Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Sharing the road with large trucks can be frightening, and also very dangerous. Large trucks, including semis and tractor trailers, are particularly dangerous when they are traveling too close to the cars in front of them at a high rate of speed. If you have ever experienced this while driving on a highway then you know exactly how terrifying it can be, especially when you are in a smaller vehicle. When trucks are travelling along side you it is crucial to avoid the truck’s blind spots and to make sure that you keep a safe distance from the truck. However, sometimes there are no warning signs that a truck is driving too fast or too closely to your vehicle and there is no way to avoid being struck by one of these large vehicles. Sadly, this is exactly what happened on I-75 in Hillsborough County in a truck crash where two people were killed. 

The northbound lanes of Interstate 75 just past Bruce B. Downs Boulevard were reopened Thursday morning after a fiery semi truck crash that left two people dead and five others injured Wednesday night. 

The lanes were reopened just before 8 a.m., more than 12 hours after the crash, which happened just before 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

At least eight vehicles were involved in the crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver of the semi could not slow down in time to avoid the traffic ahead that had slowed to an almost stop. The semi plowed into multiple vehicles and collided with a pillar for an overhead roadway sign on the outside shoulder. 

The semi and another vehicle became engulfed in flames. Both those drivers died. Troopers have not released the names of the people killed. 

Crews were finally able to remove the semi just after 7 a.m. and reopened the lanes. Cleanup has continued along the side of the roadway.

The crash remains under investigation.

Truck accidents can lead to devastating injuries that require expensive medical care and could prevent you from working for days, weeks or even permanently. Due to the severity of the injuries that result from truck accidents, it is absolutely vital that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. Our Tampa Bay Truck Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can conduct an investigation into your crash to build a strong case on your behalf.

In order to successfully prove fault in your case, we must show that someone else’s negligence caused the truck accident. We will gather all of the evidence necessary to help you obtain maximum financial compensation. We will start by reconstructing the accident scene and reviewing the police and accident reports. We can then analyze any photos or video footage of the crash site. We will look into the truck driver’s driving history and figure out how many hours the trucker had driven and when their break was before the accident. We will also work with industry experts to investigate and build your case. This includes making sure that the truck trailer did not exceed weight restrictions and was loaded properly, as well as verifying the truck drivers’ background, driving records and criminal background. 

While some truck accident cases are easy to find where the fault lies, others can be more complex. This is why we utilize the latest technology and expert guidance to uncover what was happening in the moments leading up to, during, and after the collision. This helps us piece together the entire picture of what caused the accident.

The victims who are killed in truck accidents leave behind their spouses and children. Close relatives can be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and/or the trucking company for the death of their loved one. Wrongful death suits can be tricky, which is why it is best to have our experienced Tampa Bay Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton on your side. We are a team of caring and compassionate legal professionals who will guide you through the process of recovering from your injuries or losses and recover the full and fair monetary damages to which you are entitled. We know that nothing we do can replace a lost loved one or minimize your injuries, but we can make sure that your financial reward is just so that you can focus on moving on from your pain. 

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A 24-year-old man is in serious condition after a multi-vehicle crash on I-4 in Hillsborough County Tuesday morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol believes a truck traveling northbound on the crosstown connector entered the ramp to travel eastbound on I-4 and spilled a large amount of gravel onto the roadway, causing two vehicles to lose control and collide with the barrier wall.

According to the FHP report, the 24-year-old man got out of his vehicle to inspect the damage and was hit by a third vehicle. The impact caused the man to fall over the wall 33 feet to the ground below. He is in serious condition at Tampa General Hospital.

The other two drivers did not suffer any injuries.

Due to the accidents and spilled gravel, the ramp was closed for several hours.

FHP is asking anyone with information on the truck that spilled the gravel to call 813-631-4020.

An auto accident involving a dump truck can be quite serious, as this case shows. Dump trucks are primarily used for transporting materials like gravel, sand, or dirt for construction purposes. A car accident can easily occur when dump trucks spill materials on the roadway. Gravel can break windshields, blow out tires and cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and crash.

Auto accidents involving trucks can end in serious and sometime fatal injuries. If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident in Hillsborough County, our Tampa Bay Truck Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help with your personal injury or wrongful death claim. We firmly believe the at-fault driver should be held responsible for their actions.

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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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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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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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Slick roads are what caused a semi-truck to travel over a bridge in Manatee County and dive into the water.

Fortunately, a Good Samaritan saw the whole thing and came to the driver’s rescue.

After the crash, the truck was crushed, sinking and leaking diesel fluid.

The 29-year-old New Jersey driver survived the crash with minor injuries.

The Good Samaritan was on his boat during the mishap and managed to get the driver out of the truck right in time.

6304888398_e40c4ebcb2_zThe truck’s cab is completely crushed and the entire vehicle remains submerged in the Manatee River.

Florida Highway Patrol does not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Millions of cars and trucks travel throughout Florida’s roadways and the rest of the country each year, resulting in thousands of accidents that cause serious injury or death. Many factors can contribute to auto accidents, and wet and slippery roads are a major contributor.

The following are a few easy steps drivers can take to avoid driving errors that lead to accidents and property damage.

  • Reduce Speed:  Reducing your speed to below the speed limit can help prevent loss of traction from water, or even ice on the roadways. This is especially important to do on winding roads, inclines and declines.
  • Increase Braking Distance: When roads are slick or wet, braking distance must be increased. Hard braking can result in loss of traction as well as loss of control. This effect is heightened in larger, heavier vehicles, like tractor trailers and semis.
  • Stay Alert: Drivers must pay attention to road problems, traffic signals and signs, especially when facing poor road conditions. When there is inclement weather, it is important to avoid sudden steering or braking.

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Two lanes of northbound I-75 were blocked off this morning just south of Riverview after there was an accident involving a semi.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 37-year-old Tampa man was driving a 2013 semi north on I-75 at 5:39 a.m. when he lost control of the truck.

The semi exited the roadway and collided with a 2014 Volkswagen Passat driven by a 42-year-old woman, according to troopers. The semi and the car both hit the outside guardrail, then slid down the shoulder embankment.

Both individuals were taken to Tampa General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Traffic was backed up for several miles while crews pulled the vehicles up from the embankment..

The truck driver was ticketed for failure to use due care.

Troopers also believe heavy rains and wet conditions played a role in the crash as well.

The results can be devastating when a semi driver loses control of the vehicle or the tractor detaches from its trailer and spins out of control. These accidents are usually severe and cause significant property damage, injury or even death to the truck driver or other drivers and passengers involved in the accident.

Numerous things can cause a semi truck driver to lose control, from driver error to equipment malfunction. These cases can be quite complex, so it is best to consult with an injury lawyer as soon as possible. A Tampa Bay Truck Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can investigate your case to determine what caused the crash and who is liable. The at-fault party may not be just one person, in fact it can include a number of different parties from the truck driver to the trucking company or other parties.

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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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Most people recognize that using a cell phone while driving can prove deadly. However, a new AAA study shows that cell phone use is hardly the only activity that may cause you to become involved in a serious auto accident.

The most recent research carried out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concludes that most teens involved in crashes are guilty of distracted driving but, not all of these cases involve distracted driving associated with cell phone use.

According to AAA, distracted driving is a factor that is present in 6 out of all 10 accidents that are moderate or severe. Distracted driving among teens has only been associated with 14 percent of all teen driver crashes by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so this new study may indicate that teens are much more likely to be involved in serious distracted driving crashes than we once thought.

According to the results of the study, the number one cause of distraction among teen drivers who are involved in crashes is talking to other passengers.

7838240744_a3b0aeaaa3_zThe study also found that out of the 1,700 videos of crashes involving teens recorded by in-vehicle event recorders, 58 percent of the crashes were caused by distraction. Here is the breakdown of the results: 89 percent of road-departure crashes were associated with distractions, while 76 percent of the rear-end collisions were caused by distractions.

While talking to passengers accounts for the highest number of crashes, cell phone use follows in second with 12 percent of all crashes involving teens. AAA also reports that 8 percent of the distracted driving crashes involving teens they researched were caused by personal grooming while driving and another 6 percent of collisions were caused by teens reaching for items inside the car.

This study is important because it highlights the dangers that teen drivers face on a daily basis. Creating awareness of these distractions could help safety advocates and lawmakers develop better solutions to the distracted driving problem.

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The start of 2015 is right around the corner, which means it is important to address that the New Year’s holiday is known for being one of the most dangerous times of the year, especially for accidents involving drunk drivers.

According to the National Safety Council, in 2014, the three-day period around New Year’s Day was the holiday period with the highest amount of drunk driving deaths. Partygoers who are out celebrating should factor safety precautions into their holiday planning to improve their chances of avoiding a holiday accident.

2154575545_f58be7229d_zThere are numerous dangers that drivers and passengers face when traveling on the roadways during the New Year’s holiday. Some of the most common holiday hazards include:

  • More Traffic: With gasoline prices low, more people have been travelling for the holidays. New Years Eve and New Years Day is no exception. With more vehicles on the roads, there is an increased risk for holiday travelers. Drivers can get easily frustrated or distracted when traffic is congested.
  • Bad Weather: Rain, hail, snow and ice only add to the hazards of New Year’s travel. Even the most skilled drivers are no match for poor road conditions caused by inclement weather.
  • Drunk Drivers: Holidays and alcohol go hand in hand. Many people use New Year’s celebrations as an excuse to get drunk. When drunk drivers choose to get behind the wheel, they pose a serious danger to themselves and others.

Whether you are hosting a New Year’s party or attending one yourself, remember that there are numerous things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a New Year’s statistic.

  1. Know your limit when it comes to alcoholic beverages.
  2. Designate a driver, take a cab, use Lyft or Uber, call AAA, use public transportation or ask a sober friend to come pick you up.
  3. Report suspected drunk drivers.
  4. If you are planning to attend a New Year’s party, arrange to stay at the party location, or stay at a hotel or motel that is within walking distance.
  5. Celebrate the New Year without alcohol.

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