A tow truck driver who had been called to the scene of an accident on Interstate 95 in southeastern Florida died after falling about 30 feet from an overpass.
The 69-year-old victim was providing assistance after a crash involving a tractor-trailer. The large truck had crashed into a median barrier and was overturned on its right side. The tow truck operator maneuvered around the disabled tractor-trailer, stepping onto a concrete maintenance platform on the side of the overpass. He apparently lost his balance and fell onto the pavement below.
The location where the accident occurred has seen its fair share of problems in recent months and years, according to an official with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Drivers are known to ignore signage and take turns too quickly as they attempt to exit the interstate. The spot has had at least six major crashes in the past five years, according to FDOT data.
Who was to blame?
In a situation like this, determining fault could be incredibly complicated. The driver of the tractor-trailer was cited for continuing to operate for more than 11 hours in a single 14-hour period — a strict regulation from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. However, he likely was not responsible for the tow truck driver’s ensuing fall.
Another possibility is that a state governmental agency, such as FDOT, could be partially liable if the concrete maintenance platform was unsafe. That could be difficult to prove, and the plaintiffs would also have to deal with the challenges of filing a civil claim against a government agency.
If you need to explore your legal options after a serious accident in Florida, speak with a dedicated Bradenton personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babbonni & Walsh.