Florida Automobile Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured as a result of a car accident you may need the advice and representation of Tampa Bay car accident attorneys on your side to assist you in navigating the complicated legal issues associated with a car wreck. A plaintiff personal injury law firm that focuses solely on personal injury and represents At the Dolman Law Group, we have seen first-hand the devastating consequences that an automobile accident can have on innocent victims and their families. Medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, Florida’s no fault insurance system and the use of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits are just a few of the issues that arise following a car accident. If you have been injured in an automobile accident as a result of the negligence of another, we can help.
The attorneys at Dolman Law Group are trial lawyers committed to obtaining the maximum recovery possible for our automobile accident clients and will take a case to trial if the insurance carrier is not willing to provide a reasonable settlement offer. Many attorneys represent injured victims of auto accidents while handling many other areas of practice including criminal defense and family law. It is our earnest belief that by focusing only on the area of personal injury we can avoid being a “jack of all trades and master of none.” It is very difficult for an attorney to handle a number of different areas of practice and stay up to date on the most recent changes in each discipline while developing a strong level of competence in representing automobile accident victims. We are proud of the reputation we have earned as aggressive advocates for the injured throughout the Tampa Bay area.
The majority of cases our Florida accident lawyers handle are serious injury claims. The automobile accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group have a track record of success in obtaining fruitful recoveries for Florida injury victims. Our law firm has successfully settled and resolved injury claims of all types and recovered in excess of $5,000,000.00 for car accident victims in 2011 alone.
How We Differ From Other Tampa Injury Law Firms
At Dolman law Group, we have a full-time investigator on staff. He is a former police office with significant experience investigating the cause of car accidents. Further, we communicate with and retain highly regarded medical experts and automobile accident reconstruction experts to enable us to properly work up the case. Our goal is to maximize the compensation you may recover for injuries sustained as a result of the car accident. Thus, we are both thorough and diligent in the manner we work on a case.
Time is of the essence when you are involved in a car accident. The at-fault party’s insurance carrier will try to contact you and secure a quick settlement that fails to account for whether you have suffered a permanent injury and the likelihood that you may require future ongoing medical care. Further, it may take time to determine the extent of your injuries and how you respond to treatment. Thus, it is essential that you avoid a premature settlement.
The insurance carrier often has attorneys on staff reviewing their exposure and working diligently to minimize their exposure. Thus, it is essential that you retain a competent auto accident attorney that is well versed in the tricks and methods employed by insurance adjusters. We routinely represent Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa auto accident victims and the insurance carriers are well aware of our reputation for maximizing the amount the case is worth. Our attorneys are all too familiar with the tactics employed by insurance carrier to protect their own financial interests.
What Should I Do If I Am In a Car Accident
- Check for injuries to both yourself and any passengers
- Check for injuries to the other party
- Call 911 to ensure that medical professionals come to the scene to assess and treat injuries. Further it is important for law enforcement to be dispatched to clear the scene and properly record all relevant information concerning the auto accident.
- Obtain the name, address, phone number and insurance information for the other party.
- Obtain the names, address and phone numbers for all witnesses to the car accident.
- Take photos of both your car and the other party’s automobile. It is essential that we can illustrate the extent of damage that each automobile sustained.
- Report the accident to your insurance carrier
- Do not provide a recorded statement. These statements can later be utilized against you and it is common for such statements to be taken out of context.
- Call the Clearwater St. Petersburg car accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group.
- Take photos of your injuries if bruising, abrasions or anything else is visible as a result of the auto accident.
- Get checked out by a physician immediately.
Personal Injury Protection
Under Florida’s no-fault system (Florida Statutes Section 627.736), if you suffer an injury as a result of an auto accident, the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of your insurance will pay eighty percent (80%) of your reasonable medical expenses related to injuries sustained in the accident, and sixty percent (60%) of your lost earnings, regardless of who caused the accident. The legislative purpose of Personal Injury Protection is to enable a victim to receive expeditious medical treatment regardless of fault as opposed to waiting for a court of law to determine liability.
Serious bodily injury can be sustained not only from the initial contact with another vehicle, but also from the secondary impact within your own vehicle (i.e., the dashboard or steering wheel, etc.). Automobile accidents remain the leading cause of death among young adults. Under Florida Statutes, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills; lost wages, car rentals and repairs, and any pain and suffering you’ve endured as a Florida car accident victim. Many car accident victims expect their respective insurance carrier to settle their claim in a prompt and fair manner. However, the insurance company answers to their shareholders and policyholders. Sadly it is common for the insurance company to negotiate in bad faith when attempting to resolve an automobile or other personal injury claim. Bad faith can be defined as unreasonable or unfair claims handling by an insurance company.
How Insurance Carriers Deal With Automobile Accident Claims
The insurance company begins with an enormous advantage due to its vast army of attorneys and adjustors who are trained to minimize the amount your claim is worth. The insurance companies have tremendous financial resources and a laundry list of excuses and arguments a Claims Adjuster will utilize to reduce or deny compensation to an injured party. At Dolman Law Group, our obligation is to our client. Our goal is to prevent the insurance company from taking advantage of our injured client. We are committed to holding insurance carriers accountable for improper claims handling by failing to act in a reasonable manner and adhere to the fiduciary duty they owe to the insured. Inherent in every insurance policy (which is a contract) is the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing.
It is also important to note that if you are a victim of an accident involving minor property damage, it is possible to suffer a painful and often permanent injury as a result. The insurance company will likely offer very little compensation as it will argue that it is impossible highly unlikely to be injured as a result of an alleged minor accident or minor impact. Insurance companies are notorious for denying, delaying and attempting to minimize such claims.
Many carriers have implemented a protocol by which they immediately and aggressively defend claims in which the property damage falls below some arbitrary number. The number usually ranges between $1200-$1500 and if the property damage falls below this amount the claim is sent to a specific department or Claims Adjuster who specializes in what they label as “minor impact soft tissue” (or the acronym MIST) cases. The Adjuster will generally send out a letter within a week or two of the accident in which they already make the blanket cookie cutter proclamation that the accident could not have caused the injuries my client is complaining of. This is known as a “causation” defense and Adjusters often make such determinations without consulting with a bio-mechanics engineer to determine the actual force behind the impact or collision. Further, Adjusters often make such statements without retaining a licensed physician to evaluate the medical records to date and determine whether such treatment was necessary, reasonable or related. In other words the Adjuster will make decisions regarding medical treatment and bio-mechanical engineering issues without retaining an expert in either field. This often illustrates the mode of operation at a specific insurance company and how they engage in their normal course of dealings. This is the essence of improper claims handling and an aggressive, experienced plaintiff attorney will see right through this.
Symptoms of Whiplash Injuries
Symptoms of whiplash include but are not limited to neck pain, headache, shoulder pain with stiffness, dizziness, fatigue, jaw pain, arm pain, and arm weakness. If you are suffering from any of the above referenced whiplash symptoms, it is imperative you contact a licensed Tampa Bay area whiplash attorney who regularly handles and litigates soft tissue claims against a myriad of insurance carriers.
Soft Tissue Injury Claim Arising From a “Minor Impact”
The personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group are well versed in the nuances of whiplash and soft tissue injuries and just how inherently difficult these cases can be. Many plaintiff law firms have become reluctant to accept soft tissue cases and a host of others will settle such cases for whatever offer they receive. The financial incentive behind handling minor impact soft tissue claims, have grown disproportionate to the effort expounded in litigating the case. The insurance carriers have become far more aggressive in defending against soft tissue claims in recent years. As a result of propaganda pushed by the insurance industry, the general public often views whiplash claims with substantial skepticism. Insurance carriers and their lobbyists have painted plaintiff attorneys as greedy and claim soft tissue injuries are bogus claims contrived by attorneys seeking to line their pockets with money.
Why Soft Tissue Claims Are So Inherently Difficult For an Automobile Accident Attorney
The insurance industry relies on retained experts (i.e., Bio-mechanical Engineers, Physicians and Automobile Accident Reconstructionist) who are all willing to offer their bought and paid for opinion that the injuries claimed by the alleged victim are scientifically impossible in light of the property damage involved. Thus, in order to succeed on a whiplash/soft tissue injury case, the plaintiff attorney must overcome pre-established jury bias, deal with a defense attorney who will show the jury a picture of an automobile with what appears to be minor or moderate property damage, as well as experts who will claim such injuries are impossible as a result. With this information in hand, the insurance carriers typically offer ridiculously low offers on moderate or minor impact claims. Sadly, real accident victims are being cheated out of fair compensation as a result of junk science and insurance carriers who apply the same cookie cutter approach to all minor impact automobile accident claims.
Many insurance carriers including Allstate (the nation’s largest insurance carrier) utilize computer systems to determine the value of the claim based on a host of criteria and algorithm’s. Allstate and a number of other carriers will present minimal settlement offers with a take it or leave it approach to the carrier and will be unwilling to come off of their offer. A strong whiplash injury attorney will understand the nuances of proving such a case to a jury while remaining committed to pushing the case into and through litigation if necessary. A whiplash injury attorney must have a strong comprehension of how to illustrate soft tissue injuries to a jury while overcoming their pre-conceived bias and the experts who will tell them that such injuries are scientifically impossible.
An auto accident can prove devastating to the victim along with his or her family. Car accidents often result in broken bones, damages to the spine including herniated discs and other very significant and even catastrophic injuries. However, some auto accidents result in less clear and tangible ailments such as damage to the muscles or ligaments are typically deemed “soft tissue injuries” by insurance Claims Adjusters. Soft tissue injuries commonly cause chronic pain that can last indefinitely. Many lower speed collisions create a whiplash effect. Whiplash is also referred to as a cervical acceleration-deceleration injury wherein an impact leads to a sudden distortion of the cervical spine. As a personal injury law firm, we often come across whiplash injuries in moderate to minor rear end collisions. We pride ourselves on the manner in which we handle whiplash claims and our commitment to securing the best settlement or outcome possible.
Florida Automobile Accident Attorney Committed To Fighting For Whiplash Injury Victims and Those Who Have Been Injured as a Result Of A “Minor Impact”
Many law firms are not committed to zealously representing victims of an alleged “minor impact automobile accident.” The firm must be experienced in litigating soft tissue claims. As a Clearwater personal injury attorney, I routinely handle minor impact claims from inception all the way through litigation. Dolman Law Group has successfully recovered many favorable settlements on minor impact claims, even with property damage below $500,00. The insurance carrier must know that the attorney is committed to such claims or they will simply offer a low-ball number in the hopes the lawyer will readily accept. This is what happens at volume practices, where paralegals often handle the entire claim or the attorney is simply looking for the best offer possible without putting in the time that is necessary to successfully resolve a minor impact or low impact case.
It is important to retain an experienced and aggressive Florida soft tissue injury lawyer who understands the complex issues relates to soft tissue injuries that are a result of a minor impact. The attorney must truly comprehend the mechanisms of injury commonly found in clients who are victims of a car wreck with low or moderate property damage. Whiplash is a common injury and the attorneys at Dolman Law Group actively litigate whiplash injury claims in Pinellas County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, Pasco County and Hillsborough County.
At Dolman Law Group, our attorneys handle automobile accident claims from the inception all the way through litigation. Matthew Dolman, Christian Myer and Bryan Hannan have developed reputations for actively litigating and advocating on behalf of plaintiffs injured as a result of an automobile accident. Dolman Law Group presently litigates personal injury lawsuits in Pinellas County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, Pasco County and Hillsborough County. The various insurance carriers are well aware of which law firms readily accept small offers as a result of being a “volume practice” as opposed to their counterparts who are willing, ready and able to commit to battling an insurance carrier in the event that a claims adjuster has improperly evaluated a claim and the settlement offer is unfair.
We understand that it is vital to set each case up properly from day one. Our approach to each case is to ensure that we shore up the weaknesses in each claim. Insurance carriers scrutinize every claim and are reluctant to pay out claims. In fact it is the goal of all insurance carriers to delay, deny and defend every claim. Thus, we approach every case as if it may one day go to trial.
What You Should Do If Involved In an Automobile Accident
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, let us review your case and provide you with a free, no obligation and confidential consultation. If you want an attorney you can talk to, who understands your situation, maintains an active litigation practice and is committed to zealously handling your claim, contact us. It is rare for an attorney to provide his/her client with their personal cell phone number. This is common at Dolman Law Group. A licensed attorney as opposed to a Paralegal should handle your case. While we employ a staff full of Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Clerks, and Investigators, the lawyer controls the decisions and strategy related to the handling of a claim or case. The staff assists the attorney. It is that simple and that is what you pay for. A client should be able to get a hold of their attorney in a prompt manner. Our phone numbers and email addresses are listed on the business card of all attorneys at Dolman Law Group.
Obtain a Free Consultation With a Florida Car Accident Attorney Or Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in Florida as a result of an automobile accident, contact Dolman Law Group for a Florida personal injury attorney who is available to speak with you today. With offices located in Clearwater and Bradenton, we are able to advocate for our clients throughout the State of Florida and more specifically in Pinellas County, Pasco County, Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Sarasota County and Charlotte County. The Dolman Law Group represents injury victims residing in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Bradenton, Sarasota, Pinellas Park, Largo, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Ozona, New Port Richey, Port Richey, Hudson, Spring Hill, Trinity, and Clearwater Beach. Located in central Pinellas County, our office is only a short drive from both Tampa and St. Petersburg.
We offer a free consultation and will gladly explain how Florida no-fault insurance works, the facts of your accident and scope of our representation. For more information, please call Dolman Law Group at: (727) 451-6900 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org