Did you suffer an injury in a car accident on I-275? Did someone rear-end you while you were trying to leave a Tampa Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium? Perhaps a drunk driver hit you on N. Westshore Boulevard? No matter where your auto accident occurred in Tampa, you may be able to file a claim to collect compensation for the damages you suffered. It only takes a second for a negligent or reckless driver to change your life forever. When you experience serious injuries in a Tampa car accident caused by another driver, you face a future of great uncertainty and loss. If you were seriously injured in a car crash anywhere in the Tampa Bay area due to no fault of your own, contact an auto accident attorney at Sibley Dolman Gipe.
Why You Should Choose Our Tampa Car Accident Law Firm
From Brandon to Clearwater, our Tampa car accident attorneys have helped countless accident victims recover millions in damages. We understand the issues facing Tampa auto accident victims and their families, and we know how to aggressively fight for the money you need. We have what it takes to succeed in and out of the courtroom, and we are experienced negotiators and litigators who are not afraid to take complex cases to trial. Our auto accident attorneys in Tampa have a combined 100+ years of experience handling serious injury claims:
- Matthew Dolman is a lifetime member of both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for obtaining results in excess of $1,000,000.00 and $2,000,000.00, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Legal Elite and Florida Superlawyer on multiple occasions.
- Stanley Gipe is a Florida board-certified civil trial lawyer, which deems him an expert in the discipline of trial law.
- Julia Dolman has been selected by her colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer Rising Star (top lawyers under the age of 40) five years in a row.
- Brent Sibley is an ivy league graduate (University of Pennsylvania) who has garnered a reputation as a savvy negotiator and he often implements the strategy on our most complicated cases.
These selections by our fellow colleagues (other Florida lawyers) illustrate the respect our law firm has garnered in the Tampa Bay community.
The Top 4 Reasons to Choose Our Law Firm
Here are the top four reasons to choose our law firm if you’re researching car accident attorney in Tampa:
1. Many Law Firms Refer Their Biggest or Most Complicated Cases to Us
Other firms trust us to maximize the compensation our clients will receive. Our Tampa car accident attorneys have handled numerous catastrophic injury claims and lawsuits over the past decade and have the financial resources to take on the biggest corporations. In fact, we have litigated lawsuits against:
- Walt Disney World
- State Farm
- Practically every car insurance carrier you can think of
This firm has the necessary financial resources, experience, and expertise to handle any size Tampa auto accident.
2. We Will Negotiate All Your Outstanding Medical Bills
Further, we will assist our clients with obtaining the proper medical treatment when requested or necessary to treat their car accident injuries. Keep in mind Florida is a no-fault state. In other words, if you have a Florida car insurance policy; there is $10,000.00 of personal injury protection coverage available for you to immediately treat under.
3. We Have a Reputation for Taking Cases to Trial When You Fail to Receive a Reasonable Settlement Offer
An auto accident attorney or firm that does not regularly take cases to trial – or even litigate their auto accident claims – is not going to work for your case. Every car insurance company keeps detailed notes on all the car accident lawyers in Tampa that they have dealt with. The settlement offers provided by an insurance carrier are based on the risk they face if the victim refuses to settle and opts to pursue a trial. Law firms that do not try cases pose zero risks to the insurance carrier. Our car accident lawyers have litigated over 2,500 lawsuits to date throughout Tampa and the state of Florida, and we have served as lead counsel on numerous jury trials.
4. We Are NOT an Auto Accident Settlement Mill
Many of the higher volume law firms you see advertised are little more than settlement mills. Further, high-volume law firms have difficulty providing personal attention to their clients. In fact, a common complaint we receive from clients who retained Sibley Dolman Gipe after firing a large advertising law firm is that they never met with nor spoke with their previous lawyer. Every Tampa car accident client of Sibley Dolman Gipe is provided with the cellphone number of the attorney handling their case, as well as the Managing Partner of Sibley Dolman Gipe. Take a look at the reviews of many of the high-volume car accident lawyers in Tampa, and you will notice a disturbing trend. The lawyer in the television commercial is often impossible to reach for your common injury victim, and chances are good that they have never even tried a case despite claiming they are the best law firm in the area.
We Have a History of Fighting for Car Accident Victims in Florida
We represent Tampa residents who have suffered serious injuries and tragic losses due to the negligence exhibited by an individual or corporation. Our mission in every case is to obtain the maximum compensation that will help our clients pay for the high costs associated with their injuries and to support them through this difficult period. Our accident lawyers have handled in excess of 8,500 car accident cases over our combined careers. We do not just claim to be experienced – our numbers and results do not lie. If you have sustained injuries related to a Tampa car accident, rest assured that we are the right firm to handle your case.
Car Accident Settlements We’ve Won
Over our combined decades of practice, we have obtained multiple million-dollar settlements and judgments for our clients in car accident cases. Recent successes include a $1.58 million jury verdict for a client who suffered herniated discs that impinge on her spinal cord, and $1 million for the family of a father killed in a rideshare accident by recognized rideshare accident attorney Brent Sibley. Of course, no case has a guaranteed outcome. However, clients of Sibley Dolman Gipe enjoy peace of mind in knowing their personal injury lawyers have the experience, know-how, and resources to achieve top-dollar results.
Convenient Tampa Location
If you’ve been in a car accident in Tampa, you need a law firm that can get to you quickly. Our law firm is conveniently located at 13513 Prestige Pl. Suite 102 in Tampa, just blocks from Tampa Road and Race Track Road near the Tampa Bay Brewing Company. If you can’t come into our office, we can meet with you at your home, hospital room, or wherever is convenient. Our law firm offers FREE initial consultations and reviews for all injured clients. This way, you can get the answers you need quickly and without commitment. If you do choose our law firm, we work on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t pay us unless we collect money for you – it’s that easy. Contact the Tampa accident lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (813) 303-0916 or fill out our confidential contact form.
The Most Important Steps to Take Following a Tampa Car Accident
Immediately following a car accident, you should do the following:
- You should ALWAYS exchange insurance and vehicle information, no matter how minor the property damage.
- Take photos of both the scene of the accident and all vehicles involved in the collision. Pictures tell a story and often contradict what an insurance adjuster may label as a “minor impact.”
- Go see a physician to help you document your injuries.
- Retain an experienced and competent car accident attorney with a reputation for actually taking cases to trial.
What Will a Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer Do for My Car Wreck Claim?
We immediately commence an investigation of the motor vehicle accident once our client signs a contract. Time is of the essence, as witnesses forget facts and evidence often disappears. Our team will attempt to obtain the following:
- The police report
- Pictures of the vehicles involved and the accident scene
- Medical records
- Employment records
- Cellular phone records
- The black box or EDR (event data recorder)
- Statements from any eyewitnesses
Our investigation is purposely thorough to give you the best chance at obtaining the highest compensation possible.
How Much is My Tampa Car Accident Case Worth?
After a car accident, injured accident victims often want to know how much their car accident case is worth. While no two cases are ever the same, in general auto accident victims can seek money to help them pay for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Future medical expenses and care
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
We work quickly to locate all liable parties and build a case that is designed to collect maximum compensation. We then negotiate aggressively with insurance companies to be sure that the award or settlement you receive is what you deserve – and nothing less.
Filing a Tampa Car Accident Lawsuit
When the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to reach a settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit to collect the money you deserve. To do this, you will need an aggressive and persistent attorney on your side. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our lawyers will work quickly to build your case. To do this, we need to gather solid evidence of your accident and your injuries, which may include:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Photographs from the accident scene
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Accident reconstruction reports
- Traffic camera footage
- 9-1-1 call recordings
- Cell phone records
- Toxicology reports
This evidence is used to clearly establish liability and show how your injuries have adversely affected your life. In some cases, multiple parties may share the blame for the accident and for your injuries. This can include the government entity responsible for maintaining the roads, the bar that served the drunk driver, or even the car manufacturer who produced a defective product. Unfortunately, insurance companies will want to reduce the amount of money they pay you and will use numerous tactics to do this. We work to combat those tactics from the start.
How Long Do You Have to Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Tampa?
In Florida, you only have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. This is known as a statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, you will not be able to file a future claim to collect compensation. We can help you through this difficult time and ensure you do not miss any critical deadlines. If you’re not sure how to find a car crash lawyer, you may ask friends and family for references. Be sure to ask for a free case review from the lawyer you select to make sure you find the one who is right for you.
Types of Car Accidents Our Firm Handles
Of the many factors that contribute to a car accident, a significant number relates to driver error of one form or another. Drivers who engage in risky behavior behind the wheel put innocent lives at risk. Some of the most common causes of a car accident that results in injury include:
Head-on collisions are typically caused by an impaired or drowsy driver crossing the center median into oncoming traffic. We have also handled cases wherein a careless driver recklessly attempts to pass a vehicle on a two-lane road.
Also known as a side-impact accident, T-bone collisions often result in serious injuries due to the sides being the most vulnerable section of a vehicle. They typically occur at an intersection as a result of failing to adhere to a stop sign or traffic light.
Rear-End Car Accidents
According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), rear-end accidents are by far the most common type of car wreck. These collisions are often a result of one motorist following too closely to the vehicle immediately in front of them, which will result in their liability. Keep in mind that the back vehicle must maintain the proper following distance. In the event of a rear-end accident, the trailing vehicle is presumed to be at fault. This is a presumption that can be rebutted by an independent eyewitness.
Drunk or Drugged Driving
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that approximately 30 people die every day in a drunk driving-related car accident. Although Florida law sets a legal limit of 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the truth is that impairment starts with the very first drink. DUI is not just limited to alcohol, either. Of the 671 people killed in Florida crashes in a recent year, 31% involved drug-impaired drivers. There is no roadside test for marijuana, and chemical testing for the drug in blood and urine is not always reliable. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the chemical responsible for producing the psychological effect of marijuana—can stay in a person’s system for days or even weeks. Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Florida, but medical marijuana is legal for permanent or seasonal residents with a qualifying medical condition. More than 300,000 Florida residents have met the requirements needed for a medical marijuana card, increasing the risk of an accident caused by driving high. Our lawyers have represented hundreds of DUI accident victims.
We have handled over 500 claims collectively against rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, with many of them resulting in lawsuits. If the rideshare driver is at fault, the insurance coverage from Uber/Lyft should kick in.
Distracted Driving/Texting and Driving
We have witnessed a growing number of serious car accidents related to distracted drivers playing with their phones, radio, stereo systems, etc. Although cell phone use has garnered the most attention as a dangerously distracting driving behavior, the CDC notes that distracted driving constitutes any behavior that:
- Takes your eyes off the road (visual distraction)
- Takes your hands off the wheel (manual distraction)
- Takes your mind off of safe vehicle operation (cognitive distraction)
Texting is so dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction. At 55 mph, in the time it takes to send or read a single text, a car can travel more than the length of a football field. Other behaviors that result in dangerous distractions at the wheel include:
- Reaching for items
- Applying makeup
- Using an app
- Programming a GPS
Our lawyers regularly subpoena phone records to illustrate what the negligent party was doing at the time or within seconds of the car wreck.
Motorists traveling in excess of the speed limit or driving too fast in relation to weather conditions can cause devastating collisions.
These are often horrific accidents attributable to the driver of a semi-truck who has driven for far too many hours without a break. Many truckers and trucking companies fail to adhere to the federal statute governing allowable hours of operation.
A motorist is required to exercise due caution for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents are typically caused by drivers who are simply not paying proper attention to their surroundings or rushing.
Driving While Tired
Most Americans do not get enough sleep. The CDC reports that more than one-third of adults in the Sunshine State sleep less than the 7 to 8 hours the vast majority of us need in order to wake up refreshed. That chronic sleep deprivation leads to serious risks of car accidents in Tampa. Driving fatigued is as dangerous as driving drunk. Fatigue likely contributes to the cause of far more car accidents than we even know, considering how many people drive while tired. Driver fatigue puts lives at risk, and a competent car accident lawyer in Tampa will research the driving logs of truck drivers to determine whether they had enough rest time.
According to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80% of drivers admitted to expressing anger through their driving behaviors. Additional research found that over the course of a four-year period, more than half of all traffic fatalities involved an aggressive driver. Examples of aggressive driving include:
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Blocking cars from changing lanes
- Cutting in front of a car, then slowing down
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Running red lights
- Speeding in heavy traffic
Aggressive driving can escalate into road rage. Other drivers are at risk for serious harm when aggressive drivers start honking unnecessarily, passing dangerously, throwing objects, or even forcing another driver off the road. How common is road rage? AAA found that over the course of one year, 51% of drivers admitted to tailgating and 47% admitted to yelling at another driver.
Additional Dangers for Tampa Drivers
In addition to dangerous driving behaviors, Tampa drivers also encounter risky situations on the road because of:
When fully loaded, a semi-truck needs 20-40% more distance to stop compared to a passenger vehicle. A semi-truck also weighs many times more than other cars and trucks on the road, which translates into catastrophic damage in a crash. Semi-trucks are also taller and have greater ground clearance than other vehicles, so they pose a constant risk of rolling over or of pinning a smaller vehicle under their trailers. Many passenger car drivers do not appreciate these risks when sharing the road with semi-trucks, which can lead them to make unsafe decisions about when to pass a semi and how to avoid unnecessary accident risks. Truckers, in contrast, may understand the dangers their vehicles pose to everyone else on the road, but they face their own wide array of challenges. As a group, truckers suffer from excessive fatigue, and their irregular working hours and relatively poor health often prevent them from getting the sleep they need – even when they obey regulations that limit their time behind the wheel. Not every car accident attorney in Tampa is experienced in handling truck accident injury claims. Further, many law firms lack the financial resources to effectively prosecute these cases. Truck accident cases are expert-intensive, and it costs significant money to retain the best experts to illustrate liability, negligent retention and hiring, and the failure to adequately maintain the truck.
The first 18 months of a newly licensed teen are the most dangerous not only for them but also for their passengers and other drivers. During this time, teens are four times more likely to crash due to their inexperience and because of distractions. Teens driving with teen passengers are more likely to drive distracted. Smartphones, apps, and GPS systems also add additional distractions that take their eyes and mind off the road and their hands off the wheel. Alcohol is an especially dangerous combination for inexperienced teen drivers. Peer pressure often leads teens to make bad decisions. Despite Florida’s law of zero tolerance for underage drinking, teens continue to participate in this reckless behavior.
Rideshare companies have revolutionized how many Tampa residents get around town. Unfortunately, the convenience of hailing a ride through Uber or Lyft comes with downsides. Rideshare drivers have no special training, and they find rides by using an app that can easily distract them as much as sending a text or programming a GPS. Rideshare passengers and anyone who shares the road with a rideshare driver may well face a higher-than-average risk that the driver will make a mistake and cause a rideshare accident in Tampa. Our lawyers handle a significant number of rideshare car accident cases. We have successfully resolved numerous Uber and Lyft accident claims with twenty cases resolving for over $500,000.00. Each car accident lawyer at Sibley Dolman Gipe is actively handling car accident cases and lawsuits against ridesharing entities.
Types of Serious Injuries You Can Sue For
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), more than 400,000 motor vehicle accidents occurred throughout Florida in 2017. These crashes included 3,116 fatalities and 20,380 victims with incapacitating injuries—severe and disabling injuries such as broken bones or severed limbs, requiring immediate transport to a hospital. Other types of possible serious injuries from a car accident that you can sue for include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – The CDC defines a TBI as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that interrupts normal brain function. A severe TBI can result in long-term effects on a person’s cognitive and motor function, vision and hearing, and behavior.
- Spinal cord injury – An injury to the spinal cord interrupts signals between the brain and the body, causing weakness, numbness, or paralysis. A severe spinal cord injury resulting in partial or total paralysis can cost over one million dollars to treat in the first year after an injury, and millions more over a lifetime.
- Broken bones – Tampa car accidents frequently leave victims with broken bones. Even a minor fracture, such as a broken collarbone, can cause debilitating pain, but major fractures, such as those that happen when a crash collapses the passenger compartment, can lead to the diminished use of a limb or loss of the limb altogether.
- Neck and back injuries – Serious injuries to your neck and back can require surgeries, neck and back braces, and physical therapy – all of which can quickly deplete a victim’s insurance coverage, leaving massive out-of-pocket medical expenses in their wake.
Any injury can lead to severe financial strain for victims and their families. Medical expenses, in fact, represent a leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. No car wreck victim should have to face financial ruin because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful conduct. Victims deserve compensation, and with the help of an experienced Tampa car accident law firm, they can get it.
Why Hire Sibley Dolman Gipe?
Our lawyers proudly represent car accident victims throughout Tampa, and we have convenient office locations along both Florida coasts. Our legal team treats all clients with respect, and we keep the lines of communication open at all times. Our clients always know the status of their cases. Put our team to work for you right away. The sooner we can get to work reviewing the circumstances of your Tampa car accident, the better your chances of recovering the maximum compensation you and your family deserve.
Contact Our Auto Accident Lawyers in Tampa Today
With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Sibley Dolman Gipe at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH), or you can write to us via our online contact page. We’re happy to provide a free, confidential, no-obligation case consultation. We represent Tampa car accident clients on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing upfront and we only get paid if our efforts get you paid for your injuries and losses. But do not delay—the clock is ticking on your legal right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.