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.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal hit-and-run in east Tampa.

According to Troopers, a man on a bike was hit by vehicle on the ramp that takes drivers from eastbound Interstate 4 to US Highway 301. The area is adjacent to the Hard Rock Casino. The driver of the vehicle then left the scene.

Investigators said the vehicle involved in the crash is a silver Mercedes sedan. The vehicle has front end damage on the passenger side and will be missing the passenger side mirror.

Troopers temporarily closed the roadway as part of their investigation. The exit ramp from I-4 to US 301 reopened around 9:20 a.m.

Bicycle and pedestrian accidents commonly cause massive harm due to the fact that victims are unprotected. Our Tampa Bay Pedestrian/Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have represented victims of head trauma, spinal cord injury, broken bones, amputation and other severe and permanent injuries, as well as surviving family members of fatal accidents resulting in wrongful death. We work with doctors, rehab specialists, economists and other experts to calculate full and fair compensation for hospital bills, ongoing and future care, future earnings and pain and suffering.

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The victim of a dog attack in Clearwater is is suing the dog’s owners for alleged negligence and liability.

The male victim filed a complaint on Aug. 16 in the Pinellas Circuit Court, alleging that the dog owners failed to provide their guests with a safe environment.

According to the complaint, the man alleges that he was invited by the dog owners to enter their home on April 17 when he allegedly was attacked by their dog and suffered bodily injury, pain, disfigurement, mental anguish and medical expenses.

The man hold the dog owners responsible for allegedly failing to warn him of the potential risks of serious injury and for allegedly failing to properly supervise the dog.

Every 75 seconds, someone in the U.S. is bitten by a dog. Last year, more than 830,000 dog attack victims required emergency medical care. Under Florida law, the dog’s owner can be held legally responsible for bite injuries even if the dog has never bitten before or exhibited dangerous behavior.

If you or someone you know was hurt in a dog attack, there is a good chance that the dog’s owner will be held liable for the harm incurred. This means that they will likely be required to pay for medical bills, future treatments, lost income, plus monetary damages for your pain and emotional suffering as a result of the dog attack.

Our Clearwater Dog Bite Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have seen the types of life-changing wounds suffered by dog bite victims, including permanent scarring and disfigurement and loss of limbs. We understand the trauma associated with these injuries, which is why we work attentively to help dog bite victims recover full and fair compensation for their suffering.

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A pedestrian was killed early Monday after being struck by two vehicles on a major Tampa street.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened on Hillsborough Avenue near 50th Street.

Troopers said the pedestrian was struck in the eastbound lanes just before 3 a.m.

Both eastbound and westbound Hillsborough Avenue were closed for several hours after the crash.

Authorities have not released any further information as of yet.

The Governors Highway Safety Association shows that the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents increased 11 percent last year, to nearly 6,000. That’s the biggest single-year increase in pedestrian fatalities ever. It is also the highest number in more than two decades. The National Safety Council reported that traffic deaths overall went up 6 percent nationwide in 2016.

In Florida alone, we saw 301 pedestrian deaths from January 2016-June 2016, an 8.7 percent jump from 2015, which yielded 277 pedestrian deaths.

After speeding and the failure to yield, distractions are the number three cause of pedestrian fatalities, particularly due to electronic devices. Drivers distracted by their devices are a well-documented, rising cause of traffic fatalities.

Vehicle speeds are also a factor. According to reports, if a pedestrian is struck at 20 miles an hour, they have a 10 percent chance of dying. If they are struck at 40 miles an hour, they have an 80 percent chance of dying. According to the GHSA, 74 percent of pedestrian fatalities happen at night, and 72 percent of those killed were not crossing at intersections. Another significant factor is alcohol. The GHSA reports that 15 percent of pedestrians killed each year are hit by a drunk driver.

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A pedestrian who was struck by a truck Tuesday afternoon has died from her injuries.

Tampa police believe the 26-year-old Tampa woman was hit as she attempted to cross Nebraska Avenue just south of Hillsborough Avenue around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Police said the truck was traveling eastbound on Hillsborough Ave. and was turning right on Nebraska when Hufford reportedly walked into the side of the truck.

The driver of the truck has yet to be charged.

Pedestrian crashes are on the rise throughout the United States. In fact, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 6,000 pedestrians were killed nationwide in 2016, which is a vast increase from the 5,400 fatalities that occurred in 2015.

In many Tampa Bay area pedestrian crashes, the negligent actions of drivers are to blame for pedestrian fatalities, including driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, making illegal turns, and failing to obey all traffic laws and signals. Our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to remind everyone that in order to pedestrians to stay safe on our roadways, you must be vigilant, especially at busy intersections or during night time when accidents are more likely to take place.

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A 35-year-old Dunedin woman was killed early Wednesday when she was struck by a semi-truck.

According to Clearwater police, the crash happened on U.S. 19 around 1 a.m. The woman was struck by a tractor-trailer headed south on U.S. 19 just north of Sunset Point Road.

Police said the woman walked into the southbound lanes of traffic on U.S. 19 and the 50-year-old driver of the semi was unable to avoid striking her.

The U.S. 19 lanes were closed for several hours.

The crash remains under investigation.

The injuries suffered after being hit by a semi can be life-changing. They usually result in catastrophic injuries or death. If you do survive this type of crash, hospital bills, physical therapy, and time missed from work to heal can severely impact your physical, emotional and financial well-being.

In most cases, insurance companies will be eager to settle your claim, but may not offer you the full and fair amount you are entitled to. For your own protection, never sign anything from an insurance company until you have spoken with an attorney, who can make sure your best interests are protected.

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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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