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Posts made in January, 2014

Does Addition Of New Street Lights Where 8-Year Old Pedestrian Was Hit Suggest Governmental Fault?

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Motor vehicle accidents, Types of Accidents

Does Addition Of New Street Lights Where 8-Year Old Pedestrian Was Hit Suggest Governmental Fault?

Most people don’t realize that governmental entities enjoy broad immunity from liability for accidents and injuries in Florida. Immunity means that no exposure for damages exists because no legal claim can be brought. Here in Winter Park, many people will be aware of a recent automobile versus pedestrian accident involving Angel Lo and her grandfather. The pair were crossing State Road 436/Semoran Blvd. near Baldwin Park Street. It was nighttime, the pair had visited a convenience store, were crossing the highway, and were by a passing motorist who claimed she could not see them. Both pedestrians were hit and very seriously injured Now, it appears that the State of Florida is interested in working with a local utility company to install additional streetlights along that same stretch of road. Perhaps it is the lawyer in me, but such an effort makes me question, “If the streetlights they are talking about installing had been in place at the time of this accident, could these very serious injuries have been avoided?” The answer to that question seems pretty obvious. While questions about reasonable care and foreseeability and creating zones of risk are often raised in settings like this against “civilian” defendants, these questions are irrelevant against governmental entities. Most people do not realize that governmental bodies enjoy immunity for “planning level” activities. These are decisions such as whether to place a stop sign in a certain place, or whether to add a side rail in a curve, or even whether to add streetlights. Governmental entities can only be held liable for “operational level” activities, such as failing to fix a faulty traffic light or something similar. I can tell you from experience that this distinction often leads to very unfair and unjust results. If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian, or injured by the act or omission of a governmental entity call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen or Robert Hemphill at...

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Two Tragic Car Crashes In Orange County On Same Day Raise Questions

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Motor vehicle accidents

Two Tragic Car Crashes In Orange County On Same Day Raise Questions

As a Florida personal injury attorney it is not rare for me to hear about fatal car accidents.  However, it is unusual to have two such accidents — under unusual circumstances — happen in Orange County on the same night. According the the clickorlando.com website, drivers of two separate vehicles were killed in two separate crashes over the weekend — one on John Young Parkway, and the other on Turkey Lake Road, in Orlando. video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player In the John Young accident, apparently the police approached a vehicle that had been reported stopped in the left hand turn lane at Interstate 4.  They found a man reclined in his seat, apparently asleep.  When the man was awakened, he seems disoriented, then quickly drove away, down John Young Parkway.  The man collided with two vehicles, and eventually sent the second vehicle — a minivan full of six (6) occupants bursting into flames.  Multiple people were taken to the hospital with injuries.  The driver who was originally found unconscious was ejected from his vehicle, and tragically died. Police are still investigating the issue of intoxication.  If the decedent is found to have been intoxicated, it would not surprise me based upon these facts, and my experience handling cases with similar facts. Because so many people have been hurt in this accident, and the likelihood that the decedent did not have a large automobile liability policy, I am hoping that the individuals in the minivan all had Uninsured Motorist coverage.  If I was one of the injured, I think I would also like to know where the driver had been that night.  If he had been provided with alcohol when he was obviously drunk by a bar or nightclub, the bar or night club could be held liable. The Turkey Lake Road case also seems like it could involve alcohol.  In that case, a driver lost control of his car for no apparent reason and crashed in to some trees.  The driver was tragically killed, and one of his passengers was seriously injured.  If I was the one injured in this accident I would keep my fingers crossed that I had enough foresight to buy Uninsured Motorist coverage. If you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident, or have questions about Uninsured Motorist coverage call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert  Hemphill at...

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Was Defective Tire To Blame For Interstate 4 Rollover Disaster?

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Dangerous Products, Motor vehicle accidents

Was Defective Tire To Blame For Interstate 4 Rollover Disaster?

Was a defective tire responsible for a blowout accident that caused the wrongful death of a Longwood man last Friday? This was the first question that popped into my mind after reading an article on the WESH.com website describing the tragic death of Miguel Javier Figueroa Marzan, age 19, from Longwood. According to the article, Mr. Marzan was riding with a friend in a 1999 Ford SUV being driven by Marcus Grubb of St. Petersburg.  As the group drove through Lakeland on Interstate 4 heading toward Orlando, the right rear tire of the vehicle blew out, causing the vehicle to roll several times. Apparently, Mr. Marzan and Kezra Johnson were both ejected.  Mr. Marzan tragically died, while Ms. Johnson and Mr. Grubb were both seriously injured As an Orlando accident attorney, I know that rollover accidents like this one are often caused by defective tires.  After all, tires are literally “where the rubber meets the road” when it comes to safe driving. (You can click here to watch a short video I shot with safety tips to avoid tire blowouts.) If a defective tire was to blame for this Lakeland rollover accident, the victims will want to make sure and retain any pieces or remnants of the tire that they can.  Also, it would be smart to retain the crashed vehicle as well.  In a tire defect case, these pieces of evidence can be critical to proving a case. If you have any questions regarding a Florida rollover crash or defective tire case, call Winter Park personal injury lawyers Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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