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.

Hillsborough deputies are currently investigating a fatal crash involving a motorcycle rider colliding with an SUV in Thonotosassa Friday.

Deputies believe the motorcycle and the SUV were both traveling south on Tom Folsom Road Friday around 4:31 p.m. As the SUV slowed to make a left turn onto Reylinda Avenue, the motorcyclist attempted to pass in the northbound lane.

The motorcycle then hit the SUV on the driver’s front side. The 30-year-old driver was ejected from the bike on impact.

The man and the bike slid into the grass off the southeast corner of the intersection. He was transported to Florida Hospital on Fletcher Avenue, where he died from his injuries.

The driver of the SUV, a 38-year-old woman, was not injured.

Alcohol is not thought to be a factor in the crash at this time.

Several car  and motorcycle accidents are reported every day on Tampa Bay area roads and highways. Some are the direct result of speeding or disobeying traffic laws, and others are due to careless driving and even drunk driving. It is always important to exercise caution when driving any vehicle, including a motorcycle. You must pay attention any time you are in the driver’s seat to ensure your safety and that of your passengers.

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A 1-year-old child drowned Tuesday night in a pool at a Davenport home.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the child was found floating in the family’s pool at their home.

Deputies and emergency personnel responded to the home after the child was found floating in the pool just before 5:30 p.m.

Family members said the boy was able to get out through a sliding glass door without anyone noticing.

When the family noticed he was missing, they began searching for him and found him in the pool.

A neighbor, who is a registered nurse, performed CPR until emergency crews arrived but they were not able to save the boy.

Backyard swimming pool accidents usually result in catastrophic injuries and even death. According to the Center for Disease Control, drowning is a leading cause of injury and death for kids ages 1 to 4, and the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages. For children between the ages of 1 to 4 years old, swimming pools pose a huge risk of drowning injuries and wrongful death.

For every child under the age of 15 who dies from drowning in a swimming pool, another 10 children receive emergency room care for nonfatal drowning injuries. Nonfatal drownings can result in brain damage and long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functions.

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A 31-year-old Land O’ Lakes man was killed Wednesday morning in Tampa in a crash involving a motorcycle.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened at 56th Street and Hillsborough Avenue just before 7 a.m.

Troopers believe the motorcyclist ran the red light at the intersection while traveling west on Hillsborough Ave. He collided with a southbound Toyota pickup truck and was ejected from his motorcycle.

He died at the scene.

The 47-year-old driver of the pickup truck suffered minor injuries.

There can be many reasons a motorcyclist may run a red light. The driver might be in a new area, distracted by surroundings, or the traffic light could have malfunctioned, just to name a few. Running a red light is a top cause of auto accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red light accidents are 47 percent more likely to result in injury or death.

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A 24-year-old man is in serious condition after a multi-vehicle crash on I-4 in Hillsborough County Tuesday morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol believes a truck traveling northbound on the crosstown connector entered the ramp to travel eastbound on I-4 and spilled a large amount of gravel onto the roadway, causing two vehicles to lose control and collide with the barrier wall.

According to the FHP report, the 24-year-old man got out of his vehicle to inspect the damage and was hit by a third vehicle. The impact caused the man to fall over the wall 33 feet to the ground below. He is in serious condition at Tampa General Hospital.

The other two drivers did not suffer any injuries.

Due to the accidents and spilled gravel, the ramp was closed for several hours.

FHP is asking anyone with information on the truck that spilled the gravel to call 813-631-4020.

An auto accident involving a dump truck can be quite serious, as this case shows. Dump trucks are primarily used for transporting materials like gravel, sand, or dirt for construction purposes. A car accident can easily occur when dump trucks spill materials on the roadway. Gravel can break windshields, blow out tires and cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and crash.

Auto accidents involving trucks can end in serious and sometime fatal injuries. If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident in Hillsborough County, our Tampa Bay Truck Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help with your personal injury or wrongful death claim. We firmly believe the at-fault driver should be held responsible for their actions.

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One person was killed and another was injured early Monday in a mobile home fire in Odessa.

According to officials, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue responded just after 6 a.m. to a fire in the Silver Dollar Golf/Trap and RV Resort.

The firefighters found flames shooting through the roof of the double wide mobile home when they arrived and were also notified of a possible person still inside the home.

Crews immediately started search and rescue operations inside the home and firefighters located that person in the home. The person was found dead.

The 1-alarm fire destroyed the mobile home and caused damage to the outside of the neighboring homes.

During the fire, paramedics at the scene were notified of a person at a home across the street that needed medical attention. That person was taken to an hospital and their condition is improving, according to officials.

Officials have not released information on the people impacted or how the fire started.

An investigation will take place into what started the fire.

Approximately 11 million people live in mobile homes across the United States. On average 22,000 fires occur in mobile homes each year, killing 500 people and injuring another 1,000. Sadly, we see more fire deaths in mobile homes each year. In fact, fire death rates for mobile homes are twice those in other types of houses. The main culprit of mobile home fires is electrical and heating equipment.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a mobile home fire, you may be able to file an injury or wrongful death claim against the manufacturer for various defects. Some of the most common defects involve the following:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Egress doors and windows
  • Interior wall and ceiling covering materials
  • Plastic tub/shower fixtures
  • Draftstops
  • Appliances and electrical

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A 38-year-old motorcyclist was killed early Thursday on Interstate 275 in downtown Tampa.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the man was killed when he lost control of his 2001 Suzuki motorcycle, was thrown from the bike and then run over accidentally by a sheriff deputy’s cruiser.

Troopers believe that when the man lost control, he crashed into a concrete barrier. He then was thrown over a wall onto the northbound lanes of the highway.

He was then struck by an oncoming Pinellas County deputy’s cruiser. The 26-year-old deputy was not injured.

The motorcyclist died at the scene.

Losing a loved one unexpectedly in a motorcycle accident is devastating. When a motorcycle accident occurs, the injuries to the motorcyclist are often serious, and could result in death. The families of motorcyclists who are killed in accidents not only have to deal with the emotional loss, but they could face financial strain as a result of the loss.

If a family member was killed in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party that caused or contributed to the crash. Contact our Tampa Bay Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton who can help you understand your rights and how to recover the financial compensation you are entitled to.

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According to new reports, the Florida Department of Transportation is holding a public workshop to discuss a new bikeway through downtown Tampa.

The proposed bike lanes would be on the north side of Jackson Street, running from Ashley Drive to Nebraska Avenue.

The addition would look a lot like the new lanes already on Cass Street.

These bike lanes are considered a win win for the area due to the tremendous growth the area has seen.

In the early phases, locals will see protected bike lanes on Cass Street, or ‘the green spine,’ complete with bike signals.

While the addition will give cyclists a safe place to ride, cyclists can still face many dangers riding on the new lanes, and some of these risks include:

  • New drivers unfamiliar with traffic laws
  • Drivers unfamiliar of the new lanes
  • Intoxicated and negligent drivers
  • Need for bicycle maintenance
  • Failure to wear a helmet
  • Open door accidents

Bikers should always perform proper maintenance checks before they head out onto the roadways to make sure there brakes are in working order. In addition, they should wear protective gear.

Every cyclist should be aware of his or her surroundings at all times. If a cyclist is involved in an accident, our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We can identify all negligent parties responsible for the accident.

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According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, a pedestrian was struck and killed Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. on 9th Ave. N.

The driver who hit him was charged with DUI manslaughter.

Officials believe the pedestrian, a 72-year-old school crossing guard, was setting up his school zone cones when he was hit by a vehicle.

A witness said a silver Toyota Scion was driving erratically and hit a pickup truck before hitting the man.

The driver also hit a school zone sign and a small tree and kept going several blocks, police said.

The man was pronounced dead at the hospital. He had been a crossing guard for three years. No one else was injured in the accident.

The driver of the Toyota, a 21-year-old man, was charged with DUI manslaughter.

DUI accidents are 100% preventable. Driving while intoxicated hinders a driver’s ability to safely execute the many tasks that can arise on the road. Regardless, many motorists still choose to carelessly get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

A whopping 39% of traffic deaths each year are alcohol related. On that same notes, more than half a million people are injured every year as a result of drunk driving accidents. These numbers include auto accidents and pedestrian accidents.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury or wrongful death because of a drunk driving accident, our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will fight for your rights and aggressively pursue the damages you deserve. Drinking and driving is no accident, let us help you understand what steps to take next.

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According to reports, Allegiant Air’s planes are four times as likely to break down in flight as those operated by other major U.S. airlines.

The Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday that Allegiant jets were forced to make unexpected landings at least 77 times in 2015 for serious mechanical failures.

None of the incidents prompted enforcement action from the Federal Aviation Administration, which doesn’t compare airline breakdown records to look for warning signs.

Times reporters built a database of more than 65,000 records from the FAA.

The newspaper reports that during interviews at the company’s Las Vegas headquarters, Allegiant acknowledged that its planes break down too often and said the company is changing the way it operates.

In situations where an airline has received ongoing criticism for equipment failures, a serious risk is posed to all passengers. While it does not appear anyone was harmed in these unexpected landings, it is important to note that it is very possible to suffer serious injuries in rough landings.

In the case of equipment/mechanical failures on a plane, the airline is liable for any injuries that may have occurred in an airplane accident.

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If you are out strolling along Gulf Boulevard along the beaches anytime soon, you will see some new signs touting pedestrian safety.

There’s more walking along the main beach thoroughfare than anywhere else in Pinellas County, so local agencies want to make sure both drivers and pedestrians remain aware of each other.

As part of the plan to keep safety a priority for walkers and bikers, the local rotary club has produced signs and fliers saying: “SAFETY, a shared responsibility.”

According to the Rotary Club of Gulf Beaches, there are two pedestrian related deaths each year and at least a dozen injuries. That’s in addition to the numerous pedestrian-related car crashes.

Fall is officially upon us, and while Florida temperatures may only drop slightly, the days are getting shorter, so it is important to take a few extra precautions.

Here are a few pedestrian safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay Visible: It is getting darker earlier, so make sure drivers can see you walking – especially at night. Try to only walk in well-lit areas.
  • Stay Alert: Stay on high alert when walking. Put your phone away and make sure that you are keeping your eye on your surroundings. You should always make sure that you can hear what is going on around you. Avoid wearing headphones when you’re walking so that you can hear cars around you.
  • Walk In Designated, Safe Locations: Always use crosswalks when they are available and make sure that you cross at a safe time. Stay away from busy roads that put you at a higher risk of suffering an injury.
  • Avoid Drunk Walking: We all know to avoid drinking and driving, but drinking and walking can be dangerous, too. Alcohol reduces your inhibitions, reflexes and awareness of your surroundings. You want to be fully alert when walking to prevent any unnecessary accidents and/or injuries.

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