Tag Archives: Pensacola Car Wreck Lawyer

Client Stories – Car Accident Victims Michael and Amber C.

Car Accident VictimsHurricane Sally struck the Gulf Coast on September 9, 2020. Not only was there the stress of post-hurricane clean-up, but at the time, the COVID pandemic was still lingering and making an already bad situation worse. For one Florida couple, this was made even more devastating when they were struck and then almost crushed by a Sewer Mac dump truck that not only hit them from behind but fell sideways on top of their vehicle. They contacted Zarzaur Law, P.A. for help with their car accident injury case.

This is their story.

Devastating Crash

So we were in a car accident in Pensacola, Florida during Hurricane Sally. A tanker truck fell on top of us. We thought we were dead that day, so it was a really bad accident. We’d never been in that situation before, and we didn’t know what to do. The accident happened over the weekend, and we contacted Zarzaur Law, and we got a call from Joe that Monday.

Immediate Response

We emailed Joe Zarzaur on Sunday evening, and then we talked to him on Monday, and it was really good because we didn’t know what to do, we didn’t know what to expect, or what the process was. We’d never sued anybody before, and we didn’t even know if we were suing somebody. We wanted to know what our next steps were.

Treatment Questions Answered

We knew I was injured and we needed protection, and we just wanted to make sure that we were protected. We’ve heard horror stories, so the nice thing about it was that their office walked us through everything. I suffered from PTSD through the process, and I remember our paralegal Jessica having to listen to me cry on the phone, but there were no doctors available at that time because of the hurricane.

So they actually helped us find a doctor to go to and to get things taken care of. So that was really helpful in the whole scheme of everything with it. But the thing I like most is our, our immediate phone call with Joe and knowing “You’ve come to the right place and that we’re going to handle all the steps for you.” As far as contacting physicians and saying “This doctor is going to see you and where you should go.” So we felt very at ease almost instantly. They’re professionals, and they know what they’re doing.

Joe took his time on the phone with us, so we didn’t feel rushed. We felt valued and we knew we were in the right place. We had so many attorneys trying to contact us after it hit the news and all that. So we were glad we chose Joe Zarzaur and Zarzaur Law.

We wouldn’t change anything. As we went through the process, they helped us. Once we got through the doctor’s part and got all the medical things done, we went on to the next steps. They walked that through with us as well.

We Knew Joe Would Fight For Us.

We knew, okay, we were injured more than we had thought, and I remember talking to Joe and saying, “Listen, I just need someone who’s got our best interests at heart and will protect us.” I remember talking with him on the phone about that, and the next thing I know, we’ve got people connected with us. Joe even gave us his own cell phone number to call if we felt we really needed it and all that. So through the whole step, all the way to the end, once we got into the settlement part of it and everything, we didn’t have to do anything.  Joe’s team told us exactly what to expect at each interval.

We were very well informed. The team was amazing. The entire team, everyone we came across was professional and good.

Then the outcome was better than what we had hoped for. Yes, we felt like we were being taken care of.

Michael and Amber C.

Watch Their Video On YouTube 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

What If The Baby Falls Sleep In Its Car Seat?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Buy The Appropriate Car Seat.

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

Important Child Safety Seat Reminders For Parents

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

Use the NHTSA Car Seat Finder located here > 

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

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

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

For Escambia County >

For Santa Rosa County >

For Okaloosa County >

For Walton County >

For Miami-Dade >

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

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

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

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

— NHTSA’s Research and Program Development

 

Avoid Long Journeys

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Sources:

https://www.safekids.org/blog/5-tips-new-parents-during-baby-safety-monthhttps://momvanup.com/the-2-hour-car-seat-rule-when-does-it-end/

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

2 Hour Rule

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

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

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

August Legal Graffiti Event To Benefit Rally Pensacola.

It’s Time To Spray Paint And Rally On At Our Sept. Legal Graffiti Event!

Zarzaur Law’s Legal Graffiti event will be on Friday, Sept. 16 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. during Gallery Night Pensacola in Downtown Pensacola.

This month’s event benefits Rally Pensacola!

Come join us and enjoy FREE games, activities, music, and more at Legal Graffiti… And just remember, the more you donate to spray paint, the more we can match dollar for dollar and give to Rally Pensacola!

About Rally Pensacola:

Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Rally Pensacola is located in the Bear Family Foundation Pediatric Oncology Center for Hope inside Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart to serve families all across the Florida panhandle and into southern Alabama. Through donors, community partners, special events and schools, Rally Pensacola works to raise awareness, support families with kids fighting cancer and raise funds for #childhoodcancer research. Collectively, this allows for additional resources to stay local, providing families in the Pensacola community the ability to receive assisted funding through the Rally Pensacola Family Emergency Fund.

EVERY TWO MINUTES A CHILD IS DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER

And at Rally we know that statistic is more than just a number. That statistic represents children who are living, breathing and fighting for their lives. We Rally to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects, so all kids fighting the cancer beast can get back to being kids.

Types of Childhood Cancer:

Brain Cancer

Blood Cancer

Solid Tumors

Bone Cancers

Rare Cancers

Join us and help fund lifesaving research for children in our community on Sept. 16th!

About Zarzaur Law’s “Legal Graffiti” Fundraiser Events

“Legal Graffiti” is an event hosted at Zarzaur Law during each Gallery Night in downtown Pensacola. “Legal Graffiti” is an opportunity for anyone to make a donation and then create artwork on the (recycled billboard vinyl-covered) side of the Zarzaur Law office building using spray paint. The event raises money for non-profits & charities within the area. Donations are matched by the firm and given to the charity of choice. In the past six years of hosting the “Legal Graffiti” event, the firm has donated more than $100,000 to local charities. We are proud and honored to continue to give back to the community where we live, work and play.

legal graffiti fundraiser event
Watch Our “Legal Graffiti” Highlight Video! >

Our “Legal Graffiti” fundraiser recipients include:
Favor House
Gulf Coast Kid’s House
ARC Gateway
The Birthday Party
Project Mentee
American Cancer Society
Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWF
Manna Food Pantries
Pathways for Change
Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart
Autism Pensacola
Rally Pensacola
Guardian ad Litem
Opening Doors NWFL
Alzheimer’s Association
United Way, Escambia County

Watch our “Legal Graffiti” highlight video! >

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

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

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

#zarzaurlaw #gallerynightpensacola #downtownpensacola #legalgraffiti #spraypaint #community #event #fundraiser #pensacola #rallyfoundation

Dangers Of Drowsy Driving In Florida.

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

 

Florida’s Ronshay Dugans Act

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

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

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

 

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

 

Drowsy Driving Laws In America

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

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

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

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

 

Drowsy Driving Vs. Drunk Driving

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

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

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

 

How Often Do People Drive While Drowsy?

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

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

 

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

 

When Does Drowsy Driving Happen?

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

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

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

 

Drowsy Driving Behavior By Length Of Drive

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

 

Driver Fatigue Warning Signs

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Consequences Of Drowsy Driving In Florida

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

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

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

 

Prevention: How To Stay Awake While Driving In Florida

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

About Zarzaur Law, P.A.

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

Licensed in Alabama and Florida. www.zarzaurlaw.com

Offices in Pensacola, Destin, Miami and Tallahassee

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

Sources:

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

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

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

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

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

The Prevalence and Impact of Drowsy Driving

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

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

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

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

Unofficial End Of Summer

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Wednesday: 1:00-8:00 p.m.

Thursday: 1:00-8:00 p.m.

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

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

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

 

TOP 4 LABOR DAY WEEKEND DRIVING SAFETY TIPS

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

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

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

Drive “Defensively”

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

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

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

Make that 4 seconds if the weather is bad.

Make a Safe Driving Plan

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

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

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

Practice Safety

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

About Zarzaur Law, P.A.

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

Licensed in Alabama and Florida. www.zarzaurlaw.com

Offices in Pensacola, Destin, Miami and Tallahassee

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

Sources:

Labor Day

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

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

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

At Fault Driver Says It’s My Fault, What Do I Do?

at fault driver in car wreck

A very common issue and question – “I was involved in a car wreck with serious injuries and the other party is claiming it was my fault. Do I need a lawyer?”
The short answer is YES, but here’s some important information you will need to know.

Importance Of The Police Report

One of the main pieces of advice that we offer is to always get a police report following a wreck. Despite this admonition, many people involved in wrecks choose for convenience or because they think it is not necessary to wait for the police to come and do an accident investigation.

This means that once the parties leave the scene, there is no official record of what happened. There are only competing recollections offered by the two interested parties in a collision.


NO POLICE REPORT = NO OFFICIAL RECORD OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE CAR ACCIDENT.


The Insurance Company Is NOT On Your Side

The insurance companies will always suggest that their insured is not responsible or will suggest that at least some responsibility lies with the other party. They will nearly always make this argument when they learn that there is no official wreck report.

As we have noted in several other blogs, insurance companies do not exist for the greater good. They exist to make money. To be exact, their main mission is to retain as much money as they can from the billions in premiums they collect each year. If they learn that there is a way to argue that a collision was not their insured’s fault, they will seize that opportunity because it will likely save them money.

An Evidentiary Battle

If you find yourself in a situation where the other party is now suggesting that you (the victim) are to blame for the collision, this will now become an evidentiary battle. It will be your account versus their account and, without more, each party will bear 50% responsibility for the event.

Without a wreck report, it will be imperative to seek out sources of independent evidence like witnesses or video footage that may have captured the event.

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

Having a police report form 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

Physical Evidence And Witness Testimony
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.

Qualified Expert
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. Three out of the four 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.

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Learn More About What To Do If You Are In An Accident From Our Car Wreck Checklist >


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

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:

Car Wreck Checklist

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/florida-car-accident-laws.html

How Does PIP Work If You Have Another Car Accident in Florida?

It’s happened to so many drivers in Florida –  multiple auto accidents in a short period of time. If you are not sure if you have enough (or any) coverage to pay for your injuries from multiple car accidents that are a week apart, a month apart, or even a year apart, it’s a good idea to take the time to learn about PIP (Personal Injury Protection) before you need to file so you are prepared for what’s ahead.

What is PIP?

Florida is one of ten states that have personal injury protection (no-fault) automobile insurance. In Florida, PIP coverage is required to be purchased by all owners of motor vehicles registered in the state. Individuals with personal injury protection (PIP) coverage are held responsible for their own injuries, regardless of who is at fault. The intention of this was to provide injured drivers with up to $10,000 in immediate medical coverage without establishing fault through the court system. The goal was to reduce payment delays and avoid the court system.

How Does PIP Work?

After the deductible, PIP benefits currently cover 80% of medical bills, including out-of-pocket prescription costs and rehab services. It can also pay up to 60% of lost wages (with proper documentation) and reimburse you for mileage to and from your doctor.

The total amount payable is $10,000, no matter how much your bills are. Keep in mind that the average emergency room visit usually costs much more than $10,000, so it is important to have health insurance in place.

PIP pays up to $10,000 for an “emergency medical condition.” An emergency medical condition is defined as an ailment that requires immediate medical attention and could reasonably be expected to result in serious jeopardy to the injured person’s health.

You can use PIP coverage no matter who was at fault for the accident. Some of the expenses that PIP typically covers include:

  • Doctor bills
  • Surgery costs
  • Hospital stays
  • Medications
  • Medical testing
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation

To receive Florida no-fault (PIP) insurance benefits, you must require emergency medical treatment after an accident. You must seek treatment within 14 days of a car crash; otherwise, the insurer will likely deny your claim.

If you timely seek treatment, then your bills up to $10,000 should be paid.

Florida PIP Coverage and the Right To Recover for Your Injuries Caused by an At-Fault Driver

PIP is meant to help cover the cost of medical treatment after a car accident, however, many medical expenses and lost wages exceed $10,000. The injured person will need to seek the counsel of an experienced car accident lawyer to represent them in their case to hold the responsible at-fault driver liable for their medical expenses. The injured person may also bring a claim against the driver who caused the wreck for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.

Considering the average hospital stay after an accident is around $60,000 it is probably wise to also have a good amount of uninsured (UM) motorist coverage. While Florida does not make that coverage mandatory, it is highly recommended to add UM/UIM coverage to your car insurance policy – because many times the at-fault driver does not have enough car insurance coverage to pay for your injuries.

How Many Times Can You Use Your PIP?

You may submit a PIP claim to your insurance company every time you are injured. This is the case, whether the accident was your fault or not. If you are unfortunate enough to have several wrecks, it will pay for the treatment of each one.

The Florida statute of limitations, according to Florida Statutes Section 95.11(3)(a) for a car accident claim where you are injured, allows only four years from the date of the accident to take legal action. This four-year statute of limitations also applies to property damage claims.

Exhausting your PIP coverage does not mean that you may no longer be treated for your injuries. If you have health insurance, you will be covered under your policy for ongoing medical bills, but you may have to pay out of your own pocket initially for these expenses.

It is good practice to seek advice from an experienced car accident lawyer before moving forward with seeking damages from the at-fault party.

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 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.

Is My Car Wreck Case Really Worth Hiring A Lawyer?

Pensacola Auto Accident LawyerAs a personal injury lawyer, not more than two consecutive business days go by when we are asked by a potential client if their case is worth pursuing with a lawyer. The answer is nearly always the same, “Maybe so.” Like everything else in the law, the question of whether your car wreck case or medical malpractice case is worthy of pursuit involves a multifactorial analysis.

The Car Wreck Scenario

In the car wreck scenario, it usually involves a discussion about how bad the damage is to the cars, what kind of symptoms the potential client is experiencing and what their medical history was like prior to this event. There is also some consideration (although only preliminary at this stage) about the potential insurance coverage or collectability of the at-fault party.

Property Damage

In regards to the amount of damage to the vehicles involved, the discussion is likely to involve some evaluation about whether the airbags deployed, whether the damage to the cars involved will likely result in their being totaled. If not totaled, how much of the car was damaged and where was the impact relative to the potential client’s position in the car?

Emergency Room Visit Is Only The Beginning

Many times, the potential client will have gone to the emergency room, where they are nearly always treated and released for follow-up care. Many people believe that the emergency room is there to diagnose ANY and all injuries sustained in a car accident. Let’s be clear, the ER is not there to diagnose any injury that is not LIFE threatening or LIMB THREATENING. Leaving the ER after a car wreck and not being admitted will be the case with nearly every car wreck victim, even those that later require hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in treatment. The ER is not in the business of diagnosing all of your potential injuries from an event, just those things that justify immediate admission and treatment. Potential clients leave the ER, and most equate not being admitted as being “OK” or “uninjured” from the wreck.  

The opposite is actually true. Being released from the ER more likely means that you have something wrong with you that will be diagnosed in the coming weeks. This diagnosis, many times, involves being later admitted for surgery or for other invasive treatments that require some level of hospitalization.

Common Injuries From Car Wrecks

It’s important to understand that the most common injury from a wreck is an injury to a disc in your back or neck. These injuries are not even investigated in the ER since the only test that is specific enough for those injuries is an MRI, and those are not usually offered in the ER setting. Typically, the ER will perform X-rays and sometimes a CT scan. These tests are excellent for diagnosing serious acute injuries that could be life-or limb-threatening, but they are equally inadequate for diagnosing common disc injuries. The thing about disc injuries that is most dangerous is that the pain is not specific and many times involves pain radiating into a limb, so you may not immediately associate it with your back or neck. MRI’s are usually not ordered until your swelling has gone down, and typically not until several weeks after the wreck.

Treatment For Disc Injuries

Treatment for disc injuries can range from therapy and medications to full-blown surgery. The cost of treatment over a person’s life expectancy for serious disc injuries can easily be well into the six figures and many times more than that. Alternatively, I tell potential clients, “Let’s assume you do not have a disc injury after a wreck.” The great thing about having the MRI is that we now have some level of security in knowing that your MRI is clean after this wreck and that 2 years from now you are not going to have a disc injury diagnosed and it be too late to bring a claim or that you settled your claim on your own too cheaply.

So Why Involve a Personal Injury Attorney?

Generally speaking, in my experience, if there are cars involved in the wreck that are totaled and you are not under the age of 30 (so you’re not a spry and somewhat elastic teenager) and you are having symptoms from the wreck, you could likely have a serious injury and your case is worth having a personal injury lawyer handle.

The conversation usually includes a discussion about the fact that hiring a Florida personal injury lawyer on a pure contingency fee agreement commits you to ZERO unless you win your case. So, that means first you have to have a case, and second, you have to win it before the law firm earns a fee. Another way to put it is this: if you sign with a Florida personal injury lawyer and there is a pure contingency fee agreement and it turns out that the lawyer decides that you do not have a good enough case to warrant having the law firm involved in or your injury turns out to not be serious enough to proceed with the claim, then you have gotten some free legal advice and, as a by-product, you have gotten a peace of mind in knowing that medically you are not going to have some undiscovered injury which doesn’t manifest for years.

Peace Of Mind

More importantly, since there is no case and no settlement, you owe the lawyer nothing for their advice and guidance. There is truly no downside so long as you hire the right kind of lawyer who gives you good advice on the medical treatment and actually has the ability to interpret the results or has someone in their firm that can do such medical record evaluations.

The Worth Of Insurance Information

The other big topic in these conversations is insurance. This topic is fairly easy to dispose of. We always tell clients that Florida law permits a claimant to request insurance information directly from the insurance company for any party involved in an injury-causing event. The insurance company has to provide not only the information about the policy but the actual policies and they have to provide a sworn statement that the insurance company either knows of other insurance that might also have coverage for the event or must state that it is not aware of any other insurance policy that might have coverage for the event. As you can imagine, having this information at the outset of a claim is invaluable since it can save a ton of time and resources in determining which party will be financially viable to go after and which ones may not be.

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FREE Consultation: No Fee Unless We Win

In sum, hiring us to evaluate your personal injury case makes sense and is free, unless you end up with a claim and that claim wins and is paid. If your case ends up not being good enough to pursue (which thankfully means your injury turned out to not be serious), then we part ways and there is no cost or fee since we didn’t have a case and it wasn’t won. If, however, you do end up with a diagnosis that is serious and involves a lifetime of medical care and medical bills, we will get you paid.

If you have further questions about whether your case is worth having a lawyer, please feel free to call me at 855-HIREJOE or find us on the web at zarzaurlaw.com

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 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.

New Year’s Eve Safety – Drinking and Driving, COVID, and Other Considerations

New Year’s Eve can be a fun holiday to celebrate solo or with loved ones. Keep yourself safe by considering all of these New Year’s Eve safety tips.

Drinking and Driving

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 427 people may die on U.S. roads this New Year’s Day holiday period. Holidays traditionally are a time of travel for families across the United States. Many choose car travel, which has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile. Holidays are also often caused for celebrations involving alcohol consumption, a major contributing factor to motor-vehicle crashes.

There Are Many Reasons Not To Drive On New Year’s Eve This Year – Here Are Just A Few:

1. The Cost of a DUI is Not Worth the risk – If you are charged with a DUI it can easily cost you up to $2,000 (just for a first offense), not to mention a night in jail, fines, hours of community service, participation in a treatment program, and your license being revoked.

2. NO traffic – You can skip all the traffic and frustration, by leaving your car in the driveway

3. Celebrate with the Ones You Really Care About (at home) – Cheers to you and your loved ones as you celebrate at home. There is no risk of injury or issues of being around thousands of people you don’t really know. Make your at-home celebration an event.

4. Save Money and Make Better Drinks at Home – The average price of a cocktail (that is normally watered down) is jaw-dropping…. Especially on New Year’s Eve! So buy your own quality ingredients and make your own or even try a new recipe and don’t worry about emptying your pockets on a high-priced cocktail out or the cost of a DUI or even worse a car wreck that injures or kills another person.

COVID – Omicron 

There is uncertainty associated with any estimate. The 90% confidence interval for the estimate of traffic deaths this holiday is 347 to 514. This confidence interval cannot account for the unknown impact the evolving response to COVID-19 will have on holiday travel. 

Because of the unprecedented impact COVID-19 is having on social activities, the uncertainty of this year’s estimate is increased.

You should skip New Year’s Eve parties this year because of the omicron wave, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The omicron variant has been spreading rapidly throughout the United States. In fact, there have been so many cases that airline crews have had to call out sick, leading to hundreds of canceled holiday flights, according to CNBC.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking extra precautions during the holidays, especially if you’re gathering with multiple households.

Other Safety Considerations

Champagne

It’s a strange one, but a projectile champagne cork can absolutely be a danger, especially if you are not used to opening bottles! Use the “45 Rules” for bubbly. Chill champagne to at least 45 degrees F, as this will make the cork less likely to pop. When ready to open, place a towel over the top of the bottle and hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, pointing it away from yourself and others.

Fireworks

First of all, make sure to check your local regulations regarding the personal use of fireworks. If it is illegal or if you are unfamiliar with how they work, leave them to professionals! If you still decide to use legal fireworks, make sure to keep children and pets away from the area – even sparklers, which are often used by kids, burn at temperatures of about 2000 degrees and can be incredibly dangerous. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose at the ready. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back away from them. Never attempt to re-light a firework that did not go off the first time; douse them and other spent fireworks with plenty of water before discarding them. And of course, never point or throw fireworks at another person.

Pets

Between fireworks, noisemakers, and general revelry, pets can experience high anxiety on New Year’s Eve. Scared pets can bite or run and potentially get hurt, cause accidents, or become lost. The best way to keep pets safe is to keep them indoors and comfortable; Make sure fences and gates are secure and that your pet has a current ID tag and that all microchip information is up to date. If your pet has shown signs of extreme anxiety in the past, you might also consult your veterinarian and ask for anti-anxiety medications or a thunder coat.

Guns

In some cultures, it was previously a tradition to participate in celebratory gunfire at midnight, shooting handguns into the air. Not only is this illegal, but it can be deadly; falling bullets can be fatal. In Phoenix in 1999, a young teen was killed outside of her home by a bullet that was fired into the air more than a mile away. Deaths have resulted in harsher penalties for this crime, so leave all firearms safely locked inside this holiday.

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:

Deaths by Transportation Mode

New Year’s Day

https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/impaired-driving

Bicycle Accident Law – What You Need To Know

Whether a cyclist is riding a bicycle as a means of commuting, recreation, or exercise, it is imperative that those taking to the roadways, sidewalks, or pedestrian travel lanes on anything other than a motorized vehicle understand the rights extended to the cyclist as well as the responsibilities expected of the cyclist.

Florida is the deadliest state in the country for bicyclists, according to the latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 783 bicyclists were killed in the United States with Florida taking the lead with 125 deaths.

Almost every jurisdiction be it state, county, or city has some form of “bike law(s)” which dictates (s) to both motorist and cyclist. Understanding those laws is a great first step for many and should also be routinely reviewed by the seasoned cyclist no matter the purpose of the endeavor – recreation, commuting, etc.

Bicycle vs. Car Accident

In these situations, it is far more likely that the cyclist will be more significantly injured. In fact, Florida has the highest rate of bicycle accident deaths in the US (0.57 per 100,000 residents versus the national average of 0.23.). A higher number of bicycles on the road surely plays a part in this statistic.

Cyclists are required to follow the rules of the road, just as drivers are. 


For example:
– They must ride with the flow of traffic instead of against it.
– They must yield the right of way when indicated.
– They must stay in the designated bike lane. If there is not a bike lane, they must ride as far to the right as possible. (However, they may edge closer into the lane to avoid obstacles like potholes.

Always be on the lookout for this type of maneuvering. Paying attention can prevent many accidents.)


So, YES, cyclists have to stop at stop signs. They have to wait to turn left at a green light when there is oncoming traffic. They have to stop for pedestrians!


The rules apply to them as well, and when they disregard them, it can have devastating consequences.

In addition to that, taking the basic steps to mitigate the ever-present risk of an accident or avoiding/limiting the likelihood of a  car accident altogether should also be something that is requisite among all cyclists.

Florida Biking Laws, Broken Down

– Bikes are treated as vehicles.
– Cyclists must obey all traffic controls and signals.
– Cyclists must use a fixed, regular seat for riding.
– You cannot carry passengers on a bike that is not intended to carry more than one person.
– Parents must not allow minors to violate any of Florida’s provisions.
– All bikes must come equipped with a braking system.
– If riding on the sidewalk, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.
– Bikes must be equipped with a lamp when operating between sunset and sunrise.
– Bicyclists must use the designated bike path when not traveling at the speed of other traffic.

More Laws at FLORIDA BICYCLE. ORG

 

Steps To Avoiding A Wreck With a Vehicle

Along the lines of what is in the personal control of the cyclist and much of this is also addressed by bike laws: a tuned, functional, and road fit bicycle (brakes, reflectors); adequate safety lights (forward and backward facing); a safe helmet intended for bicycle use; bright or reflective attire; eyewear for the weather or daylight conditions.

Proper planning is also in the control of the cyclist, though not mandated by bike laws: choosing a well-lit route; choosing roadways with fewer obstacles such as crossroads, driveways, construction zones; avoiding dawn and dusk riding when a blinding sun may be on the horizon… the list could go on depending on the specifics of the locale one is opting to use for cycling.

These factors combined with the notion of respecting the rules of the road and anticipating vehicles and other pedestrians (”riding defensively”) are a fantastic frame for controlling what can be controlled to the best of the ability of the cyclist.

What Do you Do If You Are Hit By a Vehicle?

In the unfortunate event that a motorist versus cyclist accident does occur this should be treated much like any other motor vehicle accident involving cars – attention to the health, safety, and wellness of those involved with immediate deployment of emergency medical personnel and law enforcement.

Following that, documentation of the scene (photos), notation of or digital voice memos regarding the incident (document the weather and road conditions, time of day, identification of all parties and vehicles involved (first and last name, phone number, dates of birth, vehicle make/model/color, license plate or tag numbers), identify any witnesses to the event (first and last name, contact information), documentation of any bodily injuries including damage to helmet and attire, and documentation of the damage to the vehicle(s) and bicycle(s).

Bicycle Accident Check List

1. Call the police and report the accident (even if you don’t think you are hurt).

2. Listen and remember what the other party says to you about how the accident happened. Don’t agree to anything said by the at-fault driver/party that caused the accident.

3. Preserve the condition of your bike, helmet, clothing, lighting, and other property.

4. Report the crash to your own car insurance company as soon as possible. Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to accident claims (let your bike accident lawyer deal with the at-fault party and their insurance company).

5. Seek medical assistance. Under Florida law, your car insurance is “primary” for your medical bills. Have the ER/hospital bill your car insurance company.

6. Keep documentation of the accident. Police report, photos of the bike (etc.), the scene, surroundings, other party’s vehicle.

7. Document injuries.

8. Don’t discuss the accident on social media.

9. Consult an accident lawyer that specializes in bicycle accidents in Florida.

10. Always remember – you are invisible on a bicycle.

Always Seek Medical Attention! (Even if you think the injury is minor)

Seeking medical care for a thorough assessment by a qualified medical professional (emergency department, urgent care, primary care provider, medical specialist) should not be overlooked or delayed.

The most common accident injuries such as skin abrasions (i.e. road rash) may be a harbinger of an underlying injury such as fractures, dislocations, cardiopulmonary or vascular injury, or disrupted tendons/ligaments while a broken helmet could be an indication that an evaluation for intracranial, neck or cervical spine injury may be warranted.

Test Your Bike Law Knowledge

Take the tests, for both cyclists and drivers!

For more information review the links below and research the organizations specific to your locale:

CDC Bicycle Safety

2021 Florida Statutes – 316.2065:  Bicycle regulations

Florida Bicycle Association

Bike Pensacola

West Florida Wheelmen

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 a bicycle accident involving a vehicle, 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.

https://media.acg.aaa.com//content/1205/files/2019%20Q2%20Consumer%20Pulse_Bicycle%20Safety.pdf