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.

An 18-year-old man was killed in a motorcycle crash early Monday morning.

Troopers said the motorcyclist crashed into a Pinellas County school bus and died from the injuries he sustained.

The crash occurred just before 7 a.m. at 49th Street N. and 58th Avenue N. in Pinellas County.

Troopers said the man was speeding down 49th Street N. changing lanes multiple times. A school bus transporting seven children to Sawgrass Elementary School was traveling southbound on 49th Street N. and turned east onto 58th Avenue N. well ahead of the motorcycle, which was traveling northbound on 49th St.

Troopers said the man came upon the intersection and changed lanes again to pass another vehicle, and collided with the right rear corner of the school bus on the east side of the intersection.

The man was ejected from his bike and died at the scene.

Troopers said no one on the bus was injured during the crash.

Helmets, protective gear, and making sure to follow all motorcycle safety practices and precautions are all various ways motorcyclists can avoid sustaining injuries in motorcycle crashes. However, motorcyclists share the road with hundreds of larger, heavier vehicles at any given time. All it takes is one mistake from a driver to cause a tragic accident.

Accidents between motorcycles and larger, heavier vehicles rarely end well for the motorcyclist. If the motorcyclist does survive the collision, they usually suffer catastrophic injuries.

Establishing fault in a motorcycle accident can often be a challenge. Auto insurance companies will do everything in their power to try and claim that the motorcyclist was at fault, but that just simply is not always the case. Even the safest of motorcyclists are always at risk due to careless drivers sharing the roadway.

If someone you love was taken from you in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages. While this cannot bring your loved one back, it can help make sure you are financially taken care of so that you can grieve properly.

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Hurricane Irma is continuing to tear a deadly path through the Caribbean, causing widespread destruction and reducing buildings to rubble, on a track that could lead to a catastrophic strike on Florida.

Florida is braced for a possible direct hit from as early as Friday night, with forecasters predicting it could strike the entire Atlantic coast and rage into South Carolina and Georgia, where a mandatory evacuation has been ordered.

Our Clearwater Hurricane Claims Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you to be prepared. We have compiled a list to help you get ready for Hurricane Irma.

  • Get some good LED flashlights and lanterns right now. I your local stores are out, you can still order from Amazon and get delivery tomorrow! The general rule of thumb is to have at least one flashlight for every person in your family. A lantern or two is great to have for additional lighting.
  • Take photos of anything valuable! This includes electronics. Take pictures of all your rooms so you have everything documented. Upload your pictures and store them somewhere safe (Dropbox, Microsoft Cloud, iCloud, Google Drive, etc.) before the storm hits.
  • While you’re taking pictures, snap some photos of critical documents and upload them as well.
  • Keep your photos and other important documents safe by storing them in double plastic bags. You can also use trash bags for larger photos or documents.
  • Roof leaks can happen in a storm this aggressive, so store some clothes in plastic bags and duct tape them closed. We recommend placing valuables on a high shelf in a closet.
  • Park your car someplace safe, ideally a garage. Try to avoid a low-lying area or under a tree.
  • Use your dishwasher as an alternative to a “safe” in your house if you need someplace to put valuables. Your washer and dryer also offer good protection!
  • Select a friend or relative out of town to be the contact point for your family or group of friends. Make a plan to check in after the storm!
  • Know evacuation plans for your area or building in case of an emergency. Make sure you know where to go and what to do. If you live near the water, put together food, clothes, valuable items, and important papers you’ll take with you now. Don’t wait! Leave as early as possible.
  • Your cellphone should not be counted on for communication. The storm could very well knock out service. Or your battery may die and you won’t be able to recharge it.
  • You should have a portable AM/FM radio that you can leave on so the entire family can hear what’s going on with the storm.

We are all hoping that Irma weakens or stays away, but we must prepare for the worst. The hurricane is most likely going cause devastation to at last some parts of our state. We urge you to take action now!

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St. Petersburg police are investigating an early morning traffic crash that sent one person to the hospital with serious injuries.

The crash occurred around 12:41 a.m. at Central Avenue and 45th Street in St. Pete.

Police said a Volkswagen, driven by a 22-year-old woman was driving northbound on 45th St. and stopped at a stop sign at Central Ave. The Volkswagen began to make a left hand turn and drove into the path of a Yamaha traveling eastbound on Central Avenue.

Police said the Yamaha, driven by a 25-year-old man, crashed into the rear driver side of the Volkswagen.

The man was thrown from his bike and was transported to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with life-threatening injuries. Officials said he is considered to be in critical condition.

The driver of the Volkswagen was transported to Bayfront with minor injuries. A passenger in her vehicle was treated and released at the scene.

Officials claim both drivers were found to have signs of impairment by alcohol. Criminal charges are pending the results of blood tests, officials said.

When a drunk driver is on the road, they place everyone sharing the roadway with them in danger. Motorcyclists are exceptionally vulnerable to drunk drivers. They have less protection than other motorists and they are harder to identify by intoxicated drivers.  

Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than those utilizing a passenger car, which means that roughly 11 percent of all traffic accidents in the US involve a motorcycle.

Drunk driving accidents can result in serious injuries and even wrongful death. If you or someone you care for was the victim of a drunk driving accident while on a motorcycle, you need to seek the legal counsel that you deserve to recover damages from the at-fault party. Our St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you through your case and assist you with determining what your options are.

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A customer is suing Outback Steakhouse of Florida LLC for allegedly taking insufficient measures to prevent injuries.

The woman filed a complaint on June 29 in the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida – Pinellas County, alleging that Outback failed to maintain its floors in a reasonably safe condition.

According to the complaint, the woman alleges that she was a customer at the an Outback in Clearwater on Aug. 13, 2014 when she slipped and fell on a foreign substance on the floor. She allegedly sustained injuries, pain and suffering, hospital and medical expenses, lost wages and mental anguish.

The woman holds Outback responsible for allegedly creating a dangerous condition on its premises and for failing to provide warning signs around the area where she fell.

If you suffer an injury from a slip and fall or trip and fall accident at a restaurant, you should follow these first steps:

  1. Do not delay in seeking out medical treatment. Get medical care right away!
  2. Do not sign anything from the restaurant’s management or their lawyers or insurance company until you have retained your own legal counsel.
  3. Call Whittel & Melton at 727-823-0000 to get the legal help you need right away.

The injuries sustained in a slip and fall or trip and fall at a restaurant can be serious and potentially permanent, with skyrocketing financial costs. You shouldn’t have to worry about money at a time like this, but many slip and fall or trip and fall victims do because they might be unable to work and provide for their families. Medical expenses are just another strain to your finances. Even if you have insurance, your co-pays will add up quickly when you pay out of pocket for every test, follow-up appointment, medical treatment, medication, therapy session, and whatever else your injury requires.

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Florida authorities said three teenagers – one 14-year-old and two 16-year-olds – stole a sport utility vehicle, sped away from officers and died in a fiery, violent crash early Sunday morning.

The 4:30 a.m. crash happened in Pinellas County.

A fourth teen in the SUV, who is 14, survived and is hospitalized.

All the teens all had criminal histories – including one who had gotten out of jail on July 31.

Reports indicate that a Ford Explorer and a Chrysler Sebring were stolen from a Clearwater car dealership Thursday. Both vehicles were spotted by deputies early Sunday morning. Deputies tried to apprehend the drivers of the cars, but didn’t pursue them. The sheriff’s office’s pursuit policy generally does not allow deputies to chase stolen cars.

Deputies believed the teens were using the stolen cars to commit burglaries. At one point, they set up a perimeter to try to catch the teens, but a deputy spotted the vehicles outside of the perimeter.

According to reports, the cars were in a “cat and mouse” game with each other, accelerating and slowing down, hitting speeds of 100 mph or more.

The deputy that spotted them did not initiate a high-speed chase, but the Explorer continued at about 100 mph when it hit another vehicle, caught fire and went airborne. The Explorer also hit a billboard pole.

The driver hit by the Explorer suffered minor injuries, reports indicate.

Officers found the Chrysler Sebring and arrested the two in that car; one is 16 and the other 18.

Drivers in the state of Florida are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and a minimum of $10,000 property damage liability (PDL)  insurance. Sadly, many drivers fail to abide by this law and drive without insurance. When someone is injured in a car accident with someone who does not have insurance or does not have adequate insurance, things can become quite difficult  for the injury victim.

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One person was killed and another injured after a crash early Monday in Palm Harbor involving pedestrians.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, northbound US 19 was closed at Alderman Road for several hours early Monday. The roadway was reopened just after 7 a.m.

Troopers said a 2016 Honda Civic collided with two pedestrians crossing the northbound lanes of US Highway 19 at Alderman Road at the south end of the intersection.

The crash happened just after 4 a.m.

The driver of the Honda remained at the scene of the crash.

An 18-year-old man from Palm Harbor died at the scene. A female with him was taken to Bayonet Point Hospital in critical condition. The 47-year-old driver of the Honda was not injured.

The crash is currently under investigation.

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people on the road. And because they are the most vulnerable, they should also be the most protected under Florida law. Our Tampa Pedestrian Accident Injury & Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you understand what your rights are if you have lost someone or been injured in a pedestrian accident.

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A 24-year-old man was killed in a single-vehicle crash overnight in Hillsborough County.

Officials said the man was traveling eastbound on West Waters Avenue, approaching Pinehurst Drive, and lost control of his Toyota Corolla.

After losing control, the vehicle rotated and struck the center median curb with the front passenger wheel and entered the center median.

The rear passenger door struck a standing pine tree, causing the tree to be uprooted and the vehicle to roll onto the roof.

Troopers said the man was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. He died at the scene.

The crash occurred just before 3 a.m.

Loss of control collisions happen for all sorts of reasons. The common factor in all these scenarios is the driver was unable to control their vehicle and as a result, there is a wreck.

When there has been a loss of control by a driver, investigating the cause of the auto accident can be complex. This is where having an experienced car accident lawyer can come in handy to help gather evidence like the police report, photos taken by police, statements by witnesses and other drivers, and the hiring of the right experts to prove what actually happened. Our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help make sure you and your family are armed with the best legal representation. We can put our years of negotiating with insurance adjusters and defense attorneys to work for you and fight to achieve the maximum recovery on your behalf.

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A man was killed and a woman hospitalized after a Sunday afternoon incident at the Courtney Campbell Causeway boat ramp.

According to Tampa Fire Rescue, two people were in a boat that hit something in the water.

No further information was immediately available.

Even if you are operating your boat safely and carefully, it is sometimes impossible to avoid an accident. Our Tampa Bay Boating Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have guided many Tampa Bay area residents through boating accident cases. The injuries sustained during a boating accident can be severe, which can create a stressful scenario for you and your family. We want to help you through this difficult time.

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Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 27-year-old Gibsonton woman early Tuesday after she intentionally struck another woman with her car following an argument over parking.

Investigators said at around 3:40 a.m. on July 11, a 27-year-old woman and a 38-year-old woman got into a verbal altercation over “parking concerns” near Fish Hook Place in Gibsonton. Following the argument, the 38-year-old reportedly left the scene and drove south on Fish Hook Place, and the 27-year-old, who had a passenger in her car, followed her.

Shortly after, the 38-year-old got out of her car and approached the 27-year-old’s vehicle. The 27-year-old purposely accelerated into the other woman and then fled the scene.

The 38-year-old suffered serious injuries, but is in stable condition.

The 27-year-old was later located and arrested. Deputies charged her with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree and Operating a Motor Vehicle Without a Valid License.

When you or a loved one is the victim of a traumatic, intentional action, you may face medical bills, may be unable to work, may be suffering from physical pain, or may have lost someone you love. In most cases, the police and the criminal justice system will handle charging the attacker, but you may have a chance to recover financial compensation in civil court as well.

When someone intentionally hits another with their vehicle, this is no longer classified as an accident. The aggressor can be charged with crimes for their actions, but they can also be sued in civil court for damages. While these kinds of damages are usually available for accidental injuries caused by another person’s negligence, the damages awarded in an intentional act case are usually higher as the courts often want to punish the person for their outrageous behavior.  

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Two people were injured, one severely, when they were bitten by a group of five pit bulls running loose near a St. Petersburg home.

Officials said officers were called to the home on July 3 after the dogs were reported loose.

A 52-year-old woman was bitten on the leg while trying to help her neighbor.

The woman was hospitalized with severe injuries that required emergency surgery.

The dogs reportedly charged the officers when they tried to exit their patrol car. The officers used fire extinguishers to force the dogs back.

A Pinellas Animal Control officer who responded to the scene also had to fend off one of the dogs’ attacks.

Eventually, at a point where all five dogs had jumped back into the home, officers were able to trap them inside by closing the windows.

The dogs’ owner was not home at the time, but later helped the Animal Control officer load the dogs into a truck to remove them from the home. The owner, who just moved into the house a few days ago, according to neighbors, has not been charged, since police said there was no intent.

The dogs will be kept under quarantine for further investigation.

Dog bite attacks are a bigger problem than most people realize until an attack affects them personally. A dog attack can leave both physical and emotional scars.  The following statistics highlight the problem of vicious dog bites:

  • 20 percent of dog bite victims require medical attention.
  • According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical treatment for dog bites every year.
  • Unneutered male dogs are more likely to show aggression and are involved in 70 percent to 76 percent of reported dog bite incidents each year.
  • Pit bulls contributed to 64 percent of all fatal dog attacks last year.
  • 57 percent of fatal dog attacks involve more than one dog. A fifth of the attacks involve packs of four or more dogs.

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