Articles Posted in Tampa Bay Auto Accident Lawyer

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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 23-year-old man was killed Wednesday morning in a pedestrian-involved crash near Ulmerton Road in Clearwater.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened at 6:45 a.m. near westbound Ulmerton and 34th Street North.

Troopers believe the Alachua man was walking northbound across Ulmerton Road when he stepped into the path of a Honda Element SUV being driven by a 23-year-old man from St. Petersburg.

He was rushed to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg where he later died. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.

The crash is currently being investigated.

When a person dies because of another person’s carelessness, certain family members are entitled to recover compensation by filing of a wrongful death lawsuit. Different from a personal injury claim, a wrongful death suit is filed by a family member of the deceased instead of the victim of the accident.  Wrongful death claims can provide financial compensation to surviving family members for emotional and financial injuries suffered whereas personal injury lawsuits provide the victim with monetary compensation based on the injuries suffered as a result of the accident.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We can walk you through what steps need to be taken and make sure you understand what to expect.

Continue reading

Uber and Lyft have certainly changed how people get around town, that is for sure. However, some things don’t change, and as this case shows, people get injured in car accidents every day in Tampa and St. Petersburg. When people are injured in an Uber or Lyft car, they need to seek legal help from a Tampa Bay Auto Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton right away.  

Recently, an Uber driver suffered life-threatening injuries and his passenger serious injuries after he drove his car into another driver’s path.

The 38-year-old Uber driver picked up his 30-year-old passenger in a driveway on Fourth Street North around 1:15 a.m. He sat in the rear passenger’s seat.

The driver tried to make a U-turn on Fourth Street in his 2012 Chevrolet Cruze to head north, but he pulled in the path of a Mustang that was already travelling in the median lane. The Mustang hit the driver’s side of the Chevy.

The driver and passenger in the Mustang had minor injuries. The Uber driver and passenger were taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

If you were injured in a car accident or on any form of transportation including Uber, Lyft, taxis, etc. let our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton help. We can make sure you understand the legal processes of investigating and presenting your Uber or Lyft accident personal injury claim. We will also work with your doctors so that you can focus on what you need to, which is recovering.

Continue reading

Millennial drivers are behaving badly on U.S. roads, a trend that could be contributing to a spike in highway deaths, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

In 2015, U.S. traffic deaths rose 7 percent to 35,092, the largest single-year increase in five decades. They’re expected to rise again in 2016 when that data is finalized.

The study found that more than three-quarters of drivers said it was unacceptable to text or email while driving, but 31 percent had done so in the last month and 8 percent do so often. Ninety-six percent of drivers said drowsy driving is a serious safety threat, but 29 percent had recently driven when they were so tired they had trouble keeping their eyes open.

The study questioned 2,511 licensed drivers aged 16 and over. Here are the findings:

  • The youngest drivers — those ages 16 to 18 — were less likely to engage in speeding, running red lights or texting while driving than drivers in their 20s through 50s.
  • Eighty-three percent of drivers — and 86.5 percent of drivers 75 or older — said they were more careful than other drivers on the road.
  • Just over half of drivers feel seriously threatened by drivers talking on cell phones, but 68 percent made a call while driving in the last 30 days.
  • Drivers ages 40-59 were the most likely to use a hands-free phone in the car. Drivers ages 16-18 and 75 or older were the most likely to hold their phones and talk while driving.
  • Twenty-three percent of drivers — and 36 percent of those ages 19 to 24 — think it’s acceptable to drive 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway. Forty-six percent of drivers say they have driven that fast on a freeway in the last 30 days.
  • Sixty percent of drivers say people who drive after using illegal drugs are a serious threat, but just 34 percent say the same about people who drive after using prescription drugs.

Distracted driving is dangerous. All of us drivers should remember this every time we get behind the wheel of a car. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, nine people are killed in the United States everyday in accidents connected to distracted driving and an additional 1,153 are injured.

Texting, tweeting, eating, drinking, and all other distracted driving behaviors should be avoided while driving. Focusing on the road should be your number one priority. If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident because of a distracted driver, our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you recover financial compensation to help cover the costs associated with the crash.

Continue reading

Deputies are currently investigating a fatal crash that involved a motorcyclist.

The accident occurred around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday on 150th Avenue in Seminole.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office believes the 40-year-old man was traveling eastbound in the median lane of Bay Pines Boulevard when he lost control of his motorcycle.

The man hit a guardrail, was ejected from the motorcycle and pronounced dead at the scene, according to authorities.

Motorcycle accidents can occur because of many different factors and can be caused by numerous different parties. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Drunk Driving
  • Motorcycle Defects
  • Road Defects
  • Reckless Driving

When a motorcycle accident occurs, the responsible party could be liable for damages related to injuries, wrongful death and pain and suffering.

The holidays are a time of increased travel and because of Florida’s pretty much year round temperate climate, there are still many motorcycles traversing the Tampa Bay roadways. Keep in mind that any time there are more drivers on the roads, there is an increased risk in becoming involved in a serious crash. Our Tampa Bay Motorcycle Accident Lawyers  at Whittel & Melton urge you to exercise caution during the holidays and every other day of the year.

Continue reading

Officials are working to make a Lakeland road safer after three people died along the roadway in the past three years, most recently in May of this year.

The details of a Florida Department of Transportation study will be released later and suggest that improvements on Clubhouse Road should be made.

A high school student was struck and killed by a school crossing guard supervisor as he tried to cross the road in the dark in May. The teen was trying to get to his school bus stop.

In August 2014, the body of a woman was found next to Clubhouse Road, the apparent victim of a hit-and-run. In November 2014, a man was hit by a Ford F-250 as he rode a skateboard on Clubhouse Road.

The problems on the roadway, which also has a development entrance, include a lack of sidewalks, crosswalks and lights.

The fatal crashes date back to 2014 with three cases of people being struck by cars as they tried to cross Clubhouse Road. All of the accidents happened in the dark.

In addition to lighting, FDOT will suggest connecting sidewalks that aren’t continuous, adding signs to address speeding and installing left-hand turn lanes at three of the busiest intersections along the roadway that don’t have traffic control signals.

Dangerous road conditions are the cause of many fatal traffic accidents in Florida. Auto accidents involving deadly roadways can occur because of the poor surface condition of a road, improper design, lack of adequate marking or signage, inadequate guardrails, poor traffic control in work zones, and many more as this article highlights.

A driver that has suffered an injury in an auto accident may not even realize that poor road conditions played a part in their collision. Sometimes these accidents require an independent investigation by a skilled lawyer. Our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have experience with complex traffic accidents, which is why we work with traffic accident reconstruction experts to identify the exact cause of auto collisions. We can analyze your accident and determine if dangerous road conditions contributed to the crash.

Continue reading

Hillsborough deputies are currently investigating a fatal crash involving a motorcycle rider colliding with an SUV in Thonotosassa Friday.

Deputies believe the motorcycle and the SUV were both traveling south on Tom Folsom Road Friday around 4:31 p.m. As the SUV slowed to make a left turn onto Reylinda Avenue, the motorcyclist attempted to pass in the northbound lane.

The motorcycle then hit the SUV on the driver’s front side. The 30-year-old driver was ejected from the bike on impact.

The man and the bike slid into the grass off the southeast corner of the intersection. He was transported to Florida Hospital on Fletcher Avenue, where he died from his injuries.

The driver of the SUV, a 38-year-old woman, was not injured.

Alcohol is not thought to be a factor in the crash at this time.

Several car  and motorcycle accidents are reported every day on Tampa Bay area roads and highways. Some are the direct result of speeding or disobeying traffic laws, and others are due to careless driving and even drunk driving. It is always important to exercise caution when driving any vehicle, including a motorcycle. You must pay attention any time you are in the driver’s seat to ensure your safety and that of your passengers.

Continue reading

A 31-year-old Land O’ Lakes man was killed Wednesday morning in Tampa in a crash involving a motorcycle.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened at 56th Street and Hillsborough Avenue just before 7 a.m.

Troopers believe the motorcyclist ran the red light at the intersection while traveling west on Hillsborough Ave. He collided with a southbound Toyota pickup truck and was ejected from his motorcycle.

He died at the scene.

The 47-year-old driver of the pickup truck suffered minor injuries.

There can be many reasons a motorcyclist may run a red light. The driver might be in a new area, distracted by surroundings, or the traffic light could have malfunctioned, just to name a few. Running a red light is a top cause of auto accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red light accidents are 47 percent more likely to result in injury or death.

Continue reading

Contact Information