Florida Car Insurance 101: Part 4 – Why Does It Matter If You Elect To Purchase Stacked Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Florida Car Insurance 101: Part 4 – Why Does It Matter If You Elect To Purchase Stacked Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Published: March 28, 2022

According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida is the sixth-highest state with the most uninsured drivers, at 20.4 percent. Uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist insurance kicks in to cover the costs of being involved in a car accident when the other driver has little or no insurance.

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.

We have written and spoken at some length about the necessity of purchasing uninsured motorist coverage. The basis for this advice is that most drivers in Florida have only the minimum required insurance.  This means that most drivers have ZERO coverage for car wreck victim injuries, and this is completely legal. In Florida, you are only required by law to have $10,000.00 in property damage liability coverage and $10,000.00 in personal injury protection coverage (which is coverage that pays for the policyholder’s car wreck-related injuries).

So, most Florida drivers will have no coverage for the injuries they cause to you and your loved ones. It is imperative that you secure the most uninsured motorist coverage that you can afford.

Stacked vs. Non-Stacked Coverage

Since we have covered the basis for uninsured motorist coverage, we now should discuss how “stacked” uninsured motorist coverage works. So, when you elect to have uninsured motorist coverage, you are also going to be given the option to have “stacked” or “non-stacked” uninsured motorist coverage.

Stacked

Stacked insurance essentially increases the amount of uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage dependent on the number of vehicles insured. In Florida, drivers have the option to stack policies within one policy or across multiple policies.

An example of stacking across multiple policies:

Assume you have two separate insurance policies for two different cars, and each has $60,000 of UM bodily injury (UMBI) coverage. If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver and choose to stack your coverage, you can increase the limit to $120,000 to cover medical and/or property payments in excess of the $60,000 policy limit, assuming both vehicles are registered in your name.

An example of stacking within one policy:

Assume you have four cars each with $40,000 of UMBI coverage. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you will be able to combine the coverage of all three vehicles under the policy, giving you $160,000 in coverage instead of just $40,000 for one car.

Non-Stacked

If, however, you buy uninsured motorist but elect to have “non-stacking” coverage or you only have one car in your household, then purchasing $100,000.00 will result in you having only $100,000.00 in coverage. This is true even if you have multiple cars in the same family.

There is an additional premium for “stacked” uninsured motorist coverage, but relatively speaking, the cost is quite minimal considering the large difference in the amount of coverage that is provided if you are in a situation where you need to utilize that amount of coverage. Stacked insurance essentially increases the amount of uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage dependent on the number of vehicles insured. 

In Florida, drivers have the option to stack policies within one policy or across multiple policies.

The Pros and Cons of Stacking Coverage:

Pros:

You have higher coverage limits after an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver without raising your liability limits.

Cons:

Results in higher monthly premiums.

However, keep in mind that if you can afford to pay the higher premium, in the long run, if you were to get into an accident with an uninsured driver, it would be much more beneficial than paying out of pocket for all the incurred expenses.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO >


If you have questions about UM/UIM coverage as it relates to your Florida automobile policy, you can contact us on the web at zarzaurlaw.com or call 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.

Sources:

https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists

You’ve Been Hit By An Uninsured Driver – What Do You Do?

You’ve Been Hit By An Uninsured Driver – What Do You Do?
Published: December 1, 2021

It is a common situation here at Zarzaur Law, P.A. A client is seriously injured in a car accident, that was not their fault, and has significant ongoing problems and medical treatment. Perhaps they cannot work or carry on the activities of daily living, their injuries are so severe that it causes death. So they (or their family) can sue the person that hit them and recover for their damages, right?

Unfortunately, in Florida, a licensed driver is NOT required to carry bodily injury liability insurance(BI coverage). Because of a strong insurance lobby, 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.

Unless the driver or owner of the car that is at fault is extremely wealthy, there is nothing the client can recover. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

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 (and you) have this important coverage.

What is Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage provides compensation to an insured for bodily injury or wrongful death damages caused by the negligence of an uninsured motorist.

What about Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage?

Underinsured motorist coverage provides the same protection when there is a deficiency in 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 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 this, if you drive in Florida, there are a lot of drivers with no liability or little liability coverage.

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

Getting hit by an uninsured motorist can leave you with a lot of questions. Can you still get compensation for your injuries? Should you hire a car accident lawyer following an accident with an uninsured motorist? What should you do after your accident?


UNFORTUNATELY, ABOUT 13 % OF DRIVERS DO NOT CARRY AUTO INSURANCE EVEN THOUGH THEY DRIVE REGULARLY.


They choose not to carry insurance due to the expense, they allow their policies to lapse, or they drive a vehicle they do not have the legal right to drive. When uninsured drivers get behind the wheel and cause an accident, it creates a big headache for everyone involved.

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

Following 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.

Can You Get Compensation Or Help To Pay Your Medical Bills After An Accident With An Uninsured Motorist?

You have several options:

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage offers vital protection if you suffer an injury in an accident caused by a driver who does not have insurance. While not required in all states, New Jersey drivers, for example, must carry a $15,000 uninsured motorist policy on their vehicles. Your uninsured motorist coverage will cover damage to your vehicle as well as compensation for injuries you suffered in an accident. Typically, your insurance company will not allow you to carry more uninsured motorist coverage than you carry liability insurance on your vehicle.

Health Insurance

If your injuries exceed the protection of your PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance, you might turn to your health insurance to help cover your medical expenses. Have your car accident lawyer contact your health insurance provider as soon as possible to let your provider know that you sustained injuries in an accident with an uninsured driver.

A Lawsuit

In the case of an uninsured driver, you may need to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for your injuries. Keep in mind that many uninsured drivers may simply not have the funds to compensate you for your injuries even if held directly liable, so even if you file a claim, you may not receive the compensation you expect. However, in addition to filing a lawsuit against the party that caused your accident, you may also file a claim against any party that contributed to the accident. A top car wreck lawyer can help investigate that accident and identify any other parties that contributed to the accident.

What Steps Should You Take Right After An Accident With An Uninsured 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 can offer numerous advantages following an accident, including an accident with an uninsured 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, if needed.
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 from state to state vary, so if you have coverage from another state, you need to let a board-certified personal injury specialist review the policy for coverage.

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 AND LISTEN AS JOE ZARZAUR, BOARD-CERTIFIED CIVIL TRIAL LAWYER, DISCUSSES THIS TOPIC >

 


If you’ve been the victim of an accident caused by someone who is uninsured or underinsured, 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.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

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?

Following 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

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.

Why Would My Car Insurance Have Anything To Do With A Crash While Riding A Bike Or A Scooter?

Why Would My Car Insurance Have Anything To Do With A Crash While Riding A Bike Or A Scooter?
Published: January 28, 2022

These days, injuries and deaths are rising at an alarming rate as more and more of us are turning to alternative means of transportation, but at the same time, we continue to “share” the road with full-sized cars. This is not to mention that most people driving cars these days are also distracted with their devices, so the idea of sharing the road with a car while your only protection is a scooter or a bike frame is alarming. The incidents of scooter versus car-related injuries and deaths have more than doubled in the last several years, and as more and more communities embrace and encourage bike and scooter usage, unfortunately, this increase will continue.

 

At first thought, your car insurance may not seem applicable if you are injured while riding a bike or a scooter. If, on the other hand, your scooter or bike injury was caused by a motor vehicle (car, truck, SUV, low-speed vehicle, or motorcycle), you may have insurance benefits under your own car insurance policy (or one in your household) that would protect you.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist coverage provides compensation to an insured for bodily injury or wrongful death inflicted by the negligence of an uninsured motorist.

Brown v. Progressive Mutual Insurance Co., 249 So.2d 429 (Fla. 1971) – Underinsured motorist coverage provides the same protection when there is a deficiency in the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage.

Dewberry v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., 363 So.2d 1077 (Fla. 1978) – Both “un” insured and “under” insured motorist coverages apply when the at-fault driver injures or kills someone while they are doing anything, including but not limited to being on a scooter or bike. The only requirements are that the at-fault driver must be a motorist and must be either underinsured or uninsured.

Insurance Companies Are Not On Your Side

Some policies attempt to limit the definition of an uninsured vehicle to one that is only capable of being driven on a roadway. Other policies do not have limiting language. This key issue can present coverage problems for the injured party or their family, and caution should be exercised when conversing about this incident with you or your family’s own insurance company. Their first objective is NOT to serve their customer’s best interests. Every insurance company’s first objective is to SAVE MONEY. Some customers find this hard to believe since they have been paying for insurance for “X” number of years and they will take care of me. That’s not the way this world works.

Insurance companies do not have feelings; they have balance sheets and a mission statement that is both geared to saving as much of the premiums as possible. Paying LESS than they should, rather than what is fair, serves the entire business model. For this reason, when you and your family are dealing with a serious injury that potentially involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, you should always consult with a personal injury lawyer first before having discussions with them.

UM Benefits For Your Injuries

UM benefits (as both under and uninsured motorist coverages are collectively referred to) are available to the named insured on the policy, the named insured spouse, and the relatives of either who reside in the same household.

Mullins v. State Farm Mutual Insurance Co., 252 So.2d 229 (Fla. 1971). Further, UM coverage also applies to permissive operators and occupants of the insured vehicle. (This wouldn’t be applicable to the instant discussion since we are assuming the injured party is on a scooter or bike).

The terms “resident” and “relative” have been litigated throughout the State of Florida when insurance companies have denied paying UM claims based upon their position that someone is not related or is not a resident of a household.

This issue may be relevant in scooter and bike injury and death cases because many times the rider is a younger person who may have a permanent residence with their parents, even if they have their own apartment elsewhere for part of the year. That is why it is so important to discuss these issues with a personal injury lawyer before speaking with them about the potential case.

Given the rise in usage of scooters and bikes in our urban areas, it is important to realize that injuries involving cars versus scooters or bikes will also likely rise. If you or your family has been injured or killed by a motorist while your loved one was on a scooter or bike, we would encourage you to contact our firm at 855HIREJOE or via 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  a car versus scooters or bikes, 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.justice.org/resources/publications/trial-magazine

https://weartv.com/news/local/pensacola-city-council-takes-steps-towards-changes-to-bird-scooter-pilot-program

https://www.wkrg.com/northwest-florida/after-crash-pensacola-man-urges-riders-to-use-caution-on-bird-scooters/

Can Someone Else Be Liable For A Single Vehicle Accident?

Can Someone Else Be Liable For A Single Vehicle Accident?
Published: November 12, 2021
single vehicle accident liability

Single Vehicle Accident Liability

 Sometimes, depending on the facts, there may be a liability from non-motorists that caused the injuries.

FLORIDA HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST TRAFFIC DEATH RATES PER 100,000 RESIDENTS AT 14.7. 52% OF FATAL CRASHES INVOLVED A SINGLE VEHICLE.


 

What Is a Single-Vehicle Accident?

By definition, single-vehicle accidents involve just one car, truck, or other types of motor vehicle.

Liability (Fault) In a Single-Car Accident

Single-car accidents are also no different than other traffic accidents in the sense that there’s always an underlying cause. It’s certainly true that the driver is often found at fault for the accident, but there are plenty of scenarios in which blame for a single-vehicle accident lies elsewhere.

It’s important to keep in mind that just because you’re alone in your vehicle at the scene of your accident, that doesn’t mean:

– You were the only driver (or person) involved

– Yours was the only vehicle involved, or

– The accident scene tells the complete story of how your crash happened.

When Is the Driver in a Single Vehicle Accident Not Liable?

Let’s look at a couple of examples of when a driver in a single-vehicle accident might not be negligent in connection with the crash, and therefore might avoid liability.

1. The Driver Hits An Object On Or Along The Side Of The Road (like a guardrail or a tree)

2. The driver swerves to avoid another vehicle

A pedestrian, an animal, a road hazard, or something else, and runs off the road or the vehicle rolls over, spins out, or leaves the road, due to the driver’s loss of control of the vehicle or some other cause.

As with any other kind of car accident, the things you do in the immediate aftermath of the crash (and in the days following) will play a crucial part in any insurance claim or legal action you decide to pursue.

Learn more about what to do after an accident by going to our car wreck checklist >

3. Crashes Caused By Road Conditions

With the prevalence of road construction and road problems in our area, it may be that the single-car crash was caused by unreasonable road conditions. Florida generally has very poorly maintained roads that may cause car crashes. Generally, these claims are difficult because they must be brought against government agencies that are protected by Florida law. These suits require many additional procedural steps and are difficult to win. This must be investigated by an experienced lawyer.

If the crash was caused by defective construction or construction practices, a claim against a road contractor may be investigated. As with all these cases, a thorough investigation must be undertaken as soon as possible, so the state of the conditions can be preserved before they are repaired. Such road defects may include unreasonable drop-offs, missing or damaged guardrails, and missing or damaged warning signs.

4. Crashes Caused By Animals

If a domesticated animal strays into the roadway and caused a single-car crash the owner of the animal may be liable. This includes dogs and the claims may be covered by some homeowners insurance.

Similarly, if livestock wanders onto the road and is struck by a vehicle, the owner of the livestock may be liable if negligence is proven by the injured party. While there is no absolute duty to fence in animals like cows and horses, failure to the fence may be evidence of negligence leading to liability for injuries. An experienced lawyer will investigate and try and find insurance for the loss.

 

5. Crashes Caused By Falling Unsecured Material Or Debris

On our highways, we see many large trucks and many smaller trucks carrying material in the back of the trucks. Often the material is not properly secured, which may lead to it falling out at highway speeds. This may cause a crash due to direct impact or impact caused by attempting to avoid the falling material or debris. In such a situation, an injured motorist may seek compensation from the owner and or driver of the offending vehicle. If there is not sufficient insurance from the at-fault party, then the injured driver may seek damages from his own uninsured/underinsured motorist(UM) coverage.

6. Claims By Passengers

If a single-car crash is caused by the negligence of a driver, then injured passengers may seek compensation from the driver or from UM insurance. In all such cases, medical bills will be handled by no-fault(PIP) up to the limits of coverage.

Just because a car crash does not involve another vehicle, there may be a claim against a negligent party who caused the crash. Such claims involve careful investigation and the skills and expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

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.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/overview/key_data.html

https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state

http://www.flhealthcharts.com/charts/DataViewer/DeathViewer/DeathViewer.aspx?indNumber=0110

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/defending-yourself-after-a-single-vehicle-accident.html

6 Myths About Car Accidents And Car Accident Claims

6 Myths About Car Accidents And Car Accident Claims
Published: April 8, 2021

6 Myths About Car Accidents

Myths About Car Accidents:

1. My Insurance Will Pay For Everything

This is not true in Florida. If you are hit by another driver, your recovery generally depends on their coverage. Florida does not require much mandatory coverage to drive and many violate the law and do not have insurance.

Under Florida law, the minimum coverage is simply $10,000 in property damage liability. If the at-fault driver has this minimum, and your car is worth more than $10,000 you will have a loss unless you purchased ‘collision’ coverage. This coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle, usually up to the value at the time of the crash. It can be somewhat expensive, but if you own a vehicle, it is important to have this coverage, especially in a state like Florida that has lax coverage requirements.

2. Rear-End Collisions Are Always The Fault Of The Rear Driver

This is not universally true. While there is a presumption of fault against someone who hits you from behind, there are numerous factual circumstances where this may not be true. This presumption may be rebutted by facts that show there was another negligent party who caused the crash.

For example, if a vehicle in front of you suddenly stops with no warning, for no good reason, and you suddenly stop and are rear-ended, the person who hit you can allege the crash was the fault of the driver in front. Florida is a pure “comparative negligence” state, which means that a jury can apportion damages by degrees of fault.

In this scenario, a jury might reasonably find the front driver was 100 percent at fault, even though the driver that hit you should have been able to stop before the crash.

Similarly, if you slammed on your brakes for an unreasonable reason, the driver that hit you can allege you were fully or partially at fault. In such cases, it is important to get legal advice if you are injured.

3. All Drivers Carry Enough Insurance

In most states, and particularly in Florida, this is not true. As stated earlier, Florida only requires a licensed driver to carry $10,000 in property damage liability coverage. There is no requirement for any personal injury bodily damage liability. If a person with this minimum coverage injures you in a car crash, you have no recourse against their insurance company.

In Florida, many people drive illegally with NO coverage. Because of economic problems or just a disregard of the law, they are able to drive with no insurance to protect others from their poor driving.

We will say again if you drive in Florida, you need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage to protect you and your family in this situation. This coverage is relatively inexpensive and maybe the most important coverage you can have.

Unfortunately, we talk to potential clients every day who are left out in the cold, with no real recourse for their injuries, because they did not buy this coverage. While your insurance company may tell you that you have “full coverage” you do not unless you have UM coverage.

4. The Insurance Company Is On Your Side

These companies spend billions in propaganda to tell you that they are “on your side”, and that you are in “good hands” with their coverage. Nothing could be further from the truth. Auto insurance companies exist only to make profits and PAY AS LITTLE IN CLAIMS AS POSSIBLE.

Trial lawyers serve the purpose of making sure these companies are fair to their insureds and those who are injured by their insured. We fight their lobbyists and politicians in addition to their lawyers to make sure they do not steamroll victims. If you have never been the victim of an insurance company, you are lucky. But rest assured the industry is always looking to tilt the scales of justice again you and other victims. Don’t fall for the propaganda.

5. You Do Not Need Medical Treatment For Minor Injuries

If you have any injury in a car crash, you must seek medical care as soon as possible. Although you may have “no-fault” PIP coverage in your auto policy, you must be evaluated and treated within 14 days in order to have the full benefit of your policy. If you don’t do this, the company can limit its liability to $2,500 even if your policy limits are higher.

Often people are too shook up at the scene to realize they are injured. The adrenaline is flowing, and there is often much chaos. Also, with soft tissue/sprain/strain type injuries, you may start feeling the pain more as time goes by. A serious injury is not always apparent immediately, and if you are injured at all you should seek medical care as soon as possible and follow the “car wreck checklist.”

6. You Do Not Need An Attorney

This is more propaganda from the insurance industry. If you are injured by the negligence of another driver, you need to seek legal counsel. Experienced personal injury lawyers will give you a free consultation, and if they will not, find another lawyer who will. The lawyer may not be able to help you, but they will look carefully at your case before giving such advice. A consumer should always use this resource, even if the insurance company tries to keep you from it.

As a simple rule, if you are injured, you need to consult with an experienced trial lawyer. This is especially true if the insurance company is trying to get you to sign documents to settle your claim. Don’t fall for their representations that they are trying to help you. It’s simply not true.

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/how-to-avoid-car-accidents/

https://zarzaurlaw.com/how-are-pain-and-suffering-damages-in-a-personal-injury-case-determined/

https://zarzaurlaw.com/what-types-of-damages-are-available-in-a-car-accident-case/

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

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

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

What Happens If You Are In A Car Wreck Caused By An Impaired Driver?

What Happens If You Are In A Car Wreck Caused By An Impaired Driver?
Published: March 26, 2021

Alcohol is a substance that reduces the functions of the brain, impairing thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination. All of these abilities are necessary to operate a motor vehicle safely. A person’s alcohol level is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood. This is called blood alcohol coordination, or BAC. At a BAC of .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, car crash risks increase exponentially.

Because of such risk, it’s illegal in all states to drive with a BAC of .08. Why? Almost one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the US involved drunk drivers.

According to NHTSA, between the years 2009-2018, more than 10,000 people per year died from drunk driving crashes. Many more are injured, and it is estimated that over one-half of all drivers will be involved in a drunk driving crash.


IT IS ESTIMATED THAT OVER ONE-HALF OF ALL DRIVERS WILL BE INVOLVED IN A DRUNK DRIVING CRASH.


Damages From A Drunk Driving Crash

Compensatory Damages
If you are injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, what are your rights? Under Florida law, you can recover compensatory and punitive damages against the drunk driver.

Compensatory Damages Include:

  • Lost wages
  • Unpaid medical bills
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Disability (if you have a permanent injury)

Most liability insurance policies will pay these damages, even if the insured was drunk.

Punitive Damages
“Punish” the drunk driver. They are not limited to standard compensatory damages, and the amount of such damages is usually solely in the discretion of a jury. They are generally limited by a multiplier of compensatory damages, although in cases of drunk driving there may not be a limit. Unfortunately, these damages are not covered by most Florida auto liability policies. Thus, if there is a punitive damages award, the insurance company is not responsible for payment.

Proving The Driver Was Impaired

Proving a driver was drunk often depends on whether the driver was criminally charged. If so, an experienced auto accident lawyer can use the facts surrounding the arrest to prove both fault and the criminal nature of the conduct, so as to enhance the value of the case for the victim. Recorded actions at the scene, witness statements and physical evidence (such as empty liquor bottles and BAC result) are usually admissible in a civil suit for damages. The law of evidence is very complex, and a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer is necessary in such cases.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage In Drunk Driving Cases

If the drunk driver flees the scene and is never found, and the driver has little or no bodily injury insurance, the victim can look to his or her own insurance coverage for recovery. UM coverage may include coverage for fleeing or hit and run wrong doers, or for cases where the drunk driver has little or no coverage. This is another reason to make sure you have an lawyer to investigate these matters, and another reason to buy as much UM coverage as you can afford.

Third-Party Liability For Drunk Drivers

Under Florida law, certain third parties may be responsible for injuries caused by a drunk driver. Under the Florida “Dram Shop” statute, a business that sells or serves alcohol to a person involved in a crash is not liable unless:

1-the person is not of lawful drinking age (21 in Florida)

2-the person is habitually addicted to alcohol and the server knew or should have known that.

These are very narrow restrictions and often difficult to prove. A social host is generally not liable unless they knowingly provide alcohol to a minor. Again, this is a very complex area of Florida law, and the Florida legislature has made it very difficult to recover in such situations.

The statute of limitations to sue a commercial establishment or a social host is four years from the date of the injury, or two years if the case involves a wrongful death.

If you are injured in a case involving drunk driving, you need to contact an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The prompt preservation of evidence may be very important to your recovery.

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.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/dram-shop-laws-social-host-liability-alcohol-related-accidents-florida.html

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/punitive_damages

https://www.findlaw.com/litigation/legal-system/what-are-compensatory-damages.html

The Particular Issues of Being Involved in A Wreck With Multiple Vehicles.

The Particular Issues of Being Involved in A Wreck With Multiple Vehicles.
Published: March 24, 2021

Most Florida Car Accidents or Florida Car Wrecks occur between two vehicles.  One vehicle is considered the “at-fault” vehicle and the other vehicle is considered the “victim” vehicle.

Occasionally, wrecks in Florida involve multiple vehicles.  Usually, one “at-fault” driver who strikes more than one car during the wreck.  These are sometimes “chain reaction” type of collisions that can happen in tightly spaced traffic like backups on bridges or other roads with limited shoulders.

The Florida Crash Report will usually list the “at-fault” driver as Vehicle 1 and will label the other Vehicles as 2- 4 or whatever the number of cars involved.  This will mean that only one Vehicle, Vehicle 1, will be liable for all of the damages and injuries caused.


IN A TYPICAL MULTIPLE VEHICLE WRECK THERE IS A LIMITED AMOUNT OF INSURANCE COVERAGE AND USUALLY ONLY ONE RESPONSIBLE INSURANCE POLICY


So why is this important?  Well because if there is only one insurance policy that is liable for all of the damages and injuries and if these damages and injuries are spread across multiple vehicles, then most likely, there will be insufficient insurance coverage for the “at fault” driver.

For example: many drivers in Florida have minimal insurance coverage.  Typically, drivers will have the mandatory $10,000.00 per claim/$20,000.00 per accident in property damage coverage and then have the same amount in boiling injury coverage.

Bodily Injury Coverage

Bodily injury coverage is the category of insurance that compensates other drivers for their injuries. The insurance company only has to pay the per accident limit when there are multiple cars involved and it does not have to pay each claim the “per claim” limit.  So, in this example, the limits were $10,000.00 per claim and $20,000.00 per accident for both property damage and injury.  The insurance company only has to pay $20,000.00 towards any and all property damage and $20,000.00 for any and all injuries.  This is the total amount they are responsible to pay even if there are 25 cars involves and multiple serious injuries. 

As you can imagine, a wreck can total a couple of cars and easily be well in excess of $20,000.00.  Further, $20,000.00 in medical expenses split between multiple victims can also be a nominal figure.

So long as the insurance company doesn’t act unreasonably in offering these total limits to the lawyers for each client, this is all they will ever have to pay towards the claims.

Global Settlement Mediation

 Global settlements for property damage and injury claims are the most common outcome of Florida Car Wrecks with multiple vehicle involvement.

The process that insurance companies use in Florida Car Wrecks involving multiple vehicles is quite simple.  It is called a “global settlement” process.  Global meaning that all potential parties for both property damages and injuries are all notified that the insurance company is planning on having a meeting where they will divide up the per accident limits among the potential claims.

This global settlement conference will require each lawyer to present information that would explain why their respective client should recover more, percentage-wise, than other claimants.  For instance, the injured party in the car that was hit first may usually have the most property damage and worse injuries.  This claimant will, many times, have the best argument that their injuries and damages are worse than others.

However, other factors are also considered in these global settlement conferences.  These factors can include things like:

  1. Does the party have health insurance?
  2. How much underinsured motorist coverage does each party have?
  3. Will this be the only recovery that this client makes for the entire event?
  4. How bad are the injuries and how expensive will the future treatments be?
  5. What condition was the claimant in prior to the wreck?

Obviously, these global settlement conferences should not be attended without a lawyer who has prepared not only to present your best case but prepared to point out why the other claims should not take priority.


UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND FLORIDA CAR WRECKS WITH MULTIPLE INVOLVED VEHICLES IS JUST ANOTHER REASON WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE AS MUCH A YOU CAN AFFORD.


Purchase as Much UM Coverage as You Can Afford

Every chance we get to advise clients and potential clients to purchase as much uninsured motorist coverage as they can afford, we do so.  Multiple vehicle accidents are just another reason why it is prudent to purchase as much uninsured motorist coverage as possible.  When you have this type of coverage on your policy the effect of the “at fault” driver not having sufficient coverage is much less problematic. 

For example: instead of having to split $20,000.00 four ways as illustrated above, the global settlement amount would just be the initial settlement of your case.  Once that is done, then your lawyer would be able to move on to the underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy for the additional value in your injury case.

Not having underinsured motorist coverage makes you depends entirely on the “at fault” party’s judgment in how much coverage to purchase. 

We can assure you that if they are acting reckless and cause a wreck, many times they are not going to be the type of person that is going to exercise diligence in selecting large amount of insurance for the other drivers’ injuries.  Instead, they will likely opt for the cheapest form of insurance that gets them legal to drive.  This means that you have to protect yourself and your family by purchasing the underinsured motorist coverage.

This is never more important than in a Florida Multiple Vehicle collision since having multiple claimants all pulling from the same number of limited coverages makes getting “made-whole” near impossible without your own protection.

If you are injured in a multiple vehicle car crash, whether a high speed or low speed crash, you should seek the services of an experienced person injury lawyer. A board-certified civil trial lawyer has much experience in dealing with these cases and can give you the advice you need.

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.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/

Why Does it Take So Long to Resolve a Car Wreck Case?

Why Does it Take So Long to Resolve a Car Wreck Case?
Published: January 18, 2021

Car Wreck Cases Insurance Coverage

It seems so simple. You are stopped at a red light, and someone hits you from behind. You are injured, the police are called, an ambulance is called, and you are taken to the closest ER. The driver who hit you is given a ticket.

Since you were hurt, you call a personal injury lawyer to handle your case. Sounds simple but is not. There are many complex issues in all personal injury cases, even those as seemingly simple as described.

Many clients are surprised about how long it takes to resolve their car wreck case. While it is true that the rare case is resolved in a few weeks, most are not, and sometimes take years to settle. Why?

How Much Insurance Coverage is Available?

There are certain procedures that are common in all car wreck cases. After you hire a personal injury lawyer, the first thing to do is find out insurance details. Florida law requires insurers of Florida residents to disclose all liability coverage within 30 days of demand. While some companies provide this information quicker, most do not. An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer will send a request to your own insurance company, to determine the limits of your medical coverage and also if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects you and allows you to make a claim for your injuries if the at-fault driver has little or no bodily injury coverage. The lawyer will also put your health insurers on notice of the claim, as they may also be responsible in paying for treatment after the no-fault (PIP or Personal Injury Protection) coverage is exhausted. This process is extremely important, as the value of your claim is often determined by the insurance coverage available. It may be several weeks before your lawyer even knows how much coverage is available.

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.

The Demand and Negotiation Phase

After the extent of your injury is known, then demand is made by your lawyer on your behalf to the at-fault party’s insurance company. An experienced and board-certified trial lawyer will have the benefit of knowing the value of such cases and will know how to properly negotiate with the insurance company. Make sure your personal injury lawyer has a reputation as one who will fight to get you top value for your accident claim. Companies know that experienced trial lawyers will take a case to trial if necessary and will pay accordingly.


The negotiation phase may take weeks or months, depending on the nature of the claim along with the availability of medical records and the insurance coverages.


If the at-fault party does not have enough coverage to fairly settle your claim, and you have underinsured motorist coverage, then an additional negotiation will occur with your own insurance company.

What if Your Car Wreck Case Does Not Settle?

A small percentage of cases do not settle at the presuit stage and must be filed in court. In other words, if the insurance company is not fair with its offer, the case must move on to the litigation stage. Your lawyer will file suit in circuit court seeking damages. This process may take many months to get these cases ultimately resolved.

Litigation Process Includes:

Discovery Phase

To determine the nature of the injuries and the value of the claim.

Mediation

The courts will require a mediation session to try and resolve the case.

Trial

If a case cannot be resolved through mediation, the case will be scheduled for trial in court.

While most cases settle before trial, it may take many months to get this done.

NOTE: During the COVID epidemic, most courts are not even scheduling civil trials, and in fact in may be several years before a case goes to trial. Even after trial, appeals may slow down the process. For these reasons, it is often best for both sides to settle before trial. Having a board-certified trial lawyer is a great advantage for the injured party.

It is a Marathon and Not a Sprint

While your car wreck case may seem simple, even simple cases can take a long time to get resolved. Between treatment, negotiation, possible litigation, or even trial, the process can seem overwhelming. That is why you need to hire an experienced trial lawyer to handle 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 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/

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