Tag Archives: Bicycle accident lawyer

Florida Has The Most Bicyclist Deaths In The U.S.

2020 Pedalcyclist fatalities were highest in Florida (170), followed by California (129) and Texas (79), according to the latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2020, there was a 9% increase in the number of pedalcyclists killed (938), compared to 859 in 2019.

2020 TOTAL PEDALCYCLIST CRASHES/ACCIDENTS—
FLORIDA RANKS THIRD.


Whether a cyclist is riding a bicycle as a means of commuting, recreation, or exercise, it is imperative that those taking to the roadways, sidewalks, or pedestrian travel lanes on anything other than a motorized vehicle understand the rights extended to the cyclist as well as the responsibilities expected of the cyclist.

Most jurisdictions, whether state, county, or city, have some form of “bike law” that applies 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.

If you’ve been the victim of a bicycle accident involving a vehicle, put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. Consult with a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you.

When Do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur?

Bicycle deaths are highest during the summer months between June and September. Nearly three-quarters of all bicycle deaths occur in urban areas. Failing to yield the right of way is the highest factor in fatal bike crashes, followed by bicyclists not being visible. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety

Research From The NHTSA
Reveals That Fatal Bicycle Accidents
Are Most Likely To Occur Between
6 P.M. And 9 P.M. During The Week
And 9 P.M. To 12 A.M. On The Weekend.

Impact and Types of Vehicles

Pedalcyclists who died in single-vehicle crashes were most likely to be struck by the front of the vehicles. 

Light trucks were the most frequently involved vehicles in traffic crashes in which a pedalcyclist was killed (361 of the 870). Eighty-nine percent (320) of these pedalcyclists came into contact with the front of the light truck.

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:

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

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

  1. Choosing a well-lit route
  2. Choosing roadways with fewer obstacles such as crossroads, driveways, and construction zones
  3. 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.

In the unfortunate event that a motorist versus cyclist accident does occur, this should be treated much like any other motor vehicle accident involving attention to the health, safety, and wellness of those involved with the 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.

What to Do If You Get Hit by a Car While Riding Your Bike

In the unfortunate event that a motorist versus cyclist accident does occur, it should be treated much like any other motor vehicle accident involving attention to the health, safety, and wellness of those involved with the immediate deployment of emergency medical personnel and law enforcement.

Once immediate safety has been secured, someone should obtain (via notation, digital voice memo, or photographs):

Documentation of the scene, including details of the weather, road conditions, and time of day, including identification of all parties and vehicles involved (first and last name, phone number, date of birth, vehicle make/model/color, license plate or tag numbers). identify any witnesses to the event (first and last name, contact information). Documentation of any bodily injuries, including helmet and clothing damage and documentation of the vehicle(s) and bicycle(s) damaged.

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, footwear, 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. Seek medical help. Under Florida law, your car insurance is “primary” for your medical bills. Allow the ER or hospital to bill you for your car ins.

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

7. Maintain an injury log.

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.

Test Your Bike Law Knowledge Here >

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.

Bicycle Accident Injuries

The most common injuries, such as skin abrasions (i.e., road rash), maybe a harbinger of an underlying injury such as fractures, dislocations, cardiopulmonary or vascular injury, or disrupted tendons/ligaments.

A broken helmet could be an indication that an evaluation for intracranial, neck or cervical spine injury may be warranted.

Pensacola injury lawyer Joe Zarzaur and
Dr. Evan Malone are active cyclist and participate
in triathlons on a regular basis.

 

By hiring Zarzaur Law, you will hire a legal team that understands cycling, knows cyclist rights, and will aggressively help you fight for your rights. At Zarzaur Law, we handle bicycle injury cases, defective bicycle components, defective roadway conditions, as well as everything else related to bicycle accident cases.

WATCH OUR VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC 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.

If you’ve been the victim of a bicycle 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.

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

NHTSA Bicycle Crash Stats

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

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

https://media.acg.aaa.com//content/1205/files/2019%20Q2%20Consumer%20Pulse_Bicycle%20Safety.pdf

Zarzaur Law’s Triathlon Team Captain: Racing For Her Most Important Cause

Laura Brewer has been a member of the Zarzaur Law Triathlon team since its inception nine years ago and currently serves as the team captain. Laura truly believes in the mission of the team and the firm: to be good ambassadors for the triathlon sport and to support its two charities, Favor House and Gulf Coast Kids’ House.

When I race, I look for others who may need encouraging words and try to uplift them.

Laura and her husband began racing in triathlons in 2012 when they first started dating. They’ve done several 70.3 Ironmans® together as well as a 140.6. In March 2022, Dale was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his kidney. The right kidney and tumor had to be removed, and he will likely not be able to do long distance racing ever again.

On Sunday, July 24, 2022, Laura raced for Dale. When he was diagnosed with cancer, he insisted that she continue to train and race for the Ohio 70.3 Ironman® that they intended to do together. She did, in fact, race for her most important cause—her husband.

The journey to this point wasn’t easy, and the race presented some challenges that mirrored Dale’s journey.

“He loves racing, especially Ironman events. For him to be there cheering knowing that he can’t be out there breaks me to the core. But it is a reminder to never take for granted what we CAN do.”

 

“I was hoping to set a PR for this race for Dale also. I did 5:05 last October. But race conditions were a little tougher with winds and water conditions, and my new disc brakes on my bike were rubbing during the ride. I didn’t realize it until we got my bike at the end and my wheel was not turning well. I think this matched Dale’s journey with his health, so I think I was meant to overcome more. ”

Her time was 5:29 and she finished 55th overall female out of approximately 500. Laura believes it was not her fastest time, but we think this race was way more than just about her time and her placement.

“When I race, I look for others who may need encouraging words and try to uplift them. The triathlon community is one of the best because of the camaraderie. I also feel so proud to represent Zarzaur Law, P.A. because of the amazing person and attorney Joe really is, and I firmly believe in what he does in our community. He looks to make a difference. Dale and I are truly grateful for his ongoing encouragement and support, because that is what life is about.”

Laura remembers being that first-time triathlete who was so nervous and unsure. Having others around her to motivate her and encourage her is what made her fall in love with the sport. She loves to give that energy back. She truly does embody that statement. You can find her (and Dale) cheering on and encouraging every competitor at every race, as well as being a mentor and volunteer at all of the kids’ duathlon and triathlons and Zarzaur Law’s Legal Graffiti fundraiser events.

“No matter what happens, take pride that you have the ability to do this. Race for yourself and for someone who can’t. Most importantly, remember that you’ve got this!”

 

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

AM 1370 PODCAST INTERVIEW: Zarzaur Law And YMCA Developmental Swim Team Partnership

AM 1370 Podcast Interview: YMCA And Zarzaur Law Developmental Swim Team Partnership

Published: June 2, 2021

Andrea Rosenbaum of the Bear Levin Studer YMCA joined journalist Rick Outzen to discuss the community partnership with Zarzaur Law, PA to launch a new developmental swim team – The Zarzaur Zingrays.

Rick Outzen (RO) – There are so many great things happening in the Pensacola community, and the Zarzaur Law firm has been very active in sponsoring runs, their graffiti wall fundraisers, and so many different things. They’ve got a new partnership with the Y and we’ve got Andrea Rosenbalm here right now to explain it.

Tell us about this partnership and this swim team that’s being put together.

Andrea Rossenbaum (AR) – Well, I think the most fun thing about it is the name, the “Zarzaur Zingrays.” If that doesn’t make you want to be a part of it, I don’t know what will. If you could see the cap and the shirt with the fantastic Zingrays team logo, courtesy of Zarzaur Law.

We wanted the opportunity to create a swim team that would be accessible to all. And by that, we mean kids who might struggle to afford a traditional swim team experience, or maybe kids who just aren’t quite ready for that, but who want to get there. So our concept is to actually have a swim team that would be a little more of a developmental opportunity. Your child can swim and can get across the pool. She can make it across there, but has never really been a part of it (a team). And this is what we’re going to do this summer: put them in with the Zarzaur Zingrays so that they can really develop some skills and maybe move on to the next level. They’ll be competing in meets; they’re going to have a team shirt and team caps; and the Zarzaur Law firm is really making this possible with their sponsorship so that we can make it happen for everybody.

RO – The Zarzaur Zingrays! So, what are the ages and where will they practice?

AR – Anywhere from age four up to 18. We’re going to include all ages, and we’re going to practice at Hunter Pool. Weekday practices will be in the evenings Monday through Thursday, and I, you know, I’ve been there as a parent with kids trying to do that. If you can’t quite make all of them, we understand, but we want to provide that opportunity four days a week to really hone those skills. Then we’re going to practice them, and the goal is to participate in four meets this summer so that these young people will have an opportunity to experience what it means to prepare.

And the Zarzaur Law team is great. You know, they have their gavel guys and gavel girls. They’ve been supportive and our hope is to have them at least come out to one meet to really cheer on the kids and support what’s happening.

RO – They’ve been big in triathlons.

AR – Yeah, and we were looking for an opportunity to really do something with them because Joe is so philanthropic and so engaged both with youth and with wellness in this community that when we had this idea, our aquatics director said, “This is really what I want to do.”

We started talking about us and I think I know who would be a great partner. And so, you know, we went and said, this is an opportunity for you all to expand your footprint in health and wellness, especially with kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity, maybe who want to be a triathlete someday, but you have to start somewhere.

So this is the first step toward getting those kids to be able to do that. So we’re really excited to be partnering with Zarzaur Law. They’re right around the corner from us downtown, and they’re expanding the footprint of wellness in downtown. So we just thought it was a really natural fit.

We’re super excited. We have just a couple of spots on the team left, so it’s not too late to get involved. We are trying to talk to parents and guardians in-person at the Y, but you can call in. We can get you on a list and we can follow up by kind of figuring out where your child is and making sure we get them in and then practicing.

So, anybody who’s thinking, I really would love this opportunity for my child, we would love to welcome them onto the team for the summer. The Zarzaur Law sponsorship makes the cost very, very low. And then we at the Y will offer more financial assistance as necessary. We don’t want the cost to be an obstacle.

RO – Well, it’s a 30-member team. So there are only a certain number of spots. So if you’re interested, you’ve got a child or grandchild or a kid in the neighborhood that you think would benefit from it. You need to call the Y today.

AR – You can reach us at 850-438-4406. Simply state, “I’m interested in swim team.” We’ll get you to our aquatics director or another team member who can help you get the information you need and get you registered.

LISTEN TO PODCAST HERE >

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

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Florida Bar Certified Civil 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.

 

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

305 Triathlon in Key Biscayne Sponsord by Zarzaur Law

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 saltwater 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 opportunities 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 aqua bike).  With the warm waters of the 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.

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/

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

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

 

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

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

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

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

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

Insurance Companies Are Not On Your Side

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

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

UM Benefits For Your Injuries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

https://www.justice.org/resources/publications/trial-magazine

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

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

How to Collect Evidence After a Car Wreck.

Collecting evidence of your car wreck is a crucial part of your motor vehicle accident case. Inevitably, you are going to have to prove that you were injured, your vehicle was damaged, and that the wreck was not your fault.

How Exactly Do You Make Sure That You Are Collecting All The Right Evidence?

FIRST — always ALWAYS CALL THE POLICE. When you get into a car wreck, it is extremely important that you get a copy of the Florida Traffic Crash Report. This report will serve as evidence of the collision and also provide you (and your attorney) with important information about how this wreck happened. Having this document will make your future battle with insurance companies much easier.

SECONDTAKE PICTURES. One of the most common mistakes that people make following a car wreck is forgetting to take pictures at the scene. If you are able, take photos of EVERYTHING. Your car, the other driver’s car, the roads, the intersection, the scene, and yourself.

Not only is it important to document the damage to the vehicles involved, but it is very important that you document your injuries as well.  Take pictures of your bruises, your scrapes, your swelling, and any other kind of injury you may have.

THIRD — Did anyone WITNESS this crash? If there are witnesses, be sure to get their contact information. This step is often forgotten but is crucial to your case.

FOURTH — maintain a careful log of any expenses you incur as a result of your wreck. Making sure you have DOCUMENTS that support any claim you may make is crucial to preserving your claims in the future.

FIFTH — DO NOT POST on SOCIAL MEDIA. Whatever you do, do not post about your wreck on Facebook or Instagram. By doing this, you are creating evidence that could ultimately hurt your case.

The Defense is always looking for a way to discredit your claim, and by posting on social media, you are giving them ammunition to use against you later.

For more info on the dos and don’ts of social media watch Top Personal Injury Lawyer Joe Zarzaur’s YouTube video HERE.

SIXTH –  Hire a BOARD CERTIFIED Civil Trial Lawyer to manage your case. Hiring an expert to help you navigate your injury case is the best way to ensure your case is handled the right way.


FOR A FULL LIST OF WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT, GO TO OUR “CAR WRECK CHECKLIST”


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

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

Bicycle Accident Law – What You Need To Know

Whether a cyclist is riding a bicycle as a means of commuting, recreation, or exercise, it is imperative that those taking to the roadways, sidewalks, or pedestrian travel lanes on anything other than a motorized vehicle understand the rights extended to the cyclist as well as the responsibilities expected of the cyclist.

Florida is the deadliest state in the country for bicyclists, according to the latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 783 bicyclists were killed in the United States with Florida taking the lead with 125 deaths.

Almost every jurisdiction be it state, county, or city has some form of “bike law(s)” which dictates (s) to both motorist and cyclist. Understanding those laws is a great first step for many and should also be routinely reviewed by the seasoned cyclist no matter 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 more significantly injured. In fact, Florida has the highest rate of bicycle accident deaths in the US (0.57 per 100,000 residents versus the national average of 0.23.). A higher number of bicycles on the road surely plays a part in this statistic.

Cyclists are required to follow the rules of the road, just as drivers are. 


For example:
– They must ride with the flow of traffic instead of against it.
– They must yield the right of way when indicated.
– They must stay in the designated bike lane. If there is not a bike lane, they must ride as far to the right as possible. (However, they may edge closer into the lane to avoid obstacles like potholes.

Always be on the lookout for this type of maneuvering. Paying attention can prevent many accidents.)


So, YES, cyclists have to stop at stop signs. They have to wait to turn left at a green light when there is oncoming traffic. They have to stop for pedestrians!


The rules apply to them as well, and when they disregard them, it can have devastating consequences.

In addition to that, taking the basic steps to mitigate the ever-present risk of an accident or avoiding/limiting the likelihood of a  car accident altogether should also be something that is requisite among all cyclists.

Florida Biking Laws, Broken Down

– Bikes are treated as vehicles.
– Cyclists must obey all traffic controls and signals.
– Cyclists must use a fixed, regular seat for riding.
– You cannot carry passengers on a bike that is not intended to carry more than one person.
– Parents must not allow minors to violate any of Florida’s provisions.
– All bikes must come equipped with a braking system.
– If riding on the sidewalk, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.
– Bikes must be equipped with a lamp when operating between sunset and sunrise.
– Bicyclists must use the designated bike path when not traveling at the speed of other traffic.

More Laws at FLORIDA BICYCLE. ORG

 

Steps To Avoiding A Wreck With a Vehicle

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, 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 locale one is opting to use for cycling.

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.

What Do you Do If You Are Hit By a Vehicle?

In 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.

Following that, 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), identify any witnesses to the event (first and last name, contact information), documentation of any bodily injuries including damage to helmet and attire, and documentation of the damage to the vehicle(s) and bicycle(s).

Bicycle Accident Check List

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

2. Listen and remember what the other party says to you about how the accident happened. Don’t agree to anything said by the at-fault driver/party that caused the accident.

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 bike accident lawyer deal with the at-fault party and their insurance company).

5. Seek medical assistance. Under Florida law, your car insurance is “primary” for your medical bills. Have the ER/hospital bill your car insurance company.

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

7. Document injuries.

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

9. Consult an accident lawyer that specializes in bicycle accidents in Florida.

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

Always Seek Medical Attention! (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 accident 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

Take the tests, for both cyclists and drivers!

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

CDC Bicycle Safety

2021 Florida Statutes – 316.2065:  Bicycle regulations

Florida Bicycle Association

Bike Pensacola

West Florida Wheelmen

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.

https://media.acg.aaa.com//content/1205/files/2019%20Q2%20Consumer%20Pulse_Bicycle%20Safety.pdf

Why You Should Think Twice Before Riding An Electric Scooter.

The fleets of publicly available electric scooters that have popped up in U.S. cities over the past few years have added a new dimension to urban transportation options. Their rapid proliferation has left municipal regulators struggling to keep up with the traffic impact and rising safety problems.

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that without a clear vision for where and how e-scooters should be operated, e-scooters can pose a safety risk for riders and pedestrians.

“E-scooters can be a fun and useful way to get around, but they can also pose serious safety hazards,” says William Wallace, manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports. “Policymakers shouldn’t treat them just like bikes. E-scooters should be designed, built, and maintained with safety first, and riders should follow best practices to avoid hurting themselves and others.”

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 41 Americans were killed and about 133,000 injured between 2017 and 2019 in incidents tied to e-scooters, e-bikes and hoverboards.

The toll of deaths and injuries from the devices has been rising, with e-scooters accounting for much of the increase, the federal agency found in a study released in 2020.


THE COUNT OF ER VISITS ATTRIBUTABLE TO E-SCOOTERS ROSE TO 27,700 IN 2019 UP FROM NEARLY 15,000 THE YEAR BEFORE, CPSC FOUND.


 

A separate study by the CDC calculates that for every 100,000 e-scooter trips taken, 20 individuals will end up with some sort of injury. This same study, which surveyed a sample number of injured e-scooter riders, highlighted other interesting findings including:

48% of those injured were between the ages of 18-29

33% of those injured were first-time riders

38% of those injured mentioned they would ride an e-scooter again

Nearly half of those injured sustained a severe injury

The time frame to most likely get injured is between 6 pm-6 am 

 

Legal Outcomes Of Electric Scooter Accidents

Legal outcomes of accidents on Bird scooters, Lime scooters, or any other motorized scooter, will depend largely on who was involved and who is at fault.

Here are some possible scenarios:

– E-scooter hits a vehicle: If an e-scooter swerved erratically causing an accident with another vehicle on the road, the e-scooter is at fault in this case. The rider of the scooter will need to pay for the damages incurred on the vehicle.

– E-scooter hits a pedestrian: Likewise, if an E-scooter errantly crashes into a pedestrian, the rider is liable for any injuries sustained by the pedestrian.

– A vehicle hits an e-scooter: In this scenario, if a vehicle hits an e-scooter and was at fault, the driver of the vehicle must compensate the e-scooter rider. The driver of the vehicle can cover damages through their car insurance.


E-SCOOTER COMPANIES DO NOT CARRY ANY SORT OF LIABILITY COVERAGE FOR RENTERS. ADDITIONALLY, YOUR CAR INSURANCE GENERALLY DOES NOT COVER ANY VEHICLE WITH LESS THAN FOUR WHEELS (I.E. ELECTRIC SCOOTERS).


 


What is a Release of Liability Waiver?

A release of liability waiver is a contract in which a participant in an activity agrees not to sue the activity organizer, institution, or business owner if he or she suffers an injury. Other terms often used to describe this document include:

Release of liability

Waiver

Waiver of liability

Waiver of rights

Indemnity agreement

Assumption agreement

Hold harmless agreement

Pre-injury release

Exculpatory agreement

Assumption of risk

With no insurance coverage, the e-scooter driver takes on tremendous risk if they are found at fault in an accident.

Read Bird’s Rental Agreement/Waiver of Liability and Release here: https://www.bird.co/agreement/

 

Consequences And Injuries From Scooter Accidents

The consequences and injuries from scooter accidents can be significant. In a study conducted by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine, the most common type of CT scans ordered involved the head, face, and cervical spine. Traumatic brain injury, which includes concussion and internal bleeding, can also result from e-scooter accidents.

Asides from brain injury, here are other common injury types as a result of scooter collisions:

– Bone fractures to arms and legs

– Abrasions and lacerations to upper and lower limbs

– Nerve or ligament injuries

– Severe bleeding

In the worst-case scenario, death can also be a consequence of scooter accidents.

 

How To Avoid E-Scooter Accidents and Injuries

1. Keep your eyes on the road

2. Don’t ride on the sidewalk

3. Keep both hands on the handle bars

4. Use proper helmet – and wear the helmet at all times!

6. Inspect the scooter before you ride

7. Slow down before looking back or turning

8. Use eye protection

9. Assume that drivers in cars can not see you!

10. Don’t consume alcohol and ride a scooter

11. Use as the manual instructs

12. Don’t ride too fast

13. Avoid heavy traffic

14. Avoid pedestrians

15. Only ride by yourself

WATCH JOE’S VIDEO >

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

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

Sources:

https://escooternerds.com/electric-scooter-safety/

https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2021/Injuries-Using-E-Scooters-E-Bikes-and-Hoverboards-Jump-70-During-the-Past-Four-Years

Are Onewheels Safe?

Onewheels is a Fun RideIf you are like us and spend any time in Downtown Pensacola, you have probably seen the hottest new method of getting around town—a motorized, skateboard-like object that has one wide, treaded tire in the middle of the board instead of four smaller ones.

At first blush, “Onewheels” as they are appropriately known, look like a fun, exhilarating ride for those looking for a cross between a skateboard and a dirt bike. Unlike those vehicles, Onewheels promises that “anyone” can ride one “with little instruction and practice” because it is “packed with technology that actively helps to keep you balanced.”

However, injury lawsuits have followed the Onewheels around since it began to be manufactured in 2015. Specifically, many people have filed claims in the six years since the Onewheel hit the market based on allegations that the machine abruptly stops while underway.


When the motor stops, the machine pitches forward and dumps the rider out onto the ground, causing bone fractures, concussions, and other injuries.


Why You Can’t Anticipate A Fall From A Onewheel

While some may look at these accidents as like the accidents that can happen on a bike or a skateboard or surfboard, the common thread in all the claims is that while a person can usually anticipate a fall from a skateboard or similar, man-powered device, a person cannot anticipate an abrupt motor failure. Even some of the world’s most talented and famous surfers and skaters have experienced serious injuries while using Onewheels—which should certainly make the rest of us pause before we rent or buy one.

If you or a loved ones experience an injury during a Onewheels ride, it may not be your fault. At least three wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Onewheels stemming from accidents involving the abrupt stoppage defect—one each in Texas, California, and New York.

Product Liability

In many product liability circumstances, the law imposes “strict liability” on the maker of a product for injuries caused by a defect. This means that a manufacturer of a product can be liable for injuries caused by a product defect even in the absence of negligence. If negligence exists, a plaintiff can make claims for negligent design and/or negligent manufacture in addition to the strict liability claims.

Risk of Concussion… or Worse

If a Onewheel accident were to cause the rider to hit the ground headfirst, it may put them at risk of concussions and traumatic brain injuries, or they may land hard enough on their forward-leaning hand or arm to fracture bones.

Protective gear is your last line of defense against the harsh and unforgiving nature of a hard surface. Falling from any electric skateboard is painful, but falling from a Onewheel really sucks.

Onewheel are balanced on a single wheel, therefore, it is much easier to be thrown from the board. The One wheels are also very mobile and nibble, making deep carves a thing of ease. Of course, this is what makes them so much fun to ride, however, this nimbleness also makes it super easy to come unstuck.

It’s easy to catch an edge of the Onewheel’s deck, carve to hard or overcompensate on a turn, become undone on a small bump or crack, or overbalance and be thrown with momentum off the board’s deck.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to put on some gloves, a helmet, and protective clothing or at least thick pants and a durable jacket to protect you whenever you are riding just in case an accident does occur.


ONEWHEEL SAFETY TIPS:

  1. Wear your safety gear whenever heading out for a ride.
  2. Start with beginner mode
  3. Stick to beginner modes like Mission or Delirium if you are new to riding Onewheel.
  4. Avoid maxing out a modes top speed. Try to stick to 3-5 miles per hour below the max.
  5. Keep your weight centered over the wheel and don’t lean too far forward and risk nosedive. 
  6. Also, make sure not to accelerate too hard while going uphill, riding into a strong wind, or while traveling over bumps or cracks.
  7. And lastly, be vigilant of your Onewheel’s battery level. Check it regularly on the Onewheel app.

If you are injured in an accident involving a Onewheels or any other similar device, it is important to contact an experienced product liability lawyer as fast as possible. The Florida Bar does not typically allow lawyers to hold themselves out as “experts” in a particular field. However, the Bar does allow lawyers who work on personal injury cases to become specialists in civil trial. Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are specialists in civil trial.

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

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

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

Sources:

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/onewheel-skateboard-injury-lawsuit-7316679/

https://oneradwheel.com/severe-trauma-from-onewheel-to-er-to-icu-lessons-learned/

https://thetechleaders.com/the-burning-question-are-onewheel-boards-safe/

https://apnews.com/press-release/pr-newswire/business-health-b908e4a5ca916b6441aaa59c7713270b