Articles Posted in Tampa Bay Personal Injury Lawyer

Pinellas County has the highest bicycle fatality rate of any major metro area in the U.S., according to federal data. Its per-capita cyclist death rate for the past decade ranks No. 1 among the four counties in the Tampa Bay metro area.

In fact, Florida has by far the highest per-capita bicyclist death rate in the country.

The number of cyclists killed in motor-vehicle crashes nationwide hit 840 in 2016—the most recent data available—according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was the most since 1991 and a 35% jump from 2010.

A range of likely reasons explains the rise in deaths, including more overall vehicular traffic and driver distractions, according to people who track transportation trends.

Texting drivers is a huge problem. Alcohol is yet another big factor. In 2015, 22% of fatally injured cyclists, and 12% of drivers in these crashes, had a blood-alcohol content level of at least 0.08, the legal limit for motorists in most states, according to the nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Association.

While cyclist death rates have risen in many states since 2010, the three with the most fatalities since then—Florida, California and Texas—account for about 40% of all cyclist deaths, according to NHTSA, despite having 27% of the nation’s population.

Florida’s numbers are bad even when compared with other warm-weather states. Its recent 10-year cyclist fatality rate was 6.2 deaths per 100,000 residents; that is 59% higher than the rate in Louisiana, the state with the second-highest level.

State transportation officials say they have made a concerted effort since 2014 to boost cycling safety. The Florida Department of Transportation changed its standard width for bike lanes from 4 to 7 feet and now recommends buffered or protected bike lanes. The agency launched a $100 million push in 2016 to better light 2,500 locations where the number of nighttime crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists was high.

The state agency also lowered speed limits in some places, officials said. Local police have stepped up education efforts on topics such as using lights at night and riding with the flow of traffic.

Cycling deaths in Florida fell to 116 in 2017, the fewest since 2010 and a significant drop from recent years, according to preliminary state data. But so far this year, bike fatalities involving motor-vehicles are trending higher: Through Sept. 23, the state said 95 cyclists had been killed in such accidents, putting it on track for about 130 for the year.

Six of those bicyclists died in Pinellas County, which includes the coastal cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

When a motorist is found to have caused a fatal bicycle accident, they may be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. While not all fatal accidents are considered wrongful deaths, those that are caused by another person’s negligence are. In Florida, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by the family, usually the parents, spouse or children of the victim, and any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.”

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The Florida Highway Patrol is currently investigating a fatal crash involving a motorcycle colliding with a school bus in Pinellas County Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators said the crash occurred at the intersection of 62nd Avenue North and 28th St. North. The bus was traveling west on 62nd Avenue, while the motorcycle, driven by a 21-year-old man, approached the intersection from the opposite direction.

When both vehicles reached the intersection, the bus driver turned the bus left onto 28th St. North, driving into the motorcyclists path, according to investigators. The motorcycle struck the right side of the bus, and the 21-year-old suffered fatal injuries in the collision.

None of the students or staff on board the bus were injured.

Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately far too common. School buses are larger vehicles sharing the road, so one small mistake on behalf of the driver can easily result in serious injuries and even death to motorcyclists involved in collisions.

Our Tampa Bay area Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton investigate bus accidents aggressively, and we will work to make sure you and/or your surviving loved ones get the full and fair compensation for serious injuries or wrongful death. Sometimes just settlements can be achieved through negotiations out of court, but we are not afraid to try the case in court. Our goal is to make sure you and your loved ones are taken care of financially in the future for the suffering endured.

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A bicyclist was hospitalized Monday morning after he was struck by a vehicle in Pinellas Park.

The crash occurred just after midnight at 62nd Avenue and 66th Street North.

Police said the bicyclist, an adult male, was hit in the northbound lanes, resulting in serious injuries.

He was transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Traffic Homicide Investigators are investigating the crash due to the severity of the man’s injuries.

No other information has been released.

If you or a loved one was involved in a bicycle accident and suffered serious injuries, our Tampa Bay Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help. We have the experience, knowledge and resources to help you recover the full and fair financial compensation that you are entitled to for the injuries that you have suffered.

We can help you obtain compensation for all types of serious bicycle injuries, including:

Bicycles offer minimal protection to riders. With just a helmet that the rider is wearing, bicycle accidents are often serious and leave injury victims suffering severe injuries. This is why our injury lawyers fight aggressively fight to help obtain the financial compensation to which you are entitled for your suffering.

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A 6-year-old boy died Sunday in an ATV crash in Lakeland.

Officials say the child was riding in an ATV driven by an 8-year-old when it crashed.

The boys were apparently riding on a dirt track when the ATV struck two dirt mounds and flipped onto its side, landing onto the 6-year-old boy.

The child suffered “massive head injuries.”

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said his family brought him to a fire station after the crash and he was transported to Tampa Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The 8-year-old boy was not injured.

The boys initially wore helmets but removed them after taking a break and did not put them back on.

According to the U.S. Product Safety Commission, nearly 90,000 people a year are injured, and another 120 people are killed in ATV accidents in the United States. Tragically, more than half of all ATV injuries and deaths occur in children under the age of 16. These fatalities can be frequent because children are riding ATVs weighing up to 600 pounds or more that are meant for adults, and can travel up to 60 M.P.H., so life-threatening roll overs and lethal injuries can easily happen.

Our experienced Tampa Bay Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can take action for you if your child has been hurt or killed in an ATV accident caused by someone else’s negligence. We work to get maximum compensation for your suffering and financial hardships.

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A 16-year-old that was struck by a vehicle Friday afternoon in Tampa has died from his injuries.

The teen was hit while trying to cross E. Sligh Avenue near N. Rome Avenue around 3:45 p.m. on Friday.

Police say the teen was running northbound across the street, outside the crosswalk, when he was hit by a Honda Accord.

He was transported to the hospital in critical condition and died on Saturday from his injuries.

Officials say the crash remains under investigation.

Crossing the street where there is heavy traffic, can be quite dangerous. Pedestrians are the world’s most vulnerable road users as they lack the protection that drivers are afforded, which is why they rarely survive collisions. If they do survive, they will likely have serious injuries, including fractures and broken bones, traumatic brain injury or internal organ damage on top of emotional scarring and post-traumatic stress symptoms.

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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 head-on collision between a Ford Escape and a motorcycle left two people dead and one person with serious injuries.

The crash occurred around 4:27 p.m. on Sunday on US 98 just north of Rockridge Road in Polk County.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the Escape was traveling northbound on US 98 and traveled into the southbound lanes in an attempt to pass another vehicle.

The Escape entered the path of a motorcycle and both vehicles collided head-on, troopers said.

The occupants of the motorcycle, a 72-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman, were ejected from the vehicle. They were pronounced dead on scene.

The driver of the Escape, a 61-year-old woman suffered serious injuries and was transported to Lakeland Regional Hospital.

According to the report, charges are pending.

Motorcycle head-on collisions may not occur as often as other types of motorcycle accidents, but when they do happen the aftermath can be devastating for a rider, any passengers and their families. Serious injuries, including wrongful death, are possible.

Head-on motor vehicle crashes happen when one vehicle crosses the centerline of a road or when one vehicle is traveling the wrong way down a one-way street or highway. This can occur when a driver is:

  • Drowsy
  • Drunk
  • Distracted
  • Otherwise negligent

Any driver whose negligent actions cause a head-on collision can be held liable for any damages that result from the crash. Our Tampa Bay Motorcycle Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you understand what action is needed to recover financial compensation. We know that this cannot bring back loved ones you have lost, but it can help you move forward with your life and work towards grieving your loved one properly.

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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.

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Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a Certified Nursing Assistant accused of sexually assaulting an 85-year-old man.

The 35-year-old is charged with one count of sexual battery.

Deputies say that through June 6 and June 9, the man sexually assaulted the man.

The man was allegedly working as a CNA at a senior living home, where the 85-year-old man lived.

The man is currently being held at Orient Road Jail.

Sexual assault in a nursing home or assisted living facility does happen. This can be the result of the facility not conducting proper background checks on every potential employee. When the facility fails to provide proper screening on any employee with a sexual abuse history, they can be held liable for any sexual abuse and/or negligence.

The facility can also be held liable for the sexual abuse because of improper employee supervision. This is often the result of poor training or understaffing. The nursing facility is required to properly train and supervise all employees on the best methods of spotting sexual abuse. When this does not happen, the facility can be held responsible for failing to take proper security measures to protect residents.

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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.

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