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Articles Posted in Tarpon Springs Wrongful Death Lawyer

A man died and several others were injured in Manatee County after being involved in a multi-car collision just after 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

The crash occurred at 14th Street West and 53rd Avenue West.

Reports indicate that a 22-year-old woman driving a Dodge Charger made a left turn into the path of a 17-year-old driving a 2005 Chevy Silverado.

In the bed of the truck was a tire, which troopers believe launched into the air, smashing into the front of a Nissan Titan.

According to reports, the woman had a male passenger in her car who did not survive the accident. The passenger side of her Charger took the brunt of the impact. A 17-year-old passenger in her vehicle was also seriously injured. Her third passenger only suffered minor injuries.

Everyone else involved in the crash suffered minor injuries.

When a multi-vehicle crash occurs, there could be multiple parties to blame. It is important to determine fault in order to determine who is to blame for any injuries or tragic deaths. This must be done by conducting an investigation into the crash site to figure out exactly what happened.

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There were more than 1,400 wrong way crashes in FL in 2015, resulting in 1,454 injuries & 96 fatalities, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Wrong way driving collisions occur when a vehicle has failed to observe a posted traffic sign or pavement marking and proceeds in a lane travelling in the wrong direction.

Motorists are encouraged to stay in the right lane to avoid a crash with a wrong way driver, especially at night and during transitional light times such as dawn and dusk. In most wrong way wrecks, vehicles are hit head-on, resulting in 81 percent of all wrong way fatalities. Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous crashes, and sadly, result in the most fatalities.

The FLHSMV offers the following safety tips for drivers to avoid a wrong way driving crash:

  • Stay Right at Night to avoid crashes with wrong way drivers.
  • Call 911 right away to report wrong way drivers. If you see a wrong way driver approaching, you should reduce your speed right away and pull off the roadway.
  • Stay alert. Do not drive distracted and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Learn and obey all traffic signs. If you drive past a wrong way sign, turn around immediately. When you see a posted red sign, think about what red traffic sign colors are for: “Stop.” “Do Not Enter.” “Wrong Way.” Orange is used for construction and maintenance warnings. Yellow is for a general warning and advisory of unexpected roadways conditions. Fluorescent Yellow Green is for added emphasis warnings of school, pedestrian and bicycling activities. White/Black are regulatory signs, such as “Left Lane Must Turn Left.” Green signs are for guide or directional information. Blue signs are for motorist services guidance and to identify parking spaces or disabled drivers. Brown signs are reserved for areas of public recreation, cultural and historical significance.

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The Fourth of July is the perfect time to enjoy food, fun, and maybe a few drinks with family and friends. Whether you’re attending a fireworks show or hitting the bars, Tampa is the perfect place to celebrate America’s Birthday.

The sad truth is that Independance Day is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. Fireworks, hot grills, traffic, and other hazards can cause serious injuries or even death. Drunk driving rates spike over the July Fourth weekend.

The best way to prevent injuries and deaths this holiday weekend is to follow the below safety tips:

Do Not Drink And Drive

The best way to avoid a DUI collision is to stay sober if you will be getting behind the wheel of a car. Too many people believe they can operate a vehicle safely after a few drinks, but the truth is that driving under the influence puts your life, your passengers’ lives, and the lives of others sharing the road at risk, so do not chance it.  

Look Out For Possible Drunk Drivers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, police use more than 100 visual cues to identify drunk drivers. Knowing the signs can help you to avoid a DUI crash. Some of the cues include:

  • Swerving
  • Almost hitting an object in the road
  • Stopping well before or after a stop line
  • Not using headlights at night
  • Using the wrong turn signal
  • Parking too far from a curb
  • Abnormal accelerating and braking patterns

Use Lyft Or Uber

Both Uber and Lyft operate in the Tampa Bay area. If you intend to drink or if your DD gets drunk, use a taxi or rideshare service to get to your destination. You can even split the fare with your friends. Even if you are riding alone, the cost of a ride home safe  is much cheaper than a DUI.

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It’s summer! That means it is time to get to the pool and cool off with friends and family. There are pool parties, family gatherings and just pure summer fun all centered around the pool. Tampa can get pretty toasty in the summer months, so you and the kids are bound to take a dip in the pool a few times, if not daily.

Swimming pools are awesome, but they can also present some hazards to kids. However, if you follow the safety tips listed below you can stay cool and safe.

An Adult Needs To Supervise Kids At All Times!

Kids have to be monitored 24/7 by an adult whenever they are near water. Some parents are OK with passing this responsibility off to a teen babysitter, but we urge you to reconsider. Teens can get distracted way easier than adults. Looking away or stepping away from the pool for even a few minutes can prove deadly. It is best to follow the 10/20 rule: Check the pool every 10 seconds and make sure you are close enough to get to a child in distress within 20 seconds.

Install A Fence And Gate Around Pools

Pools should be enclosed with a fence and a gate. This makes it a lot harder for small children to gain access to the pool unsupervised. Children can find ways around gates and fences, so try to keep anything they can stack to climb over the fence out of their reach.

Safety Devices Can Malfunction

“Water wings” and life jackets can deflate, puncture, etc. Don’t rely on these to help your youngsters. Teach your kids to swim or enroll them in swimming lessons.

Keep A Fully Charged Cell Phone Nearby

Accidents can happen in mere seconds. Having a phone close could save a life if a medical emergency arises. It is also a good idea to have your address clearly listed on spot that guests can easily find in case an emergency occurs when you are not there and the emergency operator needs it.

Empty Kiddie Pools After Every Use

Children can drown in very small amounts of water because they  do not have the upper body strength to pull themselves up. Leaving a kiddie pool filled with water near the house could be disastrous as kids can easily fall in and drown.

Watch Your Alcohol Intake

Pool festivities often involve alcohol. Just keep this mind: drinking can cause your focus to drift away from the main task at hand, which is watching the little ones swimming or playing near the pool.

Nix The Horseplay

Don’t let kids play too rough or try to perform any crazy tricks. Cannonballs and backflips should be left to the professionals.

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Each year, numerous accidental deaths occur when children are left inside hot vehicles. Since 1998, an average of 37 US children have died every year from being left inside hot cars. A good amount of these were caused by lack of attention and could have been prevented. In these cases, vehicular heatstroke can be a wrongful death case.

According to statistics from 1998 to present, children left inside cars are the result of three primary circumstances:

  • In 54 percent of cases the child was ‘forgotten’ to be in the car.
  • In 29 percent of cases, kids were playing unattended inside a car without the knowledge of the caregiver.
  • In 11 percent of cases, the child was intentionally left inside the car generally while the adult ran an errand.

Within minutes of being left inside a hot vehicle, a child is in serious danger. The following tips can help you prevent making a lethal mistake:

  1. Never Leave A Child Alone In A Car. Sadly, 53 percent of all the children who died from vehicular heatstroke were under the age of 2. Some of this is because caregivers/guardians did not want to disturb sleeping infants or deal with unbuckling car seats for a “quick stop.” The truth is that even a few minutes can be fatal. The inside of a car can heat up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit in less than ten minutes on an average summer day.
  2. Heatstroke Can Happen In Minutes. Heatstroke can happen in a child when their core body temperature reaches around 104 degrees and becomes lethal at 107 degrees. A child’s core temperature can spike three to five times faster than adults, so heatstroke can happen in temperatures as low as 57 degrees and in shaded areas. Symptoms that a child is reaching dangerous heat levels include disorientation, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness.
  3. Give Yourself A Reminder. Most cases of child deaths in cars involve forgetting the child was even in the car. You can prevent this by setting reminders and insisting that caregivers set reminders that there is a child in the back. Place something you need in the backseat so that you are trained to look in the back seat every time you exit the car, even if you don’t have a child with you.

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A pedestrian was killed Saturday night in Brandon after being hit by a Jeep , according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened around 11:30 p.m. along Parsons Avenue South.

Deputies believe the 44-year-old pedestrian crossed Parsons Ave. into the direct path of a Jeep for unknown reasons.

The woman was struck and thrown to the east shoulder of the roadway. She died at the scene.

The driver, a 30-year-old woman, told investigators she did not see the pedestrian until she was right in front of the vehicle.

Investigators believe the woman may have been intoxicated at the time.

No other details have been released.

Drivers who have consumed alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car are more likely to make poor decisions and less likely to adjust to any abrupt changes in traffic conditions. Alcohol can affect your judgment, impair your motor functions and alter your depth perception, which is why a good amount of Tampa Bay DUI crashes result in very serious or fatal injuries.

If a drunk driver has killed someone you love, it is imperative to act quickly in order to ensure that they are held responsible for your losses. When a loved one is killed, the surviving family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

It is important to understand that even if the driver responsible for your loss is convicted for drunk driving, it will not automatically result in a financial settlement. Our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will help protect your rights and make sure that you are offered fair and full compensation for your losses.

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Who is responsible for your injury after a slip and fall or trip and fall accident? That depends. There are numerous factors when it comes to determining fault, but most importantly is where you fell, and whether it is public property, a business, or a residence.

Premises liability law establishes when residential and business owners are responsible for injuries that occur on their property. If you fall in a store or on some area of their property, like the parking lot, then the store could be liable for your injury if the injury was caused through its negligence. On that same note, if you are a guest in someone’s home and you suffer an injury as a result of the owner’s negligence, the homeowner may be liable.

How To Prove Your Claim

In order to be successful in a slip and fall or trip and fall case, you must show that there was a dangerous condition that the property owner was aware of or should have been aware of. The owner failing to remedy the dangerous condition caused you harm and it was foreseeable that someone could get hurt from it. In other words, there has to be a negligent party. If you just happened to slip, trip or fall for no apparent reason, then there may not be a responsible party other than yourself, which obviously creates an impossible burden for your claim. In the end, our job as lawyers is to investigate not only the mechanism of injury, learn how it could be avoided and determine if an insurance policy was paid for with the intent of compensating you for your injuries. Unfortunately, all the “good hands” in the world won’t start dialing your house most likely unless we call them first.

However, if you were harmed due to a real hazard, who you name in your lawsuit will depend on the details of your slip, trip or fall. If you were hurt at a retail store in the mall, there may be multiple parties, including the store, mall management, a security company, and possibly other entities.

When you fall at a residential property, the liable party is usually the property owner. If you are hurt in a rental and the tenant is responsible for handling repairs, then that person could be to blame.

When it comes to injuries on municipal properties, sidewalks and parks, it can be tricky to establish fault, but there is sometimes someone to blame for it, possible even the city or state.

Call A Tampa Bay Premises Liability Lawyer at Whittel & Melton – 727-823-0000

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After a day spent with family and friends feasting and watching football, many Americans will head out for a day filled with holiday shopping, better known these days as Black Friday. Stores throughout the Tampa Bay area have been advertising deals for weeks, and many shoppers will start lining up outside the stores after Thanksgiving dinner is finished.  Some stores have special deals that start on Thanksgiving night.

Black Friday often results in an increased risk of accidents and injuries. Mall parking lots will be crowded with pedestrians, shopping carts, drivers searching for parking spots, and children of all ages and sizes. According to Progressive Insurance, parking lot related accidents increase 36.5 percent on Black Friday. Progressive also reports that rear-end collisions account for 12.57 percent of claims. Hitting a parked car or having your parked car hit by someone else accounts for 11.13 percent of claims. Backing into another car or having your car backed into accounts for 7.68 percent of claims.  

When stores first open on Thanksgiving evening or Black Friday, there is the risk of overly enthusiastic shoppers to stampede to get to the special sale items. Be aware of your surroundings so that you can avoid any accidents. Slip and fall accidents can also happen inside stores quite easily. Wet floors, large crowds, pushing and shoving can all lead to slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. Head and other bodily injuries from falling merchandise or careless customers can be serious and ruin the holidays.

Shopping cart injuries are also becoming more common on Black Friday. Shoppers should be overly cautious to make sure their carts do not tip over and that small children are properly secured. According to reports, nearly 24,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for accidents related to shopping carts every year. While falls from the shopping cart are the most common injuries, injuries from running into or falling over the cart, cart tip-overs and entrapment of extremities in the cart are also common. Always pay attention to children when shopping, and pay special mind to the potential for accidents when it comes to shopping carts.

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A Bradenton man riding a scooter was killed Sunday night after being hit from behind by a SUV on State Road 70, according to reports.

The 41-year-old man was riding a scooter east on State Road 70 near the I-75 interchange around 7:20 p.m. when a Jeep Liberty changed lanes behind him and crashed into the scooter, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The man was thrown from the scooter and transported to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, where he later died.

The driver of the Jeep, an 18-year-old, was cited for careless driving, according to the FHP.

The most common scooter and moped injuries are fractures, broken bones, back and spine injuries, and head trauma. While some of these injuries can heal with time, others can have permanent, life-changing effects. In some tragic cases, scooter accidents can result in wrongful death. Scooter and moped riders should always wear helmets when operating their vehicles. However, even when riders use their safety equipment and drive defensively, they are still among the most vulnerable drivers on the road due to the lack of protection that these motor vehicles provide compared to passenger vehicles.

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There were no injuries Saturday morning after a car crashed into Manos Bakery at 1975 Drew Street in Clearwater.

According to police, a westbound Honda Civic on Drew Street ran a red light and collided with another car, resulting in the Honda crashing through the front of the bakery.

The Honda came to rest inside the bakery.

The bakery owner and one employee were inside, but neither they nor the drivers were injured.

The 34-year-old driver of the Honda was cited for running a red light and not having a valid driver’s license, according to police.

The technical rescue team from Clearwater Fire & Rescue examined the structural integrity of the building and boarded up windows that had been smashed out by the impact, police said.

Thousands of people in the U.S. are injured or killed because someone ran a red light. In fact, it is the one of the leading causes of urban accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

  • More than 1/2 of all American’s admit red-light running.
  • More than 60 percent of American’s will see someone run a red light at least once each week.
  • It is the leading cause of urban crashes.
  • Almost all drivers fear being hit by a red-light runner.
  • 1 in 3 Americans know someone that has been killed or injured by someone running a red light.

Traffic lights and signals are in place to protect drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. When these signals are ignored, the results can be catastrophic.

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