Tampa Bay Injury Attorney Blog

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Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota Counties Whittel & Melton, LLC

Accidents caused by other people's negligence are by their very nature, unplanned. It's for this reason that when an accident happens, victims may find themselves bridled with injury, pain and financial losses, not knowing which way to turn.

Being involved in an accident can be one of the most unsettling and devastating times in a person's life. During this time, having a seasoned attorney on your side, looking out for your best interest, can be the difference between becoming whole or struggling with pain and financial loss for years to come. If you are a victim of an accident, who you select as your attorney is the most important decision you need to make.

We are here to help.

The Tampa Bay Personal Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton guarantee that our clients receive the personalized attention they deserve. Our first priority is doing everything in our power to fight for full and fair compensation for your injury and loss.

Our Pinellas and Hillsborough County personal injury practice involves every type of injury case-- from serious car or motorcycle accidents to slip and falls to premises liability. The first step we take with our prospective clients is to schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts of the case. Our St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyers then will offer advice about options to seek financial recovery following a serious accident, catastrophic injury or the wrongful death of a loved one. We represent clients on injury claims arising from of a wide range of incidents and accidents. Click any area to the left to learn more about the scope of our practice.

If you have been in an accident, we don't think that you should have to suffer unnecessarily just because you were involved in an accident and are awaiting resolution to your case. While we cannot take the pain away, many times, we are able to refer you to Doctors who will treat and manage your pain, even if you don't have health insurance.

We Stand with You.

Most importantly, at Whittel & Melton, you can be confident that we will stand behind you and your case. Once we commit to representing you, we will never put you or your claim on the back burner, and we are available by phone 24 hours a day.

We promise to aggressively pursue the parties and insurance companies involved in your case to obtain justice for you and your loved ones. Through financial settlement or trial, we will prepare your case to achieve maximum compensation. You will never be responsible for any attorney's fees unless and until there is a successful financial recovery for your damages. Simply put, we will not be satisfied until you are.

We are proud to help accident victims throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota Counties – including Tampa, Brandon, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida.

Please call us at anytime. We are available 24 hours a day. (813) 221-3200, (727) 823-0000, (866) 608-5529.

A motorcyclist is in critical condition after a crash in Pinellas County ejected him from his bike.

According to the Pinellas Park Police Department, the 41-year-old was driving his motorcycle near the western entrance of the Home Depot on 73rd Avenue North when a car pulled out in front of him.

The man was launched from his 2000 Honda motorcycle.

He was not wearing a helmet. After the crash, he was taken to Bayfront. The other driver and his passenger did not suffer any injuries.

The motorcyclist suffered severe injuries. He remains in critical condition.  There are no criminal charges associated with this investigation, but officers said traffic citations are pending.

This article sheds some light on why it is so important to wear the proper safety gear on motorcycles. Even the most skilled riders cannot control the reckless and negligent actions of other drivers sharing the roadway.

The subject of whether a person should wear a motorcycle helmet comes up all the time. Some riders believe that they should have the freedom to ride without the constraints of wearing a helmet. Other riders recognize the dangers of riding without a helmet. Numerous studies have shown that a helmet can save a life. It can prevent a motorcyclist from brain damage and some severe neck injuries.

In the state of Florida, the law regarding motorcycle helmets is this:

A person over 21 years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing a helmet if they are covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle.

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A fatal crash occurred Friday evening in Lakeland involving a motorcyclist colliding with a pickup truck.

Officials believe that at approximately 3:20 p.m., a 37-year-old man was traveling southbound on Combee Road. He was riding a 2006 Honda 1000RR motorcycle.

Around the same time, a 70-year-old woman driving a 2002 Ford F 150 was pulling out into Combee Road from the parking lot of the Babcock store near the intersection of Combee and Tanglewood Street.

Deputies believe the woman crossed westbound across Combee Road toward Tanglewood Street, where the bike collided with the truck’s passenger side. The impact from the collision was enough to spin the woman’s truck clockwise, so it came to rest facing north.

The man was thrown from his motorcycle by the collision and sustained critical injuries. He later died while being transported by first responders to Lakeland Regional Hospital.

The woman in the truck was not injured in the crash.

At this time, investigators do not believe impairment was a factor in the crash. It was noted that excessive speeds appear to be a factor.

The man was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Motorcycle riders are more exposed when it comes to the road, which only increases their chances of suffering a serious injury in the event of a motor vehicle accident. What might not cause any damage to a car, could deliver devastating injuries to a motorcycle rider. Broken bones, burns, paralysis, and amputations are common injuries as a result of motorcycle accidents, especially when the accident involved high speeds.

Motorcycle accidents commonly occur due to the following:

  • Driver distractions
  • Failure to obey traffic signals
  • Failure to yield
  • Unexpected lane changes
  • Speeding

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A 53-year-old motorcyclist died in a crash with a truck early Monday morning.

It happened around 7 a.m. on Walt Williams Road and Walt William Loop.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 2014 Ford F-150 was traveling south on Walt Williams Road.

At the same time, the 53-year-old biker was traveling north on Walt Williams Road on a 2014 Harley-Davidson FXDB.

Troopers believe that as the Ford turned left into a business parking lot, it traveled into the path of the motorcyclist.

Troopers believe the motorcyclist applied the brakes and began to skid in an effort to avoid the collision, but the truck and motorcycle collided.

The biker was transported to Lakeland Regional where he later died from his injuries.

Regardless of how safe a motorcyclist is on the road or how much safety gear they are wearing, many motorcycle accidents result in death. These sudden, unexpected tragedies leave family members and other loved ones feeling lost, sad, confused and even angry.

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Can you believe that Labor Day weekend is next week? Sadly, that means that summer is coming to an end. If you are like most Americans, you will have a three-day weekend to celebrate all your hard work this year. While you may be planning a trip to the beach or hanging back to relax at the pool with friends and family, just know that with all gatherings, the risk for injuries increases over holiday weekends.

If you are injured or someone you love is killed in a boating or swimming pool accident, you should discuss your legal options with our Tampa Bay Watercraft & Boating Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible following the accident.

We know that many Floridians favorite pastime over Labor weekend is to head out and enjoy the water on one of the last summer weekends. The waterways and public pools can be crowded this LDW, and crowds can increase the hazards, including drowning or near-drowning accidents.

If you are heading out with friends and family to spend the weekend on beaches, lakes and rivers, put safety first. Boats, jet skis, tubes, and other water sports equipment are fun, but they can be dangerous. Most people tend to listen to music and drink when on the water, which can cause everyone to get distracted and ignore safety measures. Another thing to remember is that drunk, distracted, or inexperienced boat drivers can often be involved in boat crashes that can injure passengers.

Keep in mind, anytime water is involved, there is always the risk of serious drowning incidents or other catastrophic injuries.

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A Tampa man was arrested and charged with DUI after a head-on traffic crash late Saturday night.

Deputies believe the 36-year-old crashed head-on into another vehicle while driving southbound in the northbound lanes on Anderson Road near Hoover Boulevard at approximately 11:15 p.m.

One person suffered minor injuries and was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The man was suspected of being under the influence and a breath test was submitted resulting in a BAC of .173/.168.

The man was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (over .15) and No Valid Driver’s License.

The Tampa area has seen an unusually high number of wrong way collisions recently. Sometimes knowing what to do in these situations can be the difference between life or death. The following tips can help you and your loved ones stay safe on Tampa highways.

  • Many wrong-way drivers are on the wrong-side of the road because they are intoxicated. If you have time to react, flash your lights to try and get their attention.
  • Swerve to the right to help avoid a collision with a wrong-way driver. You will often see wrong-way drivers entering the freeway veering to their right side of the road, or in the fast lane because they think it is the slower traffic lane. If you veer to your right this could prevent a terrible tragedy from occurring.
  • Stay alert, keep your head up, look ahead on the interstate at least a quarter of a mile so that you can give yourself time to try to see a wrong-way driver that could be coming your way.
  • Most wrong way collisions result in head-on crashes and sideswipe accidents. Always wear your seatbelt, as this could keep you alive in the event an unfortunate crash cannot be prevented.
  • Call the cops immediately If you see a driver going the wrong way! Try and report as many facts as you can, such as the year, make, model, location, direction, and license plate number, if possible.

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A man died and several others were injured in Manatee County after being involved in a multi-car collision just after 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

The crash occurred at 14th Street West and 53rd Avenue West.

Reports indicate that a 22-year-old woman driving a Dodge Charger made a left turn into the path of a 17-year-old driving a 2005 Chevy Silverado.

In the bed of the truck was a tire, which troopers believe launched into the air, smashing into the front of a Nissan Titan.

According to reports, the woman had a male passenger in her car who did not survive the accident. The passenger side of her Charger took the brunt of the impact. A 17-year-old passenger in her vehicle was also seriously injured. Her third passenger only suffered minor injuries.

Everyone else involved in the crash suffered minor injuries.

When a multi-vehicle crash occurs, there could be multiple parties to blame. It is important to determine fault in order to determine who is to blame for any injuries or tragic deaths. This must be done by conducting an investigation into the crash site to figure out exactly what happened.

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A motorcyclist was injured in a collision with a vehicle and transported to the hospital early Wednesday morning in St. Pete Beach.

The crash occurred at about 7:30 A.M. near the intersection of Gulf Boulevard and 55th Avenue in St. Pete Beach.

According to investigators, the 20-year-old biker was driving his Honda motorcycle southbound in the median lane of Gulf Boulevard approaching the intersection of 55th Avenue.

The driver of a 2005 Chrysler 300, 39, was making a left westbound turn into the entrance of the TradeWinds Island Resort located at 5500 Gulf Boulevard.

Investigators believe the man’s motorcycle hit the Chrysler 300, ejecting the motorcyclist from the bike and onto the roadway. He was transported to Bayfront Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators do think that speed may have been a factor in the crash. There were no signs of alcohol involved, according to reports.

Speed is one of the main factors when it comes to motorcycle collisions. It is so important to always obey the posted speed limits as speeding can result in serious collisions leading to debilitating injuries, especially for bikers. Motorcyclists lack the protection of a vehicle, like other motorists, which means motorcyclists can easily suffer catastrophic injuries and the driver of the car, truck or SUV involved can walk away unscathed. A helmet can reduce your chances of a head and neck injury, but riders should also take extra precautions including wearing a face shield, closed-toe shoes, gloves, jackets and pants to protect against the abrasion of the road should you crash.

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A St. Petersburg tree trimmer is lucky to be alive after he was shocked by 7,200 volts of electricity.

In June, the man was working at a home on 25th Avenue North when his pole hit a power line.

The man was knocked unconscious and when he woke up he was still being shocked. He could not move his arms or legs so he used his mouth to get down to safety.

Firefighters airlifted the man to Tampa General Hospital.

The man spent a month in the hospital. He has had multiple surgeries and the shock has left him almost blind in one eye and unable to feel some of his fingers and his left leg.

Doctors say it’s a miracle he survived.

The man said he has emptied his savings to pay his medical bills and has more surgeries ahead of him. He is his family’s sole provider and will not be able to work again for at least another nine months.

A gofundme account has been set up to help with expenses.  

Electrical injuries are particularly frightening because they are unexpected. These accidents happen when there is contact between any part of the human body with a high enough level of electrical current to penetrate through skin and hair. This can be caused by faulty wiring anywhere, such as your house, construction and industrial work sites, landscaping, public buildings and tree trimming sites. Electrical injuries, as this case highlights, can cause burns, central nervous system damage, brain damage, and even death.  

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There were more than 1,400 wrong way crashes in FL in 2015, resulting in 1,454 injuries & 96 fatalities, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Wrong way driving collisions occur when a vehicle has failed to observe a posted traffic sign or pavement marking and proceeds in a lane travelling in the wrong direction.

Motorists are encouraged to stay in the right lane to avoid a crash with a wrong way driver, especially at night and during transitional light times such as dawn and dusk. In most wrong way wrecks, vehicles are hit head-on, resulting in 81 percent of all wrong way fatalities. Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous crashes, and sadly, result in the most fatalities.

The FLHSMV offers the following safety tips for drivers to avoid a wrong way driving crash:

  • Stay Right at Night to avoid crashes with wrong way drivers.
  • Call 911 right away to report wrong way drivers. If you see a wrong way driver approaching, you should reduce your speed right away and pull off the roadway.
  • Stay alert. Do not drive distracted and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Learn and obey all traffic signs. If you drive past a wrong way sign, turn around immediately. When you see a posted red sign, think about what red traffic sign colors are for: “Stop.” “Do Not Enter.” “Wrong Way.” Orange is used for construction and maintenance warnings. Yellow is for a general warning and advisory of unexpected roadways conditions. Fluorescent Yellow Green is for added emphasis warnings of school, pedestrian and bicycling activities. White/Black are regulatory signs, such as “Left Lane Must Turn Left.” Green signs are for guide or directional information. Blue signs are for motorist services guidance and to identify parking spaces or disabled drivers. Brown signs are reserved for areas of public recreation, cultural and historical significance.

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The Fourth of July is the perfect time to enjoy food, fun, and maybe a few drinks with family and friends. Whether you’re attending a fireworks show or hitting the bars, Tampa is the perfect place to celebrate America’s Birthday.

The sad truth is that Independance Day is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. Fireworks, hot grills, traffic, and other hazards can cause serious injuries or even death. Drunk driving rates spike over the July Fourth weekend.

The best way to prevent injuries and deaths this holiday weekend is to follow the below safety tips:

Do Not Drink And Drive

The best way to avoid a DUI collision is to stay sober if you will be getting behind the wheel of a car. Too many people believe they can operate a vehicle safely after a few drinks, but the truth is that driving under the influence puts your life, your passengers’ lives, and the lives of others sharing the road at risk, so do not chance it.  

Look Out For Possible Drunk Drivers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, police use more than 100 visual cues to identify drunk drivers. Knowing the signs can help you to avoid a DUI crash. Some of the cues include:

  • Swerving
  • Almost hitting an object in the road
  • Stopping well before or after a stop line
  • Not using headlights at night
  • Using the wrong turn signal
  • Parking too far from a curb
  • Abnormal accelerating and braking patterns

Use Lyft Or Uber

Both Uber and Lyft operate in the Tampa Bay area. If you intend to drink or if your DD gets drunk, use a taxi or rideshare service to get to your destination. You can even split the fare with your friends. Even if you are riding alone, the cost of a ride home safe  is much cheaper than a DUI.

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