Articles Posted in Tampa Bay

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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A man was killed and a woman hospitalized after a Sunday afternoon incident at the Courtney Campbell Causeway boat ramp.

According to Tampa Fire Rescue, two people were in a boat that hit something in the water.

No further information was immediately available.

Even if you are operating your boat safely and carefully, it is sometimes impossible to avoid an accident. Our Tampa Bay Boating Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have guided many Tampa Bay area residents through boating accident cases. The injuries sustained during a boating accident can be severe, which can create a stressful scenario for you and your family. We want to help you through this difficult time.

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Two people were injured, one severely, when they were bitten by a group of five pit bulls running loose near a St. Petersburg home.

Officials said officers were called to the home on July 3 after the dogs were reported loose.

A 52-year-old woman was bitten on the leg while trying to help her neighbor.

The woman was hospitalized with severe injuries that required emergency surgery.

The dogs reportedly charged the officers when they tried to exit their patrol car. The officers used fire extinguishers to force the dogs back.

A Pinellas Animal Control officer who responded to the scene also had to fend off one of the dogs’ attacks.

Eventually, at a point where all five dogs had jumped back into the home, officers were able to trap them inside by closing the windows.

The dogs’ owner was not home at the time, but later helped the Animal Control officer load the dogs into a truck to remove them from the home. The owner, who just moved into the house a few days ago, according to neighbors, has not been charged, since police said there was no intent.

The dogs will be kept under quarantine for further investigation.

Dog bite attacks are a bigger problem than most people realize until an attack affects them personally. A dog attack can leave both physical and emotional scars.  The following statistics highlight the problem of vicious dog bites:

  • 20 percent of dog bite victims require medical attention.
  • According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical treatment for dog bites every year.
  • Unneutered male dogs are more likely to show aggression and are involved in 70 percent to 76 percent of reported dog bite incidents each year.
  • Pit bulls contributed to 64 percent of all fatal dog attacks last year.
  • 57 percent of fatal dog attacks involve more than one dog. A fifth of the attacks involve packs of four or more dogs.

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Fourth of July weekend is here! This is a holiday that brings thousands of boaters to the water. More boaters means more boats and people on the water, more alcohol, and an increased risk of accidents and arrests for Boating Under the Influence (BUI).

Keep in mind that police will be on the lookout for drunk boaters this holiday weekend. With that said, you should practice safe boating habits and make sure that you are vigilant about the safety of everyone on board your vessel.

Studies show that the majority of boating accidents occur between the months of June, July and August, on Saturday or Sunday, between 12pm and 6pm. The majority of boating accidents involve operators between the ages of 20 and 40. In the state of Florida, it is required that anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988 must have completed a boater education course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), or passed an approved equivalency exam before operating a boat with an engine of more than 10 horsepower.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a double drowning of two siblings at a Tampa hotel on Sunday.

Two siblings — a 12-year-old male and 17-year-old female — were pulled from the hotel swimming pool, both unresponsive around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The brother and sister had traveled with their family to Tampa from Dallas, Texas, with a large church group for a function.

Officials said deputies and fire rescue attempted to perform live-saving measures on the brother and sister. The boy was pronounced dead on scene and the girl was taken to Tampa General Hospital where she died Tuesday.

Summer is in full swing, and most Floridians or visitors to our home state are looking to cool off at the pool. Swimming pools are indeed one of the most popular places to be as swimming is one of the highlights of a summer vacation. Families vacationing in Florida often make the swimming pool their first stop after checking into their hotel room.

What you may not know is that on average, 400 children die every year from drowning in pools and spas across the United States. Emergency rooms treat an average of 5,100 children annually for injuries related to a drowning incident in swimming pools and spas.

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A pedestrian was killed late Tuesday in Tampa.

According to police, the pedestrian was struck near the intersection of West Hillsborough Avenue and North Tampania Avenue.

Officers have not released details of the crash, but said the driver did stay at the scene and cooperated with the investigation.

The identity of the person killed has yet to be released.

Even the most careful pedestrians risk their lives when crossing a busy street, especially at night. If a driver is distracted or simply cannot stop on time, they can hit a pedestrian, which likely will result in serious personal injuries or fatalities. Pedestrians injured in a vehicle crash can suffer physical injuries as well as emotional trauma, lost wages and other damages. If death occurs, the pedestrians surviving family members may be able to collect damages for their pain and suffering.

Florida is home to the top four metropolitan areas on the list of most dangerous large metro areas for walking in the country. The top spots go to:

  • Orlando-Kissimmee
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
  • Jacksonville
  • Miami-Fort-Lauderdale-Pompano Beach

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Tampa Bay residents are gearing up for Cinco de Mayo fiestas today! This is the perfect time to enjoy Mexican-inspired food, drinks and fun with friends and family.

Unfortunately, drunk driving rates increase over the holidays. Every day in the United States, an average of 27 people lose their lives to drunk drivers.

While you cannot control the actions of other motorists, you can reduce the likelihood of getting in a crash with a drunk driver.

A 27-year-old is in critical condition after a motorcycle accident Tuesday night in Hillsborough.

Troopers believe that a 49-year-old man was stopped on Riga Boulevard at the intersection of SR 574 when he turned east onto SR 574 and changed lanes into the path of a motorcycle.

The motorcycle, driven by the 27-year-old man collided into the back of the vehicle, causing the bike to overturn.

The man was ejected from the motorcycle. He was transported to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition.

According to the report, the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet.

The driver of the vehicle did not receive any injuries and charges are pending, according to the report.

Motorcyclists are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to sharing the roads with drivers of larger vehicles. Drivers of all vehicles must pay attention to their surroundings and keep an eye out for motorcycles. Due to the fact that motorcycles are much smaller than passenger vehicles, they are oftentimes overlooked by other drivers. Drivers turning into the paths of motorcycles are a leading cause of accidents and deaths across the United States.

Motorcycles weigh a lot less than cars, trucks, or SUV’s, so when a vehicle and a motorcycle collide, the motorcyclist almost always gets the worst of it.

Turning into the path of a motorcyclist can result in instant death. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, our Tampa Bay Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are ready to help you file a claim. While we cannot reverse your injuries or bring a loved one back, a financial settlement from an injury or wrongful death claim can help protect the future of you and/or your family.

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A motorcyclist was killed late Sunday in a hit-and-run crash in Tampa.

According to police, the driver of a pickup truck struck the motorcyclist at 11:30 p.m. at West Waters Avenue and North Boulevard and then fled the scene of the crash, leaving the vehicle behind.

The motorcyclist was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he later died.

A search is ongoing for the pickup truck driver.

According to police, that person will face charges of leaving the scene of a deadly accident. Other charges may be pending.

Numerous people are injured or killed every year in hit and run crashes in the Tampa Bay area. While sad, a good amount of these crashes involve drivers who hit motorcyclists and know they are at-fault, but flee the scene to avoid the repercussions of causing an accident. Our Tampa Bay Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help if you or someone you love has been the victim of a hit and run accident.

Hit and run accidents can be quite complex, especially if the at-fault driver is never located. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, or if you have lost a family member in a hit and run accident, let us help you file an injury or wrongful death claim. We can walk you through all the necessary steps and make sure you know what to expect.

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