Tag Archives: Pensacola Car Wreck Lawyer

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

Parents of a teenaged driver Florida

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

2.  The Dangers Of Having Passengers 

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

Parents of a teen driver Florida

 

3.  Drunk Driving 

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

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

Seatbelt, Seatbelt, Seatbelt!! They save lives – 

4.  Be A Good Example 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disadvantages Of Trying To Handle Your Own Personal Injury Case

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

Misconceptions

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

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

I can’t afford a lawyer.

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

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

A Financial Mistake

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

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

The Recorded Statement

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


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


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

Proof of Injuries

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

Availability And Amount Of Insurance Coverage

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

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

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

Hire An Expert

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

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

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

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

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

Mistakes Teen Drivers Make After A Car Wreck.

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

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

1. Fleeing The Scene

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

2. Talking Too Much

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

3.  Not Calling The Police

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

4. Agreeing With The At-Fault Driver

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

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

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

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

5.  Forgetting To Take Pictures

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

6.  Posting On Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Why Should You Seek Medical Treatment After A Car Wreck?

You’re in a car wreck and people sometimes think it wasn’t that big of a deal. Maybe it is just a little neck pain or a little back pain and you don’t really want to go to the ER. People are going to make excuses for not going. If you’re having symptoms after a car wreck, you should absolutely go to the ER or urgent care. 

Reasons You Should Seek Treatment After A Car Accident

1. To Ensure Over All Well Being – Especially after the adrenaline from the accident has worn off.

There could be something going on more serious than you realize. And the ER is the place to diagnose that. The ER is not there to diagnose all of the issues that could be going on with you after a car wreck, they are only going to diagnose life and limb-threatening issues.

There are a multitude of injuries that could end up well into the six figures in value and are serious life-altering injuries that can cause you to lose value in your potential car accident case if you leave the ER and don’t follow up after you receive the standard “clean bill of health” or “cervical strain back strain.”

2. Treat “Invisible” Injuries – Injuries that show up a few days/weeks later – re: concussion. Don’t delay since the insurance company may refute.

The reason it’s important to go if you’re having symptoms is that the insurance company who’s going to be on the other side of all these claims, whether you have a lawyer or not, are going to make the argument that the longer it takes you to go to the ER or seek treatment, the less serious your injury must have been, or perhaps, maybe the cause of it was something other than the car wreck.

3. To Obtain Evidence- Medical Records Can Be Important Pieces Of Evidence To Help Establish Case.

If you don’t want to go to the ER simply because it’s the right medical thing, then it is certainly the right legal thing to do because it documents your injury. It documents the timing of your injury and symptoms, and it takes away the argument that you didn’t need treatment immediately.

Paying For The ER Visit and Treatment.

The other thing that comes up a lot of times is when people say they don’t want to spend the money on an ER visit because it’s really expensive and it’s going to cost a lot of money. In Florida, the status of the law right now in 2021 is that your car insurance by law, not your health insurance. Your car insurance has to pay the bills after a car wreck.

Why Does Your Car Insurance Have To Pay?

Florida has PIP law  (Personal Injury Protection) PIP covers 80% of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000 resulting from a covered injury, no matter who caused the crash.

Medical Costs

Most medical costs will be covered by PIP with the exception of popular, but not widely accepted practices such as acupuncture. In other states, PIP will generally cover the injuries of anyone in your household, but in Florida, you can choose whether you want your PIP to cover just yourself or other residents in your household. The following are eligible for a PIP claim:

  • Medical services and medication
  • Surgical services and hospital expenses
  • Rehab costs
  • Diagnostic services
  • Ambulatory services

What sets Florida apart from other states is that only 80% of your medical costs will be covered by PIP. So if you have injuries that cost $10,000, PIP will only pay for $8,000 of that. Furthermore, if your injury is not considered an emergency, you will only be entitled to $2,500 worth of benefits. If you have a good health insurance policy, it might take care of the rest of the costs, but you should make sure it will cover car accident injuries.

4. Counter The Claims Of The Insurance Company. 

The at-fault driver’s insurance company is going to make this argument, if you say, well, I didn’t know that I didn’t have to pay. Right. I was gonna have to pay something. The car insurance company on the other side of the case is going to say, well, you could have gone to seek treatment and it would have been free. Basically, your PIP would have paid the bill. Why didn’t you go?

You can’t say, well, I didn’t know. Or you can say, I didn’t know, but at some point, it’s not going to make sense for you not to go, especially after you’ve got a legal action started.

It’s always smarter, if you’re having symptoms and Florida, you don’t have the financial excuse because your car insurance pays that.

And as far as you not thinking, it’s that serious, right? Well, you don’t know because you have no idea what going on inside your body. But if you’re having symptoms after a car wreck and if you’re teetering on not going to the ER, you should go, okay. It’s that simple.


MOST OF THE TIMES THE SYMPTOMS GET WORSE ON THE FOURTH OR FIFTH DAY.


Most of the time injuries that are permanent don’t go away. .

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

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

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

Wave Another Car Across And An Accident Occurs – Who is Liable?

On any busy intersection and road, a friendly gesture as a wave can cause fatal accidents. It has everything to do with a driver waving at another driver across, which could be a primary cause of a car crash.

What is a Waving Accident?

This accident is common. Many drivers have probably encountered a scenario where two drivers approach the same intersection on the road. A well-intentioned driver may wave at the other vehicle to indicate that they may proceed.

Unfortunately, sometimes, this well-intentioned wave leads to a car accident. These accidents can often lead to a lot of questions about which driver is at fault and if the driver’s wave was enough to make them liable for the damages caused by the accident.

The Driver Waived Into Traffic

If you are that driver who was waved into traffic, the first instinct is to point the finger at the person who signaled it was safe for you to go. This instinct is normal, but it isn’t always right.

Generally, when a driver or passenger is in a position to see whether there are vehicles approaching he or she can be held responsible for a collision by signaling to another driver that it’s safe to pass when it is not.

Even if the person who signaled to you is responsible for the collision, you could still be held partially responsible for trusting a stranger on the road to wave you through without being able to see whether the lane was actually clear.

Comparative Negligence   

Most states, including Florida, follow some version of comparative negligence, which means that you can be partially at fault in the accident and still recover compensation for at least some of your damages.

The Driver Waiving Another Car To Cross – “You Were Trying To Be Nice”

There’s a car traveling in the lane to your right that doesn’t see the turning car, and the turning car doesn’t see it.

So the driver making the left doesn’t see the car, turns in front of it, and gets t-boned.

You can’t be sued or held responsible for this accident, can you? You were just trying to be nice.


IF ANOTHER CAR COMES ALONG AND DRIVES AHEAD AFTER YOU WAVE A DRIVER ON, HITTING THE CAR YOU JUST WAVED INTO TRAFFIC, YOU COULD BE HELD PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACCIDENT.


When juries are looking at car accidents, they have to consider whether or not a defendant has any legal duty of care in a situation.

Duty of Care

Every time you get behind the wheel of your car, you have a duty of care to be a responsible driver.

If you wave another driver through, a jury may decide that you voluntarily took on some additional responsibility for another driver when you waved them into traffic.

Even if it goes against your instincts, and that driver has been waiting to turn for a while, don’t try to help them out by waving him or her into traffic.

If the roles are ever reversed, DON’T accept another driver’s wave as assurance that the way is really clear.

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

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

Sources:

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/can-you-be-sued-if-you-wave-to-another-48524/

Car Wreck Checklist

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

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


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


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

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

SIGN UP HERE >

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

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

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

Entry fees:

Kids – $10

Teens – Novice Adult  – $15

Advanced Adult – $20

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

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

Spectators – FREE!

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

*Weather Permitting
**Visa gift cards. 

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About Zarzaur Law, P.A.

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

Gov. DeSantis Vetoes No Fault Repeal Legislation

Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed legislation that would have ended Florida’s no-fault rule after mounting pressure from critics who argued the bill would push up rates for many drivers.

The bill DeSantis vetoed (SB 54cleared the Legislature in April, and landed on the Governor’s desk Monday.

The measure, carried through the Senate by Zephyrhills Republican Sen. Danny Burgess, sought to end the requirement that Floridians purchase $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and would instead require mandatory bodily injury (MBI) coverage that would payout up to $25,000 for a crash-related injury or death.

“While the PIP system has flaws and Florida law regarding bad faith is deficient … SB 54 does not adequately address the current issues facing Florida drivers and may have unintended consequences that would negatively impact both the market and consumers,” DeSantis wrote in his veto letter.

No-fault repeal has been a perennial effort in the Legislature. And part of the bill’s contents, namely bad faith reform, has been a target of some lawmakers for a decade.

DeSantis’ veto Tuesday means lawmakers will have to go back to the drawing board if they want to rework Florida’s auto insurance laws.

The no-fault system was established in Florida in 1979, along with the requirement of carrying $10,000 in PIP coverage. But, under the bill, the state would shift into a system where parties litigate over who caused accidents.

Although repeal was popular in both chambers — the House approved it in a 100-16 vote, and the Senate in a 37-3 vote — the legislation faced opposition from several lawmakers, as well as some insurance and medical groups.

Democratic Sens. Lauren Book and Jason Pizzo voted against it, as did Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes, who argued the bill would increase the insurance rates on the poorest Floridians, possibly by half.

Several insurance and medical groups also voiced support for the current system, which compensates medical providers without drivers having to go to court to determine fault. Opponents of the bill have begun pushing for DeSantis to veto it since the legislation cleared the Legislature.

PIP coverage pays out regardless of which party is responsible for an accident and it does so quickly. MBI coverage, however, doesn’t pay out until a fault determination is made, which can leave health care providers or patients on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical bills while they wait for a claim to resolve.

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier has said he is “hesitant” to support the repeal, according to The News Service of Florida. Altmaier’s office Monday released an actuarial study that found repealing PIP would result in an overall increase in premiums of 13.3% for all coverages combined, or $202 a year for the average vehicle. The analysis was ordered by Altmaier and conducted by Pinnacle Actuarial Resources Inc.

The Florida Insurance Council, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, and the Florida Chiropractic Physician Association also took part in the veto campaign.

But, proponents of the bill, including plaintiffs’ lawyers and Senate President Wilton Simpson, argued that a majority of motorists, who already carry bodily injury coverage, would see rate savings. Supporters also argued that rates would go down because the change would reduce fraud that has long plagued the PIP system.

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, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

 

Sources:

Content from The News Service of Florida was used in this report with permission.

Gov. DeSantis vetoes no-fault repeal legislation

What Is A TBI And How Are They Caused By A Car Accident?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A motor vehicle accident is the third leading cause of closed head injuries resulting in traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Other causes include falls (#1), an accidental blow to the head (including sports injuries) (#2), and assault.


Those with inherently increased risk for experiencing traumatic brain injury following motor vehicle accident include those with prior brain injury (prior concussion), younger age groupings (0 to 24 years of age), older age groupings (75 years of age and older).

Factors Related To The Passengers Which Are Associated With Increased Incidence Of Traumatic Brain Injury Include:

  • Unrestrained passenger
  • Inappropriately-fitted child car seats or restraints
  • Passengers under the influence of drugs or alcohol

At the core, traumatic brain injury is a process of neurologic injury resulting from biomechanic impacts to the brain by either direct or indirect force which alter the function (and possibly structure) of the nervous tissue which composes the brain.  It is important to note that structure by way of neurologic imaging (CT, MRI) may appear normal despite deranged function.

Factors Related To The Accident Which Can Be Associated With Traumatic Brain Injury Include:

  • Direct impact of the head with another fixed object within the vehicle (dashboard, window, windshield, fellow passenger)
  • Loss of consciousness immediately following the impact
  • Dynamics of the impact between vehicles or between the vehicle and non-vehicle structures (barriers, buildings, utility poles.

traumatic brain injury factors and cause

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signs and Symptoms of a TBI

The spectrum of traumatic brain injury manifestation is very broad both in terms of duration of signs or symptoms (days to years) as well as the nature of those signs or symptoms. 

Commonly reported symptom following a traumatic impact can include: 

  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Dizziness or imbalance
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Changes with visual or auditory acuity
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Disruption of the normal sleep-wake cycle
  • Changes in physical stamina (fatigues easily).

Immediately following a motor vehicle accident the initial focus by emergency services personnel would be for life-threatening injuries such as intracranial hemorrhage, acute blood loss, neurologic dysfunction impacting the proper function of the cardiopulmonary systems, injuries to organs by foreign bodies, and displaced fractures.  Save for these or similar injuries, a common diagnosis following evaluation by emergency medical providers could be “superficial injury to the head” or “scalp contusion” or “concussion.”

TBI Diagnosis

It is important to understand the concept of PROCESS in regard to traumatic brain injury.  Traumatic brain injury is not diagnosed with a single symptom, laboratory test, or radiology study.  Just the same, no treatment course or plan is the result of a single visit with a medical professional and no single medication or drug is used incomplete treatment of the condition.  This process is both limited by and driven by the resilient yet brittle nature of the nervous system in the context of a multitude of diagnostic and treatment options available to clinicians in treating patients afflicted with such an injury.

traumatic brain injury after Car accident

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most important part of treating traumatic brain injuries beyond the emergency room is to first diagnose them in a clinical setting.  This includes an involved history and physical examination by a qualified medical professional.  The provider will rely on the history which is provided by the patient (many times also relying on a symptom diary or log) as well as any corroborating history provided by relatives, co-workers, or those who cohabitate with the patient. 

The provider will then best be able to decide which additional testing is indicated:  expanded neurologic imaging, neuropsychiatric evaluation, subspecialist consultation or referral, metabolic testing. 

A combination of these steps coupled with the individual needs of the patient (include the nature of the neurologic dysfunction) will dictate the treatment process. 

Treatment Options

Depending on the nature of the injury, common elements of the treatment plan and process include:

  • Physical Therapy,
  • Occupational Therapy,
  • Speech Therapy,
  • Psychology or Psychiatric consultation
  • Pharmaceutical agents
  • Social support

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

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

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/basics.html

https://www.brainandlife.org/disorders-a-z/traumatic-brain-injury/

https://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Traumatic-Brain-Injury

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0401/p426.html

https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/1297

Traumatic Disc Herniation Caused by a Car Wreck.

 


ACCORDING TO THE MAYO CLINIC, AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS ARE ONE OF THE LEADING CAUSES OF SPINE INJURIES AND ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE THAN 40 PERCENT OF SPINAL INJURIES EVERY YEAR.


Impact On The Spine During A Car Wreck

Disc herniation due to degenerative changes most commonly occurs at the lumbar levels of the spine (L4-L5, L5-S1) though herniation at the lumbar level can also be the result of acute trauma.  The cervical levels of the spine (C5-C6, C6-C7) are the levels most commonly impacted by acute trauma resulting in disc herniation.

What Is A Disc Herniation?

During a car crash, for example, your spine is subjected to a series of forces. These forces can put pressure on the disc, causing the nucleus to push out through the disc’s fibrous exterior—especially if your spine already has some age-related degeneration. The protrusion is called a herniated disc or slipped disc.

What Types Of Impact Cause Disc Herniation?

The mechanism of traumatic disc herniation at the lumbar level is generally related to linear forces (head-on impact or rear-end impact collision) in a motor vehicle accident.

The mechanism of traumatic disc herniation at the cervical level is generally torsional or tangential forces (sideswipe or T-bone impact collision) in a motor vehicle accident.

Both cervical and lumbar herniations can be associated with the deployment of life-saving passenger restraint systems:

  • Lap belt at the lumbar level and the shoulder belt
  • Airbags at the cervical level

Signs And Symptoms Of Disc Herniation

Signs and symptoms of intervertebral disc herniation include but are not limited to the following:

  • Pain radiating along an extremity, numbness or sensory deficit

  • Muscle or motor weakness. These are generally unilateral, or one-sided and reflect the impingement or irritation of the involved nerve root at the respective disc level

  • Persistent aching or stiffness along the spine

  • Sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back or lower back

  • Chronic ache in the middle or lower back, especially after sitting or standing for extended periods

  • Back pain that radiates from the low back to the buttock, down the back of the thigh, and into the calf and toes

  • Inability to stand straight without having severe muscle spasms in the lower back

Diagnosing A Disc Herniation

Workup and investigation when disc herniation involves variations of the following and always should include a history and physical examination of the patient by a qualified clinician:

  • Diagnostic imaging (plain radiograph, CT imaging, CT myelogram, MRI)
  • Functional testing (electromyography, nerve conduction testing).

Treatment For A Disc Herniation

Treatment of disc herniation can range from conservative measures to operative intervention, with less-invasive options existing between the two extremes.

Conservative measures might include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory agents
  • Physical Therapy
  • Strengthening and range of motion exercises

Operative measures might include:

  • Discectomy (resection or removal of the herniated disc)
  • Laminectomy (removal of vertebral bone to allow for a larger passage for the spinal cord and nerve roots
  • Hardware implantation

Operative measures are indicated when a conservative approach has failed to yield symptom control, worsening of a herniation in regard to symptom profile or diagnostic testing (progression by MRI), or when overt motor weakness is demonstrated by a clinician’s physical examination.

Less-invasive measures are aimed at targeting the symptoms of disc herniation with features short of overt motor weakness – pain and numbness primarily.

  • Epidural injection of a steroid agent at the involved disc level

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms after a crash, then you should seek medical attention to determine whether you are suffering from this type of injury

DON’T IGNORE BACK AND NECK PAIN AFTER A CAR WRECK

Car insurance companies have conditioned many people to think that all back and neck-related complaints from car accidents are minor and not worthy of compensation. In fact, car accidents represent a large percentage of serious back injury cases in the United States. A serious back problem may lead to a chronic pain, inability to work and lost productivity. A herniated disk claim should be handled by an lawyer who concentrates on personal injury cases.

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

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

 

Sources:

https://www.aans.org/en/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Herniated-Disc

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/herniated-disk-in-the-lower-back/

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/cervical-radiculopathy-pinched-nerve/

Dydyk AM, Ngnitewe Massa R, Mesfin FB. Disc Herniation. [Updated 2020 Nov 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441822/

5 Things the Insurance Adjuster Will Not Tell You After A Car Wreck

Insurance Adjuster Should Tell You

 

 

You have been in a car accident, caused by the inattention and negligence of another driver. Unfortunately, this happens much too often in our busy society. The roads are filled with inattentive, distracted drivers and with cell phones, GPS, and other devices, and this is only getting worse.

This can be a stressful situation and dealing with insurance adjusters can often make it worse. There are certain basic facts you must understand to protect your rights in this situation.

You Don’t Have to Give A Recorded Statement To The Opposing Insurance Adjuster

While you must certainly report the claim and give a description to your own insurance company, the converse is not true when dealing with an adjuster working for the person that caused your damage. There is no contractual or legal obligation to give such a statement. If you hire an experienced trial lawyer to handle your claim, he or she may allow this, but you certainly have no obligation to give such a statement, despite what the opposing insurance adjuster may tell you. In fact, pressure to do this may be a “red flag” that you need to consult a lawyer.

You Can Choose the Auto Repair Shop

Insurance adjusters may ask, or tell you, to use a certain auto repair shop. There is no legal obligation to do this, and if you prefer another shop, feel free to use it. While the recommended shop may well be qualified, and do very good work, keep in mind that the repair facility is your choice. If you are not familiar with the shops in your area, talk to friends or acquaintances or do some internet research before you choose. But remember, it’s your choice.

The Job of An Insurance Adjuster Is to Settle Your Claim as Cheaply as Possible

Let’s get this straight, the insurance adjuster is not your friend. Despite effective advertising to the contrary, the job of an adjuster is to settle a claim as cheaply as possible. While many adjusters are genuinely nice, friendly people, they are your adversary in a car claim against their insureds.

You Don’t Have to Take the First Offer

As stated above, the goal of an adjuster is to settle your claim as cheaply as possible. In most circumstances, they will make a very low offer to settle your claim, whether you are represented or not. They are trained negotiators, and most are not candid about what the claim is worth, or how much “authority” they have to settle for a claim. In certain cases, the first offer may be reasonable or be the full amount of the policy limits, but this is very rare. A board-certified lawyer will have many years dealing with these tactics and can give you the best advice on offers and the value of your case.

You Should Consult with An Attorney

If you were injured as a result of a car crash, you should not be at the mercy of the opposing adjuster. You should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer.it costs nothing to consult with the most experienced lawyers. If they take your case and settle your case, you will owe a fee, but otherwise, there is no obligation. Why not consult with an lawyer?

The insurance adjuster will tell you that you do not need a lawyer, it will cost you more than it is worth, and that they will be rare. Don’t fall for this strategy. They do not have your bests interests at heart, and only want to settle as cheaply as possible. You have an absolute right to consult with an lawyer, and you should consult with an experienced lawyer to get the best advice.

Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are Board Certified in Civil Trial.

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

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

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

Sources:

What Types of Damages are Available in a Car Accident Case?

What Is UM Coverage And Why Is It Important?

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