Frequently Asked Questions

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  • 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.

  • How Do I Prove My Florida Cycling Accident Case?

    At our law firm, we often receive calls from someone who has been hurt in an accident asking what they need to know to prove their bicycle injury case. Here are some key factors that need to be present in order to have the best chance of receiving financial recovery for any losses you suffered as the result of a collision or if tragically, your loved one died in a fatal cycling accident:

    • First, the driver must have been at fault in causing the accident.
    • Second, the driver’s improper act must have caused the injury or loss to the cyclist.
    • Third, the cyclist or the cyclist’s survivors suffered losses.

    Proving Who Is At Fault

    Sometimes the insurance company will argue that the cyclist contributed to causing the accident and is partly at fault or mostly at fault. When this happens, you will want to reach out to an experienced attorney who has the knowledge and ability to prove the fault of the driver and minimize arguments that you, the cyclist shared the blame. This is important, because the amount of the recovery will be reduced by any percentage of blame that can be proven against the cyclist. The legal term is known as comparative negligence.

    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.

    Or if you are looking for information and want to learn how to better protect yourself from the negligence of others, order your free copy of Jim Dodson’s Florida Bicycle Accident Handbook.

  • 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.