Lake Butler / Union County, Florida
Union County, located in northeast Florida, was created in 1921 from portions of St. Johns County, Alachua County, Columbia County, New River County and Bradford County. Appropriately, its name comes from the word “unity.” Union County is the location of Union Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison, which provides many jobs for residents. The county is also home to several trucking companies. Union County is Florida’s smallest county, with a population of approximately 15,000.
Lake Butler is the county seat of Union County. The county courthouse is located at 55 West Main Street in Lake Buter, Florida. Regina Parrish is the duly elected Clerk of the Court for Union County. Union County is in Florida’s Eight Judicial Circuit, which also includes Alachua County, Bradford County, Baker County, Gilchrist County, and Levy County. The Honorable Robert Roundtree is the Chief Judge of the Circuit.
With respect to legal matters, Union County made national headlines due to a tragic trucking accident in 2006. A Jacksonville man driving a semi-truck on State Road 121 rear-ended a car carrying a family with seven children. The tractor-trailer hit the car so hard that it drove over the car, which then burst into flames killing everyone inside. A school bus in front of the car was also hit, and several passengers were injured as well.
The trucker fell asleep at the wheel causing the crash. Investigation revealed that he had been awake for nearly 34 hours prior to the crash. The driver’s logbook and statements confirmed that he was driving in violation of United States Department of Transportation regulations regarding the number of hours a driver is allowed to be on the road in a given time period.
As Union County sits between Jacksonville and Gainesville, truckers often traverse the county, increasing the chances of trucking accidents. In fact, on one of the county’s busiest roads, State Road 121, trucks represent 22 percent of the traffic.
With four square miles of water in Union County, area residents enjoy many outdoor water activities, such as boating, fishing, swimming and kayaking. The climate makes it an ideal outdoor adventure land; average January temperatures are 56 degrees while the average temperature in August is just 82 degrees.
Located about 30 miles northeast of Gainesville, and 30 miles southwest of Jacksonville, Lake Butler is known for its warm and friendly people, beautiful “old Florida” landscape and historic buildings. Fruit lovers have plenty to enjoy in Lake Butler, with its many delicious citrus crops, including oranges, grapefruits, lemons and kumquats. Approximately 2,000 residents call Lake Butler home.
In addition to Lake Butler, other townships in Union County include Raiford and Worthington Springs. The county is easily accessible by major thoroughfares, including state roads 16, 100 and 121.
Our Northeast Florida lawyers have handled a wide variety of cases in Union County, including workers’ compensation claims, trucking accidents, slip and falls, insurance disputes and auto accidents. We are always happy to meet you at a nearby location or even at your home for a free consultation. Contact us today at 904-632-0077.Notable Verdicts in Union County – Lake Butler, Florida
The following jury verdicts were rendered in Union County, Florida. These verdicts are not representative of typical cases, rather, they are considered “notable” because of the large damage awards. These cases were not handled by The Lawrence Law Group, P.A. For cases handled by The Lawrence Law Group, P.A., please see our “Firm News” section and our Google reviews.
$4,010,000.00 Verdict for Man Injured in Car Accident With Train - November 1984
A 27-year-old farmer suffered personal injuries including: compound fractures of both legs; collapsed lungs; the partial loss of use of one foot; and several fractured ribs after his car was hit by a train at a railroad crossing. The plaintiff’s counsel argued that the train was traveling at an excessive speed and that proper safety precautions were not in place. There were no lights or crossing arm at this particular railroad crossing.
$756,298 Verdict in Wrongful Death of Young Man – October 16, 2003
A 19-year-old man was traveling north on Union County Road 241 in Alachua, Florida, when he collided with a cow that had wandered off a nearby farm. The cow hit the left side of the man’s windshield and roof. Upon impact, the man’s car rolled and traveled forty-five feet until it struck a barb-wire fence. The plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the owner of the car was negligent in failing to properly fence the cow.