What You Need To Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).

What You Need To Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
Published: March 30, 2021

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) includes any bump, blow, or jolt to the head that interferes at all with your normal brain function. The most common form of TBI is a concussion. When you sustain a concussion, an outside force makes your brain rock back and forth inside your skull, resulting in mild to severe brain damage. 


EXPERTS ESTIMATE THAT AN AVERAGE OF 137 AMERICANS DIE OF TBI-RELATED COMPLICATIONS EVERY DAY.


How Do TBI’s Happen?

TBIs usually result from direct trauma, meaning something hits your head directly. However, concussions can result from indirect forces as well, such as a “whiplash” type injury. For instance, even if you are in a wreck but don’t hit your head on anything, you can still sustain a concussion if the sudden wreck caused your head to move rapidly back and forth. Typically, there is no or obvious outward sign of a TBI. 

The vast majority of TBI cases that we see at the firm are from car crashes. Frequently, our clients have either hit their head on the steering wheel or dashboard or have experienced such severe whiplash that they developed a TBI without direct impact. However, TBIs also occur with serious falls, sports injuries, and even explosive blasts. 

What Are The Leading Causes of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Common events causing traumatic brain injury include the following:

  • Falls – Falls from bed or a ladder, downstairs, in the bath, and other falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury overall, particularly in older adults and young children.
  • Vehicle-related collisions – Collisions involving cars, motorcycles, or bicycles — and pedestrians involved in such accidents — are a common cause of traumatic brain injury.
  • Violence – Gunshot wounds, domestic violence, child abuse, and other assaults are common causes. The shaken baby syndrome is a traumatic brain injury in infants caused by violent shaking.
  • Sports injuries – Traumatic brain injuries may be caused by injuries from a number of sports, including soccer, boxing, football, baseball, lacrosse, skateboarding, hockey, and other high-impact or extreme sports. These are particularly common in youth.
  • Explosive blasts and other combat injuries – Explosive blasts are a common cause of traumatic brain injury in active-duty military personnel. Although how the damage occurs isn’t yet well understood, many researchers believe that the pressure wave passing through the brain significantly disrupts brain function.
    Traumatic brain injury also results from penetrating wounds, severe blows to the head with shrapnel or debris, and falls or bodily collisions with objects following a blast.

Risk Factors

The people most at risk of traumatic brain injury include:

  • Children, especially newborns to 4-year-olds
  • Young adults, especially those between ages 15 and 24
  • Adults age 60 and older
  • Males in any age group

What Are The Symptoms Of A Concussion Or TBI?

Physical Symptoms: 

Headaches and temporary loss of consciousness are by far the most common symptoms or signs of a TBI. Nausea, dizziness, and fatigue are also common symptoms. In severe cases, you may even have problems with your speech. 

Less common symptoms are seizures, dilation of one or both pupils, and increased long-term drowsiness. 

Traumatic brain injuries at the base of the skull can cause nerve damage to the nerves that emerge directly from the brain (cranial nerves). Cranial nerve damage may result in:

  • Paralysis of facial muscles or losing sensation in the face
  • Loss of or altered sense of smell or taste
  • Loss of vision or double vision
  • Swallowing problems
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Hearing loss

Neurological Symptoms:

Concussion victims often experience sensory issues like blurry vision, tinnitus, sensitivity to noise and/or light, and an inability to smell. 

More severe injuries may result in coma, mood changes, depression, anxiety, impaired hand-eye coordination, and changes in inability to communicate in the long term. 

If you have experienced any of the above symptoms and have been in a car wreck or other traumatic event, you need to be seen by a physician as soon as possible. Many times a TBI’s worst symptoms can be mitigated entirely if the victim seeks treatment promptly. 

You can also watch our YouTube Video with Attorney Joe Zarzaur and Dr. Evan Malone discuss the topic of closed head injuries sustained in a car accident HERE >

Why You Should Be Checked Out By a Doctor if You Have Hit Your Head in a Car Accident

If you sustain a head injury with any of the following symptoms you should be seen in an emergency room: Loss of consciousness at the time of the injury, confusion or disorientation after the injury, headache along with nausea and/or vomiting, difficulty using your arms or legs, or worsening sleepiness or confusion. Some closed head injury symptoms don’t show up right away. 

Once you get home from the doctor’s office, the second thing you need to do is call an experienced 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://zarzaurlaw.com/?s=brain+injury

https://zarzaurlaw.com/?s=brain

https://zarzaurlaw.com/the-most-common-car-accident-injuries/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557

https://www.biausa.org/public-affairs/public-awareness/brain-injury-awareness

Brain Injuries: The Biggest Threat of Contact Sports

Brain Injuries: The Biggest Threat of Contact Sports
Published: May 22, 2018

The term concussion refers to the mental alteration resulting from a head impact or brain injury which may also include the loss of consciousness. Concussions are hard to diagnose because symptoms are not visible until hours later when after-effects become serious resulting in brain injuries. Unfortunately, there is not yet a method to help recognize with certainty the existence of a concussion, however, learning to recognize the symptoms avoids more serious consequences.

ZL_blog_Brain_Injuries
Sports and recreational activities are among the leading causes of concussions due to the aggressiveness when performed. Nearly 300,000 concussions are reported annually in high schools across the country as a result of contact sports (FitzRoy, 2012). The most at risk age group for these type of injuries are patients between five and 18-years-old (Adler and Carter, 2018), the most affected are young athletes. During high-school competition-games, players tend to minimize or not report their symptoms clearly when they suffer a head-on impact. The problem worsens when players return to play (RTP) thus deteriorating the state of the previously-originated concussion. Failure to recognize concussion symptoms might result in traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Even when a concussion is considered mild, it will undoubtedly cause functional deficiencies especially in young brains in the state of development (Adler & Carter, 2018).

Symptoms of Concussion
According to Chicago neurologist Felise S. Zollman, the observable signs of concussions include:
• Instability when running or walking
• Dazed or blank look
• Confusion
• Decreased speech
• Slow responses to questions or brief amnesia

Traumatic loss of consciousness can also occur as part of a concussion but it is not a defining clinical feature, and it is usually brief.
Belated symptoms include:
• headaches
• mental confusion
• dizziness
• visual symptoms
• nausea

A cognitive-related symptom is the difficulty in concentration and manifests itself days after a concussion, particularly when the athlete returns to academic or vocational activities.

Dangerous contact sports
Any sport in which the head is exposed to direct contact, collisions, impacts on the ground or impacts with another player’s body, runs the risk of suffering a concussion. Among the sports with highest risks are football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, ice hockey and boxing (Zollman, 2016). Protective helmets prevent concussions related to hard-surface impacts however, not all sports require it.

Legal Regulations
The Zackery Lystedt Law, approved by the Senate in 2009 states that, “A youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury must be removed from practice or game.” Removing the player from the action when a brain injury is suspected prevents the risk of a second impact syndrome (SIS) and averts lengthening the recovery process of the athlete (Adler & Carter, 2018). The law was named after the case of Zachery Lystedt, a 13-year-old football player who suffered a brain injury caused by SIS. The Florida High School Athletics Association also ruled that student-athletes who show signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion must be immediately discontinue playing until a health professional determines that he or she is out of danger.

Additionally, state laws in Florida require high-schools to take measures to prevent brain injuries in athletes. According to Florida Statute 943.0438.7.2, high-schools must create regulations to train coaches, support staff, parents of athletes, guardians, and athletes themselves about the risks and consequences of concussions. The Florida statutes also require parents of children who play in competitions to sign an informed consent confirming to be aware of the implications of a TBI in young athletes.

Laws do not prevent sports concussions, but they will help to prevent the incidence of SIS allowing the athlete to properly recover. The use of protective equipment, the appropriate training on the subject, and the rigorous follow-up of laws and regulations are a great support. School districts and private sports leagues are required to comply with all regulations, and they will be legally responsible if they fail to abide them.

If you or a loved one have suffered from a brain injury caused by sports league related negligence, it is important to consult with a Board Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you.

Pensacola Personal Injury Attorney, Joe Zarzaur works in all areas of personal injury including brain injuries, motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle and boating accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall and wrongful death. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com. Offices in Pensacola and Destin, Florida.

Sources:

Adler, R. H. & Carter M.D. (2018, January). Fumbling: Preventable brain injuries. Trial: American Association for Justice, 34-38.

Department of Law Enforcement, 2017 Fla. § 943.0438.7.2 (2017) Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=concussions&URL=0900-0999/0943/Sections/0943.0438.html

FitzRoy, M. (2012, August 10). New Florida law protects young athletes recovering from concussions. The Florida Times Union. Retrieved from http://www.jacksonville.com/article/20120810/NEWS/801249076
Florida High School Athletic Association handbook (2017) Policy 40: Concussions. Bylaws of the Florida High School Athletic Association, Inc. 2017-18 Amended Edition.

Requiring the adoption of policies for the management of concussion and head injury in youth sports Act of 2009, S.1824, 61st (2009)

Zollman, F. S. (2016). Manual of Traumatic Brain Injury : Assessment and Management. New York: Demos Medical.

Pensacola Brain Injury Lawyer

Pensacola Brain Injury Lawyer
Published: January 23, 2015

Suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be life altering and may result from a variety of incidents, such as auto accidents, construction accidents, boating accidents, falls, sporting accidents, violence and various other circumstances involving negligence. When you or a loved one has been a victim in such an instance, you need a personal injury lawyer in Pensacola who will bring you justice.

Brain injuries are classified as either closed or penetrating. Closed brain injuries are the result of blunt head trauma, like when a passenger’s head hits the dashboard or steering column during an auto accident. Penetrating brain injuries occur when an object passes through the skull, piercing the brain.

Common symptoms of suspected brain injuries are:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness
  • Swelling
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Blurred vision
  • Hearing loss or ringing ears

It is important to know that some head injuries do not show immediate symptoms. It can take up to several hours, even days to develop symptoms from brain injuries.

braininjuryAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 5.3 million Americans living with long-term or permanent brain injuries need assistance to perform daily tasks. Brain injury can have a severe impact on the injured person, their family, work and social interaction. It is important to seek the help of an experienced Pensacola personal injury lawyer to help make sure that any settlement presented for consideration is sufficient to cover costs now and in the future.

Be confident you have a legal expert on your side.

Have you sustained a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence?

Call Joe Zarzaur of Zarzaur Law at (855) 447-3563 today for a free case evaluation.
Request a Free Case Review Through Our Website

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries
Published: January 11, 2023

The country has an estimated 280 million vehicles and more than 227.5 million drivers. On average, there are over 6 million passenger car accidents in the U.S. every year.

Busy and Dangerous Highways in Florida

Between residents and tourists who call Florida home (or vacation home), our highways are very busy. There are a lot of car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents every year throughout the state. 

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:

There were 401,496 crashes in Florida in 2021, with 3,731 fatalities from those accidents, and 252,938 people injured. 

In 2020, there were 341,399 crashes and 3,332 fatalities. 

As of the third quarter of 2022, there were 266,239 crashes and 2,331 fatalities reported.

Common Injuries From A Car Accident

The following are some of the most common injuries suffered by motor vehicle accident victims and some of the car crash stats for 2022:

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

Spinal cord injuries and paralysis

Back Injuries/disc injuries

Burns

Internal injuries

Fractures and broken bones

What Is The Most Common Injury?

Head and neck injuries are the most common car accident injuries, which include:

Concussion

Traumatic brain injury

Whiplash (strain or sprained muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the spine)

SYMPTOMS OF WHIPLASH CAN INCLUDE PAIN, MUSCLE SPASMS, NUMBNESS OR TINGLING, AND INABILITY TO MOVE THE HEAD OR NECK.

Types of Car Accidents

Car accidents can affect many types of people on the road, but injuries and deaths are more common in certain types of vehicles than in others. According to the NHTSA:

  • 35% of people killed and injured in vehicles were occupants of passenger cars
  • 27% were occupants of light trucks
  • 20% were pedestrians, pedal cyclists, and other non-occupants
  • 14% were motorcyclists
  • 4% were occupants of large trucks or buses

Treatment Begins at the ER, But Does Not End There.

If you have any serious injuries, you should go to the nearest emergency room. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor just to be safe, since many delayed onset injuries are experienced after the initial “adrenaline rush” has worn off.

If you are injured in a car accident, it is important to seek medical treatment. Refusing to seek continued medical treatment can hurt your case and make it more difficult to receive compensation for your injuries.

Continuing your medical treatment with a physician that works with car accident victims is important and should provide your treating physicians information and time to refer to your MRIs, X-rays, CT scans and other diagnostic testing that may later be used as evidence in your case to prove your injuries were caused by the accident.

Additionally, continuous treatment may allow your doctor to better understand how your injuries may affect your life, no and in the future, which may be especially important when our legal team is trying to determine the value of your case.

Avoiding Serious Injury

While there is often no way to avoid a crash, there are common sense methods to protect yourself from serious injuries. These include wearing the seatbelt in your car. The CDC found that 61% of fatality victims were not wearing their seat belts. While some may find them uncomfortable or inconvenient ,the seat belt is a proven life saver.

If you have young children, you should leave them in approved booster seats as long as required. These are proven to provide great safety to a child. Again, regular use may be inconvenient, but they are an invaluable tool to keep kids safe.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC

What Should You Do If You Are In A Florida Car Accident?

1. Call the police and file a report.
2. Swap information (including any insurance information they may have).
3. Gather details.
4. Take pictures/video
5. Gather the contact information of any witnesses.
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries, no matter how minor you think they might be.

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm has been promoting community safety since 2007. AT ZARZAUR LAW, WE PRACTICE IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCT DEFECT, AUTO ACCIDENTS, CYCLING ACCIDENTS, MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, PRODUCT LIABILITY, WRONGFUL DEATH, COMMUNITY SAFETY, BOAT, AND JET SKI ACCIDENTS, AND SLIP AND FALL. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been injured in a car 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 we 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.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car wreck while “on the job” feel free to reach out to our firm for a free consultation at zarzaurlaw.com or 855HireJoe.

Sources:

https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/

https://www.policygenius.com/auto-insurance/car-accidents-by-state/

https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/index.html

What If The At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Coverage? 

What If The At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Coverage? 
Published: November 28, 2022

A car accident is a scary situation in itself, especially if you have suffered injuries. What can be even more frightening is when the driver who caused the accident is underinsured. How can this be? Why doesn’t the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough auto insurance to cover your injury claim?

Unfortunately, in Florida, a licensed driver is NOT required to carry bodily injury liability insurance (BI coverage). Because of a strong insurance lobby, the Florida legislature has not seen the need to require drivers to carry insurance to compensate others for an injury. In fact, only Florida and New Hampshire have this situation.

When this happens, an experienced auto accident lawyer will ask if you or someone in your household has Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage. Hopefully, they (as well as you) will have this critical coverage.

What Is Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage?

Underinsured motorist coverage provides the same protection when there is a deficiency in the liability coverage. In other words, if your injuries are worth more than the coverage of the person who caused them, you can recover the difference. The purpose of this coverage is to allow an insured the same coverage that would have been available if the negligent driver had liability coverage equal to the insured.

So What Does This Mean In Real Life?

Under Florida law, if you purchase liability coverage, the insurance company must also offer you UM/UIM coverage in the same amount. A potential buyer can turn that down, or buy lower limits of coverage, and many do. That’s why they are surprised when it turns out they don’t have “full coverage.” The bottom line is that if you drive in Florida, there are a lot of drivers with no liability coverage or little liability coverage.

In Florida, Auto Insurance Is Required.

Driving without auto insurance can lead to all sorts of problems. Florida drivers must always have the minimum required car insurance. The minimum car insurance requirement in Florida is $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL).

If you drive without auto insurance in Florida, you should be aware of all of the unpleasant consequences you may face if you are caught by law enforcement or involved in an auto accident.

Examples include license suspension, license plate confiscation, and even potential criminal charges. If you want to protect yourself from these awful scenarios, you need to make sure that you always have auto insurance coverage, plain and simple.

You need to buy UM/UIM coverage to protect you and your family from these drivers.

Unfortunately, about 13 percent of drivers do not carry auto insurance, even though they drive regularly.

Do You Know What To Do After An Accident With An Uninsured Motorist?

underinsured motoristFollowing a car accident, many victims, especially those with injuries like spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injuries, have substantial medical bills to worry about. Not only that, their injuries may also prevent them from returning to work and generating the income they need to pay those bills.

If you have been injured in a car accident involving an underinsured motorist, and you have UIM or UM coverage, your personal injury lawyer can file a claim with your insurance company to compensate you for the harm you have suffered. Some damages that may be available for you to claim include:

Medical Bills – If you have been hit and have suffered injuries in an accident, you can make a claim to cover the costs of any medical bills resulting from these injuries. This can include bills for hospital appointments, transport to and from these appointments, and any future medical expenses you incur as a result.

Lost Wages – Your uninsured motorist coverage covers any financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of the accident, including lost wages. This can include any potential future earnings you would have made.

Pain and Suffering – If you have UM coverage, you may be able to recover compensation for any pain and suffering as a result of the collision. In order to receive these damages, you must prove that your injuries meet a “permanent injury threshold,” as provided under Florida Statute 627.737.

Wrongful Death – A lawyer can help you file a wrongful death claim under your uninsured motorist coverage to recover compensation for funeral costs and a loss of consortium.

What Steps Should You Take Right After An Accident With An Underinsured Motorist?

1. Call the police and file a report
2. Swap information (including any insurance info they may have)
3. Gather details
4. Take pictures
5. Gather contact information of any witnesses

Get more helpful information on what to do after an accident here at our
“CAR WRECK CHECKLIST” >

5. Work with a trusted car accident lawyer.
A car accident lawyer, like the team at Zarzaur Law, can offer numerous advantages following an accident, including an accident with an underinsured motorist.

A car accident attorney can:

Provide you with the information you need.
An attorney can review your insurance policies and help you understand the compensation you deserve, investigate the circumstances of the accident to identify potentially liable parties, and give you a better idea of how your claim will proceed, should you choose to file one.

Negotiate with your insurance company.
Your insurance company may make it difficult for you to get the full compensation you need for your injuries, damages to your vehicle, and other financial losses. An attorney can help negotiate with the insurance company or even fight for you in court if needed.

Support you throughout the claim.
In many cases, an attorney can offer vital support that can help you navigate the claim process, obtain the compensation you deserve, and decrease your stress while you focus on your recovery.

Put together a claim for damages on your behalf.
The legal process is often complex, and the dueling interests of insurance companies, attorneys, and liable parties make it extremely difficult for an unrepresented plaintiff to obtain the compensation they actually deserve under the law. By partnering with an experienced car accident attorney, you can maximize your odds of a successful recovery from your injuries.

The laws on UM/UIM vary from state to state, so if you have coverage from another state, you need to let a board certified personal injury specialist review the policy for coverage.

The statute of limitations for making a claim against your UM/UIM coverage is 5 years from the date of injury. Again, this may vary from state to state, but it is very important to seek legal help as soon as possible after the crash or injury.

As you can see, UM/UIM coverage is very important.
In many cases, it may be the only insurance coverage available to protect you and your family if you are injured.

Watch Our YouTube Video On This Topic >

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.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car wreck while “on the job” feel free to reach out to our firm for a free consultation at zarzaurlaw.com or 855HireJoe.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/uninsured-motorist-coverage/

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/insurance/uninsured-motorist-property-damage

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.727.html

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/hit-uninsured-motorist-what-you-should-know

National Teen Safe Driver Safety Week Facts That Every Parent Needs To Know.

National Teen Safe Driver Safety Week Facts That Every Parent Needs To Know.
Published: October 19, 2022

Courtesy of US Department of Transportation and FLTeenSafeDriver.org

National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 16–22, 2022! The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with local organizations to help empower parents to discuss the importance of driving safety with their young drivers.

Whether teens are driving a car, truck, or SUV, and whether they’ve just earned their license or have had it for a few years, the rules of the road stay the same. The greatest dangers for teen drivers are alcohol and other drug use, inconsistent or no seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and driving with passengers in the vehicle. 

Review the following information to help teens stay safe behind the wheel.

Be Empowered to Set Driving Rules!

Remember: You’re a parent first. It is your responsibility to protect your adolescents. Use this motivation to keep your teen safer as they start navigating their new role as a driver. 

Remind your teen that driving is a privilege, not a right.
As the parent, you’re in control. If your teen is following the rules of the road, the privilege to drive is theirs. If they aren’t following the rules of the road, they shouldn’t be freely given the keys to the car. 

Have a conversation with your teen driver about driving laws and safe driving habits.
Your desire to keep them safe never fades, so keep the lines of communication open at all times. Believe it or not, your teen is listening, and they depend on you to guide them and be there for them.

Become familiar with your state’s nighttime driving restrictions, passenger restrictions, and all graduated driver licensing (GDL) restrictions in your state.

Surveys show that teens with parents who set and enforce firm rules for driving typically report engaging in fewer risky driving behaviors and being involved in fewer crashes. By knowing and enforcing the laws with your teen, you proactively promote safer driving for all road users. 

The responsibility for safe road behavior is shared: Be a good role model for your teen driver by demonstrating your own safe driving habits. 

Talk to your teen about cell phone use while in the car.
Encourage them to stow their phones while driving, designate a texter or navigator, or pull over before answering phone calls, texting, or engaging with any social media apps. Remind your teen that it’s not acceptable to record themselves or post on social media while driving. 

Know the Facts About Teen Driver Fatalities

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens (15-18 years old) in the United States.

In 2020, there were 2,276 people killed in crashes involving a teen passenger vehicle driver (15-18 years old), of which 748 deaths were the teen driver. 

Parents: You can be the
the biggest influence on your teen’s choices
when they are behind the wheel.

Take the time to have a conversation about some of the biggest driving risks for teens, including:

Impaired Driving: All teens are too young to legally buy, possess, or consume alcohol. However, nationally, in 2020, 19% of teen passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes had alcohol in their system. But alcohol isn’t the only substance that can keep your teen from driving safely: Like other drugs, marijuana affects a driver’s ability to react to their surroundings. Driving is a complex task, and marijuana slows reaction time, affecting a driver’s ability to drive safely.

Remind your teen that driving under the influence of any impairing substance — including illicit or prescription drugs, or over-the-counter medication — could have deadly consequences.

It is critical that teen drivers understand that driving impaired can have consequences, that strict penalties may apply, that they may lose their license if they are caught driving impaired, and that they will face additional consequences for breaking rules they agreed to follow when they started driving. 

Seat Belts: Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways for everyone to be safe in a vehicle. Yet too many teens aren’t buckling up. In 2020, 52% of the teen passenger vehicle drivers who died in crashes were unbuckled. Even more troubling, when the teen driver involved in the fatal crash was unbuckled, nine out of 10 of the passengers who died were also unbuckled. 

In 2020, 52% of the
teen passenger vehicle
drivers who died in crashes
were unbuckled.

Distracted Driving: Distractions while driving are more than just risky — they can be deadly. In 2020, among teen passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes, 7% were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. 

Speeding: In 2020, almost one-third (31%) of all teen drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash, and males were more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than females.

Passengers: Teen drivers transporting passengers can lead to disastrous consequences. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up dramatically in direct relation to the number of passengers in a vehicle. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.

Remember The Rules Of The Road

1.    Don’t Drive Impaired.

Set a good example by not driving after drinking or consuming marijuana or other impairing substances. Remind your teen that drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and/or marijuana and driving don’t mix, no matter your age.

Also, remind them that driving under the influence of any impairing substance — including illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs — could have deadly consequences.

2.    Buckle Up — Every Trip. Every Time. Everyone — Front Seat and Back. 

Lead by example. If you wear your seat belt every time you’re in the car, your teen is more likely to follow suit. Remind your teen that it’s important to buckle up on every trip, every time, no matter what (both in the front and back seats), even while in taxis or ride-sharing services.

3.    Keep Your Eyes on the Road, Hands on the Wheel, and Mind on the Driving Task. 

teen safe driverRemind your teen about the dangers of texting, dialing, or using mobile apps while driving. Require your young driver to put their phones away and to turn on the “Do Not Disturb” or similar phone features when on the road. Distracted driving isn’t limited to phone use; other passengers, vehicle audio and climate controls, and eating or drinking while driving are all sources of dangerous distractions when full time and attention should be given to driving. Know your state’s law regarding mobile phone and texting while driving restrictions; 49 states ban texting while driving for novice drivers. Parents, take note: These laws aren’t just for teen drivers.

See Distracted Driving Law Chart. If your teen disobeys, enforce the penalties set with your teen before they started driving.

4.    Obey All Posted Speed Limits. 

Speeding is a critical issue for all drivers, especially for teens who lack the experience to react to changing circumstances around their cars. Obey the speed limit and require your teen to do the same.

5. Limit Other Teen Passengers

teen safe driver pensacolaOther teen passengers can present one of the biggest risks for your new teen driver. A study by the AAA Foundation for Safety found that the risk of a crash doubles with one additional teen passenger in the vehicle. Two additional teen passengers can increase the risk of a crash by 158%. Three additional teen passengers can increase the risk of a crash by 207%. The same study found that having at least one passenger aged 35 or older in a [teen-driven] vehicle was associated with a 62% decrease in the risk of a crash. Notably, not all of us have a spare 35-year-old laying around to chaperone each trip your teen driver may make. That’s okay! The easiest thing to do is to enforce limits on the number of teen passengers your new teen driver is allowed to have in the car. By setting clear guidelines and outlining the appropriate behavior for when your teen does have another teen passenger in the car, you can help mitigate their risk of being involved in a passenger distraction crash. Some examples of passenger boundaries can be: no loud music, no dancing or singing; avoiding having emotionally involved or dramatic conversations; no acting wild; all vehicle occupants must be wearing safety belts, etc.

Two additional teen passengers
can increase the risk of a crash by 158%.
Three additional teen passengers can
increase the risk of a crash by 207%

Don’t Call {them} When They’re Driving

Duh, right? It seems like it would be a no-brainer… However, 53% of teens who reported talking on a phone while driving were chatting with their mom or dad, according to a study by the American Psychological Association. One of the best things you can do to avoid this parental faux pas would be to enable location software (such as Google Location Sharing) to help identify when your teen may be driving. Most simply, if you know they are driving, don’t call them! Set a rule with your teen that they must notify you before and after they drive to their destination if they are traveling to places outside of their normal routine. Other driving apps, such as “Life 360,” can even tell you your teen driver’s speed, as well as other important driver metrics*.

*This is not an endorsement of any driver safety app or product, merely a suggestion of tools that the author found helpful for monitoring.

Engage In Safe Driving Conversations Year-Round 

It is never too early, or too often, to discuss safe driving habits with your teen. You may choose to start the conversation during National Teen Driver Safety Week, but don’t be afraid to continue the conversation every day throughout the year. Even if it seems like they’re tuning you out, keep reinforcing these rules. They’re listening—your constant reminders about these powerful messages will get through. 

Get creative!
Having a conversation is just one way to discuss safe driving. You can also write your teen a letter, send email or text reminders, leave sticky note reminders in the car, or use social media to share your messages. 

Get it in writing.
Create a parent-teen driving contract that outlines the rules and consequences for your teen driver. Hang the signed contract in a visible place as a constant reminder of the rules of the road. 

If you and your teen are going somewhere together, let your teen drive.
This is a great time for you to evaluate their driving progress and to discuss safe driving habits. Make sure your teen is following the rules you’ve set.

Finally, be empowered.
Driving—for everyone, teen and adult alike—is a privilege, not a right. If your teen is having a difficult time following the rules, it may be time to take away the keys and review the basics. Safe teen drivers can mean the difference between life and death — for themselves, their passengers, and all other road users. 

What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident While Traveling In Florida

1. Call the police and file a report
2. Swap information (including any insurance info they may have)
3. Gather details
4. Take pictures
5. Gather contact information of any witnesses
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries – no matter how minor you think they might be.

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

 

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 injured in a car 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://flteensafedriver.org

https://flteensafedriver.org/safe-driving-tips-for-parents/

https://www.transportation.gov

https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/teen-safety/national-teen-driver-safety-week

Proving Permanent Injury In A Florida Car Accident Case

Proving Permanent Injury In A Florida Car Accident Case
Published: October 17, 2022

Let’s say you were injured in a car accident due to no fault of your own, and you called a personal injury lawyer like Joe Zarzaur to handle your case. It sounds simple, but is not. There are many complex issues in all personal injury cases, even those as seemingly simple as those described.

Florida No Fault Law

Florida is a no-fault automobile insurance state. This means that drivers must carry personal injury protection insurance (PIP) to pay for their medical expenses and other accident-related damages, regardless of who caused the collision.

In Florida, Treatment And Permanent Injury Diagnosis

If you are injured, you will start treatment with an appropriate specialist. Depending on the nature of your injury, it may be months or even years before you know the ultimate outcome of your injury. For soft tissue or whiplash-type injuries, it usually takes 6 to 9 months before the patient reaches maximum medical improvement. Clients must reach this stage of treatment before the doctor will give an opinion about the permanent injury. Under Florida law, (Florida Statute 627.737) states that you must have a permanent injury to recover from pain and suffering type damages, and you must have this opinion from a licensed physician.

What Is A Permanent Injury?

Florida law defines the term permanent injury. Under Florida’s no-fault law, which is §627.737, subsection two, a permanent injury is: a) significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function; b) permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement; c) significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or d) death.

Under this law, if a claimant is able to show that the other vehicle was at fault and caused the plaintiff’s injuries, they will be able to recover any out-of-pocket medical bills incurred (the money owing after the PIP pays; usually PIP pays at 80 percent), any future medical bills, any lost wages, the loss of ability to earn money in the future, as well as any other out-of-pocket expenses legally shown.

How Do You Prove Permanent Injury In Florida?

A diagnosis of permanent injury must be made by the victim’s treating medical doctor.

In court, a permanent injury is generally proven by the expert testimony of the treating medical doctor or doctors. If the treating doctor testifies to a permanent injury, then the plaintiff has made a prima facie case for pain and suffering.

You Must Prove the Other Driver That Hit You Was Negligent

To receive any compensation for any losses, you must first prove that the driver responsible for the accident was negligent. While you may have to sue other parties involved, roughly 95% of car crashes result from careless driving.

[ ROUGHLY 95% OF CAR CRASHES
RESULT FROM CARELESS DRIVING ]

What Is The Tort Threshold In Florida?

The Tort Threshold, also known as the “No Fault” Threshold, is compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, paralysis, and other physical injuries that are known as non-economic damages. In Florida, most motor vehicle accidents will only provide the plaintiff with money if they suffer a permanent injury (diagnosed by a treating medical doctor). 

The tort threshold in Florida is a law stating that victims of personal injury accidents must sustain one of four types of injuries in order to recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish.

Injuries That Make Up The Tort Threshold 

a) Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function

b) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement

c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement

d) Death

What are Some Permanent Car Accident Injuries?

Some of the most common permanent injuries commonly seen in car accidents in Florida include the following:

Neck and back injuries

Lacerations

Burns

Soft tissue injuries

Bone fractures

Loss of limbs

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

Head injuries

Nerve damage

What are the Possible Permanent or Long-Term Consequences of a Car Accident?

Victims of a car accident can experience a variety of long-term effects and health issues, including the following:

Cognitive problems

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Anxiety and depression

Chronic pain

Paralysis

Death

Financial problems

Strained relationships with caregivers or loved ones

What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident While Traveling In Florida

1. Call the police and file a report
2. Swap information (including any insurance info they may have)
3. Gather details
4. Take pictures
5. Gather contact information of any witnesses
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries – no matter how minor you think they might be.

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC >

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 injured in a car 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:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.737.html

 

September Legal Graffiti Event To Benefit Rally Pensacola.

September Legal Graffiti Event To Benefit Rally Pensacola.
Published: September 8, 2022

It’s Time To Spray Paint And Rally On At Our Sept. Legal Graffiti Event!

Zarzaur Law’s Legal Graffiti event will be on Friday, Sept. 16 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. during Gallery Night Pensacola in Downtown Pensacola.

This month’s event benefits Rally Pensacola!

Come join us and enjoy FREE games, activities, music, and more at Legal Graffiti… And just remember, the more you donate to spray paint, the more we can match dollar for dollar and give to Rally Pensacola!

About Rally Pensacola:

Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Rally Pensacola is located in the Bear Family Foundation Pediatric Oncology Center for Hope inside Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart to serve families all across the Florida panhandle and into southern Alabama. Through donors, community partners, special events and schools, Rally Pensacola works to raise awareness, support families with kids fighting cancer and raise funds for #childhoodcancer research. Collectively, this allows for additional resources to stay local, providing families in the Pensacola community the ability to receive assisted funding through the Rally Pensacola Family Emergency Fund.

EVERY TWO MINUTES A CHILD IS DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER

And at Rally we know that statistic is more than just a number. That statistic represents children who are living, breathing and fighting for their lives. We Rally to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects, so all kids fighting the cancer beast can get back to being kids.

Types of Childhood Cancer:

Brain Cancer

Blood Cancer

Solid Tumors

Bone Cancers

Rare Cancers

Join us and help fund lifesaving research for children in our community on Sept. 16th!

About Zarzaur Law’s “Legal Graffiti” Fundraiser Events

“Legal Graffiti” is an event hosted at Zarzaur Law during each Gallery Night in downtown Pensacola. “Legal Graffiti” is an opportunity for anyone to make a donation and then create artwork on the (recycled billboard vinyl-covered) side of the Zarzaur Law office building using spray paint. The event raises money for non-profits & charities within the area. Donations are matched by the firm and given to the charity of choice. In the past six years of hosting the “Legal Graffiti” event, the firm has donated more than $100,000 to local charities. We are proud and honored to continue to give back to the community where we live, work and play.

legal graffiti fundraiser event
Watch Our “Legal Graffiti” Highlight Video! >

Our “Legal Graffiti” fundraiser recipients include:
Favor House
Gulf Coast Kid’s House
ARC Gateway
The Birthday Party
Project Mentee
American Cancer Society
Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWF
Manna Food Pantries
Pathways for Change
Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart
Autism Pensacola
Rally Pensacola
Guardian ad Litem
Opening Doors NWFL
Alzheimer’s Association
United Way, Escambia County

Watch our “Legal Graffiti” highlight video! >

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.

If you’ve been the victim of a car 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.

#zarzaurlaw #gallerynightpensacola #downtownpensacola #legalgraffiti #spraypaint #community #event #fundraiser #pensacola #rallyfoundation

Florida Ranks Among The Highest States In Incidents Of Child Hot Car Deaths

Florida Ranks Among The Highest States In Incidents Of Child Hot Car Deaths
Published: July 21, 2022

It’s never safe to leave a child unattended in a vehicle. Even with the windows cracked or the vehicle parked in the shade, the interior temperatures within the car can reach dangerous levels in a short period of time.

Researchers at Arizona State University and the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine evaluated cabin air temperature and surface temperature in identical vehicles placed in the shade and the sun. Their study estimates that even in a shaded vehicle, a 2-year-old child’s core temperature could reach a dangerous—and potentially deadly—104° F in a little less than 2 hours.

Florida totaled 96 hot car deaths among victims 14 years old or younger from 1998 to 2020, according to NoHeatStroke.org, a nonprofit organization that seeks to track every child hot-car death in America. Per capita, that’s 27.37 hot car deaths per 1 million kids age 14 and younger, the statistics show.

Young children are at a heightened risk of dying of heat stroke, and not only due to their inability to escape a hot car. A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than that of an adult, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees, and children can die when it reaches 107.

The organization, Kids and Car Safety, reports an average of 38 hot car deaths per year — or one every nine days.

Understand The Facts

  • A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, that child’s temperature can rise quickly — and they could die within minutes.
  • Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees.
  • A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.
  • In 2021, 23 children died of vehicular heatstroke.
  • In 2018 and 2019, we saw a record number of hot car deaths —  53 children died each year — the most in at least 20 years, according to NoHeatstroke.org.

 

Causes Of Vehicular Heat Stroke

from NHTSA

  • Most heatstroke cases stem from a caregiver forgetting about a child in the back seat.
  • Independent access by a child to a vehicle
  • A child is intentionally left in the car by a caregiver.

 

What Is Heatstroke?

The most severe form of heat illness is heatstroke. Heatstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency.

In heatstroke, the body cannot regulate its own temperature. Body temperature can rise to 106 °F (41.1 °C) or higher, causing brain damage or even death if not treated promptly. Quick medical care is needed to bring the body temperature under control.

Kids are at risk for heatstroke if they overdress or do intense physical activity in hot weather without drinking enough liquids.

Heatstroke can also happen when a child is left in, or gets trapped in, a car on a hot day. When the outside temperature is 93°F (33.9°C), the temperature inside a car can reach 125°F (51.7°C) in just 20 minutes, quickly raising body temperature to dangerous levels.

What Are The Symptoms Of Heatstroke?

Call for emergency medical help if your child has been out in extreme temperatures or another hot environment and shows one or more of these symptoms of heatstroke:

  • severe headache
  • weakness, dizziness
  • confusion
  • nausea
  • rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • loss of consciousness
  • no sweating
  • flushed, hot, dry skin
  • temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher

While waiting for help:

  • Get your child indoors or into the shade.
  • Undress your child and sponge or douse him or her with cool water.
  • Do not give fluids unless your child is awake, alert, and acting normally.

 

OPENING WINDOWS OR PARKING IN THE SHADE WILL NOT PREVENT HEAT STROKE.

Studies show that even cars parked in a shady area can generate dangerous interior heat.

 

Recent Child Hot Car Deaths In Florida 

July 2022: A 3-year-old boy has died after being left inside a hot car in a Florida school parking lot.

2021: A woman from Pensacola was sentenced to 25 years in a hot car in 2021 for the death of her 2-year-old child.(Aggravated manslaughter and child neglect)-child left in back of car in car seat

June 2020: Makia Wallace’s 1-year-old son Jace died after he was left in a car for seven hours by a caregiver in Orange County, FL.

 

In 2021, a bill was signed to implement better safety features inside new vehicles in order to help prevent hot car-related deaths. (Kids and Car Safety)

 

What Should You Do If You See A Child Alone In A Car?

  • Make sure the child is responsive. If not, call 911 immediately.
  • If the child appears to be okay, attempt to locate the parents.
  • If the child appears to be in distress, attempt to get in the car, even if it means breaking a window.

Most states have “Good Samaritan” laws that protect people from lawsuits in attempts to rescue people.

Everyone Can Help Prevent Hot Car Deaths.

Parents and Caregivers

1. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even if the windows are partially open, the engine is running, and the air conditioning is turned on.

2. Make it a habit to check the inside and outside of your vehicle before locking the door and walking away. Train yourself to Park, Look, Lock, or always ask yourself, “Where’s Baby?”

3. Ask your childcare provider to call you if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.

4. Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock it. Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.

5. Store car keys out of a child’s reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.

Links To Apps That Remind You Not To Leave A Child In The Back Of A Car.

https://nj1015.com/these-apps-remind-you-not-to-leave-your-kid-in-the-car/

https://www.safewise.com/car-seat-alarm/

https://www.kars4kids.org/safety-app/

https://www.noheatstroke.org

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC >

 

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 or your family have 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.

Offices in Pensacola, Destin, Miami, and Tallahassee.

 

Sources:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/heatstroke

Hot Car Deaths

https://weartv.com/news/local/death-investigation-after-66-year-old-man-dies-at-pensacola-developmental-center

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/faq.html

https://www.emergencyphysicians.org/article/health–safety-tips/heat-stroke-and-hot-cars

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-safety/hot-car-fatalities-year-round-threat-to-children-pets-heat-stroke-a2015990109/

https://orange.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2022/06/Heat-Stroke-Heat-Exhaustion.html

https://www.foxweather.com/learn/when-minutes-matter-children-experience-heatstroke-symptoms-in-a-hot-car-within-minutes

https://nypost.com/2022/06/17/devastating-statistics-reveal-the-high-rate-of-infant-deaths-in-hot-cars/

https://patch.com/florida/miami/hot-car-deaths-numbers-florida-how-prevent-the

https://www.foxweather.com/weather-news/florida-hot-car-death

https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/heatstroke

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/heat.html

NHTSA To Finally Require Side-Impact Testing Of Child Car Seats

NHTSA To Finally Require Side-Impact Testing Of Child Car Seats
Published: June 29, 2022

Finally Require Side-Impact Testing Of Child Car Seats

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for collecting data about side-impact collisions and that data is alarming. Side impact types of accidents are especially bad for children.

In the last 20 years, the number of children’s deaths caused by T-bone collisions has gone up by 20 percent.

The increase in these accidents has been attributed to two factors: increased speed and more SUVs on the road. A side-impact collision was responsible for 29 percent of the 9,000 fatalities recorded in one year.

Did You Know That Until Now, Side-Impact Crash Testing Of A Child’s Car Seat Was Not Required?

Car seats for kids under 40 pounds will now have to pass a side-impact test that replicates a 30-mph T-bone-style side collision, although manufacturers have three years to comply.

 

In 2021, a group of 17 state attorneys general wrote a letter to NHTSA that said not having side-impact tests in place “unnecessarily endangers children on the road and does a huge disservice to families.”

 

It has taken longer than safety advocates, Congress, and many state attorneys general wanted, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has finally issued a rule for updated side-impact crash tests involving child safety seats used on passenger vehicles.

Before the new rule, child safety seats were only required to prove their efficacy in tests that simulated 30-mph front impact crashes. The new rule adds a 30-mph side impact test, also known as a T-bone crash, to the list.

Side-Impact Car Accidents and Children

Side-impact accidents are sometimes called broadside collisions or T-bone crashes due to the nature of the way the vehicles hit each other and form a “T” shape. These accidents occur when one vehicle’s front end directly impacts the side of another car or truck.

Some of the most common causes of side-impact car accidents are:

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Speeding and red-light running
  • Improper lane change
  • Drowsy driving
  • Distractions such as texting or using a mobile device, in-vehicle technologies and helping backseat passengers while driving
  • Pile-up accidents

Injuries may manifest differently in each crash depending on the speed, force of impact, type of vehicle involved, and age of those injured, particularly children who are seated in a car seat that is not in compliance to side-impact crash safety standards.

Injuries to children that have been associated with side-impact car accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Concussion, neck injuries, or whiplash
  • Broken bones in the face, hands, legs, arms, ribs
  • Internal and external decapitation
  • Spinal cord injury or paralysis
  • Death

 

Test Dummies “Tossed Around” in Earlier Testing

Side Impact Testing Of Child Car SeatsThe problem with the previous system, as CBS News and ProPublica reported in 2020, was that NHTSA gave some booster seats passing grades even though “the test dummies were violently tossed around during the tests,” CBS News claimed this week. The problems CBS and ProPublica reported on led to a House Oversight Committee investigation that found that some booster seat manufacturers were “[endangering] the lives of millions of American children and misled consumers about the safety of booster seats by failing to conduct appropriate side-impact testing.” CBS published some dramatic footage of these crash tests.

In July 2021, 16 state attorneys general and one from the District of Columbia wrote to NHTSA about the administration’s failure to implement side-impact standards for child booster seats, even though Congress had mandated such a rule over 20 years ago. “As a result of NHTSA’s inaction, there is currently no government standard for side-impact testing in the United States for any child restraint system,” the attorneys general wrote.

“The failure to promulgate side-impact testing standards unnecessarily endangers children on the road and does a huge disservice to families.”

Child Safety Seat Makers Have Three Years to Comply

NHTSA did say in 2014 that it would work on a side-impact rule for child seats, but it wasn’t until after all of this official and public pressure was applied that NHTSA finally made it official in a 265-page PDF. NHTSA now says child seats sold in the U.S. will need to “provide proper restraint, manage side crash forces, and protect against harmful head and chest contact with intruding structures.” The child seats will also need to “withstand crash forces from a side impact without collapsing or fragmenting in a manner that could harm the child,” NHTSA said.

“Side-impact collisions cause serious injuries and deaths in young children each year,” NHTSA administrator Steven Cliff said in a statement. “By establishing more comprehensive testing requirements, we are advancing child passenger safety and assuring parents that the safety seat they choose for their child must meet the highest safety standards.”

The affected seats are those meant for children who weigh up to 40 pounds and are up to 43.3 inches tall (basically, kids up to around age four). Previously, NHTSA regulations said children over 30 pounds could use simple booster seats instead of the safer child restraint systems under discussion here.

Child seat manufacturers will have three years to comply with the rule once it is officially published in the Federal Register and any petitions for reconsideration have been taken care of.

Important Child Safety Seat Reminders For Parents

  • As children grow, so do their restraint types (rear- facing, forward-facing, booster seat, or seat belt). Always use the one that fits your child’s current age and size. 
  • Use the NHTSA Car Seat Finder located at www.nhtsa. gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats. 
  • Every car and every car seat or booster seat has different installation instructions, so make sure you read both the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual. 
  • Remember that children in rear-facing seats should never be placed in front of an active passenger air bag. 
  • Use either the lower anchors and tether, or the seat belt and tether when installing forward-facing seats. 

— NHTSA’s Research and Program Development 

What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident While Traveling In Florida

1. Call the police and file a report
2. Swap information (including any insurance info they may have)
3. Gather details
4. Take pictures
5. Gather contact information of any witnesses
6. Seek medical care immediately for any injuries – no matter how minor you think they might be.

 

GET MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION ON WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT HERE AT OUR “Car Wreck Checklist” >

 

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 your child has been injured as a result of a side-impact car 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.

Offices in Pensacola, Destin, Miami, and Tallahassee.

Sources:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/right-seat

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a40397047/nhtsa-child-safety-seats-side-impact-changes/

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0900-0999/0960/Sections/0960.001.html

https://law.lclark.edu/live/files/4936-florida

https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/nhtsa-improves-child-safety-seat-testing-standards-final-rule-side-impact-protection

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813122

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5045916/

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