Tag Archives: Destin Personal injury attorney

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

305 Triathlon in Key Biscayne Sponsord by Zarzaur Law

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

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

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

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

Learn More About The Race Here! >

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

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

Women’s History Month: Janet Reno – The First Woman Attorney General Of The United States

Janet RenoArticle Courtesy of the New York Times
By Carl Hulse

Janet Reno, rose from a rustic life on the edge of the Everglades to become attorney general of the United States — the first woman to hold the job — and whose eight years in that office placed her in the middle of some of the most divisive episodes of the Clinton presidency.

Major Events During Her Tenure

Ms. Reno’s tenure as attorney general was bracketed by two explosive events: a deadly federal raid on the compound of a religious cult in Waco, Tex., in 1993, and in 2000 the government’s seizing of Elián González, a young Cuban refugee who was at the center of an international custody battle and a political tug of war.

In those moments and others, Ms. Reno was applauded for displaying integrity and a willingness to accept responsibility, but she was also fiercely criticized. Republicans accused her of protecting President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore when, in 1997, she refused to allow an independent counsel to investigate allegations of fund-raising improprieties in the White House.

After leaving office, she mounted a surprise though unsuccessful bid in Florida in 2002 to unseat Gov. Jeb Bush, the brother of President George W. Bush, amid the resentment of Cuban-Americans in South Florida over her negotiating for the return of Elián to Cuba.

Never Part Of The Inner Circle

Ms. Reno was never part of the Clinton inner circle, even though she served in the Clinton cabinet for two terms, longer than any attorney general in the previous 150 years. She was a latecomer to the team, and her political and personal style clashed with the president’s, particularly as she sought to maintain some independence from the White House.

Her relations with the president were further strained by her decision to let an independent inquiry into a failed Clinton land deal in Arkansas, the so-called Whitewater investigation, expand to encompass Mr. Clinton’s sexual relationship with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky, an episode that led to his impeachment.

Mr. Clinton and his allies thought that Ms. Reno was too quick to refer to special counsels in the Lewinsky matter and other cases of suspect administration behavior. The president let her dangle in the public eye for weeks before announcing in December 1996, after his resounding re-election, that she would remain for his second term.

Doing The Right Thing

Ms. Reno was never a natural fit in Washington’s backslapping, competitive culture. At weekly news conferences, held in the barrel-vaulted conference room outside her office in the Justice Department building on Pennsylvania Avenue, she was fond of telling reporters that she would “do the right thing” on legal issues and judge them according to “the law and the facts.”

Imposing at 6-foot-1, awkward in manner and blunt in her probity, she became a regular foil for late-night comics and a running gag on “Saturday Night Live.” But she got the joke, proving it by gamely appearing on the show to lampoon her image.

The comedy could not obscure her law-enforcement accomplishments. Ms. Reno presided over the Justice Department in a time of economic growth, falling crime rates and mounting security threats to the nation by forces both foreign and domestic.

Law Enforcement Accomplishments

Under Ms. Reno, the agency initiated prosecutions in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, helping to lay the groundwork for the pursuit of terrorists in the 21st century.

The Reno Justice Department also prosecuted spies like the C.I.A. mole Aldrich H. Ames; it filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft, a milestone in the new-technology era; and it sued the tobacco industry to reclaim federal health care dollars spent on treating illnesses caused by smoking.

Ms. Reno was a strong advocate of guaranteeing federal protection to women seeking abortions and safeguarding abortion clinics that were under threat.

But in some areas, she seemed conflicted about the law. She opposed the death penalty, for example, but repeatedly authorized her prosecutors to ask juries to impose it.

When she took office, she endorsed the use of independent counsels to investigate administration figures. But she later testified against renewing the law governing their use, saying it did nothing to take politics out of the inquiries.

Before becoming attorney general, Ms. Reno was the Dade County state attorney for 14 years, when the Miami area was growing rapidly and experiencing rising drug-related crime, widening racial divisions, demoralizing police corruption, and waves of immigration from Cuba.

Clinton’s Third Choice

Mr. Clinton, committed to appointing a woman as attorney general, settled on Ms. Reno after his first two choices — the corporate lawyer Zoë Baird and the federal judge Kimba Wood — withdrew their names in the face of criticism after it was disclosed that they had employed undocumented immigrants as nannies.

“I’m just delighted to be here, and I’m going to try my level best,” Ms. Reno said at the Rose Garden ceremony at which Mr. Clinton announced her nomination on Feb. 11, 1993.

Two months later, she gained the nation’s full attention in a dramatic televised news conference in which she took full responsibility for a botched federal raid of the Waco compound of the Branch Davidians, an offshoot of the Seventh-day Adventists.

The assault, after a long siege involving close to 900 military and law-enforcement personnel and a dozen tanks, left the compound in flames and the group’s charismatic leader, David Koresh, and about 75 others dead. A third of the dead were children.

Ms. Reno’s candor was viewed as refreshing in a city where blame-shifting is the norm, and it gave her sudden celebrity status in the new administration.

The luster faded quickly. Within weeks, Ms. Janet Reno faced tough questions about the raid and her claim that children were being abused at the compound. She was also faulted for failing to influence an important crime bill. By the end of her first year in office, she was facing mounting scrutiny in the news media.

Pressed By Republicans

With Mr. Clinton’s re-election and his decision to keep Ms. Janet Reno at her post, Republicans began questioning her independence when she resisted their calls for a special counsel to look into allegations that Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore had broken campaign fund-raising laws in 1996.

The clamor, led by the House speaker, Newt Gingrich, and Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, grew when it was disclosed that Louis J. Freeh, the head of the F.B.I., also favored a special counsel.

Ms. Reno would not budge, saying her stance had nothing to do with protecting the president. A review of the evidence, she said, convinced her that a special counsel was not warranted.

“Let me be absolutely clear,” Ms. Reno told hostile Republican questioners during one of several hearings on Capitol Hill about the call for a special counsel. “I’m not going to violate my oath in this matter because of pressure from any quarter, not from the media, not from Congress, nor from anywhere else.”

Questions about her handling of the Waco raid resurfaced in 1999, when new evidence suggested that the F.B.I. might have started the fire that destroyed the compound.

The disclosure further soured her dealings with Mr. Freeh — a relationship that had been close early in her tenure but had grown tortured by 1999. He let it be known that he favored a special counsel in the fund-raising case and a new inquiry into Waco. She sent marshals to F.B.I. headquarters to seize a tape of communications made the day of the assault.

Her final and perhaps most personal crisis as head of the Justice Department was the case involving Elián González, the 6-year-old Cuban boy who was found floating on an inner tube off the coast of Florida after his mother and 10 others had drowned in a failed crossing from Cuba by small boat.

The boy became a unifying figure among Cuban exiles in South Florida, who were determined to see him remain in the United States in defiance of the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.

Ms. Reno favored returning Elián to his father in Cuba, and she became immersed in negotiations over his fate because of her ties to Miami.

Ms. Reno was on the phone almost up to the moment agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service burst into the Miami home of Elián’s relatives and took him away at gunpoint. Congressional Republicans and many Cuban exiles were outraged. Some in Miami said Ms. Reno would be in danger if she returned there after her service in Washington.

Early in 2001, however, she did go home, her service finished. She said she was excited about a red pickup truck she had bought.

A Name Picked From a Map

Janet Reno was born in Miami, on the edge of the Everglades, on July 21, 1938, to Henry Olaf Reno and the former Jane Wood. Her father, born Henry Rasmussen in Denmark, came to the United States in 1913 with his own mother and father, who chose the name Reno off a map, believing it sounded more American.

Henry Reno was a police reporter in Dade County for more than 40 years. Jane Reno, born in Georgia, was an eccentric naturalist who would have a profound effect on Ms. Reno.

“Outspoken, outrageous, absolutely indifferent to others’ opinions, Jane Reno was truly one of a kind,” Paul Anderson, a former Miami Herald reporter, wrote in his biography of Janet Reno. It was her mother who had wrestled small alligators, though the stunt was sometimes erroneously ascribed to the daughter.

Ms. Reno, the eldest of four siblings, was about 8 when her parents bought 21 acres bordering the Everglades and moved there. Her mother, who had no construction experience, built the family home. “She dug the foundation with her own hands, with a pick and shovel,” Ms. Reno told senators at her confirmation hearing in 1993.

It was a rustic life; peacocks and other creatures roamed the property, and Janet and her siblings — Robert, Mark and Margaret — cavorted barefoot. But she also glimpsed a more sophisticated world: After junior high school, she traveled to Europe to stay with an uncle, a military judge, as he presided over a spy trial.

Besides her sister, who is known as Maggy, Ms. Reno is survived by seven nieces and nephews. Her brother Robert, a former columnist for Newsday on Long Island, died in 2012 at 72. Her brother Mark had an adventurer’s life: game warden, boat and oil supply ship captain, alligator wrestler, scuba diver, paratrooper as well as carpenter and bailiff at the Miami-Dade Justice Building. He died in 2014, also at 72.

After finishing high school in Miami, Ms. Reno attended Cornell University, graduating in 1960 with a degree in chemistry. She won admission to Harvard Law School and graduated in 1963, one of a handful of women in her class of more than 500.

Seeking to practice law in South Florida, Ms. Reno was turned down by one of the state’s best-known law firms, Steel Hector & Davis, and went to work for a smaller firm instead. She became active in local Democratic politics and met a fellow Harvard graduate, Gerald Lewis, a lawyer with electoral aspirations. Ms. Reno helped him win a State House seat in 1966, and the two opened a general-practice law firm together.

Ms. Reno entered government service in 1971 as general counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, where she worked on a difficult overhaul of Florida’s courts. Her work in Tallahassee, the capital, whetted her appetite for public office, and she campaigned for a state legislative seat of her own the next year. She lost in an upset to a Republican candidate helped by the landslide re-election victory of President Richard M. Nixon.

Ms. Janet Reno did not wait long for her next opportunity. The day after her defeat, Richard Gerstein, the state attorney for Dade County, offered her a job on his staff. As she told The Miami Herald, she expressed reservations in her characteristically straightforward manner.

“My father was always convinced you were a crook,” she said she told Mr. Gerstein. “And I’ve always been a critic of yours.”

Mr. Gerstein replied that those were the reasons he wanted to hire her. Within a few years, she was Mr. Gerstein’s chief assistant.

Ms. Reno left the prosecutor’s office in May 1976 to join Steel Hector & Davis, the firm that had rejected her out of law school. But her tenure there was short.

After Mr. Gerstein announced that he would resign in early 1978, after 21 years in the office, Gov. Reubin Askew appointed Ms. Reno interim state attorney, choosing her from about 50 candidates. She was the first woman to hold the title of state attorney in Florida and one of the few in the nation’s history to be responsible for such a large jurisdiction.

Ms. Reno retained the post through a thicket of drug, murder and corruption cases. In one, she was accused of being antipolice when she prosecuted five Miami officers in the beating death of a black insurance executive after a traffic stop; the officers, she said, had tried to make it look like an accident.

The officers were acquitted — one by the presiding judge in the trial, held in Tampa, and the others by an all-white jury — provoking criticism of her legal strategy and four days of deadly riots in Miami’s predominantly black Liberty City neighborhood.

To quell the furor, Ms. Janet Reno undertook an outreach effort that restored some support among Miami’s black citizens. She remained state attorney through five election campaigns — until February 1993, when the White House called.

Ms. Janet Reno was formally nominated to be attorney general that month, just a few weeks after the death of her mother, Jane, the guiding influence in her life. She invoked her mother’s memory in her remarks that day at the Rose Garden ceremony with Mr. Clinton.

“My mother always told me to do my best,” she said, “to think my best and to do right.”

In addition to her work as litigator and public servant, Janet Reno was a founding director of the Innocence Project. She died from Parkinson’s disease on November 7, 2016.

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.


Reno, Janet

Wrongful Death Series Part 2: In A Florida Wrongful Death Case, What Does The Probate Process Involve And Why Is It Necessary?

The stress of a recent death in the family is enough to deal with even without legal considerations. The idea that a wrongful death case also means that there has to be a probate proceeding sounds even more menacing. For law firms that are experienced in handling Florida wrongful death cases, they have probate court issues worked into their internal process so that you only have to hire us to handle both the wrongful death case and the probate action.

The Necessity of the Probate Court

Let’s first discuss the necessity of probate court in a Florida wrongful death case. First, while we are alive, a person (unless adjudicated incompetent) handles their own business.

For example, you open checking or savings accounts, buy and sell property, enter into service agreements, apply for and use credit cards, and make other personal and financial decisions. When a person dies, and until a probate court has determined who should act on behalf of the estate, no one can legally do these personal and financial activities on behalf of the decedent. So, the law allows a living person to be granted authority by the probate court to act on behalf of the decedent. This person in Florida is called the Personal Representative.

Naming a Personal Representative in Your Will

How someone becomes a representative depends upon the facts of each case. The most direct way to become a personal representative is for the decedent to name a personal representative in his or her will. Then the probate court will review the will and a presumption will be made by the probate court that the person named as the personal representative by the decedent will be the personal representative.

This presumption can be rebutted by evidence showing that the person named in the will is not qualified to be a personal representative in Florida (i.e., a felon or minor), but most of the time, the probate court will defer to the choice of the decedent as personal representative. As you can imagine, however, most people that die unexpectedly (most of our wrongful death clients) do not have a will.

What If A Person Dies Without Naming A Personal Representative?

If a person dies without a will specifying a personal representative, then the choice is up to the probate court. The court will have a strong preference for a surviving spouse or an only adult child, but otherwise, the probate court will conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine the person best suited to handle the job of a personal representative.

The Job of the Personal Representative

The job of a personal representative is to basically serve as a trustee on behalf of the estate and all of the survivors of the estate. The personal representative must keep and safeguard all property of the estate and must provide regular reports to the probate court about the winding down of all business of the estate.

If there is a wrongful death case related to a decedent, then that too becomes the business of the estate and the personal representative is charged by probate law to manage that case on behalf of the survivors and the estate.

Given the important nature of the personal representative and how they act as trustees for the estate and the survivors, the probate court is there to ensure that the person serving has the character and capacity to serve on behalf of others.

Details Are Important To The Wrongful Death Case

The probate court will require the personal representative to provide a detailed accounting of all of the assets and liabilities of the estate and will trust that the personal representative will take no action that is adverse to the interests of the estate or the survivors. In a wrongful death case, the personal representative acts as the plaintiff’s representative and often has no financial stake in the outcome of the lawsuit.

Acting on Behalf of All of The Survivors

Sometimes the personal representative is also a survivor of the decedent, and then they do have a financial interest in the lawsuit, but as the personal representative must act on behalf of all survivors, they cannot take any action that would unfairly deplete another survivor’s share of the estate.

As you can see, handling a Florida Wrongful Death case includes having a good handle on the probate process.  The entire case flows through the probate court process, and it is imperative that the lawyer handling your family’s wrongful death matter also have a really good grasp of the probate issues that will be involved in order to provide the best advice possible.


Many times, the personal representative is not even a survivor and cannot collect any damages for the wrongful death action, but the probate court feels they are best suited to manage the case affairs and, therefore, they are named the personal representative.

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 or a loved one is in need of a FREE legal consultation in regards to your wrongful death case, speak with Zarzaur Law’s Florida Wrongful Death Act experts. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.


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

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


Top 5 Things You Should Do Immediately After a Boating Accident

Boating Accident in Pensacola FL








The great thing about living on the Gulf Coast is our proximity to various bodies of water.  Obviously, this also means when more of us are near water we will likely make use of those areas for our enjoyment and recreation.  We will go to the beach, we will ride on personal watercraft, we will go fishing, we will go water skiing and wakeboarding.  We will use the water for our enjoyment just as we use the land.

The unfortunate fact is that wherever we are enjoying activities (whether it be land or sea) it will be an area that may result in injury.

Boating accident injuries happen often in our area and when you or a loved one is a victim of a boating accident, it is imperative that the injured person or his/her family take certain steps to ensure they get immediate medical attention and that they do not sacrifice their legal rights in the process.

Florida had 836 boating accidents in 2020, which is 113 more accidents than in 2019, a 16% increase. A total of 79 people lost their lives last year in boating accidents, 14 more than the previous year

Top Contributing Factors of Boating Accidents (from the United States Coast Guard annual report)

  • Operator inattention
  • Operator inexperience
  •  Improper lookout
  • Excessive speed
  • Machinery failure
  • Alcohol use
  • Weather
  • Navigation rules violation
  • Hazardous waters
  •  Force of wave / wake

Top Common Injuries Sustained in Boating Accidents

Boating accidents can result in serious – and sometimes catastrophic – injuries or death. Some of the most common types of injuries sustained in Florida boating accidents include the following:

• Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
• Back and spinal cord injuries
• Soft tissue injuries
• Fractures and broken bones
• Permanent injuries
• Death

Boating Accident case in Pensacola












The Following Is A List of Things That Should Be Done Following An Injury From A Boating Accident:

1. Call 911

Any injury should be reported to 911 as soon as possible so that emergency help can be brought your way. When you are on the water, these calls will require a marine response and a land-based response.  It is imperative that this call be placed as soon as possible since many different agencies are involved in this response given that it has occurred on the water.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Officers (“FWC”) have jurisdiction in nearly all of the waters unless the accident occurs many miles offshore. The FWC will need to respond to all boating accidents, and they will rely on land-based EMS to assist them with the transportation of the injured person from the scene to the hospital. Many times, the FWC will have to organize marine transport to a dock for purpose of transporting the injured person to the hospital.

The sooner the 911 call is made the more time all of this can be coordinated.

2. Get A Report

As with car wrecks, it never makes sense to not get law enforcement to investigate the incident and have it written up in a report.  This is equally true for boating accidents.  The FWC will be the investigating agency and it will always mean that someone will need to report the boating accident.  If possible and you do not need immediate medical treatment, it may also require that you remain at the scene until the FWC officer has completed their investigation.

3. Document The Scene And Injuries

It is important to document the scene of the boating accident.  Pictures that depict the damages to the vessel can be critical evidence of the heading (direction) that each vessel was on at the time of the collision.  In boating accidents, the heading of the vessel can define which vessel is the “stand on” vessel and which vessel is the “give way” vessel.

The “stand on” vessel has the right to maintain its course and the “give way” vessel must steer clear of the “stand on” vessel.  The damage to the vessel can indicate the heading of each vessel at the time of impact and can, in and of itself, can be helpful in determining which vessel was the “stand on” vessel.

In addition to documenting the damages to the vessels, parties involved in a boating accident should also document any injuries.

Obviously, the first order of business after an injury is to make certain that all of those injured are stabilized and under the care of the right health care workers. As soon as those injuries are stabilized, someone should take pictures of the condition of the injury since it will also be relevant later in the boating accident case.

4. Record Names And Contact Information Of All Witnesses

Amazingly, after people leave the scene of a boating accident, they began to come up with reasons why the boating accident is not their fault. Parties can readily accept responsibility at the scene and then as they get further and further away from the boating accident, they begin to minimize their contribution to the cause and start explaining the boating accident on other’s conduct, not just their conduct. This is one part of human nature and one part basically financial protectionism. This is why it is always a good idea to get all names and contact information for anyone reporting to have seen the event.

You can never have too many witnesses since most of the time there will only be a few that actually have a good testimony.

5. Seek Out A Lawyer with Boating Accident Experience

As we have discussed in prior blog postings, boating accidents usually trigger federal maritime law.  This body of law can be a land mine for inexperienced lawyers, and it is imperative that you or your loved one seek out experienced advice from a lawyer with maritime experience in personal injury cases.

Since all personal injury lawyers have the same “no cost no fee unless you win” payout structure, there is no reason not to hire someone who is not a specialist.

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

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






Meet Our Summer Law Clerks: Payton Ford

Summer Law Clerks: Payton Ford

Payton Ford
Law Student at Cumberland School of Law – Samford University
Hometown – Marbury, Alabama

Payton Ford Q&A

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

I go to Cumberland School of Law and I just finished my 2L year!

2. What Area Of Law Are You Interested In Pursuing? When Did You Know You Wanted To Be A Lawyer? 

I really am interested in plaintiff’s personal injury. It all stems from my job as an office assistant at a personal injury firm in college. I saw people at some of the most difficult stages of their life, and knew that I wanted to make an impact with the clients. I have always wanted to help people, but I finally knew how after working there!

3. What Do You Hope To Learn While Interning At Zarzaur Law, P.A.? 

I hope to learn valuable research and writing skills, but also skills that they don’t teach while in law school: people skills, preparation, how to be a great lawyer!

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

I chose Zarzaur Law because it made the most sense for me. I have always wanted to do plaintiff’s work, and I know the firm has a great reputation and does the best work for its clients.

5. Name Some Of Your Top Achievements Thus Far

During my 1L year, I participated in a competition for trial advocacy, known as the Williams, and won. I am also a member of the Cumberland National Trial Team and have competed in Syracuse National Trial Competition and Capitol City Challenge.

I am also the newest Online Editor for Vol. 45 of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. 

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

I mostly like to read (boring, I know) but I also enjoy watching my siblings play sports!

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

Harry Styles. As self-explanatory as this seems, it is because he is talented and seems genuine.

8. Why Do You Love / Like Pensacola? 

It has the perfect “home town” feel without feeling so small! There are so many opportunities here!

9. Pets? (Type And Names)

I (Payton Ford) have an Aussiedoodle named Knox and she is the best girl.

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

My parents know me to be a worrisome and anxious person, but they have always told me that I am living in the exact moment I once prayed for, and to never take it for granted!


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

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

U.S. Pedestrian Deaths Highest in Three Decades.

A recent study has found that pedestrian deaths are at a 30 year high. The study published by the Governor’s Highway Association noted that there were over 6,200 pedestrian deaths in 2018 which was the highest amount of such deaths since 1990. The study focused only on those injuries or deaths that were the result of a car impacting a pedestrian.

Distracted Driving and Pedestrian Deaths

This is no surprise to Zarzaur Law. We have noticed in the last several years that more and more pedestrians are being seriously injured or killed at higher rate than recent past. We have noticed that the cause of these collisions with pedestrians, in many cases, is distracted driving. The association study also found that the uptick in pedestrian deaths were, in part, due to increased smartphone usage.

Interestingly, this uptick has been on the rise since 2009 reaching this highest amount in 2018. This increase occurred despite the fact that traffic related deaths for other reasons had decreased. The study attributed this increased in pedestrians deaths to more nighttime crossings, more distracted driving, and more alcohol/drug impairment by both drivers and pedestrians. 90% of the death rate increase was related to nighttime collisions.

This increase in pedestrian death rate has been noted to be as high was 35% more than in 1990. Here at Zarzaur Law, we are committed to representing this victims of careless drivers and have a long history of representing pedestrians (or their survivors) who are hit by distracted drivers.

These cases usually have significant issues related to fault and it is important that our legal investigation occurs soon after the event so that we can insure collection of all relevant evidence which can assist in proving who is at fault for the collision.

Zarzaur Law Represents Family of Pedestrian Killed

The firm recently represented a family of a pedestrian struck and killed on Gulf Beach Highway. The facts of this case were that our client was attempting to cross the Gulf Beach Highway in an area that was not well lit. As she crossed the highway, she stopped in the middle turn lane. At the same time, the defendant driver was headed towards Pensacola to meet friends at a downtown club. The impact with this pedestrian was so significant that she suffered fatal injuries and was rendered brain dead within hours of the impact. The at fault driver claimed that our client “ran out in front of her” and had a “death wish”. We took on the case and started to find that this story did not line up with the physical evidence. Our firm utilized our investigation team to collect evidence at the scene and to document the scene both during the day and at night to simulate the conditions.

Zarzaur Law Investigation Proves at Fault Driver’s Responsibility

We then started to focus on the at fault driver and during litigation were able to discover that she was actually on several different prescription medications in addition to being under the influence of alcohol. At every step, the at fault driver took no responsibility and maintained that our client jumped out in front of her wanted to kill her self. However, the physical evidence and evidence of drug and alcohol use was too much for the at fault driver to handle. Ultimately, the at fault driver settled this wrongful death case for a confidential sum. While this settlement will do little to make up for the void created in this family, the fact that this driver had to account for her actions made this family whole and allowed some additional closure.

If you or a loved one was injured by a pedestrian v. car event, please feel free to contact us on the web at zarzaurlaw.com or by phone at 850-444-9299.

Joe Zarzaur, founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., a Pensacola Personal Injury law firm, has created this blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola, Florida about their legal rights. Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced an auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer. For more information, visit: https://www.zarzaurlaw.com.

11 E Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Telephone: 850-444-9299
Email: info@zarzaurlaw.com




Jury Duty: A New Perspective – An Honor, Not a Burden.

The Jury Duty Misconception.
I had only been summoned for jury duty once, and it was right near the holidays a few years ago and in the middle of a couple of major deadlines. Needless to say I was irritated having to waste my Monday waiting around in a room with at least 200 of my fellow citizens feeling the same way. We were all trying to continue working in some capacity with all of our mobile devices. I did not get chosen to serve on a jury…. didn’t even make it to the first round of jury selection and was relieved to be back at work by noon.

Part of the Bigger Picture.
I work in a personal injury law firm, Zarzaur Law, PA, here in Pensacola, Florida. I have learned a lot about the law in the year and half I have been here, especially, the process and the time it takes to prepare for a case to go to trial. Prior to working at Zarzaur Law P.A. as the marketing manager, I worked in an ad agency…so I did not have a lot of exposure to law firms. I am fortunate to work for Joe Zarzaur, an award-winning board certified civil trial lawyer, who is a part of only 1% of lawyers in the state of Florida with these credentials.

Call it coincidence or perpetuity, but I received a jury summons as an employee at Zarzaur Law, PA. At first I thought this to be another burden, but then realized that I am getting to be a part of the judicial process. Since my job at the firm does not involve the practice of law, I was interested in being a part of the process.

A New Perspective.
We all started sitting in a very large room where Pam Childers welcomed us and proceeded to have us take the oath. We were informed that all cases on the docket that week were criminal cases. Ms. Childers then went on to explain our obligation as a citizen of our state and our country. Our form of government calls us to service as be a part of the judicial process. It is important for us to be here to keep the process moving forward. We are helping the court fulfill its responsibilities and maintain our rights for due process. This is our judicial system to help resolve disputes. Cases can be resolved even while we wait and we are here willing to take time to participate in this democratic process. I never realized that some cases do get settled prior to going to jury, just because of our presence.

The Juror’s Role.
Our role as jurors is to provide a fair, impartial and just decision based on facts received in case. All of this was certainly providing me an education first hand at what my firm does and must be prepared for. The amount of time and evidence that must be prepared is substantial. Also … it’s not like the TV show Law and Order – cases and trials could take as long as 6 months to a year to get on the docket. This is why having full juries are so important. We are final authorities on the facts, judge has final authority in the law.

It felt overwhelming but exciting. You are no longer watching TV, this is real life. A big responsibility is expected of you, and I felt honored to be chosen. The experience is humbling, intimidating and empowering all at the same time. Judge and lawyers and defendant asking questions and awaiting to see who will be the panel to hear the case, weigh the facts and provide the verdict. We hold the power of democracy and fairness in our hands. We decide the fate of a person who is considered innocent until proven guilty. We actively uphold the law and its ability to help keep our country free from minority tyranny.

A Rewarding Experience.
While I was not chosen for the case, it was an unbelievable experience. I was actually disappointed not to be chosen. I just hope those that served on this jury were fair and in the end made the decision that is based on the facts.

Jurors perform a vital role in the American system of justice. … Jury service is a high duty of citizenship. Jurors aid in the maintenance of law and order and uphold justice among their fellow citizens. Their greatest reward is the knowledge that they have discharged this duty faithfully, honorably, and well. Jurors perform a vital role in the American system of justice. The protection of our rights and liberties is largely achieved through the teamwork of judge and jury who, working together in a common effort, put into practice the principles of our great heritage of freedom. The judge determines the law to be applied in the case while the jury decides the facts. Thus, in a very important way, jurors become a part of the court itself.

I challenge you to re-think jury duty the next time you receive your summons and not look at it as a burden, but as an honor and a right as a part of our Democratic society.

As one of the leading personal injury lawyers in Pensacola, Florida, Joe Zarzaur has dedicated his life to helping car wreck victims protect their rights. One major way that Personal Injury Law Firm, Zarzaur Law achieves this mission is by fighting extremely hard for the clients he represents. But a second and equally important component of Zarzaur Law Firm’s work is providing the community with the resources they need to keep themselves protected.

Read more:

Juries – Modern Juries – Jury, Court, Civil, and Trial – JRank Articles http://law.jrank.org/pages/22535/Juries-Modern-Juries.html#ixzz4yLbXuRNE


Golf Carts and the False Sense of Security

Relative speed and a distorted sense of safety are some of the reasons why golf cart accidents are on the rise. The emerging problem is attributed to the fact that golf carts are no longer used only on the golf course, but have become a means of transportation within gated and residential neighborhoods, hospitals, university campuses, malls, airports and more. Places like these usually concentrate a considerable number of people circulating on the perimeter of the facilities. Golf carts represent a desirable transportation for short distances because of their low levels of motor emissions and the cost advantages they represent when compared to a traditional car. Although the use of golf carts is regulated by state laws, there is no federal regulation that limits the operation of these vehicles.


Accidents related to golf carts occur frequently in Florida, however there is no up-to-date statistics on the number of physical injuries and fatal losses caused by the use of these vehicles in the United States. A study published by the Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care in 2008 revealed that the age group with the highest incidence of golf cart accidents are adolescents within the 10 to 19 age range and adults over 80 years old. It is important to mention that Florida Statute 316.212 (7), prohibit the operation of a golf cart by individuals under 14 years old.

The study “Golf cart-related Injuries in the U.S.” (Watson et al., 2008) revealed that almost half of the injuries related to golf carts were due to falling out of golf carts or due to overturns. Golf cart safety features have improved over the years, but they are still insufficient in preventing passenger injuries. Golf carts moving at speeds as low as 11 mph could quickly force a passenger out of the vehicle if not operated properly. The rear seats of a golf cart are mainly associated with high passenger ejection rates. Often, golf carts do not have four-wheel brakes, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Damages caused by golf carts go beyond falls and injuries. Florida news reports, monthly golf carts accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol, collisions between golf carts and regular motor vehicles and even pedestrians being run over by golf carts has increased steadily over the years. Many of these accidents have resulted in fatal injuries and even death.

All drivers face risks, but effective risk prevention helps reduce accidents and injuries.

The following are safety measures you can take to prevent golf carts accidents:

• Drive the golf cart only along permitted roads.

• Lower the speed in every turn and avoid having to turn sharply.

• A golf cart can only be operated during the hours between sunrise and sunset.

• If you are going to drive a golf cart during the night, be sure that the cart is additionally equipped with headlights, directional lights and a windshield.

• Be sure the golf cart comes with efficient brakes, safe tires, a rearview mirror and red reflector warning devices on the front and rear.

• Ordinance restricts golf carts to a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour.

• Do not drink alcohol or ride in a golf cart with anyone who has been drinking alcohol while driving a golf cart

Who’s at fault?
When it comes to golf carts accidents, determining who’s at fault is more complicated. Remember that golf carts travel through golf courses, crossroads and places different from those on which a regular car travels. If you are dealing with a golf cart accident, check first that everyone involved is safe and call an ambulance if someone is injured. Remember to take pictures of the crash scene as well as collect witnesses data if any, and call the police.

Pensacola Personal Injury Attorney, Joe Zarzaur works in all areas of personal injury including golf cart accidents, motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle and boating accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall and wrongful death.

We know accidents are 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. Offices in Pensacola and Destin.


McGwin, G., Zoghby, J. T., Griffin, R. & Rue, L. (2008) Incidence of golf cart-related injury in the United States. The Journal of TRAUMA Injury, Infection, and Critical Care 64 :1562–1566.

Watson, D. S., Mehan, T., Smith, G. & McKenzie, L. (2008) Golf cart-related Injuries in the U.S.. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 35(1) 55-59.

State Uniform Traffic Control, 2017 Fla. § 316.212.7 (2017) Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.212.html

Mohn, T. (2017, March 4) The (Mostly) Safe Golf Cart. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/04/business/retirement/the-mostly-safe-golf-cart.html


Guaranteeing a patient’s health and safety during surgical procedures requires mandatory care measures that must be considered before, during, and after the operation. In the past, surgical procedures were performed in hospitals, with more than enough staff and equipment to aid patients regardless the type of surgery required. Among the many operations, there are those that need post-operative care without the need for hospitalization, allowing patients to return home a few hours after the surgery. This type of procedure is known as ambulatory surgery.

ZL_blog_Ambulatory_Surgical_CentersThe growing population, new medical discoveries, and increased demand for medical attention has resulted in the lack of enough operating rooms in hospitals. This fact led physicians to open their own Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASC) in order to offer non-invasive surgeries to patients who do not need an overnight stay. This cost-effective solution for outpatients met federal regulations and approved. Currently, many surgical specialties can be treated on an outpatient basis. Health programs as Medicare began to certify the centers that meet the requirements to provide care to their insured. As of today, there are 5,480 ASCs that have been certified by Medicare (Rechtoris, 2017).

As the number of surgery centers has increased throughout the years, so have the risks. According to an investigation by USA Today in conjunction with Kayser Health News, “Florida has counted at least 335 life-threatening or fatal medical ‘adverse events’ since 2013 at ambulatory surgery centers.” Yearly, 911 receives thousands of calls per year from these surgery centers requiring help for patients with both minor and fatal complications. The exact number of people who have died in these centers during a surgical procedure is unknown since there is no official report.

Four factors you need to consider
If you or a family member is planning an outpatient surgery at a surgery center, it is vital that you consider the following aspects.

1. Health Risks involved – Health disorders can represent risk factors resulting in complications or death after surgery. Among them: overweight, obstructive pulmonary disease, and hypertension. Make sure that your current health condition does not represent a risk for the surgery that is to be performed.

2. Emergency crash carts – Emergency equipment is mandatory in any operating room as well as qualified staff that knows how to operate this equipment during a life-threatening situation. Make sure your surgery center has an emergency crash cart.

3. Anesthesia – Health conditions such as obesity, sleep apnea, and respiratory problems can affect patients during surgeries because of the anesthesia. Previous evaluations serve to find if the patients present those conditions. If so, they might need a hospital instead of a surgery center. Remember that all procedures that involve general anesthesia should be performed with an anesthesiologist present.

4. Infections – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conducted an infection control audit in a total of 68 ASCs to assess compliance with recommended practices in 2010. The results, which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), suggested that infection control practices in these ASCs were deficient and not specific for the given state.

According to medical reporter Sandra G. Boodman, studies have found that approximately 1% of patients in surgery centers develop severe complications that require transfer to a hospital during or immediately after a procedure.

There is no way to predict that you will be one of these patients. Inform yourself and ask all the necessary questions to your doctor before undergoing an outpatient procedure in a surgery center.

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

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured during a procedure at an Ambulatory Surgery Center, it is important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents and injuries can be devastating 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.


Gluck, F. & Jewett, C (2010) .Florida surgery centers not always prepared to handle life-threatening medical emergencies. USA Today and Kaiser Health News. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2018/03/02/florida-surgery-centers-not-always-prepared-handle-life-threatening-medical-emergencies/1084132001/

Koenig, L., Doherty, J., Dreyfus, J. & Xanthopoulos, J. (2009). An analysis of recent growth of ambulatory surgical centers: Final report. KNG Health Consulting

Rechtoris, M. (2017, February 21). 51 things to know about the ASC industry | 2017. Becker’s ASC Review. Retrieved from https://www.beckersasc.com/asc-turnarounds-ideas-to-improve-performance/50-things-to-know-about-the-asc-industry-2017.html

Boodman, S. (2014) Popularity of Outpatient Surgery Centers Leads to Questions About Safety. Medpage Today. Retrieved from https://www.medpagetoday.com/publichealthpolicy/publichealth/49213

Jewett C. & Alesia, M. (2018, March) As Surgery Centers Boom, Patients Are Paying With Their Lives. Kayser Health News. Retrieved from https://khn.org/news/medicare-certified-surgery-centers-are-expanding-but-deaths-question-safety/