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This is our legal blog. If you were seriously injured in an accident, you need to read here and learn about your Clearwater Florida Legal Rights!

Product Recalls of the Week October 20th – 25th

“ProductFrom patio furniture sets to baby shoes, this week we have some more products to warn you about that you may have in your home. Carefully read over each product’s description to determine whether or not it could be posing a threat to your family. Come back at the end of every week for a brief overview of some of the most current recalls. 

Consumer Products


Dimension’sSling Café” fabric table and chairs set due to a missing metal washer plate which is missing and may cause the chair to break posing a fall hazard to consumers. These products will have been manufactured December 2013 through May 2014 and purchased for about $400.

Xylem’sLow Water Cut-Off” control units for hot water or steam boilers due to the possibility of incorrectly assembled wires which may cause an electrical short posing the risk of fire and explosion hazards. These products will have been manufactured between here and here and the item will have a serial number of this and will include the model number/name of this.

First Impressions’ high-top, soft-soled sneakers for infants due to a small metal piece that can detach from the shoe which may be obtained by the infant posing a choking hazard. These products will have “blue denim soles and uppers, brown canvas tongues, tan shoe laces and white polyurethane toes.”

Motor Vehicles


Acura’sTLX AWD” vehicles due to incorrect values for the GVWR and GAWR which may cause an important to exceed the true vehicle limits posing an increased risk for crash.

GM’s “2013 & 2014 Vehicle Line: Cadillac: CTS, Escalade (ESV) – Chevrolet: Suburban, Tahoe, Express, Impala, Silverado HD, Traverse – GMC: Yukon (XL), Acadia, Savana, Sierra HD – Buick: Enclave” due to the chassis electronic module being internally contaminated which may cause an electrical short posing the risk of stalling and causing a crash.

Jeep’s “Wrangler” vehicles due to a potential corrosion in the heated power mirrors which may cause an electrical short posing the risk of fire.

Foods, Medicines, and Cosmetics


Bailey Farms’Fresh Serrano Chile Peppers” food products due to the possibility of contamination by salmonella which may infect the consumer posing a serious health threat. These products will have been purchased between October 2nd, 2014 and October 21st, 2014.

Assured’sNaproxen Sodium” tablets due to a packaging mix-up which may have led consumers to purchase the wrong drug posing unexpected and unwarranted effects. These products will have a serial number of #122368/UPC#639277223685.

JFC International Inc’sHapi” brand pudding due to an undeclared milk ingredient which may cause those allergic to milk to suffer an allergic reaction posing a serious health threat. These products will have been manufactured between here and here and the item will have a serial number of this and will include the 3-pack, 8.46oz clear plastic containers with orange and white seals on the top.

Dolman Law Group


CONTACT OUR CLEARWATER & TAMPA BAY AREA PRODUCT LIABILITY ATTORNEYS 

Companies don’t want to hurt us! We need their services and they need our money—it’s a win-win! There is always a possibility, however, that something a company is producing is causing harm to a consumer. Large companies do a great job of pulling dangerous products off the shelf if necessary, but sadly, sometimes someone has to be injured before the company becomes aware of any threat. If you or a loved one has suffered from physical, emotional, or monetary losses due to regular consumer use of a product, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t hesitate to call Clearwater, Florida’s Dolman Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation. We operate out of Clearwater but we serve the entire state of Florida; there’s nothing to lose!

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

Contact us with our Online Form

Practice Area: Product Liability Reference: Recalls.Gov
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Can You Ride a Bike on the Sidewalk in Florida?

“bikeToday I read a status update on Facebook that a friend of mine posted. According to this post, they were apparently ‘almost ticketed’ for riding a bike on the sidewalk (they live in Florida). It’s always a confusing subject, because bikes are some of the most simple type of personal conveyance, but also one of the most advanced forms of human-powered transportation; they create a sort of “half-pedestrian, half-vehicle” scenario. That can bring up the often-stumping question: “is riding a bike on Florida sidewalks illegal?” Well; let’s delve deeper into the topic and see what we can find out!

Is It TECHNICALLY Illegal?

Simply put, yes. In Florida, it’s legally stated that a bicycle is a vehicle; the above statement I made in the opening paragraph about being ‘half of each’ is me being literal, not legally correct. With that said, the operator of the aforementioned vehicle is considered—by law—a driver, and will therefore be held to the same laws, expectations, and punishments.

At the same time, however, bicycles (when not being propelled by a motor and are purely human powered) are treated as a form of pedestrians but must yield the right-of-way to on-foot travelers. So are you really telling me that there’s a limbo? Maybe my “half of each” statement is true! Eh… there’s one more very important factor that changes everything; local municipality authority.

That’s right; the local authorities of each city can decide their own methods of handling bicycle traffic. As long as it’s “under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power”, it’s totally legal for a member of law enforcement to stop, ticket, or question you for riding on a sidewalk if they feel reason to. My friend could have very well gotten a ticket in this situation!

Is There A Good Reason To Regulate This?
There are plenty of reasons for it to be up to the local authorities to decide. What is the main reason? No 2 cases are the same; one person might have been riding on the sidewalk because they felt endangered on a busy main road; another person might have been riding on a pedestrian-replete sidewalk when they main road has an empty bike lane! These differing situations put 2 completely different parties at risk, so to give an authoritative figure the ability to judge who was wrong leads to much safer roadways.

Dolman Law Group


CONTACT OUR CLEARWATER & TAMPA BAY AREA PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS 

Unfortunately, distracted driving and other activities that steal the attention of motor vehicle operators cause accidents all of the time. An innocent driver may strike a reckless biker with dangerous habits; a biker may hit a pedestrian on the sidewalk and cause an injury. Regardless of your situation, if you or someone you know has been injured due to someone else’s negligence you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Clearwater, Florida. Dolman Law Group offers you a free consultation and case evaluation so don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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

Contact us with our Online Form

Practice Area: 
Personal Injury

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Put Down your Cell Phone when Driving


Texting and DrivingJust this morning on my way to work, I watched a young teenage driver texting on her phone while driving. However, the texting while driving was not what shocked me the most. What shocked me the most was the fact that this teenager was texting with both hands while driving. I can only assume that while her eyes and hands were on her phone, the entire car was being operated by her knee. Needless to say, I switched lanes to provide as much space between us as possible.

It’s no surprise that people use their phones while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seventy one percent of teens and young people admit to having sent a text message while operating a motor vehicle. Furthermore, seventy eight percent of teens and young people admit to having received text messages while driving. Distracted driving has become a theme among accident victims in Florida. With technology increasing each day, it isn’t difficult to understand how distracting a cellular phone can be. Between changing the song on your I-phone or sending a text to a friend, drivers are taking their eyes off the road and onto their phone.

According to statistics released by the US Government’s Website for distracted driving, the number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes in 2012 was 3,328. Moreover, 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. Five seconds is the average time a person’s eyes are off the road while texting; this is enough time to cover the length of a football field! As in most cases, statistics do not lie. Distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the biggest reasons for auto accidents.

WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT DISTRACTED DRIVING


It’s highly unlikely that distracted driving will ever be completely eliminated, especially with how tempting it is to check your cellphone on a long drive. However, the first step to limiting the number of distracted drivers is to make a personal covenant not to use your phone while driving. With most new cars being equipped with Bluetooth capabilities, drivers should take advantage of these types of devices. If your car does not have one, you should invest in a blue tooth yourself, which could be the only investment you will ever make that can truly save your life. If you’re expecting a very important text or call, pull to the next stopping area to check your phone. No call or text is worth losing a life over.

Aside from making a personal decision to yourself, you should also be very cautious of distracted drivers around you. It is not hard to spot someone who is using their phone while driving; just look for the driver who has his head face down. When you come across a distracted driver, give them an appropriate amount of space in order to prevent any collisions with their vehicle. You should also navigate your car to the safest area and contact local police. No one likes being the person who tells on another, but a phone call under these circumstances may be what it takes to save someone’s life.

Lastly, statistics show that drivers in their 20s make up twenty seven percent of distracted drivers in fatal crashes. Thus, you should advise your children, friends and family of how dangerous it is to use their phones while operating a vehicle. Cars are no joke so you shouldn’t treat them as such. Next time you are driving, refrain from looking at your phone!

CONTACT BAY AREA DISTRACTED DRIVING ATTORNEYS


If you have been involved in a car accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver, contact the Dolman Law Group for a free evaluation of your case. Dolman Law has a team of experienced and aggressive attorneys who advocate for the rights of injured motorists on a daily basis.

DOLMAN LAW GROUP
800 N. Belcher Road
Clearwater, Florida 33765
(727) 451-6900

http://www.dolmanlaw.com/practice-area/distracted-drivers/
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What are my Rights if I was Injured in a Store

injured at storeYou were traveling to the store after a long day’s work; you’re hungrier than usual and you’ve got some pep in your step. You excitedly rush to the ice cream aisle and pick up a pint of your favorite flavor. After a quick rundown of your short grocery list, you’re sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Your loved one calls you on your cell phone asking “Honey, where are you?” and before you can answer; *Whoop!*, you slip on the wet tiled floor and watch as everything you had in your shopping basket explodes violently all over the floor. The phone call you were just participating in has ended because your phone is now in 15 pieces, and worst of all; 30 seconds after the initial impact, you begin experiencing a sharp pain in your back. Believe it or not, the suffering may have just begun.

What Can I Do After the Injury? 

First things first, you must decide if you’re going to take legal action. If you’ve gone as far as to search for an answer then you’ve probably considered it.

I don’t necessarily seek compensation from the organization: This is a generous path to take. Accidents DO happen and it’s common for individuals to sue just because they can; not because they really need the financial assistance for treatment of serious injuries. It wouldn’t hurt to try getting in touch with the person responsible for the premises and seeing if you can work something out on a personal level if you need help.

I am seeking compensation from the organization: Organizations become greatly experienced in the practice of law. They can’t grow to become a successful organization if they aren’t making money, and they can’t make any money if they have to spend it all paying off lawsuits. With that said, you need to be ready for a drawn-out battle and you’ll need some good defense to back up your claims.

There are a lot of factors which may nullify your claim, such as the direct or passive warning of possible risk. By participating in an activity which could cause harm AFTER being warned of the possibility of injury, you’re taking an assumption of risk and essentially waiving your tort legal rights. If they failed to warn you about something they knew about which could be dangerous—a slippery floor without a nearby “Wet Floor” sign, for example—they can be sued under failure to meet their “duty to warn” standards.

(Note: These factors are plentiful and the best way to gain knowledge in the area is to speak to someone who excels in the study of it—and experienced premises liability attorney.)

What Kinds of Injuries Can I Sue For?

There’s no specific “limit” to the types of injuries that must be sustained to have a winning case, but here are some common examples of injuries you may are/were suffering from.
  • Slip and Fall: Whether it be from a slick floor, a steep stair step, an uneven walking surface, or anything like that; the lack of safety has caused you to slip and fall.
  • Furnishing/Equipment/Appliance Accidents: Accidents that occur from faulty, defective, broken, etc., equipment that you were not warned about. For example; if you take a product off of a shelf in a store and the shelf collapses onto you.
  • Dog Bites: If you were an attendee at a property and a dog attacked you.
  • Rape and/or Assault: Situations that could have been prevented if the property owner took proper security measures.
  • Swimming Pool Accidents: If the pool had a jagged floor and you cut your foot open, for example, due to the property owner’s lack of inspection for hazards.
  • Amusement Park Accidents: Unsafe rides and attractions that lead to injury or even death. Don’t think that just because they had a sign or warning that you’re completely unable to fight back; you may still have a strong case.
  • Elevator/Escalator Accidents: This could be a double case here with both the property owner and the elevator manufacturer being responsible.
Keep in mind that these injuries are not limited to a STORE specifically. It’s a relatively complex system that places the victim under a certain title while attending the premises. When on someone else’s property, you’ll be considered either:

An invitee: Someone who has been passively allowed inside the premises to conduct business. This ranges from going to buy a t-shirt from a clothing store to conducting paid physical labor to a private property (like mowing the lawn).  The store example given at the beginning of this article makes you an invitee because the property owner expects and wants public customers to come inside. This is the most common type of premises liability case and businesses can be held accountable for any injuries receiving from dangers that they knew about or should have known about via proper inspection.

A licensee: This is an attendee who is there strictly for personal purposes; hanging out at friend’s house, going to a dog park, etc. and does not plan on receiving or giving any services through or for a business. Since being a licensee usually means you’re a guest at a friend’s house or free public areas, the expectations are lowered quite a bit. Licensees can only hold property owners liable for dangers that the property owner knew about and failed to warn the licensee about.

Or a trespasser: This is an individual who did not either a direct or implied form of invitation onto a premises but proceeds onto the private property anyway. Although property owners are not able to purposely withhold information—in the event that they’re aware of their presence—or harm these trespassers with traps or physical attacks (unless in self defense), they are extraordinarily less obligated to protect them than the other 2 attendees.

Will I Be Able to Financially Recover?

After being injured in a premise liability case and requiring medical attention, surgery, treatment, or anything of the like, you’ll be stuck with a whole lot of bills that will need paying. Before you can even consider starting a case, it’s best to be prepared for the road ahead. You’re going to need a lot of proof to win cases like these because big companies take big steps towards defending themselves in court with signs, waivers, etc. In the event that you win the case and the final judgment is in your favor, the winnings can be used towards things such as:
  • Medical Bills: General medical bills that are the result of the injuries sustained.
  • Lost Wages: These can be racked up from time you weren’t able to work. This can happen if you’re required to stay in the hospital or you simply don’t feel fit enough to go into work. Wages that you will no longer be able to obtain in the future due to certain injuries hindering your ability to continue your career can also be compensated as well, giving you plenty of time to find another career to make up for you loss.
  • Pain and Suffering: Believe it or not, you can be compensated for physical or emotional loss which resulting due to the injury. The methods of compensation for this are usually determined by a jury and will change from person to person.
  • Wrongful Death: This would occur if a loved one has died due in a premises liability case. The family would could be compensated for all of the above; pain and suffering being the family’s physical or emotion loss, and lost wages being those which would have been coming in from the deceased’s income to be used towards the family’s well being.
CONTACT OUR CLEARWATER & TAMPA BAY AREA PREMISES LIABILITY ATTORNEYS

Here in Clearwater, Florida where Dolman Law Group operates, we fight to ensure fair treatment to victims in premises liability cases. It’s the property owner’s responsibility to make sure that—in the event of inviting welcomed guest into his or her property—the premises is safe for the levels of activity that will be acted out. It’s unreasonable for a reputable company to fail at setting up a simple “Wet Floor” sign after mopping the floors. It’s unreasonable for a friend of yours to fail to mention that the chair you’re about to sit down on is broken.

Accidents do happen and we understand that, but if you’re being denied assistance by the people responsible for these painful injuries you may need someone by your side who knows exactly how to deal with stressful situations like these. If you or a loved one has been injured on someone’s property due to their negligence or lack of care, contact Dolman Law Group today for a free case evaluation and consultation. You may be eligible for the compensation you deserve.

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

Contact us with our Online Form 

Practice Area: 
Premises Liability

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Scooter Crash in Florida; Driver Killed

scooterA shocking rear end accident involving three vehicles left one dead and two in shock. EMS units were not able to maintain the little life the victim had left in her after the accident.

51-year-old Marion Rose Harvey was riding her motorized scooter down 34th street at 7:20PM in Gainesville, Florida. She was travelling northbound on the roadway when she stopped for the traffic ahead. She eagerly awaited the traffic progression upon the crest of a small hill behind a pickup truck. The truck, a GMC Sierra, was driven by 20-year-old Jared Waite Jerrels.

Rachel Louise Crow, 31, was traveling north in her Toyota Camry unaware of the impeding traffic jam. She ascended the small hill at what’s said to be ‘legal speeds’ and was surprised by the sudden sight of vehicles. She rear ended Harvey—the scooter operator—and the scene took a turn for the worst.

Are Dangerous Roadways to Blame?

34th street is a very busy street in Gainesville. Being home to a 1,120ft wall replete with paintings, art, messages, and other community-decorated designs and graffiti, this street is also prone to distracted drivers. It’s marked with 35-MPH signs in both north and southbound directions and given the lack of speed enforcements in most areas of the world, drivers are expected to break that limit on a daily basis.

A user by the name of Austin—who is also a resident of the neighborhood in which this accident took place—posted a comment on a social media post regarding this crash stating that

The combination of not being able to see over the hill, a reduction in lanes, a close traffic light, and the distraction of the painted wall is asking for tragedy.”

Stopping distance is a big factor in this accident. Your speed, reaction time (or lack thereof), the car’s braking ability, and weather conditions will all play a factor in how long it takes for you to come to a complete stop. According to this useful article about stopping distance, you could easily drive another 80ft before coming to a complete stop when travelling at a measly 25MPH!

There’s Little Margin for Error

Assuming that Rachel Crow—the driver of the Camry—was driving even at a comfortable speed of 30MPH in a 35MPH limit zone in perfect weather conditions with stellar reaction time, she’d still travel at LEAST 30ft before coming to a stop. If we consider that she slowed down considerably when approaching the hill—perhaps down to 15MPH—she’s still expecting to travel 5, 10, maybe even 20ft before stopping completely.

She reached the top of the hill and—when she processed what she was seeing—slammed on the brakes to attempt a stop. The front of her Toyota Camry nearly touched the back of the GMC Sierra that was in front of Harvey. Sadly, Harvey was in between the two. Sandwiched by two vehicles and likely pinned down on the road by her heavy scooter, Harvey was in seriously critical condition.

After being rushed to the hospital, doctors—despite their best efforts—were unable to help Harvey. Even with the extensive treatment and procedures that were performed, she was pronounced dead in UF Health Shands Hospital.

Contact Clearwater Personal Injury Attorneys

Been injured in an accident? For safe driving information or to learn your rights regarding to personal injury in Florida, speak with an experienced personal injury, wrongful death, and automobile accident attorney located in Clearwater, FL. Dolman Law Group will answer your questions and offer a free consultation and case evaluation. Don’t hesitate to contact us today; whether big or small, we want to hear about your accident.

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

Contact us with our Online Form 

Practice Area: 
Personal Injury

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