Tag Archives: Car Wreck

Smart Road Tips for Halloween Safety

Tips for Halloween Safety By Consumer Reports.

There may be fewer ghosts, witches, and superheroes wandering along the roads this Halloween looking for candy and treat because of COVID-19 concerns, but it’s important that drivers remain vigilant and keep an eye out for costumed children darting into the road, crossing parking lots, or strolling along the streets.

The scary reality is that Halloween has been one of the deadliest days of the year for pedestrians, especially children, statistics show.


THE RISK OF A PEDESTRIAN FATALITY WAS 43 % HIGHER ON HALLOWEEN


The risk of a pedestrian fatality was 43 percent higher on Halloween, based on a comprehensive study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association that analyzed 42 years of data.

“Halloween night is like a ‘perfect storm’ of risk because it involves darkness, a huge increase in pedestrian traffic—especially children—and all sorts of distractions,” says Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at Consumer Reports Auto Test Center. “Everyone needs to be ultracareful to not turn such a fun evening into tragedy.” 

About half of traffic deaths overall occur either in the dark or at dawn or dusk, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “Driving at night is three times as risky as driving during the day,” says Matthew Brumbelow, a senior research engineer at the IIHS. The holiday should also serve as a reminder to motorists and pedestrians alike about the dangers.

The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 6,205 pedestrians died in traffic collisions in 2019.

Fortunately, there are clear steps that trick-or-treaters and drivers can take to improve safety for all. Below are tips from CR experts and NHTSA.

Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

  • Parents should accompany children younger than 12.
  • Children should walk—not run—from house to house.
  • Children should stay on sidewalks instead of walking between cars or on lawns, where there could be tripping hazards.
  • Parents should remind children to look for cars when crossing driveways.
  • Pedestrians shouldn’t assume they have the right of way, because motorists may not see them.
  • Go trick-or-treating before it is truly dark, especially with young children.
  • Parents and children should consider choosing costumes that are lighter in color, which makes it easier for drivers to see them. Adding reflective material to the front and back makes a costume easier to pick out. It can even be built into the design.
  • Avoid costumes that make it more difficult for a child to see, especially ones that include costume masks. Of course, because of the pandemic, children and chaperones should wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth, and they should practice social distancing.
  • Give children a flashlight to walk in the dark, so they can be more easily seen by drivers. Glow sticks can help, too.
  • Kids should keep their phones in their pockets unless taking photos on a porch. Walking with a device risks the child not being aware of their surroundings.

Tips for Drivers

  • Drive slowly in and around neighborhoods and on residential streets, even if you don’t see trick-or-treaters around.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Drunk driving incidents increase on Halloween. NHTSA reports that 41 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2014 to 2018 were in crashes involving drunk driving. About one-third of all crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drunk drivers, according to NHTSA.
  • Watch for children who may dart out into the street, and always yield to pedestrians. If you see one child, there are likely to be more ready to cross.
  • If you’re driving children around for trick-or-treating, make sure they’ve buckled up appropriately in a child car seat or with a seat belt. Make sure they buckle up each time they enter the car and check to make sure they’re secure before you drive to the next stop.
  • Parents transporting kids for Halloween activities may be tempted to buckle them in wearing their costumes. But some costumes may have added padding or hard surfaces that will make it difficult for the car-seat harness or vehicle seat belt to properly fit the child. Consumer Reports advises buying or making costumes without padding or hard surfaces or having your child change into their costume after arriving at their destination.
  • Pullover at safe locations to let children exit at the curb and away from traffic. Use your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your car.
  • Try to park in a spot where you won’t need to back up. But if you must, have an adult outside to make sure no children are in the way of your vehicle when you do.
  • Don’t use a cell phone or other mobile device while driving. Pullover safely to check voice messages or texts, if necessary.

By being cautious and mindful of safety this Halloween, you can make sure the holiday is a treat for all.

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.

Conversations To Have With Your Kids Before They Are Old Enough To Drive

Parents of a teenaged driver Florida

The day is finally here…. Your child is finally old enough to get behind the wheel of a car.  While it is very exciting for your child, it can be absolutely terrifying as a parent of a teenaged driver.


TEENAGED DRIVERS ARE SOME OF THE MOST DANGEROUS DRIVERS ON THE ROAD, WITH 15,918 DRIVERS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 INVOLVED IN MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS IN 2019 ALONE.


What Can You Do As A Parent To Keep Your Child Safe On The Road?

Talk to them.  Take the time to explain to them the importance of driving safely, and not being distracted. Take the time to explain to them the dangers associated with their newfound freedom.

  1. Talk to Your Teen About the Dangers of Distracted Driving 

One of the biggest dangers associated with new and young drivers is driving while distracted.  Cellphones are perhaps one of the BIGGEST problems our new drivers face.  It seems all too easy to snap a pic, or respond to a text message.  But, those seconds matter.  Take the time to explain to your new driver that every second spent not looking at the road is a second that something terrible can happen.  That text message could be the difference between life and death.

Did you know Sleepy Driving is just as dangerous as distracted driving?  – LEARN MORE HERE >

2.  The Dangers Of Having Passengers 

Studies show that teenagers are two and half times more likely to take a risk while driving when they have a friend in the car.  Add a second passenger, and your child is three times more leads to 3 times more likely to take a risk.  While you can not always control who gets in your child’s car,  you can take the time to explain to them the dangers of having other people in the car before they have experience.

Parents of a teen driver Florida

 

3.  Drunk Driving 

Perhaps the most important conversation you can have with your new driver is the dangers associated with drunk driving.   Studies show that 16% of fatal car crashes involving teenaged drivers involved alcohol.  It is so important that you take the time to explain to your child the dangers surrounding alcohol and getting behind the wheel.  What might seem like not a big deal to them can lead to catastrophic consequences?

But this conversation doesn’t stop with reminding them to not get behind the wheel while under the influence. It is also crucial that you spend time discussing with them the importance of not getting in the car with someone else who has been drinking and/or using drugs.

Seatbelt, Seatbelt, Seatbelt!! They save lives – 

4.  Be A Good Example 

While taking time to talk to your child about the dangers of driving distracted, with passengers, and under the influence is important, it is also crucial that you practice safe driving while they are in the car with you.  Your children are always watching you, and the best way to teach them to drive safely is to lead by example.

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://www.teendriversource.org/teen-crash-risks-prevention/car-accident-prevention/basic-facts-about-teen-crashes

https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-teen-driving

https://www.flhsmv.gov/pdf/crashreports/crash_facts_2019.pdf

https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving

What to Bring To The Meeting With Your Personal Injury Lawyer

Whether you have been in a car accident or suffered any type of injury, your first call will be to a lawyer who specializes in personal injury. Navigating the waters of insurance claims can be difficult at the very least and a personal injury lawyer (preferably board certified) can make sure you receive the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party.


YOU WANT A LAWYER THAT IS YOUR ADVOCATE SINCE YOU DON’T WANT TO SETTLE FOR LESS THAN WHAT YOUR CASE IS WORTH.


Time Is Of The Essence

Meeting with a personal injury lawyer right as soon as possible is important since time is of the essence. Statutes of limitations vary from state to state, but all personal injury cases do have an end date of when you can start a claim. If you are injured you should also begin treatment right away.

You contact the firm, go through the intake process, and then are scheduled for your first meeting with your lawyer. What should you bring?

What to Bring To The Meeting

1. Photos
Injuries
The cars involved in the accident (all angles and inside and outside)
Seat belt
Body markings
The area where the accident occurred

2. Car insurance info

3. health insurance info

4. Drivers license

5. Drivers exchange form (given at accident scene)

6. ER records / medical records

7. Correspondence

8. A list of facts that you remember from the accident, ER visit, correspondence with the insurance company, etc.

Your Lawyer Focuses On Your Case So You Don’t Have To

After a traumatic experience, the last thing you want to do is spend all of your time and energy fighting for compensation. A personal injury lawyer is there to support you and do all of the hard, legal work so that you can focus on your recovery. 

Your primary job following an accident is to take care of yourself and your family.

If you’ve been injured in an accident – meeting with a personal injury lawyer right away will help take the stress of your case off your hands so you can work towards healing.

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.

Mistakes Teen Drivers Make After A Car Wreck.

Did you know that the risk of motor vehicle crashes among 16- to 19 year-olds is higher than among any other age group? With the risk of crashing so high, it is important that young drivers are aware of what they should do if they are involved in a motor vehicle collision.

Some of the most common mistakes made by young drivers after a car crash include:

1. Fleeing The Scene

All too often young drivers are scared of getting in trouble with both the law and their parents. As a result, young drivers try to flee the scene of a crash (even if they are not at fault). It is important that young drivers understand that this is the complete opposite of what they need to do. Fleeing the scene of a crash carries criminal penalties, and creates a much bigger problem than simply staying put and telling the truth.

2. Talking Too Much

One of the worst things you can do at the scene of a crash is talking too much. Teenaged drivers seem to forget that everything that they say at the scene can be used later on against them. Admitting that you are sorry or that you were just trying to change the radio station is something that should be avoided at all costs.

3.  Not Calling The Police

Oftentimes, other drivers on the road take advantage of how naive teenaged drivers can be. If you are involved in a car wreck, it is so important that you call the police. Just because the other driver says that you don’t need to call the cops or that they will just give you their car insurance information does NOT mean that you shouldn’t call the police. By calling the police, you are ensuring that there is some way to confirm what happened to you.

4. Agreeing With The At-Fault Driver

Completely eliminate the word “sorry” from your vocabulary after a car wreck.

Saying sorry after a wreck could be taken as an admission of guilt, and it will likely be used against you down the road, even if you weren’t at fault.

It’s a tough habit to break for some, but you must avoid apologizing at the scene of an accident.

Even saying you’re sorry to someone who wasn’t involved in the accident can be used against you.

5.  Forgetting To Take Pictures

It makes sense, young drivers get nervous. They aren’t comfortable asserting themselves and are worried about getting into trouble with their parents once they get home. But it is so important that teenaged drivers take the time to take photographs of the damage to the vehicles involved in the crash. Taking the extra few minutes to document what happened can make or break a case, and it is important that young drivers remember this crucial part of the car wreck checklist.

6.  Posting On Social Media

Perhaps the biggest mistake that teenaged drivers make after a car crash is posting on their social media. In today’s world, people are becoming more and more comfortable with posting their personal lives on social media, especially teenaged drivers. But, posting on social media is like giving the other side a gift. Everything that is posted to your social media can be and WILL BE used against you later on. Posting a photo at the scene might seem like a great way to snag some likes, but it is one of the worst things you can do for your injury case. Make sure that you or your teenaged driver is aware of our Social Media Instructions for Injured People!!

7. Not Speaking With A Lawyer (YES! they can be represented)

A minor (under the age of 18 in the state of Florida) does not have the right to bring a lawsuit against someone else. However, their parents CAN bring a lawsuit on their behalf. Therefore, if a child is in a car accident, their parents will often hire a lawyer to represent them. The parents and the lawyer will then work together to represent the child’s best interests throughout the lawsuit.

Refer to the car wreck checklist for more info on what to do right after you’ve been involved in a car accident.

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://www.teendriversource.org/teen-crash-risks-prevention/car-accident-prevention/basic-facts-about-teen-crashes

 

Takata Inflator Investigation – Is Your Car’s Air Bag Defective?

Air bags are supplemental protection and are designed to work best in combination with seat belts. Both frontal and side-impact air bags are generally designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes and may deploy in even a minor crash.

Air bags reduce the chance that your upper body or head will strike the vehicle’s interior during a crash. To avoid an air-bag-related injury, make sure you are properly seated and remember—air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them. And children under 13 should sit in the back seat.

 

Defective Takata Air Bag Inflator Investigation

U.S. auto safety investigators have opened a new probe into 30 million vehicles built by nearly two dozen automakers with potentially defective Takata air bag inflators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) opened an engineering analysis into the vehicles manufactured between 2001-2019. The investigation has not been made public yet.

Go to safercar.gov to check the recall status of your vehicle.

 

Which Car Models Are Effected?

The new investigation includes vehicles assembled by Honda, Ford, Toyota, GM, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, Ferrari, Mazda, Daimer, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover and others. The 30 million vehicles include both vehicles that had the inflators installed when newly manufactured and inflators that were used in prior recalls.

Over the last decade more than 67 million Takata inflators have been recalled in the US and more than 100 million worldwide. This has been the largest auto safety callback in history because the inflators can send deadly metal fragments flying after a crash.

  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot
  • Certain 2006 Ford Ranger (Ford advises do not drive)
  • Certain 2006 Mazda B-Series (Mazda advises do not drive)

NHTSA advises that owners not drive these vehicles and seek immediate repairs.


MORE THAN 100 DEATHS HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED WORLDWIDE, WITH MANY MORE NON-FATAL INJURIES.


 

NHTSA has said the cause of the inflator explosions tied to the recall of 67 million inflators is propellant breaking down after long term exposure to high temperature fluctuations and humidity. Vehicles in states such as Florida are susceptible to such climate factors.

 

What Constitutes A Defective Air Bag?

A defective air bag is one that contains a design or manufacturing defect that effects the safe function of the air bag. These can cause spontaneous explosions, failure to deploy in an accident and late deployment in an accident.

 

Who Is Liable?

Vehicle and air bag manufacturers may be liable for such injuries. Under product liability laws car dealers and repair technicians may also be liable. Finding responsible parties requires legal skill and experience and should be handled by expert personal injury attorneys.

 

Injuries Caused By Defective Air Bags

The type of injuries caused by defective air bags  can include: Puncture wounds

Lacerations

Skull fractures

Death

This can result in facial fractures, dental injuries, eye injuires and more.

Experienced personal lawyers can review and evaluate cases involving airbag injuries. To file a claim, the lawyer must establish a causation relationship between the airbag and the injuries. These are complex cases and must include input from experts such as reconstruction engineers, auto engineers and medical experts. These are complex cases with complex legal issues that require experienced lawyers.

Refer to the car wreck checklist for more info on what to do right after you’ve been involved in a car accident.

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://www.nhtsa.gov/recall-spotlight/critical-warning-regarding-certain-honda-acura-mazda-and-ford-vehicles-takata-air

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/takata-airbag-recall-everything-you-need-to-know-a1060713669/

Why Should You Seek Medical Treatment After A Car Wreck?

You’re in a car wreck and people sometimes think it wasn’t that big of a deal. Maybe it is just a little neck pain or a little back pain and you don’t really want to go to the ER. People are going to make excuses for not going. If you’re having symptoms after a car wreck, you should absolutely go to the ER or urgent care. 

Reasons You Should Seek Treatment After A Car Accident

1. To Ensure Over All Well Being – Especially after the adrenaline from the accident has worn off.

There could be something going on more serious than you realize. And the ER is the place to diagnose that. The ER is not there to diagnose all of the issues that could be going on with you after a car wreck, they are only going to diagnose life and limb-threatening issues.

There are a multitude of injuries that could end up well into the six figures in value and are serious life-altering injuries that can cause you to lose value in your potential car accident case if you leave the ER and don’t follow up after you receive the standard “clean bill of health” or “cervical strain back strain.”

2. Treat “Invisible” Injuries – Injuries that show up a few days/weeks later – re: concussion. Don’t delay since the insurance company may refute.

The reason it’s important to go if you’re having symptoms is that the insurance company who’s going to be on the other side of all these claims, whether you have a lawyer or not, are going to make the argument that the longer it takes you to go to the ER or seek treatment, the less serious your injury must have been, or perhaps, maybe the cause of it was something other than the car wreck.

3. To Obtain Evidence- Medical Records Can Be Important Pieces Of Evidence To Help Establish Case.

If you don’t want to go to the ER simply because it’s the right medical thing, then it is certainly the right legal thing to do because it documents your injury. It documents the timing of your injury and symptoms, and it takes away the argument that you didn’t need treatment immediately.

Paying For The ER Visit and Treatment.

The other thing that comes up a lot of times is when people say they don’t want to spend the money on an ER visit because it’s really expensive and it’s going to cost a lot of money. In Florida, the status of the law right now in 2021 is that your car insurance by law, not your health insurance. Your car insurance has to pay the bills after a car wreck.

Why Does Your Car Insurance Have To Pay?

Florida has PIP law  (Personal Injury Protection) PIP covers 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000 resulting from a covered injury, no matter who caused the crash.

Medical Costs

Most medical costs will be covered by PIP with the exception of popular, but not widely accepted practices such as acupuncture. In other states, PIP will generally cover the injuries of anyone in your household, but in Florida, you can choose whether you want your PIP to cover just yourself or other residents in your household. The following are eligible for a PIP claim:

  • Medical services and medication
  • Surgical services and hospital expenses
  • Rehab costs
  • Diagnostic services
  • Ambulatory services

What sets Florida apart from other states is that only 80% of your medical costs will be covered by PIP. So if you have injuries that cost $10,000, PIP will only pay for $8,000 of that. Furthermore, if your injury is not considered an emergency, you will only be entitled to $2,500 worth of benefits. If you have a good health insurance policy, it might take care of the rest of the costs, but you should make sure it will cover car accident injuries.

4. Counter The Claims Of The Insurance Company. 

The at-fault driver’s insurance company is going to make this argument, if you say, well, I didn’t know that I didn’t have to pay. Right. I was gonna have to pay something. The car insurance company on the other side of the case is going to say, well, you could have gone to seek treatment and it would have been free. Basically, your PIP would have paid the bill. Why didn’t you go?

You can’t say, well, I didn’t know. Or you can say, I didn’t know, but at some point, it’s not going to make sense for you not to go, especially after you’ve got a legal action started.

It’s always smarter, if you’re having symptoms and Florida, you don’t have the financial excuse because your car insurance pays that.

And as far as you not thinking, it’s that serious, right? Well, you don’t know because you have no idea what going on inside your body. But if you’re having symptoms after a car wreck and if you’re teetering on not going to the ER, you should go, okay. It’s that simple.


MOST OF THE TIMES THE SYMPTOMS GET WORSE ON THE FOURTH OR FIFTH DAY.


Most of the time injuries that are permanent don’t go away. .

Refer to the car wreck checklist for more info on what to do right after you’ve been involved in a car accident.

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.

Wave Another Car Across And An Accident Occurs – Who is Liable?

On any busy intersection and road, a friendly gesture as a wave can cause fatal accidents. It has everything to do with a driver waving at another driver across, which could be a primary cause of a car crash.

What is a Waving Accident?

This accident is common. Many drivers have probably encountered a scenario where two drivers approach the same intersection on the road. A well-intentioned driver may wave at the other vehicle to indicate that they may proceed.

Unfortunately, sometimes, this well-intentioned wave leads to a car accident. These accidents can often lead to a lot of questions about which driver is at fault and if the driver’s wave was enough to make them liable for the damages caused by the accident.

The Driver Waived Into Traffic

If you are that driver who was waved into traffic, the first instinct is to point the finger at the person who signaled it was safe for you to go. This instinct is normal, but it isn’t always right.

Generally, when a driver or passenger is in a position to see whether there are vehicles approaching he or she can be held responsible for a collision by signaling to another driver that it’s safe to pass when it is not.

Even if the person who signaled to you is responsible for the collision, you could still be held partially responsible for trusting a stranger on the road to wave you through without being able to see whether the lane was actually clear.

Comparative Negligence   

Most states, including Florida, follow some version of comparative negligence, which means that you can be partially at fault in the accident and still recover compensation for at least some of your damages.

The Driver Waiving Another Car To Cross – “You Were Trying To Be Nice”

There’s a car traveling in the lane to your right that doesn’t see the turning car, and the turning car doesn’t see it.

So the driver making the left doesn’t see the car, turns in front of it, and gets t-boned.

You can’t be sued or held responsible for this accident, can you? You were just trying to be nice.


IF ANOTHER CAR COMES ALONG AND DRIVES AHEAD AFTER YOU WAVE A DRIVER ON, HITTING THE CAR YOU JUST WAVED INTO TRAFFIC, YOU COULD BE HELD PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACCIDENT.


When juries are looking at car accidents, they have to consider whether or not a defendant has any legal duty of care in a situation.

Duty of Care

Every time you get behind the wheel of your car, you have a duty of care to be a responsible driver.

If you wave another driver through, a jury may decide that you voluntarily took on some additional responsibility for another driver when you waved them into traffic.

Even if it goes against your instincts, and that driver has been waiting to turn for a while, don’t try to help them out by waving him or her into traffic.

If the roles are ever reversed, DON’T accept another driver’s wave as assurance that the way is really clear.

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://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/can-you-be-sued-if-you-wave-to-another-48524/

Car Wreck Checklist

Parents And The Art Of Car Seat Safety

By: Hannah Domoslay-Paul
(Contributing writer for Pensacola Mom Collective)

Protecting The Smallest Members Of Our Families As We Travel Through Our Day-To-Day Lives.

As the mom of six, I cannot even begin to fathom the number of times I have needed to install a car seat and then buckle our children in to go somewhere. Our family travels have taken us near and far, from the quick trip to the store or school drop-off all the way up to a 7,000-mile road trip that we braved this past summer and pretty much everything in between.

A Mom’s Real Life Perspective On Safety.

Over the last 14.5 years, we have owned a grand total of 13 car seats (infant carriers, all-in-one convertible seats, and boosters), and while colors, patterns, and styles change, the number one factor purchasing each and everyone is this: Will it keep our children safe?


IN 2019, 608 CHILD PASSENGERS TRAGICALLY DIED IN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS, MORE THAN 91,000 INJURED, AND OF THOSE WITH FATAL INJURIES, OVER 38% DID NOT GET BUCKLED UP IN A CAR SEAT.


While almost all parents engage in the well-meaning act of purchasing a car seat, we often fail when it comes time to install the car seats in our vehicles correctly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that almost 50% of car seats end up improperly installed in the United States. One sure-fire way to guarantee your seat is correctly installed and your child is traveling as safely as possible is to visit a car seat inspection station near you.

You can quickly access links to local sites by visiting the NHTSA website and searching with your zip code. If there is no location near you, Safe Kids Worldwide is also an excellent service that can connect you with techs, and some technicians allow you to schedule virtual visits.

What Car Seat Is Right For The Age Of Your Child?

Knowing what car seat is right for the age of your child is just as important as knowing how to install it properly, so here are a few quick tips to help you find the right seat:

  • Rear-Facing Through Age 2: Children should stay rear-facing for as long as possible; through age two is what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends. The NHTSA even suggests keeping your child in their rear-facing seat until they reach the height and weight limits. One-third of the United States have passed laws requiring rear-facing through two and infant carriers, all-in-one car seats, and convertible car seats all fit the bill for rear-facing.
  • Different Types of Booster Seats – there are also many booster seats available, with the most common being either toddler, high-back, or standard boosters. Toddler booster seats typically have a five-point harness for use until the child reaches a certain height. High-back boosters help with proper seat belt positioning. Standard boosters are suitable for older children who do not yet meet the height requirements for seat belt positioning.
  • How Much Space Does Your Vehicle Have?  I recently had a friend discover, much to her chagrin, that the car seats she purchased for her twins would not fit in their vehicle. Having six many children myself, I discovered that the only seats I could fit properly with my vehicle’s seating configuration needed to be narrow, like those made by Diono.
  • How Long Does This Seat Last? Car seats, just like canned goods, have expiration dates, and if you are planning on buying a seat to last you through multiple children, one major factor in the difference in length of seat usage is construction. The more steel used in construction, the longer you have that seat because plastic degrades over time. Expiration dates on seats usually run between 6 – 10 years, and the information is contained on the seat label with the model and serial number.
  • Too Many Options, Too Many Choices.  Still looking for more help to pick the right seat for your family? Check out the NHTSA Car Seats and Booster Seat page, and you’ll find everything from support for selecting the right seat to a link to register the seat you ultimately choose for important safety recall updates and information.

Safe Buckling Practices

Finally, our responsibilities to the children in our lives cover so many facets and areas of daily living and sometimes we become complacent in certain areas.  One area to always making sure our children are buckled in properly to the car seat we ultimately chose. Please remember:

  • Is my child within the weight and height guidelines for this seat?  If your child is too small or too large for a seat, they can be at risk of injury in an accident.
  • Do I have the harness straps in the correct location?  It’s essential to read which position is suitable for your child’s current age and seat position. Harness straps should be just between or below the shoulders if rear-facing and just at or above shoulder height in a forward-facing car seat.
  • Is the chest clip in the correct position?  Ohhh, the chest clip, the first buckle my children mastered, and long the bane of my existence. Proper chest clip placement is paramount and can keep your child from being ejected from their seat in case of an accident. In many manuals, the chest clip, often referred to as a harness retainer clip should be positioned level across the sternum, approximately at armpit level on your child.
  • Is my child wearing unnecessary clothing or have I placed extra items in my child’s car seat?  The AAP again issues some sound guidance on the safety of any items that go over a car seat, beneath children and their car seat, and between their bodies and the safety harness. Heavy coats in the cold months are often talked about the most in this category. Still, it is essential to understand that replacement seat covers, head supports, and harness covers that do not come from the manufacturer often have the most potential for danger. They have not undergone testing for safety standards in crashes and the wisdom is that a product on the shelf for sale does not make it safe. Stretchy cap style covers that go over seats are not discouraged in the same way but always choosing one with adequate ventilation and openings over the child’s face is key to safe use.

The variety of car seats for sale shows that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for families. A properly installed seat, that a child has been correctly buckled in to, is what is safest to protect all small children.

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://portalskcms.cyzap.net/dzapps/dbzap.bin/apps/assess/webmembers/secure/manage?webid=SKCMS&pToolCode=CERT-SEARCH&pAdd=Yes

https://www.nhtsa.gov

https://www.aap.org

https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#find-the-right-car-seat-car-seat-recommendations

 

About Hannah Domoslay-Paul
(Contributing writer for Pensacola Mom Collective)

Hannah was born and raised in West Michigan and made the move to Pensacola in 2015 with her oldest four boys after being widowed. Now remarried and with two more lovely children added to the family, a girl and boy, she spends her days trying to keep it together, usually with duct tape and ingenuity. During her daily hours spent serving as a taxi driver she often muses about how lost the world would be without moms and wonders if she’ll ever go a week without playing a game of “What’s That Smell” around her house and car. Hannah is an adult with ADHD, the daughter of an alcoholic, and the survivor of child abuse who doesn’t have too many off limits topics. She is a lover of books, sarcastic humor, and old houses and all three come in handy as she constantly works on projects in and around her 1866 Folk Victorian.

Intersection Car Accidents: One of The Most Dangerous Types of Vehicle Crashes.

Intersections are a prime place for an automobile accident to occur. More than 50 percent of the combined total of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) intersection safety and design research facilitates the implementation of short-term safety improvements, and defines and evaluates long-term, higher payoff strategies to improve intersection safety.


An Estimated 165,000 Accidents Occur Annually In Intersections Caused By Red-Light Runners.

Fatalities Caused By Red-Light Runners Run From 700-800 A Year.


 

What Are Common Accidents That Occur at Intersections?

The most common causes of intersection car crashes are disobeying a traffic signal and failing to yield the right of way. Running a red light, trying to get through the intersection on a yellow light, and even unintentionally misjudging the traffic signal are all leading causes of intersection car crashes:

Speeding: Speeding is dangerous under no matter what the circumstance. However, when a driver is speeding through a busy intersection, this can cause serious accidents.

Violating traffic laws: If a driver is attempting to make illegal U-turns, turn without checking to see if there is oncoming traffic, or fail to yield to pedestrians or bicyclists, this can cause serious intersection accidents.

Impatience: Drivers will see a traffic light turn yellow and hit the gas pedal to avoid having to wait for the red light to turn green again.

Distracted Driving:  Texting, talking, reaching for something, or any other type of distracted behavior will keep them from paying attention to what is going on around them

Drunk Driving: This goes without saying that this is dangerous and will often lead to fatalities.

Drowsy Driving: In almost the same frame as distracted driving, drowsy driving and reduce reaction times and as a result, he or she may not be able to react fast enough to avoid another vehicle who runs through a red light.

 

Which Is The Most Common Crash Accounting For 40% Of Crashes?

Most of these crashes involve left turns. Nationally, 40 percent of all crashes involve intersections, the second largest category of accidents, led only by rear-end collisions. Fifty percent of serious collisions happen in intersections and some 20 percent of fatal collisions occur there.

 

Florida Statistics For Intersection Crashes

In 2018, Florida had 317,955 accidents that were classified as being at an intersection. Of those, 95,979 resulted in injuries or fatalities. That’s a 30% rate of injury, making intersection accidents among the most dangerous types of vehicle crashes there are.

 

Types Of Intersection Accidents

While nearly any sort of accident can happen at an intersection, some crash types are more prevalent than others.

T-bone Collision: This occurs when the front of one car impacts the side of another. Side-impact crashes like this are particularly dangerous for any occupant on the side of impact. Most vehicles manufactured in recent years are equipped with side-impact airbags to help minimize injuries.

Rear-End Collision: These occur when a vehicle suddenly stops or slows either before or in the intersection and the car behind them impacts it from behind. This is a frequent source of whiplash injuries. Rear-end collisions can occur anywhere and are one of the most common accident types on the road.

Angle Collision: Two cars can impact any number of ways, and angle collisions are the catchall name for accidents that aren’t head-on, rear-end, or T-bone.

Head-on Collision: These are rare accidents in intersections, but not unheard of. This usually results where someone violates the right of way and fails to maintain their lane. Because of the high speeds involved, they are particularly dangerous.

 

Who Has Right Of Way?

Who has the right-of-way in Florida? The answer is no one! The law only says who must yield (give up) the right-of-way. Every driver, motorcyclist, moped rider, bicyclist and pedestrian must do everything possible to avoid a crash.

Stop Signs

You must yield the right-of-way to all other traffic and pedestrians at stop signs. Move forward only when the road is clear. At four-way stops, the first vehicle to stop should move forward first. If two vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, the driver on the left yields to the driver on the right.

Open Intersections

An open intersection is one without traffic control signs or signals. When you enter one, you must yield the right-of-way if:

A vehicle is already in the intersection.

You enter or cross a state highway from a secondary road.

You enter a paved road from an unpaved road.

You plan to make a left turn and a vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction.

When two cars enter an open intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.

Roundabouts

Roundabouts are a new type of intersection which improve traffic flow and reduce traffic crashes.

Most roundabouts do not require stopping, which allows vehicles to move continuously through intersections at the same low speed. Roundabouts are designed to move all traffic through a counterclockwise direction. Vehicles approaching the roundabout yield to circulating traffic, however, drivers must obey all signs to determine the correct right-of-way in the roundabout.

Multiple Lane Intersections

Sometimes a one or two-lane road intersects a much larger road or highway. In this circumstance, drivers on the smaller road should yield to vehicles on the larger road. Larger roads often have greater speed limits than smaller roads, so all drivers should be aware of this common fact as well.

Highway On/Off Ramps

Getting onto and off highway exit ramps can be tricky, especially if there are many lanes or a lot of traffic. Drivers on an access ramp must yield to vehicles traveling on the exit ramp. Sometimes traffic leaving an interstate merge into its own separate lane. Drivers on the access ramp should still yield in this case. However, vehicles that are getting onto a highway must yield to all traffic coming up behind them.

 

Yield To Other Drivers In These Circumstances

  • At a yield sign
  • To pedestrians in a crosswalk
  • To persons using a seeing eye guide dog
  • To persons using a white cane with or without a red tip
  • At uncontrolled intersections where vehicles are already in the intersection
  • At “T” intersections where you must yield to vehicles on the through road
  • When turning left in which case you must yield to oncoming pedestrians, cars, etc.
  • When driving on an unpaved road that intersections with a paved road
  • When returning to the roadway after the car is parked

 

Safety Rules For Pedestrians

• Look to the left and the right before stepping off any curb.

• Cross only at intersections or designated crosswalks. Drivers are always more alert for pedestrians when they approach intersections.

• Cross with the green light or “WALK” signal. Make sure you have enough time to cross. Although the motorist must yield, the motorist may not see you in time.

• While walking along a highway, always walk on the shoulder on the left side, facing traffic. Wear light colored clothing or use a flashlight to make you more visible to drivers at night.

• Always follow the speed limit, regardless of the type of intersection. When a driver exceeds the speed limit, he or she forfeits the right-of-way.

Watch the YouTube Video with Joe Zarzaur >

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://highways.dot.gov/research/research-programs/safety/intersection-safety

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811366

https://www.tampabaynewswire.com/2020/07/20/statistics-of-intersection-accidents-87902

https://www.123driving.com/dmv/drivers-handbook-right-of-way/

https://blog.firsttimedriver.com/blog/determining-who-has-right-of-way/

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.121.html

 

Carpal Tunnel Injuries Caused By A Car Wreck

When people hear about carpal tunnel they think of people that use computers such as secretaries or factory workers who are constantly using their hands. However, even though it is considered a repetitive use injury, it can be trauma-induced. Carpal tunnel from a car accident is possible and is referred to as CTS or acute or traumatic.

Carpal tunnel injuries are surprisingly common in car crashes. When the hands are firmly gripping the wheel, or slung off into windshields or doors as a result of a crash, trauma to the area can cause inflammation leading to serious pain and loss of function. Even relatively “minor” crashes can cause these most serious and debilitating injuries.

Recent Case

In a recent case, our client was rear-ended with her hands on the wheel, causing a flexing type motion of both wrists. Within a few days, she had significant pain in her neck and shoulders and pain and numbness in her fingers.

She sought medical treatment, which included physical therapy and pain injections. She later had nerve conduction testing in her arms which showed nerve damage consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome. Unfortunately, she needed neck surgery which helped with the pain but continued to have carpal tunnel symptoms.

The physician initially recommended she wear a splint on both hands, to reduce pressure on the nerves. This was not helpful so her treating physician recommended surgery, a carpal tunnel release, where the ligaments are cut to lessen pressure on the nerves. This surgery often requires several months of rehab and can be very painful. Fortunately, we were able to obtain a very fair settlement for her, on the eve of trial.

What is CTS?

The carpal tunnel is a small space along the wrist that houses the median nerve, blood vessels, and several flexor tendons that run from the forearm to the palm of the hand. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition that surfaces from damage to and pressure around the carpal tunnel.

When involved in a car accident, if the forearm, wrist, or hand sustain damage and the muscles become inflamed, the median nerve can become compressed which results in CTS. Typically this kind of injury occurs when someone braces themselves in an accident like gripping a steering wheel or placing their hands on the dashboard. With the force of impact, the wrist can become injured and the soft tissues can be damaged.

Symptoms of CTS Can Include The Following:

  • Aching pain
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Numbness
  • Weakness in the hands
  • Reduced grip strength and a tendency to drop things

Proving CTS Was Caused By A Car Accident

This type of CTS can be a mild case or so extreme that it becomes debilitating for the patient. In order to prove that CTS was caused by an auto accident, a substantial amount of medical records will need to be turned over to insurance companies for them to cover the costs or to even support the case.

Some Treatment Options Available For Those Diagnosed With CTS Include:

  • Avoiding excess strain and not performing job duties and activities that aggravate the condition.
  • Icing and using wrist splints to support the area.
  • Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Receiving corticosteroids.
  • Using opioid pain relief for cases of severe CTS.
  • Receiving endoscopic or open surgery to correct CTS.
ADWAXF Bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome surgery

Even “simple” car wrecks can pose very complex legal and medical issues. A board-certified trial lawyer will have experience in dealing with all such issues, and with the help of cooperating physicians or experts, can get your case fairly settled. If the case does not settle, such lawyers can present your case at trial in the best possible light.

 

Watch the YouTube Video with Joe Zarzaur and Dr. Evan Malone  >

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://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/can-i-make-carpal-tunnel-injury-claim.html

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet