Common Questions About Your Car Accident Injury Case.

Common Questions About Your Car Accident Injury Case.
Published: January 27, 2022

zarzaur law common questions to ask during a car crash

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Florida, you will face several challenges. Even if you think that you have a potential personal injury case to be compensated for your medical treatment costs, lost wages, property damage, etc, it can be difficult to know where to begin the process.

A “simple” car wreck case may involve many complex legal issues. Below are some common questions that our clients normally ask our legal team at Zarzaur Law, P.A.:

The At-Fault, Driver Did Not Get A Ticket. Do I Still Have A Case?

Whether a ticket was issued is not dispositive in a civil claim arising from a car crash. Often, the investigating officer is too busy to investigate the fault, unless the claim involves a fatality or near-fatality, or criminal conduct. Sometimes there are no witnesses, and the trooper simply does not have enough time to decide who was at fault. Regardless, if the other driver was at fault, you can still make a claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can develop the evidence needed to support the claim. Just because no ticket was issued, you may still have a case, especially if you were injured in the car accident.

Who Is Liable In A Personal Injury Case?

Many people are reluctant to sue the at fault driver or owner, even though they caused the injury. Rest assured that unless the driver or owner is extremely wealthy, their insurance company will pay the claim. If suit is filed, the insurance company is not a named party due to Florida law, but it will pay for the defense attorneys and any verdict. While you may have sympathy for the person who caused the wreck, rest assured, they will not have to pay the verdict absent very unusual circumstances.

What If The At-Fault Driver Has No Insurance?

In Florida, it is very common for drivers to have little to no coverage for personal injury liability. Florida does not require this coverage, so many don’t buy it. What then? If you are injured, you can make an uninsured motorist (UM) claim against your own insurance company. Making such a claim will not affect your rates if you are not at fault. This coverage can help reimburse you for your injuries. Make sure you get UM coverage!

How Do I Pay My Medical Bills?

If you are injured, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage from your own policy will pay for bills up to $10,000. Florida requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage.

Under Florida’s no-fault auto insurance law, most injured drivers seek reimbursement for accident costs from their own carrier, regardless of who caused the collision.

If your bills are higher, your own health insurance should pay for your additional medical expenses once your PIP has been exhausted.

If you do not have health insurance, some providers will treat you with an agreement to be paid out of your settlement. This agreement is set up between your lawyer and the medical provider.

What Type of Recovery Am I Entitled To After a Car Accident?

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, some of the damages you may seek can include:

Vehicle and personal property damage
Present and future medical expenses
Pain and suffering
Lost wages
Loss of future earnings
Wrongful death

Under Florida law, you must prove a permanent injury to recover money for your pain and suffering. Otherwise, you can only recover unpaid medical bills and lost wages. Proof of a permanent injury is often difficult to obtain and requires careful attention to the evidence by your lawyer.

How Long Do I Have To File A Claim?

Generally, all claims must be filed within a time period called the Statute of Limitations.” If the claim is not filed within that time, it is forever barred.

In Florida, the time for filing a claim is 4 years from the date of the wreck. If the case involves death, it must be filed within 2 years. As you can see, you should immediately contact a lawyer after a wreck so you preserve your rights to make a claim.

How Much Will An Attorney Cost Me?

In Florida, most injury cases are paid for with a “Contingency Fee.” That means, your lawyer will be paid from any recovery. If you do not recover, the lawyer is not paid.

The standard fee for Florida lawyers is 33.3 percent before suit is filed, 40 percent after suit is filed.

This contingency fee is standard across Florida and approved by the Florida Bar. Your lawyer generally cannot charge more, absent unusual circumstances. You can hire the most experienced expert in personal injury law for the same fee as a lawyer without similar expertise or experience. It makes sense to hire a board certified civil trial lawyer under these circumstances.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an auto accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Florida Car Insurance 101: Yes, It’s Legal For A Florida Resident To Register And Drive A Car That Has Zero Insurance For Your Injuries Caused By Their Car?

Florida Car Insurance 101: Yes, It’s Legal For A Florida Resident To Register And Drive A Car That Has Zero Insurance For Your Injuries Caused By Their Car?
Published: March 11, 2022

florida car insurance

Wait, Are You Saying That It’s Legal For A Florida Resident To Register And Drive A Car In Florida That Has Zero Insurance For Injuries Caused By Their Car? The short answer is YES!

So What Is Required?

That is correct. Florida law currently only requires that drivers purchase $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage (that covers your medical bills and lost wages if you are injured in a wreck) and $10,000 for damage caused to another person’s vehicle if the wreck is your fault. But yes, there is no requirement that Florida drivers purchase and carry injury coverage for drivers that they injure in a wreck that they cause.

What is UM Coverage And Why Should You Have It?

This is obviously a concerning fact when you consider that most people have the minimum amount of insurance coverage and it seems that those drivers are the ones that cause most of the car wrecks in Florida. This again means that you should always purchase as much uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as you can afford.  This coverage is also known as “UM” or “UIM” coverage. 

The reason UM coverage is so important is that it functions just like the injury coverage bought by the at-fault driver. So, if you are in a wreck and the at-fault driver is like most in Florida and has either no coverage or a small amount of coverage and your injuries are serious, then UM coverage will provide coverage for the other driver’s negligence.

Car Insurance Confusion 

Florida car insurance issues are confusing and we are here to help answer those questions for anyone. Whether you have questions related to a wreck or not, Zarzaur Law is happy to give you the advice to assist you and your family in selecting the right kind of car insurance that will provide you and your family with the most protection possible.

Stay tuned for our full six-part series on Car Insurance 101.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO >


If you have questions about a car wreck where the at-fault driver does not have any bodily injury coverage or you just have questions about a car wreck case in general, please feel free to contact us at zarzaurlaw.com or call us at 855Hirejoe.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Most Common Questions About Car Accident Cases

Most Common Questions About Car Accident Cases
Published: March 3, 2022

How Long Does It Take To Settle A Car Accident Injury Case?

There is no standard time limit for settling your case. Some settle in a matter of weeks, while some cases go through trial and appeal before they are resolved. Important factors in this include the nature of your injuries, the amount of insurance coverage, and the attitude of the insurance company and/or its lawyers.

For example, if you sustain a serious injury and liability is clear and policy limits are relatively low, your case may settle quickly. However, if liability or injuries from a car accident that was not your fault are not so apparent, it may take many months, and in some cases, years, to get your case resolved. It may take many months of medical treatment to determine the full extent of the injury. The case and the cash value can then be evaluated. Hiring a top car accident lawyer is important because an expert civil trial attorney can usually maximize your recovery.

What Do I Have To Do If A Suit Is Filed?

Many cases are settled before a suit is filed, but many settle only after a suit is filed. Often, the insurance company will not make a fair settlement proposal until a lawsuit is filed and they are facing a trial date. In such cases, what will be your role in the process?

In almost all cases, the first phase is the “discovery” phase. This is the period where both sides gather information about the case. In such cases, you will work with Zarzaur Law’s paralegals and board-certified civil trial attorneys to prepare such information. You will usually be required to help fill out paperwork, also known as “interrogatories” and “requests for production.” You may also be required to give a “deposition,” which is a sworn statement about your case. Your attorney will prepare you for this and be with you every step of the way.

Often, the case will be referred to “mediation” to try and settle the case prior to going to trial. A settlement conference is conducted by a certified mediator, not a judge. At these meetings, no testimony is given, as your attorney will handle the presentation and you will be involved in the negotiations with the advice of your attorney. Many cases settle at mediation or soon after mediation. It is an excellent time to bring both parties together to analyze the case. At these conferences, your attorney will guide you every step of the way through these conferences.

In the rare case that goes to trial, you will testify before the jury. Again, you will be prepped by your attorney for this testimony.

Do I Have To Go To Trial To Receive A Settlement?

The vast majority of cases settle long before suit is filed, and if suit is filed, long before trial. Hiring a board-certified civil trial attorney sends a message to the insurance company that your case will be “trial ready” and this usually leads to a settlement.

The final decision to settle is always yours, with the advice of your attorney. We have been fortunate to settle cases fairly without going to trial, but have taken many cases to trial with excellent results.

In order to be certified by the Florida Bar, you must have proven trial skills and have recommendations from both experienced trial lawyers and trial judges.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Sources:

https://www.flhsmv.gov/insurance/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uwCo_9H0xM&list=PLnCrJ0tzzzL6mRs3arN7h5wlrAbevkMq0&index=13&t=115s

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/liability_insurance.asp

https://zarzaurlaw.com/what-is-um-coverage-and-why-is-it-important/

Is My Car Wreck Case Really Worth Hiring A Lawyer?

Is My Car Wreck Case Really Worth Hiring A Lawyer?
Published: January 18, 2022

Pensacola Auto Accident LawyerAs a personal injury lawyer, not more than two consecutive business days go by when we are asked by a potential client if their case is worth pursuing with a lawyer. The answer is nearly always the same, “Maybe so.” Like everything else in the law, the question of whether your car wreck case or medical malpractice case is worthy of pursuit involves a multifactorial analysis.

The Car Wreck Scenario

In the car wreck scenario, it usually involves a discussion about how bad the damage is to the cars, what kind of symptoms the potential client is experiencing and what their medical history was like prior to this event. There is also some consideration (although only preliminary at this stage) about the potential insurance coverage or collectability of the at-fault party.

Property Damage

In regards to the amount of damage to the vehicles involved, the discussion is likely to involve some evaluation about whether the airbags deployed, whether the damage to the cars involved will likely result in their being totaled. If not totaled, how much of the car was damaged and where was the impact relative to the potential client’s position in the car?

Emergency Room Visit Is Only The Beginning

Many times, the potential client will have gone to the emergency room, where they are nearly always treated and released for follow-up care. Many people believe that the emergency room is there to diagnose ANY and all injuries sustained in a car accident. Let’s be clear, the ER is not there to diagnose any injury that is not LIFE threatening or LIMB THREATENING. Leaving the ER after a car wreck and not being admitted will be the case with nearly every car wreck victim, even those that later require hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in treatment. The ER is not in the business of diagnosing all of your potential injuries from an event, just those things that justify immediate admission and treatment. Potential clients leave the ER, and most equate not being admitted as being “OK” or “uninjured” from the wreck.  

The opposite is actually true. Being released from the ER more likely means that you have something wrong with you that will be diagnosed in the coming weeks. This diagnosis, many times, involves being later admitted for surgery or for other invasive treatments that require some level of hospitalization.

Common Injuries From Car Wrecks

It’s important to understand that the most common injury from a wreck is an injury to a disc in your back or neck. These injuries are not even investigated in the ER since the only test that is specific enough for those injuries is an MRI, and those are not usually offered in the ER setting. Typically, the ER will perform X-rays and sometimes a CT scan. These tests are excellent for diagnosing serious acute injuries that could be life-or limb-threatening, but they are equally inadequate for diagnosing common disc injuries. The thing about disc injuries that is most dangerous is that the pain is not specific and many times involves pain radiating into a limb, so you may not immediately associate it with your back or neck. MRI’s are usually not ordered until your swelling has gone down, and typically not until several weeks after the wreck.

Treatment For Disc Injuries

Treatment for disc injuries can range from therapy and medications to full-blown surgery. The cost of treatment over a person’s life expectancy for serious disc injuries can easily be well into the six figures and many times more than that. Alternatively, I tell potential clients, “Let’s assume you do not have a disc injury after a wreck.” The great thing about having the MRI is that we now have some level of security in knowing that your MRI is clean after this wreck and that 2 years from now you are not going to have a disc injury diagnosed and it be too late to bring a claim or that you settled your claim on your own too cheaply.

So Why Involve a Personal Injury Attorney?

Generally speaking, in my experience, if there are cars involved in the wreck that are totaled and you are not under the age of 30 (so you’re not a spry and somewhat elastic teenager) and you are having symptoms from the wreck, you could likely have a serious injury and your case is worth having a personal injury lawyer handle.

The conversation usually includes a discussion about the fact that hiring a Florida personal injury lawyer on a pure contingency fee agreement commits you to ZERO unless you win your case. So, that means first you have to have a case, and second, you have to win it before the law firm earns a fee. Another way to put it is this: if you sign with a Florida personal injury lawyer and there is a pure contingency fee agreement and it turns out that the lawyer decides that you do not have a good enough case to warrant having the law firm involved in or your injury turns out to not be serious enough to proceed with the claim, then you have gotten some free legal advice and, as a by-product, you have gotten a peace of mind in knowing that medically you are not going to have some undiscovered injury which doesn’t manifest for years.

Peace Of Mind

More importantly, since there is no case and no settlement, you owe the lawyer nothing for their advice and guidance. There is truly no downside so long as you hire the right kind of lawyer who gives you good advice on the medical treatment and actually has the ability to interpret the results or has someone in their firm that can do such medical record evaluations.

The Worth Of Insurance Information

The other big topic in these conversations is insurance. This topic is fairly easy to dispose of. We always tell clients that Florida law permits a claimant to request insurance information directly from the insurance company for any party involved in an injury-causing event. The insurance company has to provide not only the information about the policy but the actual policies and they have to provide a sworn statement that the insurance company either knows of other insurance that might also have coverage for the event or must state that it is not aware of any other insurance policy that might have coverage for the event. As you can imagine, having this information at the outset of a claim is invaluable since it can save a ton of time and resources in determining which party will be financially viable to go after and which ones may not be.

Watch our Youtube Video now:

FREE Consultation: No Fee Unless We Win

In sum, hiring us to evaluate your personal injury case makes sense and is free, unless you end up with a claim and that claim wins and is paid. If your case ends up not being good enough to pursue (which thankfully means your injury turned out to not be serious), then we part ways and there is no cost or fee since we didn’t have a case and it wasn’t won. If, however, you do end up with a diagnosis that is serious and involves a lifetime of medical care and medical bills, we will get you paid.

If you have further questions about whether your case is worth having a lawyer, please feel free to call me at 855-HIREJOE or find us on the web at zarzaurlaw.com

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an auto accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

What You Should Know About A Settlement Before Accepting It.

What You Should Know About A Settlement Before Accepting It.
Published: November 4, 2021

What you should know about settlement

An auto accident can be shocking and even life-changing. You are now having to deal with a vehicle that must be repaired or replaced, doctor appointments for your injuries, lost workdays, insurance company calls and letters, and managing life without a vehicle.

You may be tempted to accept an offer from the insurance company when they are telling you they can give you a quick settlement and will cut a check to you. However, this also can mean a lot of essential pieces of information that may be lost that affect your potential personal injury claim.

Before accepting a settlement offer, you should be aware of these critical pieces that can make a difference in your case.

Things To Remember About Settlements In A Car Accident

 

Know What Your Case Is Worth

A fair settlement will compensate you for current and future expenses and damages, including:

Car repair bills

Car rental while your vehicle is in the shop

Reimbursement for daily tasks you would perform had the accident not occurred

Medical expenses

Costs of future medical treatment and therapy

Lost wages due to missed work

Expected future lost earnings

Mental health treatment

Pain and suffering

Injuries May Be More Serious Than They First Appear

The full extent of injuries from a car accident may not be known for a long time after the accident. This could be due to many reasons, including the following:

The injuries require more extensive treatment than anticipated

The wounds don’t heal as expected

Complications arise

Secondary infections set in

Before accepting a settlement, accident victims must know how their injuries will affect current and future employment opportunities, mobility and activity levels, overall health, and quality of life. They should also understand what ongoing care or treatment will be needed due to the accident. These things are usually known once a person has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).  A doctor will determine that the patient has achieved MMI or has a permanent injury.

Settling Your Claim Too Soon Can Be Costly

The insurance company may offer you a quick settlement for your car accident claim. In some cases, the company may issue an offer before you complete medical treatment for injuries.


BE WARY OF A SETTLEMENT OFFER BEFORE YOU COMPLETE TREATMENT FOR YOUR INJURIES.


Until you complete your medical treatment, you cannot know for sure how much your medical bills may be or how much money you might lose from being out of work. Lost wages and medical costs after a car accident can be substantial.

Car Wreck Settlement Process

 

Liability Release

Settlement agreements include a release of liability, which means the insurance company is not responsible for any payments outside of the settlement agreement. The victim cannot ask for more money in the future and cannot take the case to court. When you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, the settlement agreement is a final resolution of your claim. After you sign the agreement, you cannot demand more money for your claim.

Therefore, make sure that the amount you accept compensates you fully for all your damages. Damages in a car accident case include both economic and non-economic damages.

This is true even if the accident injuries turn out to be more serious than initially thought, if unexpected complications arise, or if the victim didn’t understand the full value of the claim.


FOR ACCIDENT VICTIMS, THE LACK OF COMPLETE INFORMATION IS ONE OF THE PRIMARY DANGERS OF A QUICK SETTLEMENT.


Hire A Lawyer To Work On Your Behalf

Meeting with the best personal injury lawyer gives you the opportunity to ask questions and understand your options. Your lawyer is looking out for your best interest and is your advocate when dealing with the insurance company. If you have suffered an injury understanding your rights and options for recovering the maximum compensation for your losses can be fully achieved with the help of a board-certified civil trial lawyer.

The Counteroffer

When making a counteroffer, your lawyer can make sure to highlight the severity of your injuries, including your pain and suffering. They will also make sure to place the responsibility for your pain and suffering.

It is common to go back and forth several times when negotiating a car accident settlement. The negotiation process could take several weeks or even a few months.

Watch Our Youtube Videos Here:

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

Florida Changes Bicycle Safety Law in Effort to Reduce Fatal Accidents

Florida Changes Bicycle Safety Law in Effort to Reduce Fatal Accidents
Published: July 26, 2021

Since COVID19, more people are riding bicycles. It is a great way to get exercise and fresh air. However, more bikes on the road mean more injuries for bike riders.


IT IS ESTIMATED THAT ALMOST 1000 PEOPLE DIE PER YEAR IN BIKE ACCIDENTS WITH AUTOMOBILES OR TRUCKS


Most vehicles vs bike accidents occur in rush hour, or just after dark when traffic conditions are most crowded and dangerous. 80 percent happen in urban areas with 63 percent on major roadways.

Astounding Bicycle vs Automobile Fatal Accident Statistics

8 times more men than women die in these incidents (Most are 50 years old or older)

25 percent who died were intoxicated.

37 percent of the automobile drivers were intoxicated in these deadly crashes.

61 percent who died were not wearing helmets.

It should be noted that these statistics were for the years 2010-2019. It is anticipated that there will be many more accidents and deadly accidents recorded in 2020 and 2021.

New Florida Law Passed to Address This Problem

The 2021 session of the Florida legislature passed a sweeping new law to address this deadly problem. Senate bill 950, entitled Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety came into effect July 1, 2021 and addresses many common safety issues. This bill revises requirements for drivers of motor vehicles overtaking bikes, turning bikes, riding configurations and cyclist rules at stop signs. It also required the Florida DOT to have an annual awareness and safety campaign and require the driver’s license exam to include bicycle safety questions. The bill passed unanimously and was signed by Governor DeSantis.

Cars Overtaking a Bike or E-bike.

Florida law governs the situation where a car overtakes a bike or e-bike. The law requires a car to remain a safe distance behind a cyclist before being able to pass them. It also requires at least three feet of clearance space when passing. It also legalizes driving safely and briefly to the left of the center in a no-passing zone to allow the safe passage of cyclists. This is a significant change to the law as it was previously not allowed.

The law prohibits right turns from a side road unless the cyclist is at least 20 feet away from the intersection. This prevents the “right hook” crash where the turning driver crashes into the bicyclist who is close to the intersection.

The law allows a cyclist turning left at an intersection to use the whole left turn lane. It requires the cyclist to stay close to the right edge of the roadway after crossing the intersection.

Single (or two) Cyclist and Narrow Lane

As you know, many areas now have dedicated bike lanes, which cyclists are required to use. However, in areas where there is no such lane, the cyclist must ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. This allows cars to safely travel past them. Similarly, if the bike lane is too narrow to accommodate cyclists riding abreast, the cyclist must ride single file. Unfortunately, many lanes are too narrow to accommodate two cyclists. Cyclists may only ride more than two abreast if riding on a dedicated bike path, not a bike lane on a roadway.

What About Groups of Cyclists on the Road?

Cycling groups are more common than ever. Such groups must come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Motor vehicles must allow one group of 10 to travel forward before moving through an intersection. It is hopeful that common courtesy would avoid this problem, but motorists must yield to cyclists in this manner or be in violation of the law.

Violation of the New Law

The new law states that a violation of any of these rules is non-criminal inflation, punishable as a moving violation. Presumably, a violation would include points on your driver’s license and negatively affect your insurance rates.

The law also provides for required safety programs and for at least 25 questions in the test bank for the driver’s license set to address bike and pedestrian safety.

Final Overview:

Now motorists MUST obey the 3 feet passing law
If a motorist cannot give 3 feet when passing, then the motorist must stay behind the cyclist until passing with at least 3 feet is possible.  Law enforcement previously complained about the difficulty in enforcing the 3 feet passing law.  This law improves enforcement.

Motorists CAN cross the center lane in a no-passing zone to safely pass a cyclist.
The law makes it legal for a motorist to briefly and safely cross the center lane in a no-passing zone, in order to pass a cyclist by 3 feet.  Previously, it was confusing as to whether motorists could cross a double yellow line to pass a cyclist.  Now it is clear that they can, rather than passing dangerously within 3 feet.

Motorists CANNOT turn right in front of a cyclist within 20 feet of any intersection.
The law states that a motorist, who is going in the same direction as a cyclist, may not make a right turn if the cyclist is within 20 feet of this intersection.  This is a designed safety provision to prevent “right hook” crashes by cyclists.

Bicyclists SHOULD use the left lane before making a left turn.
The law clarifies that bicyclists should use the left lane for motor vehicle traffic before attempting to make a left turn at an intersection.

Group riders should cross intersections with stop signs in groups of 10 or less. 
The law describes how cyclists should handle stop signs when participating in a group ride.  The law says that after coming to a complete stop, bicyclists can proceed through the intersection in a group of 10 or less at a time.  Vehicles must allow a group of 10 or less to get through the intersection before the vehicle moves forward.

 

Zarzaur Law, P.A. handles many cases involving serious injury from these devastating bicycle crashes and welcomes any laws or regulations that will improve safety. Violation of these rules is an important issue in cases involving bikes and cars and often requires a careful analysis to make your case.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

Sources:

https://www.wpbf.com/article/florida-bicycle-safety-laws-in-effect-education/37036312

https://www.flsenate.gov/Committees/BillSummaries/2021/html/2502

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/opinion/contributors/2021/07/19/law-change-crossing-double-yellow-ok-protect-bike-riders-opinion/7929452002/

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/950

 

 

 

What Should I Expect From My Personal Injury Lawyer?

What Should I Expect From My Personal Injury Lawyer?
Published: January 25, 2021

Personal Injury LawyerMany clients who end up needing a personal injury lawyer following an accidental injury have no expectations for such a professional.  Thankfully, most have not had the need in their lives for a personal injury lawyer. With that inexperience, comes a void of thoughts on what this lawyer should be doing and what their relationship will be with one another. As far as Zarzaur Law is concerned we feel that this relationship is a sacred one where a client is entrusting their lives and future to us.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is placing trust in another person to act on your behalf and in your best interest.  The legal systems give you one chance to present your case and you are trusting this personal injury lawyer to take your case and then present it in the best manner so that just compensation and justice is delivered to you. Our firm takes this responsibility seriously and prides itself in delivering professional, personal, and aggressive representation.

Professional Personal injury Attorney

The legal profession, like all professions, has many segments and areas.  Personal injury law is a distinct section of the law that deals with injuries caused by the negligence of others. Personal injury lawyers are hired to seek justice for victims in the form of compensation so that they and/or their families can move forward. Pro is one who specializes in a field to such a degree that he/she is respected by their field as an expert.

The Florida Bar allows for personal injury lawyers to qualify as experts.  This expert process is called board certification.  Florida personal injury lawyers can choose to become experts in their field if they concentrate their work on personal injury cases and then elect to go through the board certification process for civil trial lawyers.

This board certification process involves taking a second bar exam and then getting confidential recommendations from judges and lawyers who have observed their litigation skills firsthand.  Only about one percent of Florida lawyers are board-certified in a civil trial.


ZARZAUR LAW PRIDES ITSELF IN HAVING BOARD CERTIFIED CIVIL TRIAL LAWYERS WHO HANDLE THE CASES SO THAT WE CAN OFFER ONLY THE MOST PROFESSIONAL SERVICES TO OUR CLIENTS.

Personal Injury Attorney Pensacola


Personal

Personal injury lawyers are usually the first and only lawyers that many people have ever been associated with. The public expectation of a lawyer is not a friendly or personable image. Zarzaur Law strives to break that stereotype into pieces.  We pride ourselves in redefining the common perception of lawyers being stuffy and difficult to relate to.

  • Communicating with our clients in regular language.
  • Explaining the process in a way that is easy to understand and keeping our clients up to date and aware of their case at all times.
  • Making sure we are easily accessible to clients from the start of their case to the final day.
  • Lawyers here can be contacted directly on their personal cell phones instead of going through staff members.

You as a client deserve to be able to ask questions and get answers quickly, not the following day or later in the week. It is your personal injury case, and we are working for you not the other way around.

Aggressive Personal injury Attorney

Personal injury lawyers are all in a battle against insurance companies in most cases. These battles are usually intense since insurance companies have plenty of money to hire big law firms to put up as many barriers as possible to delay and deter justice. Many times, these insurance companies through their lawyers will wage a battle of attrition. They have plenty of money and they know that many of our clients are in the worse financial spot ever due to their injuries. These companies know that if they make this process longer and more stressful, maybe the personal injury plaintiff and lawyer will become more and more negotiable and they can get off cheaper for the case.

It is incumbent upon a personal injury lawyer to counterbalance this typical defense tactic of delay to be aggressive.  The personal injury lawyer will always be pushing the case to a trial.  If we are not pushing the case to the conclusion then the insurance company lawyers will fill that void with delay.  Each day without just compensation for our clients is another wound to their injuries. Personal injury lawyers have to be the ones pushing hard on the case and making certain that the case is concluded sooner rather than later.

Zarzaur Law is a personal injury law firm that prides itself on professional, personal, and aggressive representation to our clients. We feel that our personal injury clients are the customer, and they are the boss.  While we will guide our clients on the legal issues, we involve them in the decision-making process so that they make intelligent and legally sound decisions.  All the while, we are aggressively pushing the case to conclusion, to justice.

If you or a loved one is in need of a personal injury lawyer that is professional, personable, and aggressive.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

What Types of Damages are Available in a Car Accident Case?

What Types of Damages are Available in a Car Accident Case?
Published: January 7, 2021

Car Accident Case

Different Types of Damages In a Car Accident.

After the initial questions about what medical treatment to seek and where to seek it, the first question our clients usually ask is this: what types of damages can I recover from the at-fault party in a car wreck? Like many legal issues, the answer depends on the type of injury, the treatment plan, and the conduct of the at fault driver.

Economic Damages:

Every person who suffers injuries from the fault of another driver can recover economic damages. Below are certain categories of expenses you can recover:

Medical Expenses

All medical costs caused by the injury. this category includes not only the costs for services at the hospital right after your wreck, but also ambulance bills, co-pays, prescription costs, and fuel costs for traveling to doctor appointments

Property Damage

This category includes the value of the replacement of the vehicle if your vehicle is totaled

Lost Wages and Benefits

Includes any wages that you were unable to earn because you missed work. This category also includes the value of any lost vacation days and/or lost contributions to retirement funds

Cost of Services

Includes any costs of having to hire someone to perform tasks that you ordinarily performed. For instance, if you are unable to perform basic tasks around the house, unable to care for your child, or unable to run errands, the cost of having to hire someone to perform these tasks is recoverable.


Pensacola injury lawyer

 

Non-Economic Damages:

Non-economic damages are damages that you may experience on a more emotional level than the direct impact on your wallet. Crucially, you can only recover these damages if you experience a “threshold injury”—that is, if a doctor diagnoses you with a permanent injury or significant scarring or disfigurement.

Pain and suffering

Includes the pain that you suffered as soon as the wreck happened, any pain you experienced during recovery, and any pain you will suffer in the future as a result of the wreck.

Disfigurement

Includes any permanent scarring, as well as any loss of bodily function such as loss of taste, smell, eyesight, or hearing, loss of limb, or any other permanent loss of function

Physical impairment

After your wreck, you may not be able to perform certain tasks or recreational activities as well as you previously could—or even at all. this type of recovery tries to compensate you for the value of your lost ability to work or play like you were previously able to.

Mental suffering

This category of damage attempts to compensate a plaintiff for the stress and anxiety caused by the accident—whether it stems from an inability to perform tasks like you could previously, fear of hospitalization, or any other mental issues you suffer as a result of the wreck.

Loss of consortium

This category of recovery attempts to compensate spouses and children for the loss of support, companionship, and household services commonly provided by family members. This claim can only be brought in the name of the child or spouse so they will have to sign up separately.


Punitive damages

Punitive damages are a different beast altogether. These damages are only available when a defendant has acted in a “grossly negligent” way or has intentionally caused damage. The most common scenario where punitive damages are available in a car wreck context is when the at-fault driver is intoxicated. Frequently, these damages will be excluded from an insurance policy.


If you’ve suffered injuries from a car wreck, it is important that you hire a lawyer right away. Most often, the at-fault party is going to quickly hire their own lawyer to get you to agree to small settlements or to make statements that hurt your case. It’s important in this situation to fight fire with fire and hire your own lawyer.

We also remind potential clients that they shouldn’t just hire any lawyer. Not all lawyers are equal in their training and qualifications. The Florida Bar does not typically allow lawyers to hold themselves out as “experts.” However, the Bar does allow lawyers who have extensive experience in personal injury and tort cases to become specialists in civil trial. Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are Board Certified in Civil Trial.

So, when potential clients ask us about whether or when to hire a lawyer after an accident, we remind them that only a Board-certified civil trial lawyer is a specialist in this area of the law. Since all injury lawyers have the same “no fee no cost unless you win” payout structure, there is no reason to hire someone who is not a specialist.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Sources:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/no-fault-car-insurance-states-with-serious-injury-thresholds.html

https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/claims-gross-negligence.html

https://www.floridabar.org

How Can We Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case?

How Can We Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case?
Published: December 11, 2020

After car accidents, slip and falls are the most common injuries we see at Zarzaur Law, P.A. However, while most of our clients are at least familiar with the rules of the road, many people are unaware of the rules governing a slip and fall. Of course, the question is, when can I recover? As is true with most legal questions, it depends on the circumstances.

Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls.

What if The Slip and Fall Were Caused by a Slippery Substance on the Floor?

Florida has hard and fast rules governing slip and falls caused by “transitory substances” that can appear and disappear quickly, like spilled liquid on the floor. It is not enough to prove simply that the slip and fall were caused by the substance—rather, we have to show that the substance had been in the area for a long enough period of time that the premises owner knew or should have known about it. We can do that in several ways—prior complaints from patrons, admissions from employees of the premises owner, or even just circumstantial evidence like track marks or shoe prints that show that the substance had been there for a while.

What if the Slip and Fall were Caused by a Permanent Condition?

Other slip and falls are caused by more permanent conditions. We have seen injuries caused by all sorts of conditions, from hidden cracks in sidewalks to slippery algae bloom near the entrance to a building. Because these conditions do not typically appear and disappear quickly, it is not necessary to present independent proof that the condition had been there for a long time.

In this situation, the plaintiff must simply show that the premises owner failed to reasonably inspect the premises and/or to warn their patrons of the danger. The only potential pitfall to recovery is if the defense successfully argues that the danger is so “open and obvious” that the plaintiff should have been aware of it themselves.


Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall.

Who Should You Hire if You Have Suffered Injuries in a Slip and Fall?

If you’ve suffered injuries from a slip and fall, it is important that you hire an lawyer right away. The at-fault party is sure to be aggressive in hiring their own lawyer and trying to get you to agree to small settlements or to make statements that hurt your case. It’s important in this situation to fight fire with fire and hire your own lawyer.

We also remind potential clients that they shouldn’t just hire any lawyer. Not all lawyers are equal in their training and qualifications. The Florida Bar does not typically allow lawyers to hold themselves out as “experts.” However, the Bar does allow lawyers who work on personal injury cases to become specialists in a civil trial. Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are specialists in a civil trial.

So, when potential clients ask us about whether or when to hire a lawyer after an accident, we remind them that only a board-certified civil trial lawyer is a specialist in this area of the law. Since all injury lawyers have the same “no fee no cost unless you win” payout structure, there is no reason to hire someone who is not a specialist.

If you have questions about a personal injury or slip and fall case, please feel free to contact us on the web at zarzaurlaw.com or call us at 855HIREJOE.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

Sources:

Slip and Fall Quick Facts

https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/safety-topics/slips-trips-and-falls

https://onsafety.cpsc.gov/blog/category/safety-blogs/

What’s the Difference Between an Accident Lawyer and a Personal Injury Lawyer?

What’s the Difference Between an Accident Lawyer and a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Published:

Pensacola Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injury Law

The short answer is that these terms are used synonymously in our legal world. Personal injury law is the area of law that deals with all types of physical and mental injuries to a person. This is compared to cases where a business interest is harmed or another property interest is harmed.

For example, if you are safe and sound inside your house and someone runs into your car which is parked in your driveway and you do not even know until the following morning, that is NOT a personal injury case since you had no impact or involvement with the wrongful conduct.

Property Damage Claim vs Personal Injury Claim

However, if you had been standing next to your car or inside of it when the impact happened and you had any impact from the collision, however slight, that transforms the case from a pure property damage claim into a personal injury case.

Personal injury includes many different types of cases but all have one common trait, injury to a person. In particular, the category of personal injury cases would include medical malpractice, maritime collisions, plane crashes, automobile collisions, injury from a defective product, injuries while working, disability claims, dog bites, fall cases, civil rights cases involving injury, and many others. As you can see, the common thread with all personal injury cases is a legal wrong by one person or entity which causes an injury to another person.

accident lawyer Pensacola

Accident Lawyers

Accident lawyers, in contrast, are a specific type of personal injury lawyer. So falling under the umbrella of personal injury law, is the more particular area of accident law. Accidental injury includes any injury occasioned by the accident or negligence of the at-fault party.


When you hear the terms accident lawyer or personal injury lawyer, you are hearing terms that are generally used to refer to the same type of lawyer, one handling cases involving injuries to people from another negligence.


What is Negligence?

Negligence is simply the failure to use reasonable care, whether driving or manufacturing a product. The law imposes a duty to act reasonably when your actions can affect the safety of others. When a person or entity fails to use reasonable care and that failure causes them to be involved in an accident that results in injury to a third person, then accident law is the appropriate classification of that type of case.

Injuries from Intentional Acts

Not every injury case is the result of an “accident”. Sometimes, injuries are caused by intentional acts or by the violation of a statute that occasioned by conduct that was not just unreasonable but was reckless or wanton (more than rolling through a stop sign, driving 80 mph in a 25 zone, and blowing through a stop sign). This can hardly be described as an accident and therefore referring to it as an accidental injury would not be appropriate. Still, it should be understood that many use the terms accident lawyer and personal injury lawyer because most personal injuries are the result of accidents.

A huge percentage of car wreck cases are the result of negligence or accidents compared to those that are the result of intentional acts or reckless driving.

If you have questions about a personal injury or accidental injury case, please feel free to contact us on the web at zarzaurlaw.com or call us at 855HIREJOE.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

Main Menu