Tag Archives: Pensacola Zarzaur Law

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.

Takata Inflator Investigation – Is Your Car’s Air Bag Defective?

Air bags are supplemental protection and are designed to work best in combination with seat belts. Both frontal and side-impact air bags are generally designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes and may deploy in even a minor crash.

Air bags reduce the chance that your upper body or head will strike the vehicle’s interior during a crash. To avoid an air-bag-related injury, make sure you are properly seated and remember—air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them. And children under 13 should sit in the back seat.

 

Defective Takata Air Bag Inflator Investigation

U.S. auto safety investigators have opened a new probe into 30 million vehicles built by nearly two dozen automakers with potentially defective Takata air bag inflators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) opened an engineering analysis into the vehicles manufactured between 2001-2019. The investigation has not been made public yet.

Go to safercar.gov to check the recall status of your vehicle.

 

Which Car Models Are Effected?

The new investigation includes vehicles assembled by Honda, Ford, Toyota, GM, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, Ferrari, Mazda, Daimer, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover and others. The 30 million vehicles include both vehicles that had the inflators installed when newly manufactured and inflators that were used in prior recalls.

Over the last decade more than 67 million Takata inflators have been recalled in the US and more than 100 million worldwide. This has been the largest auto safety callback in history because the inflators can send deadly metal fragments flying after a crash.

  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot
  • Certain 2006 Ford Ranger (Ford advises do not drive)
  • Certain 2006 Mazda B-Series (Mazda advises do not drive)

NHTSA advises that owners not drive these vehicles and seek immediate repairs.


MORE THAN 100 DEATHS HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED WORLDWIDE, WITH MANY MORE NON-FATAL INJURIES.


 

NHTSA has said the cause of the inflator explosions tied to the recall of 67 million inflators is propellant breaking down after long term exposure to high temperature fluctuations and humidity. Vehicles in states such as Florida are susceptible to such climate factors.

 

What Constitutes A Defective Air Bag?

A defective air bag is one that contains a design or manufacturing defect that effects the safe function of the air bag. These can cause spontaneous explosions, failure to deploy in an accident and late deployment in an accident.

 

Who Is Liable?

Vehicle and air bag manufacturers may be liable for such injuries. Under product liability laws car dealers and repair technicians may also be liable. Finding responsible parties requires legal skill and experience and should be handled by expert personal injury attorneys.

 

Injuries Caused By Defective Air Bags

The type of injuries caused by defective air bags  can include: Puncture wounds

Lacerations

Skull fractures

Death

This can result in facial fractures, dental injuries, eye injuires and more.

Experienced personal lawyers can review and evaluate cases involving airbag injuries. To file a claim, the lawyer must establish a causation relationship between the airbag and the injuries. These are complex cases and must include input from experts such as reconstruction engineers, auto engineers and medical experts. These are complex cases with complex legal issues that require experienced lawyers.

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.nhtsa.gov/recall-spotlight/critical-warning-regarding-certain-honda-acura-mazda-and-ford-vehicles-takata-air

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/takata-airbag-recall-everything-you-need-to-know-a1060713669/

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

Nerve Damage Caused By A Car Accident

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

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

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

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

– Central Nervous System

– Peripheral Nervous System

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Permanent Nerve Damage

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

Treatment For Pinched Nerves

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

Nerve Damage, Expense, And Your Personal Injury Case

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

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

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

Parents And The Art Of Car Seat Safety

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

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

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

A Mom’s Real Life Perspective On Safety.

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Safe Buckling Practices

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

https://www.nhtsa.gov

https://www.aap.org

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Accidental Child Drownings And The Florida Residential Pool Safety Act

“Accidental Child Drownings and Pool Safety Act in Florida.”

Many homeowners in Florida utilize websites like VRBO and AIRBNB to list their properties for short-term rental.  There are, however, some serious safety issues related to such properties that have pools which could easily expose the homeowner to liability if a guest is injured or is killed because of accidental drowning.

The laws regulating pools in Florida are mainly categorized as residential or public.  This distinction is important since depending upon the pools’ classification, certain laws will and will not apply.

What is a Public Lodging Establishment?

A home listed on Airbnb may be considered a “public lodging establishment” if it is a “vacation rental.” Florida Statute § 509.242 (b) defines a vacation rental as “any unit or group of units in . . . any individually or collectively owned single-family, two-family, three-family, or four-family house or dwelling unit that is also a transient public lodging establishment.” A “transient public lodging establishment” is defined as “any unit . . . dwelling . . . within a single complex of buildings which is rented to guests for periods of at least 30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.” Fla. Stat. Ann. § 509.013 (1).

Many of the home share properties in Florida will likely fall into the classification of a vacation rental given its transient use and its advertisement to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.

Though many of these properties would most likely be classified as a “public lodging establishment,” a short-term vacation rental’s pool would be considered a residential pool; thus, it would be subject to the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (“Act”).

A public swimming pool is defined as a pool that may be accessed with or without a fee and includes, but is not limited to, pools operated by public entities or pools which serve camps, churches, daycare centers, group home facilities of eight or more clients, or the cooperative living projects of five or more living units, such as apartments and hotels. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 514.011 (2).


FROM 2017 TO 2019 COMBINED, FLORIDA WAS RANKED THE HIGHEST IN THE U.S. FOR UNINTENTIONAL DROWNING DEATH RATE AMONG CHILDREN AGES 1 TO 4 YEARS (6.29 PER 100,000 POPULATION).


What is Considered a Residential/Private Pool?

This understanding is further confirmed by the Act’s definition of “residential,” which defines the term as a one-family or two-family dwelling. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 515.25 (10). A vacation rental home would likely be considered a single-family dwelling. Further, a residence’s pool would fit into the 514.011’s (Florida Statute) definition of a private pool. A “private pool” is defined by this Florida Statute as one which is used “only by an individual, family, or living unit members and their guests which does not serve any type of cooperative housing or joint tenancy of five or more living units.” Fla. Stat. Ann. § 514.011 (3). During a rental term, a vacation rental’s pool is used only by an individual, family, or other temporary members of that living unit and is not open to the public or any non-guests of the tenants. The determining factor on the classification of a pool that serves dwelling units seems to turn on the number of units within the complex. If a vacation rental’s pool serves a single dwelling unit, it would likely be considered a private pool.

Florida’s Residential Pool Safety Act

Under Florida’s Residential Pool Safety Act, a residential (including those used in any home share program) pool must be equipped with certain safety features. To pass a final inspection, a residential pool must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  1. The pool must be equipped with an approved safety cover
  2. All doors and windows which provide access to the pool must be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor
  3. The pool must contain an independently certified alarm that sounds upon detection of accidental or unauthorized access to the pool.
  4. Pools must be protected by a barrier

Pool Barrier Requirements

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 515.27

(1). Further, pools must be protected by a barrier. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 515.29

(2). Barriers must be at least four feet high without any gaps, openings, or other components which would allow a young child to circumvent the barrier. Id. A barrier must be placed “sufficiently away” from the water’s edge to prevent someone from immediately falling into the pool if they penetrated the barrier. Id. If a gate is used to provide access to a pool, it must be self-closing, self-latching, open outwards, and its release mechanism must not be placed in a manner of which a young child can operate it. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 515.29

(3). Barriers may not be placed in such a way that allows an extrinsic object to be used to climb over it. Id. A dwelling (part of the house) wall may serve as part of a barrier so long as it does not contain a door or window that would allow access to the pool. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 515.29

(4). If the dwelling barrier wall has windows, the windows must be equipped with an acceptable alarm, be screened, or protected and have a bottom sill height of 48 inches or more, or the pool must have the detection alarm. Fla. Bldg. Code R4501.17.1.9. Barrier wall doors would have to be self-closing and contain a self-latching mechanism at least 54 inches above the threshold or the pool must have a detection alarm system. Id.

Public Pool Requirements

There seems to be a little distinction among public and residential pools regarding safety requirements to prevent drownings. Public pools must contain the following safety features:

  1. An anti-entrapment system or a similar approved device
  2. A shepherd’s hook within 16 feet of the pool
  3. At least one 18-inch diameter lifesaving ring with enough rope to reach all parts of the pool from the pool deck.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 514.0315; Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 64E-9.00.

In sum, any home-share rental unit’s pool would likely be subject to the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act and not be considered a public pool. These two pool classifications have few distinctions relevant to the instant case with the public pools requiring lifesaving devices and devices to prevent persons from being entrapped by drains.

Many home share properties are not in compliance with Florida’s Residential Pool Safety Act but despite this place their homes on the market.  Many times, these homes are seeking out tourists who are unfamiliar with pool safety and who are traveling with young children.

Protecting these young children was the reason the Florida Legislature passed the residential pool safety act and homeowners should make certain their pools are in compliance with the Act.

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 or a loved one has been affected by any homeowner’s failure to comply with this act, 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:

http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/prevention/drowning-prevention/index.html

Florida statute – http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0500-0599/0515/0515.html