Tag Archives: Pensacola

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.

———————————
###

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

Hiring A Lawyer Doesn’t Mean You Are Going to Court

It’s a very common misunderstanding.  Clients assume that if they go and hire a lawyer for a car wreck or personal injury case, they will be “going to court.”  This is not entirely accurate.   In fact, it’s rarely accurate at all.

The Job of Your Personal Injury Lawyer.

 

Joe Zarzaur

Hiring a lawyer for your car wreck or personal injury case is not the same as “going to court.”

This is true since only about 1% of Florida Car Wreck cases that are handled by lawyers end up in a trial.

Only about 40% of them end up as even an official lawsuit.


FORTUNATELY FOR CLIENTS (AND THEIR PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS) MOST CAR WRECK OR PERSONAL INJURY CASES WILL BE SETTLED PRIOR TO THE FILING OF A LAWSUIT.


This means that if your personal injury case is settled prior to the filing of a lawsuit, it will never become an official lawsuit and therefore cannot go to trial since the lawsuit is the start of the litigation process which ends with the trial.

Chances Are Your Personal Injury Case Will Settle Without Having to Go to Trial

Even if your personal injury or car wreck case can’t be settled prior to filing the lawsuit, chances are that the case will be settled before the litigation process results in a trial.  In fact, 99% of those cases that get into the lawsuit process settle before any trial. This concern comes up regularly with new clients since many are afraid of the litigation process and are concerned about making their private personal injuries public with a court being involved.

The Settlement Conference

Personal injury Case Mediation processTrials are becoming rarer these days since nearly every court in the country requires the parties to have a settlement conference before the trial.  In prior years, if your lawyer filed a lawsuit for a car wreck case.  The case would be set for trial and unless one party asked the other to consider settling the case, the topic of resolving the case would never get brought up.  This resulted in many cases going to trial simply because neither party wanted to be the first to broach the subject of a potential settlement.

In more modern days, the courts figured out that this was not good for the system or the parties, basically requiring each end of every lawsuit to go to trial simply because no one wanted to bring up the idea of settlement.  This reluctance stemmed from the nature of the adversarial process itself. As opposing parties, you are programmed to not ever show weakness to the other side.

Historically, bringing up the subject of a potential settlement first could reveal that your side feels vulnerable about your chances to win.  So, the result was that no one would bring the subject up and this led to many trials occurring for cases that would otherwise be settled without a trial.

The courts started realizing that some of these trials were unnecessary and started by making settlement conferences voluntary but making a point to allowing the court to be the party to bring up the idea of a settlement conference.  This took the burden off the parties to bring up the subject of the settlement. The settlement conference was given the official name of mediation and it became hugely popular with the court system and the judges for one major reason, it worked.  In fact, it worked so well that nearly every court handling car wreck and personal injury cases in this country, now require that every case go to mediation before any trial date is set.

The Mediation Process

Mediation ProcessMediation has made it possible for cases to go to the lawsuit stage but not go to trial.  It created an escape hatch for both parties to use after they have litigated the case for a while but short of having to take the case to a jury trial.  Mediation has also made the statistical chance that your lawsuit will end up in a trial as low as 1%.

In sum, hiring a lawyer for a car wreck or personal injury case only means that a lawyer is going to try and settle your case.   Only in a minority of those cases will it even result in a lawsuit being filed.  Even if it is filed as a lawsuit, there is an extremely small chance it will go to trial these days.

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

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

 

Sources:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/mediation-personal-injury-claims.html

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/insurance-adjusters-who-they-are-how-they-handle-injury-claim.html

Pensacola Personal Injury Attorney

Escambia County Reports Record 25% Positivity Rate for COVID-19.

Today’s data release on current SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) cases in Escambia county marks two sequential days with record-high reporting of percent positivity, with a nearly 20% (19.9%) positivity rate released on August 7 and followed by a nearly 25% (24.9%) positivity rate with the release this morning.

Accompanying these findings is another grim statistic:  the highest single day reporting of 543 new positive results for Escambia county, surpassing the prior high of 467 reported for July 11.

While an explanation of these numbers is not immediately available the introduction of rapid testing protocol in the county would be a prime focus:  test integrity (reliability, accuracy) as well as evaluation of the pool of individuals tested at the rapid protocol facility – symptomatic vs asymptomatic, isolation parameters undertaken by those individuals (before and after testing), contact tracing of positive result individuals.

Bottom line – the message remains the same:  masking, distancing, hand sanitizer, and routine cleansing of common spaces should remain centerpiece to everyone’s daily habits.

COUNTY DATA FROM FL DOH 08/08/2020:

http://ww11.doh.state.fl.us/comm/_partners/covid19_report_archive/county_reports_latest.pdf

The Zarzaur Law firm remains fully operational and the staff is working hard on client’s behalf (safely and remotely). Attorneys will still be seeing clients either safely in office or via video conferencing.

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
(855)hirejoe
850-444-9299

What Zarzaur Law, PA is Doing to Keep All Employees Safe While Returning to Work.

As Zarzaur Law, PA prepares to gradually bring staff back into the office, it is very important to protect everyone and safety is priority one!

Here is what the firm is doing to keep everyone safe during this transition time from teleworking to re-entering the office full time.

ZARZAUR LAW, P.A. + COVID-19

Before Reporting To Building:
Stay home if you are sick (fever, myalgia, cough, shortness of breath), except to get medical care.

Notify management if you become acutely ill (above) or have a sick close contact (co-habitants, significant other).

Commuting To Building:
Do not park in close proximity to others, park in open area while maintaining a safe walk to building entrance.

Do not touch handrails, elevator buttons, parking meters, door handles (besides office building).

Entry to building at Romana Street entrance (upstairs) – OR – Palafox Street entrance (downstairs).

Upon Entering Building (Before Doing Anything Else):
Wash your hands with soap and warm water, at least 20 seconds.
(Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and warm water not available – 30 seconds).

Exterior of all personal items brought into office must be disinfected with antiseptic wipe – coffee cup, water bottle, mobile phone, handbag, purse, wallet.

Wash hands again after disinfecting personal items.

Check temperature (see below).

Body Temperature Checks:
Three times daily: upon entering building at start of shift, mid-shift check (lunch break (full day staff), mid-morning or mid-afternoon (half-day staff), end of shift check upon leaving building. Wash hands (or use hand sanitizer) prior to handling thermometer.

Wipe handle and buttons of thermometer with alcohol swab after use of thermometer.

Document each temperature reading with a Slack message to Joe – temperature with date/time

Wash hands (or use hand sanitizer) after using thermometer.

Movement Within Office:
Maintain six foot separation from others in the office, including hallway and stairwell traffic.

One person at a time in common spaces – hallway, kitchen/coffee, copier/fax/scanner, water cooler, stairwell.

Only use your assigned workspace.

No use of conference rooms without permission.

Diligence on need to leave building at any time besides end of shift.

*** Three times daily = start of shift, mid-shift, end of shift.

Hygiene:
Cough and sneeze – cover mouth with tissue, immediately dispose of tissue.

Immediately wash hands and re-sanitize workspace and electronics.

All paper towels are single use and to be placed in provided receptacles immediately after use.

Workspace:
Surfaces disinfected three times daily. ***

Electronics:
Use only your assigned machine (computer) and office phone.

Sanitize machine (keyboard, mouse, mousepad) and phone (handpiece, earpiece, keypad) three times daily. ***

Personal Items:
Do not allow others to borrow or use pens, mobile phones, keys, coffee cups.

Make your own coffee.

Sanitizing The Office:
Handrails, coffee/water, copier/fax/scanner, sink handles/faucets, and door handles (inside and outside) must be sanitized three times daily ***
> management to decide on rotating assignment vs single owner of this task

Kitchen and coffee counter surfaces to be sanitized thee times daily ***

Conference room tables to be sanitized before and after every use – permission required for use.

Visitors:
Front door guests – utilize doorbell, reception wears mask/gloves when interacting, inform of closed office protocol.

All visitors, vendors, clients must be approved prior to permission into building.

Visitors must follow hand washing protocol upon entry to building.
Disinfect all surfaces and touch points when visitors exit building.

*** Three times daily = start of shift, mid-shift, end of shift.

The Zarzaur Law firm remains fully operational and the staff is working hard on client’s behalf (safely and remotely). Attorneys will still be seeing clients either safely in office or via video conferencing.

Joe Zarzaur, founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., a Pensacola Personal Injury law firm, has created this blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola, Florida about their legal rights. Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced an auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer. For more information, visit: https://www.zarzaurlaw.com

11 E Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Telephone: 850-444-9299
Email: info@zarzaurlaw.com

 

The Alarming Truth About Smoke Detectors.

Prior to this particular case, all smoke detectors were the same to me. Then in 2010, I was called on to assist in a case involving the untimely death of a family in a house fire.

The family was sleeping in their home when a fire in the living room started because of a surge protector device malfunctioning. A spark from this power strip ignited a couch cushion and a fire ensued. When a fire starts in a couch cushion the smoke that is created is some of the most dense smoke from any fire. Unfortunately, this same smoke is also the most fatal type of smoke in that it literally smothers those around it.

This particular family was in a house that was equipped with ionization smoke detectors.

What is an Ionization Smoke Detector?

Ionization smoke detectors are just one of two types of smoke detectors.  Ionization smoke detectors work by having a unit within the detector that contains specially charged particles that are affected by the presence of smoke particles.  Once the smoke particles enter the detector and effect the particles within the unit.  Once those particles are impacted by the smoke particles, it breaks the circuit and the alarm sounds.  Photoelectric detectors work by having a beam of light between two mirrors and if smoke particles break that beam in any way then the dectector will alarm.

The thing that is not clear about these detectors is that the company like to sell them as “smoke alarms” and since the ionization detectors is an older technology the manufacturers have developed a more efficient and cheaper method of producing them.  They are cheaper and the companies make more money when they sell them since, by volume, they move more of these.
The Issue
The issue is that ionization detectors are slow at detecting slow smoldering fires and better at detecting fast flaming fires.  Slow smoldering fires are deadly fires since they would include furniture fires that are deadly even before there are any significant flaming.  Since most folks think that all smoke alarms are the same they generally purchase the cheapest of the smoke detectors.  This would mean that most are ionization detectors when they only protects the house from smoke from fast flaming fires.
This family was killed from a slow smoldering fire that started near a couch and the house was filled with toxic smoke killing the occupants from smoke inhalation before there was any substantial flaming.  The ionization detectors in the house were recovered and were powered up and only began to alarm when the fire department arrived on the scene.
Capitalizing on the Ignorance of Consumers
The case against the manufacturer of the smoke detectors centered around the defects in the design and marketing of these products since they were capitalizing on the ignorance of the consumers and not adequately informing the consumers to the dangers of only having one type of smoke detectors.
Of course, the manufacturer argued that their packaging insert clearly described the difference between the two types of detectors.  They moved for summary judgment and the court denied their motion.  The case was later settled for a confidential amount that included non monetary requirements that the manufacturer provide educational services to the general public concerning the difference between the tow type of detectors and the recommendation that consumer purchase detectors that have both technologies.
Check Your Smoke Detectors
For the best protection of your family, you should make sure that you have smoke alarms that have both photoelectric and ionization technologies.  The companies now make detectors that have both technologies contained in the same unit.
The recovery for this family was significant to both the survivors and the public since we were able to affect consumers moving forward.  There is still much to do since many still do not appreciate the difference between the two types of smoke detector technologies.

Joe Zarzaur, founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., a Pensacola Personal Injury law firm, has created this blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola, Florida about their legal rights. Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced an auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer. For more information, visit: https://www.zarzaurlaw.com

11 E Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Telephone: 850-444-9299
Email: info@zarzaurlaw.com

Sources:
https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Smoke-alarms/Ionization-vs-photoelectric
https://www.safehome.org/resources/fire-prevention-guide/

Ping Pong on Palafox, Hosted by Zarzaur Law, PA – September 14


PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE! NEW EVENT DATE IS SEPT. 14.

Zarzaur Law, P.A., a personal injury law firm based out of Pensacola, Florida, has partnered with the Pensacola Table Tennis Club and City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Department to host a community ping pong tournament event on Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 10am-5pm* The event will be held on the street at the intersection of Palafox and Romana Streets in Downtown Pensacola. “Ping Pong on Palafox,” hosted by Zarzaur Law, will include a table tennis “ping pong” tournament for all ages and levels, games, refreshments for players, and more! The round robin tournament will kick-off at 10a.m. with kids age groups and adult divisions with cash** prizes for winners. Players can be anywhere from kids, novice recreational weekend players, all the way to competitive club members. The first 50 players to sign up for the tournament will also receive a swag bag. 

Businesses, organizations or groups are encouraged to create teams of four, sign up, bring their tent, coolers and signs and battle for bragging rights and be the tops in team table tennis.

SIGN UP TODAY! >

This event is more than the typical community event and fundraiser for Gulf Coast Kid’s House, it’s downright FUN! Players can compete in a Table Tennis Tournament and play games all while supporting Gulf Coast Kids House. Guests can learn tips and tricks from Table Tennis professionals and watch kids all the way to pros battle each other right in the heart of Downtown Pensacola. 100% of entry fees will go to Gulf Coast Kid’s House.

“In this day and age of kids and their devices, we figured highlighting the games we 40-somethings played as kids would be good for everyone.”  Joe Zarzaur, owner of Zarzaur Law, P.A. 

Entry fees:

Kids – $10

Teens – Novice Adult  – $15

Advanced Adult – $20

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

Spectators – FREE!

In addition to the fun and games, Snowbiz Shaved Ice food truck, Arepas food truck and the Tin Cow Restaurant will be selling mouth watering meals to hungry players and spectators alike.

Sign up for “Ping Pong on Palafox” here >
or call 850-444-9299 for more info/details.

*Weather Permitting
**VISA® gift cards.

Zarzaur Law, P.A. To Host a FREE Kid’s 
Halloween Event in Downtown Pensacola

PENSACOLA, Fla. (Oct. 22, 2018) — Zarzaur Law, P.A., a personal injury law firm based out of Pensacola, Florida, has partnered with local downtown businesses to host a FREE, safe and fun filled kid’s Halloween event on Tuesday, Oct. 30 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, meet and greet the K-9 unit from the Pensacola Police Department, arts and crafts station with First City Art Center, and more! A kid’s 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.

“We wanted to continue to give back to our community and revive the Downtown Pensacola trick-or-treat event that was very popular a few years back.” Joe Zarzaur, owner of Zarzaur Law, P.A. “This event is a safe and family friendly block party that provides another Halloween activity for kids.”

In addition to the fun and games, the KlaasKids organization will be on hand to provide fingerprinting for any children (parents or legal guardian must be present). The parents will receive a fingerprint card that they will take home that will have their child’s picture and fingerprint on the card.

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 – Fire truck
Pensacola Police Department
KlaasKIDS Search Center for Missing & Trafficked Children
Pirouettes Dance wear and Children’s Clothing Store

Zalloween will also be a fundraiser. Donations will be accepted and 100% of the proceeds will go to Gulf Coast Kid’s House.

Event details can be found on Zarzaur Law’s Zalloween event page on Facebook, or call 850-444-9299.

———————————
###
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

Joe Zarzaur Receives Community Service Award from the 
Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association

Joe Zarzaur, a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer and founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., received the 2018 Michael Doubek Community Service Award by the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association (ESRBA). This award is in recognition of Zarzaur Law’s commitment to the local community. “Mr. Zarzaur’s receipt of this award is well deserved, given the tremendous support he provides to various charities. It’s also fitting that he should be the first to be honored under the newly adopted name for the award – the Michael Doubek Community Service Award,” said Joshua Jones, ESRBA board member, “The decision to create an honor title for the award is in recognition of Mr. Doubek’s dedication and service to improving the practice of law and our community. Mr. Zarzaur’s philanthropy and hands on volunteerism parallel Mr. Doubek’s tireless stewardship of the ESRBA and sets a high standard for each of us.”

Joe_ESRBA_Doubek_award_7_10_18

While there are many events, programs, and community initiatives that Joe Zarzaur and the team of Zarzaur Law have been a part of, the most recognized philanthropic activity led by the firm is “Legal Graffiti.” “Legal Graffiti” is an event hosted at Zarzaur Law during each Gallery Night in downtown Pensacola. “Legal Graffiti” is an opportunity for anyone to make a donation and then create artwork on the recycled billboard vinyl covered side of the Zarzaur Law office building using spray paint. The event raises money for non-profits & charities within the area. Donations are matched by the firm and given to the charity of choice. Recipients include ARC Gateway, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWFL, Manna Food Pantries, Pathways for Change, Autism Pensacola, Emerald Coast Legal Aid, Guardian Ad Litem, Favor House, and Gulfcoast Kids House just to name a few.

“In the past six years of hosting the “Legal Graffiti” event, the firm has donated more than $100,000 to local charities.” Joe Zarzaur, Owner of Zarzaur Law, P.A. “We are proud and honored to continue to give back to the community where we live, work and play.”

———————————
###
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

Golf Carts and the False Sense of Security

Relative speed and a distorted sense of safety are some of the reasons why golf cart accidents are on the rise. The emerging problem is attributed to the fact that golf carts are no longer used only on the golf course, but have become a means of transportation within gated and residential neighborhoods, hospitals, university campuses, malls, airports and more. Places like these usually concentrate a considerable number of people circulating on the perimeter of the facilities. Golf carts represent a desirable transportation for short distances because of their low levels of motor emissions and the cost advantages they represent when compared to a traditional car. Although the use of golf carts is regulated by state laws, there is no federal regulation that limits the operation of these vehicles.

ZL_blog_golf_carts

Accidents related to golf carts occur frequently in Florida, however there is no up-to-date statistics on the number of physical injuries and fatal losses caused by the use of these vehicles in the United States. A study published by the Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care in 2008 revealed that the age group with the highest incidence of golf cart accidents are adolescents within the 10 to 19 age range and adults over 80 years old. It is important to mention that Florida Statute 316.212 (7), prohibit the operation of a golf cart by individuals under 14 years old.

The study “Golf cart-related Injuries in the U.S.” (Watson et al., 2008) revealed that almost half of the injuries related to golf carts were due to falling out of golf carts or due to overturns. Golf cart safety features have improved over the years, but they are still insufficient in preventing passenger injuries. Golf carts moving at speeds as low as 11 mph could quickly force a passenger out of the vehicle if not operated properly. The rear seats of a golf cart are mainly associated with high passenger ejection rates. Often, golf carts do not have four-wheel brakes, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Damages caused by golf carts go beyond falls and injuries. Florida news reports, monthly golf carts accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol, collisions between golf carts and regular motor vehicles and even pedestrians being run over by golf carts has increased steadily over the years. Many of these accidents have resulted in fatal injuries and even death.

All drivers face risks, but effective risk prevention helps reduce accidents and injuries.

The following are safety measures you can take to prevent golf carts accidents:

• Drive the golf cart only along permitted roads.

• Lower the speed in every turn and avoid having to turn sharply.

• A golf cart can only be operated during the hours between sunrise and sunset.

• If you are going to drive a golf cart during the night, be sure that the cart is additionally equipped with headlights, directional lights and a windshield.

• Be sure the golf cart comes with efficient brakes, safe tires, a rearview mirror and red reflector warning devices on the front and rear.

• Ordinance restricts golf carts to a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour.

• Do not drink alcohol or ride in a golf cart with anyone who has been drinking alcohol while driving a golf cart

Who’s at fault?
When it comes to golf carts accidents, determining who’s at fault is more complicated. Remember that golf carts travel through golf courses, crossroads and places different from those on which a regular car travels. If you are dealing with a golf cart accident, check first that everyone involved is safe and call an ambulance if someone is injured. Remember to take pictures of the crash scene as well as collect witnesses data if any, and call the police.

Pensacola Personal Injury Attorney, Joe Zarzaur works in all areas of personal injury including golf cart accidents, motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle and boating accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall and wrongful death.

We know accidents are 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. Offices in Pensacola and Destin.

Sources

McGwin, G., Zoghby, J. T., Griffin, R. & Rue, L. (2008) Incidence of golf cart-related injury in the United States. The Journal of TRAUMA Injury, Infection, and Critical Care 64 :1562–1566.

Watson, D. S., Mehan, T., Smith, G. & McKenzie, L. (2008) Golf cart-related Injuries in the U.S.. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 35(1) 55-59.

State Uniform Traffic Control, 2017 Fla. § 316.212.7 (2017) Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.212.html

Mohn, T. (2017, March 4) The (Mostly) Safe Golf Cart. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/04/business/retirement/the-mostly-safe-golf-cart.html

More Wrecks On The Bay Bridge: How to Avoid And What To Do…

Wrecks On The Bay Bridge

Last week the Pensacola News Journal (PNJ) ran an article quoting Gulf Breeze Police Chief Robert Randle who noted that the Bay Bridge wrecks this year were up 20% from previous years.  If you have any connection to a daily eastern commute or work route then you will have noticed this increase in the form of nearly daily delays for the last 6 weeks.

So, what’s the cause of this increase?  First, it must be noted that we, as drivers (bay bridge or not) are more distracted than ever.  We have these devices practically attached to our hands that can do more for us each day.  Add to that wrist watches and bands that monitor every vital sign and movement of the day then you have a recipe for diversion.  When you overlay this new normal level of distraction with the typical tourist, sightseeing excitement of arriving spring breakers, we now have an entree of disaster on any road.  Bridges, however, are a bit worse since there is no margin for error in bridge driving.  The shoulder areas are quite limited not even wide enough for the average car to be completely off the road.  A near miss on a regular road is a certain crash on the bridge. 

The typical three-mile bay bridge wreck occurs either at or near the Distracted Dirvers Pensacola“humps” or the elevated portions of the bay bridge or the termination points of the bay bridge.  Having personally observed these wrecks from a safe distance, this is generally what happens:  everyone is traveling along during one of the rush hours during the week (7am-9am or 4pm-6pm).  The cars are a pretty good mix of locals and tourists (starting March and ending in September).  As you near the elevated areas of the bay bridge there is some sudden slowing of the traffic.  Think of it as a large speed bump.  Anyway, traffic slows and all of us who know this expect this slowing of the traffic flow and generally space our cars a safe distance away.  However, the folks from “out of town” have no concept of this slowing and just figure traffic flows constantly and consistently. They are anxious to be nearing their final destination and now they can virtually see the beach from their car.  They are looking at the water, sunset, boats etc and then they are confronted with a sudden stopped of traffic.  The natural reaction is for drivers to slam on brakes and then steer around the car in front of them.  Of course on a  regular road, this might work, however on a bridge like our three-mile bay bridge, there is nowhere to go and the wreck occurs.  It happens suddenly but not with warning. 

Pensacola Bay BridgeThe warning signs are simple.  First, the time of year is quite predictive.  If it’s March through August, there is a high potential for this issue.  The hour of the day is another warning sign.  If it is a time of day when traffic on the bay bridge is congested there the chances of a wreck are mush more likely.  These times are the rush hours during the work week and between 10:30am and 7pm on the weekend days.  The better the weather on the weekend the worse the traffic. 

If you find yourself navigating these three miles think about the time of the year, the day of the week and the time of day.  Then think, “I am going to leave twice the room between cars that I usually leave.”  This will give you time to drive and avoid a collision. 

If, however, you are involved in one of these wrecks on the bay bridge.  The steps you take following the wreck can be the most critical to your safety.  First, call the police.  For southbound traffic, that is Pensacola Police Department.  For the northbound traffic, that is the Gulf Breeze Police Department.  They will immediately report to the scene and provide safety for all involved.  The most dangerous time for your safety is the period of time immediately following the wreck but before the police arrive.  This is when you and those persons in your car can easily be killed by subsequent wrecks.  So long there is no threat that your car could catch fire (when there is damage significant enough to cause a fuel leak), you and your passengers should stay belted and in your car.  It is the safest place on the bay bridge following a wreck.  Add headingWait until the scene is completely  being controlled by police and there is a complete blockade of traffic behind your vehicle before exiting your car.  Then only do so with the knowledge and approval of the responding officers. 

As far as liability is concerned, nearly every case is investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol and virtually all result in a ticket.  So, liability is rarely in dispute.  However, the significance of the crash is often in dispute.  So, once everyone is safely barricaded away from other traffic, a few phone pictures demonstrating the damage to all vehicles and the markings left on the road are helpful but not critical.  Always remember that insurance company adjusters get paid incentives for settling cases within 24 hours and you should always wait and speak with a lawyer before proving a statement to any (even your company’s adjuster) insurance company.