As a Boynton Beach car crash attorney, I noted an accident a month ago that injured a 17-year-old high school student from The Acreage. As the Palm Beach Post reported Nov. 26, Ryan Garcia was hit by a school bus just before sunrise Oct. 27 as he crossed the street outside Seminole Ridge High School. Garcia was initially hospitalized in serious condition, but has stabilized. In response to the crash, some parents in The Acreage are now demanding more lights and sidewalks from Palm Beach County and the local school board. Most recently, parents marched on the week of Thanksgiving in favor of more lights. The Indian Trail Improvement District has also voted in favor of more lights.
A parent group led by Karen Keogh is calling for lights along Seminole Pratt-Whitney Road, where the high school is located, north to 60th Street North. Keogh said this would make students safer when they walk to school, which many students do when they live within two miles of the campus and do not receive bus service. For the same reason, Keogh is also calling for a sidewalk on the west side of the road near the school, which currently has a sidewalk only on the east side. And she is calling for flashing lights marking a crosswalk, which the county usually provides only at elementary and middle schools. The county is already planning more lights south of the school, and an official said he’d be happy to arrange a meeting with parents.
What interests me, as a Delray Beach auto accident lawyer, is the parent group’s implication that failure to adequately light the area may be responsible for Garcia’s accident. Of course, that’s in addition to any responsibility the bus driver or Garcia himself might have. But if it’s true that the lighting was inadequate, that would make Palm Beach County at least partly liable for Garcia’s injuries. That makes the case instantly more complicated if Garcia and his family are interested in seeking compensation for his injuries. Government agencies typically have the insurance to pay any financial compensation a court orders, but to get that court order, victims must go through a more complicated process than the law requires for suing a private business. In general, plaintiffs must start an administrative process quickly — usually within months — to preserve their right to sue later.
If you believe you may have a claim against a Florida local or state agency, don’t hesitate before calling our firm, Cohn, Smith & Cohn. We represent people from south Florida and around the state who have been seriously injured by another person or organization’s carelessness. In car crash cases, that often means a careless driver — but sometimes, a government agency’s negligent actions or failure to act is also responsible. Our Tamarac car wreck attorneys act quickly to make sure our clients have the right to sue the agency, preserving the same rights against the government that victims would unquestionably have against a private business or individual. This enables our clients to recover all of the money they need after a bad accident, to pay for medical care, make ends meet while they cannot work and compensate them for an unexpected injury.
Cohn, Smith & Cohn offers free consultations, so you can talk to us about your case at no further risk or obligation. To set up a meeting, call our main Broward County office at (954) 431-8100 or send us a message online.