Car Accident in Eatonville
The Orange County town of Eatonville, just six miles north of Orlando, has a rich history as one of the nation’s first self-governing, all-black municipalities. It was the hometown of acclaimed writer Zora Neale Hurston, who wrote of the town’s founding in her best-selling novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”
Dubbed, “The Town that Freedom Built,” Eatonville was also once known as a popular spot on the so-called “Chitlin’ Circuit” prior to racial integration. There were performances from music legends such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, B.B. King, James Brown and Sam Cooke.
Today, Eatonville car accident lawyers know the makeup of the town’s roadways has remained largely unchanged over the last 50 years. There have been no major road construction projects to speak of and the town’s population has steadily hovered at about 2,500.
Interestingly, it’s the town’s history that has kept expansion at bay. Specifically, this involves residents’ success in shutting down the construction of a five-lane highway that would have effectively ended the town as we know it. County leaders in 1990 announced plans to widen Kennedy Boulevard, the primary two-lane street that runs through the town’s center. The goal was to create a five-lane highway, helping to alleviate some of the Orlando sprawl that had pushed Interstate 4 through the western edge of Eatonville. But of course, this would have effectively decimated the town center. This proposal came at a tough time for residents. Forced integration had resulted in racial tension and violence. In an effort to show the county what would be lost if Eatonville was wiped out by a highway roaring through the middle of it, residents established the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities. The plan worked. Eventually, the county backed off and the highway project was scrapped. The festival became an annual event.
A 2008 feature in the New York Times on the town shed light on this and other elements of Eatonville’s history.Traffic Problems in Eatonville
Updates to transportation systems in Eatonville happen at a snail’s pace. For example, the installation of a traffic light at Keller Road and Kennedy Boulevard reportedly “turned heads,” according to local news outlets in 2016. Though general consensus by residents was that the traffic signal was “a good thing,” it took years to actually secure the funding and make it happen.
Although Eatonville has seen relatively little growth over the years, there continues to be an uptick in traffic accidents.
According to data from the Eatonville Police Department, there were 28 total Eatonville car accidents in 2015, resulting in 15 injuries. By contrast, there had been zero crashes reported in both 2011 and 2012. In 2013, the agency reported four crashes, one resulting in injury and three in property damage. By 2014, that figure shot up to 38 crashes resulting in 24 injuries and 22 cases of property damage.
Many of these accidents are caused by:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield
- Drunk drivers
Traffic accidents and other incidents have the potential to quickly overwhelm local authorities. For example, a car show and concert held on Kennedy Boulevard in 2015 attracted some 8,000 visitors – and caused a traffic jam that stretched into nearby Maitland and Winter Park. Although there were no reports of accidents or injuries, the incident does highlight how fast a single incident can easily affect traffic in the entire town.Why You Need an Eatonville Accident Lawyer
Auto accidents in Eatonville might not be nearly as commonplace as in surrounding cities, but that does not mean they are any less serious for those involved. Crashes can cause substantial, debilitating injuries, forcing victims to take time off work and incur thousands of dollars in medical bills. For a city where the average annual income is less than $30,000, that kind of financial impact hits hard.
Our accident lawyers know crash victims sometimes bemoan the fact they cannot afford an attorney. The truth of the matter is, one usually can’t afford NOT to hire a lawyer. We can help you to negotiate with insurance companies to secure compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, as well as for property damage and other losses.
Further, our law office often handles these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means victims don’t pay anything up front and wont’ have to pay attorney’s fees unless the case is successfully settled or won in court.
If you are injured in an Eatonville car accident, consider discussing the case with an experienced accident lawyer who can explain the legal remedies available in your case.