Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Why Do Children Suffer So Many Fireworks Related Injuries?

    Children want to be near fireworks and have little understanding of their potential danger. Many times injuries occur because a child is too close when a firework explodes. Sparklers burn at 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and can ignite clothing. Children are curious. They want to handle them. Sometimes, a “dud”, which initially fails to ignite will do so after a child has picked it up. They also lack the physical coordination to evade sudden danger.

    Because of the emotion involved, child injury cases are some of the most difficult to handle. Some of the injuries children suffer are the same as adults, such as auto accidents (the leading cause of injury to children) as well as slip/ falls.

    But many injuries are unique to children. For example, burns, fireworks injuries, school injuries, daycare injuries, golf cart, scooter/razor injuries, bicycle injuries, dog bite/animal attacks, and playground injuries are some of the injuries our office handles which are unique to children. You need an attorney you can trust, one who is genuinely interested in protecting the rights of children, and who will advocate on behalf of your child and your family.

    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.

  • My 10-year old son was seriously injured when he was hit by a car while riding his razor scooter on the sidewalk. The car that hit him was at fault. What insurance will pay his medical bills and pain and suffering?

    Your son is treated similar to a pedestrian and would be covered by the No-Fault/PIP insurance of the car that hit him. That coverage would be obligated to pay the first $10,000 of his medical expenses. In addition, the bodily injury liability coverage insuring the at-fault driver would be available to pay up to the limits of the policy for any medical expenses not paid by PIP, as well as his other damages, including physical pain, suffering, scarring, disfigurement, loss of the enjoyment of life, medical expenses to be incurred in the future, and, potentially, loss of future earning capacity. If your son’s damages were greater than the liability insurance coverage available, any uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your car insurance would be available as well, if your son resided with you.

    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 Determines Who Is Responsible for a Florida Traffic Accident?

    In any Florida traffic accident, someone is liable. The simple rule is, whoever was careless was the liable party. In some cases one party violated a traffic law in which case determining negligence fairly straightforward. Others instances aren’t so clear-cut.

    Some states, including Florida, use what is called comparative fault to measure damages. This means that negligence in a Florida traffic accident can be shared among involved parties. For instance, let’s say Tricia was involved in an accident with Allison. It was determined that Tricia was 80% responsible and Allison was 20% responsible for the accident. Total damages to Allison’s car were $10,000. Allison would be able to recover $8,000, or 20% less than the total amount. She would be liable for the remaining $2,000 in damages.

    The insurance claims adjuster will initially determine comparative liability in a car accident. This can be based on the accident report, an assessment of the vehicles involved, and other factors.

    This is where hiring an attorney can be very useful and a financially astute move. An attorney is experienced in negotiating with insurance adjusters and can help compile evidence to prove the other party’s liability in your case.

    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.

  • What Type of Compensation Am I Entitled to From My Florida Personal Injury Claim?

    If you have been injured in a Florida accident, such as a motor vehicle accident or even a serious slip and fall, you may be entitled to recover damages. By filing a Florida injury claim against the liable party or parties, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering among other accident related expenses. While your insurance company may cover the cost of some of your medical treatments, you can go after the responsible driver to get reimbursed for the remainder of your expenses. Damages you may recover related to medical expenses include your past medical bills (that were not covered by your insurance policy) and future medical costs.

    Future expenses may include rehabilitation, massage therapy, or surgeries that may be required at a later date. Your personal injury lawyer may work with a medical expert to estimate the cost of future medical treatments.

    If you were unable to work as a result of your injuries, you may also recover damages for your lost wages. Some injuries may make it impossible for a person to go back to work, while some injuries may mean that a person has to choose a different profession. If this is the case, you may request compensation for the loss of future earning capacity.

  • What are the Florida Statutes for Aggressive Driving Through a Crosswalk?

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as, “when individuals commit a combination of moving traffic offenses to endanger other persons or property.” There are several Florida statutes that address what could be considered aggressive driving through a crosswalk.

    According to Florida Statute 316.1923, aggressive careless driving involves at least 2 of the following:

    • Speeding;
    • Improperly or unsafely changing lanes;
    • Following too closely;
    • Failing to yield the right-of-way;
    • Improperly passing; or
    • Failing to obey traffic signs and signals.

    Florida Rules for Driving Through a Crosswalk

    • Drivers are required to stop before reaching the crosswalk when approaching a red light. If there is a person in or at the crosswalk, drivers must allow the pedestrian who has the proper signal to cross the street. If there is no crosswalk, drivers must stop before reaching the intersection.
       
    • When the traffic signal facing the pedestrian is a solid green light the pedestrian has the right to proceed across a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Motor vehicles with the green light must proceed cautiously straight or make a left or right turn, if permitted and yield (stop or slow down) to any pedestrians in the intersection or crosswalk.
       
    • Vehicles are allowed to enter the intersection when they have a green light or turn arrow but they must yield to any pedestrians in a crosswalk.
       
    • If a driver has been in the intersection waiting to make a left turn on a steady yellow light, the driver must yield to pedestrians.
       
    • Drivers must stop completely if ever a visually impaired pedestrian is guided by a dog or is carrying a white cane in an extended or raised position. Drivers must also stop if someone using a wheelchair, service animal or other mobility aid crosses a roadway.

    There is a theme to these rules. Vehicles, both motorized ones and bicycles, must yield to people on foot. Why is that? People don’t wear armor as they walk the streets. They need the law to protect them from drivers who are protected by seat belts, airbags, helmets in the case of cyclists and various other safety features. Pedestrians almost always have the right of way in a crosswalk.

    If someone was displaying aggressive driving behavior and caused you injury in Florida, you may be able to hold them accountable for your injuries. Insurance adjusters are looking to settle claims quickly and for far less value than the injured person usually deserves. Don’t let them scare you off with a low ball settlement offer. See how we have helped people get far more than they were initially offered.

    Request our free book on pedestrian accidents and call us to discuss your unique situation before you go any further.

    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 are Structured Settlements?

    A structured settlement is a large settlement that may be paid over the course of several years rather than being paid in one large lump sum. If you win a settlement in a Florida personal injury lawsuit, your payments may be structured so that you get paid monthly, annually, or receive a large settlement periodically. It is left to the discretion of the parties involved to determine the frequency and amount of the payments.

    Structured settlements have certain advantages. For example, you may avoid the high taxes. A structured settlement can also ensure that an injury victim does not spend his or her recovery money at one time; since the payments are spread out, they can help the victim pay for his or her medical treatments and for future care.

    The disadvantage of choosing a structured settlement is that you may be unable to pay off your medical expenses as quickly as you would like, because the money comes in smaller installments.

  • What are Some of the Potential Long-Term Effects of a Severe Brain Injury After a Car Accident?

    After an accident, brain injury can occur, which often times leads to long-term effects including motor damage and certain neurological diseases.

    Brain injuries can affect cognitive, physical and psychological skills. In addition to the direct symptoms and effects of a brain injury, such as loss of consciousness, mental confusion and blurred vision, numerous long-term effects may develop over time.

    Post-Injury Problems of Brain Injury from Car Accident

    • Parkinson’s Disease – Parkinson’s, a chronic and progressive disorder, may develop after a brain injury as a result of damage to the basal ganglia, a brain structure that controls movement.
    • Alzheimer’s Disease – the more severe the head injury, the higher the chances are of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive, neurodegenerative disease.
    • Dementia – dementia, which is characterized by long-term memory problems, can result from accidents that cause a coma-inducing brain injury.

    Life can change in the blink of an eye when you or a loved one is involved in a car accident. Getting the best medical treatment available, both immediate and long-term, is vital to maintaining the highest possible degree of health.

    To seek compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident, including long-term medical treatments, speak with a Florida brain injury attorney. You shouldn’t have to worry about paying for expensive medical treatments when someone else may be to blame for your injuries.

    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.

  • What are Florida’s No Fault Death Benefits?

    If your loved one was killed in a Florida car accident involving a vehicle, whether they were a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist, they are entitled to $5,000 in Florida no-fault death benefits. Which insurance company pays this amount is dependent on the coverage of the individuals involved. These benefits are generally paid directly to the family of the deceased to help with funeral expenses.

    If the deceased owned their own vehicle and carried no-fault (PIP) coverage then their own insurance company would pay the no-fault death benefits following a fatal Florida car accident. The no-fault death benefits carry over whether the victim was the driver, a passenger in another car, or a pedestrian/bicyclist. The no-fault death benefits are not tied to the vehicle, but rather the insured person themselves.

    If the deceased did not carry no-fault coverage then the insurance company of the driver of the car that caused the Florida car accident would pay the no-fault death benefits. When a car accident occurs in the deceased’s own car their own insurance company pays the no-fault death benefits, whether the accident was caused by another negligent driver or if it was a single-car accident.

    When no-fault death benefits are paid for a Florida car accident, they generally go directly to the family of the deceased. This is to allow for help in funeral expenses and other immediate financial stresses. Most insurance companies will require a copy of the death certificate and proof that the death was caused by a car accident.

    It is important to understand how the insurance companies impact your wrongful death claim when you have lost a loved one in a car accident. Before accepting a settlement offer, order a FREE copy of my consumer guide, Survivor’s Guide to Florida Wrongful Death Claims or contact Jim Dodson Law to schedule a complimentary case review at 888-207-0905.

    Has A Loved One Died To The Negligence Of Others?

    If your loved one has died due to the negligence of someone else an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you hold them responsible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • What are Florida’s Laws for Rear-End Collisions?

    Every rear-end collision is unique, but in most cases Florida law finds that the driver who hits the other vehicle is liable for the crash. If you have been involved in a rear-end collision in Florida it’s best to contact a injury attorney to examine your case and help you determine if you have a valid claim.

    Usually the Driver Who Causes the Rear-End Collision Is at Fault

    Florida traffic laws state that drivers must maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of them to avoid a rear-end accident. If you are following too closely and the car in front of you has to stop abruptly you increase the chances of causing a rear-end car accident.

    There Are Instances Where the Following Driver May Not Be at Fault in a Rear-End Accident

    However, there are some instances in which you may not have been liable for the rear-end collision, even if you were the driver who hit the other vehicle. If the other driver was driving recklessly and needlessly stopped without allowing you proper time to react, you may not be at fault.

    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.

  • What are Costs of a Florida Accident Case and How are They Paid?

    Costs are the expenses required to prove your accident case. They typically include fees paid to medical providers for records and reports, any investigative expenses required to obtain witness statements or photographs, fees paid to experts for their evaluations and opinions, as well as, the expenses involved in pursuing your case in court, should that be required. Each case is not alike and the costs required for each case will vary. Rest assured no costs will be spent unnecessarily.

    When we accept your case, we advance the costs required on your behalf. We will gladly discuss the costs we anticipate will be required and will give you a detailed list of any costs we have paid at any time. If your case is unsuccessful, we will not ask for reimbursement of costs.