Property owners knew or should have known of faulty railing

Maintenance and repair of the common areas of a Florida apartment complex are the responsibility of the owners of the property. Regular inspections are often needed in order to identify problem areas, warn residents and their guests of the issue and perform repairs. If property owners knew or should have known about a hazard and failed to do anything about it, someone could be seriously hurt or killed.

For example, three tenants of an apartment complex in another state were standing on a walkway on the second floor, which is considered a common area. One of the three men leaned on the railing and it broke. He fell to the concrete, about a 12-foot drop.

He was apparently unconscious for some time, and when he regained consciousness, he had no feeling in his legs. Emergency personnel arrived and rushed him to a hospital in the Beaumont, Texas area. The incident occurred in Nov. 2013.

The victim’s current condition is not known. With regard to his premises liability lawsuit, he seeks a judgment for monetary damages for loss of income, disfigurement and other financial losses. He alleges that the apartment complex failed to properly maintain the property, to warn residents of the hazard or to fix the problem.

More importantly, however, it is alleged that the property owners knew or should have known that the railing was not safe and in need of repair. As would be the case here in Florida, the man will be required to successfully establish this fact to the court before any award of damages will be considered. Any monetary judgment awarded could help the man with any current or future medical needs he may have.

Source:, “Ricky Johnson sues apartment complex, alleging negligence after railing gives way“, Emily Moore, Aug. 17, 2015

Serious and fatal injuries suffered in box truck crash

A single vehicle accident can quickly involve multiple vehicles on a busy highway like Interstate 95. When a driver loses control of his or her vehicle, other vehicles on the road may not have time to avoid a collision. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that this was the cause of a crash that took place at approximately 1:30 a.m. on a recent Friday. One person was killed and three others suffered injuries.

The accident involved a box truck filled with thousands of pounds of newspapers, a wrecker towing a semi-truck and an SUV, all of which were heading northbound. Somehow, the driver of the box truck lost control of the vehicle. The truck bounced off the guardrail and flipped over in the northbound lanes.

The wrecker struck the box truck and then careened through the median, through the southbound lanes and into the woods on that side of the Interstate. The SUV struck the wreckage of the box truck as well. Not surprisingly, the driver of the box truck succumbed to fatal injuries in the crash.

The 63-year-old driver of the SUV was seriously injured and taken to an area hospital. Two other people who were in the SUV also suffered unknown injuries for which they, too, were transported to the hospital. The 30-year-old driver of the wrecker suffered minor injuries.

The parties who suffered injuries in this crash may be able to file personal injury claims against the estate of the box truck driver and the deceased trucker’s employer, along with any other parties who may be deemed responsible for the tragic accident. Establishing negligence could require a thorough reconstruction of the accident and other supporting evidence. If a Florida civil court rules that the parties’ injuries were caused by the negligent actions of another, an award of damages may be considered.

Source:, “FHP: I-95 reopens after 1 killed in crash near St. Augustine outlets“, Sept. 18, 2015

Driver in fatal hit-and-run crash turned himself in to police

Many Florida residents would say that a child who walks away unharmed from an accident when other people are seriously or fatally injured is lucky. However, what they may fail to consider is that the child was forced to witness the crash, and that will leave scars that no one can see. The full impact of the tragedy on the “lucky” child may not be known for several years.

For example, the Florida Highway Patrol received a call regarding a hit-and-run accident that occurred around 9 p.m. on a Sunday night. When they arrived, they found a 14-year-old boy who suffered fatal injuries at the scene. His 12-year-old sister was physically unharmed.

According to reports, the siblings were walking south on the northbound side of the roadway. A southbound pickup truck careened out of its lane into the northbound lane and hit the boy. The vehicle driver then fled the scene.

The driver, a 50-year-old man, turned up later at the Putnam County Jail to surrender to authorities. He told officials where to locate the truck involved in the crash and is said to have been cooperative. It is not yet known what charges, if any, he faces.

Regardless of what happens to the driver, a family lost one of its members, and his sister will have to live with what happened for the rest of her life. The family may seek a sense of justice for what they have lost through the filing of a wrongful death claim against the driver. If the court determines that the driver’s negligent actions caused or contributed to the death of their loved one, the family may be awarded damages. Any monetary restitution they receive could help with the expenses they incurred — and may incur in the future — in connection with this tragic hit-and-run crash.

Source:, “FHP: Palatka teen killed in hit-and-run crash“, Aug. 3, 2015

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