Experiencing a personal injury is traumatic and expensive. Depending upon the severity of their injuries, a victim may face long periods of time away from work and in the hospital, which can result in financial and emotional burdens that are hard for the victim and their family to bear. Florida law allows victims to seek compensation in personal injury cases when there is evidence proving that someone else is legally responsible for those injuries.
Personal injury cases require victims to take a proactive approach toward securing the justice and compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, contact a Florida personal injury lawyer without delay.
Examples of Negligence Resulting in Personal Injury
In order to convince a court that they should be awarded damages, an injury victim (the plaintiff) must prove that the person or entity they are suing (the defendant) did something negligent to cause their injury. A court might find that a defendant was negligent in a variety of circumstances, including, but not limited to:
Car accidents – Many personal injury claims stem from car accidents. With more than 17 million licensed drivers in Florida and millions of visitors each year, city streets and highways are busy and dangerous places.
During 2018, car accidents resulted in more than 400,000 crashes, 3,000 deaths, and 250,000 injuries throughout Florida. A variety of factors contribute to traffic crashes, including:
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Following too closely
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Distracted driving
Dealing with insurance companies and Florida law during the traumatic time after a car accident is stressful, and a personal injury lawyer can help make the process go smoothly. At the Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman, our legal team has years of experience representing clients who suffered serious—and sometimes permanent—injuries at the hands of a negligent driver. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Motorcycle accidents – Many motorcycle riders are drawn to the freedom of the open road. But motorcycles lack the airbags, protective roof, and other safety features of a car. This lack of safety features leaves riders at risk for severe injury and even death if they get into an accident
Florida law allows motorcycle drivers and passengers to choose whether or not to wear a helmet. Anyone over 21 may ride without a helmet, as long as they have at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage.
In the event of a traumatic crash, $10,000 is often not enough to cover medical costs. Depending upon the type of injury, medical costs can range in the tens of thousands, and sometimes even millions, of dollars.
Bicycle accidents – Florida is the deadliest state in the nation for riding a bicycle, with an average of 5.7 cyclists deaths per one million residents each year. This is more than twice as many as the national average of 2.3 deaths per one million residents.
Bicycles have the same rights and duties as the drivers of any other vehicle under Florida law. When a motor vehicle driver fails to share the road, a cyclist can suffer injuries like broken bones or painful road rash. Only those under 16 years old are required to wear helmets, but head injuries are also a real possibility.
Pedestrian accidents – Distracted driving, drunk driving, and speeding are all factors that contribute to accidents between cars and pedestrians. Pedestrian injuries are often worse when the vehicle involved is a large SUV. These popular vehicles sit higher and are heavier than a standard passenger vehicle. In these types of accidents, pedestrians often suffer catastrophic injuries or are killed in the course of the accident. In fact, Florida ranked second in the nation in 2016 for pedestrian deaths in accidents involving cars.
Slip and Fall – A property owner’s negligence can contribute to serious slip and fall injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falls are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI), accounting for almost half of all TBI-related emergency room visits. Falls can also cause neck and back injuries, broken bones, and result in emotional distress. Many people experience anxiety after the fall due to their fear of falling again.
Personal injury claims for slip and fall injuries typically involve an area of law called “premises liability.” Under this area of the law, property owners have a “duty of care” to keep their property safe from hazards that may cause others harm. Examples of hazards that a court may find are a breach of a property owner’s “duty of care” include:
- Torn carpeting or rugs
- Wet and slippery floors
- Stairs with no handrail
- Wires and cords lying across floors
- Inadequate or no lighting in parking lots
Dog bites – The CDC reports that dogs bite about 4.5 million people each year. Dog bites are especially dangerous for young children, who are more likely to be bitten on the head or neck due to their height.
Dog bites can result in complications like infections, and in extreme cases, rabies. With more than 60 million dog owners in the United States, dogs are everywhere. Always be cautious when around dogs, especially dogs you don’t know. Even if you are familiar with a dog, it may still bite you without warning. Giving dogs space and not initiating contact are the safest ways to prevent a bite.
These are examples of just a few types of personal injury that can occur anywhere, any time. A morning walk, a Sunday motorcycle ride, a bike ride with friends, a trip to the store, or petting a dog can change your life in an instant. At the same time that you are leaving your home for one of these activities, somewhere, another person is texting a friend while driving. If the two of you meet, the results are potentially disastrous for you. The same is true if the other person is mopping a restaurant floor, placing an extension cord across the floor, or walking their dog. Any of these situations put you at risk for a serious personal injury.
When you experience a serious injury, your entire world changes in an instant. Even if you think you feel fine after a dog bite or striking your head in a fall, go seek medical attention immediately. Not everyone has symptoms right away, even when they have suffered a serious injury that needs medical treatment.
We handle a wide range of personal injury cases
Personal injuries come in many different forms. Some of the cases we handle involve the following types of accidents and injuries:
- Rideshare Accidents
- Scooter Accident
- SUV Accident Attorney
- Train Accident
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Wrongful Death
The Lasting Impact of Personal Injuries
A devastating personal injury may happen in a second, but the true impact can last forever. Sometimes victims of a traumatic injury never make a full recovery. The following are injuries that can have life-long effects, and may entitle the victim to major compensation:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – A severe TBI is perhaps one of the most devastating injuries a person can experience. This is especially true for the victim’s loved ones as the victim’s personality sometimes changes before their eyes.
The CDC describes TBIs as a bump, blow, or sudden jolt to the head. A severe TBI can affect a person’s cognitive and motor functions, their senses (sight, hearing, vision), and their behavior. An injury of this magnitude can result in an inability to work and the need for extensive medical and personal care.
Spinal cord injury – Medical professionals refer to spinal cord injuries as “complete” or “incomplete.” For patients with a “complete” injury, they lose sensation and motor function below the point of injury to their spinal cord. Patients with an “incomplete” injury have limited sensation and motor function below the injury point.
Complete spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis, making patients dependant upon a wheelchair, modified vehicle, and home modifications. These expenses continue throughout the years as equipment needs replacing and the patient’s need for care changes.
Broken bones – During an accident, bones can break in more than one place or even become crushed, requiring surgery. In cases involving vehicle collisions with motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians, bone breaks can be extremely catastrophic.
Multiple breaks, especially when accompanied by other serious injuries, often require a long hospital stay. Many patients need extensive physical therapy once they have begun to recover, as well as occupational therapy to relearn simple tasks. The same is true for neck and back injuries, which can leave patients in a brace and with severe pain as they heal.
A person’s negligence or reckless behavior can cause any number of serious injuries. Someone’s decision to drive drunk, distracted, or aggressively can wreck more than a car—it can wreck another person’s life.
Call the Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman No Matter How You Are Injured in Tampa Bay
No one should pay out-of-pocket for injuries they suffered because of someone else’s negligence, but pursuing a personal injury case requires a full understanding of Florida law. At the Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman, our legal team has years of experience representing personal injury clients in the Tampa region and throughout Florida.
Each case is different, but some personal injury victims are entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If there is an insurance company involved, a victim can file a claim on their own, but insurance companies are out to make a profit and they usually offer the smallest amount possible to settle the claim. What may seem like a large amount at the time will not always account for a victim’s future needs and often isn’t enough.
At the Dolman Law Group, we take great pride in our ability to negotiate firmly and effectively with insurance companies. And if we are unable to reach a fair settlement, we are ready to go to trial.
The sooner after an injury you talk with an attorney, the better, to make sure that you remember as much of the incident as possible. Florida law also has a statute of limitations on personal injury cases—a law that requires plaintiffs to bring their case to court within a limited period of time after their injury. One the statute of limitations is up, you can no longer seek compensation for your injuries.
At the Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman, we make a no recovery, no fee promise to all of our clients, meaning they don’t pay us unless we help them receive compensation for their injuries. We keep our clients informed throughout the legal process and treat them with the respect that they deserve. We understand that many of our clients are facing financial, medical, and emotional challenges after experiencing a personal injury—that’s why we fight hard for those we represent.
Tampa, Florida residents deserve quality legal representation for their personal injury cases. The Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman have offices on both Florida coasts. Whether you are a permanent resident, a seasonal resident, or a tourist whose vacation went horribly wrong, contact us today.
If you call the Dolman Law Group, we will do a careful review of your case, and advise you about what we think is your best course of action. If there is enough evidence to pursue a case on your behalf, we need time to gather it and interview witnesses before the statute of limitations is up, so call us at (833) 552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) or contact us online as soon as possible.
Even if you are unsure if you have a case, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation. We may see an important detail that, due to your traumatic experience, you overlooked.
Don’t trust your legal journey to just anyone and don’t try to go it alone. Focus instead on your health and recovery and leave the legal details to an experienced attorney.