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 2-month-old injured in a multi-car pileup Monday on Interstate 75 in Seffner has been pronounced dead, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

This is the second reported death from the crash. A 46-year-old man was killed at the scene Monday. 

The baby was in a vehicle with a parent and two siblings who all suffered minor injuries. 

Troopers say the pile up happened at about 2:30 p.m. when traffic on I-75 south was slowed. The driver of a dump truck collided with two vehicles, overturned on another and then collided with five more cars, according to a release from FHP.

In total, six people including the dump truck driver suffered minor injuries.

Southbound lanes were closed until about 8:30 p.m. Monday.

FHP says the investigation is still under way, and charges are pending.

Dump trucks carry cargo that can weigh over 50 tons, and are incredibly dangerous to operate. Accidents caused by dump trucks are usually devastating, which is why we hear so much about them in the news. 

Dump trucks are mainly used to haul various materials like concrete, gravel, and sand. A standard dump truck uses what is called a hydraulic lift to tilt its cargo carrier and dump the load. Some of these vehicles are equipped with a super standard hydraulic cylinder that can haul 26 tons or more.

Dump trucks are quite tall and when they are involved in a crash, the other vehicle is usually is pushed under the truck, which can lead to serious injuries and death for anyone in that vehicle. Dump truck drivers tend to walk away from these accidents unscathed unless the truck happens to flip on its side, travel down an embankment or the if the driver opted to forgo a seatbelt.

These massive trucks have bigger blind spots and some, like the semi-trailer dumper, are even more dangerous. These vehicles have a high gravity center on the dumper  and a low weight on the truck’s trailer, so this creates an imbalance which can make the truck more prone to tip over. 

After a dump truck pile up accident, a driver or trucking company can be held responsible for any negligent actions the driver commits while on the job. Such actions include: 

  • Inadequate dump truck training for drivers
  • Not performing regular safety inspections
  • Exceeding legal limit for dump truck weight with cargo
  • Pressuring drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines for hauling cargo
  • Providing trucks that do not meet safety inspection standards
  • Failing to properly maintain the truck in safe and operable condition

Due to the fact that dump trucks are mechanically complicated, there are many ways an accident can occur. Multiple parties could actually be to blame, such as a manufacturer of faulty parts, among others. 

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a dump truck accident, you need to get legal help as soon as possible. Our Tampa Bay Truck Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can fight on your side to make sure your rights are protected. We will get to the scene right away to make sure that no evidence changes or disappears, make sure witness statements are collected, and most importantly, make sure no one tricks you into saying something you did not actually mean. These types of accident investigations can be quite expensive, and the trucking company does not have to release their records to you until after you file a civil lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death. 

Keep in mind that the insurance company will do everything in its power to mitigate the cost of your settlement, or to even deny you payment outright. The insurance company may even send an adjuster to your home or hospital to make a settlement offer. Once you accept they will have you sign a release of liability. These early offers are usually a cheap means to get you to settle out of court and do not cover the full scope of your injuries or a loved one’s death. Once you sign a release, you forfeit your right to recover any additional damages from their insurance company or your own company, which is why it is so important to never sign anything until your lawyer has reviewed it and made sure you fully understand what this money means in regards to your pain and suffering and other damages.

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You will likely see a drove of electric scooters whizzing around St. Petersburg this fall if the city meets its goal, but don’t expect to find them on sidewalks.

The city has been watching scooter rollouts in other jurisdictions,  including Tampa, where scooters have been zipping along city sidewalks since May. That likely won’t be happening in St. Petersburg.

The city’s transportation and parking management director told the Tampa Bay Times that the scooters are “just too fast and don’t mix well in a downtown urban environment like we have in St. Pete with sidewalk cafes and how busy the sidewalks are.” 

After Governor Ron DeSantis approved a law in June that allows scooters to ride in streets and bike lanes across the state, the city is drafting an ordinance to regulate scooter use and is seeking bids from scooter companies. During an upcoming meeting with council members, city officials will share resident feedback about scooters, as well as make recommendations about how the vehicles should be regulated.

From there, the city’s goal is to have scooters up and running at some point this fall. The city hopes that their use will be a “first mile, last mile solution” for trips that are too long for walking but too short for cars to be necessary.

Scooters are a great alternative to getting around without exerting too much effort. You can get places faster without sweating as much on foot or biking. 

Scooters seem to be gaining support, including from the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Bill Kent, the chamber’s board chair, said there is consensus among the chamber that scooters should be given a chance, but in a slow rollout as to make sure it doesn’t negatively impact local businesses.

“You’ve got to get it right or it will lead to concerns. There is a general consensus that is should be explored,” Kent said. “They add one more fun thing to our funky town.”

Some details are still up for discussion, but it seems pretty clear that the city does not want scooters on sidewalks and helmets likely won’t be required. The St. Petersburg City Council would give final approval.

New state legislation was good for the city because it allowed the scooters to ride on the street. Due to the amount of pedestrians, the city probably wants the scooters to be limited to bike lanes and low-speed streets. 

Just like helmets aren’t required for bike-sharing, they likely won’t be mandated for scooters.

Helmets tend to be a “pretty major impediment,” as it is hard to get helmets into everyone’s hands, but the city will likely strongly encourage helmet use.

Speed would probably be curbed to 15 miles per hour or less. New technology could allow the city to change maximum speeds based upon location. For example, on certain trails, perhaps scooter speed could be limited to 10 miles per hour to allow for safer mixing with bikers and walkers. 

Most scooters used on the Pinellas Trail would be under Pinellas’ County’s jurisdiction to regulate, not the city’s. Scooters would likely be allowed on the downtown trail extension, but “less likely” to be permitted on the waterfront trail.

Questions remain about hours of operation, the number of scooters to be allowed and whether scooters will have to always park in designated “docks” or merely follow general guidelines on where to park.

An undetermined number of scooters would be phased in while the hours of operation would likely not be 24 hours per day or stretch into the wee hours of the night.

Requiring scooters to be parked in docks won’t be ideal, but that can be logistically difficult if there aren’t enough docks.

 

Parking rules might just generally describe where scooters could park as to not block sidewalks, among other things. 

In Tampa, scooters must be parked in “corrals,” but people have still complained about scooters parked in ways that blocked sidewalks.

The city has been examining injury and death rates from scooter use in a number of cities, including in Tampa, where a scooter rider died last month after being struck by a semi-trailer truck. The death was unfortunate, but isn’t likely to sway the project.

In the city of Tampa, scooter operators must be 16 years or older and are required to have a valid driver’s license or permit.  Helmet wearing is encouraged, but not required. On average, the scooters can travel at speeds up to about 15 mph and operate between 15 to 20 miles on a single charge.

Motorized scooter users must: 

  • Obey all traffic laws
  • Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian
  • Not carry passengers (only one person may occupy a motorized scooter at a time)
  • Helmet-wearing is encouraged, but not required
  • Not operate a scooter while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Electric scooters are new to most people in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas, and there are bound to be more than a few accidents as people learn how to operate them. The types of accidents that people are involved in can vary, and victims could be the riders of scooters, as well as other people, like pedestrians and bystanders. Due to the fact that these devices have speeds that are relatively low, most people do not anticipate a huge risk of injury when operating these vehicles.   

While scooters seem perfectly safe, the people riding them can be exposed to serious injuries simply because of their inherent lack of protection. Some of the most severe scooter accidents can result in such injuries as:

  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Muscle strains
  • Road rash
  • Nerve damage
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis

These types of injuries usually involve hefty medical bills. Some scooter accidents may even result in fatal injuries. In such cases, family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. 

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There has been another case of hepatitis A involving a Pinellas County restaurant worker.

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County said the employee works at Gulfport Family Restaurant on 49th Street South.

Residents who dined at the restaurant from June 4-11 and haven’t been vaccinated for hepatitis A should contact their doctor or the health department.

Anyone with specific questions about exposure to hepatitis A at Gulfport Family Restaurant can call (727) 824-6932 to reach the Epidemiology staff.

Hepatitis A is on the rise in Florida counties, and our Hepatitis A Outbreak in Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to get vaccinated and wash your hands. The vaccine and handwashing can stop the spread of this disease. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, as alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill hepatitis A germs. Use soap and warm water and wash for at least 20 seconds. You need to wash your hands before you prepare food or work with food that is not already packaged. You need to wash your hands after you use the bathroom, touch people or public surfaces, change a diaper, cough, sneeze or use a tissue, use tobacco, and eat or drink. While it may seem like a no-brainer, these simple tasks can stop these outbreaks from continuously happening.

Since Jan. 2018, 18 Floridians who have contracted the virus have died. The outbreak has been linked to restaurant workers testing positive for the disease.

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is caused by a contagious virus that infects the liver, and can lead to serious liver problems, hospitalization and death. As we mentioned before, there is a vaccine that prevents the virus.

How does hepatitis A spread?

The virus is spread through the feces of people who have the virus. That is why washing your hands is so important. If a person with the virus doesn’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom, feces can transfer to objects, food, drinks or drugs. When these things are shared, other people can unknowingly swallow the virus. If a person who has the virus comes in close contact with others, like sexual intercourse, the virus can also spread.

People at highest risk are:

  • In direct contact with someone who has hepatitis A
  • Homeless or in unstable housing
  • Injection or non-injection drug users
  • Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
  • Household members or caregivers of a recent adoptee from countries where hepatitis A is common

Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)

A person can have hepatitis A for up two weeks without feeling sick, and during that time can spread the virus to others. Symptoms usually start two to six weeks after infection and last less than two months.

From January 1, 2018 through June 15, 2019, 2,109 hepatitis A cases were reported. The number of reported hepatitis A cases more than doubled from 2016 to 2017 and nearly doubled again in 2018 after remaining relatively stable in previous years. The number of case counts in 2019 have already surpassed those in 2018.

Tampa Bay seems to be at the center of the outbreak. Here is a list of restaurants where hepatitis A has been confirmed:

Hillsborough County:

  • Ulele
    1810 N Highland Avenue, Tampa
    Joint investigation: Feb. 6
  • IHOP
    11350 Bloomingdale Avenue, Riverview
    Joint investigation: July 2
  • Hamburger Mary’s
    1800 East 8th Avenue, Tampa
    Joint investigation: Oct. 24
  • Golf Club at Cypress Creek
    1011 Cypress Village Blvd, Sun City Center
    Joint investigation: Nov. 14
  • Sandpiper Grille
    1702 S Pebble Beach Blvd., Sun City Center
    Joint investigation: April 3

Pinellas County:

  • Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill
    1320 Central Ave, St. Petersburg
    Case confirmed to owner on April 15
    Joint investigation: April 18
  • Quaker Steak & Lube
    10400 49th St., Clearwater
    Joint investigation: Aug. 31
  • Treasure Island Bar
    245 108 Ave., Treasure Island
    Case confirmed in bartender
    Joint investigation: Dec. 4
  • Subway
    31087 Cortez Blvd.
    Joint investigation: March 22
  • Toasted Monkey
    6110 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach
    Case confirmed in line cook
    Joint investigation: Nov. 2
  • Tony’s Pizzeria
    422 Cleveland Street
    Joint investigation: Nov. 29
  • Taco Bell
    8671 Ulmerton Rd, Largo
    Joint investigation: Dec. 5
  • Taco Bell
    40976 N US Hwy 19, Tarpon Springs
    Infectious period: April 12 – April 14
  • Pollo Tropical
    2140 Gulf To Bay Blvd, Clearwater
    Joint investigation: March 25
  • Jimmy’s Fish House
    521 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater Beach
    Joint investigation: April 2

Pasco County:

  • Timber Greens Country Club
    6333 Timber Greens Blvd., New Port Richey
    Joint investigation: Oct. 25
  • Ollies on the Beach
    6438 Clark Street, Hudson
    Joint investigation: Jan. 25
  • Cracker Barrel
    5341 US Hwy 19, New Port Richey
    Joint investigation: Feb. 18
  • Bob Katz Bar and Grill
    12340 US Hwy 19 N, Hudson
    Joint investigation: April 1
  • ICON Gentlemen’s Club
    18728 U.S. Hwy 19, Hudson

Sarasota County:

  • Pizza Burger N Tacos
    1409 Main St, Sarasota
    Joint investigation: Dec. 2018
  • Spring Hill Suites of Sarasota
    1020 University Pkwy, Sarasota
    Joint investigation: Jan. 11

Hernando County:

  • The Grill at Silverhorn Inc.
    4550 Golf Club Lane, Spring Hill
    Patrons may have been exposed between April 12-30

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Since Jan. 1, 2018, 18 Floridians have contracted the Hepatitis A virus and died.

More recently, a Pinellas County restaurant worker has tested positive for the disease, making this the sixth time a Pinellas County food service worker has tested positive for the disease.

A Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County epidemiological investigation confirmed Friday that an employee of the Friendly Fisherman at 150 John’s Pass Boardwalk Place in Madeira Beach was infected while working at the restaurant between May 7 and May 20.

Anyone who ate at this restaurant during this period who have not been vaccinated for hepatitis A should consider getting vaccinated, said DOH officials.

Those who ate at the Friendly Fisherman between May 7 and May 20 can receive free vaccinations at the following clinics:

  • DOH-Pinellas is offering the vaccine at the following locations Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
  • St. Petersburg: 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N.
  • Pinellas Park: 6350 76th Ave. N.
  • Mid-County (Largo): 8751 Ulmerton Road
  • Clearwater: 310 N. Myrtle Ave.
  • Tarpon Springs: 301 S. Disston Ave.

The Florida Department of Health is closely monitoring an outbreak of the virus in Florida, and Tampa Bay is the epicenter.

The shocking numbers show that since January 2018, 1,768 people have tested positive for Hepatitis A, which is more than double the number from 2016 to 2017.

And being that we are only five months into 2019, the number of cases – 898- has already surpassed the total number of cases in 2018.

Of the 1,768 total cases in Florida from Jan. 1, 2018, to May 18, 2019, 834 of the cases were in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. Pinellas County had the highest number of cases – 357.

Even more shocking is that the outbreak isn’t showing signs of abating. Between May 12 and May 18, there were 89 cases reported in Florida.

The DOH confirmed 97 percent of the cases since January 2018 were contracted locally with 21 percent of the cases linked to other cases in Florida.

Here is what you need to know about Hepatitis A:

  • Hepatitis A is caused by a contagious virus that infects the liver, and can lead to serious liver problems, hospitalization and, as has been reported,  death.
  • The virus spreads through the feces of people who have the virus. If a person with the virus doesn’t wash his or her hands after going to the bathroom, feces can transfer to objects, food, drinks or drugs. When these things are shared, other people can unknowingly swallow the virus.
  • The virus can also spread through close contact, such as sexual relations.
  • Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease if given within two weeks after exposure. Those exposed should receive the first dose of the hepatitis A immunization immediately and a second dose in six months.
  • Symptoms of a hepatitis A infection include sudden onset of abdominal discomfort, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, pale white stools, and yellow skin and eyes (jaundice).
  • Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention promptly. The DOH has set up a 24-hour hotline for people who have questions about hepatitis A. The number to call is 727-824-6932.

Florida is the third largest state in the nation, so the health department is not surprised the numbers have been rising.

The state’s ongoing opioid crisis is also a factor. The largest population of people infected are homeless men between 30 and 50 years old who use drugs.

Since January, cases have been confirmed at the following restaurants in Tampa Bay:

  • ICON Gentlemen’s Club, 18728 U.S. 19, Hudson, April 24
  • Ulele, 1810 N. Highland Ave., Tampa, Feb. 6
  • Taco Bell, 40976 U.S. 19 N., Tarpon Springs, April 12
  • Hellas Bakery, 785 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs, March 19
  • Central Park Inc., 7657 State Road 54, New Port Richey, Jan. 19
  • Jimmy’s Fish House and Iguana Bar, 521 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, March 19
  • Pollo Tropical, 2140 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater, March 25
  • Sandpipe Grille, 702 S. Pebble Beach Blvd., Sun City Center, April 3
  • Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill, 1320 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, April 15
  • Ollies on the Beach, 6438 Clark St., Hudson, Jan. 25
  • Cracker Barrel, 5341 U.S. 19, New Port Richey, Feb. 18
  • Bob Katz Bar and Grill, 12340 U.S. 19 N., Hudson, April 1
  • Arby’s, 30263 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater, April 5
  • Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, Spring Hill, April 12

The Florida Department of Health is actively working to vaccinate those most at risk for the hepatitis A infection including:

  • All children at age 1 year
  • People who are homeless
  • Users of recreational drugs, whether injected or not
  • Gay and bi-sexual men
  • People with direct contact with others who have hepatitis A
  • Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
  • People with chronic or long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • People with clotting-factor disorders
  • Family and caregivers of children adopted from countries where hepatitis A is common

To further complicate the Hepatitis A outbreak, symptoms of this disease do not show in everyone infected. You may be exposed to it and spread it to others without knowing that you have it. According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, it can take up to 50 days from exposure to the illness for symptoms to develop. If you are experiencing symptoms that point to hepatitis A, our Florida Hepatitis A Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to see a doctor right away. Getting a vaccine or immunoglobulin therapy within two weeks of exposure can prevent infection.

If you have been exposed to Hepatitis A in Pinellas County or anywhere else in Florida, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of medication, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Hepatitis A injuries and deaths fall under food poisoning litigation and food safety. If you are the victim of an outbreak involving Hepatitis A or you have suffered any other foodborne illness, we can help you pursue damages related to the infection.

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An elementary student was hit and killed while riding his bike to school in Sarasota Monday morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the 9-year-old boy was hit at the intersection of Webber Street and Nodosa Drive just before 8 a.m.

Deputies said the boy was riding his bike to Brentwood Elementary School.

As he was following his older sister across the intersection, the driver of a silver Chevy Silverado did not see him and hit him with his truck.

They 9-year-old was transported to Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, where he later died.

Deputies said the driver of the Silverado did stop and is cooperating.

It is quite common for people of all ages to ride their bikes on Florida roadways for fun, exercise or to get to work or school. It is a driver’s responsibility to keep an eye out for bikers and make sure they are operating their vehicles safely. When drivers make a mistake behind the wheel, it is usually the bike rider that suffers the consequences. Due to the lack of structural protection, bikers involved in accidents may suffer from broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, neck and back injuries and even wrongful death.

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A 29-year-old Lakeland man was killed Thursday in a multi-vehicle crash on State Road 60 at the intersection with Grape Hammock Road in Lake Wales.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the 2:45 p.m. crash involved four vehicles, including two semis, which resulted in significant diesel fuel and oil on the roadway and debris.

Deputies said a silver 2012 Volkswagen car being driven by the man Lakeland was heading westbound on SR 60 just west of Grape Hammock Rd at a high rate of speed when it began to hydroplane, as it was raining heavily at the time.

The VW went into the eastbound lane and bounced off of a 2019 red Kia Sorento. The VW rotated and was then struck by an eastbound 1986 Kenworth semi truck pulling a trailer, causing significant damage and killing the Lakeland man.

The semi exited the roadway and came to a rest in a ditch, with the trailer still in the eastbound lane.

Another semi heading westbound struck some debris from the crash and came to a controlled stop.

None of the other drivers were injured.

Hydroplaning happens when road conditions are wet and the surface of the asphalt becomes slippery. The combination of moisture and oil residue on roadways can result in a very slippery surface. For drivers experiencing this, the tires of their vehicle can become separated from the road surface by a thin layer of water, and they can experience a loss of steering, as well as a loss of braking ability and vehicle control. A hydroplane crash can be catastrophic, as this case shows, and affect multiple vehicles and cause significant injuries and property damage.

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A motorcyclist has been pronounced dead after apparently losing control of his bike on U.S. 19 and then being struck by a car.

The crash shut down northbound U.S. 19 just south of 126th Avenue for hours Sunday morning.

Pinellas Park Police believe the 22-year-old motorcyclist was speeding when he lost control and was thrown off the bike.

Police say the driver of a passing vehicle tried to stop traffic, but another vehicle drove through and struck the biker. Another vehicle struck the bike debris.

Police say everyone is cooperating with the investigation. No one else was hurt.

The aftermath of motorcycle accidents can be devastating. While some bike riders can escape a crash with just minor injuries, in many speed-related accidents, the rider can suffer life changing injuries, that may include:

  • traumatic brain injury
  • spinal cord damage
  • paralysis
  • nerve damage
  • facial injuries
  • road rash
  • broken bones
  • internal injuries
  • death

If you’ve been injured or lost someone you love in a motorcycle accident, our Pinellas County Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help level the playing field against insurance companies and fight for what you deserve. We handle all motorcycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you pay no legal fee unless we obtain financial compensation for you through an insurance settlement or jury verdict.

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A 3-year-old boy drowned in a pool Saturday afternoon in Tarpon Springs.

According to Tarpon Springs police, the drowning happened at a home on Stone Creek Drive.  

Authorities believe the incident was accidental.

The case remains under investigation.

Swimming pools can bring lots of fun, but they can also be the source of drowning and near-drowning deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the following statistics:

  • Ten people die every day across the U.S. in drowning accidents, including two children under the age of 14.
  • For every child that dies in a drowning accident, another five children require emergency department care for non-fatal drowning-related injuries.
  • More than half of all drowning victims treated in emergency rooms need hospitalization or specialized care for brain damage.

When a drowning accident occurred in a private backyard pool, many victims and/or their families are hesitant about taking legal action. This is usually because the pool owner is a friend or neighbor. Our Tampa Bay Swimming Pool and Drowning Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want you to know that a person’s homeowner’s insurance, and not their personal assets, typically provides the financial compensation in a drowning accident lawsuit. We are prepared to pursue the compensation that you and your family need and deserve. You will never pay any fees whatsoever unless we secure a financial award for you.

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A 7-year-old boy is in critical condition at the hospital after he was hit by an SUV in Clearwater Tuesday night.

Emergency crews responded to a call at an apartment complex in the 2200 block of Nursery Road a little after 7:30 p.m. Upon arrival, officers on scene were told the boy was riding a bike in the parking lot of the apartment complex when he rode into the path of a Nissan Armada, which ultimately hit the child.

The driver remained on scene and is cooperating with the investigation, according to officials in Clearwater.

The boy was taken to Bayfront Health in Saint Petersburg and is in critical condition, according to officials.

When drivers fail to take proper safety precautions and check all areas surrounding their vehicle, parking lots can be the site of very serious or even deadly pedestrian or bicycle accidents. Larger vehicles, especially SUVs and trucks, have several blind spots, so driver’s must pay extra attention to their surroundings. There are far too many preventable accidents that occur every day when driver’s do not take a few extra seconds to check out the area before beginning to drive.

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A woman, who caused a crash that killed three after she suffered a seizure, was in a wheelchair at her pretrial hearing Monday morning.

In August of 2017, prosecutors say the woman was driving over 100 miles per hour when she slammed into a Hyundai, killing a man, his wife and their 8-year-old daughter.

Investigators say the woman did not stick around after the crash. She fled the scene, but did not make it far.

Police caught up with the woman a couple of miles from the crime scene.

While being questioned by detectives, she allegedly said she takes anti-anxiety medication for her seizures.

She was emotional after the crash, even breaking down during a bond hearing.

Fleeing the scene of an accident, or hit and run, is a very serious criminal offense. Under Florida state law, drivers are required to stop and exchange information or render assistance when they are involved in an accident that causes property damage or bodily injury. Even though it is against the law to leave the scene after an accident, data from the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety shows that 11% of all car accidents involve hit-and-run drivers.

When a driver flees the scene of an accident, they leave behind victims without taking any responsibility for their actions. Our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton regularly file personal injury and wrongful death claims on behalf of those injured or killed in hit-and-run accidents. We can answer any questions you may have regarding your legal options following an incident involving a fleeing driver.

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