Tag Archives: Destin car wreck lawyer

Triathlon Accidents And Injuries Are On The Rise.

It’s every triathlete’s and cyclist’s worst nightmare—(newbies and experienced riders alike)—and it’s happening with increasing frequency. When a vehicle enters the bike lane, runs a red light, or makes a right-hand turn in front of a bike, the outcome usually doesn’t favor the cyclist.

Growing Concerns

Over the weekend of September 24, 2022, an accomplished triathlete in Tampa, Florida was killed while on a training ride on her bicycle, and another Ironman World Champion runner-up finisher sustained significant injuries when she was hit by a car while training in Texas.  They are just the latest in a number of fatal accidents from car vs bicycle crashes.

Florida Leads The Nation In Bicycle Crash Fatalities.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicyclist fatalities in 2020 were highest in Florida (170), California (129), and Texas (79). In 2020, there was a 9% increase in the number of bicyclists killed (938), compared to 859 in 2019.

 

Florida Ranks Third
In Total Bicyclists Crashes
And Accidents.

 

When Do Bicycle Accidents Happen Most?

Bicycle-related deaths peak in the warmer months, starting in May, and they remain high through October. In 2020, the most deaths occurred in August (157) and the fewest in February (53).

 

Each year, approximately 55,000 cyclists are injured by vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); 30 percent of all bicycle accident injuries occur when a bicyclist is struck by a car.

 

In the stress and pain of the moment, it’s hard to know what to do if a car hits you while riding.

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). Please identify any witnesses to the event (first and last name, contact information). Documentation of all bodily injuries, including helmet and clothing damage, as well as vehicle and bicycle damage

 

Bicycle Accident Check List

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. As soon as possible, report the accident to your own car insurance company.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 attention.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.

 

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.

 

How Does One Law Firm Have A Staff That Has Collectively Raced And Finished Over 25 Full Ironman Distance Triathlons?

One word: perseverance. Zarzaur Law prides itself on hiring lawyers and staff that will not settle, people that are self-driven and pride themselves on achieving things that seem insurmountable.

Perseverance In Sport And Representing Clients Who Have Been Injured

The sport of triathlon is a challenging sport, even with the smaller distance events. The combination of three different sports and the need to train for multiple events requires athletes to be both fit and disciplined. High pain thresholds, mental toughness, time management, and devotion to a goal. All of these characteristics are necessary and valuable traits for the sport of triathlon but are also important in the business of personal injury litigation.

Insurance companies and their lawyers are like distance courses. They are in a war of attrition and their goal is to wear you and your lawyer down until you are willing to either give up or take next to nothing for your case. Our lawyers and staff are the perfect opposition for such a battle tactic. We have proven, even in our hobbies, that distance and discomfort are to be embraced and overcome.

 

Athlete / Triathlete Accidents and Injuries Are Special Types of Cases

Personal injuries that occur during triathlon activities such as swimming, biking, and/or running bring a special type of case to our firm. Our fellow athletes who become clients can’t help but become cases of special interest. We are you, and we understand what drives you and what places you in harm’s way. We have been on the road with crowded drivers who have no patience for cyclists; we have been in the races with hundreds of swimmers fighting for position around the first bouys; we have been on the run courses that traverse busy intersections with sketchy traffic control.  We have been there and we have thought about how easy it would be to be injured by such negligence.

Sporting events, including races, walks, and triathlons, can often yield many different types of injuries to participants. Injuries sustained from races may include:

  • Collision with other runners, swimmers, cyclists, automobiles
  • Wrecks due to improper racing conditions, like fog or damaged racing surfaces.
  • Hypothermia
  • E. coli contraction
  • Exhaustion or serious injury due to coaching negligence
  • Serious infection or disease caused by waterborne bacteria.
  • Respiratory infections
  • Road rash
  • Knee injury
  • Muscle strain
  • Torn ligaments
  • Head injury
  • Heat exhaustion

 

The Long Term Effects (Physical And Mental) Of A Sporting Accident

We also know what a toll a serious injury can have on an athlete’s life. We have all had injuries if you have competed in any of the three sports that make up triathlon. Fortunately, none of us have suffered life-changing injuries, and most of our clients end up with this fate. This is not something we can speak about via personal experience, but it is something we can relate to given our experience with the sport and being injured and suffering temporary disabling conditions.

We understand the mental and emotional injury that is suffered day in and day out when you cannot do the thing that you love and that your body craves. This helps us as a personal injury law firm. We have a taste of the disability and loss that you or your family’s sports-related injury has and will continue to have in the future.

 

Hire a Law Firm With Triathlon Experience.

Having a law firm that knows athletics and specifically knows the sports of triathlon not only assures you and your family that we will understand the facts of your case, but also provides a guarantee that we will also appreciate how this injury or loss will continue to affect you and your family for years to come.

 

Pensacola injury lawyer Joe Zarzaur
and Dr. Evan Malone are active cyclists
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.

 

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 in 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.

 

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

Bicycle Deaths

In A Distracted World, Can Cyclists Ever Feel Safe?

Is My Personal Injury Settlement Taxable In Florida?

At Zarzaur Law, we do get a lot of clients asking at the end of their case if their personal injury compensation is taxable. Normally, the compensation you receive for the physical pain and suffering associated with your car accident (or other type of accident that caused personal injury) and attendant injuries is not taxable. This compensation is considered to align with your compensation for medical expenses and, therefore, avoid tax liability. These personal injury awards are reportable, but not taxable.

While we are lawyers and not accountants, we always advise our clients to seek the advice of a tax professional with questions in regards to income from a settlement.

Below is some basic information to help answer this question.

 

Personal Injury Damages That Can Be Compensated For And Not Taxable Include:

Medical expenses 
Physical and mental pain and suffering
Permanent injuries and impairments

 

Handling Your Medical Expenses

According to an article by Picnic Tax, the tax treatment of settlements received for an injury depends on how you handle your medical expenses. If you did not deduct any medical expenses related to your physical injury on previous tax returns, the settlement money you receive is not taxable. The IRS won’t allow you to double-dip, however. If you deducted medical expenses related to your injury during the previous year, part of your settlement is taxable.

An Example:

Let’s say you were injured in a car accident in 2020. As a result of the accident, you required surgery that cost $30,000. You paid the hospital bill in 2020 and deducted $30,000 from your income taxes as a medical expense. In 2021, the lawsuit related to your accident was settled, and you received $50,000 for your physical injuries to cover both past and potential future medical expenses. In this case, $30,000 of your settlement is taxable and $20,000 isn’t.

 

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress settlements related to your physical injuries aren’t taxable. In the car accident example, if you were unable to work for several months after your accident and had subsequent surgery, you were also unable to enjoy life as you normally would. This resulted in severe depression and emotional distress. In this case, your emotional distress settlement isn’t taxable because the distress was the direct result of your injuries.

However, compensation for emotional distress only, without a physical injury, may be taxable. 

 

Questions To Ask A Tax Professional About Your Injury Settlement

If you are concerned that your Florida injury settlement could have a negative effect on your finances come tax time.

Ask questions such as:

  • What type of information and documentation do you need from me?
  • Is any of the money I received taxable?
  • How does the IRS determine what is and isn’t taxable?
  • What impact does the injury settlement have on other taxes that I may have to pay?

 

A Florida tax professional can answer these questions, among others, to ensure that you’re making safe financial decisions.

 

Watch Our YouTube Video On This Topic >

 

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

Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been in 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.

Are Legal Settlements Taxable? Tax Implications of Settlements and Judgments

https://www.irs.gov/government-entities/tax-implications-of-settlements-and-judgments

What If I Lose My Job During My Injury Case? 

Personal injuries caused by an accident that was due to no fault of their own, can have significant effects on every aspect of a client’s life.  In many personal injury cases, these effects can include an impact on a person’s job or career.  The loss of a job means the loss of income for the injured person and those who rely on him/her.   Like every other item of damages associated with a traumatic injury, clients want to know whether wage losses or job losses are the types of damages that are available as part of a personal injury case.

 

Wage Loss And Accident Injury Connection

The key to whether such damages are recoverable in a personal injury case depends upon how much and what type of evidence you have which connects the wage loss to the injury.  For example, if you miss wages as a result of your personal injury (such as a car accident injury), then you must connect your injury or treatment to the wage loss. 

This can be done by showing the following:
1. Your medical appointments required an absence from work.

2. Your treating doctor restricted you from working and it is notated in a medical record. 

Either of these situations can be demonstrated by reference to the medical records or medical appointments. 

 

What About Job Loss Due To Injury?

Some clients not only miss wages as a result of their personal injuries but end up losing their jobs.  It may appear to be unfair that an employer in Florida can fire you for an injury that you did not cause.  Unless the injury was suffered while working (workers’ compensation injury), the employer has the right to terminate most employees for any reason, including their physical limitations that result from a traumatic injury.  Business owners can work with clients, but most will only tolerate absences and limited work performance for so long before they determine that it is no longer in their best interest to keep you employed.  

 

Obviously, if your employer can find some position that will allow you to continue your employment, that would be best for you.  If, however, your employer doesn’t have any roles that are less physically demanding  you may find yourself without a job and without an income while you are recovering from the injury. 

 

Proper Documentation And Proof Of Termination Due To Injury

In order to be able to recover for wage loss associated with any personal injury case, you have to have evidence that connects your wage loss to the injury-causing event.  This means that your termination or resignation should be documented in a way that connects your injury to your inability to work.  These documents should reference a superior at your former employer so that you have not only a document as evidence but a witness that can be called to verify the basis of the termination/resignation.  Ideally, if you can coordinate your departure from employment while your injury case is pending, you and your personal injury lawyer can make it clear for evidentiary purposes. 

For instance, you and your personal injury lawyer can discuss the wording of the resignation letter or the termination notice and make sure that it references your absences since the injury, otherwise you would have remained gainfully employed.  

 

Mitigating Your Lost Wages

Once you are without a job, it is important that you just don’t give up on making money.  The law will require that you “mitigate” your lost wage damages.  Just like the law requires that you seek medical treatment for your physical injuries, the law also requires that you try and find a replacement source of wages.  This means only that you must make reasonable efforts to find a replacement source of income.  This does not mean that you have to find a job but it certainly means that you have to use reasonable efforts to find any job that you are physically able to do that could replace some of the lost wages. 

 

So, as you can see, losing a job while you are dealing with your personal injury case is not a simple business.  It is complicated and deserves the attention of a law firm that has professionals working for you and your family.  If you have questions about any personal injury matter, which would include a serious car accident injury, please feel free to reach out to zarzaurlaw.com or call our firm at 855HireJoe.

 

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS SUBJECT >

 

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 in 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.

Two-Hour Car Seat Rule: What You Need To Know.

Did you know that when traveling with a baby, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you take your baby out of the car seat every two hours? Do you also know what the recommendations is for when you can start doing longer drives with your baby?

Surprisingly, many parents have not heard of the two-hour car seat rule. If you have never heard of this before, don’t worry; during National Baby Safety Month, we wanted to share important information about this recommendation.

 

At What Age Does The Two-Hour Car Seat Rule End?

The two-hour car seat rule age is not specific, but it should be followed until the baby is old enough to sit upright and control their head and neck movement.

Sitting Devices, Such As Car Seats, Strollers, Swings, Infant Carriers, And Infant Slings, Are Not Recommended For Routine Sleep In The Hospital Or At Home, Particularly For Infants Younger Than 4 Months. – AAP

 

What If The Baby Falls Sleep In Its Car Seat?

Many babies fall asleep in their car seats, but as soon as you get the chance, the baby should be moved to a flat-lying position.

If your baby has been sleeping for most of your trip, it may be even more important for you to take frequent breaks.

Sleeping In The Car Seat Is Actually The Most Dangerous Time For Your Baby, As They Can Slump Down And Restrict Their Own Breathing.

Moving your baby to a flat-lying position when sleeping is better for their spine and their breathing and heart rate.

Also consider what plans you have for your baby’s sleep at night throughout your trip. You should never allow your baby to sleep in their car seat in a hotel room or at home.

Only use car seats in the car when the car is moving. Other uses are not safe for the baby.

Over half of the infant deaths that occur in reclined sleeping devices happen in car seats.

Bottom line—if your question is, “At what age does the 2-hour car seat rule end?” The answer to that is more about the baby’s ability to sit correctly than age.

 

Buy The Appropriate Car Seat.

There are different types of car seats on the market. They are designed to be age, weight, and height specific.

Again, a suitable car seat is rear-facing. Read more on best choices here >

 

 

 

How Long Should I Keep My Child In A Rear-Facing Car Seat?

For at least two years, according to the AAP guidelines.

 

Important Child Safety Seat Reminders For Parents

As children grow, so do their restraint types (rear- facing, forward-facing, booster seat, or seat belt). Always use the one that fits your child’s current age and size.

Use the NHTSA Car Seat Finder located here > 

Every car and every car seat or booster seat has different installation instructions, so make sure you read both the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual.
Remember that children in rear-facing seats should never be placed in front of an active passenger air bag.

Use either the lower anchors and tether, or the seat belt and tether when installing forward-facing seats.

To get assistance with installation, find a certified child passenger safety technician (CPST) at a location near you using NHTSA’s Inspection Station locator.

For Escambia County >

For Santa Rosa County >

For Okaloosa County >

For Walton County >

For Miami-Dade >

Remember to register your car seat or booster seat so you can be notified in the event of a safety recall.

Plan to use car seats or booster seats when traveling and riding in taxis or ride-share vehicles.

Find out when your child is ready to use an adult seat belt, reference the “Car Seat Recommendations for Children”. Be sure to read the information for Booster Seat and Seat Belt Use.

Keep children in the back seat until at least age 13. It’s the safest place to ride.

— NHTSA’s Research and Program Development

 

Avoid Long Journeys

Parents and caregivers are advised to avoid planning long trips until their baby is ready to withstand traveling for long hours. Besides long-distance travel, traffic in your city must be factored in to keep away from being stuck in one with a newborn baby in the car.

When long journeys are unavoidable, breaks should be scheduled in between hours to give the infant child a chance to relax before continuing with the trip.

Bottom line – Infant car seats should only be used in the vehicle.

What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident While Traveling In Florida

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

 

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

 

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

If your child has been injured in a car accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board-Certified Trial Lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and 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.safekids.org/blog/5-tips-new-parents-during-baby-safety-monthhttps://momvanup.com/the-2-hour-car-seat-rule-when-does-it-end/

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20190520/putting-your-child-to-sleep-in-a-car-seat-is-risky

2 Hour Rule

https://www.momnewsdaily.com/family/2-hour-car-seat-rule-all-you-need-to-know/

https://www.safekids.org/blog/5-tips-new-parents-during-baby-safety-month

https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/best-infant-car-seat#our-pickshttps://www.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/aap/2022/american-academy-of-pediatrics-updates-safe-sleep-recommendations-back-is-best/

Dangers Of Drowsy Driving In Florida.

We are all familiar with the hazards of drinking and driving or even texting and driving, but many people underestimate the dangers of drowsy driving. Each year, drowsy driving accounts for about 100,000 car crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Drowsy driving contributes to an estimated 9.5% of all car accidents, according to AAA.

 

Florida’s Ronshay Dugans Act

In the state of Florida, in partnership with the Florida Department of Highway Safety Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), September 5-11 is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

On September 5, 2008, 8-year-old Ronshay Dugans lost her life after a cement truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit the school bus she was riding. Florida’s Ronshay Dugans Act was established in 2010 by the Florida Legislature, recognizing the first week in September as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week in her honor.

“I pray that Drowsy Driving Prevention Week brings awareness to anyone who gets behind the wheel that didn’t get enough sleep. This week brings comfort to us letting us know Ronshay’s spirit lives on when someone hears her story. If you have to turn the air up or drink coffee to stay awake, this is a sign of drowsy driving. Our family is asking motorists this week, and every week, to rest before traveling and if you are sleepy, utilize rest stops.”
–Josie West, aunt of Ronshay Dugans

 

FLHSMV ESTIMATES THAT
3,991 REPORTED CAR CRASHES IN FLORIDA
INVOLVED DROWSY DRIVERS LAST YEAR.

 

Drowsy Driving Laws In America

Only two states (Arkansas and New Jersey) have laws directly classifying drowsy driving as a punishable offense.

California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, and Maine have adopted driver’s license restrictions for motorists with untreated sleep disorders.

Massachusetts, California, Alabama, Florida, and Texas all have weeks or days dedicated to spreading awareness of drowsy driving and how to identify the signs of driving while drowsy.

For more information on drowsy driving state laws, consult the full list of legal resources available at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

 

Drowsy Driving Vs. Drunk Driving

Studies show being awake for more than 20 hours results in impairment equal to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, the legal limit in all US states.

Drowsy driving killed 795 people in 2017.
In 2017, nearly 2,000 people died in alcohol-related accidents.

Even if you aren’t drunk, driving while tired can slow your reaction times and thought processes enough to cause a car accident.

 

How Often Do People Drive While Drowsy?

About 27% of drivers report driving while being so tired they have difficulty keeping their eyes open (AAA)

1 In 25 Drivers Admit To Falling Asleep Behind The Wheel (CDC)

 

47% OF THOSE WHO HAVE
DID SO ON A TRIP
LASTING ONE HOUR
OR LESS (NHTSA)

 

When Does Drowsy Driving Happen?

Most drowsy driving crashes occur between midnight and 6am or later on in the afternoon when the body regulates sleep (NHTSA)

Drowsy driving crashes often only involve a single passenger running off the road (NHTSA)

Drowsy driving crashes are more common on highways and rural roads (NHTSA)

 

Drowsy Driving Behavior By Length Of Drive

Respondents explain when they’ve ever displayed these drowsy driving behaviors.

 

Driver Fatigue Warning Signs

Specific drowsiness indicators signal that you should refrain from driving until you have had more sleep. However, driver fatigue may not always show itself in the same form, making it harder for some to detect.

Key warning signs of drowsy driving include:
1. You can’t seem to keep your eyes focused.
2. You can’t keep your eyes open and keep blinking.
3. Your head suddenly feels unbearably heavy.

These symptoms are particularly dangerous because they are so common, but it is critical that you do not ignore your body’s signals that it is tired.

 

Who Are The At-Risk Groups For Drowsy Driving Car Accidents In Florida?

Drowsy driving can happen to anyone, but it does affect some groups more than others.

These drivers that are at a higher risk of drowsy driving include:

Young And Inexperienced Drivers
Teens and young drivers have had less time on the road, so their skills are not developed behind the wheel. Younger drivers are also more likely to drive during late hours for work or social reasons, making them more susceptible to drowsy driving.

Shift Workers And Those With Extended Hours
Shift and night workers are often subject to long hours on the clock, and when it comes time to clock out, they are typically exhausted. A long drive home is the last thing they need, but many still trudge to their cars out of obligation and routine anyway. Those who work night, rotating, or double shifts have six times the risk of drowsy driving than other types of workers. Professionals who often work grueling shifts can include doctors, nurses, pilots, police officers and firefighters.

Commercial Drivers|
Those who drive for a living put more miles on the road than the average commuter. Commercial drivers are also at much higher risk of drowsy driving, given the long hours and unforgiving deadlines that many commercial drivers face.

Business Travelers
Those who travel the country regularly for business are at particular risk of drowsy driving, as they are often subjected to jet lag, changing time zones as often as ZIP codes. If you travel extensively for work, it can be challenging to get enough sleep to be safe on the road.

People With Sleep Conditions
Drowsy driving can be an everyday battle for drivers with sleep disorders. Narcolepsy or insomnia can leave some drivers feeling depleted and tired during the day, while those with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are categorically more at-risk of drowsy driving. Some medications can also be counter-effective, making drivers sleepy when they need to be focused behind the wheel.

 

The Consequences Of Drowsy Driving In Florida

The most expensive cost of drowsy driving is the human toll that it takes each year. With over 100,000 crashes attributed to drowsy driving, future accidents can easily be avoided with just a little effort.

The consequences of drowsy driving in Florida can be pretty severe. Assuming you survive your car accident in Florida, you could still walk away with significant injuries that could require months or even years of medical care. You could also suffer from long-lasting cognitive or physical impairments that can impact your performance and physical health.

In an August 2016 report, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates that the annual societal cost of drowsy driving is $109 billion. Additionally, the study notes that property damages are not even included in this cost.

 

Prevention: How To Stay Awake While Driving In Florida

1. Drive at times you are usually awake.
2. Take your time and don’t rush to get to your destination.
3. Eat a low-sugar, healthy diet before your drive.
4. Take energy-boosting vitamins.
5. Drink caffeine.
6. If you are sleepy, a 100-calorie snack may wake you up.
7. If you can’t make it, a 20-minute nap should suffice. That’s what rest stops are for!

“You can’t control what other drivers do, but you can control being drowsy behind the wheel,” said Michele Harris, Florida Public Affairs Director for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Take steps to stay alert because it could save your life as well as the lives of innocent motorists.”

 

What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident While Traveling In Florida

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

Get more helpful information on what to do after an accident here at our “Car Wreck Checklist” >

 

About Zarzaur Law, P.A.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since2007. OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, MedicalMalpractice, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more.

Licensed in Alabama and Florida. www.zarzaurlaw.com

Offices in Pensacola, Destin, Miami and Tallahassee

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.

Sources:

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLHSMV/bulletins/32b01c0

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/drowsy-driving/drowsy-driving-vs-drunk-driving

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

https://www.thezebra.com/resources/research/drowsy-driving-statistics/

https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/car/drowsy-driving-statistics/

The Prevalence and Impact of Drowsy Driving

What You Should Know If Traveling By Car in Florida Over Labor Day Weekend. 

According to The Vacationer, an estimated 137 million people will be traveling for Labor Day weekend, which is more than 53% of the country.

Last Major Travel Holiday Of The Summer: Increased Traffic To Pensacola and Destin

Labor Day also marks the symbolic end of the summer, and both Pensacola and Destin, Florida have been named as one of the top locations to visit during the holiday weekend, according to tripstodiscover.com. This will also mean increased traffic to our popular coastal communities and increased risk of car wrecks caused by drivers not familiar with the area or driving carelessly.

Unofficial End Of Summer

Labor Day weekend is a common signal to many as the unofficial end of summer, but for law enforcement across Florida, it signifies an increase in motorists traveling on the roadways and the importance of reminding drivers to stay safe and sober behind the wheel.

“As Labor Day approaches, please keep safety at the forefront of your travel plans. While many of us will take this long weekend to celebrate with family and friends, our FHP Troopers and first responders will be working to respond to and protect our safety,” said FLHSMV Executive Director, Terry L. Rhodes. “Historically in Florida, more crashes occur on the Friday before Labor Day than any other day during the four-day travel period. No matter how far your destination may be, please remember to buckle up, slow down, and never drive impaired. ”

 

According to FLHSMV data, last year, 4,016 crashes occurred from the Friday before Labor Day through Labor Day across Florida.

During this four-day period, there were 41 fatalities from crashes—eight of which involved drugs and/or alcohol.

 

So as you prepare to travel here are some top tips and info that you can use to ensure a safe arrival to your Labor Day destination in Florida. 

 

When Is The Best Time To Leave For Labor Day Weekend Travel?

According to Transportation analytics company INRIX here is what you need to know in regards to best and worst times to travel for the Labor Day weekend.

Wednesday: Before 12:00 p.m. or after 7:00 p.m.

Thursday: Before 12:00 p.m. or after 7:00 p.m.

Friday: Before 1:00 p.m. or after 7:00 p.m.

Saturday: Before 1:00 p.m. or after 5:00 p.m.

Sunday and Monday are expected to have normal to minimal congestion.

 

When Is The Worst Time To Leave For Labor Day Weekend Travel?

“Thursday, like three-to-four o’clock (p.m.) is probably the worst time to leave,”  Bob Pishue, transportation analyst for INRIX said. “That’s when you get commuters and people running errands, mixing with vacationers and schools getting out if they’re in session.”

Wednesday: 1:00-8:00 p.m.

Thursday: 1:00-8:00 p.m.

Friday: 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

Saturday: 12:00-5:00 p.m.

What could help ease the pain on the road is taking state highways as opposed to an interstate highway. 

 

TOP 4 LABOR DAY WEEKEND DRIVING SAFETY TIPS

Focus on Driving
Keep 100% of your attention on driving at all times – no multi-tasking.

Don’t use your phone or any other electronic device while driving.

Slow down. Speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of an accident.

Drive “Defensively”

Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing, and expect the unexpected.

Assume other motorists will do something crazy, and always be prepared to avoid it.

Keep a 2-second cushion between you and the car in front of you.

Make that 4 seconds if the weather is bad.

Make a Safe Driving Plan

Build time into your trip schedule to stop for food, rest breaks, phone calls or other business.

Adjust your seat, mirrors and climate controls before putting the car in gear.

Pull over to eat or drink. It takes only a few minutes.

Practice Safety

Secure cargo that may move around while the vehicle is in motion.

Don’t attempt to retrieve items that fall to the floor.

Have items needed within easy reach – such as toll fees, toll cards and garage passes.

Always wear your seat belt and drive sober and drug-free.

 

What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident While Traveling In Florida

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

Get more helpful information on what to do after an accident here at our “Car Wreck Checklist” >

 

About Zarzaur Law, P.A.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board-Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since2007. OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, MedicalMalpractice, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more.

Licensed in Alabama and Florida. www.zarzaurlaw.com

Offices in Pensacola, Destin, Miami and Tallahassee

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.

Sources:

Labor Day

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2022/08/30/best-worst-time-travel-labor-day-weekend/7939023001/

https://www.tripstodiscover.com/best-places-in-florida-to-visit-on-labor-day-weekend/

https://www.flhsmv.gov/2022/09/01/florida-highway-patrol-offers-tips-for-safe-labor-day-travel/

Alex Jones Trial: Lessons Learned About E-Discovery

Mobile phones have played a supporting role in eDiscovery in civil cases, while testimonials and data from laptops, social media, and emails have provided more concrete evidence used to defend and try cases.

Over the years, there has been a significant shift in legal matters involving discovery and, more specifically, eDiscovery. Mobile phones and text messages have become an integral part of the litigation process. However, there is so much personal data that could be a liability if produced without going through the proper discovery process.

Alex Jones Legal Team Critical Errors

Making crucial errors in eDiscovery can prove detrimental to both lawyers and their clients. There is no better example of this than in the case of the Sandy Hook parents, who won a $49.3 million judgment, including $45.2 million in punitive damages, against Alex Jones, the InfoWars founder, and commentator.

Alex Jones was ordered to pay $4.1 Million in compensatory damages to Sandy Hook parents and $45 million in punitive damages for claiming the massacre was staged.

Alex Jones’ lawyers accidentally turned over an electronic file containing approximately two years of text messages to trial evidence. Jones’ attorneys inadvertently gave the parents’ lawyer, Mark Bankston, the entire digital copy of Alex Jones’ mobile phone with every text message that had been sent for the past two years. 

What Does ‘eDiscovery’ Mean In Law?

Electronic discovery, also called e-discovery, is the process of obtaining and exchanging evidence in a legal case or investigation. E-discovery is used in the initial phases of litigation when involved parties are required to provide relevant records and evidence related to a case.

How Does The E-Discovery Process Work?

The process of discovery begins when a lawsuit appears imminent and ends when digital evidence is presented in court. Attorneys from both sides will determine the scope of e-discovery. The following is a simple description of the e-discovery process:

Identification.
ESI is identified by attorneys. E-discovery requests and challenges are made.

Preservation.
Data that is identified as potentially relevant is placed under legal hold so it cannot be destroyed. Failure to preserve data will lead to sanctions and fines if the lost data puts the defense at a disadvantage.

Collection.
Data is transferred from a company to legal counsel. The legal counsel determines the data’s relevance.

Processing.
Files are loaded onto a review platform. Data is usually converted into a PDF (Portable Document Format) or TIFF (Tag Image File Format) for court.

Review.
The review process assesses documents for privilege and responsiveness to discovery requests.

Production. Documents are exchanged with opposing counsel.

Legal Issues With E-Discovery

E-discovery is an evolving field that goes far beyond just technology. It can give rise to many legal, constitutional, political, security, and personal data privacy issues.

Proper E-Discovery Requires A Board-Certified Civil Trial Expert

An experienced Board Certified Professional will produce the correct document files, reviewed by the legal team, and ready for trial.

Alex Jones, Trial Lawyer, is a good example of what NOT to do for your client. It was unfortunate and entirely preventable.

A competent attorney should be able to know how to acquire, review, and produce the correct records without compromising the client’s privacy. Florida law recognizes a right to privacy, and courts are supposed to weigh and balance the competing interests in protecting personal information with the need to discover relevant evidence—evidence that could be critical in determining fault.

Make sure you hire a board-certified civil trial lawyer for your personal injury case. Only about 1% of Florida lawyers are board certified and only a handful of lawyers have the same board certifications as Mr. Zarzaur. 

The firm also has attorneys who are AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell & have been named Florida Super Lawyers®

Watch Our Video On This Topic >

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

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.

Sources:

https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/definition/electronic-discovery-e-discovery-or-ediscovery

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alex-jones-lawyers-accidentally-leak-years-emails-infowars-financial-d-rcna41378

Motor Vehicle Accidents Remain The Leading Cause Of Workplace Deaths

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of workplace deaths in the U.S. These accidents involve many types of vehicles, from delivery trucks, tractor trailers, and garbage trucks to emergency response vehicles, farm equipment, and passenger cars.

EVERY 12 MINUTES, SOMEONE DIES IN A MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH

EVERY 10 SECONDS, AN INJURY OCCURS

EVERY 5 SECONDS, A CRASH OCCURS 

Many accidents happen during work.  Many of them occur on the way to and from work.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the US
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

In 2019, an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives in car crashes. About 4.4 million people were injured seriously enough to require medical attention in crashes last year. 40% of motor vehicle accidents are work-related.
(Source: NSC and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event at 2,080, accounting for 40% of all work-related fatalities. (Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Motor vehicle accidents cost employers over $56 billion in 2017, with 53% of vehicle accidents causing employees to miss work. 68% of companies reported recent on-the-job accidents in company-owned vehicles, and 41% of companies reported recent on-the-job accidents in employee-owned vehicles. (Source: Motus Research)

US Dept of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics

Drivers, sales workers, and truck drivers had the most fatalities of any broad occupation group at 966. (Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Transportation-related incidents include those involving aircraft, railways, roadway collisions, and more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2020 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Dec. 16, 2021, 

From Highest To Lowest Fatalities:

Transportation-related incidents

Slip and fall.

Contact with objects, equipment

Violence

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

Fire and explosions

Key findings from the 2020 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries 

A worker died every 111 minutes from a work-related injury in 2020.

Transportation-Incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event, with 1,778 fatal injuries, accounting for 37.3 percent of all work-related fatalities.

“For the majority of people, the most dangerous thing they do while at work is drive on the public highway.”
(Source: Road Safety Observatory)

Driving for Work: Why Should Safety be Your Top Concern?

Motor Vehicle Accidents  Whether your work involves operating or driving machinery on or off-site, it’s vital to make sure that your personal safety is protected, both by your employer and through their and your actions. People who drive for work are often subject to tight schedules and quotas, putting pressure on them to get there on time or to move merchandise quickly.

Whatever your role as a driver entails, safety should be your first concern. No matter where you work, your employer is obligated to provide a safe working environment, which includes maintaining safe vehicles and machinery. Safety of staff is of paramount importance and should always be the first concern of workmates, employers, and sub-contractors alike.

Who Is At Risk of a Workplace Vehicle Accident?

According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), the industry divisions with the highest fatalities include:

Transportation, Communications, and Public Utilities (TCPU)

Sales

Service

Construction

Manufacturing

Mining

Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing

Material movers

Laborers

Of course, these aren’t the only industries in which workers face the risk of a motor vehicle crash. Any profession that involves commuting or transporting goods or people presents a crash risk. Home healthcare workers, taxi drivers, and police officers spend significant time driving as well.

It isn’t only drivers who are at risk. Pedestrians can also be struck by a vehicle. Pedestrians are involved in approximately 16% of fatal transportation incidents.

What Are the Causes of Workplace Vehicle Accidents?

Workplace vehicle accidents generally fall into three categories:

Collision with another vehicle

Collision with a pedestrian

Collision with a stationary object on the roadside

Alcohol, other drugs, speed, lack of sleep, and driver distractions are factors in many work-related vehicle crashes. Distracted driving is becoming an increasing concern, killing an estimated 5,500 people and injuring nearly 450,000 each year.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Workplace Motor Vehicle Accidents?

Here Are A Few Things Employers Can Do To Help Prevent Workplace Motor Vehicle Accidents:

Check Motor Vehicle Reports (MVRs).
On a yearly basis, verify drivers’ MVRs to ensure licenses are valid and that there are no outstanding violations. Additionally, only properly licensed individuals should be allowed to drive specialized vehicles.

Keep company vehicles in good repair.
Regularly inspect tires, brakes, lights, horns, and mechanicals as needed and replace or repair any problems. If a vehicle needs repair work, it should be marked as out of commission.

Create a corporate distracted driving policy.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving was responsible for 9% of total fatal crashes in 2017. Employees should always be focused on the task at hand: getting to their destination safely. Creating a corporate distracted driving policy provides employees with strict guidelines for avoiding cellphone use, including making calls or answering texts and emails, while they are behind the wheel.

Enforce safety measures.
It should go without saying that employees should be required to wear seatbelts at all times. They should also obey all traffic laws, including posted speed limits, understand how to check blind spots before switching lanes, and have basic defensive driving skills.

Allow drivers to take breaks.
Employees required to drive for long hours in the early morning or late at night may be more susceptible to drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel. Encourage drivers to take frequent breaks, at least every 100 miles or every two hours, especially when driving overnight. Before a long drive, employees should get plenty of sleep, and understand that if they start to feel groggy or irritable, they should pull over and get some rest.

Watch Our Video On This Topic >

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

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

If you’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.

Sources – 

https://driving-tests.org/driving-statistics/

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf

https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/motor_vehicle_guide.pdf

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

Preventing Workplace Motor Vehicle Accidents

 

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

Pensacola Among Top Fatal Pedestrian Crash Hot Spots.

According to the Journal of Transport and Land Use, Pensacola has been named among the top cities with fatal pedestrian crashes and one of the top cities in the country for fatal pedestrian crash hot spots.

These statistics are no surprise to Zarzaur Law, P.A. Our firm has seen a dramatic increase in calls to our office in regards to accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians. Pedestrian fatalities made up 22% of the total traffic crash-related fatalities throughout Florida in 2021, resulting in 817 deaths. 

Car and truck crashes continue to be a major public safety issue in Pensacola and the rest of Escambia County.

2021 reports show that Escambia County is among the top 25 Florida counties for pedestrian accidents.

 

In March of 2022 alone, four people were killed crossing Escambia County roads in one weekend, which has prompted The Florida Highway to work even closer with the Florida Department of Transportation to find a way to help combat this issue, specifically in Escambia County.

Some of those changes include upgrading the standard yellow pedestrian crosswalk signs to a brighter, more visible color.

In July 2022, A woman was crossing West Cervantes Street near “S” Street at about 4 p.m. when she was hit by a car traveling westbound, according to the Pensacola Police Department. The woman sustained serious injuries.

Pedestrian safety improvements are currently being made after several fatalities in recent years. In fact, 31 accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians (and cyclists) have occurred between 2012 and 2018.

Pedestrian fatalities are becoming more common in the United States and Florida, according to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

The report crunched numbers from just the first half of 2021 and found a roughly 31% increase in pedestrian fatalities in Florida. Altogether, the state saw 444 pedestrian deaths in that time frame, which was the second-highest count in the country behind California.

Florida did, however, see the greatest difference in deaths between that period in 2020 and 2021.

The most dangerous streets for pedestrians are in Florida, followed by Alabama, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Delaware. Florida has seven of the 10 most dangerous metro areas, with Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford bearing the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous in the US.

Dangerous Pensacola intersections: Jackson Street between A street and Fairfield Drive

The roughly 5.5-mile corridor traverses a diverse and predominantly residential community between A Street and Fairfield Drive, connecting downtown Pensacola and the western portion of Escambia County. A lack of sidewalks, safe crossings, and dedicated bike facilities makes traveling the corridor challenging for pedestrians and cyclists alike.

Jay Aber, a WSP senior transportation engineer and planner of the proposed Jackson Street improvement project , said one-third of accidents along West Jackson Street involved pedestrians and cyclists. Dangerous intersections include A Street, Fairfield Drive, New Warrington Road, Old Corry Field Road, Pace Boulevard, 57th and 65th.

Proposed improvements will complement the existing communities and address safety, mobility, and sustainable, long-term economic redevelopment.

Dangerous Pensacola intersections: West Cervantes Street Corridor.

A similar project to curb accidents in the West Cervantes Street corridor is underway. Planned improvements along West Cervantes Street include constructing seven lighted mid-block crosswalks, ADA-compliant ramps, and a wider multi-use path. New traffic signals will be added at four intersections, and existing signals will be enhanced with upgraded pedestrian features.

Vehicle lane widths will be reduced, and the speed limit will be lowered to 30 mph. A raised center median with a low barrier and designated openings for pedestrians at selected locations will be constructed within the project limits. The project also includes enhanced lighting, landscaping, and irrigation improvements. In addition, crews will mill and resurface the roadway where median and signal work are performed.

All of these projects are an effort to curb the continued rise in pedestrian deaths in Escambia County.

To request traffic calming measures with Escambia County, go here >

The Causes of Pedestrian Accidents:

Many factors are involved in the rising number of pedestrian accidents in Florida. Especially considering the population, the urban design, and the number of people who walk to work, school, beaches, and other places daily. The street culture of Florida also has many people who are running, cycling, skating, or simply walking through busy streets for work, school, and other purposes; and who are most at risk for pedestrian accidents every day.

The causes of these accidents include, but are not limited to:

    •  Over-speeding on behalf of drivers 
    • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
    • Negligence while driving
    • Distracted drivers on cellphones or other in car devices
    • Careless pedestrians neglecting public safety
    • Breaking traffic rules at intersections and traffic signals by both drivers and pedestrians

Drivers and pedestrians distracted by cellphones and oblivious to each other could be the cause of this spike in pedestrian injuries and deaths.

SAFETY TIPS FOR PEDESTRIANS

1. Be safe and seen: make yourself visible to drivers.

2. Be smart and alert: avoid dangerous behavior.

– stay sober

– walk on sidewalks

– don’t assume vehicles will stop

– don’t rely solely on pedestrian signals, be alert to engine sounds and backup lights

3.  Look before you step!

– look both ways

– don’t wear headphones

– cross streets at marked cross walks

SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS

Be Alert and Watch for Pedestrians:

1. Scan the road and the sides of the road ahead for potential pedestrians or bicyclists.

2. Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians crossing or bicyclists coming up the road.

3. Never drive while distracted or after using alcohol or other drugs.

4. Do not use your cell phone while driving.

5. Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians, especially small children, before backing-up.

6. Keep your windshield clean and your headlights turned on for maximum visibility.

 

Be Responsible and Yield to Pedestrians at Crossings:

1. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, whether they are marked or not.

2. When making a right or left turn at an intersection, yield to pedestrians.

3. Do not block or park in crosswalks.

4. Be Patient: Maintain a safe speed and avoid aggressive maneuvers.

5. Never pass/overtake a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.

6. Follow speed limits and stop completely at STOP signs.

7. Use extra caution when driving near children playing along the street or older pedestrians who may not see or hear you.

8. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians at all times.

 

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

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

If you or your family member has been the victim of an auto vs pedestrian 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.cnu.org/publicsquare/2021/03/15/sunbelt-leads-pedestrian-deaths

https://weartv.com/news/local/4-pedestrian-fatalities-over-weekend-prompts-florida-highway-patrol-to-combat-issue

US pedestrian deaths are reaching a new high

Reimagine Safety

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/driving-tampa-bay-forward/florida-ranks-2nd-for-pedestrian-deaths-in-us-for-part-of-2021-local-group-advocates-for-solutions

https://www.route-fifty.com/infrastructure/2022/07/deadliest-us-metro-areas-pedestrians/374107/

https://jtlu.org/index.php/jtlu/article/view/1825

https://www.vox.com/23178764/florida-us19-deadliest-pedestrian-fatality-crisis

https://www.ghsa.org/resources/Pedestrians22

https://www.ghsa.org/sites/default/files/2022-05/Pedestiran%20Traffic%20Fatalities%20by%20State%20-%202021%20Preliminary%20Data.pdf

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

https://www.yahoo.com/now/escambia-among-top-25-florida-120231002.html