Articles Posted in Polk County Brain Injury Attorney


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 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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Most people recognize that using a cell phone while driving can prove deadly. However, a new AAA study shows that cell phone use is hardly the only activity that may cause you to become involved in a serious auto accident.

The most recent research carried out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concludes that most teens involved in crashes are guilty of distracted driving but, not all of these cases involve distracted driving associated with cell phone use.

According to AAA, distracted driving is a factor that is present in 6 out of all 10 accidents that are moderate or severe. Distracted driving among teens has only been associated with 14 percent of all teen driver crashes by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so this new study may indicate that teens are much more likely to be involved in serious distracted driving crashes than we once thought.

According to the results of the study, the number one cause of distraction among teen drivers who are involved in crashes is talking to other passengers.

7838240744_a3b0aeaaa3_zThe study also found that out of the 1,700 videos of crashes involving teens recorded by in-vehicle event recorders, 58 percent of the crashes were caused by distraction. Here is the breakdown of the results: 89 percent of road-departure crashes were associated with distractions, while 76 percent of the rear-end collisions were caused by distractions.

While talking to passengers accounts for the highest number of crashes, cell phone use follows in second with 12 percent of all crashes involving teens. AAA also reports that 8 percent of the distracted driving crashes involving teens they researched were caused by personal grooming while driving and another 6 percent of collisions were caused by teens reaching for items inside the car.

This study is important because it highlights the dangers that teen drivers face on a daily basis. Creating awareness of these distractions could help safety advocates and lawmakers develop better solutions to the distracted driving problem.

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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.

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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.

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McDonald’s has issued a voluntary recall for 2.5 million Hello Kitty lollipop whistles after determining the toys pose a choking hazard to small children.

According to reports, McDonald’s received two reports of children choking on pieces of the Hello Kitty Birthday Lollipop Whistles. One of the children did require hospitalization.

479469540_6f7424f4dc_zThe recall confirms that parts inside of the whistle can come loose and be inhaled by small children.

In the United States, 2.3 million whistles were distributed, and 200,000 were distributed in Canada in October and November.

The toys were included in McDonald’s Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Mills.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provided the following information on the toy:

  • The recalled whistles are red come in a plastic Hello Kitty figuring holding a pink heart-shaped lollipop. The figurine is about three inches tall.
  • The whistle measures approximately 1.75 inches in height, 1.75 inches in width, and .75 inches in depth. A picture of Hello Kitty is included on both sides of the whistle.
  • “©1976. 2014 SANRIO CO., LTD” is etched in both the whistles, just above Hello Kitty’s face.
  • “Hello Kitty® Birthday Lollipop” is written on the bag the toy comes in and the number “6” is printed in the top right corner.

Choking and suffocation can cause severe brain damage and even death. The long-term medical care associated with a child who has suffered brain damage as a result of choking can financially ruin a family.

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A new report shows a possible connection between traumatic brain injuries and dementia. According to an article by US News and World Report, veterans who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are more likely to develop dementia later in life.

The study reports that former soldiers are 60 times more likely to develop dementia earlier in life than their counterparts who have never been diagnosed with any brain injury.

The study examined 190,000 veterans, who were all around 68-years-old and dementia-free. According to the report, 1,299 of these vets had at some point received a traumatic brain injury diagnosis.

old-63622_150The study followed the vets over the course of nine years. During that time, researchers observed that 16 percent of the veterans with brain injuries developed dementia, while only 10 percent of those without a brain injury developed dementia.

While the study does indicate a strong link between TBIs and dementia, there are numerous other factors that could influence the equation, including the possible presence of high blood pressure, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and diabetes.

The author of the study was quoted as saying, “Our results suggest that [brain injury] may increase the risk of developing dementia in older veterans, with an age of onset about two years earlier. So clinicians may want to keep an eye out for signs of cognitive impairment in older veterans with a history of [brain injury].”

Dementia is a term that covers a range of medical symptoms, such as extreme memory loss and the lack of ability to accomplish basic daily care responsibilities. There are many different types of dementia conditions, including:

Alzheimer’s Disease. This is reportedly the most common type of dementia, accounting for about 70 percent of cases. Early warning signs of this disease include memory problems, excessive lethargy and depression.

Vascular Dementia. This disorder is also known as post-stroke dementia because it

usually occurs in patients that have recently suffered a stroke. This disease generally arises from blood vessel blockage in the brain and affects the brain’s ability to make decisions.

Huntington’s Disease. This is a progressive disorder that is caused by a single defective gene. Common side effects include involuntary muscle movements, irritability and a decrease in cognitive skills. 

Parkinson’s Disease. As this condition progresses, dementia can set in. The most common symptoms of this disorder include movement complications, sleep conflicts and visual hallucinations.

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A baby remains in critical condition after a near drowning accident in Brandon on Saturday, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

Reports indicate that a 1-year-old baby was pulled from a backyard pool around 7:45 p.m. on Highview Circle, just north of Windhorst Road.

The infant was taken to Brandon Regional Hospital.

swimming poolNo further information is available regarding the baby’s condition or how the accident happened.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study that determined for every child that drowns, another four require emergency medical care for injuries suffered in near-drowning accidents. Near-drowning accidents can vary in severity, depending on a number of factors including the length of time the child is submerged, the temperature of the water, the type of water, the amount of water aspirated and the child’s medical condition before the accident occurred. Nearly one third of survivors will withstand moderate to severe brain injuries involving memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning.

Our Tampa Bay Swimming Pool and Drowning Accident Lawyers know that drowning accidents usually happen very quickly, often without warning. After being under water for two minutes, most children tend to lose consciousness, and brain injury usually occurs after a child has been submerged between four and six minutes. Children that survive near-drowning incidents with no neurological damage are usually found within two minutes of being underwater. Most drowning fatalities happen after a child has been submerged for more than 10 minutes.

Depending upon how severe the injuries are from a near-drowning accident, your loved one may require around the clock medical care, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, occupational therapy and other medical attention. The monetary costs associated with this level of medical treatment can be overwhelming to a family that is dealing with the emotional trauma that comes along with a near-drowning accident.

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A 1-year-old girl survived a near-drowning accident in a backyard pool Saturday morning, according to officials.

The incident occurred just before 10 a.m. at a home at 5401 Westchester Blvd. in unincorporated Pinellas County near St. Petersburg.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reports that the child’s caregiver was preparing her home for a family get-together while the child was outside in the fenced-in backyard with a family friend. The caregiver ventured outside and realized the girl was not with the friend and located her in the in-ground pool.

poolThe girl was taken out of the pool and transported to a local hospital by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.

According to deputies, the near-drowning appeared to be accidental and no charges are pending at this time.

Nearly ten people die in drowning accidents every day throughout the United States. Another 5,000 more are hospitalized each year with near-drowning injuries. Sadly, a large number of drowning and near-drowning victims are children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of one and four. Likewise, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 14.

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Two 10-year-old girls were killed Sept. 1 in Auburndale after deputies believe a driver ran a red light and crashed into the car they were riding in.

The crash occurred around 6:30 p.m. on Havendale Boulevard at the intersection with New Jersey Road.

According to reports, a 2006 Dodge Ram pick-up truck was travelling westbound on Havendale Boulevard when it collided with a 2006 Volkswagen Beetle, driven by a 60-year-old woman, heading south on New Jersey Road.

A preliminary investigation indicates that the driver of the pick-up truck had a red light but proceeded through the intersection anyway.

The truck rolled over and landed on its right side. The driver was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash and suffered minor injuries. He was taken to Winter Haven Hospital.

The Beetle crossed three lanes of traffic and finally stopped on the south shoulder of Havendale Boulevard. The driver of the Beetle was wearing her seatbelt at the time and was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center with serious injuries that are not considered life-threatening.

A 14-year-old girl riding in the front seat was also wearing a seatbelt and did not suffer any significant injuries.

Sadly, two of the three passengers in the back seat, two 10-year-old girls, both died as a result of the collision. The third back seat passenger, an 8-year-old girl, was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition.

According to deputies, none of the girls in the back seat were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.

Deputies are still investigating the crash. Charges against the driver are pending at this time.

hospital bracelet.jpgWhen a child is injured or killed in an auto accident, parents and close family members are often left with many unanswered questions. A tragedy of this kind is often overwhelming, but it is important to understand that help from a Tampa Bay Wrongful Death Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you get through this difficult time. If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, family members of and injured child or the deceased may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit to recover just compensation.

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