Articles Posted in Polk County Auto Accident Attorney

A Seminole woman was killed Saturday evening when she was hit by an SUV while riding her bicycle.

The crash occurred just before 7 p.m. on the east side of the 8600 block of Seminole Boulevard.

The 68-year-old woman was riding her bicycle on the sidewalk when a 2003 Ford Expedition pulled out of the Florida Mobile Home trailer park, preparing to turn right, according to reports.

Deputies believe the driver of the Expedition did not see the woman and hit her.

The woman was taken to Largo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Neither alcohol nor speed appear to be factors in the crash, according to deputies.

The investigation is ongoing.

When in an accident with an automobile, bicycle riders are at an increased risk for serious injuries. Any motor vehicle can cause serious, catastrophic injuries to an unprotected bike rider.

Our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to helping bicycle riders who have been injured as a result of a vehicle operator’s negligence.  Bicycle accidents most often occur due to:

  • Driver failing to stop for a bicycle rider at a crosswalk
  • Vehicle failing to stop at a stop sign
  • Distracted driver on the cell phone or texting while driving
  • Sideswiped by a vehicle making a turn at an intersection
  • A vehicle turning into a driveway
  • A vehicle backing out of a driveway
  • Being struck while riding on a sidewalk

Our Tampa Bay area personal injury lawyers at Whittel & Melton have extensive experience in representing bicycle accident victims. We are very familiar with the complicated laws that govern bicycle use in the state of Florida. We understand that many insurance companies are quick to place the blame on the the bicycle rider, which is why we fight aggressively to stand up for your rights.  

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If you are like most Americans, you will be celebrating Halloween this weekend. Halloween is quite a fun holiday, providing you with the opportunity to dress up in a unique costume and eat a lots of candy! Halloween is known by children for its trick or treating, and for good reason. This year alone, Americans are projected to spend $2.1 billion on Halloween candy!

Around 41 million trick or treaters between the ages of 4 and 15 are expected to be out on the streets this Halloween. And while Halloween is a spooky fun holiday, it is important to not forget the list of potential dangers that can arise. Serious injuries can occur, ranging from pedestrian accidents, dog bites and even slip and falls or trip and falls. The following safety tips can ensure that you and your family and friends stay safe this Halloween while out and about in the Tampa Bay area.

Tips for a Safe Halloween

  1. Carry a flashlight with you while stomping through the streets. A flashlight can warn motorists that you are on the road and help illuminate your walking path so that you can clearly see ahead and avoid a trip and fall accident.
  2. Put reflective tape on your children’s costumes, and even their candy bags, so that they can easily be seen at night. You want to make sure your children are as visible as possible when out trick or treating. Accidents usually occur when drivers cannot see children.
  3. Make sure your child can walk in his or her costume and that it is not too long. You may need to hem or trim the bottom of the costume to avoid any unnecessary falls.
  4. Never let your child go out trick or treating alone. Make sure your kids are in a group and escorted by a parent or guardian.
  5. Remind children to stay away from dark houses.
  6. Inspect all candy before you let your children dig in.

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A Bradenton man riding a scooter was killed Sunday night after being hit from behind by a SUV on State Road 70, according to reports.

The 41-year-old man was riding a scooter east on State Road 70 near the I-75 interchange around 7:20 p.m. when a Jeep Liberty changed lanes behind him and crashed into the scooter, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The man was thrown from the scooter and transported to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, where he later died.

The driver of the Jeep, an 18-year-old, was cited for careless driving, according to the FHP.

The most common scooter and moped injuries are fractures, broken bones, back and spine injuries, and head trauma. While some of these injuries can heal with time, others can have permanent, life-changing effects. In some tragic cases, scooter accidents can result in wrongful death. Scooter and moped riders should always wear helmets when operating their vehicles. However, even when riders use their safety equipment and drive defensively, they are still among the most vulnerable drivers on the road due to the lack of protection that these motor vehicles provide compared to passenger vehicles.

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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.

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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.

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There were no injuries Saturday morning after a car crashed into Manos Bakery at 1975 Drew Street in Clearwater.

According to police, a westbound Honda Civic on Drew Street ran a red light and collided with another car, resulting in the Honda crashing through the front of the bakery.

The Honda came to rest inside the bakery.

The bakery owner and one employee were inside, but neither they nor the drivers were injured.

The 34-year-old driver of the Honda was cited for running a red light and not having a valid driver’s license, according to police.

The technical rescue team from Clearwater Fire & Rescue examined the structural integrity of the building and boarded up windows that had been smashed out by the impact, police said.

Thousands of people in the U.S. are injured or killed because someone ran a red light. In fact, it is the one of the leading causes of urban accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

  • More than 1/2 of all American’s admit red-light running.
  • More than 60 percent of American’s will see someone run a red light at least once each week.
  • It is the leading cause of urban crashes.
  • Almost all drivers fear being hit by a red-light runner.
  • 1 in 3 Americans know someone that has been killed or injured by someone running a red light.

Traffic lights and signals are in place to protect drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. When these signals are ignored, the results can be catastrophic.

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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.

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Two lanes of northbound I-75 were blocked off this morning just south of Riverview after there was an accident involving a semi.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 37-year-old Tampa man was driving a 2013 semi north on I-75 at 5:39 a.m. when he lost control of the truck.

The semi exited the roadway and collided with a 2014 Volkswagen Passat driven by a 42-year-old woman, according to troopers. The semi and the car both hit the outside guardrail, then slid down the shoulder embankment.

Both individuals were taken to Tampa General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Traffic was backed up for several miles while crews pulled the vehicles up from the embankment..

The truck driver was ticketed for failure to use due care.

Troopers also believe heavy rains and wet conditions played a role in the crash as well.

The results can be devastating when a semi driver loses control of the vehicle or the tractor detaches from its trailer and spins out of control. These accidents are usually severe and cause significant property damage, injury or even death to the truck driver or other drivers and passengers involved in the accident.

Numerous things can cause a semi truck driver to lose control, from driver error to equipment malfunction. These cases can be quite complex, so it is best to consult with an injury lawyer as soon as possible. A Tampa Bay Truck Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can investigate your case to determine what caused the crash and who is liable. The at-fault party may not be just one person, in fact it can include a number of different parties from the truck driver to the trucking company or other parties.

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The Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to wish everyone throughout Tampa and the state of Florida a very happy Fourth of July! During this summer holiday period, many of us celebrate the time with friends and family. As with many other holidays, risks of accidents and injuries can increase during the Fourth of July weekend.

To help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe this weekend, we have compiled some helpful safety tips:

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving accidents, injuries and deaths always peak during Fourth of July weekend. If you plan on celebrating Independence Day with a few drinks, make sure to drink responsibly and plan for a ride. Make arrangements with friends or family, or call a cab or transportation service like Uber or Lyft. Remember, law enforcement officers will be out in full force this weekend looking to catch intoxicated motorists.

Fireworks Safety

4428561177_831c2f9269_zIf you plan to light off a few Sparklers or fireworks yourself, please remember these important tips:

  • Always follow instructions and supervise children. Never provide fireworks to small children.
  • Use fireworks in a safe area where they cannot harm others or damage property. This may be  a given, but never throw or point fireworks toward people, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials.
  • Do not light multiple fireworks at once and never attempt to relight a “dud” firework that failed to go off the first time.

Water Safety

Many Tampa Bay residents celebrate the Fourth at the beach, lake or by enjoying the water at backyard pool parties. When having fun near the water, make sure that safety is a top priority. Supervise children, use safety vests when on the water, drink responsibly and have a safety procedure set in place in the event of an emergency.

Grilling Safety

Use caution when barbecuing! Many people suffer injuries when cooking on charcoal and gas grills. Never grill indoors, supervise the grill when it is on, follow all instructions and never add lighter fluid when charcoal has already been ignited.

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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

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