Frequently Asked Questions

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  • How Do I Choose the Best Cycling Helmet?

    Question: I share your concern for bicycle safety and plan to insist all family members wear helmets while cycling. How do I select a good helmet? How much do I need to spend to get a safe one? Eric, Tarpon Springs

    Answer: The good news is that there is not much safety benefit in buying a more expensive helmet. A CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) sticker ensures that nationwide standards have been met. Here are a few guidelines for choosing helmets for you and your family:

    • Make sure your helmet fits properly for maximum protection. The helmet should be level on your head, should touch all around, and be snug but not tight. It should not move more than about an inch in any direction, and should be impossible to pull off without releasing the buckle.
    • Check inside for a CPSC sticker. All helmets currently being sold are required to have these.
    • Choose white or a bright color for better visibility to motorists.
    • Avoid helmets with anything sticking out that might snag—rigid visors, for example. The shell should be rounded with adequate, but not excessive, vents—enough to keep your head cool, but not so many that the padded area is substantially reduced. Straps should not be too thin and should be easy to adjust.

    Happy cycling! ~ Jim Dodson

    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.

  • A Member of My Family Died in a Pedestrian Accident in Florida. Do I Have a Wrongful Death Case?

    If someone you love has died in a pedestrian accident, you are not alone. Florida is the number one state in the nation for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Drivers are required to drive carefully, remain focused on the road, obey traffic laws, and be mindful of pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and others around them. When they fail to live up to this responsibility and cause a fatal pedestrian accident, the survivors may have a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver.

    Causes of Wrongful Pedestrian Deaths

    Careless or reckless driving that results in a pedestrian death can be caused by any number of improper acts, including drivers running red lights, speeding, driving drunk, failing to yield the right of way, or driving while using a cell phone, texting, eating or drinking, rubbernecking, or otherwise distracted.

    The Florida Wrongful Death Statute

    Wrongful death claims in Florida are governed by the Florida Wrongful Death Statute. To succeed in a wrongful death case it will be necessary to be able to prove that the person who caused the accident was legally responsible for the victim’s death. If so, the survivors of the person who died may be entitled to finacial compensation for the loss of their loved one. The Florida Wrongful Death Statute allows only two years from the time of death to file a lawsuit, so it is important not to delay in talking to a Florida wrongful death lawyer about the case.

    Making a Wrongful Death Claim in a Fatal Pedestrian Accident

    No sum of money is adequate compensation for the death of someone you love. Nevertheless, careless and negligent drivers must be held responsible for the suffering they’ve caused. For many survivors, pursuing a wrongful death claim is an important step toward healing and closure.

    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.

  • Should My Lawyer Refer Me to a Doctor for My Pedestrian Accident Injuries?

    When you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you don’t need to have your lawyer refer you to a doctor. In fact, some lawyers compromise their clients’ cases by referring every client to the same, doctor—over and over again. When claims adjusters and juries see this happening, they often become suspicious of the relationship between the lawyer and the doctor. This can easily destroy the credibility of both the doctor and the lawyer. This is what I sometimes call refer to as “the kiss of death” for a case

    If the Red Flags are Flying, Head for the Door!

    If you’re interviewing a lawyer about taking your case and notice a pile of a particular doctor’s business cards in the waiting area, watch out. If the lawyer tries to switch you over to another doctor when you’ve already got one you’re happy with, that’s another warning sign. Time to head for the door.

    On the other hand, if you need a referral to a doctor with a particular specialty, your lawyer may be able to direct to a specialist to consider. An experienced lawyer will explain to you the pros and cons involved in a referral.

    You should understand this: you need a doctor who is well respected, knowledgeable, and believable, not one who has a cozy referral relationship with your lawyer!

    Where Should I Get Treatment for My Pedestrian Accident Injuries?

    Immediately after your accident you should get the medical care you need. Sometimes you’ll be taken to the emergency room in the nearest hospital. Otherwise, you should visit your personal physician. But don’t delay seeing a doctor. If your own doctor isn’t available, try an urgent care clinic if you haven’t been seen in the ER. For certain injuries, you may need a referral to a specialist—a neurologist, an orthopedist, or a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, for example.

    My Doctor Won’t Treat My Injuries

    There are doctors who don’t care to treat pedestrian accident injuries. If your doctor doesn’t handle this type of injury and can’t give you a referral to one who does, discuss it with your lawyer. Sometimes an attorney can provide you with a list of names of several doctors who treat accident injuries, and you can choose one of them. If you have health insurance, a good place to start is to review the doctors available to you under your plan.

    Read this Pedestrian Accident Guide

    It’s always smart to gather information about the claims process, even before consulting with a lawyer. It’s also a good step to have some questions in mind to ask any lawyer you are considering hiring. The best way to start is by reading the Florida Pedestrian Accident Guide by attorney Jim Dodson.

    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.

  • After a Florida Cycling Accident, Is an Attorney Really Necessary?

    Is it Possible to Negotiate Your Own Settlement with the Insurance Company After Being Hurt in a Bicycle Accident?

    Yes, it’s possible to settle on your own case without an injury lawyer if you’ve only suffered minor injuries and are not expecting a high settlement. There are times that you may not need to hire a lawyer who handles bicycle accident cases. But be aware that some injuries often seem minor at first and can worsen with time. It’s not at all unusual for some accident victims to not realize how serious their injuries are until a few weeks have gone by. The insurance adjuster will be quick to offer to settle your claim for as little as possible before you know the full extent of your injuries so, be wary.

    Lawyer that Specializes in Bicycle Accidents

    Obtaining the compensation you deserve is a job for an experienced Florida bicycle accident lawyer who knows how to protect the rights of people who have been injured due to someone else’s careless act. While anyone who has been injured is free to try to negotiate a settlement directly with an insurance company, you need to realize that a person who does so is not playing on a level field when dealing with a claims adjuster who knows the ropes.

    Maximize Your Compensation

    On the other hand, an experienced attorney will prepare and present your case in such a way as to maximize your compensation, whether this happens in or out of court. A lawyer who only handles personal injury cases in their practice has the in-depth knowledge of Florida law and the workings of the insurance industry that is needed to successfully pursue a claim for your losses. Experienced accident attorneys have access to the kinds of engineers and other experts needed to prove your case. They will also know the medical and financial experts who can testify regarding the extent and expected future consequences of your injuries.

    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.

  • Who is Considered a Pedestrian in Florida?

    According to state laws, any person “afoot” is considered to be a pedestrian in Florida. This means any person on foot, in a wheelchair, on a skateboard or on roller skates is also considered a pedestrian in Florida.

    The Florida statutes regarding pedestrians state that where a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian must not walk on the road but should walk only on the sidewalk. In places where a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian may walk on the road but should be cautious of cars and other vehicles.

    When a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian in Florida should walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway, facing oncoming traffic.

    The failure to obey these rules can result in a serious pedestrian accident. Even when a pedestrian doesn’t obey these rules, an accident may be caused by someone else’s negligence. If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation in a Florida personal injury claim.

    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.

  • When is a Pedestrian in Florida Allowed to Stand or Walk on the Road?

    Short answer: when they have to be on the road for safety and they aren’t doing anything illegal.

    According to Florida law, a pedestrian may stand or walk on a road in which a sidewalk is not provided. In such a case, the pedestrian should walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the road. This means the person should be walking against oncoming traffic and never in the actual lane for vehicles.

    Florida pedestrian laws prohibit a person from standing on a road that is paved for vehicular traffic in an attempt to solicit a ride, solicit employment or solicit business from the occupant of a vehicle.

    In addition, a person cannot walk on any road where a sidewalk is provided, as long as that sidewalk is passable. Situations where a sidewalk may be found to be impassable include instances of sidewalks in disrepair or sidewalks with safety hazards. Think of construction cones and caution tape blocking access to a sidewalk.

    Florida pedestrian laws are meant to protect people from the dangers of motor vehicles. A violation of these laws may result in a non-criminal traffic infraction and a fine, not to mention the danger of being struck by a vehicle while in the road.

    If you were hit by a car while walking in the street and cited for being in the road improperly, you may bear some responsibility for the accident. But, that doesn’t mean you are wholly responsible for your injuries. If the driver was distracted, impaired or simply not paying attention, you may have a claim against his insurance company for your injuries. 

    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.

  • What Should I Do After a Florida Pedestrian Accident?

    If you were injured or someone you love was killed in a pedestrian accident, there are certain steps that you should take immediately to protect your health and your interests in a personal injury claim.

    Steps You Should Take After a Pedestrian Accident

    • Call the police – Immediately call the police. When the police arrive they will make a report, which will serve as an official record of the pedestrian accident. Too many people regret not calling the police after an accident when they later find out the insurance card they were given was expired or their injuries are much worse than they initially thought.
       
    • Get the contact and insurance information of the other person(s) involved – You will need this information to file an injury claim. When the police arrive, they often handle this for you by getting the information of everyone involved, verifying it and compiling it in an Exchange of Information.
       
    • Get the necessary medical attention – Even if you don’t believe that your injuries are serious, you should see a medical professional right away. You may have suffered injuries that, due to shock and adrenaline, you won’t feel until later on. Often, internal injuries to the organs, traumatic brain injury and whiplash go unnoticed until days after the accident. Additionally, you must see a medical profession within 14 days of your accident to qualify for your No-Fault/PIP benefits.
       
    • Contact an attorney – An attorney will conduct an investigation and evaluate your case, letting your know whether you have a strong case for compensation for your injuries.
    For more information on what to expect after being hit by a vehicle, request our free Pedestrian Acident Guide today. If you have questions you need answered right now, give us a call at 727-446-0840. We never charge to discuss your case.

    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.

  • If I was in a Bicycle Accident But the Car Never Actually Hit Me and I was Seriously Injured, Do I Still Have a Case?

    You may be able to recover damages after a bicycle accident even if the motorist didn’t hit you. There does not have to be physical contact between the bicyclist and the motor vehicle for the driver to be held liable.

    There are several situations in which a bicyclist may need to take evasive action to avoid a collision with a car, truck or other motor vehicle, and as a result, the cyclist could still fall or crash and suffer injuries. In such instances, the driver could be held accountable if their negligence caused the bicyclist to take evasive action and crash.

    If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries after taking evasive action to avoid a bicycle crash, you might be able to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for:

    • medical bills;
    • lost wages;
    • lost earning capacity;
    • pain and suffering;
    • disfigurement; and/or
    • emotional distress.

    Bicyclists might be forced to take evasive action when a driver does any of the following:

    • speeds;
    • runs red lights;
    • drives recklessly;
    • drives while drunk; and/or
    • drives while distracted.

    Because there can be many details involved in a bicycle accident, it would be beneficial for you to seek the experience of an attorney who handles bicycle accident cases as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights.

    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.

  • I was seriously injured when a car failed to stop at a stop sign and ran into me on my bicycle. The car left the scene. I need surgery on my knee and and may need surgery on my ankle, too. Who will pay for my medical expenses and for my pain and suffering?

    When a car causes an accident and leaves the scene, it is generally referred to as a “phantom vehicle.” In your situation, where you’ve been injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, and do not know the identity of the driver of the car or their insurance company, you must look to your own insurance company for help.

    The No-Fault coverage on your auto policy, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), will pay up to its limit (typically $10,000) for your medical bills and lost wages, as required by law. For your Bodily Injury claim (pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life) you would look to the uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. If you have this valuable coverage, it will pay up to the coverage limit depending on how seriously you are injured. — a very good reason to carry uninsured motorist coverage— and one I often stress to my clients.

    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.

  • I was Jogging in a City Park in Tampa, Tripped on Broken Sidewalk and Broke My Arm. Is the City Liable?

    If you have broken your arm while jogging on a broken Tampa sidewalk, the city is not necessarily liable just because the sidewalk was broken. On the other hand, if the city had been notified of the sidewalk’s broken condition, they should have put up a sign or a barrier to prevent a pedestrian accident. Therefore, the city may be held liable for your broken arm in some cases.

    If you choose to pursue damages in a personal injury claim, the city may argue that you were partially at fault for trying to cross the broken sidewalk. The outcome of your case will depend on your ability to present a valid argument. To build your case against the city, you can get the professional help of a lawyer.

    It is important to keep in mind however that suing a government entity such as a city or other government office has a different set of standards and deadlines than personal injury claims against people or other types of businesses. Often, victims are only allowed only an incredibly short timeframe to notify the government entity of their intent to seek damages. That is why it is vital to speak with a lawyer right away to avoid missing the statute of limitations on these types of claims.

    After your type of pedestrian accident, you may be compensated for current and, if necessary, future medical expenses. You may also be compensated for your pain and suffering, and any wages that you may have lost.

    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.