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...Read More »
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