Articles Posted in Tampa Bay Boating Accident Attorney

It is standard for all Americans to celebrate the Fourth of July with friends and family. Boating, swimming, grilling and watching fireworks is something many look forward to on this summer holiday. While there is much fun to be had, the activities that surround the Fourth of July can also be dangerous.

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That is why you must plan for the unexpected to happen on this long weekend. Our Tampa Bay Holiday Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to remind you to be safe this Fourth of July while celebrating in Tampa. Here are our top 5 safety tips for Independence Day:

  1. Let the pros handle the fireworks show: Fireworks injure thousands of people each year, most of them being children and teens. What many people fail to realize is that fireworks are quite dangerous and can easily result in severe burns, property damage and fires, and even death. Even sparklers, when lit, can reach temperatures of 1,800 degrees. We encourage you to let the professionals handle the fireworks and just sit back and enjoy them – all while staying injury free. If you must use some sparklers, then make sure you view what the State Fire Marshal has deemed legal for 2022.
  2. Avoid a grill injury: While you may be the grill master of your neighborhood, accidents can happen at any time. Grill injuries are actually quite common, affecting about 20,000 Americans annually. If you are going to be firing the grill up this Fourth of July weekend for hotdogs, hamburgers, steaks, or anything else, remember these important tips:
  • Wash your hands and all grilling equipment before you handle any food – this will help prevent the spread of germs.
  • Clean your grill before and after you use it to keep fat buildup (this can cause fires) at bay.
  • Check any hoses for holes or cracks that could make gas leak and be sure to open the grill lid before lighting it.
  • Never grill in enclosed spaces, like a garage or near trees or bushes as these areas can ignite fires.
  • Use a grill pad under your grill to help with splatters and keep your grill on a flat surface.
  • Keep pets, kids, and anyone drinking away from the grill to be safe.
  • Make sure the grill is properly shut off when it is not in use. Any spare propane tanks should be disconnected and stored in a cool place away from sunlight.
  1. Drink responsibly: The Fourth of July is a celebration, but you can party responsibly. If you are having guests over and serving beer and cocktails, make sure you have plenty of food and water to help assist with the metabolism of alcohol. Do not serve alcohol to any guests under 21 and take the keys away from anyone who has been overserved. You can have a guest room available, call a cab, or even download a rideshare app.
  2. Be safe when boating: If you are going to be on the water over the Fourth of July weekend in Tampa, then follow these tips:
  • Check weather conditions before you head out, like high winds, thunderstorms, or even severe heat (to avoid heatstroke).
  • Do not drink and operate a boat. On that same note, limit any passenger’s consumption of alcohol to prevent any unnecessary boating accident injuries.
  • Tell friends or family where you are going and when you will be back – this is just in case something goes awry.
  • Everyone on the boat should wear a lifejacket at all times on the boat and make sure that it fits properly.
  1. Be safe at swimming pools: The Fourth of July means that many people will be swimming in pools, beaches, or lakes, which is a great way to beat the high temperatures in Tampa. Drowning accidents are a leading cause of death in children under the age of 15. If you are going to be at a pool or swimming in any body of water this holiday weekend, please remember the following:
  • Always keep an eye on children in the water. Drowning and near drowning incidents can happen in seconds. Don’t ever assume that someone else is watching your child, even if a lifeguard is present – make sure you are alert.
  • Make sure no one runs around a pool, as children, teens, and adults can all slip and fall very easily.
  • If you have young children that are not able to swim or are not strong swimmers yet, then invest in flotation devices that are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Never dive into shallow waters as this can lead to spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

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Rescuers pulled nine people from the water following a boat accident near Sarasota on Sunday afternoon.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said two boats collided just south of the Stickney Point Bridge in Sarasota.

Many of the people who went into the water were not wearing life jackets. One of the boats was still drivable, but the other had to be towed away after flipping over and capsizing.

FWC said one person was seriously injured, and three patients in total were taken to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital. In all, nine people were rescued from the water.

The circumstances surrounding the accident are still unclear. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

There are many reasons boat accidents occur. These can include speeding, errors by operators, insufficient training or knowledge of watercraft operation or equipment, defects in boat components or equipment, improper maintenance, and other issues, such as accidents involving intoxicated boat operators.

Boating accident injuries, which often result after a collision, can be wide ranging, with the most serious being wrongful death. Serious injuries like head and brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, broken bones, fractures, and other injuries can be sustained on small boats and large vessels alike. As the waterways become more congested, boating accidents have certainly been on the rise.

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Two people were injured in a boat crash in Tampa on Sunday, according to authorities.

The crash happened in the area of Channel Drive and Cayuga Avenue, near Davis Islands.

Tampa Fire Rescue believe a boat hit a pole and crashed.

Both people on the boat were injured. They were transported to a hospital unknown conditions.

No other details were immediately available.

Florida is a beautiful state that is abundant in rivers, lakes, and waterways. Many residents and visitors alike take advantage of the state’s beauty and enjoy various boating activities like fishing, skiing, tubing, and relaxing on the water. Sadly, accidents can occur while on the water. Personal injuries resulting from a boating accident are handled in a similar fashion to a car accident.

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A man is dead after a boat capsized Saturday afternoon in Tampa, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The incident happened shortly before 2 p.m. in Hillsborough Bay just south of Davis Islands.

Emergency responders arrived at the scene after receiving 911 calls about six people clinging to a buoy.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office used boats to pull some five people out of the water. One of the people recovered from the water, a 57-year-old man, died from his injuries.

One person was able to swim to Beer Can Island and was rescued by MacDill Air Force Base Marine Patrol.

One person was transported to a hospital for treatment.

FWC is conducting an investigation of the boating incident.

The boat, which sunk, will be retrieved once the weather improves.

Just like anyone driving a vehicle on the road, boat operators have a responsibility to control their vehicles safely on the water. Operators must understand how to navigate the vessel properly, travel at appropriate speeds, comply with all laws, and never operate the watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Not all boating accidents can be attributed to operator negligence or inexperience, though. Boating and watercraft accidents can also result from poor maintenance or defective boating design.

Issues that arise in boating accidents, such as proving negligence and responsibility, are similar to car accident and truck accident cases. However, when water is involved, there are additional factors that require the expertise and knowledge of a Tampa Bay Boating Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton.

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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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Can you believe that Labor Day weekend is next week? Sadly, that means that summer is coming to an end. If you are like most Americans, you will have a three-day weekend to celebrate all your hard work this year. While you may be planning a trip to the beach or hanging back to relax at the pool with friends and family, just know that with all gatherings, the risk for injuries increases over holiday weekends.

If you are injured or someone you love is killed in a boating or swimming pool accident, you should discuss your legal options with our Tampa Bay Watercraft & Boating Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible following the accident.

We know that many Floridians favorite pastime over Labor weekend is to head out and enjoy the water on one of the last summer weekends. The waterways and public pools can be crowded this LDW, and crowds can increase the hazards, including drowning or near-drowning accidents.

If you are heading out with friends and family to spend the weekend on beaches, lakes and rivers, put safety first. Boats, jet skis, tubes, and other water sports equipment are fun, but they can be dangerous. Most people tend to listen to music and drink when on the water, which can cause everyone to get distracted and ignore safety measures. Another thing to remember is that drunk, distracted, or inexperienced boat drivers can often be involved in boat crashes that can injure passengers.

Keep in mind, anytime water is involved, there is always the risk of serious drowning incidents or other catastrophic injuries.

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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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Four men were rescued on Friday after their boat capsized near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

A water rescue call came in around 12:52 p.m. for a small boat that had capsized at the bridge, according to St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue.

4939044794_23e70c74fc_zOfficials were able to find all of the men – one was clinging to the capsized boat, and three others were found less than a mile off shore floating west of the bridge.

All four men that were on the boat had their life vests on.

None of the boaters were harmed.

Boat accidents can refer to a vast number of incidences and usually occur due to the following reasons:

  • Inexperienced Operation: Many people operating a watercraft on Florida’s waterways lack the proper training or adequate experience to operate their vessels safely.
  • Operator Inattention: A day out on the water is a fun way to relax and relieve stress, however, countless distractions mean some vehicle operators may not be paying attention to various safety concerns, including other vehicles and channel markers.
  • Boating while Intoxicated: Drugs, alcohol and other substances can impair operator’s judgement and reaction times, leading to dangerous scenarios where accidents are likely to occur.

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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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Spring break is officially here, which means there are going to be lots of kids, teens, families and college students taking cruises to exotic places. While some will be cruising with their parents, others will be venturing off into the seas with friends. Due to the fact that there will be a higher number of young passengers on board cruise liners, our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to point out some tips to keep yourself and those you are travelling with free from danger.

cruise ship departure in MiamiCruise vacations should be fun, relaxing and enjoyable. However, the reality is that many cruises can bring out all kinds of hazards, such as injuries, illnesses and even rape and other crimes. Statistics show that sexual assault is the number one type of crime that is most likely to occur on cruise ships, which is why it is essential for spring breakers to always be on high alert. If you have planned on going on a cruise during spring break, please review the following safety tips:

  1. Travel with a Group. It is much easier to become the victim of an assault or other type of crime when you are travelling solo. Always make sure you have a buddy with you, even though larger groups are preferable. Avoid exploring the ship by yourself at all times.
  2. Be Aware of your Surroundings. You should feel free to socialize with other passengers, but keep all interactions well within the public eye. In the event that there is any trouble, as long as you are with others, you will not be alone or isolated. Keep your communications in common areas and in sections of the ship where there is a lot of traffic, like the Lido deck or dining room. Do not allow yourself to be alone with a stranger in their stateroom or in yours. You never want to be in a secluded area that is away from cameras, passengers or other crew members who can assist in the event of an emergency.
  3. Keep a Close Watch on Your Beverages. Many cruise ship passengers become distracted when socializing and drinking, making it very easy to slip something in a potential victim’s drink, regardless of whether the drink is alcoholic or not. Since a drink can be drugged in just seconds, it is very important to always keep a close eye on your beverage. Should you walk away from your drink, always ask for a new refreshment when you return.

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