Frequently Asked Questions

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  • My Son is 14 Years Old and Received a Motorized Scooter for His Birthday. May He Ride it on the Sidewalk?

    Motorized scooters are small vehicles designed to be ridden standing or seated. Some have gas motors, some are electric. They are not licensed or registered with the state of Florida. Therefore, they are not permitted on the roadway or sidewalk, even if the operator has a driver's license. Although most parents are not aware of this, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, their use is restricted to private property.

    Have You Been Injured On A Scooter, Moped, Golf Cart Or ATV?

    You've been hurt in a vehicle accident you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • How Do You Make an Injury Claim on a Golf Cart Accident?

    A golf cart accident doesn't just take place on the fairway. Golf cart use is becoming more common in subdivisions and retirement communities as well as short trip tours in apartment complexes and public areas like airports and malls. The injuries you can potentially suffer in a golf cart accident can be just as serious as those in a car accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim for damages when another person's negligence caused your injuries.

    The guidelines for holding another party liable are the same between a car accident and a golf cart accident. The other party must have acted in a negligent manner and through that negligent manner, caused you harm. Then, your personal injury lawyer will have to prove this through the use of evidence.

    Evidence Needed to Prove a Golf Accident Case

    • proof that you were operating the golf cart in a designated area under safe circumstances;
    • photographs of the accident scene and damage to you and the golf cart;
    • police report and witness statements; and
    • maintenance records for the golf cart.

    In a claim for a golf cart accident in you'll most likely be filing against another person or a manufacturer. If the accident was caused by another driver or pedestrian's negligence, it will be a claim against a person. If the accident was caused by a mechanical defect it may be against a golf cart manufacturer or maintenance company.

    Have You Been Injured On A Scooter, Moped, Golf Cart Or ATV?

    You've been hurt in a vehicle accident you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • I was Hurt When Someone Drove Their Golf Cart Over Me. How Can I Get Compensated?

    Many people are seriously injured by the negligent operation of golf carts. All too often they cause serious lower extremity injuries, including leg fractures, ankle fractures, knee injuries as well as serious scarring and disfigurement.

    Florida has a Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine which provides the owner is liable for harm done to anyone by a dangerous instrumentality they own. A car is a dangerous instrumentality, as is a golf cart. As a result, the operator of the car may be liable for its negligent operation. The owner of the car remains liable as well because it is a dangerous instrumentality.

    You may seek compensation for your injuries from the operator of a golf cart through their home owners insurance if they own a home. You may also pursue recovery from the owner. In most situations the owner would be a golf course or golf resort, which covers its golf carts under a general liability insurance policy.

    Have You Been Injured On A Scooter, Moped, Golf Cart Or ATV?

    You've been hurt in a vehicle accident you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • Do I Have to Have a Light on My Bicycle if I Am Riding in Florida?

    If you are riding a bicycle in Florida between sunset and sunrise, then Florida bicycle regulations require you to have a light to maximize your safety as well as that of motorists.

    Florida Cyclists Must Do the Following When Riding at Night

    • be equipped with a lamp on the front of the bicycle that exhibits a white light that is visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front; and
    • be equipped with a lamp and a reflector on the rear of the bicycle that each exhibit a red light that is visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear.

    In Florida, a bicycle may be equipped with extra lights or reflectors in addition to those that are required.

    A failure to abide by these regulations may result in a Florida bicycle accident. If you are riding your bicycle between sunset and sunrise without the required lights or reflectors, motor vehicle drivers may not see you on your bike.

    If your bicycle is equipped with the necessary lights and reflectors and you are injured in a Florida bicycle accident because of the negligence of a motor vehicle driver, then you may be eligible to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. 

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • What Factors Determine What a Child Injury Case is Worth?

    The factors you would consider when determining the value of a child injury claim are a bit different than what you would consider for an adult injury claim. The main difference is that with a child, many monetary factors are not dealt with the same way, including estimating future expenses when a child does not have a work history but their injury will prevent them from working later in life.

    Your child injury attorney can look at the specifics of your child's injury and accident and help you determine the types of compensation to seek and what evidence you'll need to prove those expenses.

    Some Factors that May Affect the Value of a Child Injury Claim

    • medical expenses
    • emotional therapy/counseling for your child
    • physical therapy
    • ongoing care for your child's injury (if long-term or permanent)
    • permanent disability and disfigurement
    • loss of quality of life (damaged social and academic experiences)
    • emotional suffering (stress and insecurity)

    Since insurance adjusters typically compute non-monetary damages such as loss of quality of life and emotional suffering, the importance of having a child injury attorney to help represent the best interests of your child is paramount. Without the help of an attorney, the value of a claim could be significantly underestimated and you could end up accepting an offer for well below what your claim is worth.

    It's also important to be aware of the restrictions and specific considerations present in Florida child injury claims. For example, settlements over $15,000 may require court approval. Additionally, settlements or awards over $15,000 may be put into a restricted bank account that could require a court order or similar petition to withdraw any funds. Your attorney can explain how these restrictions may impact your case.

    Has Your Child Been Injured In An Accident?

    If your child has been hurt in an accident it's important to contact an experienced child accident injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • What Are the Reasons for the High Rate of Pedestrian Accidents in Pinellas County?

    Pinellas County, along with the entire Tampa Bay metropolitan area, has one of the nation'€™s highest rates of pedestrian accidents. One of the main reasons for the high numbers is that we simply have more pedestrians, according to an article by Alexandra Lundahl that appeared in TBNWeekly.com.

    Because our weather is mild year-round, we have 12 months when people are out there enjoying a stroll or a bike ride.

    Not only that, Pinellas County is much more densely populated than most of the United States. It is the densest county in the entire state of Florida, with more than twice the density of Broward County, which is second. And added to that, we have a huge influx of snowbirds and tourists who come south during the winter season to escape the cold climates of the northern United States and Canada, causing our population density to swell even further.

    These factors create more pedestrians and cyclists along with more motorists, and most of our roads are designed with the motorists in mind. The "€œcar culture"€ in the state has not been conducive to pedestrian safety. Many of Florida'€™s roads are high-speed arterial highways, designed to get cars where they'€™re going as fast as possible with the fewest possible stops for crossing pedestrians.

    Pedestrian error is also a major cause of accidents. Pedestrians fail to push buttons to activate crossing signals, or they push them and fail to wait for the "€œwalk"€ signal to appear. Sometimes they can'€™t be bothered to take the time to walk to a crosswalk and attempt to cross high-speed roads at improper locations. And finally, pedestrian accidents occur when pedestrians and drivers are impaired by alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications.

    Engineering and education combined are needed to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents. Drivers need to understand that the law requires them to yield to pedestrians, and pedestrians need to understand the importance of using the signals properly, crossing at correct locations, and exercising caution when entering the roadway.

    A pedestrian or cyclist injured as a result of driver error is often able to receive money as compensation for accident-related injuries and losses. If you were injured as a pedestrian or a family member was killed attempting to cross the road because of a driver'€™s carelessness, talk to attorney Jim Dodson for information on how to proceed. Jim has been helping accident victims in Florida recover compensation for more than 25 years.

    Have You Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a pedestrian accident you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • How Can I Determine How Much My Florida Pedestrian Accident Case Worth?

    This is a question everyone wants answered, but the truth is if you were hit by a motor vehicle there is no simple formula that can be used to tell you, at the start of your accident case, how much it is worth.

    The facts in every pedestrian accident case are different, and there are things a lawyer needs to know before offering an opinion as to the value of your case:

    • What proof is available to show that the driver was the one who caused the accident?
    • How badly were you injured? What kind of treatment are you getting now, and what will you need in the future?
    • How much pain and suffering, both physical and emotional, have you experienced since your accident? Is it likely to continue? For how long?
    • How will your injuries affect your life in the future? Will you be able to return to work or participate in the activities you enjoy? How will the injuries affect your quality of life?

    Do we have all of this information right after the accident? No, we do not.

    It takes time for many of these questions to be answered as your injuries require treatment in the form of surgery and rehabilitation or as evidence of video cameras at the scene surface. Pedestrians are often knocked unconscious at the scene of an accident involving a vehicle. You may not remember exactly what happened and it could take time to find witnesses.

    We work with you to gather the information and the proof we need to ensure every fact that could affect the value of your case is documented. Only once all of these factors are weighed can an estimate of the value of your claim be made.

    Have You Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a pedestrian accident you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

    Don’t forget to request the Florida Pedestrian Accident Guide so you know what to expect moving forward with an accident claim. It normally sells for $14.99 on Amazon, but you can get it here free.

  • What are the Common Causes of Intersection Car Accidents?

    When drivers ignore traffic laws and disregard red lights and signs around intersections, accidents are common. These are some of the most frequent causes of intersection car accidents in Florida:

    Intersection crashes often result in fatalities or very severe injuries. In 2010, 829 people died in Florida intersection car accidents — nearly a third of the state’s total traffic deaths. Nearly 9000 people died in intersection accidents nationwide that year.

    To reduce the number of these very serious accidents, traffic safety experts have proposed building more roundabouts and installing red-light cameras at intersections.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in Florida car accident you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • I was in a Florida Bicycle Accident and My Bike Was Damaged. Who Pays for the Repairs?

    Not all Florida bicycle accidents involve serious injury or death – although far too many do. In some instances, a cyclist could walk away from a crash with scrapes or bruises or other minor injuries but may end up with thousands of dollars in damages to their bike frame. Repairs to damaged bicycles due to crashes and unfortunate events can be costly. It is important to understand if this happens to you, how to get your bike repaired or replaced. Depending on the scenario, your bicycle can be covered in multiple ways.

    When a Cyclist Hits a Fixed or Non-Moving Object

    There are certain situations in which a Florida cyclist may run into a parked car, hit a pole, fence, sign or some other stationary object. If this occurs, your homeowner’s insurance will pay for repair or replacement of the bicycle if it is covered under your policy. There may be a deductible. A typical policy may cover bikes up to a maximum amount without being specifically insured. Call your insurance company to make sure your bike is properly covered, before you hit something.

    When a Cyclist is Hit By Another Cyclist

    Many cyclists ride as a part of a group or encounter other riders along their path. Sometimes, these encounters don’t go as nicely as planned. If your bike frame is damaged or destroyed in a bike collision, you will look to the at fault cyclist’s homeowner’s policy for coverage. If they don’t have no fault, then your homeowner’s policy may cover your damages. Check with your insurance carrier.

    When a Cyclist is Hit By a Car

    If you are hit by a car while riding your bike in Florida, you will look to the property damage coverage on the at fault driver’s auto insurance policy to recover any damages to your bike that result from the accident.

    Getting Help from a Florida Bicycle Accident Attorney

    Our Florida Bicycle Accident Handbook answers many questions about how you can better protect yourself and your bicycle from any serious harm when you are riding. But, if the unexpected happens and you or someone you know is hurt in a bicycle accident, you should consider talking to an experienced attorney about what your legal options are. 

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • Will Pursuing My Bicycle Accident Case Take Up a Lot of My Time?

    Not at all. We will remove all the worry from your shoulders by handling all of the legal issues, and we will deal with the claims adjuster on your behalf. Your job is simply to get the ongoing medical care that you need and get well. Focus on recovering your health, and we will do the rest.

    How Long Will it Take to Settle My Bicycle Accident Case?

    Many clients ask how long it will take to conclude their case. This varies considerably and will largely depend on how long you remain under treatment for your injuries. Your lawyer will not be able to determine the value of your bicycle accident case until your treatment has been completed—when you’ve reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI).

    When your doctor releases you from active treatment, we will request your doctor’s opinion about the extent of your recovery, what medical treatment you will need in the future, restrictions of your activities, and what expenses you are likely to incur as a result of your injuries. We will use this information to attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. As your treatment progresses and we have more information available, we will have a better idea when we are likely to be able to settle your case.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.