Articles Posted in Hillsborough County Child Injury Attorney

A 13-year-old boy suffered minor injuries Tuesday morning after he was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike in Tampa.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred shortly after 8 a.m. at the intersection of West Waters Avenue and Riverwood Boulevard.

Deputies believe the boy was riding his bicycle when a vehicle at the intersection turned and struck him.

The boy received minor abrasions to his hands and was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital to be checked out.

The driver was not cited.

A parent’s worst nightmare is seeing his or her child suffer an injury of any kind and deal with the pain as well as the healing process. Sadly, many children are the victims of other people’s negligence, which can result in serious harm. Even worse, sometimes another person’s carelessness or recklessness can lead to the accidental loss of a child. When this happens, the parents may have the right to bring a claim for wrongful death and seek compensation for the loss of their child.

Continue reading

A Winter Haven man became the third person to die in a vehicle crash in Polk County over the weekend after a pickup truck turned in front of his motorcycle Saturday night, according to authorities.

The 56-year-old man and his 54-year-old wife were riding a Honda south on Spirit Lake Road around 7 p.m. approaching 2nd Street when the crash occurred.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, a 27-year-old Winter Haven was driving a Dodge pickup truck south on Spirit Lake and turned left at 2nd Street and into the motorcycle’s path.

The motorcycle hit the truck, ejecting both riders. The pair were taken to Lakeland Regional Health, where the man later died. The wife was hospitalized in stable condition.

The truck driver and two children in the truck were wearing seat belts and were not injured.

Speed, impairment or distraction were not factors in the crash, according to deputies.

Earlier Saturday, another motorcycle crash claimed the life of a Davenport man.

Just after noon, the man was traveling east on County Road 547 near U.S. 27 when it struck a Ford Focus driven by a man who was leaving a convenience store parking lot. The biker was thrown from the motorcycle and died at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.

Saturday morning, a 47-year-old Plant City man was killed in a three-vehicle crash on County Line Road.

Around 7:30 a.m., the man’s Dodge Neon and a tractor-trailer driven by a 52-year-old Alabama man were traveling south, side-by-side, on County Line Road near Drane Field Road, the sheriff’s office said.

The Dodge drifted into the lane of the semi, struck the right front of the truck and shot into the northbound lanes. It then collided with a northbound Dodge Charger driven by a 36-year-old Mulberry man, deputies said.

When emergency personnel arrived on scene, the driver of the Dodge Neon did not have a pulse. He was taken to Lakeland Regional Health where he was pronounced dead, deputies said.

When a loved one is killed in an auto accident, the family has enormous grief to deal with as well as wrongful death insurance claims. Our Tampa Bay Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand that you need time to grieve without the added stress of dealing with insurance companies and others who want to settle your wrongful death claim as soon as possible.

While this is a difficult time for your family, make sure you take your time with wrongful death claim. You need to determine the full extent of your financial losses as well as understand the need for pain and suffering compensation. When there are dependents involved, such as children, a spouse, other family members, their needs should also be taken into account in a wrongful death settlement.

Continue reading

A young mother was killed and her two young children were injured Sunday morning when the woman crashed her minivan into a utility pole off Wilder Road.

The 25-year-old died at the scene. A 4-year-old and 1-year-old was ejected from the van and taken to Tampa General Hospital with minor injuries.

None of them were wearing seat belts, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies believe the woman was driving north on Wilder Road near Knights Griffin Road around 7 a.m. when her 2005 Buick Terrazo drifted off the road. Deputies believe she overcorrected into the oncoming lane, then swerved back to the right and lost control of the vehicle.

The vehicle spun into a ditch and hit a TECO utility pole, causing power lines to fall from the insulators and lean against the pole.

No other vehicles were involved and alcohol is not suspected, deputies said.

The crash remains under investigation.

A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida is able to be filed on behalf of a deceased victim’s immediate family members, including a spouse, child, parents or grandparents. The lawsuit may seek financial compensation for several different kinds of damages, both economical and noneconomical, for expenses like hospital bills and related medical expenses, funeral costs, pain and suffering of the victim and their family, loss of companionship, lost wages and other benefits, loss of consortium and more.

The amount of damages that are able to be obtained in a wrongful death lawsuit can vary and depends on several factors, however, this is why it is necessary to have a lawyer working on your behalf after you have lost a loved one in an auto accident to ensure you and your family receives any monetary compensation you are owed.

Continue reading

For most, Labor Day weekend symbolizes the unofficial end of summer. As a three-day weekend, this gives many Americans the chance to celebrate with friends and family one more time before fall comes around and the weather gets cooler. Whether you plan on taking one last road trip for a weekend getaway or staying home and celebrating with family and friends, the Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you and your loved ones to stay safe!

Labor Day Weekend has a high rate of preventable accidents, injuries, and deaths, both on the roadways and at homes across Tampa Bay and the rest of the country. To help you and your loved ones stay safe this holiday weekend, our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers have compiled a few helpful safety tips:

  • Roadway Safety AAA anticipates that nearly 35 million Americans will travel this Labor Day weekend. With this many people on the road, it is very important to remember roadway safety, obey traffic laws and to always stay alert and avoid distractions when behind the wheel.
  • Vehicle Safety – Along with obeying the rules of the road, it is equally important to make sure your vehicle is safe for travel. Check your vehicle’s fluids, brakes and lights before going on a trip. It is recommended to take your vehicle in for a quick inspection before you head out of town. If you have an older vehicle, you may want to consider renting a car with up-to-date safety features for your road trip.
  • Water & Pool Safety Because Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, pool parties and water activities are common. Make sure that all children are always supervised around and in the water.
  • BBQ Safety Tips – Labor Day weekend and barbecues go hand in hand. If you are planning on an outdoor grilling party, make sure that your grille is properly cleaned to avoid grease fires. Also, make sure to grill in a safe area away from structures, furniture and other flammable hazards. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and have a safety plan ready in place your barbecue goes awry.
  • Drink Responsibly – Holiday weekends, like Labor Day, see some of the highest rates of alcohol-related accidents and injuries than any other time of year, especially on roads and highways. If you plan on drinking, please do so responsibly and plan a safe ride home. Remember, police will be on high alert for motorists driving under the influence, so do not drink and drive.

Continue reading

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is encouraging motorists and roadway users to “Share the Road.”

Motorcyclist fatalities did actually increase in 2012. While bikers can protect themselves by wearing safety gear and practicing safe riding habits, ultimately, the other drivers sharing the roadway with them must also drive safely. Motorcyclists lack certain protections that cars have such as seat belts, steel cages and airbags, so they are truly at the mercy of other motorists.

Motorcycle Safety Facts

Researchers from New York City’s Jacobi Medical Center recently released a study that shows the time of day and months of the year that child pedestrians are most likely to be struck by a car. By taking a peek at the medical records of 100 school aged children who were hit by a car in 2012, the researchers were able to pinpoint the two most likely times of the day for a child to be hit: 1. the evening 2. shortly after leaving school.

The study also determined that children were more likely to be hit by a car in the spring months. The most common injuries suffered in these accidents were thigh bruises and ankle and shin fractures.

How to Prevent Children from Being Hit By Cars

Most accidents that involve children being hit by a vehicle are 100% preventable. Motorists on the road must practice safe driving and children must exercise safe walking habits in order to avoid pedestrian crashes.

Driver Distractions the Most Common Cause

The most common cause of a child pedestrian vs. car accident is a distraction of some kind. This applies to the driver of the car as well as the child. Distracted driving is unfortunately a widespread problem throughout the United States. Drivers texting, entering an address into GPS, applying makeup, eating or even just changing the radio station can result in a tragic accident because partaking in these activities causes their attention to be off of the road.

Child pedestrians can be guilty of distractions, too. Many children these days have smart phones that allow them to play games, search the Internet, take pictures and watch videos. Children must know to put the phone down while they are walking to avoid an unnecessary accident.

Liability for Pedestrian Auto Accidents

Continue reading

According to police, a 2-year-old boy was killed after a Winter Haven woman who was drunk crashed an SUV loaded with passengers.

The Florida Highway Patrol believes the 24-year-old woman drove her vehicle onto a shoulder in Manatee County on Saturday afternoon. The vehicle went airborne, overturned several times and crashed into several trees.

The accident killed the 2-year-old Winter Haven boy, who police said was not wearing a seatbelt or child restraint. The driver, two adult passengers and a 6-month-old boy were seriously injured. Seven other children suffered minor injuries.

11064883376_6771bd6c4a_z (1)The female driver was charged with DUI manslaughter and other counts.

An estimated one-third of all traffic fatalities involve drivers whose abilities have been significantly diminished by drinking alcohol. In fact, it is estimated that two in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives.

The sad truth is that drunk drivers choose to be irresponsible and negligent. Every single time a drunk driver chooses to get behind the wheel, he or she puts everyone else on the road at risk of serious injury or death. A Tampa Bay Auto Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton knows how dangerous these reckless drivers are and will fight to get maximum compensation for injury victims who have suffered harm because of the selfish acts of drunk drivers.

Continue reading

A toddler was hit by an SUV and killed while playing in a yard in St. Petersburg on Thursday evening.

According to reports, a 27-year-old man was exiting the yard when he failed to see the 2-year-old playing near his 1998 Ford SUV.

As the man backed out of the yard his vehicle collided the toddler, troopers said.

10028243374_c3d53dae4d_zThe child suffered serious injuries and was taken to Bayfront Hospital where she later died from her injuries.

The child’s father was in the front yard at the time of the incident. The driver of the SUV is a family friend.

Charges are pending.

Back over accidents happen when a car reverses and hits someone behind the vehicle. Sometimes these accidents take place when the victim is in the yard, walking through the driveway or even riding a bicycle. These accidents can occur in parking lots, streets, driveways and anywhere else a vehicle can back out of a parking space or move the vehicle in reverse.

Sadly, children are most vulnerable to these accidents, however anyone can be a victim of a back over accident. According to KidsAndCars.org, an estimated two children are fatally injured in backover accidents every week and another 50 are injured.

Continue reading

Two teenagers skateboarding fun turned tragic Sunday when one of them was killed.

According to police, one of the 15-year-old boys got into his mother’s 2003 Mercedes sedan and drove it down Atwood Avenue N while his other 15-year-old friend held onto the right rear corner and sped along on his skateboard.

This type of skateboarding trick is called “skitching.”

3695427669_c7d4440301_zPolice believe the teen driving accelerated with the other boy holding on to the rear. The pair traveled only a short distance before the boy let go of the car, became unstable and fell to the ground, striking his head.

Bystanders performed CPR, and emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene. The teen was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, where he was pronounced dead at 8:37 p.m., about 2 1/2 hours after the accident happened.

The risk of injury associated with skateboarding tricks like skitching far out-weigh the thrill than can be achieved. Skitching presents a high risk of serious injury and even death to those that partake in this activity. There are numerous things that can go wrong from these types of accidents, such as being pulled under the vehicle, being hit by another car on the road or  as this case shows, even just losing control and hitting pavement.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Trauma
  • Broken Bones and Fractures
  • Nerve Damage
  • Facial Disfigurement
  • Death

When a child is injured due to his own negligence, there is usually no recourse or available compensation for injuries suffered. The Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know how devastating serious injuries to children, or worse death, can be on families and parents.

Continue reading

A 7-year-old boy suffered serious injuries after being struck by a minivan on Saturday night, according to Tampa police.

Witnesses told police they saw the boy run across Main Street around 5 p.m. with several other children. The boy was crossing the street when a gray 2015 Dodge Journey Minivan traveling west passed the intersection of N. Rome Ave and hit him.

The driver of the minivan, a 28-year-old man, apparently stopped and attempted to give the boy CPR.

Tampa police have not released any additional information regarding what led up to the crash or the boy’s injuries.

The boy was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital.

492917705_2d7fe88425_zPolice did say there are no signs of impairment due to drugs or alcohol of the driver and speed is not a factor in this crash.

The crash remains under investigation at this time.

Most young children do not fully understand the dangers associated with street crossings. Children tend to travel in groups or pairs and may become distracted while talking with friends or chasing others into the street, and they often do not realize they are in the way of oncoming traffic.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around one-fifth of traffic fatalities among children ages five to nine years old are pedestrian traffic accidents. Children who are hit by an automobile and survive could potentially suffer very serious injuries, including brain damage, internal injuries, broken bones, disfigurement and loss of motor skills. It is quite rare for children hit by cars to walk away unscathed.

Continue reading

Contact Information