Tag Archives: Joe Zarzaur

How Do I Know If I Have a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?

Drivers and vehicle owners faithfully pay their auto insurance premiums monthly or quarterly with the belief they will receive a fair claims payout if the need arises (e.g., after a car accident that was not their fault).

Unfortunately, far too many of our clients here at Zarzaur Law, P.A. learn the hard way that car insurance companies are primarily concerned with their own bottom line.

 

What Is Bad a Bad Faith Claim?

Sometimes, insurance companies like to push boundaries and see if they can get away with not investigating claims or not paying out money owed on a policy after an accident. This is called “bad faith.”

The duty of good faith in Florida provides that insurers owe a “duty to their insureds to refrain from acting solely on the basis of their own interest in settlement,” as was said in State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v. Laforet. Under Florida’s Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act.

 

Bad Faith Claims Most Often Stem From:

Unnecessary claim delays. Insurers are required to process claims in a reasonable amount of time and without unnecessary delays.

Policy cancellations. Our firm has seen cases where an insured files a claim, and the insurer immediately starts scouring their history for errors or any misrepresentation that might void the policy.

This is common when it comes to death benefits claims. Sometimes, it is for something as simple as a misspelled name – even though they had no problem collecting the monthly premium despite this error.

Misrepresentations of policy. Some insurers will attempt to avoid paying claims by mischaracterizing the terms, requirements, and policy provisions. Many insurance policies are crafted with complex language and insider jargon, much of which favors the insurer. But it is well understood that any ambiguity is supposed to be construed in favor of the policyholder.

Ambiguous policy exclusions. Insurance policies can have all kinds of exclusions. But if an exclusion is ambiguous, it should be decided in the claimant’s favor.

Denies paying for a valid claim on no reasonable basis. Insurers have a responsibility to pay valid claims and offer a reasonable basis when they deny them. Failure to do so maybe bad faith. The same goes for low-ball settlement offers that are not justified.

Low settlement offers are often made without justification and for the benefit of the insurance companies bottom line and without regard for the insured.

 


Bad faith insurance claims are complicated actions and involve a multitude of issues, and that is why it is important to hire the best personal injury lawyer who understands the tactics insurance companies use to delay or minimize the payment of benefits.


 

WATCH AND LISTEN AS JOE ZARZAUR, BOARD CERTIFIED CIVIL TRIAL LAWYER, EXPLAINS “BAD FAITH” >


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

Sources:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0624/Sections/0624.155.html

Zarzaur Law Recognized as Outstanding Business/Corporation of the Year by the West Florida Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals

Outstanding Business of The YearPENSACOLA, Fla. (November 17, 2021) — Joe Zarzaur, a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., received the Outstanding Business of The Year award by the West Florida Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. This award is in recognition of Zarzaur Law’s commitment to the local community.

“Joe and the entire Zarzaur Law Firm could not be more deserving of the AFP’s Outstanding Corporation Award. It’s not often that you see a small company do so much good for the community.” Said Stacey Kostevicki, Executive Director of Gulf Coast Kids’ House, “From the Gallery Night Legal Graffiti, which has benefited nearly every charity agency in the area to Joe’s sponsorship of the Gavel Guys and Gavel Girls. Zarzaur Law seeks to highlight the good in the community and to seek justice for their clients and the citizens of Escambia County.”

While there are many events, programs, and community initiatives that Joe Zarzaur and the team of Zarzaur Law have been a part of, the most recognized philanthropic activity led by the firm is “Legal Graffiti.” “Legal Graffiti” is an event hosted at Zarzaur Law during each Gallery Night in downtown Pensacola. “Legal Graffiti” is an opportunity for anyone to make a donation and then create artwork on the recycled billboard vinyl-covered wall at the Zarzaur Law office building using spray paint. The event raises money for non-profits & charities within the area. Donations are matched by the firm and given to the charity of choice.

Recipients include ARC Gateway, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWFL, Manna Food Pantries, Pathways for Change, Autism Pensacola, Emerald Coast Legal Aid, Guardian Ad Litem, Favor House, and Gulf Coast Kids’ House just to name a few.

National Philanthropy Day is designed to celebrate and highlight the accomplishments of giving,  volunteering, and charitable engagement within our community.

“In the past seven years of hosting the “Legal Graffiti” event, the firm has donated more than $100,000 to local charities.” Joe Zarzaur, Owner of Zarzaur Law, P.A. “We are honored and humbled to receive this recognition and plan to continue our outreach efforts and make a lasting impact in our community.”

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR LEGAL GRAFFITI FUNDRAISING EVENTS AND OTHER COMMUNITY INITIATIVES >

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About Zarzaur Law, P.A.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer 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, 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

Can Someone Else Be Liable For A Single Vehicle Accident?

single vehicle accident liability

Single Vehicle Accident Liability

 Sometimes, depending on the facts, there may be a liability from non-motorists that caused the injuries.

FLORIDA HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST TRAFFIC DEATH RATES PER 100,000 RESIDENTS AT 14.7. 52% OF FATAL CRASHES INVOLVED A SINGLE VEHICLE.


 

What Is a Single-Vehicle Accident?

By definition, single-vehicle accidents involve just one car, truck, or other types of motor vehicle.

Liability (Fault) In a Single-Car Accident

Single-car accidents are also no different than other traffic accidents in the sense that there’s always an underlying cause. It’s certainly true that the driver is often found at fault for the accident, but there are plenty of scenarios in which blame for a single-vehicle accident lies elsewhere.

It’s important to keep in mind that just because you’re alone in your vehicle at the scene of your accident, that doesn’t mean:

– You were the only driver (or person) involved

– Yours was the only vehicle involved, or

– The accident scene tells the complete story of how your crash happened.

When Is the Driver in a Single Vehicle Accident Not Liable?

Let’s look at a couple of examples of when a driver in a single-vehicle accident might not be negligent in connection with the crash, and therefore might avoid liability.

1. The Driver Hits An Object On Or Along The Side Of The Road (like a guardrail or a tree)

2. The driver swerves to avoid another vehicle

A pedestrian, an animal, a road hazard, or something else, and runs off the road or the vehicle rolls over, spins out, or leaves the road, due to the driver’s loss of control of the vehicle or some other cause.

As with any other kind of car accident, the things you do in the immediate aftermath of the crash (and in the days following) will play a crucial part in any insurance claim or legal action you decide to pursue.

3. Crashes Caused By Road Conditions

With the prevalence of road construction and road problems in our area, it may be that the single-car crash was caused by unreasonable road conditions. Florida generally has very poorly maintained roads that may cause car crashes. Generally, these claims are difficult because they must be brought against government agencies that are protected by Florida law. These suits require many additional procedural steps and are difficult to win. This must be investigated by an experienced lawyer.

If the crash was caused by defective construction or construction practices, a claim against a road contractor may be investigated. As with all these cases, a thorough investigation must be undertaken as soon as possible, so the state of the conditions can be preserved before they are repaired. Such road defects may include unreasonable drop-offs, missing or damaged guardrails, and missing or damaged warning signs.

4. Crashes Caused By Animals

If a domesticated animal strays into the roadway and caused a single-car crash the owner of the animal may be liable. This includes dogs and the claims may be covered by some homeowners insurance.

Similarly, if livestock wanders onto the road and is struck by a vehicle, the owner of the livestock may be liable if negligence is proven by the injured party. While there is no absolute duty to fence in animals like cows and horses, failure to the fence may be evidence of negligence leading to liability for injuries. An experienced lawyer will investigate and try and find insurance for the loss.

 

5. Crashes Caused By Falling Unsecured Material Or Debris

On our highways, we see many large trucks and many smaller trucks carrying material in the back of the trucks. Often the material is not properly secured, which may lead to it falling out at highway speeds. This may cause a crash due to direct impact or impact caused by attempting to avoid the falling material or debris. In such a situation, an injured motorist may seek compensation from the owner and or driver of the offending vehicle. If there is not sufficient insurance from the at-fault party, then the injured driver may seek damages from his own uninsured/underinsured motorist(UM) coverage.

6. Claims By Passengers

If a single-car crash is caused by the negligence of a driver, then injured passengers may seek compensation from the driver or from UM insurance. In all such cases, medical bills will be handled by no-fault(PIP) up to the limits of coverage.

Just because a car crash does not involve another vehicle, there may be a claim against a negligent party who caused the crash. Such claims involve careful investigation and the skills and expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

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

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/overview/key_data.html

https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state

http://www.flhealthcharts.com/charts/DataViewer/DeathViewer/DeathViewer.aspx?indNumber=0110

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/defending-yourself-after-a-single-vehicle-accident.html

Do You Know How to Navigate A Roundabout?

While roundabouts are designed with safety in mind, these traffic signal alternatives create a significant hazard for drivers. With many drivers having very little experience navigating these circular intersections, it is important to know both how to properly operate your vehicle while utilizing one and the dangers associated with roundabouts. 

How To Navigate A Roundabout

Roundabouts Function To The Right

This means that the flow of traffic comes from the left, and you must yield the right of way to the vehicle approaching from your left.  It is important to remember to ALWAYS yield the right of way to vehicles already in the roundabout.

Do Not Stop While In The Middle Of The Roundabout

One of the leading causes of car crashes while using a roundabout happens when a vehicle already inside the roundabout comes to a stop.  The beauty of a roundabout is that it keeps traffic moving, which is why it is important to never stop while in the roundabout unless you have to.

Do Not Speed While Entering The Roundabout

Research shows that a common crash that happens in roundabouts is vehicles striking the traffic circle.  This happens because motorists enter the roundabout at too high of a speed, and lose control of their vehicle.  By entering the roundabout at a safe speed, you are able to maintain control of your vehicle and keep from getting into a crash.

Check Your Blindspots

Another easy way to avoid a crash while using a roundabout is to always check your blindspots before entering the roundabout.  While you might think there is not a car coming, by failing to check your blindspot you might be wrong.  It is so important to navigating these roundabouts with caution, which means being extra diligent in checking for oncoming traffic.

It is not all bad news, though!


STUDIES SHOW THAT INTERSECTIONS THAT ARE CONVERTED FROM TRAFFIC SIGNALS TO ROUNDABOUTS REDUCE CRASHES BY ABOUT 40%.


Research also shows that these roundabouts are generally safer for pedestrians. 

 

Roundabouts NavigationImprovements In Traffic Flow

Several studies conducted by IIHS and others have reported significant improvements in traffic flow following the conversion of traditional intersections to roundabouts.

A study of three intersections in Kansas, Maryland, and Nevada where roundabouts replaced stop signs found that vehicle delays were reduced 13-23 percent and the proportion of vehicles that stopped was reduced 14-37 percent (Retting et al., 2002).

A study of three locations in New Hampshire, New York, and Washington state where roundabouts replaced traffic signals or stop signs found an 89 percent average reduction in vehicle delays and a 56 percent average reduction in vehicle stops (Retting et al., 2006).

A study of 11 intersections in Kansas found a 65 percent average reduction in delays and a 52 percent average reduction in vehicle stops after roundabouts were installed (Russell et al., 2004).

An Institute study of two-lane roundabout conversions at two intersections near Bellingham, Washington, found substantial declines in vehicle delays on the minor roads (33 percent and 90 percent) and the proportion of vehicles waiting in queues (35 percent and 43 percent) (Hu et al., 2014).

Overall intersections delays increased (12 percent and 22 percent), due to slightly longer delays on the major approaches as vehicles slowed to enter the roundabouts.


BECAUSE ROUNDABOUTS IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF TRAFFIC FLOW, THEY ALSO REDUCE VEHICLE EMISSIONS AND FUEL CONSUMPTION.


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

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

Sources:

https://www.iihs.org/topics/roundabouts

https://www.pensacolabaybridge.com/overview/17th-avenue-interchange

https://www.pnj.com/story/news/traffic/2021/10/25/17th-avenue-roundabout-pensacola-beach-complete-and-open-traffic/6172840001/

https://www.iihs.org/topics/roundabouts

What You Should Know About A Settlement Before Accepting It.

What you should know about settlement

An auto accident can be shocking and even life-changing. You are now having to deal with a vehicle that must be repaired or replaced, doctor appointments for your injuries, lost workdays, insurance company calls and letters, and managing life without a vehicle.

You may be tempted to accept an offer from the insurance company when they are telling you they can give you a quick settlement and will cut a check to you. However, this also can mean a lot of essential pieces of information that may be lost that affect your potential personal injury claim.

Before accepting a settlement offer, you should be aware of these critical pieces that can make a difference in your case.

Things To Remember About Settlements In A Car Accident

 

Know What Your Case Is Worth

A fair settlement will compensate you for current and future expenses and damages, including:

Car repair bills

Car rental while your vehicle is in the shop

Reimbursement for daily tasks you would perform had the accident not occurred

Medical expenses

Costs of future medical treatment and therapy

Lost wages due to missed work

Expected future lost earnings

Mental health treatment

Pain and suffering

Injuries May Be More Serious Than They First Appear

The full extent of injuries from a car accident may not be known for a long time after the accident. This could be due to many reasons, including the following:

The injuries require more extensive treatment than anticipated

The wounds don’t heal as expected

Complications arise

Secondary infections set in

Before accepting a settlement, accident victims must know how their injuries will affect current and future employment opportunities, mobility and activity levels, overall health, and quality of life. They should also understand what ongoing care or treatment will be needed due to the accident. These things are usually known once a person has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).  A doctor will determine that the patient has achieved MMI or has a permanent injury.

Settling Your Claim Too Soon Can Be Costly

The insurance company may offer you a quick settlement for your car accident claim. In some cases, the company may issue an offer before you complete medical treatment for injuries.


BE WARY OF A SETTLEMENT OFFER BEFORE YOU COMPLETE TREATMENT FOR YOUR INJURIES.


Until you complete your medical treatment, you cannot know for sure how much your medical bills may be or how much money you might lose from being out of work. Lost wages and medical costs after a car accident can be substantial.

Car Wreck Settlement Process

 

Liability Release

Settlement agreements include a release of liability, which means the insurance company is not responsible for any payments outside of the settlement agreement. The victim cannot ask for more money in the future and cannot take the case to court. When you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, the settlement agreement is a final resolution of your claim. After you sign the agreement, you cannot demand more money for your claim.

Therefore, make sure that the amount you accept compensates you fully for all your damages. Damages in a car accident case include both economic and non-economic damages.

This is true even if the accident injuries turn out to be more serious than initially thought, if unexpected complications arise, or if the victim didn’t understand the full value of the claim.


FOR ACCIDENT VICTIMS, THE LACK OF COMPLETE INFORMATION IS ONE OF THE PRIMARY DANGERS OF A QUICK SETTLEMENT.


Hire A Lawyer To Work On Your Behalf

Meeting with the best personal injury lawyer gives you the opportunity to ask questions and understand your options. Your lawyer is looking out for your best interest and is your advocate when dealing with the insurance company. If you have suffered an injury understanding your rights and options for recovering the maximum compensation for your losses can be fully achieved with the help of a board-certified civil trial lawyer.

The Counteroffer

When making a counteroffer, your lawyer can make sure to highlight the severity of your injuries, including your pain and suffering. They will also make sure to place the responsibility for your pain and suffering.

It is common to go back and forth several times when negotiating a car accident settlement. The negotiation process could take several weeks or even a few months.

Watch Our Youtube Videos Here:

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

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

If Your Car Is Stolen And In A Wreck Are You Liable?

Your Car Is Stolen And In A Wreck Are You Liable?Under Florida law, the owner of a vehicle is responsible for injuries caused by the negligent operation of the vehicle. This is called “vicarious” or imputed liability and had long been the law in Florida.

Florida’s Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine

If you allow someone to use your car, and they negligently cause a crash with injuries, then you are equally responsible for the damages. Your insurance company will cover you for damages, as will the insurance company for the driver. This law makes sure that innocent injured parties are compensated for such negligence. An automobile is considered under this dangerous instrumentality doctrine, as are motorcycles, construction equipment, and other motorized vehicles.

Watch Our YouTube Video on Dangerous Instrumentality Here >

Exceptions To The Rule:

There are exceptions to this rule. If a person takes your vehicle without your consent, whether or not a criminal theft, and is involved in a crash, then you may not be liable. There is much litigation over the issue of consent.

Example 1 – If you lend your vehicle to a person for a day, and they are late returning it, you may still be liable for the injuries. There are cases where a person tells a friend or relative not to take their car, and that person gets in a crash.

Example 2 – If you left the keys available for them, or had previously allowed them to use the vehicle, then there may be implied consent that makes you liable. In one case, a person left his keys readily available on a kitchen counter during a house party. When a person took the keys and got in a wreck, the court found the owner liable for failing to properly secure the keys of the “dangerous instrumentality”. Similarly, leaving your keys available to non-driving family members may impose liability. Also, under Florida law, if you leave your keys in the ignition of an unlocked vehicle, you may be liable for all damages caused to the vehicle.

Theft of Vehicle – Case Study

There are even exceptions for a true theft of a vehicle. Zarzaur Law recently litigated a case where a vehicle was stolen from a small car dealer under mysterious circumstances and was involved in a crash that injured our client. We were able to prove that the dealer did not properly secure the vehicles, had inadequate security in a high crime area, and waited many days to report the vehicle stolen. The thief also had the keys at the time of the wreck, and the dealer was unable to explain how he came in possession of the keys. By proving these unusual facts, we were able to overcome the defenses of the car dealer and obtain compensation for our injured client.

It should be noted that the law in Florida generally turns on the specific factual circumstances of the case. The law of vicarious liability is also different in our adjoining states. In many states, the owner is liable if not driving the car, and there may be no insurance coverage for compensation. As you can see, these issues are very complex.

Who To Contact

As soon as you have realized that your vehicle was stolen, inform the following:

Call the police. Inform the police of the make, model, year of your vehicle, and your license plate number. Let the police know the date, location, and time when you last saw the vehicle.

Call your insurance company. Once you give the police your report, it is time to call the insurance company to explain what has happened.

Call An Attorney. Next, you should call a board-certified accident lawyer for help in preparing a case.

If you are injured by the negligence of a driver who is not the owner, or by a driver who is a thief, then you need to consult with an experienced Florida lawyer for competent advice.

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

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

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

Parents of a teenaged driver Florida

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

2.  The Dangers Of Having Passengers 

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

Parents of a teen driver Florida

 

3.  Drunk Driving 

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

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

Seatbelt, Seatbelt, Seatbelt!! They save lives – 

4.  Be A Good Example 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to Bring To The Meeting With Your Personal Injury Lawyer

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


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


Time Is Of The Essence

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

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

What to Bring To The Meeting

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

2. Car insurance info

3. health insurance info

4. Drivers license

5. Drivers exchange form (given at accident scene)

6. ER records / medical records

7. Correspondence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disadvantages Of Trying To Handle Your Own Personal Injury Case

There is a wise old saying “A person who represents himself in a lawsuit has a fool for a lawyer.” In other words, it is much better to have a qualified professional represent you in a legal matter if at all possible.

Misconceptions

Despite the conventional wisdom, many people try and represent themselves in legal disputes. The reasons are many:

It’s a small matter and does not require a lawyer.

I can’t afford a lawyer.

Hiring a lawyer will not make my case easier or more valuable.

All of these reasons are not sufficient. If you have a legal claim that is important to you, you should at least consult a legal professional.

A Financial Mistake

Suppose you try and represent yourself in a personal injury matter, as many do. You justify that by saying you don’t want to pay a lawyer, because your net recovery may be less. That could be a very serious financial mistake.

Any claim for a personal injury requires investigation about liability or fault, injuries and causation for injuries, and availability of insurance or some other method of recovery. All of these issues present challenges to a layperson.

The Recorded Statement

If you represent yourself, the first thing an insurance adjuster will do is try and take your statement, to limit your positions on fault. In fact, they may hire a lawyer to take your statement under oath.


YOU MAY NOT KNOW THAT THE OPPOSING INSURANCE COMPANY HAS NO RIGHT TO TAKE YOUR STATEMENT UNDER OATH IN A STANDARD PERSONAL INJURY CASE.


If you are making a claim against your own insurance company, they have a right to do this. Regardless, a layperson is not generally able to represent themself in a complicated or contested liability case. Moreover, a lawyer will generally have a staff or an independent investigator to take statements of witnesses and document the scene. This is very difficult for a non-lawyer to do.

Proof of Injuries

Proof of injuries may also be an issue in a personal injury case. Again, this can be difficult in many cases. In Florida, you must prove a permanent injury, and without medical knowledge or access to proper physicians, this can be very daunting. If you cannot have a medical provider document a permanent injury, your case is not worth much over the out-of-pocket medical bills.

Availability And Amount Of Insurance Coverage

A very important factor in such cases is the availability and amount of insurance coverage. In Florida, insurers must document coverage if requested according to the procedures outline in the Florida Statutes.

There are also many different coverages available, including:
No-Fault (PIP)
Bodily injury liability
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
Excess of umbrella coverages

There may also be additional at-fault defendants that are not readily apparent to a layperson. Again, an experienced lawyer can lead you through this process.

Hire An Expert

If you have attempted to handle your own case, and you think it’s a significant case, please consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Most, if not all, such lawyers will give you a free consultation.

In most cases, your claim may be much more valuable, and you may net much more from the claim if you hire an attorney. All attorneys in our area will handle your case on a contingency fee basis, and in most cases will maximize your financial recovery.

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

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

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

Mistakes Teen Drivers Make After A Car Wreck.

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

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

1. Fleeing The Scene

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

2. Talking Too Much

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

3.  Not Calling The Police

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

4. Agreeing With The At-Fault Driver

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

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

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

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

5.  Forgetting To Take Pictures

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

6.  Posting On Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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