Clearwater Car Accident Lawyer

 

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Clearwater Car Accident Attorneys Who Handle Serious Car Accident Cases

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 attorney will help you navigate the array of legal issues that will likely surface.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, P.A. is a plaintiff law firm that focuses solely on personal injury law. We have seen first-hand the devastating consequences an automobile accident can have on innocent victims and their families. Our Clearwater team is available to discuss your legal options in a free consultation meeting.

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me in a Clearwater Car Accident Lawsuit?

Our Clearwater car accident attorneys have a reputation for taking cases to trial when necessary. A Clearwater auto accident attorney or 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 on all law firms they have dealt with, which can impact how seriously the insurance company takes your car accident lawyer and therefore your 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. It is vital your Clearwater car accident lawyer has the financial resources necessary to retain the best experts and the knowledge to negotiate a fair settlement.

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 cases before juries. 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 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. We have handled numerous catastrophic injury claims and lawsuits over the past decade. 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 one can think of. Dolman Law Group has the necessary financial resources, experience, and expertise to handle any size personal injury claim.

Common Causes of Clearwater Car Accidents

Although circumstances like inclement weather conditions may play a role in an auto accident, 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.

What Injuries Are Most Common From a Clearwater Car Accident?

A wide range of injuries are possible depending on the type and severity of the accident itself—was it a T-bone, a head-on crash, or a rear-end collision—but the nature of your injuries might not correspond to the seeming seriousness of the accident itself.

Common Clearwater Auto Accident Injuries:

Symptoms of some of these injuries may not immediately appear or may linger and worsen as time goes on. That's why you must seek medical attention immediately following an accident, and why an experienced car accident lawyer can help you plan for outcomes you may not have immediately foreseen. Going to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible also preemptively protects you from accusations by an insurance company that you have exaggerated your injuries.

Reported Car Accidents Involving Injuries in Clearwater, FL

Source: www.flhsmv.gov/

Most Dangerous Roads in Clearwater, Florida

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 an accident for themselves rather than turn to the driver responsible for the wreck. This no-fault insurance is called Personal injury protection (PIP).

PIP is no-fault insurance coverage that helps pay the medical costs and even lost wages of a driver injured in an accident. PIP insurance may not cover damages if the injured driver isn't treated within 14 days of the crash. The purpose of PIP is to allow for expeditious medical treatment without having to wait for a resolution of your insurance claim.

There can also be limits on PIP insurance payouts, although this does not necessarily mean you can't potentially seek additional compensation in the form of damages. This is why it is so vital that, following your accident, you seek medical care immediately and contact a motor vehicle lawyer as soon as possible. Our goal is to make the insurance claim process as smooth as possible. Our accident injury attorneys have significant experience in handling automobile accident injury claims and recovering appropriate compensation for Clearwater injury victims.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Clearwater Car Accident Lawsuit?

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 illustrate your injuries and present a clear picture to the insurance carrier as to how this car wreck has impacted your quality of life in addition to your finances.

Examples of Damages in a Car Accident Lawsuit:

  • Medical bills: Your first concern after being involved in a car wreck, of course, is your health. However, while you focus on getting better, the bills can start piling up—the ambulance ride, emergency room visit, individual doctor bills, and more. The full extent of the damage may not initially be clear, from internal bleeding to potential chronic pain resulting from a lingering injury that could necessitate follow-up tests, visits, and medications. That's why it's so important to see a doctor immediately after the accident, even though this can be costly.
  • Car repairs: If you were in a car accident severe enough to cause physical injury, your vehicle was almost certainly damaged as well. 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: If the extent of your injuries is dire enough, you may not return to work immediately, or return to your full workload, or in some cases, a permanent disability may prevent you from working in any profession. You may be entitled to compensation for some portion of that lost revenue, but a layperson may find the laws surrounding disability and insurance difficult to navigate. Lost wages play a large role in your personal injury claim under compensatory damages.
  • Other job-related losses: Missing a few days of work may not be a deal breaker 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 like job retraining and disability can also be factored into a claim for damages.
  • Wrongful death: Unexpectedly losing a family member 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 not only impact your mental and emotional health, but it can also come with substantial financial repercussions, such as funeral and burial expenses.

Why Should I Hire a Clearwater Auto Accident Attorney?

Should I hire a Clearwater personal injury attorney for my car accident? Not sure if you even need an auto accident attorney? Keep in mind that, in any auto accident litigation, you'll deal with an insurance company that employs a team of lawyers and adjusters whose primary job is to minimize payouts and maximize profits for the company. This is what they do all day. When in doubt, contact an experienced car crash attorney who will give you an initial consultation at no cost.

Experienced motor vehicle attorneys are, first and foremost, your personal representation. Their only goal is to maximize the compensation for

damages to which you are legally entitled. 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 a Clearwater Car Accident Attorney Can Do For You 

  1. 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.
  2. Obtain photographs of the scene if liability is at issue, via our investigators. The increased prevalence of private security cameras at nearby businesses may also provide relevant footage of the crash.
  3. Obtain photographs depicting the property damage involved to all vehicles. Photographic evidence helps preserve the exact state of a car's damage immediately afterward, as well as help confirm the nature of the crash itself.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 for those with the technical know-how.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney Before Speaking With the Insurance Company

In a no-fault state like Florida, you turn first to your own insurance company for compensation, but that doesn't necessarily mean your insurance company is on your side. They are not in the business of maximizing payouts, but minimizing them, and their professional insurance adjusters are trained in techniques to help them achieve this. Do not speak with an insurance adjuster on your own, even if it's a seemingly friendly conversation. Even making small talk can be hazardous. If they ask how you're feeling and you say, “I'm feeling fine,” that can be admissible in court and potentially be used against you. It's best to let your car accident lawyer deal with the insurance company.

Clearwater Car Accident Attorneys - Dolman Law GroupChoosing the Right Clearwater Auto Accident Attorney

Many Clearwater car accident attorneys represent auto accident injury victims while handling multiple additional areas of practice, including criminal defense and family law. It is very difficult for a personal injury attorney to handle different areas of practice, and stay up to date on the most recent changes in each discipline, all while developing a strong level of competence in representing victims of negligence.

It is our earnest belief that by focusing only on the area of personal injury law we can avoid being a “jack of all trades and master of none.” We are proud of the reputation we have earned as successful advocates for the injured throughout Clearwater and the surrounding areas. Every case is different, with its own set of underlying circumstances and its own set of challenges afterward.

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 with their previous auto accident lawyer.

Dolman Law Group Works Closely With Our Clients

We often take over cases from other Clearwater auto accident law firms that have failed to locate all available insurance policies or lines of coverage. Even more troubling is their failure to contact all available witnesses, investigate the accident, or take time to speak with each treating physician to obtain a thorough understanding of our client's injuries and future course of medical treatment.

A client should be able to promptly get a hold of their attorney. All of our lawyers list their cell phone numbers and email addresses on their business cards. It's rare for an attorney to provide their client with their personal cell phone number, but this is common at Dolman Law Group. We do this so our clients have the accessibility to communicate 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, as opposed to 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 the handling of 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

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 properly work up the case.

Our goal is to maximize the compensation you may recover for injuries sustained as a result of the 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 accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice with a focus on birth injury cases, victims of premises liability and negligent security, human trafficking, and Florida residential claims related to cast iron pipes, product liability lawsuits against the manufacturer 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 you a specific payout for your particular case. An experienced Clearwater car crash lawyer can, however, 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 than the next—but in the past, we have helped clients be awarded 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 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 easiest areas to practice in—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 claim. For more information, check out our client testimonials.

Frequently Asked Questions About Clearwater Auto Accidents

At  Dolman Law Group, we receive calls from people with any concerns about what to do after a car accident. This is smart—if you have a legal question, never hesitate to call someone with knowledge of the law. 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 in fact, it could be a trap. Insurance companies seek to minimize their payouts and thus any initial settlement is often significantly lower than the amount to which you are entitled.

Furthermore, a settlement generally excludes you from seeking any further damages. By accepting the initial settlement, you are exempting 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.

What is a settlement mill accident injury law firm? How can hiring a personal injury lawyer who works for a settlement mill impact my claim?

Many personal injury practices 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 in order to make money for only a fraction of the work. They want to handle as many cases as possible, with as little effort as possible, to maximize their own profits.

Insurance companies may find it attractive to work with these settlement mills, which seems counterintuitive. Insurance companies don't want to pay out more than they have to, of course. They're willing to tolerate a higher rate of smaller settlements in exchange for more easily resolving cases that could be more significant. The damages in these more catastrophic cases can be exponentially higher, so it's in the insurance company's interest to group those in with the smaller payouts. Many of the biggest advertising law firms don't concern themselves with maximizing damages on every single case.

It's more efficient to settle cases at a discount so they can meet their monthly budget for mass advertising. It is difficult for any personal injury lawyer or firm to handle such a volume of cases. 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 have any idea when their car wreck attorney is leaving money on the table in negotiations. To be certain you are being treated fairly, hire a law firm that gives time and attention to your individual case. 

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. There may be some additional court fees and expenses as well, depending on the case. 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 gets you through a settlement or case 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 struggle 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 your 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, then they get 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 (for example, if Personal Injury Protection covers you). Wrongful death claims are limited to two years.

However, the legal process can be long, and the more time passes, the more difficult it can be to make a successful case. Witness memories may fade, witnesses may move out of state altogether, 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, both to make sure that your health is being evaluated, and to document any injuries. Report the accident immediately to the police and obtain a copy of their report when it is made available. Get the names and badge numbers or names of the officers on the scene if you can.

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 that may hinder your case later. Try to keep your copies of the police report, your medical records, and receipts for any other expenses incurred as a result of the accident altogether. 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 over 100+ 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 833-552-7274 (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.

Clearwater Car Accident Attorneys
Clearwater Car Accident Attorneys

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: (727) 451-6900

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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