A Clearwater car accident can often result in injuries that may alter your life. Another driver's act of carelessness can leave you struggling with medical bills, lost wages, and severe emotional distress. You may be able to recover compensation for your losses in an auto accident lawsuit.
If you have been physically injured as a result of a car crash, the advice and representation of a Clearwater car accident lawyer can help you navigate your accident claim. Our lawyers will endeavor to maximize the amount you’re able to recover for the cost of your injuries and more.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, is a law firm that focuses solely on personal injury law and chooses to represent injured plaintiffs. We have seen first-hand the devastating consequences motor vehicle accidents in Clearwater can have on innocent victims and their families. Our car accident lawyers are available to discuss your legal options in a free consultation and case evaluation.
- Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me in a Clearwater Car Accident Claim?
- Schedule A Free Consultation
- Common Causes of Clearwater Car Accidents
- What Injuries Are Most Common in Clearwater Car Accidents?
- Reported Car Crashes Involving Injuries in Clearwater, FL
- Understanding Florida's No-Fault Insurance
- What Damages Can I Recover in a Clearwater Car Accident Case?
- Why Should I Hire a Clearwater Auto Accident Attorney?
- Choosing the Right Clearwater Car Accident Lawyer
- Dolman Law Group Recovers Maximum Damages for Our Injured Clients
- Frequently Asked Questions About Clearwater Auto Accidents
- Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Clearwater Car Accident Lawsuit
Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me in a Clearwater Car Accident Claim?
Our Clearwater car accident lawyers have a reputation for taking cases to trial when necessary. A car accident attorney or law firm that does not regularly litigate serious injury claims and take cases to trial is similar to a dog who barks a lot but never bites. Every auto insurance company keeps detailed notes about all law firms they have dealt with, which can impact how seriously the insurance company takes your Clearwater car accident lawyer and, therefore, your car accident claim.
Oftentimes, the settlement offers provided by an insurance carrier are based on the risk they face if the car accident victim refuses to settle. They also try to evaluate whether the accident injury lawyer or law firm has the ability to try the case before a jury. Your Clearwater car accident lawyer must have the financial resources necessary to retain the best experts and the legal skills and ability to negotiate a fair settlement or see your case through to a final verdict.
Dolman Law Group's lead trial lawyer, Stanley Gipe, is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer as designated by the Florida Bar. This designation means that Stan is considered an expert in trying jury cases. Our founder, Matthew Dolman, is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for settlement or verdicts in excess of $1 million and $2 million dollars, respectively. Mr. Dolman has also been named a Florida Superlawyer and Florida Legal Elite on multiple occasions.
Clients Rely On Dolman's Car Accident Lawyers To Take On Powerful Insurance Companies
Dolman Law Group is often called upon by fellow car accident attorneys to assist on the biggest cases with the highest potential for a large recovery. Over the past decade, we have handled numerous catastrophic injury claims and motor vehicle accident lawsuits. Our auto accident law firm has the financial resources to take on the biggest corporations.
In fact, we have litigated personal injury lawsuits against Walmart, Walt Disney World, Publix, Winn-Dixie, McDonald's, Amazon, Uber, and insurance carriers such as State Farm, Allstate, Geico, Progressive, Nationwide, Mercury, Hartford, United Auto, Zurich, and practically every other car insurance carrier you can think of. Dolman Law Group has the necessary financial resources, experience, and tenaciousness to handle any size personal injury claim.
When you need legal assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney after suffering serious car accident injuries, trust your auto accident claim to the best auto accident lawyer in Clearwater at Dolman Law Group. We will protect your rights and help recover compensation on your behalf while you focus on your recovery.
Common Causes of Clearwater Car Accidents
Although circumstances like inclement weather conditions may play a role in a car crash, the most common cause is driver error. Drivers have an obligation to one another to follow traffic laws, be sober, alert, and exercise caution when operating their vehicles. Unfortunately, drivers may become distracted by a text or conversation, use poor judgment, grow impatient and violate traffic laws, or otherwise jeopardize the safety of those around them.
When a driver behaves negligently, they can be found liable for this breach of their duty of care, making them responsible for the other driver's damages. Other parties, such as car parts manufacturers or local governments, can also be held responsible for failing to honor their duty of care to drivers. The following are the most common factors that contribute to car accidents occurring.
- Drunk driving
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving and road rage
- Distracted Driving
- Ignoring traffic laws
- Faulty or defective car parts
- Poorly maintained roads
What Injuries Are Most Common in Clearwater Car Accidents?
A wide range of injuries is possible depending on the type and severity of the car accident itself. If you were in a T-bone collision, a head-on crash, or a rear-end collision, your injuries could be very different. Moreover, the nature of your unique car accident injury might not correspond to the apparent seriousness of the accident itself.
Common Clearwater Auto Accident Injuries:
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones
- Whiplash injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Herniated discs
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Dental and facial injuries
Some injuries do not present symptoms immediately after they occur. That's why you must seek medical attention immediately following an accident, especially if there's a chance you experienced traumatic brain injuries.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you plan for outcomes you may not have immediately foreseen. Going to a healthcare provider as soon as possible also preemptively protects you from accusations by an insurance company that you have exaggerated your injuries, or they are unrelated to your car accident.
Reported Car Crashes Involving Injuries in Clearwater, FL
Florida Car Accident Statistics Reveal the Most Dangerous Roads in Clearwater
Several of Pinellas County's most dangerous roads and intersections are located in or around Clearwater, Florida. These locations have high rates of traffic accidents based on annual totals of fatalities and injuries.
- US-19 and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard
- Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and South Belcher Road
- 66th Street and Ulmerton Road
Even if you take every reasonable precaution to avoid an accident in one of these problematic areas, you can still be injured if another driver behaves negligently. According to the FLHSMV, Pinellas County had 14,313 accidents in 2020. This resulted in 108 fatalities and 8,412 injuries.
Understanding Florida's No-Fault Insurance
In the United States, insurance laws vary from state to state. Florida is one of several states operating under a no-fault car insurance system. Under this system, drivers carry insurance to cover the cost of their own injuries and do not necessarily need to pursue compensation from another party to obtain benefits. This no-fault insurance is called personal injury protection (PIP).
In Florida, drivers are required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages that may arise from a car accident. However, it is important to note that if the injured driver does not receive medical attention within 14 days of the crash, the PIP insurance may not apply. The purpose of PIP is to allow for expeditious medical treatment without having to wait for a resolution of your insurance claim.
It may be possible to receive more than the maximum payout from PIP insurance after an accident, so it is essential to get medical help and to speak to a motor vehicle lawyer right away. Our team of attorneys works hard to make the insurance claim process easy, and they have plenty of experience recovering the right amount of compensation for Clearwater injury victims.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Clearwater Car Accident Case?
Medical bills play a large part in any personal injury claim, although they are far from the only expense most injured parties incur. A Clearwater personal injury attorney will explain your injuries and present a clear picture to the insurance carrier of how your car wreck has impacted your quality of life and finances.
Examples of Damages in a Car Accident Lawsuit:
- Medical bills: When you are in a car accident, your top priority should be your health, but the financial costs of medical treatment can be overwhelming. It is important to get a full medical evaluation right away, even if it is expensive, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent, such as internal bleeding or chronic pain. Knowing the full extent of your injuries will help you take steps to ensure that you get the care you need.
- Car repairs: If you were in a car accident severe enough to cause physical injury, your vehicle was also almost certainly damaged. You'll need someone to restore it to safe, working order once you're back on your feet and able to drive again.
- Lost wages: You may not return to work immediately or return to your full workload after an accident. In cases where a disability is long-term, it may be difficult or impossible to pursue any form of employment. In these instances, a person may be eligible to receive financial compensation for their lost income, but the legal aspects of disability and insurance can be difficult to understand. This lost wages component is an important factor when seeking reimbursement for personal injury through compensatory damages.
- Other job-related losses: Missing a few days of work may not be a dealbreaker for most people's careers. However, serious injuries may leave you out of work for weeks or months, during which time you may miss out on key promotions or raises. In some cases, injuries may prevent you from ever returning to your occupation, career, or any job at all. Costs for job retraining and disability can also be factored into a claim for damages.
- Wrongful death: Losing a family member unexpectedly in an accident often comes with emotional losses. Many can be reimbursed in a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, a loss of companionship or loss of parental guidance may be compensated. Losing a loved one can impact your mental and emotional health and have substantial financial repercussions, such as funeral and burial expenses.
Why Should I Hire a Clearwater Auto Accident Attorney?
You may be unsure of whether you need to hire an attorney for an auto accident case. When involved in a car accident, it is important to remember that insurance companies have a team of lawyers and adjusters who work to reduce payouts and maximize profits. If unsure of what to do, it is wise to contact a car accident lawyer who can provide a free initial consultation.
Experienced motor vehicle attorneys are, first and foremost, your personal representation. Their only goal is to maximize the compensation for damages you are legally entitled to. A Clearwater car accident attorney is an invaluable asset when it comes to compiling a convincing case and negotiating damages. They will handle a variety of tasks as your representative.
What an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Do For You
- Interview all available witnesses. Time is always a factor with witnesses. Memories fade and people move around or out of state, making wrangling them and getting their statements a top priority.
- Obtain the police report and photographs of the accident scene to help determine liability if it is at issue. The increased prevalence of private security cameras at nearby businesses may also provide relevant footage of the crash.
- Obtain photographs depicting the property damage involved to all vehicles. Photographic evidence helps preserve the exact state of a car's damage immediately afterward and helps confirm the nature of the crash itself.
- Perform a background check on the defendant, including their criminal history. Incidents in the other driver's legal past, including potential suspensions or revocations of their license, may have bearing on your case.
- Obtain all medical records before and after the accident. Some drivers may have underlying medical conditions that impair their ability to be behind the wheel, which could serve as evidence that they failed to comply with what is legally known as a “duty of care” when operating a motor vehicle.
- Retain competent experts to assist us in presenting our case if the claim proceeds to litigation. An experienced car accident lawyer will have access to a bevy of outside experts who can help explain the complicated causes and complications of an auto accident.
- Procure and review cell phone records if we have reason to suspect the at-fault party was using their phone at the time of the car wreck. Distracted driving is an increasingly common cause of auto accidents. A history of the driver's phone activity just before the accident can be used to prove negligence and is accessible to those with the technical know-how.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Before Speaking With the Insurance Company
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. As such, those who have been in an accident will usually turn to their own insurance company for financial help. However, insurance companies are not focused on giving out the most money possible, and their personnel is trained in ways of reducing the amount of compensation.
Our lawyers are the first line of defense against the tactics that these companies use to devalue your claim. Therefore, it is best to not communicate with insurance adjusters alone, even if the conversation appears to be casual. Anything one says can be used in a court of law, and the safest bet is to have a lawyer handle any talks with the insurance company.
Choosing the Right Clearwater Car Accident Lawyer
Our Clearwater car accident attorneys specialize in personal injury, believing that by focusing on this one area, we can provide our clients with the best possible representation. We have a well-earned reputation for success and understand that each case is unique. We are committed to staying up to date on the latest developments in the field and to providing excellent, personalized service to our clients.
Do NOT select your auto accident lawyer based solely on a television commercial, radio spot, or billboard. Many of the biggest advertisers are considered settlement mills by auto insurance carriers. Furthermore, high-volume law firms have difficulty providing personal attention to their clients. In fact, a common complaint we receive from clients who retained Dolman Law Group after firing a large advertising law firm is they never met with nor spoke to an auto accident lawyer at that firm.
Dolman Law Group Works Closely With Our Clients
It is not uncommon for our Clearwater auto accident legal practice to be handed cases from other law firms that have been unable to uncover all insurance policies or sources of coverage. Even more distressing is the fact that these firms have not made attempts to speak to witnesses, research the accident, or consult with health care providers to gain a full understanding of our client's injuries and treatment plan.
A client should be able to get a hold of their attorney promptly. All of our lawyers list their cell phone numbers and email addresses on their business cards. It's rare for other attorneys to provide their clients with their personal cell phone numbers, but this is common at Dolman Law Group. We do this so that our clients have the accessibility to communicate directly with their personal injury attorneys.
When we are asked to step in after a client fires their former personal injury attorney, the #1 reason given to us for the dismissal is lack of communication. A licensed attorney, rather than a paralegal, should handle your case.
While we employ a full staff of paralegals, legal assistants, clerks, and investigators, your Clearwater car accident attorney will control the decisions and strategies related to handling a claim or case. The staff only assists the accident injury attorney. It is that simple, and that is what you pay for.
Dolman Law Group Is Not a Settlement Mill
Many personal injury law firms are little more than settlement mills. "Settlement mill" is an unofficial term for a type of law firm that typically settles cases for only a fraction of their true value and relies more on volume than the quality of representation. They want to handle as many cases as possible, with as little effort as possible, to maximize their own profits. As the accident victim, this means you may be entitled to more compensation than you realize and more than the insurance adjuster is going to propose.
Generally speaking, very few clients know when their car wreck attorney is leaving money on the table in negotiations. To be sure you are being treated fairly, hire a law firm that gives time and attention to your individual case. At Dolman Law Group, we have a full-time investigator on staff with significant experience investigating the cause of a motor vehicle collision. Further, we communicate with and retain highly regarded medical experts and automobile accident reconstruction experts to enable us to prepare each case properly.
Our goal is to maximize the compensation you may recover for injuries sustained as a result of your auto accident. Thus, as Clearwater motor vehicle accident attorneys, we are both thorough and diligent in each case we work on.
Dolman Law Group Recovers Maximum Damages for Our Injured Clients
Dolman Law Group represents victims of car, motorcycle, and truck accidents. We also accept medical malpractice matters with a focus on birth injury cases, victims of premises liability and negligent security, and human trafficking cases. We are known for Florida residential claims related to cast-iron pipes and complex product liability lawsuits against the manufacturers of Zantac and AFFF firefighting foam. Our broad knowledge base has enabled us to be highly effective negotiators who obtain impressive results.
Responsible car accident lawyers cannot guarantee a specific payout for your particular case. However, an experienced Clearwater car crash lawyer can help to advocate and work to get you the compensation to which the law entitles you. Dolman Law Group has a history of positive case results.
Again, no two cases are exactly alike—even one truck accident resulting in a shoulder injury may be different from the next—but in the past, we have helped clients receive significant damages, including:
- $3.2 million for a semi-truck accident resulting in a brain injury
- $1.58 million for an auto accident resulting in a spinal injury
- $1 million for a father killed in a rideshare vehicle
These are just a few examples of the results we have obtained. As of March 2022, we have resolved thirteen cases for $1,000,000.00 or more. Personal injury is one of the most common areas to practice—but one of the more difficult areas to perform at a high level of competence.
Not only do we consistently secure impressive settlements, but we also work tirelessly to maintain client satisfaction through the process of filing a personal injury case. For more information, take a look at our client testimonials.
Frequently Asked Questions About Clearwater Auto Accidents
At Dolman Law Group, we receive calls from people with concerns about what to do after a car accident. This is smart—if you have a legal question, never hesitate to call someone knowledgeable. These are some of our most frequently asked questions:
Should I Accept A Clearwater Accident Settlement?
It's possible, early on, that an insurance company may offer you a settlement for your Clearwater traffic accident. This may seem like a good thing at first—money in hand, with no hassle—but it could be a trap. Insurance companies seek to minimize their payouts, so an initial settlement offer is often significantly lower than the amount you are entitled to.
Furthermore, a settlement generally excludes you from seeking any further damages. By accepting the initial settlement, you are relieving the insurance company from covering longer-term complications, such as chronic pain or a lingering disability, which you may not even be aware of at the time of the settlement.
How Much Does A Clearwater Accident Attorney Cost?
Generally, car accident lawyers work for a contingency fee, meaning their compensation is a designated portion of whatever damages you receive. Depending on the case, there may also be some additional court fees and expenses. However, a consultation with our accident attorneys is free. Thus, you will not be billed by the hour. Nor will you be asked to pay an upfront retainer.
Contingency fees will typically consist of a percentage of the compensation that a car accident lawyer obtains for you through a settlement or trial judgment. This percentage will vary depending on the case and the attorney, but will usually sit around 33%. This system not only helps people injured in car accidents get legal assistance despite struggling with economic damages caused by injuries, but it also ensures that car accident lawyers have a personal vested interest in the outcome of your case.
The harder the car crash attorney works and the more compensation they get a client, the more money they make with their contingent fee. It is also important to note that if your accident lawyer fails to get you compensation, they receive nothing, and you do not owe them a contingency fee.
How Much Time Do I Have After My Clearwater Car Accident To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Statutes of limitation vary from state to state. A statute of limitation is the maximum amount of time you have to file a given complaint. In Florida, an auto accident victim has four years to file a lawsuit against an at-fault person and five years to file a claim against their own insurance carrier (if Personal Injury Protection covers you, for example). Wrongful death claims are limited to two years.
However, the legal process can be long. As more time passes, bringing a successful case can be more challenging. Witness memories may fade, witnesses may move out of state altogether, and you may lose some of your records. Start the process as soon as possible to give yourself the best possible outcome.
What Can I Do To Protect My Rights Following A Clearwater Car Accident?
Your first priority, of course, is seeking proper medical care to ensure your health is being evaluated and to document any injuries. Report the accident immediately to the police and obtain a copy of the police report when it is made available. Get the names and badge numbers or names of the officers on the scene if you can. Your attorney can also gather this information for you.
If it is safe to do so, take photos or videos of the accident scene, which may be used later. Do not post them online or comment on social media because it may hinder your case later. Keep your copies of the police report, your medical records, and receipts for any other expenses incurred as a result of the accident together. Your auto accident lawyer can walk you through all these steps and more.
Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Clearwater Car Accident Lawsuit
Our experienced Clearwater car accident lawyers have 115+ combined years of experience representing victims. Additionally, our litigation team has served as lead counsel on over 2500 personal injury lawsuits. With our team of relentless negotiators on your side, you can rest assured that your needs will be our priority.
Our goal is to maximize the damages in your case to ensure you recover proper compensation for your physical injuries, loss of income, inability to perform specific duties while injured, out-of-pocket expenses, and potentially permanent issues. If necessary, we will take your auto accident lawsuit to trial to accomplish this.
If you were in a Clearwater car accident, contact Clearwater personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach the car accident lawyers of Dolman Law Group at 866-481-4691 (833-55-CRASH), or you can write to us using our online contact page for your free consultation. Our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys can use their years of experience to help you get the compensation you're entitled to under the law.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: (727) 451-6900