and the case will have to go to trial. This can take much longer and require even more resources. Going to court over a personal injury lawsuit can sometimes take years before a resolution is reached. 

What Factors Influence the Length of a Personal Injury Claim

While there is no way to determine the exact length of a personal injury claim, there are certain factors that can affect how long a claim may take to be resolved. 

The Severity of the Injuries

One of the primary factors that will influence not only the length of a personal injury claim but the difficulty, damages claimed, etc. is the injury itself. Put simply, the more severe the injury the longer a personal injury case is more likely to take. 

The reason for this is that more severe personal injuries like traumatic brain injuries or spinal injuries require much more compensation. The insurance companies that are typically responsible for paying to cover these damages become more resistant to paying out the more money they stand to lose which can lead to an inability to reach a settlement and a case going to trial which as mentioned before can drag out the process significantly. 

The Number of Parties Involved

The complexity of a personal injury claim can increase drastically when there are multiple parties that can be considered at fault for the injuries a claimant has suffered. As the complexity of a personal injury claim increases, so too does the length of a personal injury claim. Dealing with multiple at-fault parties means that negotiations will have to satisfy additional parties that may have very different ideas of what is acceptable in a settlement. This of course will take much longer than a case dealing with only a single liable party.

The Amount of Evidence 

One of the primary components of any personal injury case is the evidence of another party’s fault for an injury and the investigation that gathers this evidence. The amount of evidence that a claimant can present to prove the negligence of a liable party has a direct effect on how easily they can reach a settlement or win a trial. Cases with less evidence and less effective investigation have a harder time proving fault which can cause a case to drag on. 

Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys to Aggressively Defend Your Claim

If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury because of the negligence of a party that can be considered liable then you may be able to seek compensation. Civil law allows those injured under circumstances that should have been avoided had a party not be negligent to file a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims seek compensation from these negligent party’s insurance coverage and in some cases directly from the liable party themselves. 

Personal injury victims have legal rights under Florida law. They are legally entitled to be compensated for all losses resulting from their injuries, including short and long-term medical costs, decreased future earning potential, and other costs that may be attributable to another party’s negligence. Sibley Dolman Gipe has years of experience in protecting the rights of injured accident victims in and around the Clearwater area. 

Call (727) 451-6900 today or fill out a contact form to schedule your free consultation with an experienced, aggressive personal injury attorney.

Sibley Dolman Gipe

800 North Belcher Road

Clearwater, FL 33765

(727) 451-6900

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Clearwater Tailgating Car Accidents


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What is Tailgating and How Does it Cause Car Accidents?

Drivers have to contend with a number of hazards when traversing the roads of Florida. While potholes, inclement weather, and debris can prove to be dangerous obstacles, other people can often end up being the most dangerous hazards a driver will encounter. Other drivers can drive distracted, under the influence, and even purposely try to harm other drivers with their vehicle in a fit of road rage. What can often be especially dangerous are behaviors other drivers may engage in that may not immediately seem dangerous but can quickly turn into a potentially deadly situation. One such dangerous driving behavior is tailgating. 

What is Tailgating?

Drivers can all come in different skill levels and with different amounts of experience but despite this, negligent behavior can be exhibited by all. The space between different vehicles is an important part of driving that motorists need to keep in mind. Drivers are expected to keep at least a full vehicle’s length distance between them and other vehicles in front and behind them. Tailgating is when one motor vehicle closes the distance with another in front of it to the point that they are dangerously close to the “tail” of the vehicle in front of them. 

Tailgating consists of driving up dangerously close to the vehicle in front of you and may seem like an obviously dangerous driving behavior but is actually fairly commonplace. A large portion of car accidents that occur in Florida involve tailgating in some capacity. Drivers will tailgate for a number of reasons. They may be in a hurry, they may be experiencing road rage, they may be driving under the influence, or they might not realize they are tailgating because they are distracted. A large number of negligent behaviors can occur hand in hand with tailgating and can contribute to the accidents they cause. 

Tailgating Accidents

The most common type of accident that tailgating will cause is rear-ending accidents. These accidents consist of one vehicle ramming another from behind. Coincidentally, these are among the most common accidents that occur all over the country. Rear-end accidents caused by tailgating can occur in a variety of settings ranging from parking lots to interstates. This means that the injuries inflicted by tailgating accidents can be equally as varied due to the changing severity of accidents. 

Why are Tailgating Accidents so Common?

As mentioned before, despite traffic laws requiring a certain buffer distance between vehicles while driving many people still find themselves right on the tail of the motor vehicle in front of them. The reason this is so dangerous is because without adequate buffer distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, braking in time so that you don’t collide with the vehicle in front of you can be made especially difficult.

Factors that Improve the Risk of Tailgating Accidents

Most vehicles require at least some distance to make a complete stop, especially if they are traveling at higher speeds. The larger the vehicle, the more distance is required to stop because of the additional momentum the larger vehicle will generate and propel it forward despite brakes being activated. A full car’s length is usually adequate for the average car. Several car lengths are needed for larger commercial vehicles that are known to cause rear-end accidents because they followed the preceding vehicle too closely when tailgating. 

An additional factor that affects this is the condition of the road. Wet weather can make the roads slick and less able to generate the friction necessary to brake in time. Tailgating often causes accidents because it often goes in tandem with another very common accident-causing behavior. Distracted driving while tailgating is a very common cause of car accidents. Distracted driving is actually the top cause of car accidents in the United States. If you are driving right behind another vehicle and take your eyes off of what you are doing, the car in front can hit its brakes and slam into your vehicle very easily. 

Who is at Fault for a Tailgating Accident

Tailgating accidents can end up with both parties involved pointing fingers. The person that was tailgating sometimes may claim that the car in front “brake checked” them which is when a car in front of the other slams their brakes in an antagonistic gesture towards the rear driver. 

When it comes to rear-end accidents, the car at the rear that collides with the car in front is almost always considered at-fault for the accident. This is the case even if the car in the front brake checks the rear vehicle. The reasoning for this is that the car that is at the rear is expected to make sure that there is enough space between them and the front vehicle to stop in time even if the car in front immediately slams on its brakes. 

Seek an Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorney

Car accidents often have serious consequences for all of those involved, including catastrophic injuries and fatalities. If you have been injured in a car accident you may be struggling with significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens, in addition to the potentially long road to recovery.

Speak to an experienced car accident attorney from Sibley Dolman Gipe as soon as possible and learn if you may be eligible to recover your economic and non-economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, property loss, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys can evaluate your case and determine all potential claims, and we have a record of success helping clients to settle their claims when possible and litigating them with necessary. We work to aggressively pursue all avenues of compensation. Call Sibley Dolman Gipe today at (866) 963-6954, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation and case review.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

800 N Belcher Rd

Clearwater, FL 33765

Phone: (866) 963-6954

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Truck Accidents Caused by Hours of Service Violations

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Semi-Truck Drivers and Hours of Service Regulations

Truck driving is an occupation that takes an immense toll on a driver’s endurance. Semi-truck drivers will typically spend hours upon hours behind the wheel in order to make deliveries across the country. Hours of monotony concentrating on keeping a semi-truck safely on the road can eventually cause a number of impairments as a driver gets fatigued. This is why semi-truck drivers are required to limit their hours. This allotted amount of time to semi-truck drivers before they must take mandatory breaks is known as hours of service

Semi-Truck Driver Fatigue Causes Accidents 

Spending long periods of time sitting down may not sound exhausting but doing so while concentrating on driving a semi-truck can cause severe strain on the mind and body. Truck drivers that don’t take regular breaks and drive over their limit end up driving drowsy which is a surprisingly common cause of semi-truck accidents

Drowsy driving or fatigued driving causes a number of impairments that can affect your driving abilities. In many cases, driving while drowsy is comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol. Some examples of drowsy driving impairment include:

  • Reduced perception
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Poor judgment
  • Worse motor skills

In addition to all of this impairment that can come from driving fatigued is the danger of falling asleep at the wheel. When a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel a severe accident is assured involving either the truck driver alone crashing into a status object like a railing, tree, building, etc., or other drivers caught in a collision with the semi-truck bulk. 

Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving can be extremely dangerous since it comes on gradually. The effects of drowsy driving will not start to impair a driver right away like how driving after a few drinks will cause fast-acting side effects. Instead, truck drivers can feel good about their state while driving after they have driven past their hours of service. This false sense of confidence often proves to be many driver’s undoing since before they know it a yawn or two starts turning into nodding off behind the wheel surprisingly quickly. 

This is why hours of service were implemented. By putting strict limits on the number of hours a truck driver can drive straight, avoiding this scenario where drivers overestimate their ability to stay awake and alert is avoided much more effectively. Some of the early signs that someone is starting to reach their limit and are driving drowsy include:

  • Yawning or blinking frequently
  • Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven
  • Missing your exit
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Hitting a rumble strip

What Are the Truck Driver Hours of Service?

No matter which states a truck driver is in they are required to observe the hours of service since they are a federal regulation imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They pertain to both a truck driver’s length of time driving per single shift as well as the amount of time total they are allowed to work in a span of time. 

  • Truck drivers are only allowed to work 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours in an eight-day period.
  • Truck drivers that are transporting property can only drive 11 hours after having 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers who are transporting passengers are limited to drive 10 hours after having eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • Commercial truck drivers are required to take a break for at least 30 minutes after driving for eight consecutive hours.

Why Do Truck Drivers Violate Hours of Service?

Truck drivers are under an immense amount of pressure to complete their deliveries on time and this stress can lead to them taking risks like driving past their limit. Drivers will often believe that it is better to drive dangerous and shave some time off of their route rather than take a small thirty-minute break to collect themselves. 

In other cases, it may not always be the driver alone that neglects to obey the hours of service regulations put in place to keep drivers safe. Trucking companies will sometimes pressure their drivers to drive longer than they should in the interest of making deliveries faster and getting higher profits.

Hours of Service Violation Liability

Enforcement of hours of service among truckers is done via a trucking log that they are required to make entries in. The trucking log records the amount of time that they have been on the road, the distance they have traveled, origin and destination, and a host of other useful bits of information that can be beneficial in a truck accident claim

In many cases, semi-truck drivers that violate the hours of service will manipulate their logs in order to try and get away with their infraction. Upon close investigation, falsified trucker logs will usually be revealed to be fraudulent. What will often happen is that semi-truck drivers will be found liable because of their negligent violations of hours of service via their falsified logs. Many other truck accident cases will also involve the trucking company that employed the driver because they either coerced or aided a semi-truck driver in falsifying their logs which can make them liable as well. 

Contact a Clearwater Truck Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Truck accidents can cause devastating injuries that are often much more severe than the injuries caused by passenger vehicles. Victims are left with large medical bills and frequently cannot return to their jobs. As a result, victims and their families live under constant stress, which reduces their quality of life and can sometimes tear families apart.

Fortunately, help is available. If the truck driver was responsible for the collision, then you can hold him and his employer legally accountable for your injuries by filing a truck accident injury claim or lawsuit. By bringing a lawsuit for negligence, you can receive financial compensation for your economic and non-economic losses, which will take a huge load off of your shoulders.

At Dolman Law Group, our lawyers have handled dozens of truck accidents and understand how to construct a case from the ground up. We are ready to fight to obtain full compensation for your injuries, and all you need to do is reach out. Our firm offers a free consultation and case evaluation to potential clients. Call 727-451-6900 or fill out our contact form online.

Dolman Law Group

800 North Belcher Road

Clearwater, FL 33765