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Archive for the ‘Personal Injury’ Category

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014


With high gas prices, motorcycles seem like a very attractive alternative to traditional vehicles.  Unfortunately, as traffic in general continues to increase, so do motorcycle accidents.  Unlike a car that is encased in steel, motorcycles offer no protection in an accident.  As a result, approximately 80-90,000 motorcyclists are injured and approximately 4,500-5,000 are killed in accidents each year. 

What can a motorcyclist do to protect themself?

  1.  Before ever getting on a busy road or highway make sure that you have adequate hours of driving and experience on a motorcycle.  Many accidents are due to inexperience.
  2. Wear a DOT approved helmet!  Statistics show that wearing a helmet will make you almost 40 percent less likely to suffer a fatal head injury.  Ironically, despite these statistics many states including Florida do not require that motorcyclists wear helmets.  As a result, motorcyclists cannot get PIP (personal injury protection) insurance in the State of Florida.  So you better have a good health insurance plan!
  3. Wear protective and bright clothing.  Wearing long sleeves and pants can go a long way in preventing serious road rash.  In addition, bright clothing will aid other drivers in seeing you.
  4. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
  5. Never drink alcohol or take narcotics before you ride.  You need to have complete control of all of your senses when riding a motorcycle.
  6. Ride defensively.  Be on the constant lookout for threats from other vehicles.  It does not matter if you are in the right and they are not; if you get into a collision with a car you are going to be the one who suffers potentially life threatening injuries or death!
  7. Avoid riding in bad weather conditions.  The threat that bad weather conditions presents to drivers of cars is nothing compared to the threat it presents when you are riding a motorcycle.If you are in a motorcycle accident, get medical attention right away.  Even if you think that you do not have serious injuries you should get checked out.  Get stamp dated photographs of the accident scene, damage to your motorcycle, other involved vehicles and the injuries to you, as soon as possible.


    Do not talk to anyone, other than medical providers, until you have spoken to a board certified civil trial lawyer who handles motorcycle accident cases as part of their practice.  In addition, do not post comments or photos on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Injured in a Trucking Accident?

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014


Trucking accidents are increasing in Bradenton, Sarasota and Venice, Florida and across the United States.  This is due partially to increased overall traffic on the highways.  Another potential factor is decreased training and less stringent requirements for truck drivers as companies are finding a shortage of available truck drivers.  In addition, due to the lack of truck drivers many of them are on the road for longer hours. 

Trucking accidents make up less than 5% of vehicle accidents involving personal injury.  However, trucking accidents account for approximately 10% of traffic fatalities. This is because there is no such thing as a minor trucking accident.  Trucks are significantly heavier and larger then automobiles, so when a truck hits your car it is not going to be a fender bender. 

Trucking accidents are mostly caused by driver error. The driver was not attentive, was overtired or was under the influence.  Equipment failure such as defective or worn tires and brakes are another cause of these accidents.   Bad weather and poor visibility play significant roles in trucking accidents as well as improper loading.  Lack of training and proper monitoring of drivers are also significant factors.

Due to the great danger that trucks present to automobiles it is best to try to avoid driving too closely behind or next to a truck.  If you are involved in an accident with a truck you should immediately seek medical attention and then call a board certified civil trial lawyer who has experience handling personal injury cases caused by trucking accidents.

What you should not do is talk to anyone before talking to a lawyer.  Trucking companies and their insurers’ are very aggressive and have even been known to send investigators into the emergency room within hours of your accident to attempt to get a statement.  The fact that you are in pain or under the influence of medication will not deter them.  In addition, you should not post pictures or talk about your accident or injuries on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. 

What you should do is accurately report all of your injuries and the cause of your injuries to your medical providers.  You should provide your medical providers with all of your auto and health insurance information. In addition, you should get someone to take pictures with a date stamp of the damage to your automobile, the accident scene and your injuries as soon as possible.


Improperly secured mattresses cause two car crash on I-75

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

In Manatee County, Saturday, October 6, 2012 a serious accident was caused by two mattresses that were not properly secured.  The accident occurred in the northbound lanes of I-75 near the intersection of I-275 when a pair of mattresses flew off the top of a pick- up truck, directly into the path of oncoming traffic.  One car, in an attempt to avoid the mattresses, swerved and hit two separate guardrails. The other vehicle ended up overturning.  Both drivers were transported to Manatee Memorial Hospital. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.   The driver of the pick-up was charged with carrying an unsecured load.

Increased safety risk

As our interstates are increasingly used for local traffic the risk of accidents caused by unsecured cargo is presenting a greater risk and safety challenge.  It is one thing to be driving on a neighborhood road at thirty miles per hour and respond to something flying into your path of travel, but quite another being on the interstate travelling at least seventy miles per hour.  On the local road, you may have a minor accident or you may avoid the accident all together, however on the interstate you have very little opportunity to avoid the accident and the magnitude of the crash is much greater. Of course, the chance of serious injuries or a fatality is that much higher.

Driver’s responsibility

Therefore, it is crucial that individuals take great efforts to properly secure loads on their vehicles and if possible to avoid taking the interstate on the chance that the cargo will come loose.  In addition, the penalties for unsecured loads should be higher.

What victims should do

If you are a victim of such an accident and are injured as a result, you should first seek medical attention, however your next priority should be to consult with a qualified, local attorney who is board certified in civil trial law.

Laurie S. Zimmerman, Esq.

As a local attorney for over 22 years who has been board certified in civil trial law for over a decade, I have represented many car accident victims in crashes caused by improperly secured cargo.  Please feel free to check out our web site at or call (941) 364-8503 for a free consultation.

50 Car Crash on I-75 in Sarasota County

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012, at approximately 3:00 PM at I-75 and the overpass of University Drive, Sarasota County there was a massive 50 car pile up.  Drivers reported that they were blinded by a sudden downpour of rain that some described as a wall of rain.  As the drivers struggled to see, they heard the terrifying sound of crash after crash.  There were approximately 50 cars and one tanker involved in the crash, which resulted in 32 people being transported by ambulance to local hospitals; another twenty people being treated at the scene by EMS; and two people being airlifted to Bay Front Hospital for serious trauma. Thankfully, so far there are no reported fatalities.  The scene was not cleared for traffic until after 9:00 PM.

What Do I Need to Do?

Saturday morning the people involved in this accident are waking up overwhelmed, asking themselves, “what do I need to do.”  The first priority for anyone injured should be to seek medical attention.  Do not wait. The laws have recently changed in Florida. This may cause you to lose out on insurance coverage if you do not seek medical attention immediately following the accident.  In addition, insurance companies are more likely to question nbso online casino reviews and deny medical bills that are not, in their opinion, close enough in time to the date of the accident.

Hire an Attorney Now

The second priority if you were injured in this accident is to seek local, qualified legal council.  You want an attorney who has lived and practiced law in Sarasota County for many years and who is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law.  It is critical that you talk to a lawyer before you give any statements to an insurance company.  As former in-house counsel for one of the biggest insurance companies in the U.S., I can assure you that insurance companies are interested in protecting their bottom line. They are not concerned with protecting your interests.  Therefore, it is crucial that you retain a qualified attorney as soon as possible who will look out for your interests.

Laurie Zimmerman, Personal Injury Law

As a local attorney in Sarasota County for over 22 years, who has been Board Certified in Civil Trial Law for more then a decade, I would be proud and pleased to assist the victims of this terrible crash.  Please feel free to check out our firm’s website at call us at (941) 364-8503

Car Accident in Sarasota, Bradenton or Venice

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Let’s face it, life is tough enough. But when you’re in a car accident, life gets a lot more difficult. The decisions you make after a crash can have long-lasting effects. Almost immediately you will have to make decisions affecting your legal rights, finances and most importantly…your health and well-being.

Who Can You Trust After a Car Accident?

Few people are prepared make decisions after a car accident without the help of an attorney. Who can you trust? The majority of people won’t feel comfortable putting their future in the hands of lawyers they found through a 1-800 number or on a park bench or bus stop. Meet your lawyer before you choose your lawyer. That’s right, your lawyer, not the lawyer’s assistant, paralegal, or “case manager.” Know the identity of the actual person that will be handling your case. There are so many issues that must be dealt with after your accident, and you need prompt, reliable information from an experienced professional. Issues relating to: civil infractions issued as a result of the crash, rental car matters, hospital bills, contact with insurance company personnel, insurance coverage questions, treatment options and more.

At Zimmerman and Zimmerman you will receive personal service from knowledgeable, experienced and caring attorneys. Give us a call at (941) 364-8503 for a free consultation regarding your personal injury case.

How to Choose a Sarasota Personal Injury Lawyer

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

If you’re the victim of someone’s negligence, be it an auto accident or a slip and fall in Sarasota, hiring the right lawyer is perhaps the most important step in ensuring that justice will prevail in your case.  As the local landscape is filled with lawyers advertising on every park bench, taxi and billboard, how can one sort out the highest quality counsel from the unscrupulous? It’s actually easier than you might think.

What Does “Board Certified” Mean?

For many years Florida has a system in place where the best lawyers can become Board Certified in their given area of practice.  Only five percent or 1 in 20 lawyers in Florida are Board Certified.  These attorney have passed a rigorous written exam, have vast experience and passed a stringent peer review  process.  For Personal Injury, the area of certification is Civil Trial Law.

Hire a Lawyer Experienced in Dealing with Insurance Companies

The next area of inquiry should be the lawyer’s career background.  Personal Injury lawyers battle insurance companies.  Does the lawyer you are considering have insight into the inner workings of the insurance industry?  This is critical to successfully negotiating your claim.  If negotiations breakdown or the insurance company is being unreasonable, you will need a lawyer with real trial experience.  Typically that experience comes from starting your career as either a prosecutor or working as in-house counsel for an insurance company.  In both of these jobs, lawyers gain valuable experience trying many cases to juries.

Look For Community Involvement

Finally, you want a lawyer with strong community ties.  A history of involvement in  local legal organizations is a good indication that a lawyer is well-respected in their city.

Learn More About Laurie Zimmerman

Laurie Zimmerman is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer.  That means she is  a Specialist in trying civil cases which include Personal Injury cases.  Ms. Zimmerman spent over five years as in-house counsel for All State Insurance Company. She knows the inner workings of the insurance industry and how they go about opposing your case.  In that time Ms. Zimmerman successfully tried many cases before Sarasota judges and juries.  Before that Laurie started her career as a prosecutor here in Sarasota.  In those years she tried over one hundred criminal trials in Bradenton and Sarasota.  Laurie lives, works and raises her family in Sarasota.  She is a former President of the prestigious Inn of Court in Sarasota where she has further established herself as one of the true leaders of our legal community.

Hiring a Lawyer in Sarasota

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

People frequently ask us, “How do I choose the right lawyer for my case?” We are trial lawyers, so my comments are directed in that arena. Hiring a transactional lawyer might require a different analysis. Experience is paramount.

Trial lawyers should  have actual trial experience. Hiring a Florida Bar Board Certified Trial Lawyer will ensure that your lawyer has the requisite experience. Only five percent of Florida lawyers have this experience.

Credibility is also key. Do Judges and adversaries respect the lawyer? Here is where credentials can help. Involvement in legal and local organizations is a sure sign of an attorney’s standing in the community.

Third, check out the word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to ask around. Good lawyers have good reputations. Check out their office. Is their staff professional? Is their office organized and well-appointed? You are engaging this person for what may be the fight of your life. Would you hire someone who can’t keep their own shop in order? I hope not.

Finally, you should have a comfort level with your counsel. This does not mean that they become your friend. This is a professional relationship. But, you should get the feeling that your attorney truly cares about the outcome of your case.  Sarasota and Bradenton possess a vibrant legal community with many highly qualified lawyers.

Don’t fall for flashy marketing  gimmicks. Closely scrutinize your prospective counsel to ensure that you enter into a relationship that will help you achieve your desired result.