Articles Posted in Pinellas County Wrongful Death Attorneys

A 48-year-old man was arrested on Sunday for a deadly hit-and-run crash that occurred on March 16, in downtown St. Petersburg.

According to police, a Ford F-150 truck was traveling northbound on 28th Street North crossing Central Avenue when it hit a pedestrian.

The pedestrian, identified as a 74-year-old man, suffered serious injuries and died on March 28 at Bayfront Health.

Officials said the driver of the truck failed to return to the scene after a witness told him he struck a pedestrian.

Police were able to catch up with the driver more than 35 blocks away, however, he was not arrested until March 31.

He has been charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death.

Sadly, many people are injured or killed in hit and run accidents every year throughout the Tampa Bay area. The driver causes a collision, knows they are at fault, and flees the scene in the hopes of avoiding the serious consequences of causing an accident. Our Pinellas County Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help if you or a loved one has been the victim of a hit and run accident.

After fleeing the scene of an accident, a hit and run driver, when found, is subject to both criminal penalties and civil liability. Even if the at-fault party is never identified, victims of hit and run accidents or their families may be able to recover compensation from their own insurance companies.

Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance covers injuries caused by unidentified hit and run drivers. We can help you use UM insurance to secure financial compensation for medical costs, property damage and other losses.

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One person was killed in a multi-vehicle crash involving a Pinellas County deputy in Pinellas Park.

Officials said a Chevy Equinox and a Pinellas County deputy patrol vehicle were stopped at a red light at the intersection of 126th Avenue North when a Buick LeSabre, traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of 66th Street N., collided head-on with the Chevy.

The collision caused the Chevy to hit the deputy vehicle before rolling onto the driver’s side.

The driver of the Buick, a 28-year-old woman, was transported to the hospital for life-threatening injuries and was later pronounced deceased.

The driver of the Chevy and the Pinellas County deputy were also transported the hospital for minor injuries.

Officials said impairment appears to be a factor in the crash.

No other details have been released. The investigation remains ongoing.

Wrong-way collisions are not an anomaly in the Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay area is one of the worst areas for wrong-way collisions. In fact, a study by the Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles found Florida had 1,490 wrong-way crashes and 96 fatalities in 2015. Three Tampa Bay counties made the top 10 list of most wrong-way driving crashes in the state: Hillsborough was fourth, Pinellas was sixth and Pasco was eighth.

Sadly, an overwhelming number of wrong-way collisions are related to the use of alcohol or drugs. Drivers are more likely to disregard traffic control devices or fail to notice signs that mark the entrances to one-way streets when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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A 51-year-old Largo man was killed in an early Thursday morning motorcycle crash in Hillsborough County.

The crash happened just before 3 a.m. Thursday at southbound Interstate 275 and Lois Avenue.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the man lost control of his motorcycle and collided with a guardrail.

He was ejected from the motorcycle and fell off the overpass to Lois Avenue below.

He died at the scene.

Troopers are still investigating.

Guardrails and other roadside barriers are designed to protect vehicles from running off the road or colliding with trees and other obstacles. The reality is that roadway guardrails can pose more of a threat to motorcycles than help. If a bike hits a guardrail, as this story shows, the likely result is the rider will be thrown from their bike and seriously injured or even killed.

A motorcyclist losing control of their bike is not an uncommon situation. Bikers that find themselves losing control of their bike, should try and straighten up and take as much lean out of the bike as possible to control the bike as smoothly as you can. The best way to avoid this situation entirely is to only ride as fast as you can see the road ahead of you. You have to give yourself adequate time to see and respond to any visual clues on the roadway.

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The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a crash involving a vehicle leaving the roadway in the Feather Sound area and striking two pedestrians on the adjacent sidewalk, killing one of them, according to reports.

Investigators believe the crash occurred around 5:02 p.m. The driver of the vehicle reportedly failed to negotiate a turn while driving west on Feather Sound Drive.

As a result, the man’s vehicle reportedly left the road and drove onto the sidewalk, where it struck two pedestrians, a 67-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman. The vehicle continued into a ditch before striking a concrete retaining wall.

The 67-year-old man was killed at the scene as a result of the crash, troopers said. The woman sustained minor injuries and was not hospitalized.

The driver sustained serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital.

No further information has been released at this time.

According to the National Highway Traffic Association, a person is harmed in a pedestrian accident every 8 minutes. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, it is very important to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. It is common for insurance companies to try to place the blame on pedestrians, or make lowball payout offers. Your best defense from unethical practices like this is to consult with our Tampa Bay area Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton. We know the law and have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies.

It is important to not wait too long after the accident to file a claim. Sadly, we see this a lot where victims wait too long to speak with an injury attorney and due to statutes of limitations on injury and wrongful death claims, are no longer able to file a claim. The sooner you pursue legal action for your pedestrian accident, the greater your chance of receiving full and fair compensation.

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A passenger in a taxi was killed and several others were hurt in a chain-reaction crash Sunday afternoon in which alcohol played a factor, according to St. Petersburg Police.

The crash happened at 38th Avenue N and 49th Street N and closed parts of the intersection for hours.

A 2009 Crown Victoria operating as an Express Taxi, was heading south on 49th Street N with a passenger, when the taxi rear-ended a 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe that was stopped at 38th Avenue N.

The Tahoe was pushed into and hit two vehicles: a 2017 Ford Escape and 2017 Chevrolet SS. The Escape then struck a 2014 Kia Optima, and the Optima was pushed into a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe, police said.

Three people in various vehicles other than the taxi were taken to hospitals for non life-threatening injuries.

The occupants of the taxi were not wearing seat belts, according to police investigators. They incurred serious injuries and were taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, where the passenger died.

Police said “alcohol played a role in the crash” but didn’t provide more specifics.

The investigation is ongoing, and charges are pending, they said.

Drunk drivers remain the biggest cause of traffic fatalities both in Florida and the U.S. Nearly 11,000 people, about one-third of the nation’s 37,000-plus traffic fatalities, died in 2016 and 2017 due to drivers operating under the influence of alcohol.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving accident, you are entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and property damage. In the event that a loved one was killed by an intoxicated driver, you may also be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim.

Our St. Petersburg Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have considerable experience helping victims of motor vehicle accidents, including those that were the result of drunk driving, pursue legal action for damages. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the accident, including scouring accident reports and police records, in order to determine the responsible party and if drugs or alcohol were a factor.

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Yes, you can and our Tampa Bay Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you. Unfortunately, what comes along with being the No. 1 destination for retirement migration in the United States is a Florida Nursing Home and Elderly Care business community that has a history of being labeled as broken, dirty, criminal, grossly negligent, reckless, and careless. Generally speaking, the financial and human demand of the senior citizens in our state has never been adequately met by a business community with satisfactory staffed facilities that operate with policies and procedures to allow the elderly the dignity of quality medical and human care in the later years of their life.

As has been done so many times in the past, this week another personal representative has filed a lawsuit in Pinellas County, this time against a Treasure Island nursing home facility, alleging negligence led to the death of a resident.

As reported, a personal representative of the deceased filed a complaint Nov. 13 in Pinellas Circuit Court against Cross Terrace Rehabilitation Center, alleging violation of a resident’s rights.

According to the complaint, during the deceased woman’s residency at Cross Terrace Rehabilitation Center, she suffered from physical abuse and neglect, leading to her death Sept. 20, 2015.

The personal representative alleges Cross Terrace Rehabilitation Center failed to timely and appropriately protect the deceased from abuse and/or neglect and failed to timely and appropriately document the mental and physical abuse and/or neglect she suffered.

No one should ever lose a loved one because of negligence or abusive treatment in a nursing home. Sadly, this happens across the country and especially our state every single day.

If you have concerns about the level of care and treatment of your loved one, speak up.  Each day is a blessing, especially for our elderly.

In addition to the legal accountability for a wrongful death (which could translate equally in both civil and criminal court), there are financial consequences that the nursing home owners, management and/or staff members may be responsible for.  In a wrongful death caused by negligence and/or abuse, surviving family members may be eligible to recover financial compensation for their loss as survivors pursuant to the Wrongful Death Statute in Florida.

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A 7-month-old girl died Friday after she was bitten by the family dog.

Clearwater Fire Rescue responded to a call at the Fairwood Avenue residence about 2:12 p.m. Friday.

Authorities said the girl was being taken care of by her grandparents when a mixed-breed dog bit her.

The girl was transported to Mease Countryside Hospital, where she later died.

As is customary in such cases, Clearwater Police are conducting an investigation, in conjunction with the Department of Children and Families.

The dog has been removed from the home and taken to Pinellas County Animal Services.

Dogs can bring much happiness into our lives as well as decrease stress. Americans own an estimated 70 to 80 million dogs as pets. The sad truth is that sometimes dogs bite, and the aftermath can be deadly. Millions of Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and some of these dog bites cause serious injuries.

Dog bite injuries are the second most frequent cause of visits to emergency rooms among children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dog bites are responsible for almost 340,000 emergency room trips each year for children 12 years of age and under. Most dog bites, 61 percent to be exact, occur at home or in a familiar place.

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Pinellas County has the highest bicycle fatality rate of any major metro area in the U.S., according to federal data. Its per-capita cyclist death rate for the past decade ranks No. 1 among the four counties in the Tampa Bay metro area.

In fact, Florida has by far the highest per-capita bicyclist death rate in the country.

The number of cyclists killed in motor-vehicle crashes nationwide hit 840 in 2016—the most recent data available—according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was the most since 1991 and a 35% jump from 2010.

A range of likely reasons explains the rise in deaths, including more overall vehicular traffic and driver distractions, according to people who track transportation trends.

Texting drivers is a huge problem. Alcohol is yet another big factor. In 2015, 22% of fatally injured cyclists, and 12% of drivers in these crashes, had a blood-alcohol content level of at least 0.08, the legal limit for motorists in most states, according to the nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Association.

While cyclist death rates have risen in many states since 2010, the three with the most fatalities since then—Florida, California and Texas—account for about 40% of all cyclist deaths, according to NHTSA, despite having 27% of the nation’s population.

Florida’s numbers are bad even when compared with other warm-weather states. Its recent 10-year cyclist fatality rate was 6.2 deaths per 100,000 residents; that is 59% higher than the rate in Louisiana, the state with the second-highest level.

State transportation officials say they have made a concerted effort since 2014 to boost cycling safety. The Florida Department of Transportation changed its standard width for bike lanes from 4 to 7 feet and now recommends buffered or protected bike lanes. The agency launched a $100 million push in 2016 to better light 2,500 locations where the number of nighttime crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists was high.

The state agency also lowered speed limits in some places, officials said. Local police have stepped up education efforts on topics such as using lights at night and riding with the flow of traffic.

Cycling deaths in Florida fell to 116 in 2017, the fewest since 2010 and a significant drop from recent years, according to preliminary state data. But so far this year, bike fatalities involving motor-vehicles are trending higher: Through Sept. 23, the state said 95 cyclists had been killed in such accidents, putting it on track for about 130 for the year.

Six of those bicyclists died in Pinellas County, which includes the coastal cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

When a motorist is found to have caused a fatal bicycle accident, they may be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. While not all fatal accidents are considered wrongful deaths, those that are caused by another person’s negligence are. In Florida, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by the family, usually the parents, spouse or children of the victim, and any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.”

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A Pinellas County resident is suing a nursing home, alleging insufficient measures were taken to prevent injuries and loss of consortium.

A personal representative of an elderly man who passed away filed a complaint July 10 in Pinellas County Circuit Court against FI-Highland Pines, LLC doing business as Highland Pines Rehabilitation Center, alleging failure to provide adequate and appropriate health care and protective and support services resulting in wrongful death.

According to the complaint, the senior suffering from the infirmities of aging, was a resident at Highland Pines Rehabilitation Center. The suit says he developed pressure sores and infections during his stay in the facility, which resulted in pain, suffering, disability, humiliation, mental anguish, health deterioration, malnutrition and wrongful death on April 2.

His heirs say they also suffered the loss of support, love, companionship and incurred substantial expenses in hospitalization, medical care and treatment and funeral expenses.

The suit alleges that Highland Pines Rehabilitation Center failed to provide adequate and appropriate health care and protective and support services resulting in wrongful death.

When you leave a loved one in a nursing home, you expect that they will be safe and well-cared for. You are paying the staff to care for your family member and look after their needs. However, it is all too common for seniors left in nursing homes to suffer from neglect and abuse at the hands of the staff in charge of their care. In the worst cases, incidents of abuse and neglect end up causing death. If the nursing home resident’s death was caused by abuse and neglect, their family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home to recover compensation for the loss of their loved one.

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Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a Certified Nursing Assistant accused of sexually assaulting an 85-year-old man.

The 35-year-old is charged with one count of sexual battery.

Deputies say that through June 6 and June 9, the man sexually assaulted the man.

The man was allegedly working as a CNA at a senior living home, where the 85-year-old man lived.

The man is currently being held at Orient Road Jail.

Sexual assault in a nursing home or assisted living facility does happen. This can be the result of the facility not conducting proper background checks on every potential employee. When the facility fails to provide proper screening on any employee with a sexual abuse history, they can be held liable for any sexual abuse and/or negligence.

The facility can also be held liable for the sexual abuse because of improper employee supervision. This is often the result of poor training or understaffing. The nursing facility is required to properly train and supervise all employees on the best methods of spotting sexual abuse. When this does not happen, the facility can be held responsible for failing to take proper security measures to protect residents.

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