Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI AttorneyTBI, or traumatic brain injury, is the result of an outside physical force damaging the brain and causing an injury. Brain injuries are often referred to as “invisible disabilities” because, although they may appear physically and mentally sound, a person suffering from a traumatic brain injury could have a rapidly worsening condition which could prove fatal in the future. You may not be experiencing swelling, discomfort, external bleeding, or pain, but your brain may be in a state where reaction time is a major factor in your safety or survival. As the saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover”.

What Are The Symptoms of TBI?

While it’s possible that someone suffering from a mild-to-serious traumatic injury could be showing little to no symptoms, it’s always useful to know what to look for. It’s always recommended to see a doctor and get an in-depth examination after sustaining head trauma—even if it didn’t hurt! Here are some clear-cut signs that something might be going wrong.

Visible Symptoms (should be noticeable by third parties)

  • Dizziness, nausea, loss of balance, and/or vomiting
  • Constant or abnormally high amounts of sleep; likewise, little to no sleep at all
  • Fatigue, drowsiness; a state of disorientation, confusion, or daze
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Loss of consciousness for any amount of time
  • Feeling or acting depressed or anxious
  • Mood changes or swings
  • Having a hard time concentrating or remembering

Invisible Symptoms (should be noticeable be the sufferer)

  • Unusually sensitive to sounds or lights
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in ears
  • Bad taste in mouth

I Bumped My Head What Should I Do?

Go to the hospital as soon as possible. Now let’s be reasonable, if you were shooting hoops with a friend and the basketball hits you in the head, chances are you’ll be fine; after all, your skull does provide some protection for things like that. However, if you have the means to get examined by a physician (i.e. health insurance) there’s no better option. A quick CAT scan could ease the stress for a nervous patient and even discover a life-threatening injury (such as a hematoma) that would have otherwise gone untreated. On the other hand, if you stood up to fast and smashed your head off of the kitchen cabinets, that warrants very good reason to go without question, regardless of your ability to or not.

So many different factors exist in a traumatic brain injury case. Everything from what caused it, where it was, what damage it caused, how much it will cost to treat, and whether or not it will be permanent. For example, premises liability cases like slip/trip and fall accidents due to unmarked wet supermarket floors or broken public stairs, injuries from a heavy product falling from the shelves, etc., will all spark different outcomes and actions.


If you or a loved one was/is suffering from a traumatic brain injury as the result of an  automobile accidents or a defective consumer product, it’s important to know your rights! Someone may be responsible for these injuries but you’re not sure what steps to bring them to justice. Let the local Clearwater firm of Dolman Law Group assist you in your battle. With our heavy experience in personal injury, we aim to secure the compensation that you deserve. We offer a completely free consultation and case evaluation so contact us today to protect the health and well-being of you or a loved one.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

Contact us with our Online Form

Practice Area: Traumatic Brain Injury

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Is there a Relation between Sports and Traumatic Brain Injuries?

football playerThe human brain, excessive amounts of force, and a lot of physical contact are all specific characteristics of many sports; namely football and boxing. Can an abnormal amount of brain injuries be traced back to these physically stressful sports? Ask most people who’ve been around for a while and they’ll tell you that boxing is a surefire way to catch a right hook laced with brain damage. Muhammad Ali was a legendary boxer in his prime—undoubtedly unforgettable—and his permanent, life-changing health defects are contributed directly to boxing, but does that mean by playing sports you’re more likely to suffer a brain injury?

I suppose that raises the question “when compared to what?” Drinking water makes you an unlimited amount of times more likely to drown than breathing air, so we must have some guidelines here to pull in any statistics. Realistically speaking, when compared to your everyday activities, participating in sports ‘technically’ does ‘increase’ your chances of receiving a traumatic brain injury, but that doesn’t mean you’re very likely to get one. After all, purchasing 10 lottery tickets makes you 9 times more likely to win when compared to purchasing one, but your chances of winning are still a dream. Instead, let’s focus on known statistics.

Brain Injury Statistics

According to one website, it’s estimated that 52,000 American’s lose their lives as the result of a traumatic brain injury. Males are more likely to receive a TBI than females—around 1.5 times—, and about 1.7 million head injuries occur every year in the U.S. in total. How many of those 1.7 million are related to sports? According to a study which recorded 23,566 head injuries over a course of 3 years, 1,219 were directly related to sports, and 773 of those 1219 were related to football. While being a large number, it’s also a very small portion of the annual cause, bringing us the agreeable conclusion that sports, while certainly being a notable cause, is certainly not the most serious.

With that said, does that answer our original question? Well, yes; there is a relation between sports and TBIs, however; not all athletes receive TBIs, and not all TBIs are related to sports. Actually, both of those numbers are very small. Think of how many athletes participate in sports over a 3-year course, and for only 1,219 of those athletes to receive a traumatic brain injury means that whoever is enforcing safety is doing a decent job. This is not to make light of the victims though, it’s simply to point out the fact that your chances of receiving a TBI from playing sports is smaller than your chance of dying from operating a vehicle.

If you have, however, received a TBI due to someone else’s negligence, it should not go unnoticed, and no amount of statistics should come into play to decide whether or not you deserve compensation for the damage you received. If you were injured because someone’s care—or lack thereof–, then you should seek immediate medical attention if you haven’t already, and then take steps to get the settlement you’re entitled to if someone else was at fault. The same goes for a loved or anyone you know. If they’re currently suffering with any form of TBI and you’re paying for it, everything is backwards and opposite of what it should be. Step up and take control of the situation or you could severely pay for it.

Contact Dolman Law Group

Here at Dolman Law, we strive to find victims of these cases the compensation they deserve and are owed. If you or someone you know has suffered from losses—be it emotionally, physically, or monetarily—, experienced a loss of enjoyment of life, or has died as a result to someone else’s negligence, you may be in line for a settlement. Don’t wait another minute to start your case; Dolman Law Group offers a free consultation and case evaluation, giving you the risk-free opportunity to learn your rights and options. Call us today at 727-451-6900 or use our quick and easy online form to speak with an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney and get started on your case today!

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

Contact us with our Online Form

Practice Area: Traumatic Brain Injuries

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The Brain and CT Scans

CT ScanThe brain is perhaps the most complex and delicate organ in the human body. As has been discussed extensively on this blog, traumatic brain injuries are some of the most common, and dangerous, outcomes caused by automobile crashes.


As many of us know, the brain is a vital organ which controls thought, memory, emotion, touch motor skills, vision, respirations, temperature, hunger, and every process that regulates our body. The brain can be divided into three parts:

  • the Cerebrum which controls initiation of movement, coordination of movement, temperature, touch, vision, hearing, judgment, reasoning, problem solving, emotions and learning;
  • the Brainstem which controls movement of the eyes and mouth, relaying sensory messages, hunger, respirations, consciousness, cardiac function, body temperature, involuntary muscle movements, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and swallowing; and
  • the Cerebellum which coordinates voluntary muscle movements, and maintains posture, balance and equilibrium.

When a crash victim has sustained a traumatic brain injury, doctors must use diagnostic tests to be able to assess the damage and craft a plan moving forward. In these situations, doctors will have the patient undergo a CT or CAT scan, in much the same way doctors with back pain or extremity pain will undergo an MRI or x-ray.


Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging procedure that combines x-rays taken from many different angles and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices) of the brain. The resulting images can be viewed individually to allow a physician to see what is going on within the organ at any level. A doctor can look at each of these slices individually or perform additional visualization to view your brain from different angles. In some cases, CT images can be combined to create 3-D images.

A CT scan of the brain is often performed in the situations where x-rays of examination are not conclusive. They can assess the brain for tumors and other lesions, injuries, intracranial bleeding, structural anomalies, infections, brain function or other conditions. Brain surgeons will often use CT scans to provide guidance for brain surgery or biopsies of brain tissue.


If you or a loved one has suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury due to the negligence of another and, it is well advised to contact a licensed Florida Attorney.  Once the initial diagnosis and prognosis for recovery are established by your physician, it is important to consult with an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney to determine if the injury was due to someone else’s negligence, whether the injury occurred in a car or motorcycle accident, or during a sporting event. The attorneys at Dolman Law Group are committed to understanding the medical nuances of traumatic brain injury so that they can procure just compensation for victims. If we can assist you with a free case evaluation and consultation regarding a traumatic brain injury, please call us at 727-451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

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Man hit while using a crosswalk; traumatic brain injury followed by outstanding recovery

crosswalk accident
It was a normal Thursday evening for Dylan Williams, a successful college student approaching his second month as a junior at Tufts University, a premier university near Boston, Massachusetts. Just like any other college student, he went to bed too late and woke up too soon, ate a breakfast that wasn’t sufficient, and was assigned more work than he wanted. Not much was different about this day until life took a dramatic turn of events for him.

Dylan was walking home from the Boston Public Library at around 8:30PM when he approached a crosswalk that connects two normally busy main streets, probably planning the rest of the night in his tired mind. A driver was traveling casually down the road at legal speeds before approaching the intersection that Dylan was attempting to cross. The traffic light presented to the driver was flashing yellow, signaling him to yield and approach the intersection with caution. It is unknown whether this light was malfunctioning or intentionally set by the city due to lower traffic rates during the late hours.

This driver failed to spot Dylan, and at the same time, Dylan put his trust in the crosswalk signaling him that it was alright to walk. It was just a few steps into the intersection before Dylan was hit by the automobile. This sent his fragile head towards the windshield with a force strong enough to smash through it. The downtown Boston traffic, or lack thereof, at the time, allowed paramedics to travel quickly and safely to a prestigious hospital with an outstanding history of neuroscience; Massachusetts General. Dylan suffered a life threatening TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and was lucky for every extra second he was able to stay alive.

The injuries were very serious. Doctors were eager for a response to their attempts to communicate with Dylan, but his nearly lifeless eyes proved unresponsive. Pressure had to constantly be relieved from his skull with a tube to prevent any more damage, or even death. The medical procedures and tests started immediately and medical staff did not hesitate to try to save Dylan’s life. Luckily, after intensive care, rehabilitation, amazing support from his family and friends, and outstanding treatment from the medical team for many weeks, Dylan was able to make tremendous recovery.

Crosswalks are designed to be as safe, visible, and legally protected as possible. They are painted on thickly with a bright white color for high visibility during both day and night. Crosswalk signals, or Pelican crossings, are coordinated with traffic lights to ensure a smooth flow of traffic as well as a safe travel for pedestrians. The only unsolved problem with crosswalks is the constantly altered variable of human error or lack of care. I often witness cars stop at traffic lights cover half or more of the crosswalk, which could in turn hinder one’s ability to cross safely without going out of its bounds. It’s too often that when a driver approaches an intersection, he properly checks his surrounding for cars; but that is exactly the issue. They may check thoroughly for other vehicles but fail to check for pedestrians at a closer distance or standing at sidewalk corners with less visibility due to vision obstructions. Because of this, it’s easy for pedestrians to be at great risk of injury during rush hours.

Dylan is an exceptional case in this situation. He is such a bright young man with a great future ahead and big plans. This accident was serious enough to make drivers give a second scan for nearby pedestrians, but Dylan and his family were blessed. They taught the world a valuable lesson without having to pay the immeasurable price of a life. Not everyone, however, has been so lucky, and pedestrians are hit and killed by cars all the time. If you or anyone you know has been injured despite proper use of a crosswalk, you may have good grounds for a case. With our experienced personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group, we can assure you a fighting chance. Don’t hesitate to call us now at 727-451-6900 or notify us via our Online Contact Form for a free consultation and case evaluation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756

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How do I know if I’ve had a Concussion?


Despite the seriousness of a concussion, sometimes determining if you’ve suffered one can be a bit challenging. An impact to the head may be minimal and not lead to any immediate symptoms, however, if left untreated, it can turn serious. So what to do you if you think you’ve might have suffered a concussion? It is best to always err on the side of caution and immediately stop what you are doing and seek treatment. If treatment is not readily available, follow the steps outlined below.


  1. Check for consciousness: One of the sure signs of a concussion is the loss of consciousness. However, it not a requisite. If the person is unconscious, check to make sure their airways, breathing, and heart rate are all normal.
  2. Determine their mental state: If the victim appears to have a difficult time concentrating, foggy thoughts, a loss of memory, difficulty forming new memories, and a feeling of slowness, there is a good chance they suffered a concussion.
  3. Determine their mental awareness: if the victim is exhibiting the above symptoms, you will need to determine the extent of their awareness. Ask them simple questions such as what day is it and where they are. If they are able to answer with ease, try more difficult questions to see if they have trouble with those.
  4. Ask them how they physically feel: A victim of a concussion will often suffer from the following – nausea or vomiting, strong headaches, heightened sensitivity to light and sound, problems with their balance.
  5. Check their eyes: If there is a flash light handy, check the victim’s pupils. If their pupils do not react to the flash light in their eyes, it is a sign of a concussion.
  6. Check to see how tired they are: A victim of a concussion will often experience being very tired and needing more sleep than usual, difficulty falling asleep or amnesia, sleep less than usual, or highly lethargic and more exhausted during the day than usual.
  7. Look for changes in their emotional state: Victims of concussions will often have strange changes in their emotional state, have erratic emotions, and high levels of anger, sadness, anxiety, and fear.
  8. Always monitor the victim for an extended period of time after the incident to make sure they do not worsen, which can happen. Allow them to rest, as rest is the best medicine, but make sure to wake them periodically to make sure everything is alright.
  9. If a concussion is left untreated, it may result in a coma. Recovery is essential, and the likelihood of suffering a severe concussion increases with each head injury.


Concussions, a form of traumatic brain injury, can happen any time there is an impact to the head. This can happen in a number of scenarios, the most common being slip and falls, automobile accidents, and motorcycle accidents. No matter how severe the impact, or whether or not the victim loses consciousness, a serious injury can be suffered.

If you, a loved one, or someone you know suffered a concussion, or any other type of traumatic brain injury, as a result of an incident that was caused by someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages suffered. Our experienced team of traumatic brain injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group understand the serious nature of brain injuries, and fight aggressively to hold the negligent responsible for the damages they have caused. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation at 727-451-6900 or via our online contact form.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765


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How do I make sure my Child’s Football Helmet is Fitted Properly?

child in football helmetSome may say that with the start of the school year beginning this week, the summer is now officially over. While technically this is not true, it certainly may feel like it. However, with the end of summer also comes the beginning of many Americans favorite time of year — football season. Football season in 2014 is not going to be like football seasons past, however. With the landmark decision in the former NFL player lawsuit against the NFL, awareness of the risk of football players suffering from traumatic brain injuries due to multiple collisions to the head is at an all time high. Concussions, loss of consciousness, and diffuse axonal injuries are all too real of a possibility to happen in a football game. One way to prevent such injuries is to make sure the player’s helmet is fitted properly.


No matter if it’s a youngster just getting his start in pee-wee, a high-school freshman, or even collegiate and professional football players, it is important to understand how a football helmet should fit. Most coaches should be trained in how to properly fit a helmet, however, many younger children will often alter the fit of the helmet to make it more comfortable, making it more unsafe as a result. Here are the steps to properly fitting your child’s football helmet:

  1. Check and measure head size, then check to make sure the helmet size matches the head size.
  2. Hold the helmet with thumbs over the bottom of the jaw pads, and then pull the helmet down placing the index fingers in the ear holes. If the helmet cannot be pulled down onto head, or is pulled down to easily, you may need to adjust helmet size.
  3. Adjust the helmet height by inflating the helmet bladder with a proper pump. The helmet should be approximately one inch above the player’s eyes when done inflating.
  4. Then, you want to inflate the rear and side helmet bladder for a snug and comfortable fit.
  5. Next, you want to ensure the jaw pads fit properly. If they are inflatable, inflate them until they are snug and comfortable. If they are not inflatable, adjust the size until they are comfortable.
  6. To ensure a proper fit is achieved, take two hands and interlock them on top of the helmet. Then, push down on the crown of the head. The child should feel pressure on the crown of his head, but not his brow. If there is pressure on the brow, adjustments will have to be made.


Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries can result in life-altering damage to the brain, no matter how severe the TBI. As shown by the deteriorating health of many NFL veterans, multiple, but less severe collisions to the head can have a just as debilitating effect on the human brain as an extremely severe strike to head.

If you, a loved one, or someone you know has suffered from any form of traumatic brain injury as a result of the negligence of another party, contact the experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group today. Our attorneys have the resources to ensure our clients are properly compensated for the damages they have suffered. Call 727-451-6900 for a free and confidential consultation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765



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New Study Shows Extent of Damage from Mild to Moderate TBI

Medical ResearchThe damage severe traumatic brain injuries can cause is widely known. Victims of a severe TBI can suffer from many permanent cognitive changes, along with being in a vegetative state, and even death in the worst cases. All brain injuries should be treated with the highest caution, however, there is not much known about the severity of cognitive effects from mild traumatic brain injuries. That is, until recently. A new study shows the extent of damage mild traumatic brain injuries have on the brain.

It has recently been discovered that mild traumatic brain injury may have a profound impact on one’s cognitive behavior and brain matter. The study, published in the journal Neurology, was performed on 44 people with mild traumatic brain injury, nine people with moderate traumatic brain n injury, and a control group of 33 people who were healthy. Researchers from Newcastle University then examined the study participants using a version of the MRI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). DTIs are used to determine the health of a patient’s brain tissue and are commonly used in the testing for acute ischemic stroke and severe brain trauma.

In the study, after administering the participants a DTI scan within one week of their injury, the researchers would then measure their cognitive ability with the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). The GCS is a points-test used to test the participant’s responsiveness in the following areas: eye movement, verbal activity, and general movement. The higher the participants score, they healthier they are, the lower, the worse off they are.

The researchers found that when compared to the healthy control group, the participants who had suffered brain injuries’ DTI scans showed that there was damage to their brain’s white matter. It was also discovered that patients with mild to moderate brain injury had a 25 percent lower score than the healthy control group. The study also found that in a twelve month follow-up visit from the patients who had brain injuries, a DTI brain scan showed that some areas of the brain had returned to normal while others had not.

This study helps us develop a better understanding of mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries, and while DTIs may not be the most common scanning method for smaller injuries, when combined with the GCS, it helps give the full extent of the mild injury’s damage.


As this study shows, even mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries can cause significant damage to white brain matter, which can affect the brain’s cognitive processes of language and memory. Mild traumatic brain injury can occur even without a strike to the head, and often happens in car accidents.

If you or a loved one suffered a mild, moderate, or severe brain injury as a result of being involved in an accident due to negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered. Contact our experienced team of traumatic brain injury lawyers today at 727-451-6900 for a free and confidential consultation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765


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What kind of Complications can I Expect after Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury?

brain injuryA traumatic brain injury can be one of the most tragic injuries one can suffer. They are often a result from a trip or fall, car accident, or motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, these injuries can often result in permanent damage or death. Sometimes, however, one can also suffer temporary complications from their brain injury.


After suffering a TBI, one can develop changes or problems in the way they think. The more severe the injury, the more problems they will have with the following:

  • Memory
  • Learning
  • Reasoning
  • Speed of mental processing
  • Judgment
  • Ability to focus
  • Problem solving
  • Multi-tasking
  • Organization
  • Decision making
  • Beginning and completing tasks


A victim of traumatic brain injury can also suffer from communication problems. These can make life very difficult for a victim of TBI:

  • Understanding speech or writing
  • Speaking or writing
  • Organizing thoughts and ideas
  • Following conversations
  • Turn taking or topic selection
  • Deciphering changes in pitch, tone or emphasis to signal emotions, attitudes or differences in meaning
  • Understanding non-verbal signals
  • Reading cues from listeners
  • Starting or stopping conversations


To further expand on the effect TBI can have on the brain, one’s emotions can also be effected. This can lead to very stressful days and cause many problems for the victim trying to get by in everyday life:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Lack of empathy for others
  • Anger
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in self-esteem


A traumatic brain injury can have serious, life-altering consequences. Not only will time and money be spent on treating the initial injury, but also on rehabbing all the problems that can develop because of that injury. Quality of life will be greatly affected, from financial to emotional to intellectual. Often times, the accidents that cause these injuries are a result of negligence. If that is the case, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages suffered.

Dolman Law Group has an experienced team of brain injury attorneys that understand the hardships one goes through after suffering a traumatic brain injury. Our attorneys are up to date on the latest medical advances made in the field of brain study, and have access to the best network of doctors and technology used to test for brain injuries. Our attorneys are experienced in combating the insurance companies and defense lawyers in their weak attempts to discredit the severity of head injuries and their lasting effects. We have had clients who have suffered severe head injuries in accidents where blows to the head were not sustained.

If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident caused by negligence, and have suffered from any of the symptoms listed above, contact Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation. We will be happy to evaluate your case.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, Fl 33765


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Types of Tests and Diagnosis used for TBIs

The immediate diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury is crucial to the victim’s future health. These injuries usually happen in situations where doctors or emergency responders are at least a few minutes away, each minute passing putting the victim at more risk. That is why there are multiple tests for traumatic brain injuries, ranging from ones that can be done at the scene of the accident to high-tech tests once the victim arrives at a hospital.

It is important to know and understand how and why such tests are performed to ensure that if you or a loved one has possibly suffered a TBI, you are being treated properly and promptly. If one has suffered a TBI and the injury is neglected either in time of diagnosis and treatment, or in proper testing, the negligent party may be held responsible.


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    Glasgow Coma Scale: the initial test for doctors or emergency responders to evaluate the severity of a brain injury. Eye response, verbal response, and motor response is graded on a 15-point scale. The lower the score, the more severe the injury. The higher the score, the less severe the injury.

  • CT Scan (computerized tomography): a CT scan can detect bleeding in the brain, skull fractures, hematomas, brain bruises, and the swelling of brain tissue. A CT scan uses multiple X-rays to put together a detailed look into the brain.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Often used after the victim’s condition has stabilized, a MRI uses magnetic and radio waves to develop a high definition image of the brain.
  • Intracranial Pressure Monitor: a probe used to monitor the cranial pressure in a victim’s skull that is the result from brain swelling.

There are also a series of items a witness can observe about the accident or the state of the victim that will help first responders treat the injured person.


  • How did the injury occur?
  • Did the person lose consciousness?
  • How long was the person unconscious?
  • Did you observe any other changes in alertness, speaking, coordination, or other signs of injury?
  • Where was the head or other parts of the body struck?
  • Can you provide any information about the source of the injury?
  • Was the person’s body whipped around or severely jarred?


If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident, and believe the injury was improperly handled, you need to immediately contact the experienced team of brain injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group.

We are up to date on the best forms of testing and technology for the testing and treatment of TBIs, and will ensure that you received the proper care from medical staff. Our attorneys are available 24/7 for all of our client’s needs, and even provide personal cell phone numbers on their business cards. TBIs are serious and can greatly change the day to day life of victims who have suffered from them. This is why quick and proper care needs to administered to all potential victims. At Dolman Law Group, we make sure all negligent parties will be held responsible in the mistreatment of a TBI victim.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765


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In the wake of the NFL’s $765 million concussion lawsuit settlement, the NCAA looks to be faced with a similar legal battle. The number of concussion-related lawsuits filed against the governing body for collegiate athletics moved to five last week when attorneys for former Kansas fullback Chris Powell filed suit in U.S. District Court in Western Missouri. The longest running of the five suits, filed in 2011 by former Michigan wide receiver Adrian Arrington, is currently in mediation.

The five lawsuits similarly allege that the NCAA lacked policies to protect and care for student athletes who suffered concussions or other head injuries, and also that it failed to educate student athletes about the potential consequences of brain injuries.

According to documents filed in the litigation, there were more than 29,000 concussions in NCAA-sanctioned sports between 2004 and 2009 – with the majority occurring in football. A recently as 2010, the NCAA didn’t have any stated concussion protocol for member schools to follow. In 2011, the NCAA required all schools to develop concussion management plans to outline how injured athletes should be evaluated, treated, managed, and allowed to return to play. Despite this requirement, individual schools were left to develop plans on their own and there was little, if any, oversight from the NCAA. In fact, NCAA medical director David Klossner admitted that the organization has largely failed to monitor whether schools have implemented concussion management plans and not a single NCAA member school has been sanctioned for failing to institute a plan to date.

Although the NFL settled its concussion lawsuit for hundreds of millions of dollars there were actually some mitigating factors that reduced the NFL’s liability in that suit. The same cannot be said for the NCAA as most would agree it owes a higher duty of care to student athletes than the NFL does to its players. For example, most of the plaintiffs in the NFL lawsuit were covered under a collective bargaining agreement negotiated on their behalf by the NFL Players Association. NCAA players have no such protection. Not to mention, NFL players are well compensated for their services and thus concussions are arguably a known job hazard. NCAA players on the other hand are not paid despite the NCAA profiting handsomely from their revenues, especially in college football. These realities make it more likely that the NCAA breached a duty of care it owed to college athletes and thus more likely that the NCAA will be making a large payout to former players in the near future.

The size of that payout will largely depend upon how many plaintiffs are involved in the suit. All suits filed thus far are seeking class action certification, but before any of the suits can proceed as a class action, the presiding judge must certify the class. The plaintiffs are seeking to define the class as “all former NCAA football players who sustained a concussion(s) or suffered concussion-like symptoms while playing football at an NCAA school, and who have, since ending their NCAA careers, developed chronic headaches, chronic dizziness or dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and/or other physical and mental problems as a result of the concussion(s) suffered while a player.”

Personal Injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group are experienced and aggressive Florida traumatic brain injury attorneys who are often called upon by their colleagues to co-counsel head injury cases throughout the State of Florida. If our injury law attorneys can be of any further assistance, do not hesitate to call us immediately for a free case evaluation and consultation. 727-451-6900. Please visit our website to learn more about Traumatic Brain Injury

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