Tag Archives: Pensacola Car Wreck Attorneys

When is a Car Wreck Considered Wrongful Death?

 

 

Car wrecks that result in the death of the victim go from being called personal injury cases to wrongful death car wreck cases.  Car wrecks that result in the death of the victim change in legal terminology because the death of the individual means that the claim can only be brought under Florida’s Wrongful death statute.

Despite the overwhelming amount of information about careless or unsafe driving, accidents can still happen. When someone’s action lead to another’s death, whether it is accidental, intentional, or a car manufacturer defect, the deceased’s loved ones may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death. Wrongful death in a car accident can happen for a variety of reasons such as negligence or recklessness by another motorist, criminal activity, or even because of a manufacturing defect by the automaker.

Below you will find key information about wrongful death car accidents, including the common causes of car accidents, and your options when filing a claim.

What are the Main Causes of Car Accidents?

Car accidents are a common occurrence. Think about all the times you have been sitting in rush hour traffic listening to a traffic report on the radio where the announcer lists out the number of accidents in a given time period. Common causes of car accidents that can lead to a fatality include:

  • Texting and driving (distracted driving)
  • Driving under the influence of drugs (including prescription drugs) and/or alcohol (DUI)
  • Reckless driving (speeding, racing, passing when it is unsafe, etc.)
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Driver fatigue
  • Street and highway defects
  • Car manufacturing defects
  • Inexperienced and/or elderly drivers
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Failing to yield
  • Speeding

There are no more serious cases in our legal system and in our firm, these files have a special place for all of us working with these families.

The Florida Statute of Limitations

Florida statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is only two years as opposed to the four-year statute of limitations for injury cases.  Given this shorter time limitation, it is imperative to have a law firm working on the wrongful death case as soon as the family can deal with discussing the case.

At the same time, this is the wrongful death of a loved one is always a shock.  It is always the result of a traumatic and unexpected incident.  So, it is completely normal and understandable for families to deal with the initial grief of the loved one before having to discuss the subject with a law firm.

Securing Evidence

It is important, however, that as soon as possible the law firm be engaged since they will need to secure evidence and perform an investigation.  The insurance company or entity responsible for the death will immediately send a team of experts out to start working on the defense of the case.  They will always have a head start on the family’s lawyer since the family is always dealing with the grief and loss of a loved one first.  The companies are only thinking about how to minimize their legal liability.

Florida’s Wrongful Death Statute

Florida’s Wrongful Death Statute has specific provisions that control every facet of the case from who can bring the case to who can legally recover for the death of the victim.  The phrase wrongful death means that death is brought about by the wrongful conduct of another.  This wrongful conduct can range from intentional acts to pure negligent conduct and every state of mind in between.

As we have discussed in previous posts, wrongful death cases are brought on behalf of the legal survivors of the victim and in some rare circumstances can also include claims to punish the wrongful actor.  Florida’s Wrongful Death Law dictates everything in relation to these cases from the proper party to bring it and who may benefit from the suit and who may not benefit.

If there is a car wreck that involves a death to one or more of the victims, then that family should be consulting an injury lawyer that has experience with the Florida Wrongful Death Act.

If you or a loved one is involved in a car wreck and there is a death of one of the victims, it is important to hire a law firm that has plenty of experience navigating Florida’s Wrongful Death Act.  For more information and free consultation of your Wrongful Death case from a car wreck, please find us on the web at zarzaurlaw.com or call us at 855Hirejoe.

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://www.findlaw.com/injury/torts-and-personal-injuries/wrongful-death-in-a-car-accident.html

 

 

 

Who is at Fault for a Car Accident That Involves a Product Recall?

 

In many car wreck cases, a defective vehicle or vehicle component may be responsible for the crash and injuries sustained from the crash. Since the establishment of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recalled tens of millions of vehicles, motor vehicle equipment, and tires. Despite these recalls many car crashes are caused by these defects.

While there may be a negligent driver who caused the crash, an injured consumer can not only recover from the other driver but can also recover from manufacturers if defective equipment causes the crash or the injury.

In many cases, a defective seatbelt or airbag can lead to enhanced injuries.

Similarly, defective tires can cause a crash. In such situations, you need to have an experienced trial lawyer review the case for sources of recovery.

What Is a Product Recall?

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are minimum performance requirements that apply to all vehicles and vehicle-related equipment. When a vehicle or one of its parts creates a safety risk or does not meet minimum standards it may be recalled. Not all defects are safety-related, some may be caused by ordinary wear and tear, and are not considered the basis of a recall. Car owners or their lawyers are encouraged to report safety defects to NHTSA, and it maintains a website that lists all investigations and recalls.\

Examples of Common Vehicle Defects

Most consumers assume that the vehicle they are driving is safe, particularly when they are driving a new car off the lot for the first time. Unfortunately, even new cars have defective products that can cause serious accidents and life-threatening injuries. For example, the defective ignition switches in General Motors cars caused over 50 fatalities, and the faulty Takata airbags that were installed in several car models were responsible for at least five deaths and 64 serious injuries. Takata recalled 1.4 million older driver’s-side airbag inflators on certain vehicles that were designed between 1995 and 2000 after it was discovered that some deflators deployed too slowly or ruptured if there was an improper amount of moisture in the inflator.

The following are other examples of product defects that can lead to product recalls:

  • Brake systems that malfunction
  • Defects in the vehicle’s electrical system
  • Faulty accelerators that either prevent the car from moving or cause it to accelerate too quickly
  • Fuel leaks that can cause a fire
  • Steering issues that can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle
  • Unsafe tires

Who is Responsible for Issuing Product Recalls?

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards established a set a minimum performance requirement for the parts of a vehicle that have the biggest impact on safe operation, including the brakes, tires, and lighting; as well as the features of the vehicles that protect motorists from serious injuries or fatalities, including airbags, safety belts, child restraint, energy-absorbing steering columns, and motorcycle helmets.

If a vehicle or a specific product related to the vehicle does not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, or if there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or the equipment, and auto recall may be necessary.

Who is Liable if There is a Crash Involving a Recall?

An injured party may often sue the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of a defective auto or auto component under strict product liability theories of recovery. In such cases, the victim must show the product was defective, that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous and that the injuries were caused by the defective product. The manufacturer can also be sued for negligence, negligent design and marketing, and for manufacturing defects. These theories are often joined in the same lawsuit.

If you think a product defect caused or contributed to your injury, it is imperative that you contact an lawyer and preserve the vehicle of the part to the best of your ability. These manufacturers aggressively defend their products, so it is most important to seek experienced legal counsel immediately. It is usually necessary to have experts retain and test these products so preservation if most important.

A Product Recall Does Not Automatically Get a Manufacturer Off the Hook

A manufacturer cannot use a recall to defeat any claim brought against it. The manufacturer must usually prove that the particular plaintiff directly received notice of the recall and that the recall adequately warned the plaintiff of the dangers posed by the defective product.

A broadly issued recall, unaccompanied by successful efforts to direct the recall notice to the plaintiff, is not enough. Also, the manufacturer cannot defeat the plaintiff’s suit by blaming a distributor or seller for not providing the notice directly to the customer—although the manufacturer may be able to sue the distributor or seller afterward, depending on the facts of the case.

Learn more about a manufacturer’s defenses in a product liability case.

What Should I Do if I Get a Product Recall Notice?

If you receive a notice, you should read it carefully. If it tells you not to use the vehicle until its repaired, you should immediately call the manufacture or dealer for instructions. There is always a recall hotline to call. You should then schedule a repair with an authorized dealer as soon as possible. There is generally no charge for such repairs. Failure to follow such instructions can adversely affect your case if there is a wreck.

Defective car products can cause death or catastrophic injuries. Bringing a claim for damages is difficult, expensive, and requires special expertise. If you have a claim like this, you need to seek counsel of an experienced board-certified civil trial lawyer.

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://blogs.lawyers.com/lawyer/automobile-accidents/how-does-a-product-recall-impact-my-car-wreck-case-66414/

https://www.findlaw.com/injury/product-liability/vehicle-recalls-and-defects.html

https://www.alllaw.com/personal-injury/how-a-recall-affects-a-product-liability-claim.html

Pensacola Product Liability Lawyer

Alarming Increase in Car Wreck Related Death – Pensacola FL

If you’re like us here at Zarzaur Law, you’ve noticed something about traffic since the COVID-19 pandemic began. There might be fewer cars on the road these days, but the cars that are there are driving faster and more recklessly.

 

The Biggest Increase in Fatalities in More Than 15 Years

You are not just imagining things. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are about 15% fewer total cars on the roads than there were at similar times in 2019. Despite this significant decrease in traffic levels, the rate of traffic-related deaths has risen by a staggering 13.1%—the biggest increase from one quarter to the next in almost 15 years.

Disturbing Factors

There are several potential explanations for the phenomenon. At a basic level, data show that more drivers are using relatively empty roads to drive faster than they would normally. In fact, an NHTSA study found that more drivers had been clocked going over 100 miles per hour after the pandemic began than in recent years. Further, a higher percentage of these drivers were not wearing their seat belts, as shown by the fact that more and more drivers are getting ejected from their cars when they wreck. Even more concerning, the drivers involved in the wrecks were more likely to be driving with drugs and/or alcohol in their systems.

DRIVING FASTER AND MORE RECKLESSLY COMBINED WITH REFUSING TO USE AVAILABLE SAFETY EQUIPMENT IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

The Question Now Is: What Do We Do About the Problem?

An international study recently showed that police presence on the road is the “best predictor of fatality rates.” Reduced patrols on our highways due to pandemic or budgetary factors is likely one reason for the increase. What is also clear, however, is that simple precautions can also prevent fatalities:
• Wearing a seat belt
• Not speeding
• Waiting to enter an intersection until it is safe
• Not texting while driving

If you happen to be the victim of a car wreck with a reckless driver, you should always hire a lawyer to represent your interests. You can bet that the other driver’s insurance company will. Potential clients shouldn’t just hire any lawyer, because 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://www.consumerreports.org/car-safety/top-safety-scores-cant-save-drivers-in-high-speed-crashes/

https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2021/01/25/Traffic-is-down-but-driving-deaths-are-up/stories/202101150069

https://cdan.nhtsa.gov

Car Accident Lawyers in Pensacola, FL

 

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/

What Should I Expect From My Personal Injury Lawyer?

Personal Injury LawyerMany clients who end up needing a personal injury lawyer following an accidental injury have no expectations for such a professional.  Thankfully, most have not had the need in their lives for a personal injury lawyer. With that inexperience, comes a void of thoughts on what this lawyer should be doing and what their relationship will be with one another. As far as Zarzaur Law is concerned we feel that this relationship is a sacred one where a client is entrusting their lives and future to us.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is placing trust in another person to act on your behalf and in your best interest.  The legal systems give you one chance to present your case and you are trusting this personal injury lawyer to take your case and then present it in the best manner so that just compensation and justice is delivered to you. Our firm takes this responsibility seriously and prides itself in delivering professional, personal, and aggressive representation.

Professional Personal injury Attorney

The legal profession, like all professions, has many segments and areas.  Personal injury law is a distinct section of the law that deals with injuries caused by the negligence of others. Personal injury lawyers are hired to seek justice for victims in the form of compensation so that they and/or their families can move forward. Pro is one who specializes in a field to such a degree that he/she is respected by their field as an expert.

The Florida Bar allows for personal injury lawyers to qualify as experts.  This expert process is called board certification.  Florida personal injury lawyers can choose to become experts in their field if they concentrate their work on personal injury cases and then elect to go through the board certification process for civil trial lawyers.

This board certification process involves taking a second bar exam and then getting confidential recommendations from judges and lawyers who have observed their litigation skills firsthand.  Only about one percent of Florida lawyers are board-certified in a civil trial.


ZARZAUR LAW PRIDES ITSELF IN HAVING BOARD CERTIFIED CIVIL TRIAL LAWYERS WHO HANDLE THE CASES SO THAT WE CAN OFFER ONLY THE MOST PROFESSIONAL SERVICES TO OUR CLIENTS.

Personal Injury Attorney Pensacola


Personal

Personal injury lawyers are usually the first and only lawyers that many people have ever been associated with. The public expectation of a lawyer is not a friendly or personable image. Zarzaur Law strives to break that stereotype into pieces.  We pride ourselves in redefining the common perception of lawyers being stuffy and difficult to relate to.

  • Communicating with our clients in regular language.
  • Explaining the process in a way that is easy to understand and keeping our clients up to date and aware of their case at all times.
  • Making sure we are easily accessible to clients from the start of their case to the final day.
  • Lawyers here can be contacted directly on their personal cell phones instead of going through staff members.

You as a client deserve to be able to ask questions and get answers quickly, not the following day or later in the week. It is your personal injury case, and we are working for you not the other way around.

Aggressive Personal injury Attorney

Personal injury lawyers are all in a battle against insurance companies in most cases. These battles are usually intense since insurance companies have plenty of money to hire big law firms to put up as many barriers as possible to delay and deter justice. Many times, these insurance companies through their lawyers will wage a battle of attrition. They have plenty of money and they know that many of our clients are in the worse financial spot ever due to their injuries. These companies know that if they make this process longer and more stressful, maybe the personal injury plaintiff and lawyer will become more and more negotiable and they can get off cheaper for the case.

It is incumbent upon a personal injury lawyer to counterbalance this typical defense tactic of delay to be aggressive.  The personal injury lawyer will always be pushing the case to a trial.  If we are not pushing the case to the conclusion then the insurance company lawyers will fill that void with delay.  Each day without just compensation for our clients is another wound to their injuries. Personal injury lawyers have to be the ones pushing hard on the case and making certain that the case is concluded sooner rather than later.

Zarzaur Law is a personal injury law firm that prides itself on professional, personal, and aggressive representation to our clients. We feel that our personal injury clients are the customer, and they are the boss.  While we will guide our clients on the legal issues, we involve them in the decision-making process so that they make intelligent and legally sound decisions.  All the while, we are aggressively pushing the case to conclusion, to justice.

If you or a loved one is in need of a personal injury lawyer that is professional, personable, and aggressive.

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.

An all go, no quit interview on Rankings.io podcast with Joe Zarzaur.

Joe Zarzaur, Zarzaur Law – Multi-Channel Marketing, Candid Conversations, and Healthy Employees

Chris Dreyer / July 09,2020 / The Rankings Podcast
Joe Zarzaur is the founder of Zarzaur Law, a personal injury firm based in Pensacola, Florida. Joe is a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer, a distinction that only 1% of Florida lawyers can claim. Throughout his career in the courtroom, Joe has won record jury verdicts for injury cases in both Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. In addition to his Board Certification, Joe has also been awarded an AV rating and a 10 out of 10 on AVVO.com.

What’s in This Episode:
– Who is Joe Zarzaur
– What motivated Joe to start Zarzaur Law
– How big wins impact the growth of your practice
– What Joe’s biggest career mistake taught him about candid conversations and when to have them
– How to market a personal injury firm to get both mass volume and quality cases
– Why you should prioritize your employees’ physical health

Listen to the full podcast HERE! >

This transcript was created using an automated transcription service and may contain errors.

Episode 24:
Prologue
Welcome to The Rankings Podcast where we feature top founders, entrepreneurs, and elite personal injury lawyers and share their inspiring stories. Now let’s get started with the show.

Chris Dreyer
Chris Dreyer here CEO and Founder of Rankings.io where we help elite personal injury lawyers dominate first page rankings. You’re listening to the rankings podcast where I feature top business owners, entrepreneurs and elite personal injury lawyers. Speaking of elite personal injury lawyers, I have Joe Zarzaur on the show today. Joe is the founder of Zarzaur Law, a personal injury firm based in Pensacola, Florida. He is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, a distinction that only 1% of Florida Attorneys can claim. His career in the courtroom has seen him win record jury verdicts for injury cases in both Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. In addition to his board certification. Joe is also AV rated a Super Lawyer, a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Joe, welcome to the show.

Joe Zarzaur
Hey, thanks for having me, Chris. Appreciate it.

Chris Dreyer
This is awesome. Yeah. Great. Great to have you. Let’s jump right in. So, you know, how did you get started? Where did the idea come from to create Zarzaur Law?

Joe Zarzaur
You know, I think everybody that works for a company thinks fantasizes or think about having their own business, right, at some point in time. And sometimes it’s a fleeting fantasy. Sometimes you’re better off not having your own company, right. But I think there are personalities that are better on their own kind of kind of thing. I just, I had that kind of personality where I was like, Okay, I was, I think I was a decent obedient employee as a lawyer. But at the same time, I’m opinionated. Right, and I think I have a i don’t know i Have a guess. Unlike a lot of lawyers, I like business stuff. So I think a lot of lawyers and doctors and other professionals, accountants, they like their craft. And then the business is sort of second. I like my craft. Okay, don’t get me wrong, I love it, right. But I like being a businessman, to an entrepreneur, an advertiser, a marketer. So I enjoy that aspect of this too. And I think what, what gave me the idea of thinking this is the right move for me was wanting to make all the decisions for the business and not be questioned about it, not have to go through layers of other people. I wanted to make this decision this way. And why don’t we mark it this way? I don’t have to ask somebody permission to do that. I wanted to just do it. So I think that’s really what made the decision for me.

Chris Dreyer
Yeah, and I think that’s great. So you want to drive, you wanted to be innovative and explore unique opportunities that you probably saw weren’t being applied to the firm you’re at previously, and you wanted a little bit more control. So what were those early days to the firm? Like, how are you? How are you hustling to get those clients in the early days?

Joe Zarzaur
A while they’re scary, right? You’re scared to death. You’re, you know, you look back at bills that used to make you like cringe. And you’re thinking, Oh, my gosh, I wish I had that kind of American Express business bill now, right? Like, I was, like, worried about $3,000 a month on my American Express business card. So But yeah, I remember being scared to death. I remember thinking to myself, how am I going to make it? I think it helped me when I went out on my own that I didn’t have a I wasn’t married at the time. I didn’t have a child at the time, and so it was less than Scary. I didn’t have a ton of student loan debt at the time I had retired most of that I didn’t have a lot of other debt. So I think that is that makes it a lot easier for people when they go out on their own to not have personal debt and personal concerns or as many as a lot of people have, right? So it makes the decision and basically makes the risk a lot less, you’re not just risking, you’re only risking you, right? You’re not risking people at home that are counting on you. Creditors that are counting on you to pay your bills. If you have a bunch of debt already, you know, it made it a lot easier for me to branch out and just go

Chris Dreyer
so it would be fair to say Dave Ramsey would be would be really it’s kind of the Dave Ramsey approach. He didn’t carry a lot of debt. You got to make moves and make your cash work for him.

Joe Zarzaur
I don’t know that I agree with everything Dave Ramsey says

Chris Dreyer
but I don’t think we all do

Joe Zarzaur
but The whole debt thing I think the less debt you have in general in the world, the more free you are to make decisions.

Chris Dreyer
Absolutely. I 100% agree. So, you know, taking it to the next level, you started acquiring cases you started building your brand. Is there a big turning point, maybe a case of settled or a marketing initiative that you did that really took it to the next level?

Joe Zarzaur
Absolutely. In this business, in the trial lawyer business, you really don’t know for sure you’re good at this until you get a big you can settle thousand cases right? And you can settle them for millions and millions of dollars. But until a jury after hearing you present your case, gives your client millions and millions and millions of dollars. I don’t know that you know that you’ve made it in this profession until that happens. And until that happens over and over. You may think it’s an anomaly, right? So that is what gave me confirmation until that time. Even though I loved what I did, and even though I felt like I did it better than average, I didn’t have that validation that a jury had awarded my clients, millions and millions of dollars. And until that happened, I didn’t feel like I had validation. So I would constantly be thinking, we know that I like doing this and I feel like I can make some money. And I feel like I’m really good. And I feel like I’m better than average. But maybe I should do something else like sports, marketing or sports agency or do this, do that. And until you really get that verdict that says, No, no, no, dude. You only you know, point 2% of lawyers in this business, get this kind of number verdict, you are doing what you’re supposed to do. Right. So that’s that gay validation? Word.

Chris Dreyer
Yeah, absolutely. validation and confidence. I’m sure there’s just a ton of confidence and momentum that build from that. And then you can, I guess, leverage that that giant case result for marketing, you know, marketing and referral potentials. So, like, do you know very few successful, successful business owners get to where they are without making some mistakes? Are there any mistakes that come to mind that you learn from daily?

Joe Zarzaur
Professional mistake maker actually. I just try to make less mistakes and then then don’t and then also try to fix them when I do right. mistake was. Oh, my god, there’s so many. Let’s just take maybe the biggest mistakes I’ve made is joining up with firms along the way without making sure I had an ironclad understanding On and writing about how we’re going to split fees. So if you want prosecutions with firms, and everybody’s buddies and whatever, everybody’s happy in this business, you know, it’s very, everything’s contingency related, right? So nobody gets paid until the case is over. Everybody’s working towards the same goal. Nobody realizes there’s money until there’s money. And what happens is, we all are working towards that recovery. And then when it happens, everybody’s like, well, everybody’s got an inflated impression of what they did to get the money, right, including me. So when the money’s there is not the time to try to figure out how much you should get and how much you should get whether this is a fair deal or not. Right. So if I learned anything from the biggest mistake I made, the ones that has cost me the most is that when I have co counsel in cases that I feel like or not not pulling their weight, so to speak. And I feel like I’m giving more to the mix than they are, then I need to immediately address that before the recovery happens so that when and if the recovery does happen, there’s not this big fight over.

Chris Dreyer
So candid conversations right when you see him

Joe Zarzaur
hard conversations to have, but they’re a lot harder to have when the money sitting in a trust account, and we’re all fighting Oh, you know what I mean?

Chris Dreyer
That makes sense. And that’s something I haven’t heard before but I totally understand and that’s something just now that you’ve experienced that pain now you can you know, you’ve learned from that situation I’m sure that you’re you’re establishing those boundaries, those situations now in the future.

Joe Zarzaur
I’m a little militant about it now, like, I’ll overdo it too much like, first phone call with somebody to refer in a case i’m very diligent about making sure everything’s clear in an email as soon as we get off the phone, here’s what we decided, right, here are the percentages. Here’s what we decided, put it in writing, done, right. And then if something changes, immediately address it, as uncomfortable as it may be. I may say, Listen, you know, I’m starting to take a lot more depositions than I thought, I think we should revisit these numbers.

Chris Dreyer
That makes sense. And I would say that probably even that experience kind of relates to those hiring situations where instead of pushing stuff off, you’re probably addressing those situations more early. It’s kind of a similar type of thing

Joe Zarzaur
about staffing is by far I think the number one challenge of any business owner is getting good staff, keeping them and weeding out the ones that are aren’t going to ever make it. A lot of businesses I think hire people and they’re mediocre. But mediocrity is it doesn’t ever push anybody to make any big decisions, you know, one way or the other. They don’t pissed you off enough to get fired. They don’t impress you enough to give them big bonuses, so they just sort of wallow around and mediocrity for years. Meanwhile, there’s a candidate out there, that could be taking that position to a whole nother level, right? And you’re not doing that. And I know that grass is greener on the other side kind of thing. But I’m a firm believer in that in the professional setting. Maybe it doesn’t work and in personal relationships, always looking for maybe a bigger, brighter, shiny or object. But I do feel like there if you if you don’t want your staff to be mediocre. You don’t want your brand to be mediocre. Everybody in your facility needs to be doing their best to be better than every day. And if they’re not,

Chris Dreyer
I totally agree and the longer someone’s with your company, the harder it is to have those conversations so just address in early two makes it even easier from a personal feeling. type of situation. So let’s talk about the good. What’s a proud moment that really stands out for you?

Joe Zarzaur
Ah, well, of course, opening your own office is a big deal, right? Getting those verdicts or big or big deal. I think being recognized as a Board Certified civil trial specialist by the Florida Bar is a big deal because you don’t get that it didn’t come along easy. There’s like 90,000 lawyers in Florida, and 1% of those have the certification. And I think that was a big deal. being recognized in the community as someone that cares about the community with awards, that, that, that applaud their the the amount of work we do in the community, helping people is important to us, also. You know, I think I’ve gotten a lot of employees that have worked out, and that ended up going elsewhere. bigger and brighter things have written some really have kept him over the years really nice notes that said to me, You helped me grow into a better worker, human, blah, blah, blah, I think those things that matter. And then, of course, clients that are thankful about their cases. And that’s a weekly thing, when they, it makes me like, a calf to catch my breath every time that happens, because when I read these things, I forget and like, God, you know, I am having an impact on people’s lives, right in a positive way. And of course, I’m not out here saving lives, you know, with my hands, but at the same time, I’m making lives a little bit better that have been pretty much destroyed, right or messed up pretty bad. So those things mean a lot.

Chris Dreyer
Yeah, that’s incredible. And just you get to feel they’re having Happiness and just make an impact like what you said on their lives. These people you know, they have these serious injuries and you can you can help their family they’re even they’re the next generation in some situations. Joe neck. Next let’s talk about what it takes to build a successful law firm. What marketing initiatives should growth minded lawyers invest in?

Joe Zarzaur
Personal Injury Lawyers is what I can really speak to. And I can tell you this, that I don’t think that you can just invest in one medium, you have to be sort of like a shotgun approach. You’ve gotta if you’re going to be on TV, you almost have to be in billboards. If you’re going to be in billboards, you got to be in Google AdWords or some other internet search thing, right? I think everybody wants to use their phone to contact everybody, including lawyers. And if you’re not accessible on your phone, your phone, right. They may know who you are, they may know your name. They may remember your name, but when they go through a traumatic Event they’re going to forget for a second, right? And what they need to do is to be reminded who you are again. And the best way to do that, fortunately, or unfortunately, is SEO and Google AdWords, because they’re going to search Google, they’re going to do some kind of search. And ideally, you want them to see your ad on Google and say, Oh, that’s the TV ad I saw yesterday, or that’s the billboard I saw yesterday, the more you can put the seed in their head. So when they go to look after an event, because it’s almost like they have amnesia when the event happens, and then they personal injury lawyer, and I Oh, wait, that. Why don’t I think of that guy. That’s the guy that I see all the time in the billboard that’s the guy see on television. They use Google as a way of looking it up. Right. And I hate to say it, but Google controls a lot of that business and unless your website is like top notch Which is a daily deal, like daily you have to update the content make sure you’re the algorithm is, is the same hadn’t changed, whatever, tweak it here and there, you can’t guarantee SEO is going to be at the top every time so you got to do something else to make sure you’re at the top. That’s why Google AdWords i think is you know, they’ve got a they’ve got a sort of a monopoly going in a way

Chris Dreyer
Yeah, I 100% agree. You know, so you’ve got your top of the funnel whether you call that in the note, you know, no is no like trust or awareness, engagement in consideration wherever you talk about your TV billboards, that awareness, but then that’s that’s the brand equity place. So then, when someone does type it in Google, you got to be able to show up for them to be able to convert.

Joe Zarzaur
Now, I do think this, I do think that there is a way to get a mass volume of cases which I just described, and there’s also a way to get quality cases with people that are going to take time to hire a lawyer, they’re not going to just put a Google search in and and say our guy’s name, they’re going to want to say, well, let’s compare his credentials to her credentials. And let’s see who’s actually better suited for our case. I want to have, frankly, I’d rather have three quality cases than 30. My neck hurt cases, right? So not only are those going to provide the internal satisfaction for the firm and for the client and for me for actually helping somebody that you’re in really bad situation and helping the community by making a wrong Right, right. But it’s more valuable. Right three is is what would take 40 neck my neck hurt cases right. So And I’m not making fun of our little of people’s neck because neck injuries are bad things. But what I am saying is non herniated disc cases did cases where you can’t show something in an objective film. But the person has soft tissue injuries for certain injuries, but perhaps those cases are just not as valuable as a neck surgery case. Right? Right. You got to be doing both you got to be you got to be appealing to the to the folks who may not research you very much, because there are good cases there too. But you also have to be making sure that people that are going to be smart about the process, that you’re providing them the content they need to make intelligent decisions, and so that you appear and sound as different as your

Chris Dreyer
I 100%. Agree I, you know, the multi channel approach is, first of all, how you’re getting your name out there, but It also complements each other TV in, and billboards compliment the SEO because then you capture those clicks. And then the other thing, you know, the higher your brand perception and expertise raises, the more likely you are to get those great cases through a referral to just in another different avenue, not only from directly from the consumer, so I 100% agree and i i think the multi channel approach is what you have to do nowadays to capture attention,

Joe Zarzaur
right? I can’t agree more.

Chris Dreyer
So next let’s shift to let’s shift to kind of like a personal development. What’s one book that comes to mind that you’d recommend?

Joe Zarzaur
That’s a tough question. I try to read a lot of current events. Non like nonfiction. for business purposes, Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike. I thought That was a great book. I read it about a year ago, but it sticks out from a business standpoint as one that I enjoyed a lot. Richard Haass just wrote a book called The World. It’s brand new, just started it a couple nights ago, but it seems like it’s a really, he basically calls an introduction to the world. And it’s almost like everybody is coming through school should be required to read it, because it basically introduces you to every part of the world and what their interests are, right? And how they’re different than ours, and how we can use that knowledge of everybody’s differences to get along better, and to understand why people do things, right. So I think that would be those two books or stick out for purposes of this conversation?

Chris Dreyer
Yeah, I’m gonna have to read The World you said and then Shoe Dog. I did read Shoe Dog and it was kind of nice because it exposed the good and the bad kind of Nike’s journey. So it was nice to see them like at a human level. What about mentors or influences? Or is there a specific mentor that comes to mind that helped you develop your expertise?

Joe Zarzaur
I don’t know that I have any one particular person, but there are lawyers in Florida that are older than me, that are sort of, you know, through my trade groups, the Florida Justice Association, we get together two or three times a year and you just sort of, you put your arm somebody you’re like, that dude’s got it, got to figure it out, right? Or that lady’s got to figure it out. And so I’ve quietly watched people that, you know, I don’t really care to name and I don’t know that they would care, to name them, but, and I’ve admired them from afar and thought to myself, maybe I can build my practice to be with theirs. That’s right. And this is the level of respect they command from their peers is so impressive, that you know, it means more than any verdict actually, you know, the idea that your peers Think that much of you is really success, right? If you in any particular industry, if your peers respect your abilities to do that job, you’ve really succeeded, right? Regardless of how much money you have, or how many boats and cars and planes you have, if you’ve gotten their respect, you’ve done something because there’s a ton of people that make money in this business that have no respect. I mean, I was really, there’s a lot of people that advertise and they get a lot of volume cases who I wouldn’t hire to handle a speeding ticket, literally a speeding ticket, right? Like they have no clue what they’re doing, right. But they’re great marketers and they’re great business. But that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to this trade. Going to trial or so.

Chris Dreyer
Yeah, and when you when you when you congregate with those people that are successful, it’s kind of you you kind of immerse yourself you get ideas that maybe you know It leads to innovation and I’ve seen that myself and our digital agency masterminds work with a dozen different digital marketing company and I’m like, well, that’s that’s a great idea the to implement that. Joe, what one final question. Is there anything you wanted to talk about? We haven’t discussed.

Joe Zarzaur
I think it’s important for people to be physically healthy. Yep. One of the big things here at the firm is we do the firm does a required yoga session every week. I pay for their Y memberships. I encourage people and was just like right across the street from us a brand new sparkling, beautiful YMCA. And I encourage people to take an extra pay for them to take an extra long lunch if they’re working out. So I don’t the women want to take a shower afterwards they get an I give him an hour and a half instead of an hour. You know, ah, personally have to work out every day or I don’t feel like I’m ready to work. And I feel like the healthier people are physically, the more productive they’re going to be, the happier they’re going to be, the more mentally healthy they’re going to be. It’s just the better they can be with their family, the better they’re going to be with themselves. I mean, it’s just, it’s a priority. And I feel like businesses that don’t put that as a priority for their staff are making huge miscalculations because you work them to death, right? And then you reward them with like, beer, wine and food, and you’re not paying attention to promoting their health and well being. They’re just gonna crash and burn like you are at some point, right? Now, of course, I’m not saying I’m going to live forever, but, you know, I want to be living until I drop, right. And so, it may be a sudden drop, but it ain’t gonna be Any one of those long, extended sickness kind of drops, you get my drift.

Chris Dreyer
I think that’s a great piece of advice. And I know that my wife if she’s listening, this episode is going to push me more on it. Yeah, so I 100% agree and I applaud you for that. I think that’s tremendous. That’s a way better benefit than uh, you know, munities other types of benefits you can be provided as a business owner Besides this, the standard health, health insurance and all those types of things. Guys, we’ve been talking to Joe, elite personal lawyer at Zarzaur Law. Joe, where can we learn more about you?

Joe Zarzaur
As ZarzaurLaw.com if you want to read my website or read about me, JoeZarzaur.com. And one of the first big verdicts I got. I saw a lawyer out at a retail store and he said, Man, you beat that lawyer and that lawyer worked for Johnson and Johnson. And that lawyer hates your guts. I was like, What are you talking about? And that lawyer had been litigating against him for 10 years and then went to trial. And the most he had offered was like $200,000. And the verdict was like 9.3 million or something. And in the course, the guy was pissed off. He had all these Ivy League, you know, crew in the courtroom, and he was talking down to everybody, including the jury, the whole trial, you know, using words, nobody understood how to look up. And at the end of the case, he was telling people that he hated me. Like, he hates me for the verdict, right. And so I took that statement, and I made it into an advertising campaign. IhateJoeZarzaur.com. And so I put that all around town and do like what the heck What is that? IhateJoeZarzaur.com. And you go to the website and he explains that whole story about why this lawyer hates me because I beat he’s, you know, he and his client to oblivion in bed. And, and so in any event, IhateJoeZarzaur.com is also a way to get my story.

Chris Dreyer
That’s great. We’ll share that our audience and I’m gonna have to check that out right after this. Hey, Joe. It’s been awesome having you on the show. Thanks so much.

Joe Zarzaur
I enjoyed Chris. Y’all Take care. Thanks for having me. Thank you.

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 has been involved in an accident, it is 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.

Most Dangerous Days and Times On the Road.

Despite several years of steady declines, deadly vehicle crashes are on the rise, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The safest day to be on the road in the Nation: Tuesday.
The most dangerous? Saturday.

Most people leaving work are more than likely distracted. The endless list of tasks tend to distract them from paying attention to the road during rush hour, when they should be most alert due to the high volume of cars on the road.

The NHTSA reports that most accidents occur during “rush hour,” between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.  And according to the NHTSA, Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week to drive, primarily because there are more cars – and more drunk drivers – on the road than any other day. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 31% of fatal drunk-driving accidents occur on the weekend, and the highest number of drunk drivers are on the road between midnight and 3 a.m. Fatal crashes are also four times higher at night than during the day.

The second and third deadliest days were also associated with the weekend:
Friday (5,826) and Sunday (5,809) according to a 2016 study by Avvo.

The Reasons?

1. Drunk Driving – The NHTSA found that there were 10,497 deaths from alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2016.

2. Speeding – NHTSA says speeding is a type of aggressive driving behavior that increases the consequences by endangering yourself and other motorists and pedestrians due to a greater potential for loss of vehicle control and increased degree of crash severity and injuries.

What About in Florida?

According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 2017 Traffic Crash Facts report – Monday is the safest day on the road and Saturday is the most dangerous.

Features Are a Help or Hindrance?

Safety advances such as automatic emergency braking, rearview cameras, lane departure warning and advanced air bags have helped improve car safety, while other features have been blamed for increasing distraction. An AAA study released blamed vehicle touchscreen systems for allowing drivers to use the systems while in motion, thus creating a distraction.

The Best Safe Driving Tips for Florida Motorists (along with anyone on the road nationwide)
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Brake smoothly and completely
  • 
Check your visibility
  • 
Allow room for yourself and other drivers
  • Drive within the speed limit – Don’t be in a hurry, it’s not worth the risk
  • Get rid of distractions
  • Drive defensively
  • Avoid road rage
  • Follow the 2-second rule – Don’t tailgate
  • Don’t drive impaired

If you’ve been the victim of a car wreck, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions, it is 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.

Follow the link to the car wreck checklist and put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve.

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.

Sources:
https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road

https://www.automoblog.net/2018/07/10/most-dangerous-times-to-drive/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/05/26/driving-car-crash-deaths-speeding/640781002/

https://bestlifeonline.com/smart-driving-strategies/

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/study-finds-saturday-is-most-dangerous-day-to-drive-tuesday-is-safest/

https://www.smartstartinc.com/blog/safest-times-to-drive/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/10/06/nhtsa-2016-deadly-crashes/739842001/

https://www.flhsmv.gov/resources/crash-citation-reports/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more:
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/juryseminar/EvolutionJury.html

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

https://www.mow.uscourts.gov/jury/history_of_jury_duty

Florida: The Most Dangerous State for Pedestrians

Florida is the deadliest state for pedestrians: A 2017 study found eight of 10 most dangerous cities are located in Florida. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Facts, “On average, a pedestrian is killed every 1.5 hours in traffic crashes.”

ZL_blog_pedestrians
According to Florida’s integrated report exchange system, for Escambia County in 2018:

83 crashes involving pedestrians
56 crashes involving bicycles
10 pedestrian deaths
One bicycle fatality

As more and more people are choosing to use the oldest and most basic form of transportation—walking, for fitness, sightseeing and more, there’s new evidence that even walking across the street is becoming more dangerous.

A report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that the number of pedestrians killed in traffic jumped 11 percent in 2016, to nearly 6,000. That’s the biggest single-year increase in pedestrian fatalities ever, and the highest number in more than two decades. The National Safety Council reported that traffic deaths overall went up six percent nationwide in 2016. Most would assume that with increased safety of vehicles, as we move towards more semi-autonomous vehicles, that traffic deaths would go down. Unfortunately, the opposite is happening with a spike in fatalities as it relates to pedestrians and cyclists.

Maureen Vogel, spokeswoman for the National Safety Council, says: A stronger economy and lower gas prices have put more cars on the road and have people driving more often, “but that is really only part of the story … so something else is at play here.”

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

SAFETY TIPS FOR PEDESTRIANS
1. Be safe and seen: make yourself visible to drivers.
2. Be smart and alert: avoid dangerous behavior.
– stay sober
– walk on sidewalks
– don’t assume vehicles will stop
– don’t rely solely on pedestrian signals, be alert to engine sounds and backup lights
3.  Look before you step!
– look both ways
– don’t wear headphones
– cross streets at marked cross walks

SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS
Be Alert and Watch for Pedestrians:
1. Scan the road and the sides of the road ahead for potential pedestrians or bicyclists.
2. Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians crossing or bicyclists coming up the road.
3. Do not drive distracted or after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
4. Do not use your cell phone while driving.
5. Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians, especially small children, before backing-up.
6. For maximum visibility, keep your windshield clean and headlights on.

Be Responsible and Yield to Pedestrians at Crossings:
1. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked.
2. Yield to pedestrians when making right or left turns at intersections.
3. Do not block or park in crosswalks.
4. Be Patient: Drive the speed limit and avoid aggressive maneuvers
5. Never pass/overtake a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
6. Obey speed limits and come to a complete stop at STOP signs.
7. Use extra caution when driving near children playing along the street or older pedestrians who may not see or hear you.
8. Always be ready to stop for pedestrians.

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 has been seriously injured due to the fault of a distracted driver, it is 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.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety

http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/community/tips_pedestrian.cfmhttps://exchange.aaa.com/safety/pedestrian-safety/tips-pedestrian-safety/#.W5rCsy3MxUN

https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2018/09/10/civiccon-jeff-speck-why-walkable-cities-save-lives-and-florida-streets-kill/1087564002/

https://www.npr.org/2017/03/30/522085503/2016-saw-a-record-increase-in-pedestrian-deaths

https://www.ghsa.orghttps://www.ghsa.org/resources/spotlight-peds17

https://www.nsc.org/home

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/my-child-was-injured-school-who-liable.html

Back To School and Bus Stop Safety – Do You Know the Golden Rules?

Florida school buses carry precious cargo – our children. Most motorists drive with caution around school buses and at school bus stops and school zones, but accidents do happen and children walking or riding bikes can be unpredictable, so motorists must always be alert.

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School Bus Safety: Are you following the golden rules?

However, statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles indicate the amount of school bus accidents in Florida is on the rise. From 2012 to 2015, there has been a 16 percent increase in school bus-related accidents throughout the state. Just in the year 2015 alone, there were a reported 2,698 school bus accidents in Florida.

Not only are there accidents when on the bus, but also at the bus stop itself. There have been reported injuries and deaths during loading and unloading of school buses. The National School Bus Loading and Unloading Survey is produced annually by the Kansas Department of Education and the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. The survey does not count onboard fatalities. The eight fatalities during the 2016-17 school year were evenly split between girls and boys. Five of the children killed were six or seven years old. One was nine, one was 11 and one was 16. Three students were killed as they crossed the street to board their buses, which had not yet come to a complete stop but were displaying eight-way yellow lights. Three others were struck and killed by passing motorists who illegally ignored a stopped school bus’ extended stop arm and flashing red lights.

School Transportation News (STN) records indicate that four additional student pedestrians were killed last school year in incidents that involved school buses but not during the loading or unloading process. Three students were hit by a school bus as they were walking on or near roads, and another student was struck by a motorist after the school bus had already dropped him off at a stop and left the area.

“Fatalities—which are caused by a variety of circumstances and errors by passing motorists and school bus driver—continue to take place,” the survey introduction read in part. “This shows the continuing need for forceful, advanced instruction to school bus drivers and students, as well as the need to increase our efforts to thoroughly inform drivers across the country about the requirements of the school bus stop law.”

On average, nearly nine students died while loading or unloading the school bus over the past 10 years.

School Bus Safety Tips for Motorists
• Be alert and watch for children especially near schools, bus stops, school buses and in school parking lots.

• Children on bicycles can be unpredictable and can make sudden changes in direction. Be especially careful when children are present in school zones and residential areas.

• Pay extra attention to lower speed limits in school zones.
Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.

• Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.

• Motorists are required to stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and STOP arms extended. (See the different situations in the diagram below)

• All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn. (see diagram, TWO-LANE)

• On a highway divided by a paved median, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn. (see diagram, MULTI-LANE)

• The only time traffic approaching an oncoming school bus does not need to stop, is if there is a raised barrier such as a concrete divider or at least five feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic. (see diagram, DIVIDED HIGHWAY)

• On a highway divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least 5 feet wide, drivers moving in the opposite direction do not have to stop for the bus (painted lines or pavement markings are not considered barriers). However, these motorists should slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus. (see diagram, DIVIDED HIGHWAY)

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Stopped school bus rules and safety tips.

Penalties for passing stopped school bus include:
• Moving violation subject to citation;
• Requirement to complete a basic Driver Improvement Course upon conviction;
• Four points on your driver license; and
• Minimum fine of $165, if you pass on the side where children enter and exit, you will receive a minimum fine of $265.

On July 1, 2017, the Cameron Mayhew Act took effect in Florida, which increases the minimum penalty for drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus, resulting in the injury or death of another person. Cameron Mayhew was killed by a motorist that failed to stop as he was walking to his stopped school bus in 2016.
Penalties for passing a stopped school bus that causes or results in the serious bodily injury or the death of another person include:
• Serving 120 community service hours in a trauma center or hospital;
• Participating in a victim’s impact panel session, or if such a panel does not exist, attending a DHSMV approved driver improvement course;
• Six points on your driver license;
• Suspension of license for a minimum of one year; and
• $1,500 fine.

Our Children’s Safety Comes First!
With all of the distractions around them, it’s easy to visualize a child stepping off of the bus and not being able to hear or notice oncoming traffic. We are the adults; it is our job to abide by the laws put in place, not be in a hurry, or be distracted.

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 your child has been injured at a school bus stop or on a school bus due to negligence of a motorist, it is 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.

References:

https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/child-safety/school-bus-safety/

https://www.idrivesafely.com/traffic-school/florida/school-bus-stop-law/

http://www.fldoe.org/schools/healthy-schools/transportation/

http://spacecoastdaily.com/2018/08/back-to-school-traffic-safety-tips-by-florida-department-of-transportation/

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/1622/BillText/__/HTML