Tag Archives: Pensacola Zarzaur Law

What If I Lose My Job During My Injury Case? 

Personal injuries caused by an accident that was due to no fault of their own, can have significant effects on every aspect of a client’s life.  In many personal injury cases, these effects can include an impact on a person’s job or career.  The loss of a job means the loss of income for the injured person and those who rely on him/her.   Like every other item of damages associated with a traumatic injury, clients want to know whether wage losses or job losses are the types of damages that are available as part of a personal injury case.

 

Wage Loss And Accident Injury Connection

The key to whether such damages are recoverable in a personal injury case depends upon how much and what type of evidence you have which connects the wage loss to the injury.  For example, if you miss wages as a result of your personal injury (such as a car accident injury), then you must connect your injury or treatment to the wage loss. 

This can be done by showing the following:
1. Your medical appointments required an absence from work.

2. Your treating doctor restricted you from working and it is notated in a medical record. 

Either of these situations can be demonstrated by reference to the medical records or medical appointments. 

 

What About Job Loss Due To Injury?

Some clients not only miss wages as a result of their personal injuries but end up losing their jobs.  It may appear to be unfair that an employer in Florida can fire you for an injury that you did not cause.  Unless the injury was suffered while working (workers’ compensation injury), the employer has the right to terminate most employees for any reason, including their physical limitations that result from a traumatic injury.  Business owners can work with clients, but most will only tolerate absences and limited work performance for so long before they determine that it is no longer in their best interest to keep you employed.  

 

Obviously, if your employer can find some position that will allow you to continue your employment, that would be best for you.  If, however, your employer doesn’t have any roles that are less physically demanding  you may find yourself without a job and without an income while you are recovering from the injury. 

 

Proper Documentation And Proof Of Termination Due To Injury

In order to be able to recover for wage loss associated with any personal injury case, you have to have evidence that connects your wage loss to the injury-causing event.  This means that your termination or resignation should be documented in a way that connects your injury to your inability to work.  These documents should reference a superior at your former employer so that you have not only a document as evidence but a witness that can be called to verify the basis of the termination/resignation.  Ideally, if you can coordinate your departure from employment while your injury case is pending, you and your personal injury lawyer can make it clear for evidentiary purposes. 

For instance, you and your personal injury lawyer can discuss the wording of the resignation letter or the termination notice and make sure that it references your absences since the injury, otherwise you would have remained gainfully employed.  

 

Mitigating Your Lost Wages

Once you are without a job, it is important that you just don’t give up on making money.  The law will require that you “mitigate” your lost wage damages.  Just like the law requires that you seek medical treatment for your physical injuries, the law also requires that you try and find a replacement source of wages.  This means only that you must make reasonable efforts to find a replacement source of income.  This does not mean that you have to find a job but it certainly means that you have to use reasonable efforts to find any job that you are physically able to do that could replace some of the lost wages. 

 

So, as you can see, losing a job while you are dealing with your personal injury case is not a simple business.  It is complicated and deserves the attention of a law firm that has professionals working for you and your family.  If you have questions about any personal injury matter, which would include a serious car accident injury, please feel free to reach out to zarzaurlaw.com or call our firm at 855HireJoe.

 

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS SUBJECT >

 

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 in 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.

Midwifery Care And Risk Factors

When planning for the birth of a new baby, there are many options and decisions that soon-to-be new moms need to make. One of the most important decisions is choosing a healthcare provider during your pregnancy. One type of provider is a midwife.

Midwives are healthcare providers who deal with pregnancy, childbirth, newborn care, and postpartum health. Some midwives provide routine reproductive care like pelvic exams, Pap tests, or counseling on birth control. Midwives tend to be more holistic and supportive of natural approaches to pregnancy and birth. Midwives are normally used by those who choose to have a planned home birth. 

Are There Risks Associated With Using A Midwife?

While midwives provide the majority of care in countries like the U.K. and the Netherlands, midwife-led home births account for only about 10% of births in the United States.  (https://www.forbes.com/health/family/what-is-a-midwife/)

While in recent years, more families have sought out a more holistic, non-hospital location for giving birth and for the care provider, such as a home birth using a midwife, the complications of giving birth outside of a hospital have their own risk factors and cause concern.

Midwives consult with OBGYNs, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, and other healthcare providers to mitigate risk in your care. Working with a midwife who attends births in a hospital setting is usually recommended if you are worried about delivery. This can give you the safety net you’re looking for if a complication arises.

CASE STUDY: Recent Midwifery Medical Malpractice Case At Zarzaur Law

In a recent medical malpractice case, the firm handled an expecting mother who enrolled the services of midwives for an out-of-hospital birth.  The risks of this pregnancy and labor included:

  • Advanced maternal age
  • Absent collaboration with a physician with admitting privileges at a hospital in the immediate area
  • Incomplete emergency backup plan
  • Pregnancy extending to late-term and post-term (41-42 weeks)
  • Meconium stained amniotic fluid
  • Arrest of cervical dilation, with the ultimate outcome resulting in severe medical complications for the laboring mother and intrauterine fetal demise.

If you would like more information on the particular case or have had a similar, complicated experience, please reach out to the firm at zarzaurlaw.com or call us at 855hirejoe.

Why Would You Use A Midwife Instead Of A Doctor?

Many women choose a midwife over a doctor because they want additional emotional support before, during, and after delivery. A midwife will get to know you, your family, and your preferences over the course of your pregnancy. Midwives also allow for a planned home birth in Florida.

What Are The Possible Risks Of A Planned Home Birth?

midwifery care and risk factorsMost pregnant people who choose to have planned home births deliver without problems. But research suggests that planned home births are associated with a higher risk of infant death, seizures, and nervous system disorders than planned hospital births.

There are several factors that might reduce the risks of these problems, including having:

  • Assistance from a certified nurse-midwife
  • Access to a doctor who specializes in obstetrics
  • A plan for transportation to a nearby hospital, if needed

It’s important to talk to your health care provider before you make a decision about a planned home birth. For some people with certain health conditions, as well as those who have never given birth before, the risks of a planned home birth may be higher than they are for others.

What Is A Midwife?

Midwives are healthcare providers who deal with pregnancy, childbirth, newborn care, and postpartum health. Some midwives provide routine reproductive care like pelvic exams, Pap tests, or counseling on birth control. Midwives tend to be more holistic and supportive of natural approaches to pregnancy and birth. People often choose a midwife when they know they want a nonmedicated birth or want to give birth at home.

Midwives are usually not physicians. They often work alongside obstetricians and gynecologists (Ob/Gyns) in a hospital to ensure you have access to any care you need. A midwife is recommended when your pregnancy is low-risk or if you have only mild complications.

Pregnancy and labor are very personal experiences. You have a choice about the kind of care you’d prefer. That’s why it may help to know the differences between midwives and Ob/Gyns.

What Does A Midwife Do?

It depends on their credentials, certifications, schooling, and where they practice. Certified midwives and certified nurse midwives can offer the most services. Midwives who aren’t certified offer fewer services.

Some of the health services a midwife may provide include:

A certified nurse midwife can practice at hospitals, clinics, birth centers, or your home. Midwives who are not certified are limited in where they can practice. It’s best to ask your midwife what credentials they have and ask your hospital or birth center what the regulations are for midwife care.

What Are The Different Types Of Midwives?

There are a few different types of midwives:

  • Certified nurse midwives (CNMs): CNMs have completed nursing school and have a graduate degree in midwifery. In addition to pregnancy care and delivery, they can provide general reproductive care, prescribe medication, order lab tests and diagnose conditions. They’re qualified to work in hospitals, homes, and birth centers. CNMs are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. They work in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Certified midwives (CMs): CMs have a master’s degree in midwifery, but they haven’t completed nursing school. CMs have an undergraduate degree in something other than nursing. They’re certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board and can prescribe medications. CMs are only licensed to practice in a few (nine) states.
  • CPMs (certified professional midwives): CPMs work in birth centers or at home.They have completed coursework and are certified by the North American Registry of Midwives. CPMs aren’t licensed to practice in all states and can’t prescribe medications.
  • Unlicensed or lay midwives: These midwives don’t have certification or a license to practice. They are either self-taught or have received some other type of training, which could include an apprenticeship. Unlicensed midwives work almost exclusively in homes.

Are Midwives Doctors?

Most midwives aren’t doctors. Some earn doctorates in nursing practice.

The Differences Between A Midwife And An OB-GYN

OB-GYNs and midwives both provide great pregnancy care and safely deliver babies. But there are some fundamental differences.

OB-GYNs and midwives have different credentials and educational backgrounds.

While OB-GYNs and midwives are part of the same specialty area, the training, education requirements, and credentials they hold are different.

OB-GYNs are medical doctors

An OB-GYN (which is short for obstetrician-gynecologist) is a medical doctor who specializes in women’s reproductive health, as well as pregnancy care and delivering babies. They’re also surgically trained and can perform cesarean sections (C-sections) when necessary. You may already have visited an OB-GYN for your annual well-woman’s visit.

When it comes to training and education, OB-GYNs complete four years of medical school, a four-year residency program, and a three-year fellowship.

Board-eligible vs. Board-certified OB-GYNs

OB-GYNs – like other medical doctors – can also pursue certification from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) after they’ve completed their residency and gotten their license to practice. Board-certification is optional but a mark of distinction, implying that a doctor has gone above and beyond the minimum standard of education in their field.

The path to certification requires passing a qualifying exam, preparing an extensive case list demonstrating expertise in multiple categories, and then passing a certification exam. At HealthPartners, all our OB-GYNs are board-certified.

Is A Midwife Better Than An OB/Gyn?

It’s a personal preference. Some people prefer midwives, and others prefer OB/Gyns. A midwife is typically only recommended for low-risk pregnancies. Most pregnancies in the United States are low-risk. Some advantages of using a midwife are:

  • There is less chance of induction or assisted delivery.
  • Cesarean delivery is less likely.
  • Reduced use of epidurals or other medications.
  • There is less risk of third and fourth-degree perineal tears.
  • More flexibility for home births.
  • You have greater control over your care.

Midwives are typically not trained to perform surgeries. Midwives will refer people to OB/Gyns if their pregnancy or birthing experience becomes complicated or high-risk.

Should You Have A Midwife?

A midwife might be for you IF you have a low-risk, routine pregnancy and if you desire a more personalized relationship with your provider. If you have a health condition that could complicate your pregnancy or delivery, close collaboration between your midwife and obstetrician is ideal. Some of these conditions include:

If you decide to use a midwife, we recommend finding one who’s licensed and certified to practice in your state.

The links below provide information on midwifery practices and licensed midwives in the state of Florida.

 

Florida Rule 64B24-7 Midwifery Practice >

Florida Statute Chapter 467 Midwifery >

FL DOH Licensed Midwifery >

Do Midwives Do C-sections?

Midwives can’t perform c-sections, but they can assist in them. If you require a c-section, a collaborating physician will be called on to assume care.

Do Midwives Give Epidurals?

Some midwives can prescribe epidurals, but midwives can’t give epidurals. They consult with an anesthesiologist or a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Anesthesia providers are typically available in hospital settings only.

What Questions Should You Ask Before Choosing A Midwife?

A lot of people interview potential midwives to make sure they feel comfortable with them prior to beginning services. Some questions you should consider before choosing a midwife are:

  • Where will I deliver my baby?
  • What kind of training do you have?
  • How long have you been a midwife?
  • How many births have you attended?
  • What are your philosophies or values when it comes to childbirth?
  • What kinds of tests or screenings do you perform during pregnancy?
  • Does insurance cover any of the cost?
  • Do you work with any local Ob/Gyns?

If Necessary, Prepare To Go To A Hospital

Make the following preparations for a smooth transition to a hospital, if you need it:

  • Discuss with your health care provider the symptoms that might mean you’ll have to go to a hospital. Talk about how that fits into your birth plan.
  • Make sure you have access to transportation. Ideally, your home or other birth location is within 15 minutes of a hospital with 24-hour maternity care.
  • Ask your health care provider to make arrangements with a nearby hospital to ensure that you can be promptly moved to the hospital and treated, if necessary.

The links below provide important information with regards to emergency backup plans and agreements for midwives in the state of Florida.

 

Florida Department of Health Emergency Plan for Licensed Midwifery >

Florida Department of Health Collaborative Management Agreement >

Hospitals or certified birth centers are the safest settings for delivery. However, you have the right to make an informed decision about where you prefer to deliver your baby. Keep in mind that life-threatening problems can occur during labor and delivery. In those cases, the need to take you and your baby to a hospital could delay care. That could put your lives at risk. Understand the risks and benefits of a home birth before you make a decision about where to deliver.

Watch Our YouTube Video On This Subject 

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

If your newborn child has been injured or have experienced a birth injury, while in the care of a midwife, 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://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22648-midwife

https://www.healthpartners.com/blog/midwife-vs-obgyn-whats-the-difference/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/home-birth/art-20046878

Florida Rule 64B24-7 Midwifery Practice

https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=64B24-7

Florida Statute Chapter 467 Midwifery

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0467/0467.html

FL DOH Licensed Midwifery

https://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/midwifery/index.html

FL DOH Emergency Backup Plan For Licensed Midwifery

https://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/midwifery/resources/_documents/emergency-backup-plan.pdf

FL DOH Collaborative Management Agreement

https://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/midwifery/resources/_documents/collaborative-management-agreement.pdf

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

What If The Baby Falls Sleep In Its Car Seat?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Buy The Appropriate Car Seat.

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

Important Child Safety Seat Reminders For Parents

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

Use the NHTSA Car Seat Finder located here > 

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

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

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

For Escambia County >

For Santa Rosa County >

For Okaloosa County >

For Walton County >

For Miami-Dade >

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

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

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

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

— NHTSA’s Research and Program Development

 

Avoid Long Journeys

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Sources:

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

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

2 Hour Rule

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

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

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

Motor Vehicle Accidents Remain The Leading Cause Of Workplace Deaths

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of workplace deaths in the U.S. These accidents involve many types of vehicles, from delivery trucks, tractor trailers, and garbage trucks to emergency response vehicles, farm equipment, and passenger cars.

EVERY 12 MINUTES, SOMEONE DIES IN A MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH

EVERY 10 SECONDS, AN INJURY OCCURS

EVERY 5 SECONDS, A CRASH OCCURS 

Many accidents happen during work.  Many of them occur on the way to and from work.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the US
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

In 2019, an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives in car crashes. About 4.4 million people were injured seriously enough to require medical attention in crashes last year. 40% of motor vehicle accidents are work-related.
(Source: NSC and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event at 2,080, accounting for 40% of all work-related fatalities. (Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Motor vehicle accidents cost employers over $56 billion in 2017, with 53% of vehicle accidents causing employees to miss work. 68% of companies reported recent on-the-job accidents in company-owned vehicles, and 41% of companies reported recent on-the-job accidents in employee-owned vehicles. (Source: Motus Research)

US Dept of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics

Drivers, sales workers, and truck drivers had the most fatalities of any broad occupation group at 966. (Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Transportation-related incidents include those involving aircraft, railways, roadway collisions, and more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2020 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Dec. 16, 2021, 

From Highest To Lowest Fatalities:

Transportation-related incidents

Slip and fall.

Contact with objects, equipment

Violence

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

Fire and explosions

Key findings from the 2020 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries 

A worker died every 111 minutes from a work-related injury in 2020.

Transportation-Incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event, with 1,778 fatal injuries, accounting for 37.3 percent of all work-related fatalities.

“For the majority of people, the most dangerous thing they do while at work is drive on the public highway.”
(Source: Road Safety Observatory)

Driving for Work: Why Should Safety be Your Top Concern?

Motor Vehicle Accidents  Whether your work involves operating or driving machinery on or off-site, it’s vital to make sure that your personal safety is protected, both by your employer and through their and your actions. People who drive for work are often subject to tight schedules and quotas, putting pressure on them to get there on time or to move merchandise quickly.

Whatever your role as a driver entails, safety should be your first concern. No matter where you work, your employer is obligated to provide a safe working environment, which includes maintaining safe vehicles and machinery. Safety of staff is of paramount importance and should always be the first concern of workmates, employers, and sub-contractors alike.

Who Is At Risk of a Workplace Vehicle Accident?

According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), the industry divisions with the highest fatalities include:

Transportation, Communications, and Public Utilities (TCPU)

Sales

Service

Construction

Manufacturing

Mining

Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing

Material movers

Laborers

Of course, these aren’t the only industries in which workers face the risk of a motor vehicle crash. Any profession that involves commuting or transporting goods or people presents a crash risk. Home healthcare workers, taxi drivers, and police officers spend significant time driving as well.

It isn’t only drivers who are at risk. Pedestrians can also be struck by a vehicle. Pedestrians are involved in approximately 16% of fatal transportation incidents.

What Are the Causes of Workplace Vehicle Accidents?

Workplace vehicle accidents generally fall into three categories:

Collision with another vehicle

Collision with a pedestrian

Collision with a stationary object on the roadside

Alcohol, other drugs, speed, lack of sleep, and driver distractions are factors in many work-related vehicle crashes. Distracted driving is becoming an increasing concern, killing an estimated 5,500 people and injuring nearly 450,000 each year.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Workplace Motor Vehicle Accidents?

Here Are A Few Things Employers Can Do To Help Prevent Workplace Motor Vehicle Accidents:

Check Motor Vehicle Reports (MVRs).
On a yearly basis, verify drivers’ MVRs to ensure licenses are valid and that there are no outstanding violations. Additionally, only properly licensed individuals should be allowed to drive specialized vehicles.

Keep company vehicles in good repair.
Regularly inspect tires, brakes, lights, horns, and mechanicals as needed and replace or repair any problems. If a vehicle needs repair work, it should be marked as out of commission.

Create a corporate distracted driving policy.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving was responsible for 9% of total fatal crashes in 2017. Employees should always be focused on the task at hand: getting to their destination safely. Creating a corporate distracted driving policy provides employees with strict guidelines for avoiding cellphone use, including making calls or answering texts and emails, while they are behind the wheel.

Enforce safety measures.
It should go without saying that employees should be required to wear seatbelts at all times. They should also obey all traffic laws, including posted speed limits, understand how to check blind spots before switching lanes, and have basic defensive driving skills.

Allow drivers to take breaks.
Employees required to drive for long hours in the early morning or late at night may be more susceptible to drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel. Encourage drivers to take frequent breaks, at least every 100 miles or every two hours, especially when driving overnight. Before a long drive, employees should get plenty of sleep, and understand that if they start to feel groggy or irritable, they should pull over and get some rest.

Watch Our Video On This Topic >

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

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

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

Sources – 

https://driving-tests.org/driving-statistics/

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf

https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/motor_vehicle_guide.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/motorvehicle/resources/crashdata/facts.html

Preventing Workplace Motor Vehicle Accidents

 

Don’t Sign A Release After Your Car Accident Until You Speak With A Lawyer

Courtesy of AllLaw.com

If you’re involved in a car accident and you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses, the car insurance company of the driver who was responsible for causing the wreck may contact you to try and settle the claim.

Your first reaction to a settlement offer may be a relief. Now you’ll get money to pay for your medical bills, and to get your car fixed and back on the road, all without having to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit.

But don’t get too carried away, because you’ll also have to sign a document called a “release” before the car insurance company sends you any money.

What exactly is a release and what is the legal impact of signing one?

If the car insurance company offers to settle your accident claim, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before signing the all-important release.

There Are Two Types Of Releases:

1. Property Damage Release-Car Damage

2. BI Release-Bodily Injury

What Is a Release?

A release is a legal document in which an individual agrees to give up, or release, certain legal rights. A release is also sometimes called a waiver. The purpose of the release is to end a legal matter (such as a civil lawsuit) and allow the parties to move on.

In the case of car accident claims or lawsuits, a person who signs the release gives up the right to sue certain individuals or entities as they relate to the specific accident. This means, if you sign a release from the other driver’s car insurance company, you will shield the insurer and its driver from any further legal action arising from the accident. In return, you’ll receive a settlement check.

Bodily Injury Settlement

In the typical settlement of a bodily injury claim, the injured person receives money as compensation for their injury. In return, the injured person agrees to release the paying party from further liability for that injury and to terminate any lawsuit that has been filed seeking damages.

Bodily Injury Release

The release agreement is actually a contract that eliminates all claims of the injured party as to the parties released. It is critical to have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate the full extent of your injuries. This forever ends your injury claim.

Diminished Value

Florida is a “diminished value” state, which means you may be entitled to the diminished value of your vehicle after an auto accident. “Diminished Value” is the loss in market value that occurs when a vehicle is wrecked and repaired.

Things To Consider Before Signing A Release:

When you receive the release from the car insurance company, do not sign it until you have taken the following five things into consideration.

1. Consult an attorney about your claim and go over the release.

Not only will an experienced attorney be able to explain exactly what the release says and answer any questions you may have, but there may be certain legal rights you aren’t aware of that will vanish if you sign the release. Your attorney will point these out for you.

For example, let’s say you confirmed with your doctor that the car insurance company’s settlement amount is enough to pay for all your medical bills. But you may have valid claims for other losses that you may have overlooked or failed to consider, such as lost wages or pain and suffering. You won’t know for sure unless you have an attorney review the release and ask you the right questions.

2. Before signing the release, obtain permission from your car insurance company.

You may need your car insurance company’s permission before signing the release. This is due to a legal concept called subrogation, which is very important in car accident cases, especially underinsured motorist cases. Here’s how it works.

Imagine you’re involved in a car accident with another driver whose car insurance policy limits aren’t enough to fully compensate you for your losses. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, your car insurance company should make up the difference, up to your UIM limits. Your car insurance company will then use the subrogation provision in your car insurance policy to recover (or, more realistically, attempt to recover) the difference directly from the other driver.

Subrogation is how your car insurance company uses your legal right to pursue the other driver for reimbursement for the underinsured coverage payment it just made to you.

However, should you sign a release without your car insurance company’s permission, your car insurance company’s ability to go after the other driver is now gone? As a result, your insurance company may try to deny your underinsured motorist coverage claim.

3. Make Sure You Understand What You’re Signing.

Legal documents can be intimidating, and you may feel like there’s no point in reading the release if you won’t be able to understand it. However, you will probably understand more of it than you might think, especially the most important terms, such as the settlement amount and the details of the settlement payment.

Additionally, don’t take the word of the car insurance company’s representative as to what the terms of the release are. Always check it over yourself to make sure there are no misunderstandings.

4. Ensure that the settlement funds cover all injuries and damages.

Just because you feel fine and all your medical bills are fully covered by the settlement check, doesn’t mean you have been fully compensated. Many injuries from car accidents aren’t discovered until a period of time after the crash. The last thing you want to do is agree to a settlement of $20,000 for medical bills when a month later it turns out you need another $10,000 in medical treatment for injuries that have only recently presented symptoms.

 

REMEMBER THAT ONCE YOU SIGN THE RELEASE, YOU CAN’T GET ANYTHING ELSE FROM THE OTHER DRIVER OR THE OTHER DRIVER’S CAR INSURANCE COMPANY.

 

5. Determine if anyone else could be responsible for the accident.

This tends to be an issue when more than one person or entity is responsible for the accident. For instance, let’s say you have a release that only applies to a commercial truck driver that hit you. The settlement amount isn’t enough to fully compensate you, but you’re not sure if you should reject the release and file a lawsuit to try to recover the full amount. If it turns out that you have legal claims against the commercial truck driver’s employer and another individual driver, you might be more willing to sign the release.

The decision to sign the release will depend on a variety of factors and circumstances. Make sure you have the whole picture before you make your decision.

Watch Our Video On This Topic >

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

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

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

Sources:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/before-you-sign-a-release-in-your-car-accident-settlement.html

https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/settlement-before-signing-release-5-things.html

Zarzaur Law’s Triathlon Team Captain: Racing For Her Most Important Cause

Laura Brewer has been a member of the Zarzaur Law Triathlon team since its inception nine years ago and currently serves as the team captain. Laura truly believes in the mission of the team and the firm: to be good ambassadors for the triathlon sport and to support its two charities, Favor House and Gulf Coast Kids’ House.

When I race, I look for others who may need encouraging words and try to uplift them.

Laura and her husband began racing in triathlons in 2012 when they first started dating. They’ve done several 70.3 Ironmans® together as well as a 140.6. In March 2022, Dale was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his kidney. The right kidney and tumor had to be removed, and he will likely not be able to do long distance racing ever again.

On Sunday, July 24, 2022, Laura raced for Dale. When he was diagnosed with cancer, he insisted that she continue to train and race for the Ohio 70.3 Ironman® that they intended to do together. She did, in fact, race for her most important cause—her husband.

The journey to this point wasn’t easy, and the race presented some challenges that mirrored Dale’s journey.

“He loves racing, especially Ironman events. For him to be there cheering knowing that he can’t be out there breaks me to the core. But it is a reminder to never take for granted what we CAN do.”

 

“I was hoping to set a PR for this race for Dale also. I did 5:05 last October. But race conditions were a little tougher with winds and water conditions, and my new disc brakes on my bike were rubbing during the ride. I didn’t realize it until we got my bike at the end and my wheel was not turning well. I think this matched Dale’s journey with his health, so I think I was meant to overcome more. ”

Her time was 5:29 and she finished 55th overall female out of approximately 500. Laura believes it was not her fastest time, but we think this race was way more than just about her time and her placement.

“When I race, I look for others who may need encouraging words and try to uplift them. The triathlon community is one of the best because of the camaraderie. I also feel so proud to represent Zarzaur Law, P.A. because of the amazing person and attorney Joe really is, and I firmly believe in what he does in our community. He looks to make a difference. Dale and I are truly grateful for his ongoing encouragement and support, because that is what life is about.”

Laura remembers being that first-time triathlete who was so nervous and unsure. Having others around her to motivate her and encourage her is what made her fall in love with the sport. She loves to give that energy back. She truly does embody that statement. You can find her (and Dale) cheering on and encouraging every competitor at every race, as well as being a mentor and volunteer at all of the kids’ duathlon and triathlons and Zarzaur Law’s Legal Graffiti fundraiser events.

“No matter what happens, take pride that you have the ability to do this. Race for yourself and for someone who can’t. Most importantly, remember that you’ve got this!”

 

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

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

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

Florida Ranks Among The Highest States In Incidents Of Child Hot Car Deaths

It’s never safe to leave a child unattended in a vehicle. Even with the windows cracked or the vehicle parked in the shade, the interior temperatures within the car can reach dangerous levels in a short period of time.

Researchers at Arizona State University and the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine evaluated cabin air temperature and surface temperature in identical vehicles placed in the shade and the sun. Their study estimates that even in a shaded vehicle, a 2-year-old child’s core temperature could reach a dangerous—and potentially deadly—104° F in a little less than 2 hours.

Florida totaled 96 hot car deaths among victims 14 years old or younger from 1998 to 2020, according to NoHeatStroke.org, a nonprofit organization that seeks to track every child hot-car death in America. Per capita, that’s 27.37 hot car deaths per 1 million kids age 14 and younger, the statistics show.

Young children are at a heightened risk of dying of heat stroke, and not only due to their inability to escape a hot car. A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than that of an adult, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees, and children can die when it reaches 107.

The organization, Kids and Car Safety, reports an average of 38 hot car deaths per year — or one every nine days.

Understand The Facts

  • A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, that child’s temperature can rise quickly — and they could die within minutes.
  • Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees.
  • A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.
  • In 2021, 23 children died of vehicular heatstroke.
  • In 2018 and 2019, we saw a record number of hot car deaths —  53 children died each year — the most in at least 20 years, according to NoHeatstroke.org.

 

Causes Of Vehicular Heat Stroke

from NHTSA

  • Most heatstroke cases stem from a caregiver forgetting about a child in the back seat.
  • Independent access by a child to a vehicle
  • A child is intentionally left in the car by a caregiver.

 

What Is Heatstroke?

The most severe form of heat illness is heatstroke. Heatstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency.

In heatstroke, the body cannot regulate its own temperature. Body temperature can rise to 106 °F (41.1 °C) or higher, causing brain damage or even death if not treated promptly. Quick medical care is needed to bring the body temperature under control.

Kids are at risk for heatstroke if they overdress or do intense physical activity in hot weather without drinking enough liquids.

Heatstroke can also happen when a child is left in, or gets trapped in, a car on a hot day. When the outside temperature is 93°F (33.9°C), the temperature inside a car can reach 125°F (51.7°C) in just 20 minutes, quickly raising body temperature to dangerous levels.

What Are The Symptoms Of Heatstroke?

Call for emergency medical help if your child has been out in extreme temperatures or another hot environment and shows one or more of these symptoms of heatstroke:

  • severe headache
  • weakness, dizziness
  • confusion
  • nausea
  • rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • loss of consciousness
  • no sweating
  • flushed, hot, dry skin
  • temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher

While waiting for help:

  • Get your child indoors or into the shade.
  • Undress your child and sponge or douse him or her with cool water.
  • Do not give fluids unless your child is awake, alert, and acting normally.

 

OPENING WINDOWS OR PARKING IN THE SHADE WILL NOT PREVENT HEAT STROKE.

Studies show that even cars parked in a shady area can generate dangerous interior heat.

 

Recent Child Hot Car Deaths In Florida 

July 2022: A 3-year-old boy has died after being left inside a hot car in a Florida school parking lot.

2021: A woman from Pensacola was sentenced to 25 years in a hot car in 2021 for the death of her 2-year-old child.(Aggravated manslaughter and child neglect)-child left in back of car in car seat

June 2020: Makia Wallace’s 1-year-old son Jace died after he was left in a car for seven hours by a caregiver in Orange County, FL.

 

In 2021, a bill was signed to implement better safety features inside new vehicles in order to help prevent hot car-related deaths. (Kids and Car Safety)

 

What Should You Do If You See A Child Alone In A Car?

  • Make sure the child is responsive. If not, call 911 immediately.
  • If the child appears to be okay, attempt to locate the parents.
  • If the child appears to be in distress, attempt to get in the car, even if it means breaking a window.

Most states have “Good Samaritan” laws that protect people from lawsuits in attempts to rescue people.

Everyone Can Help Prevent Hot Car Deaths.

Parents and Caregivers

1. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even if the windows are partially open, the engine is running, and the air conditioning is turned on.

2. Make it a habit to check the inside and outside of your vehicle before locking the door and walking away. Train yourself to Park, Look, Lock, or always ask yourself, “Where’s Baby?”

3. Ask your childcare provider to call you if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.

4. Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock it. Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.

5. Store car keys out of a child’s reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.

Links To Apps That Remind You Not To Leave A Child In The Back Of A Car.

https://nj1015.com/these-apps-remind-you-not-to-leave-your-kid-in-the-car/

https://www.safewise.com/car-seat-alarm/

https://www.kars4kids.org/safety-app/

https://www.noheatstroke.org

WATCH OUR YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC >

 

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 your family have 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.

Offices in Pensacola, Destin, Miami, and Tallahassee.

 

Sources:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/heatstroke

Hot Car Deaths

https://weartv.com/news/local/death-investigation-after-66-year-old-man-dies-at-pensacola-developmental-center

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/faq.html

https://www.emergencyphysicians.org/article/health–safety-tips/heat-stroke-and-hot-cars

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-safety/hot-car-fatalities-year-round-threat-to-children-pets-heat-stroke-a2015990109/

https://orange.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2022/06/Heat-Stroke-Heat-Exhaustion.html

https://www.foxweather.com/learn/when-minutes-matter-children-experience-heatstroke-symptoms-in-a-hot-car-within-minutes

https://nypost.com/2022/06/17/devastating-statistics-reveal-the-high-rate-of-infant-deaths-in-hot-cars/

https://patch.com/florida/miami/hot-car-deaths-numbers-florida-how-prevent-the

https://www.foxweather.com/weather-news/florida-hot-car-death

https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/heatstroke

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/heat.html

Pensacola Jury Finds Against ECUA And Awards Injured Party $802,000.

Pensacola Jury Awards Injured PartyPENSACOLA, Fla. (JUNE 20, 2022) —  A jury in Escambia County Circuit Court awarded $802,000.00 in damages to a 52 year-old man who was left permanently disabled after being hit by a 36,000-pound garbage truck managed by the Escambia County Utilities Authority (ECUA). 

The Accident

The client’s vehicle was hit from behind by an ECUA garbage truck. The clients’ car was totaled as well as causing significant physical trauma and injury to the client’s back. The wreck occurred when the ECUA driver operated his vehicle in a careless/negligent manner, causing the utility truck to slam into the client’s Ford Explorer; the impact caused considerable damage to all vehicles involved.

The Case

Zarzaur Law, P.A. brought suit on behalf of the client, arguing that ECUA’s negligent driver was the cause of his injuries. At the time of the trial, ECUA refused to offer anything more than $30,000.00, arguing that all of the client’s injuries were pre-existing and unrelated to the crash. Zarzaur Law, P.A. knew that the client had never experienced back pain before the wreck, and emphasized that fact to the jury. Counsel for ECUA argued that the injured party was “exaggerating” and paid an expert $11,000.00 to come into court and suggest that fact.

The Evidence And Testimony

The jury heard evidence and testimony about how the wreck had impacted the client, learned about the medical treatment the client received, and about the long lasting and permanent effects of his injuries. The day prior to the verdict, lawyers at Zarzaur Law asked ECUA counsel if they were interested in a settlement in the range of $75,000 to $99,000. ECUA counsel rejected any suggestion for continuing settlement discussions.

The Verdict

The jury, after hearing the evidence and after considering all of the defenses from ECUA and its lawyer, ruled in the plaintiff’s favor and awarded Zarzaur Law’s client $802,000. The $802,000.00 verdict included damages for past medical treatment, future medical treatment, pain and suffering in the past, and pain and suffering in the future. ECUA claims they will appeal.

“THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A JURY PUTTING AN OBSTINATE DEFENDANT IN THEIR PLACE,” SAID ATTORNEY JOE ZARZAUR.

Every time a local jury holds a careless driver responsible, they make our community safer by deterring others from driving carelessly. This is especially true when they drive around 36,000-pound vehicles.”

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

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About Zarzaur Law, P.A.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, 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

The 100 Deadliest Days Of Summer For Teen Drivers

Deadliest Days Of Summer For Teen DriversFrom FDOT.gov

For more information on FDOT Teen Driver Safety and related programs and grants, visit the Safety Office Teen Driver Safety page. Visit the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalitions’  100 Deadliest Days for Teen Driver’s Page for more.

The “100 Deadliest Days” is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when fatal teen crashes increase dramatically. Nationwide over 7,000 people died in teen-related crashes from 2010–2019 during this summer period.

Teens drivers have a higher rate of fatal crashes, due to immaturity, lack of skills, and lack of experience. Teenagers speed, they make mistakes, they wear their safety belts less often, and they get distracted easily – especially if their friends are in the car.

Florida teens (ages 15-19) make up approximately 5% of Florida’s licensed drivers. However, crashes with teen drivers typically make up 11% of all crashes in Florida. In 2020, there were 39,150 crashes with teen drivers, resulting in 97 teen-driver fatalities statewide.

Common Causes of Teenage Car Crashes

Teen driving statistics show that a number of factors contribute to the increased likelihood of a crash — not just one or two. By understanding the common causes, parents can talk to their teens about how each situation might be avoided.

  • Distracted driving. Distracted driving includes any behavior that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, such as eating, drinking, texting, applying makeup or smoking. About 9% of teen drivers ages 15-19 report driving distracted.
  • Texting and driving. Texting is a form of distracted driving, but deserves highlighting. Not only do most states have laws banning texting while driving, 38% of teens have admitted to texting while driving. (Journal of Adolescent Health)
  • Teen drivers are more likely than other age groups to speed and drive too closely to the car in front of them. In 2019, 31% of male drivers and 17% of female drivers were involved in fatal crashes as a result of speeding. (IIHS)
  • Drunk driving. Teens are shown to have a higher chance of a crash due to alcohol, versus other age groups. In 2019, 15% of fatal crashes among drivers aged 15-19 involved alcohol use. (IIHS)
  • Inexperience is a significant factor for teen drivers, with many lacking the confidence and knowledge to handle certain driving situations. Newly licensed drivers (typically at age 16) have the least experience and the highest crash rate among teens. The crash rate per mile driven is 1.5 times as high for 16-year-olds compared to 18- and 19- year-olds. (IIHS)
  • Seat belts. Seat belt use is the lowest among teen drivers compared to all other age groups. Of all the fatal crashes recorded in 2019, almost half of teen drivers aged 16-19 were found not restrained. (IIHS)
  • Nighttime driving. The CDC notes driving at night is not only riskier for drivers of all ages, but especially teen drivers, which could be due to limited visibility, tiredness or impairment. Data shows in 2019, 40% of fatal crashes among teens aged 13–19 occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. (IIHS)

Parents Are The Best Line Of Defense To Ensure A Safe Ride And Have More Influence On Their Teens Than They May Think.

What Can You Do?

  • Talk to your teen about the rules and responsibilities involved in driving. Share some stories and statistics related to teen drivers and distracted driving. Remind your teen often that driving is a skill that requires the driver’s full attention. Texts and phone calls can wait until arriving at his or her destination.
  • Familiarize yourself with Florida’s graduated driver licensing law, and enforce its guidelines for your teen. View Florida’s laws on distracted driving, create your own rules if necessary. Restricting the number of passengers your teen can have, or the hours your teen can drive, is a very effective way to minimize distraction for your teen driver. Talk about the consequences of distracted driving and make yourself and your teen aware of your state’s penalties for talking or texting on a phone while driving.
  • Set consequences for distracted driving. If your teen breaks a distraction rule you’ve set, consider suspending your teen’s driving privileges, further limiting the hours during which they can drive, or limiting the places where they can drive. Parents could also consider limiting a teen’s access to their cell phone—a punishment that in today’s world could be seen by teens as a serious consequence.
  • Set the example by keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel while driving. Be consistent between the message you tell your teen and your own driving behaviors. Novice teen drivers most often learn from watching their parents.

Teenage Driver Facts

  • Nationally, teen drivers were involved in approximately 955,913 crashes resulting in 4,000 fatalities and 359,268 serious injuries in 2018.
  • Florida has more than 400,000 registered teen drivers, age 15 to 19.
  • In Florida, teen drivers were involved in 59,301 crashes resulting in 290 fatalities and 2,256 serious injuries in 2018.
  • Teens were two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in potentially risky behavior when driving with a teenage peer versus driving alone.
  • The likelihood increased to three times when traveling with multiple passengers.
  • Safety belts were not worn in one-third of the deaths and serious injuries involving these teen drivers.
  • More crashes involving teen drivers occurred on Friday than on any other day of the week.
  • Contrary to the perception that non-Florida residents are frequently involved in Florida crashes, only 3% of fatalities, serious injuries, and crashes involving a teen driver in Florida occurred with a non-Florida resident.

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

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

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

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

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

If you’ve been the victim of 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.fdot.gov/agencyresources/deadliestdays

National safety council Injury facts

https://www.flhsmv.gov/2021/10/18/florida-recognizes-national-teen-drivers-safety-week-aims-to-reduce-teen-crashes/

Important Information About Water Safety For Florida Parents

The month of May is a time to celebrate National Water Safety Month. The entire month of May has been officially dedicated as a time to bring awareness and education about water safety to the general community. This initiative is coordinated by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, with support from the American Red Cross, the National Recreation and Park Association, and the World Waterpark Association. Read on for more information on water safety for Florida parents

There are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools and an additional 7.3 million hot tubs operating in the U.S.

Over the summer, 8 out of 10 Americans are planning to swim in a pool. For children and teens between the ages of 7 and 17, swimming remains the #1 most popular recreational activity.

Child Drownings In The United States Have Reached A Ten-Year High.

Pediatric drowning rates reached a 10-year record high. National Water Safety Month is May. Water is a “silent killer” for children. Child drownings remain the leading cause of unintentional death among U.S. children ages 1 to 4, according to the CPSC. Three-quarters of those deaths involved children younger than the age of 5, and 83% of those occurred in residential pools.

Florida Set A New Low In 2021.

Florida hit a grim new record in 2021, reporting the most child drownings since at least 2009.

The Florida Department of Children and Families report shows that deaths rose from 69 in 2020 to 98 in 2021. Twenty-four of those children drowned in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Hernando, Sarasota, and Manatee counties.

Before letting your children hit the water this summer, remember these few tips to ensure it’s an enjoyable and safe experience.

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near water. The designated adult water watcher should not read, text, use a phone, or otherwise be distracted while watching children. This advice includes situations involving bathtubs, buckets, decorative ponds, and fountains.
  • If you own a pool or spa, install layers of barriers to prevent an unsupervised child from getting into the water. These measures can include door alarms, pool covers, and self-closing, self-latching devices on doors that access the pool and on gates of four-sided fences.
  • Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim. Contact your local YMCA about swimming lessons.
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapment. Your pool or spa should have drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. If you’re not sure, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.

What About Beach Swimming?

Swimming in open water is much different than swimming in a pool, but most people are not aware of the dangers, especially for children. Florida’s beaches are a glittering playground made of sun and sand–and by all means, you should enjoy the water!

You can splash in the shallows, ride the waves, or just bob up and down in the surf.

But before you dip one toe in the ocean, make sure you know these simple ocean swimming safety rules to keep you safe.

Swimming in the ocean or a large body of water is different than swimming in a pool or most small lakes. You’ll need to watch out for:

  • Riptides and undercurrents
  • Unexpected changes
  • Drop-off water depths
  • Rocks, debris, and other hazards and obstacles.
  • Whether there’s local marine life that can sting or bite
  • Boats, ships, and other watercraft that may be in the water at the same time.
  • There is bad weather in the area, such as lightning or thunderstorms.
  • Hurricane warnings

What Do Beach Flag Colors Mean?

The list below outlines what the colored flags you’ll see posted at the beach generally mean. Your local beach may differ slightly, though.

Ask a lifeguard or beach patrol if you aren’t sure what the flag means before entering the water.

  • Double red flag: water closed, no public swimming
  • Red flag: high hazard of surf and/or currents
  • Yellow flag: medium hazard or moderate surf and/or currents
  • Purple flag: dangerous marine life such as jellyfish, stingrays, or dangerous fish
  • Green flag: low hazard, calm conditions
  • Black and white checkered flag: set up along the beach, usually as a pair, to indicate separate sections to help keep swimmers and surfers safely apart in the water

Florida Residential Pool Safety Act

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 your child has been injured or has been a victim of a drowning due to an unsafe pool, hot tub or proper, 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

https://www.today.com/parents/morgan-miller-shares-heartbreaking-plea-anniversary-daughter-s-drowning-t221539?cid=sm_npd_td_fb_ma&fbclid=IwAR3BNhSgUz3eUJ2hz_biEVcXXGLsBXC60N4Dm4gg9SA8eJPR2hk0ihWCdTE

https://pinellas.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2022/04/water-safety-month.html

https://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2022/05/03/florida-health-offers-advice-for-national-water-safety-month

https://nwsm.phta.org

Water Safety

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety.html

https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/health-news-florida/2022-01-12/florida-reports-a-rise-in-child-drownings-in-2021

https://www.visitflorida.com/travel-ideas/articles/florida-beaches-ocean-swimming-safety-tips/

Florida hit a grim new record in 2021, reporting the most child drownings since at least 2009.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db413.htm

https://www.wfla.com/8-on-your-side/98-children-drowned-in-florida-in-2021-a-record-number-according-to-state-data/

https://www.cdc.gov/drowning/facts/index.html

https://escambia.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/wellness-programs/health-messages/summer-safety/drowning-prevention/index.html

https://www.flhealthcharts.gov/ChartsReports/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=Death.DataViewer&cid=0105

https://www.flhealthcharts.gov/ChartsReports/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=Death.Dataviewer

https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/drowning

https://www.safekids.org/watersafety

National Water Safety Month Is Celebrated The Entire Month of May

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