All posts by Zarzaur Law, P.A.

Pensacola, Destin, & Miami, FL Personal Injury Lawyer, Joe Zarzaur, has created this blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Florida about their legal rights. Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced an auto accident, car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury attorney. Call us today 855-HIRE-JOE! Or email us: info@zarzaurlaw.com

May 2022 Legal Graffiti Fundraiser Benefitting Emerald Coast Legal Aid.

LEGAL GRAFFITI is back once again on Friday, May 20 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. during Gallery Night Pensacola. This month we will be raising awareness and money for Emerald Coast Legal Aid!

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 Emerald Coast Legal Aid!

About Emerald Coast Legal Aid

Emerald Coast Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Pensacola, FL. that offers a wide range of FREE legal services for those in our community that cannot afford attorneys.

Services by local legal professionals that are a part of this non-profit law firm include:

Domestic Violence

Family Law

Foreclosure Help

Elder Law

Learn more at – https://www.nwfls.org
 

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.

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

What Is An EMC (Emergency Medical Condition) And Why Is It Important For My Florida Car Wreck Case?

Florida is one of only 13 other states in the US that has no-fault car insurance laws. Basically, these states require each driver to purchase their own injury coverage for car wrecks. If a wreck occurs between Florida drivers, then both the at-fault party and the victim have “no fault” or “personal injury protection” (PIP) coverage. These PIP benefits are available for each party’s own medical bills and lost wages WITHOUT regard to fault. So even the at fault driver is entitled to their own policy’s PIP benefits for their injuries and lost wages But, what about an emergency medical condition?

Emergency Medical Condition (EMC) From Accident and Personal Injury Protection Coverage.

When this law was first passed in Florida, all parties to a car wreck were immediately entitled to the entire $10,000.00 from the wreck until the entire amount had been paid out or exhausted. However, years of abuse of this benefit made the Florida legislature pass reforms to the PIP laws, making it harder to access the entire $10,000.00 benefit.

Under the current version of the PIP statute, parties are only entitled to $2,500.00 of the $10,000.00 PIP benefit at the outset. To access the remaining $7,500.00, the injured party must be diagnosed with an emergency medical condition, or “EMC.” 

EMC Is Defined As:

“Emergency medical condition” means a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, which may include severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:

(a) Serious jeopardy to patient health.

(b) Serious impairment to bodily functions.

(c) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

An EMC can only be found by a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, dentist, physician assistant, or an APRN.

Omitted from this list are chiropractors, and it was the intent of the Florida legislature to remove chiropractors from the approval process in regards to PIP benefits.

EMCs can be diagnosed in real-time or later in your treatment. For example, if you go through the initial treatment and then realize that PIP only paid $2,500.00 since there was no documented EMC, So long as a physician is able to say that you “had” an EMC related to the car wreck at any point, then you will be eligible for the entire $10,000.00 benefit.

PIP Coverage Follows You No Matter What Car You Are In At The Time Of The Wreck. 

If you do not qualify for PIP under your policy and there is no auto policy in your house that you qualify for PIP under, then you may qualify for PIP in the vehicle you were occupying at the time of the wreck.

PIP coverage can assist you as an injured party in a car wreck. It can aid you in getting the treatment necessary to diagnose or be the diagnosis of your car wreck-related injuries.

Injuries And Medical Bills

It should be noted that “no-fault” insurance refers to injuries and medical bills. If your car was damaged in an accident, which means the other driver was at fault and you were not at fault the cost to repair your vehicle would fall to the at fault driver’s insurance policy.

This is a significant issue for your case since these PIP benefits can be used to pay for valuable treatment related to your Florida car wreck case.

At the end of your case, all medical bills have to be paid, and if your health insurance pays for them, you will be required to reimburse your health insurance.  PIP benefits, however, do not have to be paid back or reimbursed.

So, it’s in your best interest to use all of these benefits before you start using your own health insurance or start accumulating medical bills to be paid out of your own pocket.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO  >

Learn More About What To Do If You Are In An Accident From 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.

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 was involved in a Florida car wreck and/or has Florida PIP questions, please feel free to reach out to our firm at zarzaurlaw.com or call us at 855HireJoe.

Sources:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.736.html

Important Information About Water Safety For Florida Parents.

The month of May is a time to celebrate National Water Safety Month. The entire month of May has been officially dedicated as a time to bring awareness and education about water safety to the general community. This initiative is coordinated by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, with support from the American Red Cross, the National Recreation and Park Association, and the World Waterpark Association. Read on for more information on water safety for Florida parents

There are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools and an additional 7.3 million hot tubs operating in the U.S.

Over the summer, 8 out of 10 Americans are planning to swim in a pool. For children and teens between the ages of 7 and 17, swimming remains the #1 most popular recreational activity.

Child Drownings In The United States Have Reached A Ten-Year High.

Pediatric drowning rates reached a 10-year record high. National Water Safety Month is May. Water is a “silent killer” for children. Child drownings remain the leading cause of unintentional death among U.S. children ages 1 to 4, according to the CPSC. Three-quarters of those deaths involved children younger than the age of 5, and 83% of those occurred in residential pools.

Florida Set A New Low In 2021.

Florida hit a grim new record in 2021, reporting the most child drownings since at least 2009.

The Florida Department of Children and Families report shows that deaths rose from 69 in 2020 to 98 in 2021. Twenty-four of those children drowned in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Hernando, Sarasota, and Manatee counties.

Before letting your children hit the water this summer, remember these few tips to ensure it’s an enjoyable and safe experience.

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near water. The designated adult water watcher should not read, text, use a phone, or otherwise be distracted while watching children. This advice includes situations involving bathtubs, buckets, decorative ponds, and fountains.
  • If you own a pool or spa, install layers of barriers to prevent an unsupervised child from getting into the water. These measures can include door alarms, pool covers, and self-closing, self-latching devices on doors that access the pool and on gates of four-sided fences.
  • Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim. Contact your local YMCA about swimming lessons.
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapment. Your pool or spa should have drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. If you’re not sure, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.

What About Beach Swimming?

Swimming in open water is much different than swimming in a pool, but most people are not aware of the dangers, especially for children. Florida’s beaches are a glittering playground made of sun and sand–and by all means, you should enjoy the water!

You can splash in the shallows, ride the waves, or just bob up and down in the surf.

But before you dip one toe in the ocean, make sure you know these simple ocean swimming safety rules to keep you safe.

Swimming in the ocean or a large body of water is different than swimming in a pool or most small lakes. You’ll need to watch out for:

  • Riptides and undercurrents
  • Unexpected changes
  • Drop-off water depths
  • Rocks, debris, and other hazards and obstacles.
  • Whether there’s local marine life that can sting or bite
  • Boats, ships, and other watercraft that may be in the water at the same time.
  • There is bad weather in the area, such as lightning or thunderstorms.
  • Hurricane warnings

What Do Beach Flag Colors Mean?

The list below outlines what the colored flags you’ll see posted at the beach generally mean. Your local beach may differ slightly, though.

Ask a lifeguard or beach patrol if you aren’t sure what the flag means before entering the water.

  • Double red flag: water closed, no public swimming
  • Red flag: high hazard of surf and/or currents
  • Yellow flag: medium hazard or moderate surf and/or currents
  • Purple flag: dangerous marine life such as jellyfish, stingrays, or dangerous fish
  • Green flag: low hazard, calm conditions
  • Black and white checkered flag: set up along the beach, usually as a pair, to indicate separate sections to help keep swimmers and surfers safely apart in the water

Florida Residential Pool Safety Act

Protecting these young children was the reason the Florida Legislature passed the residential pool safety act and homeowners should make certain their pools are in compliance with the Act.

Watch the YouTube Video with Joe Zarzaur  >

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 or has been a victim of a drowning due to an unsafe pool, hot tub or proper, 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.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/prevention/drowning-prevention/index.html

Florida statute – http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0500-0599/0515/0515.html

https://www.today.com/parents/morgan-miller-shares-heartbreaking-plea-anniversary-daughter-s-drowning-t221539?cid=sm_npd_td_fb_ma&fbclid=IwAR3BNhSgUz3eUJ2hz_biEVcXXGLsBXC60N4Dm4gg9SA8eJPR2hk0ihWCdTE

https://pinellas.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2022/04/water-safety-month.html

https://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2022/05/03/florida-health-offers-advice-for-national-water-safety-month

https://nwsm.phta.org

Water Safety

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety.html

https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/health-news-florida/2022-01-12/florida-reports-a-rise-in-child-drownings-in-2021

https://www.visitflorida.com/travel-ideas/articles/florida-beaches-ocean-swimming-safety-tips/

Florida hit a grim new record in 2021, reporting the most child drownings since at least 2009.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db413.htm

https://www.wfla.com/8-on-your-side/98-children-drowned-in-florida-in-2021-a-record-number-according-to-state-data/

https://www.cdc.gov/drowning/facts/index.html

https://escambia.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/wellness-programs/health-messages/summer-safety/drowning-prevention/index.html

https://www.flhealthcharts.gov/ChartsReports/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=Death.DataViewer&cid=0105

https://www.flhealthcharts.gov/ChartsReports/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=Death.Dataviewer

https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/drowning

https://www.safekids.org/watersafety

National Water Safety Month Is Celebrated The Entire Month of May

Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyers – Car Accident, Wrongful Death, Malpractice

Meet Our Law Clerks: Carly Dick

Each summer, Zarzaur Law seeks out exceptional law students to join our firm for a 5-week hands-on experience. This full-time clerkship provides students with a variety of assignments and experiences with the legal team of Zarzaur Law, P.A. Each clerk, chosen from different law schools in the Southeast region, gain invaluable skills, mentorship, and knowledge within the civil litigation field.

Meet Carly Dick
Law Student at Florida State College of Law
Hometown – Fort Walton Beach, Florida

 

1. School You Are Attending And What Year Of Law School Are You In?

FSU Law. Rising 2L (Class of ’24)

2. What Area Of Law Are You Interested In Pursuing? 

I’m interesting in pursuing civil litigation

3. When Did You Know You Wanted To Be A Lawyer?

I’ve known I wanted to be a lawyer since high school, but I didn’t seriously think I could do it till college. I had a professor who I basically took all my minor courses with who was an attorney; he was brilliant and he inspired me as well as encouraged me to pursue this field.

4. What Do You Hope To Learn While Clerking At Zarzaur Law, P.A.?

I’m hoping to learn how to be an effective legal writer as well as what the day to day is like in a firm such as this one.

5. Why Did You Choose Zarzaur Law, P.A.?

I chose Zarzaur Law due to its size and reputation. My class mates, many of them wanted to go off to larger sized firms, but I was more interested in a type of firm where I would hopefully have the chance to know everyone. I’ve also heard great things about Mr. Zarzaur as an attorney and wanted the opportunity to shadow him as well as the other attorneys here.

6. Name Some Of Your Top Achievements Thus Far

I recently made the moot court team at my school, I have the opportunity to attend the University of Oxford’s law school the second half of summer, and I was recently hired to be a Themis Bar Review Campus Representative. Also, won the superlative “most sporty” by my fellow section class mates.

7. What Do You Like To Do? (Hobbies, Sports, Charity Work)

I love playing sports. I play soccer once a week and I try to play tennis when I can (and someone is willing to hit with me). I know how to crochet but unfortunately haven’t had the time lately to work on that craft. Also, I love movies, I’m constantly at the movie theater.

8. Who (Dead Or Alive) Would You Like To Meet And Why?

I would like to meet RBG; Her work as an attorney and on the Court was an inspiration to this country, and I’m sad to know I never got the chance to meet her.

9. Why Do You Love / Like Pensacola?

So I haven’t spent that much time in Pensacola, but I was walking downtown yesterday for lunch and the downtown area is beautiful.

10. Best Piece Of Advice That You Have Ever Received? (By Who?)

“Make a record for EVERYTHING”–my Mom.

Welcome aboard, Carly!

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.

Key PIP “No-Fault” Coverage Issues That You Must Know About After A Florida Car Wreck.

What Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Or No-Fault Coverage?

There are only 13 states in the United States that require every driver to purchase and maintain personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Florida is one of those 13 states. Florida drivers are required to carry at least $10,000.00 in personal injury protection coverage, which is also known as “no fault” coverage. This coverage is personal in that it insures the policyholder for the benefit of the policy. 

Initial Medical Care Time Limit And PIP Coverage

An injured party must seek medical care within 14 days after the motor vehicle accident or they lose up to $10,000.00 in case value, F.S. 627.736 (1) (a).

Initial care must be provided by a medical doctor (M.D.), doctor of osteopathy (D.O.), dentist, chiropractor, hospital, facility owned by a hospital, or by emergency medical personnel (EMS) F.S. 627.736 (1) (a)1.

How Do I Pay My Medical Bills After A Car Wreck?

If you are injured, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage from your own policy will pay for bills up to $10,000. Florida requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Projection coverage. Under Florida’s “no-fault” auto insurance law, most injured drivers seek reimbursement for accident costs from their own carrier, regardless of who caused the collision.

If your bills are higher, your own health insurance should pay for your additional medical expenses once your PIP has been exhausted. If you do not have health insurance, some providers will treat you with an agreement to be paid out of your settlement. This agreement is set up between your lawyer and the medical provider.

Emergency Medical Condition From Accident and Personal Injury Protection Coverage.

The $10,000.00 PIP limit only applies to a M.D., D.O., dentist, P.A., or APRN determining that the injured person “had” an emergency medical condition (chiropractors cannot do this). F.S. 627.736 (1) (a)3

If no emergency medical condition is documented by the proper professional, then you will only have $2,500.00 of the $10,000.00 PIP benefits. F.S. 627.(1)(a)4.

PIP cannot be used for massage therapists and acupuncturists. F.S. 627.736 (1) (a) 5.

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

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

  • Vehicle and personal property damage
  • Present and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Wrongful deathThe PIP death benefit is $5,000.00 in addition to the $10,000.00 of PIP coverage. 627.736 (1) c. F. S.

Pip Coverage Follows You No Matter What Car You Are In At The Time Of The Wreck. 

If you do not qualify for PIP under your policy and there is no auto policy in your house that you qualify for PIP under, then you may qualify for PIP in the vehicle you were occupying at the time of the wreck.

PIP coverage can assist you as an injured party in a car wreck. It can aid you in getting the treatment necessary to diagnose or be the diagnosis of your car wreck-related injuries.

It should be noted that “no-fault” insurance refers to injuries and medical bills. If your car was damaged in an accident, means the other driver was at fault and you were not at fault the cost to repair your vehicle would fall to the at fault drivers insurance policy.

How Much Will An Attorney Cost Me?

In Florida, most injury cases are paid for with a “Contingency Fee.” That means, your lawyer will be paid from any recovery. If you do not recover, the lawyer is not paid. The standard fee for Florida lawyers is 33.3 percent before suit is filed, 40 percent after suit is filed.

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

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO  >

Learn More About What To Do If You Are In An Accident From 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.

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:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0627/Sections/0627.736.html

Zarzaur Law, P.A. Sponsors Upcoming 305 Triathlon in Key Biscayne.

On May 15, 2022​, athletes will converge on Key Biscayne for Miami’s Premier Multisport experience, the 305 TRIATHLON!  Proudly brought to you by Integrity Multisport™ with Zarzaur Law, P.A. as a proud sponsor and the official personal injury law firm of the Integrity Multisport™ race series.

Athletes will enjoy a salt water swim in full view of spectators.  The bike course is set against a Miami city skyline & a pristine view of the turquoise waters of Key Biscayne.  Cyclists will have an added challenge of climbing the highest point in south Florida, with a 700 meter climb on the William Powell Bridge.  The Olympic distance athletes will have 2 opportunities to traverse this test, while the sprint distance will conquer this bridge once.

The run consists of a scenic 5K route through the park.  The sprint athletes will complete 1 lap, while the Olympic distance runners will complete two laps. Spectators will have plenty of opportunity to cheer on athletes as they run down the final finishing chute.

Friends, family & music welcome the athletes through the finish line.  The 305 Triathlon is a multi-faceted event featuring 2 race distances and 3 different races (triathlon, duathlon, and aquabike).  With the warm waters of Atlantic Ocean, the Rickenbacker climb on the bike, and a flat run, athletes will have a chance to test their limits and make new PRs on this beautiful course.

Learn More About The Race Here! >

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.

Injured In A Car Wreck While “On The Job.” How Is It Handled?

car accident on the job in florida

Injured in a car accident on the job?  Is it a personal injury case or worker’s compensation claim? Or both?

The Correct Answer Is Both.

In Florida, a motor vehicle accident that occurs while you are working is an injury that will be considered an “on the job” injury. This means that the law requires that the medical bill be paid through your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance coverage.

Does PIP Cover Injuries From An Accident While “On The Job”?

Typically, in a Florida car wreck case, your “no fault” or “personal injury protection” or “PIP coverage” will be the primary payment source for your medical expenses. This is NOT true when the wreck occurs while you are “on the clock” and working. When a motor vehicle accident occurs while you are working, you should report the wreck and the injury to your employer. Your employer then has an obligation to notify its workers’ compensation carrier. The workers’ compensation carrier will then arrange for your treatment to take place.

What Is Considered “On The Job?”

Keep in mind that driving to and from work is not considered “on the clock” and is generally NOT considered a worker’s compensation injury.  This is also true for lunch breaks and other breaks where you are not being paid at the time of the wreck.  Sometimes however if you are on a special errand for work and you are combining that with a lunch break or you are doing something for work on the way home, then it could be a worker’s compensation injury.

How Does Worker’s Compensation Work?

Consideration of the potential for worker’s compensation involvement is critical to your motor vehicle accident case. If you are the victim of a car wreck in Florida and you are working, all other insurance companies (including the at-fault driver’s insurance) will be expecting your medical bills to be paid by worker’s compensation. The at-fault driver’s insurance will not be required to pay the medical bills as the primary payor since the law requires the worker’s compensation carrier to pay those bills. If worker’s compensation is not involved when it should be, the at-fault driver’s insurance will argue that they are not liable for medical expenses because they should have been submitted to worker’s compensation.

Many Florida car wreck victims do not realize that worker’s compensation should be involved since they are usually not at their workplace when the wreck happens. Some employers do not understand that employees injured in car wrecks are actually suffering an “on the job” injury if they are on the clock at the time of the wreck. This is a critical issue and sometimes it requires that the employee direct their employer to notify the worker’s compensation carrier.

Do Not Delay Notifying Your Employer of the Accident and Injury.

Until the worker’s compensation carrier is involved, medical treatment will be delayed. This is sometimes not in the injured party’s best interest, and they are required to use their PIP coverage to get emergency care. These items need to be addressed at the outset of a case and must be handled properly or it could cause issues with both the car wreck case and the worker’s compensation case.

HOW LONG AFTER AN ACCIDENT DO I HAVE TO REPORT IT TO MY EMPLOYER?

You should report it as soon as possible but no later than thirty (30) days or your claim may be denied.

Reference: Section 440.185, Florida Statutes

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO  >

Learn More About What To Do If You Are In An Accident From 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.

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.myfloridacfo.com/division/wc/

https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/wc/employee/faq.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/motorvehicle/resources/crashdata/facts.html

 

I Rented A Golf Cart And Was Involved In A Dangerous Wreck – What Next?

golf cart accident Pensacola

If you have visited any tourist destinations in Florida or any resort community living environment, you have seen these vehicles on the road. Several years ago, the Florida legislature passed a statute that allowed golf cart access to certain roadways. The law states that such vehicles must meet basic visibility and speed standards before they can be classified as “low-speed vehicles,” but if they do, they can be used on certain public roads. Keep reading to learn more about what to do when there is a golf cart accident.

What Is An LSV?

Section 320.01(41), Florida Statutes, defines LSVs as “any four-wheeled vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour, but not greater than 25 miles per hour.”  LSVs must be registered, titled and insured with personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) insurance. Any person operating an LSV must have a valid driver license in their immediate possession.

LSVs may be operated only on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 MPH or less and must be equipped with the following safety equipment:

  • Headlamps;
  • Front and rear turn signals;
  • Stop lamps;
  • Tail lamps;
  • Reflex reflectors, red – one each side and one on the rear;
  • Exterior mirror on the driver side and an interior rear-view mirror or exterior mirror on passenger side;
  • Parking brake;
  • Windshield;
  • Seat belt for each designated seat; and a
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN).

Golf Carts

Golf carts are defined in section 320.01(22), Florida Statutes, as “a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour.” Golf carts may be operated on roadways that are designated for golf carts with a posted speed limit of 30 mph or less. Golf carts may also cross a portion of a county road which intersects a roadway that is approved for golf carts, or that intersects a golf course or mobile home park. In both examples, the roadway should have signs posted that golf carts share the roadway. The operation of golf carts on roads must comply with any more restrictive ordinances enacted by the local government and should be verified prior to operating these vehicles.

Golf carts are not required to be titled or registered and, therefore, are not required to be insured with PIP. Golf cart operators are not required to have a driver’s license; however, to operate a golf cart on designated public roadways, a person must be 14 years or older.

Issues With Low-Speed Vehicles

Here is the issue with these low-speed vehicles: not only can they cause a golf cart accident, but they also are not safe on roads that are predominately comprised of regular vehicle traffic. If the roadway is not mostly full-sized vehicles, then it seems more appropriate to consider the limited use of these low-speed vehicles. 

However, resort towns are the worst for even regular vehicle collisions since people are not familiar with the roads or directions and are typically distracted by sightseeing or confusion.

A Dangerous Novelty

So if you know that tourist roadways are already a dangerous place to drive, even in a full-sized car, and you add to these roadways (many less visible vehicles), it could spell disaster. Then, considering these low-speed vehicles offer basically no protection from a collision with a full-sized vehicle, it should make the decision easy to reject outright. But people are on vacation, and they want to feel like they are on vacation. They want their families to have experiences that they would not be able to have at home.

Perhaps, they feel that riding a golf cart on a street that is covered with full-sized vehicles is such a novelty that it is too much to pass up. We would suggest that you also consider what is likely to happen to you and your family even if there is a low-speed collision with a full-sized vehicle.

What Happens In An Accident? 

What is likely to happen is that the golf cart or scoot coupe will be launched forward and perhaps over. The scoot coupe or golf cart will likely be crushed, and your family will have little protection from the crash. These vehicles (scoot coupes, golf carts) are not subject to testing for safety purposes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is not dedicated to studying crash data between cars and golf carts or scoot coupes.

No Safety Features

Our country has made such great advances in vehicle safety in the last decade. These safety features include airbags, automated driving functions, blind spot warnings, and other features meant to help drivers avoid collisions or protect them once a collision occurs. Then we decide to go backward and allow the most unsafe vehicles on the road, along with cars and trucks. It almost defies logic.

Just Because It Is Legal Doesn’t Mean It Is Safe

Florida’s laws are controlled, in large part, by tourism interests. If the tourist lobby supports a law, it will likely get through the legislature. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean that it is safe. This is a prime example of that statement.

In the event that you or a loved one is involved in a collision between a low-speed vehicle and a car or truck, you have rights that need to be protected. Your car insurance may apply in this case, and the other driver’s car insurance will also likely apply. The rental agency may also share in the responsibility if the golf cart was not street legal or wasn’t actually a low-speed vehicle. If you are in need of a free consultation about one of these low speed vehicle, golf cart, or scoot coup collisions, our firm is available 24/7 and on weekends at zarzaurlaw.com or 855Hirejoe.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO  >


Learn More About What To Do If You Are In An Accident From 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.

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:

Car Wreck Checklist

https://www.flhsmv.gov/?s=low+speed+vehicle+accidents

https://www.flhsmv.gov/pdf/crashreports/crash_facts_2019_ada.pdf

Bicycle Wreck Checklist

bicycle accident checklistAccording to the latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida is the deadliest state in the country for bicycle accidents. In all, 846 bicyclists were killed in the United States, with Florida taking the lead with 161 deaths.

Most jurisdictions, whether state, county, or city, have some form of “bike law(s)” that apply to both motorists and cyclists. Understanding those laws is a great first step for many and should be reviewed on a regular basis by seasoned cyclists regardless of the purpose of the endeavor: recreation, commuting, etc.

Bicycle vs. Car Accident

In these situations, it is far more likely that the cyclist will be significantly injured. In fact, Florida has the highest rate of bicycle accident deaths in the US (0.75 per 100,000 residents versus the national average of 0.26). A higher number of bicycles on the road surely plays a part in this statistic.

Steps to Avoiding An Accident With A Vehicle

This is along the lines of what is in the personal control of the cyclist, and much of this is also addressed by bike laws:

  • A tuned, functional, and road-fit bicycle (brakes, reflectors)
  • Adequate safety lights (forward and backward facing)
  • A safe helmet intended for bicycle use
  • Bright or reflective attire
  • Eyewear for the weather or daylight conditions.

Proper planning is also in the control of the cyclist, though not mandated by bike laws:

  • Choosing a well-lit route
  • Choosing roadways with fewer obstacles such as crossroads, driveways, and construction zones
  • Avoiding dawn and dusk riding when a blinding sun may be on the horizon… The list could go on depending on the specifics of the cycling location chosen.

These factors, combined with the notion of respecting the rules of the road and anticipating vehicles and other pedestrians (“riding defensively”), are a fantastic frame for controlling what can be controlled to the best of the ability of the cyclist.

bicycle wreck checklistIn the unfortunate event that a motorist versus cyclist accident does occur, this should be treated much like any other motor vehicle accident involving cars-attention to the health, safety, and wellness of those involved with immediate deployment of emergency medical personnel and law enforcement. Documentation of the scene (photos), notation of or digital voice memos regarding the incident (document the weather and road conditions, time of day, identification of all parties and vehicles involved (first and last name, phone number, dates of birth, vehicle make/model/color, license plate or tag numbers), identification of any witnesses to the event (first and last name, contact information), documentation of any bodily injuries, including damage to property

Bicycle Accident Checklist

1. Call the police and report the accident (even if you don’t think you are hurt).

2. Pay attention to and remember what the other party says about how the accident occurred.

3. Preserve the condition of your bike, helmet, clothing, lighting, and other property.

4. Report the crash to your own car insurance company as soon as possible. Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to accident claims (let your lawyer deal with the at-fault party and their insurance company).

5. Personal Injury Protection. Under Florida law, your car insurance is “primary” for your medical bills.  Allow the ER or hospital to bill you through your car insurance.

6. Keep documentation of the accident. Police report, photos of the bike (etc.), the scene, surroundings, other party’s vehicle

7. Keep track of injuries.

8. Don’t discuss the accident on social media.

9. Consult a personal injury lawyer that specializes in bicycle accidents in Florida.

10. Always remember: you are invisible on a bicycle.

Seek Medical Care (even if you think the injury is minor)

Seeking medical care for a thorough assessment by a qualified medical professional (emergency department, urgent care, primary care provider, medical specialist) should not be overlooked or delayed.

The most common injuries, such as skin abrasions (i.e., road rash), may be a harbinger of an underlying injury such as fractures, dislocations, cardiopulmonary or vascular injury, or disrupted tendons/ligaments, while a broken helmet could be an indication that an evaluation for intracranial, neck, or cervical spine injury may be warranted.

Test Your Bike Law Knowledge

Test your knowledge

https://flbikesafetyquiz.com

For more information review the links below and research the organizations specific to your locale:

CDC Bicycle Safety

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

2021 Florida Statutes – 316.2065:  Bicycle regulations

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.2065.html

Florida Bicycle Association

https://floridabicycle.org

Bike Pensacola

https://www.bikepensacola.org/

West Florida Wheelmen

https://www.westfloridawheelmen.org/advocacy

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 bicycle accident involving a vehicle, 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://media.acg.aaa.com//content/1205/files/2019%20Q2%20Consumer%20Pulse_Bicycle%20Safety.pdf

2019 data release – published October 2021

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813197

https://divingdaily.com/2022/04/24/5-bicycle-safety-tips-every-rider-should-know/

What Are The 9 Steps In Determining Whether A Potential Medical Malpractice Case Is Worthy Of Pursuing Legally?

First, it is important to realize that most incidents of medical malpractice go without any legal action. Many events occur, and patients or their facilities never realize that their bad results were related to potential medical malpractice. Other cases do get the attention of the patient or the patient’s family but do not warrant a medical malpractice action. Then there are a select number of cases where there is medical malpractice AND the case justifies the pursuit of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

This discussion will center on the process that Zarzaur Law will utilize in evaluating each and every potential medical malpractice action. Initially, it should be understood that Florida’s medical malpractice laws greatly favor medical providers. The statutes dealing with bringing medical malpractice lawsuits have been amended several times over the years to erect more and more barriers to suing medical providers. Each one of these barriers has not only made it more complex to bring legal action but also increased the costs associated with prosecuting a medical malpractice case.

Unlike in every other legal case in Florida, healthcare workers being sued for malpractice enjoy greater protection from suit. Since the system is basically stacked against our clients/patient victims, our evaluation is measured against the backdrop that will advantage the healthcare worker. It is not a level playing field, and we have to factor this bias into the evaluation from the start.

Also, it is worth mentioning that, all else being equal (which it is not given the discussion above), when you walk into a courtroom, doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers already get the benefit of the doubt. We tell clients that, as a plaintiff seeking money damages, you are immediately viewed as a suspect. The opposite is also true for police officers, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers. Potential jurors view each of those professions with huge respect and admiration. All of these biases have to be considered by you and your law firm from the start of the process. We are not evaluating a case in a vacuum; we are evaluating your case in the jurisdiction in which it will be litigated.

Now, let’s talk about the steps in the process of a medical malpractice evaluation.

There are nine basic steps to evaluating a Florida Medical Malpractice case:

1. Obtain Medical Records:

This sounds simple. It is not. Many patients have some records when they first meet with us. They rarely have all of the records. These days, medical records are mostly kept in an electronic format known as an EMR, or electronic medical record. The hospitals do not produce the “audit trail” for any patient when they provide copies of medical records. The audit trail captures all of the touches to the file and documents any changes made to the EMR, while also recording the time and identity of the revisions. Generally, this part of the process takes between 30-60 days to complete in total. Our firm is able to utilize certain Florida Medical Malpractice statutes that require a 10 day turn-around and if the provider does not comply, then it relieves the compliance with other requirements. Many providers do not comply with the 10-day statute for providing records, but we still need the records for the case. So, we generally have to wait until they are provided. This usually takes up to 60 days to make sure we have ALL of the medical records. As you can imagine, it is invaluable to have a board-certified internal medicine doctor on staff who can review these records as they are provided to make certain that we are not being provided incomplete records.

2. Complete A Legal And Medical Review

Once all of the medical records and the related audit trail are provided, the medical and legal review can start.  First, the medical review takes place with the use of our full-time medical doctor staff member. This means that our firm can review a potential medical malpractice case as soon as the records are received. So, usually within the first 75 days, we will have the medical records in the office and then have them reviewed by our physician. This review will provide us with all of the information that we suspected since the first discussion with you about your case.

Dr. Malone will review these records and will meet with one of our lawyers to discuss the medical issues involved. At that point, Mr. Zarzaur will be brought into the review, and there will be a discussion of the medical mistakes, the medical defenses, and other legal issues that could be related to the fact situation. This part of the process only takes a few days to finalize. The longest part of the review process is not really the review. Once the review is completed and if there is a decision to continue with the case, we have to determine which providers or facilities will be the primary targets of the case.

Determining the targets of the case is critical at this point since, under Florida Medical Malpractice law, a case must employ experts in each medical field that is at issue. The Florida Medical Malpractice law requires that each expert hired and used by a Plaintiff must have similar credentials to the target of the case. So, if you are going after a General Surgeon who is board-certified, then your expert has to be a General Surgeon who is board-certified.

So, we not only research the medical issues involved, but we also have to dive into the credentials of each target in the case to ensure we have a correct statement of their credentials. We then must seek out experts that will meet the standards of Florida Medical Malpractice law. If they agree to serve as experts in the case, we can then move to the next step. This entire review process usually takes only a week or two to complete.

3. Gather Expert Opinions And Have Them Sign An Expert Affidavit For The Presuit Process.

As discussed above, once we have identified a qualified expert for each target of the medical malpractice case, we then contact the expert and make arrangements for that expert to review the medical records. The expert will generally review the medical records and then follow that up with a call between our firm and the expert. This call is attended by our firm physician and Mr. Zarzaur. During this call, the expert will explain whether they feel that the conduct as reflected in the records rises to the level of medical negligence.

If the expert does conclude that the conduct amounts to negligence, then the expert will be asked to draft a statement or a Presuit affidavit, aka a corroborating medical opinion. This sworn statement is required by Florida Medical Malpractice law unless the law exempts this requirement. If the expert does not feel that the conduct in the records does not amount to medical negligence or that the negligence was not the medical cause of the injury or death, then the case is over.

We will inform you as soon as possible that our investigation is complete and the expert does not feel that the matter should be pursued. As you can imagine, speaking with these experts by phone helps immensely when you have a medical doctor at the law firm. The medical doctor experts really like to speak with “one of their own” when a law firm is calling.

4. Prepare And Serve The Notice Of Intention To Sue

Once we have the medical opinion affidavit(s), we can now draft the notice of intent to sue. This notice is required to have information and if anything is omitted, the case could be dismissed. It is critical that this notice of intent and its attachments be drafted exactly as required by the Florida Medical Malpractice Act. If the law firm you are considering has not performed this function on a regular basis, it is a potential minefield of mistakes for the inexperienced.

The notice of intent also has to include medical authorizations that are specific to this process and executed by the client. The document must also include the names of providers that have rendered care to the client or decedent for a period of 10 years. Then, of course, the expert affidavit (s) must also be included. The package must be sent out via certified mail, and proof of delivery must be retained for the file.

Once this notice of intent is served, the Presuit period has begun. The defendant has 60 days from the receipt of the notice of intent to respond. Keep in mind that the parties can voluntarily extend the time of the presuit period, so sometimes the process could take longer.

5. Presuit Discovery

Discovery is basically the trading of information. Discovery is typical once a lawsuit is filed, but Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act allows for limited discovery even before the medical malpractice lawsuit is filed. This is called the “presuit discovery process.” Each party can ask for documents and can also ask that each party provide informal statements. Defendants are usually asked to take the informal (unsworn) statement of the plaintiff or personal representative of the plaintiff’s estate. They do this for two reasons.

First, they do this because they can and the law allows it. Second, they want to know how credible the client will be once the case is filed. The legal reason that the Florida Medical Malpractice Act allowed for Presuit discovery was to encourage an early resolution of the case.

The fact is that most cases do not result in early settlements despite the exchange of information at this early stage. We still must comply with the legal obligation. If you don’t, then your case can be dismissed for failure to comply with the Florida Medical Malpractice Act.

6. Presuit Process Concludes

The Defendants can conduct their own review of the Plaintiff’s notice of intent and affidavits, and then meet and consult with their own experts. The Florida Medical Malpractice Act allows for the Defendant’s to admit negligence. If they admit to a medical mistake, then the defendant is entitled to a cap on damages for pain and suffering. This cap is typically $350,000.00 on those damages.

This means that if the defendant admits negligence during the Presuit process, they will gain the use of a damage cap on pain and suffering damages. This admission will also include a demand for arbitration, which means that they also want to meet and discuss a full resolution of all claims before suit is filed. If the informal settlement is not successful in resolving all issues, then the plaintiff can proceed with litigation, but since the defendant admitted liability, they get to take advantage of the damage cap even in the lawsuit.

Defendants do not admit negligence often, so the most likely conclusion to the Presuit process is their denial of liability. This denial is due within 90 days of the service of the notice of intent unless there is some agreement to extend it. If the defendant does not answer within 90 days, then the matter is deemed denied. This denial or the expiration of the pursuit time period gives clearance to the plaintiff to file the medical malpractice lawsuit.

7. Lawsuit And Discovery Draft And File

Now the case can finally be filed. If there was a mistake made during presuit, the defendant may file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, citing the deficiencies in the presuit period. This is why it is vital for lawyers to make certain that they take care to comply with the presuit statutes set out in the Florida Medical Malpractice Act. The lawsuit should be specific enough to explain the basis of the negligence, but not so specific as to prevent you from expanding the theory upon learning more from the discovery in the case.

The written discovery requests to the health care providers and facilities will include much of the EMR and the meta data, including the audit trail. Medical records are virtually all kept electronically these days. This means that each note in the record will have a track record showing the exact date and time of each entry as well as a username for such an entry. This is obviously a critical element since the timing of entries is typically related to the quality of the medical care provided.

8. Medical Malpractice Depositions

Perhaps the most effective tool in the litigation process is the witness deposition. Lawyers cannot control their witnesses in the same way that they can with discovery papers. A witness is on their own in a sworn deposition and they are subject to aggressive questioning. Most of the defendant healthcare providers have rarely, if ever, been questioned about their actions regarding anything in their adult life. Some of them do not handle such examinations well. As you can imagine, many defendant healthcare providers treat these cases and the lawyers that bring them as a nuisance to their existence. They feel above this system of justice and that their judgment should never be questioned. This trait is not really compatible with our system of justice since it usually comes across as aloof or as if the witness is either hiding something or both.

These depositions help level the playing field. Again, having a board-certified physician sitting across the table from the target physician is immensely helpful to our clients. Doctors typically engage in what I will call “jargon subterfuge.” When they feel a tight spot coming in a deposition, they will sprinkle some medical jargon into a sentence, attempting to justify their action or inaction. This subterfuge may sound good to the average person, but when a fellow doctor is in the room, this type of subterfuge stinks up the room. Most lawyers do not have their experts at depositions, and most do not have full-time physicians on staff. Dr. Malone attends all depositions for our medical malpractice clients, and the target doctors know that they will be sitting at a table with not only an experienced litigator but also a board-certified internal medicine physician. This fact has made the medical malpractice depositions in our firm much more productive for our clients.

The same is true for the deposition of the medical experts for the defendants. They often come up with some ridiculous defenses that involve both logical and medical gymnastics. These experts have a more difficult task of coming up with illogical medical defenses when they can be shot down in real time by a team composed of an experienced physician and lawyer.

The depositions in a Florida Medical Malpractice case can last for years. This portion of the case takes time because it generally involves coordinating schedules between several parties and their lawyers. Further, it is imperative that all fact witnesses and parties be deposed first, and then you can move on to the expert depositions.

9. Mediation And Trial

Once the discovery is completed or is completed enough so that each party has the ability to see what the other party has as evidence of their claim or defense, the parties can meet and discuss the possibility of settlement of the claims. This meeting is called mediation. It is an informal meeting of the parties and their lawyers, usually at a neutral third-party lawyer’s office. This neutral lawyer is called a mediator. He/She serves as an unconnected lawyer who can assist in trying to find out if the parties have enough common ground on the case that would allow for some amount of money that both could agree to settle the claims.

Mediation is successful about 60% to 70% of the time in Florida Medical Malpractice cases. All parties are required to participate in mediation since the judge orders the participation. You will be provided preparation before the mediation, but you will have no active role in the process other than evaluating the other party’s arguments and determining whether the offers that they are making are reasonable enough to provide counter demands to them.

If the case is not settled at mediation and then not settled between mediation and trial, then the case will go to trial. If the case goes to trial, we will be calling all of the witnesses that have been deposed in the case as witnesses or cross-examining them as defense witnesses. Again, our firm will meet with you for a few days to prepare you for the trial.

As you can see, the Florida Medical Malpractice process is not a quick and simple process. It is critical that the law firm and lawyer handling your Florida medical malpractice case not only have experience in this area, but also have the resources and staff to handle this type of case. Zarzaur Law has purposely created a firm that is best suited for medical malpractice cases. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice and would like a free consultation, please contact us at zarzaurlaw.com or call 855HireJoe.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE 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.

Sources:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0766/0766ContentsIndex.html

 

Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyers – Car Accident, Wrongful Death, Malpractice