Tag Archives: Best personal injury lawyer in Pensacola

Is There a Cap On Personal Injury Damages in Florida?

The amount of money a successful plaintiff receives in a personal injury lawsuit is often referred to as “damages.” In most states, and in most kinds of personal injury cases, a jury is usually free to award whatever amount they think appropriate.

The state of Florida imposes no caps on compensatory damages. Plaintiffs do, however, need to fully document any damages they might be claiming.

Florida Damage Caps (Personal Injury Cases)

Economic Damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc) – no Limit

Non-Economic Damages (pain & suffering, mental anguish, etc) – No Limit

Punitive Damages (awards to punish seriously unethical or bad behavior) – 3x the amount of compensatory damages (financial losses: loss of wages, medical bills, etc) or $500,000, whichever is greater.

An economic damage award seeks to make a victim whole again by restoring him or her to the financial state he or she enjoyed prior to the accident. Florida does not place any caps on economic damages, allowing a plaintiff to recover the full value of his or her monetized losses.

Although Florida used to have a cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice claims, as of 2017, the Florida Supreme Court ruled this cap unconstitutional and unfair for victims.

What Are Personal Injury Damage Caps?

Damage caps are laws that place a maximum on the amount of financial compensation available for an accident victim’s losses. Once an award reaches this cap, the victim cannot recover any further compensation, even if a jury awarded an amount that exceeds the state’s cap.

The purpose of a damage cap is to discourage frivolous or fraudulent personal injury claims. Limiting the number of damages available may dissuade someone from bringing a claim solely to pursue a large award.

Damage caps can also protect a community by limiting an entity’s financial liability, such as the government or a health care center. For this reason, damage caps in different states are most common in medical malpractice claims.

Damage Caps in Florida

Is There a Cap On Personal Injury Damages in FLIn Florida, you can recover three types of damages after suffering a personal injury. These are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages are compensatory damages, whereas punitive damages are non-compensatory damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant and thus are rarely awarded in personal injury cases. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses and lost wages. Examples of non-economic damages include loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.

Florida doesn’t place any caps on economic damages. Therefore, after a Florida accident, you can recover the full value of your monetized losses. However, you need to prove all the economic damages you are claiming before you can be fully compensated. That is why you need to document all your damages after an accident. For example, ensure you record all your medical expenses after an accident.

There are also no caps on non-economic damages in Florida in all personal injury cases. Although state law still includes a cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases, that cap no longer exists. In 2017, the state’s courts ruled against that cap.

Punitive Damages In Florida

In Florida, the only damage caps in place are the ones on punitive damages. The following is a look at how Florida limits the amount of money that can be awarded as punishment for wrongdoing;

  • If it is determined that a wrongful act was motivated solely by unreasonable financial gain and the wrongdoer knew about the injuries that their actions resulted in, the amount of the punitive damages should not be four times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or exceed $2 million.
  • If it is determined that the defendant had the motive to inflict harm on the plaintiff and the actions of the defendant did, in fact, cause harm to the plaintiff, there is no restriction on the punitive damages to be awarded.
  • In all other situations, the amount of the punitive damages should be the greater of three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $500,000.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC >

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

If you’ve been injured by the negligence of another it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Sources:

https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/damage-caps-limits-compensation.html

Passenger Safety and Rights – National Passenger Safety Week.

A car accident can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you may be especially confused about the legal process you must follow in accordance with Florida law. Not only is it important to know your legal rights as a passenger, but it is also important to know how you as a passenger can help play a more active role in your own safety and that of others.

 

Roadway Deaths Are On The Rise

U.S. roadway deaths are rising again at an alarming rate. People are still driving recklessly. Drunk, drugged and distracted driving are on the rise. Just telling people to drive safely isn’t enough.

 

National Passenger Safety Week

That is why We Save Lives and the National Road Safety Foundation launched The National Passenger Safety Campaign, to bring together other organizations  that believe that it’s time to focus on the passenger, and not just the driver. The goal is to promote safe driving practices and prevent unsafe ones by empowering passengers to “SPEAK UP” when their lives are in danger due to a reckless driver. So far more than 60 other organizations have joined the coalition, with more to come.

In 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) added the campaign to their national calendar. National Passenger Safety Week is now an ongoing event, the last week in January of every year.

 

Passengers Can Make A Difference

Passengers can make a difference, because “one courageous voice can change one deadly choice.” A car accident lawyer may help you determine who you should make your personal injury claim with when you’re a passenger in a vehicle. 

 

2020 PASSENGER FATALITY STATISTICS

 

What Do You Do And What Special Considerations Do A Passenger Have That Are In A Vehicle That Is At Fault Or Not At Fault For A Car Accident?

1. Identify the driver at fault – is it the driver of the car you are riding in or the driver of another vehicle?

2. Do both drivers share liability? If you rode as a passenger in one of the vehicles you may file a claim with both insurance companies in order to recover costs. 

3. What if the driver is a family member or coworker or friend? 

4. Do passengers ever share liability for an accident? In the case of a passenger willingly getting into a car with a driver that is drunk or otherwise intoxicated driver could cause your claim to be dismissed by the driver’s insurance company. A claim can also be dismissed if the passenger distracted the driver. 

5. Important to document, just the same as a driver in an accident. You will need to find out how the accident occurred and document it when filing your claim or contacting an attorney to assist you with your case. Follow the car wreck checklist – just like if you were the driver. 

6. The types of damages you can claim – Medical bills (including future medical bills), property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, and permanent injury or disability

 

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC >

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

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

Sources:

https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/passenger-vehicle-occupants

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/national-passenger-safety-week-campaign-150000747.html

https://nationalpassengersafety.org

https://wesavelives.org

Will My Insurance Rates Go Up After a Car Accident in Florida?

Being in a car accident in Florida can be frightening and even life-changing. After you have determined your injuries and damages to your vehicle and contacted an attorney, etc., the next scary and valid concern is “Will my insurance rates go up because of a car accident?”

 

Factors That Contribute To Insurance Rate Increases

Some of the most commonly reviewed factors that insurance companies consider when determining your car insurance premium include:

Driving history
Credit score
Age
Zip code
History of making claims

 

How Do Credit Scores Affect Car Insurance Rates?

A driver’s credit score has a noticeable effect on car insurance prices. The vast majority of insurers use credit scores as a factor.

Your credit score, also called a FICO Score, is calculated based on five factors, all related to your borrowing history and current situation.

 

 

Payment history: 35%
Amount owed: 30%
Length of credit history: 15%
Mix of credit types: 10%
New credit: 10%

Credit scores range from 300 to 850. They are often divided into several tiers.

A credit-based insurance score doesn’t measure how creditworthy you are, but rather how risky you are from an auto insurance perspective, based on your creditworthiness.

 

Per Florida Statutes §626.9541,
your car insurance should
not go up after an accident
unless you were “substantially at fault.”

 

Rate increases based on an at-fault accident can stay in effect for three to five years. This can quickly add up, which is why proving the other party’s fault is so crucial.

 

Florida Is A No-Fault State

As a no-fault state, persons involved in a car accident are required to file a claim with their insurance company first. Regardless of who caused the Florida car accident, accident victims must contact their insurance company to file a claim under their PIP insurance policy.

 

But The Accident Wasn’t Your Fault

If you weren’t at fault for an accident, it might not count against you at all.

States take varying approaches. In the 12 states with no-fault insurance, your insurance rates are more likely to go up after a crash, even if you aren’t at fault. That’s because in these states, everyone involved in an accident makes claims to their insurance policies for their own injuries (and their passengers’ injuries). So your insurer must pay on your behalf, regardless of whether you caused the crash.

 

But some states (like Florida)
prohibit insurance companies
from raising your premium
if the accident wasn’t your fault.

 

If you are not liable for a car accident, your insurance rates should not increase. Rates should only increase when you are at-fault for an accident that causes injuries or other damages.

For example, the following situation should not result in an increase in your insurance rates:

  • You were the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
  • Your car was hit by another vehicle when it was legally parked.
  • Your car was rear-ended by another vehicle.
  • Your car was T-boned by another vehicle.
  • Your car was side-swiped by another vehicle.
  • A collision with an animal or damage caused by falling or flying objects

Be aware that your insurance company may require documentation that supports the fact that you were not at-fault for the accident. You may be asked to provide a copy of the police report, a statement from the other driver’s insurance company showing they accept fault for the accident, the other driver’s written statement, a statement from you about what happened, and any other evidence to support that you were not at fault. This is where an experienced car accident/personal injury attorney, like Joe Zarzaur, can help guide you through this process and help protect your rights.

 

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC >

 

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

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

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

 

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

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

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

https://www.valuepenguin.com/how-does-your-credit-score-affect-auto-insurance-rates

https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/rate-increase-poor-credit/

https://www.thezebra.com/resources/research/credit-insurance-rates/

https://www.autoinsurance.org/what-auto-insurance-companies-use-a-credit-score/

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries

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

Busy and Dangerous Highways in Florida

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

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

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

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

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

Common Injuries From A Car Accident

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

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

Spinal cord injuries and paralysis

Back Injuries/disc injuries

Burns

Internal injuries

Fractures and broken bones

What Is The Most Common Injury?

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

Concussion

Traumatic brain injury

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

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

Types of Car Accidents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avoiding Serious Injury

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

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

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC

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

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

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

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

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

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

Sources:

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

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

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

January Legal Graffiti Event To Benefit Central Gulf Coast CDF Freedom Schools.

Zarzaur Law’s first Legal Graffiti event of 2023 will be on Friday, Jan. 20 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. during Gallery Night. This month’s event benefits Central Gulf Coast CDF Freedom Schools®!

Come join us and enjoy FREE games, hands on art activities, music, and more at Legal Graffiti… Remember, the more you donate to spray paint, the more we can match your dollar for dollar and give to Freedom School!

DID YOU KNOW?

A child’s ability to read on grade level by the third grade is the No. 1 indicator of whether that student will complete high school, and yet in 2022, 74% of African American and 65% of economically disadvantaged Escambia County third-grade public school students will not be proficient in reading. 

WHAT CDF FREEDOM SCHOOLS DOES

The CDF Freedom Schools® program is a six-week long summer enrichment program with three hours of reading per day. This program allows the most vulnerable children in our community access to essential enrichment…. AT NO COST TO THE CHILD’S FAMILY.

ABOUT CDF FREEDOM SCHOOLS®

January Legal Graffiti Event Freedom Schools successfully address summer reading loss and a related decrease in students’ motivation to read.

In addition to offering high-quality academic enrichment, CDF Freedom Schools supports children and families in the areas of parent and family involvement, civic engagement and social action, intergenerational leadership development, and health — physical, mental, and nutritional. With the support of caring adults and communities, we will aid our children’s successful journey into adulthood.

Learn more about CDF Freedom Schools® at cgcfreedomschools.org

SAVE THE DATE! 

Friday, Jan. 20 – 5-9pm in Downtown Pensacola during Gallery Night!

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.

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

Watch our “Legal Graffiti” highlight video! 

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

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

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

#zarzaurlaw #gallerynightpensacola #downtownpensacola #legalgraffiti #spraypaint #community #event #fundraiser #pensacola #art #culture #education #summerschool #literacy #givingback #lawfirm #floridalawyer

How Do Medical Liens Affect Your Personal Injury Case?

So, you’re involved in a car wreck or you have some type of traumatic injury that is due to the fault of another person or business, and you end up pursuing a personal injury case. 

Whether the case goes to court or not, and most of them don’t and are settled out of court, you may think that the only things that matter are what you owe the law firm in fees, which is usually one-third, and then what you receive. But what some people don’t remember is that there is usually also some type of medical bill issue that has to be dealt with.

What Is A Settlement Lien?

Many people are surprised to learn that in certain situations, the state and federal governments, health insurance companies, and hospitals can assert a claim against your personal injury settlement.

When you have been the victim of an accident and have filed a personal injury lawsuit to recover the cost of medical bills, the people who paid for these medical costs may be able to file a medical lien against your settlement proceeds. 

A LIEN IS A DEMAND FOR REPAYMENT THAT MAY BE PLACED AGAINST THE SETTLEMENT OF YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE.

Subrogation: If You Have Health Insurance.

If you have health insurance, then your health insurance has a legal right to reimbursement called subrogation that has to be satisfied before your case can be closed. The extent and strength of the subrogation claim depends upon the language used in the policy. Some states strictly prohibit an insurance company from placing a subrogation clause in a health insurance policy, so you should check the laws in your state.

Lien Agreement: If You Don’t Have Health Insurance.

If a client does not have health insurance, a healthcare provider will often require a lien agreement prior to providing treatment to guarantee payment for their services. When this occurs, the healthcare provider will often assert a lien on a personal injury case to ensure reimbursement once the case is resolved.

1) The most common lien deducted from a personal injury settlement is to the client’s health insurance provider.

2) Most health insurance contracts provide for reimbursement if a client receives compensation for an injury for which the insurer paid for treatment.

3) Lawyers must honor these liens but can take action to reduce them for you.

What Is A Medical Lien?

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the state of Florida are required to provide care for individuals who need it but cannot pay immediately. If the outstanding costs are not paid, the healthcare facility will be legally allowed to retrieve the funds from your personal injury settlement by issuing a medical lien.

Accurate Medical Documentation Is Important Before Settling Your Injury Case.

This is why it is important that you  keep copies of all medical documentation, including bills, health reports, travel expenses (to and from medical appointments), and other expenses related to your injury. Your lawyer can help you calculate all of your damages so that you can seek a fair amount of compensation, while also helping you manage your liens.

What About Government Health Care?

The general rule is that if the government paid for any portion of your medical care, they have a right to get paid back if you later recover money for your injuries from another party. Depending on the specific type of government program, some government agencies, (Medicare and Medicaid Liens, Veteran’s Administration) have different rights when it comes to placing a lien against your settlement. Some entities have the right to recover a portion of the proceeds from your personal injury lawsuit.

All of that is handled by the law firm that receives the fee, in this case, our firm. So when you’re involved in an accident and you’re considering what you may settle your case for, it’s always important that you pay attention.

If they are legally enforceable, rights to reimbursement by the medical providers. You have to consider those when you’re considering what you’re going to pocket from your injury case.

Negotiating Medical Liens

Medical liens are negotiable. This means an experienced personal injury firm like Zarzaur Law, P.A., can negotiate with the insurance company to reduce the subrogation lien for less than the amount it spent on your behalf. An agreement on a reduced lien means you’ll receive a larger settlement at the end of your case.

It’s often a good idea to have an experienced attorney negotiate on your behalf. Skilled injury lawyers negotiate medical (subrogation) liens regularly.

An experienced accident attorney, like Joe Zarzaur, also knows the subrogation lien laws and how to protect your rights.

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. 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. Consult with an experienced accident  lawyer who has the knowledge and credentials to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website. Offices in Pensacola, Destin and Miami.

Sources:

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

https://www.enjuris.com/personal-injury-law/subrogation-claims.html

https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-is-subrogation-and-how-does-it-affect-my-car-accident-case-

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0600-0699/0641/Sections/0641.315.html

New Florida Laws Going Into Effect On New Year’s Day – Including Toll Relief And Miya’s Law.

Several new laws in Florida are set to take effect on New Year’s Day 2023. These new laws will focus on issues like newborn health care, disaster assistance, tenant protection, disaster relief, and one that will be well received by many Florida drivers – toll relief.

For many Florida drivers, especially those who travel toll bridges in South Florida and the Florida Panhandle, the Florida Toll Relief Program will save Florida electronic toll customers money.

TOLL RELIEF FOR COMMUTERS (SB 6-A)

During a special session, lawmakers approved a measure (SB 6-A) that grants 50 percent credits to motorists who record 35 or more toll road trips in a month. The program will last a year, with lawmakers agreeing to spend $500 million to help toll agencies make up for lost revenue.

Learn more and find out which Florida Tolls are a part of the program – https://floridasturnpike.com/tollrelief/

Florida commuters who use a transponder (like SunPass) will get toll rebates in 2023 under a bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. On the bill, commuters are credited with 50% of their toll if their transponder is used at least 35 times a month.

ADDITIONAL FLORIDA LAWS
THAT GO INTO EFFECT JAN. 1, 2023

LOBBYING RESTRICTIONS FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS (HB 7001 & HB 7003)

New legislation (HB 7001 and HB 7003) will implement a constitutional amendment voters overwhelmingly approved in 2018, taking the two-year time certain officials have to wait to begin lobbying after leaving government posts to be extended to six years. The restrictions apply to lawmakers, heads of state agencies, judges and many local officials.


Also read:
These new Florida laws will go into effect in January 2023

DISASTER RELIEF (SB 4-A)

In response to the devastating 2021 collapse of Surfside’s Champlain Towers South building, lawmakers authorized the provision of property tax rebates if residential properties are rendered uninhabitable for 30 days. During the December special session, lawmakers passed a measure (SB 4-A) to offer similar rebates to homeowners who suffered damage from Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole. Property owners can apply to real estate appraisers in the district between January 1st and April 1st.


LAND PROTECTION

Part of the state budget will free up $300 million in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for land acquisition.

PUBLIC NOTICES (HB 7049) 

Legislators have approved a measure (HB 7049) allowing local governments to publish legal notices on county websites instead of in newspapers. Local governments in counties with fewer than 160,000 residents must first hold public hearings to determine if residents have adequate internet access.

PROPERTY INSURANCE (SB 2-A)

Lawmakers authorized the ending of a controversial practice known as assignment of property insurance benefits during this month’s special session. The practice involves homeowners assigning claims to contractors, who then collect payments from insurers. The prohibition on assigning benefits (SB 2-A) applies to policies issued on or after January 1st.

EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION RATES (HB 7027) 

An 8.4 percent average cut in workers’ compensation rates goes into effect in January, marking the sixth straight year that average rates have fallen.

COURTS OF APPEAL (HB 7027)

Florida’s appellate courts are being reorganized on January 1 under a law (HB 7027) that created a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and changed the jurisdictions of the 1st Circuit Circuit Court of Appeals, the 2nd Circuit Circuit Court of Appeals and the 5th Circuit Circuit Court of Appeals.

MIYA’S LAW (SB 898)

Legislators passed a measure (SB 898) that requires landlords to conduct background checks on all employees. The bill, titled “Miya’s Law,” came after the death of 19-year-old Miya Marcano, a Valencia College student, who disappeared from her Orlando apartment in September and was found dead a week later. The alleged killer, who later committed suicide, worked as a janitor at Marcano’s condominium.

Miya’s Law: Portions of Florida’s Tenant Protection Act go into effect in the new year

Changes are on the way aimed at making Florida renters safer. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 898, or “Miya’s Law,” into law this summer, and major portions will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

TEXTBOOK SELECTION (HB 1467)

As part of a broader Education Act (HB 1467), the legislature required that by January 1, a training program must be available for school librarians, media specialists and others involved in the selection of school library materials. The program aims in part to provide access to “age-appropriate materials and library resources”.

 

NEWBORN SCREENINGS (SB 292)

One measure (SB 292) requires hospitals and other licensed birthing facilities to test newborns for congenital cytomegalovirus if the infants fail hearing tests. The virus can cause hearing loss in infants.

 

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

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

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

Sources:
http://laws.flrules.org/

Surviving Florida’s Hectic Highways This Holiday Season! 

Hectic Florida RoadsNearly 6.3 million Floridians are expected to hit the road this holiday season. Drivers could see travel times increase by 25% around major cities.

It would be an understatement to say that everyone is looking forward to Christmas 2022! After nearly two years of being stuck at home due to the pandemic, more people are taking to the roads and traveling this Christmas season. 

While driving on the open roads towards your holiday destination can bring you joy, it can also bring a lot of aggravation and accidents. Roads can get slippery, drivers can be careless, and anything can happen!

The most congested day before Christmas will be Friday, Dec. 23. The single busiest travel day of the season — which includes New Year’s Eve — will be Tuesday, Dec. 27.

According to the FLHSMV, in Dec. 2021, there were 35,859 crashes on Florida roadways that took the lives of 325 people and injured 1,524.

 

If you plan to get your festive on or are traveling throughout Florida, you should follow these driving safety tips.

Hectic Florida Roads

 

Holiday Trip Tips:

Make sure all passengers are buckled up at all times.
Children should be in the proper child restraint seats at all times; more information can be found at flhsmv.gov/childsafety.

Be aware of changing speed limits.
The limit in Florida will never be higher than 70 mph.

Put it down and focus on driving.
Keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road, and your mind on driving. Let your co-pilot help you navigate or change the music.

Don’t drive while drowsy.
Take a break every 100 miles or two hours. Use the buddy system and switch drivers.

Move over for emergency and service vehicles that have stopped.
It’s the law!

Write down important phone numbers.
Keep important numbers in your car in case your cell phone battery dies, and you don’t have a way to charge it.

If you need to pull over:
Stop in a safe place, out of the roadway, and away from traffic.

Turn on your emergency flashers.
If you have emergency roadway flares in your trunk, position them conspicuously.

If a motorist stops to render assistance, it’s better to remain in the car and ask them to get help.
Likewise, if you see a stranded motorist, it’s better not to stop. Notify law enforcement by calling *FHP (*347).

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

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

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

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

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

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

Sources:
https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/holidaytravel/holiday-safety/

 

December Legal Graffiti Event To Benefit Food Raising Friends, Inc.

Legal Graffiti Event Don your ugliest holiday sweater and join us at our December #LegalGraffiti event as we help provide holidays meals for kids in our community!

Zarzaur Law’s Legal Graffiti event will be on Friday, Dec. 16 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. during Gallery Night. This month’s event benefits Food Raising Friends, Inc.!

Come join us and enjoy FREE games, activities, music, and more at Legal Graffiti… Remember, the more you donate to spray paint, the more we can match dollar for dollar and give to Food Raising Friends!

DID YOU KNOW?

In Northwest Florida, about 1 in 5 children goes home from school to a home that does not consistently have adequate nutrition for the child. This can mean the child is hungry, or a parent or caregiver, often grandparents, is going hungry despite the available food resources. 

Each year FRF provides over 250,000 individual meals to children and their families, lowering local hunger risk for children

About FOOD RAISING FRIENDS, INC.:

Zarzaur law Legal Graffiti Event FoodRaising Friends serves over 1400 children across Santa Rosa and Escambia County to ensure the child has enough food in the home for the child and their whole family.

How is FoodRaising Friends different than any other food pantry?
FRF partners with school and community programs to identify at risk children. Children identified as food needy are then added to their programs service list and FRF delivers food to their program with the condition that the food be delivered to the home, removing transportation barriers between the child and the food they need.

Each year FRF provides over 250,000 individual meals to children and their families, lowering local hunger risk for children, all their 900 sq foot pantry with the support of over 300 volunteers!

Things We Know Hunger Impacts:

A Childs Ability to Thrive

Attendance rates 

Grades

Overall Physical Health

Mental Health

Abuse in the home directly correlates to hunger

Feeding people relives the stress and fear that comes with hunger, enables them to be their best selves and function at their best all while enhancing their overall wellbeing and physical health.

 

 

Learn more about Food Raising Friends, Inc at https://foodraisingfriends.com

SAVE THE DATE! Friday, Dec. 16 – 5-9pm in Downtown Pensacola, during Gallery Night Pensacola!

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.

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

Watch our “Legal Graffiti” highlight video! 

 

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

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

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

#zarzaurlaw #gallerynightpensacola #downtownpensacola #legalgraffiti #spraypaint #community #event #fundraiser #pensacola #nochildgoeshungry #holidayseason #holidayspirit

Why Video Evidence Is Important For Your Car Accident Injury Case

If you’ve been in a car accident in Florida, then there is most likely video footage of the area or the accident itself. Surveillance video can be the strongest evidence in your case. Video evidence can legally be presented as evidence and assist in your claim, especially If an insurance company is trying to argue fault for the accident. This videotape can help show how the accident really happened.

Because The Insurance Company Is Not On Your Side, Obtain Video Evidence.

The insurance companies will always suggest that their insured is not responsible or will suggest that at least some responsibility lies with the other party. They certainly try to make this argument, especially if there is no video evidence that clearly shows fault, even if the accident report provides information on the “at fault” driver.

As we have noted in several other blogs, insurance companies do not exist for the greater good. They exist to make money. To be exact, their main mission is to retain as much money as they can from the billions in premiums they collect each year. If they learn that there is a way to argue that a collision was not their insured’s fault, they will seize that opportunity because it will likely save them money. For this reason, getting the video evidence is of vital importance.

Where Does The Video Footage Come From?

Video Evidence Is Important during Car AccidentVideos from dashcams are beneficial because they provide a clear perspective of the collision as it happened, serving as solid evidence of how the accident occurred. If your case goes to trial, the footage from cameras and photos taken at the scene may become part of the case.

Types Of Video Footage:

  • Dash cam
  • Video footage from a business
  • Video footage from a residence (home security devices)
  • Traffic light video camera
  • Smart phones

Video Evidence Can Show How An Accident Happened, The Cause Of The Crash, And Who Is Responsible.

Video footage can help determine how you were injured, by showing if you struck the dashboard, if broken glass from the windshield cut your face, if your head whipped back and forth, and other causes of your injuries.

Act Fast

Video Evidence Is Important  Another tip is to act as fast as possible. The longer you delay, the higher the risk of not getting the footage you need. For example, many recording devices have limited memories, so their owners have to delete old files to free space for new recordings.

Secondly, cameras (such as surveillance cameras) are set up to automatically record over old footage after some time. According to hg.org, some surveillance cameras record over old footage after 72 hours or so. Thus, even a three-day delay is enough to make you lose such crucial evidence.

Requesting Video Footage:
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the desired footage.

Your lawyer:

Will be aware of the appropriate channels to use for their requests.

They might have contacts they can use to speed up the requests.
May get a subpoena to force the relevant parties to hand over the videos.

Do Take Pictures and Video Of Your Car And The Car That Hit You.

video evidence

Take a lot of pictures and videos of the cars and people involved. An accident is extremely visual, and proving your injury case after a car wreck is no exception. The insurance company and, eventually, the jury will be impressed by the photographs of the injuries. Videos are sometimes even better.  If you are injured and are not able to take photos, ask a witness to take photos/video for you.

Inside Of Your Vehicle

That footage is especially moving in this context. Photos and videos of damage to the inside of your car can also be useful. If there are damages inside the passenger compartment, also document those. 

The Other Driver’s Vehicle

Many clients only take pictures or videos of their vehicle when the other car’s damages are also important. Document everything, and take more than you think you need because it is always better to have more than not enough.

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC > 

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

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

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

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

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful, and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

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