Tag Archives: Pensacola Car Crash Lawyer

2nd Annual Zarzaur Law “Ping Pong on Palafox” Event Set for Nov. 13.

PENSACOLA, Fla. (Sept. 27, 2021) — Zarzaur Law, P.A., a personal injury law firm based out of Pensacola, Florida, has partnered with the Pensacola Table Tennis Club and City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Department to host its second annual “Ping Pong on Palafox” event on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 from 10am-5pm.*


This Outdoor Event Will Be Held On The Street At The Intersection Of Palafox And Romana Streets In Downtown Pensacola.


“Ping Pong on Palafox,” hosted by Zarzaur Law, will include a table tennis “ping pong” tournament for all ages and levels, games, refreshments for players, and more! The round-robin tournament will kick off at 10 am with kids age groups and adult divisions with cash* prizes for winners. Players can be anywhere from kids, novice recreational weekend players, all the way to competitive club members. The first 50 registered players are guaranteed a swag bag and T-shirt. 

Businesses, organizations, and groups are encouraged to create teams of four, bring their tent, coolers, and signs and battle for bragging rights, and be the tops in team table tennis. New this year will be a “Best Downtown Bar/Brewery Team.”  

SIGN UP HERE >

Guests can learn tips and tricks from Table Tennis professionals and watch kids all the way to pros battle each other right in the heart of Downtown Pensacola.

The Pensacola Table Tennis Club is located inside the Fricker Community Center and is a non-profit club. “We invite anyone who loves the game to attend and learn more about the sport.  PTTC has been a USATT affiliated club since 1996 and has been growing ever since.” Said PTTC President L.A. Johnston, “We are really excited to once again partner with Zarzaur Law, PA and bring this tournament to our city and show everyone what table tennis is about in a unique and fun way. Most people think they can only see table tennis on tv or during the olympics, but you can watch and play right here in Pensacola.”

“I am glad that we can get together in Downtown Pensacola. This tournament will help us all regain that sense of community that we all have missed due to the COVID19 pandemic.”  Joe Zarzaur, owner of Zarzaur Law, P.A. 

Entry fees:

Kids – $10

Teens – Novice Adult  – $15

Advanced Adult – $20

Corporate / Business Team (team of four) – $40

Downtown Pensacola Bar/Brewery Team (team of four) – $40

Spectators – FREE!

Event details and to SIGN UP HERE >
or call 850-444-9299.

*Weather Permitting
**Visa gift cards. 

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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

Nerve Damage Caused By A Car Accident

Nerves extend from your brain and spinal cord and control bodily functions. In many cases, trauma from a car crash can cause pinched nerves which will send warning signals such as pain.

A minor “whiplash” injury from a car crash can cause compression on the spinal cord and put pressure on the nerves from the cord. This damage may be minor or severe, temporary or permanent. Early diagnosis and treatment are key in these cases.

A pinched nerve occurs when there is compression or pressure on a nerve.

Nerves Are The Most Susceptible To Injury In Places Where They Travel Through Narrow Spaces And Have Little Soft Tissue To Protect Them.

– Central Nervous System

– Peripheral Nervous System

The spinal cord is a great example of this. If a person has degenerative changes in the spinal column, and most people do, the space may be narrowed even further, which can lead to a greater chance of compression and injury. The compression may occur when the nerve is compressed between ligaments tendons or bones. All of this may occur in even a minor car crash under the right circumstances.


INFLAMMATION OR PRESSURE ON A NERVE COMING FROM THE SPINE MAY CAUSE NECK OR LOW BACK PAIN.


Here Are The Most Common Forms Of Nerve Damage That Happen To Victims Of Car Accidents:

Pinched nerve. Also known as a compressed nerve, a pinched nerve is just that—a nerve that is pinched. Typically, it can heal over time through stretching and other treatment methods, but until then it can cause discomfort, pain, and numbness in different areas of the body, depending on where the nerve is located. This is one of the less severe forms of nerve damage that a car accident can inflict.

Whiplash. This is a common injury from car accidents and affects over 2 million Americans a year. While this injury is mostly in the soft tissue of your neck, like the muscles and ligaments, it can also cause nerve damage if nerves are stretched or compressed from the whipping motion.

Neuropathy. In the peripheral nervous system, nerves can become damaged or inflamed, which leads to neuropathy, or the disruption of nerve signals. Many different injuries from car accidents can cause neuropathy. Some symptoms are numbness and pain and can be anywhere from mild to debilitating.

Radiculopathy. Radiculopathy is a specific form of neuropathy that occurs in the spine. When a nerve in the spine becomes compressed or pinched, and as a result, there is pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness through the nerve. 

Radiculopathy is most commonly in the lower back or in the neck, and a common example is sciatica.

Permanent Nerve Damage

If nerve compression lasts a long time, a protective barrier around the nerve may dissolve, and fluid buildup can cause swelling and scarring around the nerve root. This scarring may cause a permanent interference with the nerve’s function. Some of the most common symptoms of pinched or compressed nerves include pain, radiating pain, numbness and tingling, pins and needles type sensation, and weakness in the affected areas. These symptoms can be worsened with certain movements, even everyday activities.

Treatment For Pinched Nerves

As with most medical conditions, the severity and treatment of symptoms vary from person to person. Some may benefit from resting the injured areas and avoiding activities that aggravate their symptoms. If symptoms persist, more aggressive medical treatment may include medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, nerve ablations, and even surgery. Common invasive surgeries may be done to remove scar tissue, disc material, or pieces of bone that may be pinching on the nerves. This treatment may be very expensive and may require significant recovery time. However, in many cases, it will be required to avoid worsening long-term problems.

Nerve Damage, Expense, And Your Personal Injury Case

Nerve damages from a car crash or other injury can be a very expensive problem. It can result in substantial medical bills, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life. Many victims may require years to fully recover from their injuries, even with the best medical care and rehabilitation.

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.

Parents And The Art Of Car Seat Safety

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

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

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

A Mom’s Real Life Perspective On Safety.

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Safe Buckling Practices

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

https://www.nhtsa.gov

https://www.aap.org

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

 

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

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

What Happens After A Car Accident With No Police Report?

Sometimes potential clients who get in a car wreck have no police report associated with it. Usually, this is because the property damage is minor, and the client did not feel injured at the time of the wreck.

Many times, however, injuries that may not be apparent immediately following a wreck, and only develop after hours or days after. These clients frequently ask, “Can I still recover? What do I need to do?

CONSULT OUR “CAR WRECK CHECKLIST” AND BE PREPARED >

Can You Still Recover?

The answer is YES – you can still receive compensation for your injuries.

  • First, within 10 days of the wreck, you need to file a police report with the Florida Highway Patrol. A link to this form is provided here (https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/#report).
  • Second, you need to report the crash to your insurance company as soon as possible. Some insurance policies will not cover your injuries if they are not informed of the wreck within certain time frames—this time can be found in your insurance policy. If you know the other driver’s insurance carrier, you can also report the crash to them as well.

Steps to Take if You Don’t Have a Police Report

Having a police report from immediately after the wreck is very helpful, but the lack of a report is not fatal to your case.

  • A police officer who investigates a wreck and cites one party for a driving violation can be powerful evidence that the defendant driver is actually at fault. For instance, a defendant driver’s finding or admission of guilt in a citation hearing can be used as evidence of fault in a related injury case. However, because the officer most likely did not see the wreck occur, the report itself is hearsay and may not be admitted as actual evidence
  • If a police report is not available, you can still prove that the other driver was at fault, but the case moves into more of a “he-said, she-said” case. In this situation, you will have to rely on the physical evidence and witness testimony. For instance, you can prove fault by showing that the at-fault driver rear-ended you, which gives rise to a presumption that they were at fault. You can prove fault by testimony from other drivers who saw the accident and stopped to render aid.
  • Finally, in extreme circumstances, you can prove fault by hiring an qualified expert in accident reconstruction, who can show fault through complicated models that recreate the scene of the accident.

Only experienced lawyers are capable of navigating this process. Potential clients shouldn’t just hire any lawyer. Not all lawyers are equal in their training and qualifications. The Florida Bar does not typically allow lawyers to hold themselves out as “experts.” However, the Bar does allow lawyers who have extensive experience in personal injury and tort cases to become specialists in civil trial. Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are Board Certified in Civil Trial.

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

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

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

Sources:
https://zarzaurlaw.com/car-wreck-checklist/

Hospitals Taking Advantage of Victims of Car Wrecks

Car Wreck VictimYou’ve been in a car wreck and you have to go to the hospital via ambulance. You get to the hospital and the ER doctor (or nurse) asks you what happened. You tell them it’s a car wreck and you assume that they are asking you that question simply because they need to know how to treat you. Little do you know that the relevance of your injury source is not only applicable to the ER staff but also to the business office, you may ask why?

Hospitals Holding Car Wreck Patient’s Bills

The business office of a hospital is really interested to know whether or not this treatment will be reimbursed by health insurance or possibly paid through an auto insurance policy. As you may be aware, Health insurance and drug companies have always negotiated fees for service contracts with providers which allow them humongous discounts on services. In turn, health insurance can provide its insured with a health insurance policy that covers all types of services in hospitals.

For example, these deals worked out between the health insurance companies and providers function like this:  You go into a hospital for emergency room treatment and the hospital bill is $4,000. The health insurance companies have negotiated (well before you ever walked into the hospital) that their insureds will receive those same services billed at a $4,000 rate, for a much lower rate like $800. So, the hospitals only get their billed rate if someone other than a health insurance company is paying the tab.  The hospitals have then an enormous financial incentive to look for reimbursement sources that are closer to dollar for dollar instead of the lower rate agreed to with health insurers.

All the car insurance companies who are paying car wreck claims and suits are not in the position to negotiate fee for services and therefore if they get a bill for $4,000, they are on the hook for $4,000. Hospitals have realized this and have issued directives that their billing offices should HOLD all car wreck patients bills in a limbo status so that they can determine whether or not they can get dollar for dollar reimbursement versus the health insurance reimbursement rate. As you can see, this practice does not benefit the client who had purchased health insurance and is now paying bills like they do not have it.

The Issue for Patients

If a hospital holds their bill and purposely wait on the car wreck case to maturate through the legal system, they basically place their patients (our clients) in a tough spot.  If the patient’s account is not billed to his/her health insurance within the time frame permitted by their policy then the health insurance can deny the claim.  Many times, patients/clients wait over a year for their car wreck cases to be concluded and they miss the deadline for submitting claims to their health insurance.  These time periods are generally 12 months. The problem gets worse since most drivers that cause wrecks don’t have enough car insurance to pay their medical bills in full. So, what ends up happening is that the full medical bills remain pending and make it difficult to negotiate down at the end of the car wreck case.  Hospitals then look to the client to pay them back.  Their starting point is the full billed amount.  They prefer to do this despite having the ability to bill health insurance at the outset since they are gambling that they will end up netting more if they go through the legal process.  This interest, however, is in conflict with the client’s interest since money being spent to pay for medical bills above the amount that the health insurance would have paid rightfully belongs to the client.


Hospitals have become so aware of this reimbursement opportunity that they have actually engaged third-party companies to work on their behalf.


Take for example this summary of a typical car wreck treatment situation: As soon as hospitals get the billing code for anything car wreck related in their system a third-party company is sent all of the bills and they start billing the client dollar for dollar and urge the client to pass on their information to any law firms that may represent them. Instead of submitting these claims to health insurance, which is there and ready to pay the bills, hospitals instead wait on the car insurance claim which typically miss all the deadlines required by the health insurance company.

These companies and hospitals figure that in a worst-case scenario they will negotiate their lien down some, but they still make more money after paying the third-party company and getting reimbursed then they would have had they just sent the bill to health insurance. If you or your law firm is not paying attention to these practices they could end up costing you more of your settlement that should otherwise be paid.

The Loser In All Of This Is The Patient (Our Client)

The patient has been smart enough to purchase health insurance and has been diligent enough to make sure the health insurance premiums were paid on time every month.  So now, when the accident happened, the patient should have been able to take advantage of the discounted rate for the hospital bills. Instead, the hospitals have decided not to send the bills to the health insurance companies and the hospitals have decided that they’re going to take some of your car wreck recovery settlement so they can increase their profits and their margins despite the fact they’ve already agreed with the health insurance companies to take a lower amount for your care.

Watching Out For Our Client’s Best Interest

At Zarzaur Law, as part of what we do for our clients, we watch out for this behavior. When we notice that a healthcare facility or practitioner is purposely evading the lower reimbursement through the client’s health insurance, we strongly urge them to file it with health insurance. We also confirm the health insurance information via letter so that we make certain that once the case is settled, the health care facility or practitioner can’t argue that they did not know there was health insurance. We remind each billing entity or institution that they have an obligation to bill health insurance since that’s in the best interest of the patient (our client) and we also remind them of the deadlines that are required by these providers.

If the healthcare providers then argue at the end of the car wreck case that they are entitled to more money because of the health insurance deadlines have passed, we show them the letter that we’ve written on behalf of the client and urged them to take the reimbursement rate as a full satisfaction of the bill or take nothing since we see this as nothing more than the fleecing of a client at their worst time.

At Zarzaur Law we will strive not only to get our clients the most recovery but also try to ensure that that the recovery ends up in their pockets. We not only see it is our job to gain the most money from the car insurance companies but also net our clients the most money once all the bills are paid. This is especially true if they have been prudent enough to purchase health insurance before the car wreck. It is our opinion that everyone should be able to take full advantage of that especially in the most dire of circumstances.

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

Sources:

Florida Car Wrecks and Health Insurance

 

Why Does it Take So Long to Resolve a Car Wreck Case?

Car Wreck Cases Insurance Coverage

It seems so simple. You are stopped at a red light, and someone hits you from behind. You are injured, the police are called, an ambulance is called, and you are taken to the closest ER. The driver who hit you is given a ticket.

Since you were hurt, you call a personal injury lawyer to handle your case. Sounds simple but is not. There are many complex issues in all personal injury cases, even those as seemingly simple as described.

Many clients are surprised about how long it takes to resolve their car wreck case. While it is true that the rare case is resolved in a few weeks, most are not, and sometimes take years to settle. Why?

How Much Insurance Coverage is Available?

There are certain procedures that are common in all car wreck cases. After you hire a personal injury lawyer, the first thing to do is find out insurance details. Florida law requires insurers of Florida residents to disclose all liability coverage within 30 days of demand. While some companies provide this information quicker, most do not. An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer will send a request to your own insurance company, to determine the limits of your medical coverage and also if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects you and allows you to make a claim for your injuries if the at-fault driver has little or no bodily injury coverage. The lawyer will also put your health insurers on notice of the claim, as they may also be responsible in paying for treatment after the no-fault (PIP or Personal Injury Protection) coverage is exhausted. This process is extremely important, as the value of your claim is often determined by the insurance coverage available. It may be several weeks before your lawyer even knows how much coverage is available.

Treatment and Permanent Injury Diagnosis

If you are injured, you will start treatment with an appropriate specialist. Depending on the nature of your injury, it may be months or even years before you know the ultimate outcome of your injury. For soft tissue or whiplash-type injuries, it usually takes 6 to 9 months before the patient reaches maximum medical improvement. Clients must reach this stage of treatment before the doctor will give an opinion about the permanent injury. Under Florida law, (Florida Statute 627.737) states that you must have a permanent injury to recover from pain and suffering type damages, and you must have this opinion from a licensed physician.

The Demand and Negotiation Phase

After the extent of your injury is known, then demand is made by your lawyer on your behalf to the at-fault party’s insurance company. An experienced and board-certified trial lawyer will have the benefit of knowing the value of such cases and will know how to properly negotiate with the insurance company. Make sure your personal injury lawyer has a reputation as one who will fight to get you top value for your accident claim. Companies know that experienced trial lawyers will take a case to trial if necessary and will pay accordingly.


The negotiation phase may take weeks or months, depending on the nature of the claim along with the availability of medical records and the insurance coverages.


If the at-fault party does not have enough coverage to fairly settle your claim, and you have underinsured motorist coverage, then an additional negotiation will occur with your own insurance company.

What if Your Car Wreck Case Does Not Settle?

A small percentage of cases do not settle at the presuit stage and must be filed in court. In other words, if the insurance company is not fair with its offer, the case must move on to the litigation stage. Your lawyer will file suit in circuit court seeking damages. This process may take many months to get these cases ultimately resolved.

Litigation Process Includes:

Discovery Phase

To determine the nature of the injuries and the value of the claim.

Mediation

The courts will require a mediation session to try and resolve the case.

Trial

If a case cannot be resolved through mediation, the case will be scheduled for trial in court.

While most cases settle before trial, it may take many months to get this done.

NOTE: During the COVID epidemic, most courts are not even scheduling civil trials, and in fact in may be several years before a case goes to trial. Even after trial, appeals may slow down the process. For these reasons, it is often best for both sides to settle before trial. Having a board-certified trial lawyer is a great advantage for the injured party.

It is a Marathon and Not a Sprint

While your car wreck case may seem simple, even simple cases can take a long time to get resolved. Between treatment, negotiation, possible litigation, or even trial, the process can seem overwhelming. That is why you need to hire an experienced trial lawyer to handle your case.

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.

Sources:

https://www.flhsmv.gov/insurance/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uwCo_9H0xM&list=PLnCrJ0tzzzL6mRs3arN7h5wlrAbevkMq0&index=13&t=115s

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/liability_insurance.asp

https://zarzaurlaw.com/what-is-um-coverage-and-why-is-it-important/

How Does the Car Wreck Settlement Process Work?

Car Wreck Settlement

When someone is injured in a car wreck that is not their fault, most people would rather not pay for expensive medical treatment and property damage themselves. In the vast majority of cases, the only collectible funds that are available to pay for these expenses are insurance proceeds. So, most clients’ case plan involves trying to reach a “settlement” whereby an insurance company agrees to pay a certain amount for the claimant’s injuries and the claimant agrees not to file a lawsuit seeking further funds.

In general, there are three types of insurance available in a car wreck case:

1. Personal injury protection” or “PIP” insurance
2. Liability insurance
3. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance

 

PIP (Personal Injury Protection) Insurance

PIP insurance is also known as “no fault” insurance. In Florida, a driver’s insurance carrier must pay 80% of the client’s medical bills—up to $10,000 total—regardless of whether the driver was at fault or not. The other 20% are paid for either by the claimant’s health insurance or demanded from the at fault driver, if there is one. If the first $10,000 does not cover their medical bills, the claimant then begins the process of recovering from the at fault driver through their “liability insurance.”

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance refers to the at fault driver’s policy that covers damage that they cause by their own negligence. Once your claim is presented to the at fault driver’s insurance carrier, the insurance employee assigned to investigate the claim, or “adjuster,” will be asking two questions: first, is the at fault driver really at fault or “liable,” and second, how much money or “damages” is the claimant entitled to? The liability portion focuses on the unreasonableness of the at fault driver’s conduct, which is often obvious. The damages portion depends on the nature of the injuries and the claimant’s treatment plan, which sometimes takes time to work out.

The claimant’s lawyer has to answer these two questions. Often, liability is an easy question, such as when an at fault driver rear ends the claimant who is sitting stopped at a red light. More often, the liability insurer admits that their driver is at fault but disputes the amount that the claimant is asking for. It is the claimant’s lawyer’s job to present the claimant’s medical records and bills to the adjuster and prove that the injuries are a result of their driver’s negligence and that they are serious enough to justify whatever amount of money the claimant has demanded. The adjuster’s job is to review the medical records and bills and eventually offer to pay a certain amount to the claimant—which the claimant can either accept or decline.

What if the At Fault Driver Has NO Insurance?

Finally, if the at fault driver has no insurance at all, or if their insurance coverage is not enough to cover the claimant’s damages, the claimant can go ask their own insurance company to help pay their bills as long as they have purchased “uninsured/underinsured motorist” (UM/UIM) coverage. The claimant’s lawyer has to prove that the at fault party was actually at fault and must prove either that the at fault party’s insurance is either non-existent (uninsured) or was not sufficient to cover the costs of the injuries (underinsured). Just like the liability adjuster, the UM/UIM adjuster will review the medical records and bills and come up with an offer to settle the UM/UIM portion of the claim, which the claimant can either accept or reject.

To be eligible for further benefits under their uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, a claimant who wants to first settle with the at fault party must obtain consent from their UM/UIM (Uninsured / Underinsured) carrier.

The Negotiation for Settlement

Often, these negotiations between the adjuster and the claimant’s lawyer go back and forth for several rounds.  If negotiations fall through at any level, a claimant has the right to file a lawsuit, proceed to trial, and prove their injuries and damages to a jury. Sometimes a claimant has to file a lawsuit to force the other side to come to the negotiation table.

Only experienced lawyers are capable of navigating this process. Potential clients shouldn’t just hire any lawyer. Not all lawyers are equal in their training and qualifications. The Florida Bar does not typically allow lawyers to hold themselves out as “experts.” However, the Bar does allow lawyers who have extensive experience in personal injury and tort cases to become specialists in a civil trials. Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are Board Certified in Civil Trial.

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

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

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

Sources:

https://www.flhsmv.gov/insurance/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uwCo_9H0xM&list=PLnCrJ0tzzzL6mRs3arN7h5wlrAbevkMq0&index=13&t=115s

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/liability_insurance.asp

https://zarzaurlaw.com/what-is-um-coverage-and-why-is-it-important/

Florida Law Related to E-Bikes.

E-bikes are becoming more and more popular in our country.  In fact, in the last 3 years the sales of these motor assisted bikes has tripled and there were approximately 65 million in e-bike sales in 2017.  These bikes are popular since they open the activity to groups of individuals that would otherwise not feel comfortable or capable of riding a human power bike given physical condition.  For those that are perfectly capable, these e-bikes allow the rider to increase the distance that they otherwise would not be able to drive on their bikes.

Studies have suggested that e-bikes require 64% less energy than walking and 22% less energy than regular cycling.  Even though regular cyclist may not be attracted to an e-bike, it certainly increases the group of potential riders when those who ordinarily would not consider a regular bike would be more likely to cycle on a bike with an electric engine.

 

DEFINITION OF AN E-BIKE
In Florida, an e-bike is defined as a “bicycle” so long as it is capable of being propelled by human power and has a maximum speed of 20mph.  The same rules of the road apply to both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles.

 

REQUIREMENTS TO OWN AND RIDE AN E-BIKE
E-bikes are not subject to the registration, licensing or insurance requirement that apply to motor vehicles.  Certain communities in Florida have outlawed e-bikes and so it is important that you check with your local governing agencies before purchasing one of these bikes since each city or county may have special laws applying to these vehicles.

Gas powered bikes are illegal in Florida.

Helmets are not required by law and the minimum age for use of e-bikes is 16.  E-bikes are allowed on sidewalks and bike paths but many counties require that when being used on sidewalks that bikes must be ONLY under human power and not motorized.

Florida Statutes Sections 322.01, 316.003.

 

E-MOUNTAIN BIKES (eMTB)
The rules associated with trails varies significantly depending upon whether the trail is managed by federal, state, or local government agencies.  You should consult each such trail prior to operating a e-bike on such trail.

E-MTBs May Not be Allowed on Trails Managed for Non-motorized Activities.

Most importantly, from a safety standpoint helmets, although not required by law, should always be worn on all types of bikes.  This is even more important when the bike is operated at higher speeds since the greater the bike’s speed the greater the force of any impact that a collision would cause.

 

CONSEQUENCES OF FLORIDA LAW VIOLATIONS AS IT PERTAINS TO E-BIKES.
1. If you are caught operating an e-bike under motorized power on a sidewalk, the operator will be issued a moving traffic citation for operating a motorized vehicle on a sidewalk. Florida Statute 316.1995.

2. Parents who knowingly allow a juvenile who has no driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle on public streets may be cited for a violation of Florida Statute 322.35, “Permitting an Unauthorized Minor to Drive.”  This is an arrest-able misdemeanor.

 

E-BIKE INJURIES
Injuries can occur on e-bikes just like they can occur on any motorized vehicle.  Many of these e-bikes look like and have the safety reflectors and lighting as any other bike.  This makes them less visible than most cars and motorcycles, especially at night.

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, 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 injured on an e-bike and you have questions about the legal rights relating to such injuries, please feel free to contact Zarzaur Law at 855-HIREJOE or zarzaurlaw.com. There is no fee or cost unless we win and all consultations prior to recovery are free.

Sources:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/the-ebike-trade-off-seems-to-be-less-exercise-more-enjoyment-and-fewer-showers/2018/05/05/5990770a-4ede-11e8-b725-92c89fe3ca4c_story.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/as-e-biking-grows-us-cities-consider-easing-rules-on-where-the-machines-may-be-used/2018/04/06/d20b2f58-3756-11e8-8fd2-49fe3c675a89_story.html

A Near Miss on a Regular Road is a Certain Automobile Wreck on a Bridge.

The Three Mile Bridge has been shut down due to damage caused by Hurricane Sally, and now commuters in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties are left with one main route –  the two-lane Garcon Point Bridge.

Drivers are now experiencing delays and congestions in the area and for some, their morning and evening commutes have doubled.

A number of challenges that have created bottlenecks on the Garcon Point Bridge include:
– Traffic lights are not programmed for the increased number of cars
– People taking shortcuts
– No center lane or emergency lane
– Sharing the road with commercial trucks
–  Only one turn lane

These obstacles are making the daily commute for those traveling between Pensacola and Gulf Breeze very aggravating and potentially dangerous.

Two accidents have already occurred on the Garcon Point bridge, after the closure of the Three Mile Bridge, and completely shut down both lanes of traffic for hours. While these two accidents did not result in serious injuries, these wrecks are just the start to a potential uptick in accidents on a bridge that only saw an approximate total of 12 vehicle accidents between 2015-2018.

It must be noted that we, as drivers (bridge or not) are more distracted than ever. We have mobile devices that we are constantly on and when you overlay this level of distraction with the typical tourist, commuter, and commercial truck drivers all using this two-lane bridge, we now have a recipe for disaster on any road. Bridges, however, are a bit worse since there is no margin for error in bridge driving.  The shoulder areas are quite limited not even wide enough for the average car to be completely off the road.  A near miss on a regular road is a certain automobile wreck on the bridge.

Ways to Avoid Being in a Car Accident on the Garcon Point Bridge

Avoid Over-speeding
Driving within the stipulated speed limit is the most effective way to avoid accidents on the bridge. Always check your speedometer while you drive.

Avoid Tailgating
Give a safe distance between your and the car ahead of you. Driving too close to the vehicle in front of you could prove dangerous. The sudden application of the brake by the vehicle ahead of you can cause you to crash into it.

Do Not Reduce Your Speed Suddenly
This is important for 2 reasons: if there is no good distance between your car and the one behind you, stepping on your brake abruptly can cause the vehicle behind you to crash into your car. Also, a sudden application of your brake – when your car is on high-speed can cause the momentum on the car to force it forward and cause the car to somersault.

Try To Maintain a Lane
Do not change lane randomly since this is a two lane bridge.

Look Ahead While Driving
Except to check your side mirrors, it is important that you always look ahead; shun all forms of distractions, like casually looking at the occupants of cars beside yours. The majority of accidents on bridges occur when drivers fail to keep looking ahead.

If Your Tire Bursts, Don’t Apply the Brake Immediately
Do not slam on the brake pedal immediately you experience a tyre blowout on the bridge. Of course, this is easier said than done. Our natural reaction during a tire blow out is to step on the brake. This is the worst thing that thing you can do as it will further imbalance the vehicle and throw it out of control. A tyre blowout could lead to a complete loss of control of the car. This could be worse with SUVs and high vehicles. However, train yourself to avoid applying the brake suddenly when such happens.

Leave Early for Your Destination
Make plans to leave for your destinations early. This will ensure that you are not pressured into over-speeding while driving on the Garcon Point Bridge.

Use Your Caution Signals
In the event that your car breaks down on the bridge, ensure to use your caution signs to alert vehicles coming behind you of the danger posed by your car ahead of them. Place the caution signs within a reasonable distance from your broken down car.

Check the Condition of Your Car Before Driving
Checking to see that your car is sound enough for the trip is a very important safety measure.

Avoid Road Rage
Everyone is in a hurry, but it is extremely important to exercise patience – we are all going to be traveling this bridge exclusively for some time.

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, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

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

Sources:

https://autojosh.com/2-ways-to-avoid-causing-accidents-on-the-third-mainland-bridge/

Bridges and Car Accidents in Miami and Florida

http://3milebridge.com

https://gis-fdot.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/bridge-crashes/data?geometry=-87.241%2C30.398%2C-86.946%2C30.450

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

Zarzaur Law, PA Offers Virtual Meetings in Wake of Cornonavirus (COVID19) Outbreak.

Zarzaur Law's Joe ZarzaurIf you have a serious injury case, action shouldn’t be delayed.

If you are unable to meet in person due to the coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak or any other reason, please contact us.

We’re still here working. We conduct virtual meetings with our clients regularly, and will do it for you.

 

 


Zarzaur Law, P.A. is aware of the coronavirus (COVID19) concerns of everyone in our community.

For over two weeks, the firm has taken steps to insure that our office is sanitized for each client. We have also taken extra steps to make certain that all staff members are symptom free and that their body temperatures are normal prior to coming to work. Further, we have inquired and insured that no staff member has come into contact with any international travelers or national travelers that may be coming from domestic hot spots in their free time. If they have we have asked them to self quarantine for two weeks.

We will continue to see clients, one at a time, to make sure that all clients with personal injury legal issues are handled in a timely and professional manner. The firm also recognizes that given the cancellation of schools and other institutions, many potential new personal injury clients cannot attend meetings “in person”. To address this issue, our firm -which has always offered “virtual meetings” with potential clients- has stepped up our technological capabilities and is utilizing Zoom® video conferencing software/hardware to provide high quality video conferencing for any potential personal injury client to have a free face to face consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. As always, the firm will continue to speak to each potential client first by phone and if the matter results in a meeting we will provide the potential client to attend such meeting via video conferencing and provide all documents to you electronically. This will permit the hiring of our firm for your personal injury case to be consummated without requiring you to leave your families and home.

Exact instructions for these consultations will be provided during the initial call with our firm. These procedures will go into effect immediately and will continue until our community is completely on the other side of this COVID19 issue.

We urge everyone to heed all recommendations provided by our state and federal scientific communities and to stay put in their homes and not to congregate in crowds, adhere to stringent personal hygiene protocols, and make certain to be aware of those in your families that make up the high risk group for coronavirus.

The following is a list of links to various reliable sources for the latest information on the virus both local and federal:

CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND RESEARCH AND POLICY >

FL DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH >

CDC >

Zarzaur Law, P.A. will continue to provide excellent legal services to our clients and remain committed to offer those services even as we all deal with the challenges of this time.

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