Articles Posted in Tampa Bay Auto Accident Lawyer

A Lakeland man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing three people in a 2016 wrong way crash.

Witnesses said the man was street racing at the time of the crash. According to witness accounts, he was racing another car when that car cut him off.

The move caused the man to lose control of his car, which went airborne and flipped, landing on the other side of U.S. 98 and colliding with the car carrying the three deceased.

The man plead guilty to three vehicular homicide charges related to their deaths.

The man was facing up to 45 years in prison.

The man’s plea deal also states that he can never drive legally again.

Illegal street racing often occurs with tragic results. Car accidents from these races involve high speeds on unfamiliar roads. In the state of Florida, street racing is considered a very dangerous activity. It has resulted in physical injuries and wrongful death.

Injuries and deaths associated with street racing can be easily avoided. If someone you love has been the victim of an accident caused by illegal street racing, you need to seek legal help as soon as possible. Our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can make sure we gather the important facts of your case and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.

Continue reading

Pedestrians killed by SUVs is a growing trend across the U.S. In Florida, the problem is quite severe as Miami ranks number 5 and Tampa ranks number 8 in the top 10 deadliest cities in America.

A Detroit Free Press/USA TODAY NETWORK investigation found that the SUV revolution is the most likely cause of escalating pedestrian deaths nationwide, which are up 46 percent since 2009.

Almost 6,000 pedestrians died on or along U.S. roads in 2016 alone — nearly as many Americans as have died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002. Data analyses by the Free Press/USA TODAY and others show that SUVs are the constant in the increase and account for a steadily growing proportion of deaths.

The investigation found the following:

  • Federal safety regulators have known for years that SUVs, with their higher front-end profile, are at least twice as likely as cars to kill the walkers, joggers and children they hit, yet have done little to reduce deaths or publicize the danger.
  • A federal proposal to factor pedestrians into vehicle safety ratings has stalled, with opposition from some automakers.
  • The rising tide of pedestrian deaths is primarily an urban plague that kills minorities at a disproportionate rate.
  • It is most prominent in cities both in the industrial heartland and warm-weather spots on the nation’s coasts and Sun Belt. Detroit; Newark, New Jersey; St. Louis; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Miami, San Bernardino, California, Birmingham, Alabama; Tampa; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Phoenix had the 10 highest per-capita death rates among cities with populations of at least 200,000 in 2009-16.

Due to their size and construction, an SUV-pedestrian accident usually results in fatality.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that the total number of pedestrian deaths involving motor vehicles has risen to almost 6,000 annually. Since 2009, that is an increase of around 50 percent, which makes sense as the number of people purchasing SUVs has drastically increased. Sadly, with more people driving SUVs, there is a greater chance that an accident with a pedestrian will involve an SUV.

If you have has lost a loved one in a  pedestrian wrongful death accident in the Tampa Bay area, our Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are ready to help you file a claim. We can procure the necessary evidence and deal with the insurance companies involved so that you don’t have to. Funeral costs, loss of companionship, lost wages and other issues can make a pedestrian wrongful death accident difficult to overcome. Securing strong legal counsel as soon as possible can be a key piece in recovering what is owed to you.

Continue reading

A Tampa Bay Area family wants changes after a 63-year-old was struck and killed by a car while crossing 40th street in the Temple Crest community.

This woman is at least the second person who has been hit and killed while crossing the street in recent years. There is a crosswalk and pedestrian signs, but cars continue to speed by the retirement community.

This is why neighbors and the woman’s family are pushing for changes. They want the city to install a flashing yellow light with verbal commands for pedestrians that tell when it’s safe to cross.

Neighbors also said they’d like to see a red flashing light similar to the one on Hillsborough Avenue.

Tampa crews began making some improvements shortly after the woman’s death. The city is adding flashing lights.

The driver who struck the woman has not been charged. Authorities said that driver was unable to avoid the accident.

Pedestrian accidents can result in shattered bones, contusions, internal bleeding, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even wrongful deaths. The severity of these accidents can result in permanent disability or years in physical rehabilitation, as well as mental pain and suffering. Our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton make it our goal to win compensation for your losses, and handle your legal issues so you can focus on healing.

Some blame a lack of road signs or lights, and others blame the speed limits in known dangerous areas for pedestrians. Whatever the case, the number of pedestrians killed in Tampa Bay is tragic and can usually be attributed to distracted or reckless driving.

Continue reading

According to AAA travel club, more than 41.5 million people will travel for the 2018 Memorial Day weekend, which is 4.8% more than last year. This will be the most travelers since 2005 for the holiday period that runs from May 24 through May 28 this year.

AAA goes on to say that 7 out of 8 travelers will be driving despite the most expensive gas since 2014. Gas averaged $2.72 per gallon in April, which was 33 cents higher than last year.

These numbers mean that 2 million more people will be traveling this year, so travel delays could triple along major roads, according to INRIX, a transportation analytics company. The busiest days will be Thursday and Friday, May 24 and 25, according to INRIX. The worst delays will be in NYC, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

Our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want you and your loved ones to be safe this Memorial Day Weekend. We have compiled a few safety tips to get you to and from your destinations safely:

  • Always obey the rules of the road. Slow down when weather conditions are bad or if you are unfamiliar with the road.  
  • Pull over or switch drivers when you get sleepy.
  • Put your phone down to limit distractions. Ask a passenger to handle snacks, music, and directions to reduce any further distractions.
  • Roadside assistance memberships can be a real lifesaver should you have a breakdown. This can also save you time, so consider investing in one.

Continue reading

A wrong-way driver was killed late Monday in a crash in Plant City.

According to Plant City police, A 2002 Volkswagen Passat traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of N. Alexander Street collided head-on with a semi truck just before midnight.

The man driving the Volkswagen was killed at the scene.

The driver of the semi was not harmed.

An investigation is ongoing but officials said there is no indication yet why the man was driving in the wrong direction.

There were no passengers inside either vehicle at the time of the crash.

According to data from the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents has decreased by a whopping 25 percent over the past 10 years. While those statistics are great, the number of deaths associated with wrong-way driving crashes has remained steady over that time, according to the NHTSA, with around 360 deaths associated with these types of collisions every year.

Continue reading

A 17-year-old girl is recovering at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Monday after a Largo crash involving a wrong-way driver left her and three of her friends all with serious injuries.

The girl was a passenger in the front seat when the cars collided head-on.

Her three friends were also hurt and hospitalized.

Troopers said the other driver in the crash, a 26-year-old woman, was driving the wrong way on 66th Street North. They believe alcohol was a factor.

The woman died in the wreck.

Wrong-way driving collisions usually end in fatality, as this case shows. Most wrong-way driving crashes occur as a result of motorists operating their cars under the influence of alcohol or because they are confused and unaware that they’ve turned onto an exit or one-way street.

Wrong-way driving accidents take the lives of numerous people in Tampa Bay every year, and leave many more seriously injured. The recent rise of wrong-way crashes is alarming, as all of these crashes should be preventable.

Continue reading

A speeding car was apparently trying to flee law enforcement early Thursday morning when it crashed into a St. Petersburg house, according to law enforcement.

The 27-year-old driver suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital.

Deputies say that drugs were found inside the car and that the investigation is ongoing.

He was charged with trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in MDMA, possession of hydromorphone, possession of marijuana, and reckless driving.

Just before 2:45 a.m., the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office was conducting a traffic stop when the car took off, with one of the deputies trying to stop it, authorities say.

A violent crime task force unit happened to be in the area and it spotted the car being driven recklessly at a high speed, according to deputies.

The unit and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies did not try to stop the speeding vehicle, but did keep an eye on it, authorities said.

At around 2:52 a.m., the car crashed into a home on 5301 10th St. North, deputies say, adding that the person in the house at the time was not hurt.

Speeding is one of the largest contributing factors to any auto accident. Speeding is a negligent driver behavior that is not only illegal, but extremely dangerous, as this case shows. It is also more likely that those who drive faster than posted limits do so on a regular basis.

If your accident was the result of another person’s negligence, you have the right to file a claim for financial compensation. Filing an auto accident accident lawsuit can help victims recover damages for property loss, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and so much more. Our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you through the claims process so that you receive full and fair compensation for your losses.

Continue reading

Tampa police are currently investigating an early-morning fatal hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian.

According to Tampa police, the crash happened in the 6900 block of east Adamo Drive just before 5 a.m. The pedestrian died as a result of the crash.

The eastbound lanes of Adamo Drive were closed at 50th Street for several hours.

No further details regarding the crash have been released.

Pedestrians are injured and killed every day by negligent motorists. At Whittel & Melton, our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Attorneys take a hard stand against at-fault drivers, especially those that flee the scene of an accident, leaving an innocent person suffering. We work hard to protect victims and their surviving family members recover the full and fair damages that they are entitled to recover under the law. We firmly believe that reckless drivers have to be held accountable for their actions.

Pedestrian accidents can be quite complex. The insurance company involved will certainly have a team of adjusters and lawyers involved simply to protect their best interests and minimize payouts. You are no match for the insurance company and their team of professionals by yourself. In fact, the insurance company knows this and hopes that you will not get a lawyer on your side. This is why you must level the playing field and let our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton help you through this difficult time.

Continue reading

Many Americans look forward to Thanksgiving every year as it truly is one of the happiest days of the year. While endless families throughout the United States are enjoying the day with their family, eating turkey, and getting ready for the rest of the holidays, others are battling with dangerous and reckless drivers sharing the roadway. As with any other holiday, accidents and injuries run rampant during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

The reality is, holidays always make the roads a bit riskier. There is always an influx of traffic because everyone is heading to a destination on or around the same day. Sadly, more drivers on the roads means more accidents. Many people are driving in unfamiliar areas, so they are probably more likely to be distracted by their phone, texts, phone calls, or GPS navigation systems. More drivers also means more traffic, which can lead to high-stress situations and reckless driving. Lastly, more people consume alcohol on holidays, so there is an increase in the number of drunk drivers on the roadways. DUI accidents usually spike on Thanksgiving weekend.

Our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to advise anyone out on the road during Thanksgiving weekend to be safe and obey the rules of the roads. Keep an eye out for dangerous drivers, and make sure you are not one yourself.

If you or a loved one is injured this Thanksgiving holiday, we are here to help. We know how devastating car accidents can be, which is why we are dedicated to doing everything in our power to help you through this difficult time. Whether you are seeking legal counsel and care for your medical bills, emotional distress, or loss of work and wages, we are here for you in your time of need.

Continue reading

A pedestrian was killed early Monday after being struck by two vehicles on a major Tampa street.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened on Hillsborough Avenue near 50th Street.

Troopers said the pedestrian was struck in the eastbound lanes just before 3 a.m.

Both eastbound and westbound Hillsborough Avenue were closed for several hours after the crash.

Authorities have not released any further information as of yet.

The Governors Highway Safety Association shows that the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents increased 11 percent last year, to nearly 6,000. That’s the biggest single-year increase in pedestrian fatalities ever. It is also the highest number in more than two decades. The National Safety Council reported that traffic deaths overall went up 6 percent nationwide in 2016.

In Florida alone, we saw 301 pedestrian deaths from January 2016-June 2016, an 8.7 percent jump from 2015, which yielded 277 pedestrian deaths.

After speeding and the failure to yield, distractions are the number three cause of pedestrian fatalities, particularly due to electronic devices. Drivers distracted by their devices are a well-documented, rising cause of traffic fatalities.

Vehicle speeds are also a factor. According to reports, if a pedestrian is struck at 20 miles an hour, they have a 10 percent chance of dying. If they are struck at 40 miles an hour, they have an 80 percent chance of dying. According to the GHSA, 74 percent of pedestrian fatalities happen at night, and 72 percent of those killed were not crossing at intersections. Another significant factor is alcohol. The GHSA reports that 15 percent of pedestrians killed each year are hit by a drunk driver.

Continue reading

Contact Information