Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

After a dozen elders overheated and died in a Hollywood nursing home during Hurricane Irma last year, Florida has passed new rules requiring health facilities to install backup generators capable of keeping the air conditioning blowing if the power goes out.

The state healthcare agency in charge of regulating institutions like nursing homes and assisted living facilities has not been able to inspect all the generators before the start of hurricane season, which was June 1.

The Agency for Healthcare Administration sees facilities inspected once every two years, and apparently has no plans to change that. This means that some generators won’t be inspected by AHCA this storm season or possibly even before the season after that. There are nearly 3,800 nursing homes and ALFs around the state.

Local fire departments also inspect nursing homes annually for life and safety, so the generators could be checked then.

The rules passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott require healthcare facilities to submit a safety plan verifying they have installed a working generator or alternate power source that can supply electricity for a maximum of 96 hours.

AHCA is tasked with reviewing the new emergency power plans for the required generators, but the rules set few requirements for how the agency will ensure the plans are being followed.

The new rules also state that AHCA “may request cooperation” from Florida’s fire marshal to inspect the generators.

Penalties for not following the rules include but are “not limited to, license revocation, license suspension, and the imposition of administrative fines.” AHCA may also grant extensions until January 2019 for generator installation.

Pinellas County has 70 nursing homes and nearly 200 ALFs.

When a nursing home or ALF is not prepared to manage residents in the midst of a tropical storm or hurricane, it can cause residents to suffer from various personal injuries and even wrongful death. For those who suffer injuries while in a nursing home environment, our  Pinellas County Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can investigate whether the nursing home should be held responsible for their actions.

We can help injured nursing home residents recover financial compensation to cover medical expenses, therapy, rehabilitative care, as well as wrongful death expenses. We will look into nursing home and ALF policies and practices to determine if negligence contributed to, or caused a resident to suffer harm.

Continue reading

A motorcyclist was hit and killed while traveling on U.S. 19 in Pinellas County on Wednesday.

Troopers identified the victim as a 25-year-old man from Port Richey. He was driving northbound on US 19 when a Ford F150 turned left into the path of the motorcycle causing the fatal collision.

He was transported to Mease Countryside Hospital where he later died.

Troopers say charges are pending against the 56-year-old female driver.

While there is a sense of freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle, there’s also a fear that other drivers won’t share the road. Every day, a motorcyclist is injured or killed in Florida. In too many incidents, the crash was caused by a negligent driver who was not looking or paying attention.

Continue reading

Tampa Police have arrested two men for street racing on the Gandy Bridge.

Both men face unlawful racing on a highway charges.

Police say they stopped the two men late Saturday night and found two children in one of the men’s cars.

Both children were less than 5 years old. Police did say the kids were in child safety seats at the time.

Authorities said that people using the Gandy Bridge as a drag strip is a constant problem.

The incident comes less than two weeks after a tragic crash just a couple miles away on Bayshore Boulevard.

A mother and her toddler were struck and killed by a teen who was street racing.

The two drivers in that tragic crash are facing vehicular homicide charges.  

Drag racing can be dangerous, which is why it is illegal to do in the street. Drivers who choose to race on public streets can easily lose control of their vehicles, which can result in serious collisions that lead to injuries and even wrongful death. If you were in a car crash caused by someone speeding or racing, let our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton help you with your case.

Continue reading

A Tampa Bay Area family wants changes after a 63-year-old was struck and killed by a car while crossing 40th street in the Temple Crest community.

This woman is at least the second person who has been hit and killed while crossing the street in recent years. There is a crosswalk and pedestrian signs, but cars continue to speed by the retirement community.

This is why neighbors and the woman’s family are pushing for changes. They want the city to install a flashing yellow light with verbal commands for pedestrians that tell when it’s safe to cross.

Neighbors also said they’d like to see a red flashing light similar to the one on Hillsborough Avenue.

Tampa crews began making some improvements shortly after the woman’s death. The city is adding flashing lights.

The driver who struck the woman has not been charged. Authorities said that driver was unable to avoid the accident.

Pedestrian accidents can result in shattered bones, contusions, internal bleeding, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even wrongful deaths. The severity of these accidents can result in permanent disability or years in physical rehabilitation, as well as mental pain and suffering. Our Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton make it our goal to win compensation for your losses, and handle your legal issues so you can focus on healing.

Some blame a lack of road signs or lights, and others blame the speed limits in known dangerous areas for pedestrians. Whatever the case, the number of pedestrians killed in Tampa Bay is tragic and can usually be attributed to distracted or reckless driving.

Continue reading

According to AAA travel club, more than 41.5 million people will travel for the 2018 Memorial Day weekend, which is 4.8% more than last year. This will be the most travelers since 2005 for the holiday period that runs from May 24 through May 28 this year.

AAA goes on to say that 7 out of 8 travelers will be driving despite the most expensive gas since 2014. Gas averaged $2.72 per gallon in April, which was 33 cents higher than last year.

These numbers mean that 2 million more people will be traveling this year, so travel delays could triple along major roads, according to INRIX, a transportation analytics company. The busiest days will be Thursday and Friday, May 24 and 25, according to INRIX. The worst delays will be in NYC, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

Our Tampa Bay Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want you and your loved ones to be safe this Memorial Day Weekend. We have compiled a few safety tips to get you to and from your destinations safely:

  • Always obey the rules of the road. Slow down when weather conditions are bad or if you are unfamiliar with the road.  
  • Pull over or switch drivers when you get sleepy.
  • Put your phone down to limit distractions. Ask a passenger to handle snacks, music, and directions to reduce any further distractions.
  • Roadside assistance memberships can be a real lifesaver should you have a breakdown. This can also save you time, so consider investing in one.

Continue reading

Contact Information