Tag Archives: Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyer

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 You Should Think Twice Before Riding An Electric Scooter.

The fleets of publicly available electric scooters that have popped up in U.S. cities over the past few years have added a new dimension to urban transportation options. Their rapid proliferation has left municipal regulators struggling to keep up with the traffic impact and rising safety problems.

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that without a clear vision for where and how e-scooters should be operated, e-scooters can pose a safety risk for riders and pedestrians.

“E-scooters can be a fun and useful way to get around, but they can also pose serious safety hazards,” says William Wallace, manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports. “Policymakers shouldn’t treat them just like bikes. E-scooters should be designed, built, and maintained with safety first, and riders should follow best practices to avoid hurting themselves and others.”

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 41 Americans were killed and about 133,000 injured between 2017 and 2019 in incidents tied to e-scooters, e-bikes and hoverboards.

The toll of deaths and injuries from the devices has been rising, with e-scooters accounting for much of the increase, the federal agency found in a study released in 2020.


THE COUNT OF ER VISITS ATTRIBUTABLE TO E-SCOOTERS ROSE TO 27,700 IN 2019 UP FROM NEARLY 15,000 THE YEAR BEFORE, CPSC FOUND.


 

A separate study by the CDC calculates that for every 100,000 e-scooter trips taken, 20 individuals will end up with some sort of injury. This same study, which surveyed a sample number of injured e-scooter riders, highlighted other interesting findings including:

48% of those injured were between the ages of 18-29

33% of those injured were first-time riders

38% of those injured mentioned they would ride an e-scooter again

Nearly half of those injured sustained a severe injury

The time frame to most likely get injured is between 6 pm-6 am 

 

Legal Outcomes Of Electric Scooter Accidents

Legal outcomes of accidents on Bird scooters, Lime scooters, or any other motorized scooter, will depend largely on who was involved and who is at fault.

Here are some possible scenarios:

– E-scooter hits a vehicle: If an e-scooter swerved erratically causing an accident with another vehicle on the road, the e-scooter is at fault in this case. The rider of the scooter will need to pay for the damages incurred on the vehicle.

– E-scooter hits a pedestrian: Likewise, if an E-scooter errantly crashes into a pedestrian, the rider is liable for any injuries sustained by the pedestrian.

– A vehicle hits an e-scooter: In this scenario, if a vehicle hits an e-scooter and was at fault, the driver of the vehicle must compensate the e-scooter rider. The driver of the vehicle can cover damages through their car insurance.


E-SCOOTER COMPANIES DO NOT CARRY ANY SORT OF LIABILITY COVERAGE FOR RENTERS. ADDITIONALLY, YOUR CAR INSURANCE GENERALLY DOES NOT COVER ANY VEHICLE WITH LESS THAN FOUR WHEELS (I.E. ELECTRIC SCOOTERS).


 


What is a Release of Liability Waiver?

A release of liability waiver is a contract in which a participant in an activity agrees not to sue the activity organizer, institution, or business owner if he or she suffers an injury. Other terms often used to describe this document include:

Release of liability

Waiver

Waiver of liability

Waiver of rights

Indemnity agreement

Assumption agreement

Hold harmless agreement

Pre-injury release

Exculpatory agreement

Assumption of risk

With no insurance coverage, the e-scooter driver takes on tremendous risk if they are found at fault in an accident.

Read Bird’s Rental Agreement/Waiver of Liability and Release here: https://www.bird.co/agreement/

 

Consequences And Injuries From Scooter Accidents

The consequences and injuries from scooter accidents can be significant. In a study conducted by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine, the most common type of CT scans ordered involved the head, face, and cervical spine. Traumatic brain injury, which includes concussion and internal bleeding, can also result from e-scooter accidents.

Asides from brain injury, here are other common injury types as a result of scooter collisions:

– Bone fractures to arms and legs

– Abrasions and lacerations to upper and lower limbs

– Nerve or ligament injuries

– Severe bleeding

In the worst-case scenario, death can also be a consequence of scooter accidents.

 

How To Avoid E-Scooter Accidents and Injuries

1. Keep your eyes on the road

2. Don’t ride on the sidewalk

3. Keep both hands on the handle bars

4. Use proper helmet – and wear the helmet at all times!

6. Inspect the scooter before you ride

7. Slow down before looking back or turning

8. Use eye protection

9. Assume that drivers in cars can not see you!

10. Don’t consume alcohol and ride a scooter

11. Use as the manual instructs

12. Don’t ride too fast

13. Avoid heavy traffic

14. Avoid pedestrians

15. Only ride by yourself

WATCH JOE’S VIDEO >

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://escooternerds.com/electric-scooter-safety/

https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2021/Injuries-Using-E-Scooters-E-Bikes-and-Hoverboards-Jump-70-During-the-Past-Four-Years

Nerve Damage Caused By A Car Accident

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

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

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

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

– Central Nervous System

– Peripheral Nervous System

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Permanent Nerve Damage

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

Treatment For Pinched Nerves

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

Nerve Damage, Expense, And Your Personal Injury Case

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

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

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

Zarzaur Law, P.A. To Host 3rd Annual FREE Kids’ 
Halloween Event in Downtown Pensacola.

Zalloween Event on Oct. 29 to Include a Costume Contest For Kids with $100 First Prize.

PENSACOLA, Fla. (Sept. 20, 2021) — Zarzaur Law, P.A., a personal injury law firm based out of Pensacola, Florida, has once again partnered with local downtown businesses to host the 3rd annual “Zalloween” event. “Zalloween” is a FREE, safe and fun-filled  Halloween event for kids on Friday Oct. 29 from 4-6p.m., The event will be held at the intersection of Palafox and Romana Streets in Downtown Pensacola. “Zalloween,” hosted by Zarzaur Law, will include candy, games, a fire truck that kids can explore from the Pensacola Fire Department, FREE snow cones courtesy of Dr. Sno Shaved Ice, Arts and Crafts station with First City Art Center’s Creatisphere, Pensacon, candy and crafts with Pen Air Federal Credit Union, candy and crafts with Blue Morning Gallery, and more! A kids costume contest will kick-off at 5p.m. with four age group categories and a $100 first prize for each age group. The first 250 kids in costume will also receive a reflective trick-or-treat bag and a pumpkin strobe light. 

“I am looking forward to once again hosting and participating in this fun community event.” Joe Zarzaur, owner of Zarzaur Law, P.A.

Participating Businesses Include:

Gulf Coast Kid’s House 

The Tin Cow

Pen Air Federal Credit Union 

Dog House Deli Downtown 

First City Art Center

Pensacola Fire Department

Pensacola Police Department

Blue Morning Gallery

Pensacon

Pensacola Children’s Museum

Dr. Sno Shaved Ice

Event details and updates leading up to the event can be found on Zarzaur Law’s Zalloween event page on Facebook, or call 850-444-9299.

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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

Intersection Car Accidents: One of The Most Dangerous Types of Vehicle Crashes.

Intersections are a prime place for an automobile accident to occur. More than 50 percent of the combined total of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) intersection safety and design research facilitates the implementation of short-term safety improvements, and defines and evaluates long-term, higher payoff strategies to improve intersection safety.


An Estimated 165,000 Accidents Occur Annually In Intersections Caused By Red-Light Runners.

Fatalities Caused By Red-Light Runners Run From 700-800 A Year.


 

What Are Common Accidents That Occur at Intersections?

The most common causes of intersection car crashes are disobeying a traffic signal and failing to yield the right of way. Running a red light, trying to get through the intersection on a yellow light, and even unintentionally misjudging the traffic signal are all leading causes of intersection car crashes:

Speeding: Speeding is dangerous under no matter what the circumstance. However, when a driver is speeding through a busy intersection, this can cause serious accidents.

Violating traffic laws: If a driver is attempting to make illegal U-turns, turn without checking to see if there is oncoming traffic, or fail to yield to pedestrians or bicyclists, this can cause serious intersection accidents.

Impatience: Drivers will see a traffic light turn yellow and hit the gas pedal to avoid having to wait for the red light to turn green again.

Distracted Driving:  Texting, talking, reaching for something, or any other type of distracted behavior will keep them from paying attention to what is going on around them

Drunk Driving: This goes without saying that this is dangerous and will often lead to fatalities.

Drowsy Driving: In almost the same frame as distracted driving, drowsy driving and reduce reaction times and as a result, he or she may not be able to react fast enough to avoid another vehicle who runs through a red light.

 

Which Is The Most Common Crash Accounting For 40% Of Crashes?

Most of these crashes involve left turns. Nationally, 40 percent of all crashes involve intersections, the second largest category of accidents, led only by rear-end collisions. Fifty percent of serious collisions happen in intersections and some 20 percent of fatal collisions occur there.

 

Florida Statistics For Intersection Crashes

In 2018, Florida had 317,955 accidents that were classified as being at an intersection. Of those, 95,979 resulted in injuries or fatalities. That’s a 30% rate of injury, making intersection accidents among the most dangerous types of vehicle crashes there are.

 

Types Of Intersection Accidents

While nearly any sort of accident can happen at an intersection, some crash types are more prevalent than others.

T-bone Collision: This occurs when the front of one car impacts the side of another. Side-impact crashes like this are particularly dangerous for any occupant on the side of impact. Most vehicles manufactured in recent years are equipped with side-impact airbags to help minimize injuries.

Rear-End Collision: These occur when a vehicle suddenly stops or slows either before or in the intersection and the car behind them impacts it from behind. This is a frequent source of whiplash injuries. Rear-end collisions can occur anywhere and are one of the most common accident types on the road.

Angle Collision: Two cars can impact any number of ways, and angle collisions are the catchall name for accidents that aren’t head-on, rear-end, or T-bone.

Head-on Collision: These are rare accidents in intersections, but not unheard of. This usually results where someone violates the right of way and fails to maintain their lane. Because of the high speeds involved, they are particularly dangerous.

 

Who Has Right Of Way?

Who has the right-of-way in Florida? The answer is no one! The law only says who must yield (give up) the right-of-way. Every driver, motorcyclist, moped rider, bicyclist and pedestrian must do everything possible to avoid a crash.

Stop Signs

You must yield the right-of-way to all other traffic and pedestrians at stop signs. Move forward only when the road is clear. At four-way stops, the first vehicle to stop should move forward first. If two vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, the driver on the left yields to the driver on the right.

Open Intersections

An open intersection is one without traffic control signs or signals. When you enter one, you must yield the right-of-way if:

A vehicle is already in the intersection.

You enter or cross a state highway from a secondary road.

You enter a paved road from an unpaved road.

You plan to make a left turn and a vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction.

When two cars enter an open intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.

Roundabouts

Roundabouts are a new type of intersection which improve traffic flow and reduce traffic crashes.

Most roundabouts do not require stopping, which allows vehicles to move continuously through intersections at the same low speed. Roundabouts are designed to move all traffic through a counterclockwise direction. Vehicles approaching the roundabout yield to circulating traffic, however, drivers must obey all signs to determine the correct right-of-way in the roundabout.

Multiple Lane Intersections

Sometimes a one or two-lane road intersects a much larger road or highway. In this circumstance, drivers on the smaller road should yield to vehicles on the larger road. Larger roads often have greater speed limits than smaller roads, so all drivers should be aware of this common fact as well.

Highway On/Off Ramps

Getting onto and off highway exit ramps can be tricky, especially if there are many lanes or a lot of traffic. Drivers on an access ramp must yield to vehicles traveling on the exit ramp. Sometimes traffic leaving an interstate merge into its own separate lane. Drivers on the access ramp should still yield in this case. However, vehicles that are getting onto a highway must yield to all traffic coming up behind them.

 

Yield To Other Drivers In These Circumstances

  • At a yield sign
  • To pedestrians in a crosswalk
  • To persons using a seeing eye guide dog
  • To persons using a white cane with or without a red tip
  • At uncontrolled intersections where vehicles are already in the intersection
  • At “T” intersections where you must yield to vehicles on the through road
  • When turning left in which case you must yield to oncoming pedestrians, cars, etc.
  • When driving on an unpaved road that intersections with a paved road
  • When returning to the roadway after the car is parked

 

Safety Rules For Pedestrians

• Look to the left and the right before stepping off any curb.

• Cross only at intersections or designated crosswalks. Drivers are always more alert for pedestrians when they approach intersections.

• Cross with the green light or “WALK” signal. Make sure you have enough time to cross. Although the motorist must yield, the motorist may not see you in time.

• While walking along a highway, always walk on the shoulder on the left side, facing traffic. Wear light colored clothing or use a flashlight to make you more visible to drivers at night.

• Always follow the speed limit, regardless of the type of intersection. When a driver exceeds the speed limit, he or she forfeits the right-of-way.

Watch the YouTube Video with Joe Zarzaur >

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://highways.dot.gov/research/research-programs/safety/intersection-safety

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811366

https://www.tampabaynewswire.com/2020/07/20/statistics-of-intersection-accidents-87902

https://www.123driving.com/dmv/drivers-handbook-right-of-way/

https://blog.firsttimedriver.com/blog/determining-who-has-right-of-way/

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.121.html

 

SARS-CoV-2 Recovery and Athletes

SARS-CoV-2  Infection recovery for AthletesArticle by:
DR. EVAN MALONE
NON-LAWYER
BOARD-CERTIFIED INTERNAL MEDICINE PHYSICIAN

It is not difficult to speak with someone and not have them share their first-hand experience with SARS-CoV-2 infection.  If anything, someone close to them has been infected and impacted by the infection.

Rebound and Recovery From Acute Infection

What is not as readily discussed is the rebound and recovery from an acute infection.  Acute infection being distinct from a positive test in that there is a period of defining symptoms:  fever, myalgia, dyspnea, cough, lethargy, etc.

Just as the spectrum of symptoms is broad – ranging from nuisance, innocent symptoms (loss of smell, mild headache) to the more extreme hypoxia warranting hospitalization – the same is true for the duration of the symptomatic period across various individuals – some limited to less than two days, others spanning many weeks.

Can I Go Back To Working Out/Exercising?

Applying this nebulous symptom severity index and symptom duration timeframe to acute infection in an otherwise active, fitness-minded, perhaps obsessed age-group athlete and leaves one wondering “can I get back to working out?”  For the first many months of the global pandemic, this perhaps may have been taken as a bit of a selfish query – the desire to return to exercise when raised in the context of the gravity of the illness for many (death, hospitalization, loss of livelihood).

Along the way, in 2020 we collectively learned about the virus and its impact on the population and the human body.  Research into the mechanisms of infection, transmission, prevention, treatment, recovery, and short- and long-term impact – a different study or dataset or conclusion was being published nearly every hour of every day.

In the late summer of 2020, some guidance began to take shape for the exercise-minded individual recovering from acute infection.  Domestically, much of this was driven by research focusing on collegiate-level athletes, to understand when and in what manner it was safe for these young athletes to return to their respective sports.

Joe’s COVID Journey, Recovery, and Return to Exercise.

In Joe’s situation his symptom onset was around September 5, 2020 (Labor Day weekend), his positive PCR sample would result on September 7, 2020.  During the next many days his prime goal apart from strict isolation protocol was managing his symptoms and monitoring any systemic manifestations (shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion).  As that initial string of days wound by, interrupted by Hurricane Sally (landfall September 15-16, 2020, he would be confronted with fatigue and the sensation of breathlessness which was temporized and stabilized with supplemental oxygen use and a combination of systemic (oral) and inhaled steroid agents.  At this point, he understood that this was likely impacting his cardiopulmonary system beyond the simple nuisance symptoms which are mostly contained to the upper respiratory tract (nasal and sinus congestion).  This added another layer to what would end up being an additional step to take prior to returning to physical exertion (exercise) which is part of his daily routine as a multi-sport athlete.  This was somewhat uncharted territory for both Joe as well as the medical community as a whole – studies were being conducted to best understand the next step or steps to take.

Studies On The Heart and COVID-19 Infection

One of the first such studies was published on September 11, 2020, in JAMA Cardiology (Rajpal S, Tong MS, Borchers J, et al. Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Findings in Competitive Athletes Recovering From COVID-19 Infection. JAMA Cardiol. 2021;6(1):116–118. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.4916) detailing cardiac evaluation including studies such as the electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart), and cardiac MRI.  The test modality of choice is to be dictated by the severity of the symptoms and the findings along each step of the algorithm.  This would provide some guidance as to which athletes were at higher risk for myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, malignant dysrhythmia, or even sudden cardiac death and then to help apply some guidelines on activity limitations moving forward.

Lingering Effect of COVID-19 Infection

So, using that as a launching pad for the discussion with his physician, Joe and his medical provider team decided it was best to proceed with cardiac screening – EKG (electrocardiogram – electrical tracing of the heartbeat and myocardial contraction) and echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart).  These studies would occur in late September, roughly 4 weeks after his initial symptom onset.  The tests were not fully “normal” as the echocardiogram (ultrasound image of the heart) revealed some enlargement of the right side of the heart – a potential sign that there was some increased stress or workload on the right side of the heart attempting to pump blood to the lungs for oxygenation (and carbon dioxide removal).  This prompted Joe and his medical provider to lean on some of these recent studies and pursue the cardiac MRI study to best visualize and understand if there was any myocardial involvement (i.e. myocarditis) otherwise known as inflammation of the muscle tissue which makes up the heart.  Inflamed muscles are something Joe is keenly aware of with his exercise routine, but an inflamed cardiac muscle is not on the same level as inflamed skeletal muscles weary from a long workout or race.

As the cardiac MRI was being coordinated, the instructions were simple:  “take it easy and don’t get the heart rate up.”  Translated, this meant no exercise.  The potential risk being cardiac arrhythmia or heart failure if the already-angry myocardial tissue was additionally stressed.

Fortunately for Joe, the cardiac MRI would reveal normal myocardial tissue and the right side of the heart appeared normal as well.  The suggestion of the abnormal right-sided chambers on the echocardiogram was not present (or had resolved with additional time for recovery) on the MRI study.

Joe was now free to get back into his daily exercise routine – only limitation being “do what you can, take it easy getting back into it, and listen to your body.”

WATCH JOE VIDEO ABOUT HIS COVID JOURNEY HERE >

WATCH VIDEO ABOUT DR. EVAN MALONE’S DELTA VARIANT EXPERIENCE >

Fast forward many months later, and very similar guidance has emerged for application to the recreational athlete desiring to return to exercise.  The algorithm is meant to accompany the examination by and assessment of a qualified medical professional.

Key Points on Returning To Play.

For any age-group athlete looking to get back to fitness, exercise, physical exertion the first step following the acute infection (i.e. isolation period) should be an evaluation by your primary care provider.  A “return to play” or “return to physical exertion” discussion should be had.  For some it may be as simple as routine, annual bloodwork, or non-invasive testing.  For others it may include a larger, more-involved battery of tests.

 

 

 

 

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.

How Do You Prove Future Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Case?

Often, when one of our clients is hurt in a wreck, they miss working for at least a little while. Some clients who work in jobs that are physically demanding miss even more time. In the most severe cases, clients are so totally and permanently injured that they cannot ever work again.

Besides the medical costs of their injuries, clients are understandably concerned about whether they can recover their lost wages and to what extent.

Recovery For Past Lost Wages

Lost wages in the past (meaning wages for the time spent out of work from the injury to return to work) are clearly recoverable and usually easy to determine. This determination generally just requires proof of the salary or hourly wage at the time of the incident, multiplied by the number of hours, days, or weeks that the client is out of work.

Future Lost Wages

Lost wages in the future are sometimes similar. If the case involves a short-term absence from work in the future, the above factors apply—we simply ask how long the client is expected to be absent from work and their salary/wage information to make a quick determination.

However, long-term or permanent absences from work can be significantly more complicated.
Factors Such As:
The client’s age
Earning capacity
Likelihood of promotion
Long-term/permanent work restrictions

The value of the future lost wages is the difference between what the person likely would have earned if they had not been injured minus what the person can earn with their injuries and limitations. This determination should take into account all income, including retirement contributions, investment income, interest, and inflation.

How is Future Wage Loss Determined?

While the formula seems simple, a correct determination of this amount depends on many factors.

  • Does the client’s current injury make further acute injuries more likely in the future?
  • Is the client’s current injury likely to cause degenerative disease in the future?

THESE POTENTIAL FUTURE INJURIES CLEARLY HAVE A BEARING ON A CLIENT’S FUTURE WAGE LOSS. MOST OFTEN, THIS TYPE OF EVIDENCE REQUIRES EXPERT TESTIMONY.


Florida Law Requires That Lost Future Earnings:

  1. Be measured by a plaintiff’s diminished ability to earn an income in the future, not the plaintiff’s actual loss of future earnings.
  2. Be directly related to the plaintiff’s injuries; and.
  3. Supported by evidence enabling them to be reasonably calculated.

The attorneys at Zarzaur Law have the network and capability to make sure that the right expert evaluates your case.

Also, not only should your attorney consider factors like promotions, earning capacity, future injuries, and work restrictions, but they should also think about other factors that have less to do with the client themselves. Florida is a large, diverse state. A jury in Santa Rosa County may not award the same amount as a jury in Escambia County, even if the evidence they use is the exact same. Navigating the negotiation process given all these various factors is the reason you should hire an experienced personal injury attorney.

The attorneys at Zarzaur Law are experienced, personal injury attorneys. The Florida Bar, the governing body that makes rules about attorney advertisement, does not typically allow lawyers to hold themselves out as “experts.” However, the Bar does allow lawyers who have extensive experience in personal injury and tort cases to become specialists in civil trial. Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are Board Certified in Civil Trial.

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

Watch the YouTube Video with Joe Zarzaur  >

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:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-do-i-prove-future-lost-earnings-in-a-personal-injury-case.html

 

Use Of The Black Box Evidence In Your Car Accident Case

In many car crash cases, there are disputes over speed, movement of the vehicles, seat belt issues, braking, and other facts. Participants or witnesses may have faulty memories or even a reason to lie about what happened or what they did. For this reason, it is important to investigate the existence and data from the “black box” or the Electronic Data Recorder (EDR) that is installed in most modern automobiles and trucks.

An EDR is a device that stores data about the physical properties of a vehicle that is involved in an “event” which can include an accident or near accident. The EDR is the cousin of the flight data recorder or “black box” that is involved in airplane crashes. These have been used in aircraft since the 1940s but in automobiles since the late 1990s. Currently, almost all trucks and modern automobiles have these.

Where Is The EDR Located?

In an automobile, they are installed under the driver’s seat or under the center console. They generally are about the size of a pack of cards and are silver in color. The EDR unit is connected to the airbag system and collects two types of data. Non-deployment event data is about crashes that did not lead to the deployment of airbags. This information is wiped out after about 250 ignition cycles. Deployment event data is collected in the event of an airbag deployment. This includes pre-crash, crash, and some post-crash data. This information can never be overridden when there is airbag deployment.

Electronic Control Module/Electronic Data Recorder (ECM/EDR): A Small Computer That Collects Data In Modern Passenger Vehicles.

Under rules promulgated by NHTSA, an EDR must record some or all the following data:

– Vehicle speed

– Engine throttle/was accelerator pressed (5 seconds before impact)

– Brake use (5 seconds before impact0

– Delta V (change in velocity) at impact

– Safety belt status for the driver

– Frontal airbag deployment

– Number of crash events

– Time between crash events

The data can easily be downloaded by a vehicle technician, or law enforcement officer. The veracity of the data is well accepted as accurate.

A car’s black box records data about the vehicle’s functioning abilities in the moments before and during a collision. … Some of the helpful information that an EDR can provide includes the speed of the vehicle and any changes in speed before the accident.

Use of Black Box Evidence in a Personal Injury Case

EDR evidence is generally admissible at trial, assuming there is no indication of tampering or spoliation, or malfunction. So, what does that mean for your personal injury claim? In many cases, the data can corroborate your version of events and bolster your case.

For example, if the opposing driver or adverse witness claims you were speeding. This data can shoot down that claim. The “silent witness” testimony is generally unimpeachable, unlike human witness testimony. Moreover, the data can accurately establish the forces of impact in the crash, the delta force. This can support the severity of injuries and the mechanics of injuries. In certain cases where there are experts retained to reconstruct the accident, the data is of utmost importance. Often, in homicide investigations or crashes causing serious injuries, the investigating authorities will download the data.

The use of black box evidence can often be important to your case. It can prove your case and disprove the opposing party’s case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will use this information to your advantage in contested cases.

Watch the YouTube Video with Joe Zarzaur  >

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:
https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data/event-data-recorder

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/auto_black_box_data_recovery_systems_by_taro.pdf

https://www.wral.com/how-a-black-box-can-tell-the-full-story-behind-a-car-crash-and-how-to-know-if-your-car-has-one/19045889/

 

What Is Diminished Value?

After a wreck, most people’s first thoughts are to take care of their own physical injuries. However, many of our clients also have issues with the injuries done to their property—most often their vehicles.

Below, we discuss the most common issue our clients face: obtaining not only cost of repair but diminished value.

What Determines Your Car’s Value?

Everyone has seen commercials for companies like CARFAX, which attempt to aggregate all available information about a car’s history. Repairs, wrecks, recalls, and other issues are reported and can all combine to affect your car’s value.

Common sense tells us that the resale value for a car that has been in a wreck is not as much as a car that has not been in one. The difference between the value of a car that has not been wrecked versus the same car that has been wrecked and repaired is called “diminution of value” or “diminished value.”

Florida Laws on Diminished Value

Florida law entitles a person whose vehicle was damaged through no fault of their own to obtain not only the cost of repairs from the at-fault party or their uninsured motorist insurer but also this “diminution” value.

How It Works

The amount of “diminution” or “diminishment” depends, of course, on the severity of damage and the repairs necessary to make the vehicle whole. Insurance companies frequently use a sliding scale to determine this value, based on the severity of the damage and the remaining expected life of the vehicle. For instance, most insurance companies will only initially offer to pay only a maximum of 10% of a car’s value as diminution. If the damage is less severe, this percentage may be even lower.


Many insurance companies do not want to volunteer this information. If you attempt to make these claims on your own without a lawyer on your side, the insurance company may NOT tell you about this important potential source of recovery.


The firm does not represent clients directly on these property damage claims because we find that, with some guidance, many clients are able to handle the issues themselves. However, we are always willing to give advice when clients are dealing with the property damage side of their claim, and are ready to get involved if negotiations go south.

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

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

Watch the YouTube Video with Joe Zarzaur  >

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.