Hernando County Personal Injury Lawyers | Whittel & Melton, LLC | Spring Hill, Brooksville

There are few things more devastating than suffering from serious injuries or the death of a loved one as the result of another person’s negligence. Many injury victims are overwhelmed after an accident and feel helpless with nowhere turn. There are many things to do, and often it is impossible to figure out where to start.

We are here to help. The Hernando County Personal Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can guarantee that you receive the personalized attention you and your family need. Our number one priority is to help injured victims throughout Spring Hill and Brooksville receive the representation they deserve. While we cannot take away the pain you feel now, we can do everything in our power to get you full and fair compensation for your losses.

Offering Commitment to Our Clients in Spring Hill and Brooksville

Our Hernando County personal injury practice handles every type of injury case, from serious car or motorcycle accidents to slip and falls. If you are wondering if you have a case, contact us today to discuss the facts of your claim with a free consultation. Our Hernando County Personal Injury Lawyers can share with you your options in seeking financial recovery following a serious accident, catastrophic injury or the wrongful death of a loved one here in Spring Hill or Brooksville.

At Whittel & Melton, you can be confident that we stand behind you and your case. We will never put you or your claim on the back burner. Rather, we will strategically deal with the responsible parties involved and their insurance companies to obtain justice for you and your loved ones. Simply put, we will not be satisfied until you are. Whether through financial settlement or trial, we will prepare your case to achieve maximum compensation.

A free consultation with the Hernando County Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can start you towards gaining the compensation necessary for a complete recovery. You will never be responsible for any attorney’s fees unless and until there is a successful financial recovery for your damages. Our firm’s phone is answered any time, day or night, so contact us today.

We are proud to help accident victims throughout Hernando County - Spring Hill, Brooksville, Ridge Manor, Weeki Wachee, Hernando Beach, Masaryktown.

A group of teens in Hernando County have won a contest for creating a video highlighting the dangers of distracted driving.

The group, all ninth graders at Nature Coast Technical High School in Brooksville, had the most re-tweets on their video, which got them a $1,000 prize from AT&T.

Their entire video production class made videos they posted to Twitter as part of a contest run though AT&T. The winning group got more than 130 retweets to secure the $1,000 prize.

It’s all part of AT&T’s “It can wait” campaign, which aims to encourage everyone, but especially teens, to be alert anytime they get behind the wheel and put away their phones while driving.

Statistics show that seven out of 10 drivers engage in some form of distracted driving when they’re driving on the roads. Four out of 10 of those drivers are actually searching the web at the same time.

AT&T’s goal is to catch young people while they’re still in high school driving or about to drive, to prevent these bad behaviors from happening.

This contest was just between the video production class members, but AT&T has held similar contests throughout the state.

Were you involved in an auto accident because of a distracted driver and need legal help? Contact our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton right away.

If you have been involved in a distracted driving collision in Brooksville or Spring Hill, it is important to get help from an attorney who will perform an exhaustive investigation of your crash and determine if a distracted driver is to blame.

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Hernando County Fire Rescue responded to a traffic crash on Interstate 75 early Saturday morning involving two vehicles.

Officials believe a semi-tractor trailer jackknifed and blocked several lanes of I-75. The northbound lanes of the interstate were closed for several hours.

The crash occurred around 1:20 a.m. on I-75 at mile marker 297. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage, according to reports.

The crash caused a fuel tank on the semi-truck was ruptured and leaked around 60 gallons of diesel fuel onto the roadway.

HazMat crews were able to contain the spill which spread nearly ½ mile in a storm drain.

Both drivers received minor injuries and were transported to local hospitals.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

Semi trucks present a serious danger to drivers mostly because they are the largest vehicles on the road. Their sheer size, length, and weight usually mean that a collision will result in serious injuries.

Drivers must use extra caution when driving around semi-trucks. Semi trucks have a tendency to take wide turns and can easily tip over or jackknife. Semi drivers can lose control in an instant of a vehicle weighing tens of thousands of pounds.

After a truck accident, injury victims can suffer both physical and financial hardship. While no one can undo the damage caused by a serious accident, our Hernando County Truck Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can fight for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the truck collision. If you have lost a loved one, we can fight to recover funeral expenses in the event of a wrongful death.

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May is Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety Awareness Month, and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is reminding all motorists of the importance of sharing the road.

Motorcyclists and bicyclists share the same privileges, rights and responsibilities as every other driver on the road. As drivers, we must be courteous and watch out for bicyclists and motorcyclists.

In 2016 preliminarily, there were 10,297 motorcycle crashes and 6,580 bicycle crashes in Florida, or more than 46 motorcycle or bicycle crashes every day. As a result of these crashes in 2016, there were 501 motorcycle and 133 bicycle fatalities.

Motorcyclists under the age of 30 accounted for almost 30 percent of all motorcycle crashes, and almost 82 percent of all motorcyclists involved in a crash were men.

  • Drivers should be aware of these safety reminder:
  • Never share the lane with a motorcycle
  • Maintain a four-second buffer zone between you and a motorcyclist
  • Increase space when encountering bad weather and road conditions
  • Do not follow too closely behind a motorcycle or bicycle

Bicyclists between the ages of 15-19 had the highest number of bicycle crashes out of all the age groups, and  bicyclists age 50-59 had the highest number of fatalities from bicycle crashes with one-third of bicyclists killed in a crash in 2016.

With the traffic always increasing on our Hernando County roadways, it is important that all motorists drive responsibly, share the roadways and look out for each other.

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As more than 100 fires burn in the state of Florida, the Florida Forest Service and Hernando County Injury Lawyers Whittel & Melton want to remind everyone of good fire prevention techniques. Dirt bike and ATV riders, in particular, need to be on alert.

Riders should have a spark arrestor to minimize the risk of sparks flying from the muffler. Arrestors often come standard on ATV’s (all-terrain vehicles). The arrestor goes inside the muffler and it has chambers, so if a spark was to come through the motor and through the pipe, it wouldn’t make it out the pipe.

Any off-roading vehicle that enters an area run by the Florida Forest Service is required to have spark arrestors installed.

The Forest Service also encourages people to not park their cars on dry grass, because a car’s catalytic converter can get extremely hot and spark a fire.

All-terrain vehicles come in many shapes and sizes: three wheeler’s, four wheeler’s, six wheeler’s, work ATV’s, utility ATV’s, 4-wheel drive utility ATV’s, golf cars, sport ATV’s, side by sides, sand rail, dune buggy, and many other varieties. Regardless of what they are called, the dangers are very real.

Even when all safety precautions are followed, ATVs can present dangers. If you or a family member has been involved in an accident resulting in injury or wrongful death, our Hernando County ATV Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you understand if you have a legitimate claim for compensation.

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Did you know that it takes about five seconds, on average, to read or send a text? That is not a lot of time, but in that amount of time, a serious accident can occur that can take a life, possible even your own.

While taking your eyes of the road for 5 seconds does not seem like much, a vehicle travelling 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field in that time span. In 2015, distracted driving killed 3,477 people on America’s roads.

During April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, NHTSA is partnering with state and local law enforcement across the country to remind everyone about the dangers of distracted driving. If you’re caught texting and driving you’ll be pulled over and ticketed because you’re putting your life and others sharing the roadway in danger.

When you are behind the wheel, phones, iPads, tablets and other gadgets can seem irresistible. However, this is a habit that has to be broken in order to save lives. Place your devices out of reach so you won’t be tempted. You can even set away messages on your phone to let people know that you are driving and will text/call them back later.

Distracted driving is so much more than electronic distractions. It’s anything you’re doing behind the wheel that takes your eyes and mind away from safe driving, including eating and drinking, toying with the music or the A/C, or even just checking yourself out in the mirror.

Our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to remind you to make positive changes during April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Before you start the car, recommit yourself to drowning out distractions and focusing solely on the road ahead. You will save yourself the cost of a ticket and you could even save a life.

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An 82-year-old woman was hit and killed early Thursday morning while walking across a road in Hernando County.

The accident happened around 6:13 a.m. on Barclay Avenue and Spring Hill Drive.

Troopers believe a vehicle driven by a 40-year-old woman was traveling southbound on Barclay Avenue when a pedestrian crossed westbound on Barclay Avenue. The car’s left side struck the pedestrian, an 82-year-old woman.

She was transported to Bayonet Point Medical Center where she died from her injuries.

Troopers are still investigating the incident.

In pedestrian accidents that lead to serious bodily injuries or death, the person responsible for the accident may be held liable for the injuries that a person suffers, regardless of if they are held criminally responsible for the accident.

Our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know the stress and financial difficulties that come when a loved one is unexpectedly taken from you. While we cannot bring your loved one back, we can promise to fight for the compensation that you deserve.

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Window Safety Week in April comes with the arrival of spring as this is the time when most people want to open their home windows and let the fresh air in.

Window safety week aims to target two things: understand how windows can be used in escaping a fire or other emergency and to learn to safeguard against accidental window falls.

Windows have saved many lives when used as emergency escape routes. In the event of a house fire, you want to be prepared. The following can be a good checklist for your family:

  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut
  • Never install air conditioners in windows that need to be used for escape routes
  • Make sure window guards, security bars, grilles or grates have a working release mechanism
  • Keep emergency escape ladders in second- or third-story bedrooms and make sure everyone in the household knows how to use them

It only takes seconds for a window fall to happen. Window falls are entirely preventable and occur more frequently in urban areas. You may not be aware, but window falls account for about eight deaths and 3,300 injuries among children 5 and younger each year.

April 3-9 is officially Window Safety Week, and our Hernando County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton encourage you to be safe and practice window safety year-round. The lives of your loved ones could depend on it.

We have compiled a list to help you prevent unnecessary window falls:

  • Keep in mind that insect screens do not support the weight of a child
  • Do not leave children unattended around open windows, whether they have a screen or not
  • Windows that are within a child’s reach should stay closed
  • Do not put furniture in front of windows as children can climb on furniture and possibly fall from an open window
  • Refrain from putting a child’s play area near a window, balcony or patio

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A Brooksville woman was arrested Friday, January 20, in connection to a New Year’s Day hit and run.

The 22-year-old turned herself in to authorities for a hit and run on January 1 that left an elderly woman in critical condition.

Originally, the woman’s 23-year-old boyfriend was arrested and charged in the hit and run.

According to reports, an elderly woman was riding her motorized wheelchair scooter on Daniel Avenue when she was hit and ejected from the wheelchair.

According to the original report, the boyfriend of the woman charged claimed he attempted to swerve out of the way but was unable to avoid a collision.

The elderly woman received life-threatening injuries and was transported to Tampa General Hospital where she remains in critical condition.

During the investigation the boyfriend admitted to striking the victim and fleeing the scene. He was subsequently charged with leaving the scene of an accident with serious injuries.

Days later, additional information actually revealed the woman was actually driving the vehicle during the hit and run, not her boyfriend.

Officials said the boyfriend took responsibility for the crash to protect his girlfriend.

Both suspects and a third passenger in the vehicle were interviewed and all three admitted that the woman was driving the vehicle when the victim was hit.

The woman is being held in the Hernando County jail on a $15,000 bond.

The boyfriend is now being charged with obstruction, for lying to investigators.

The results of hit and run accidents are usually tragic. The truth is that many of these crashes leave victims suffering significant injuries and even wrongful death. Regardless of the circumstances, if you were injured or lost a loved one in a hit and run collision, our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help.

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During the Christmas season there are millions of Americans hitting the road for trips to visit relatives or just getting out of town. However, with so many vehicles on the road, auto accident injuries and even deaths occur at a much higher rate than usual. Because of this, it is important for drivers traveling on Hernando County roads this holiday season to plan ahead in order to make your drive as safe as possible.

The following are some important safety precautions you can take before and during your holiday trip:

Check Weather and Road Conditions

Before setting out, find out what the weather and traffic conditions are like on the route that you will be driving. If you are headed to somewhere with snow and and icy conditions, give yourself plenty of extra time for slow traffic. It might be difficult to find alternate routes, but try to map out the best route for your needs. Have a backup route if necessary; you can never be too cautious, especially if you are not used to driving in snow and icy conditions.

Pack a Safety Kit

In case you are stuck in your vehicle awaiting help in winter conditions, we recommend having an emergency kit ready. All cars should have a safety kit containing emergency equipment, non-perishable food, water, and blankets to stay safe in the cold while waiting for a rescue crew.

Inspect Your Car Before Heading Out

Make sure that all vehicle fluids are at their correct levels, that your tires are properly inflated and that there is no wear and tear on tires or other car parts that may endanger you and your passengers. You might want to take your car into the mechanic before heading out, just to make sure everything is in proper working order.

Use Safe Driving Habits

We encourage you to practice proper driving techniques and follow the rules of the road. One small mistake can lead to a devastating crash in heavy traffic. Many are injured and killed in auto accidents during the holiday season, so it is best to implement safe driving habits which can help prevent you from being involved in such a tragic collision.

Please keep in mind that other drivers are usually the most dangerous obstacle when traveling. Our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence.

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There are more cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year, according to the State Farm insurance agency. That means that the number of fires on Thanksgiving is more than double than any other day in November.

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that turkey deep fryers account for more than 1,000 home fires during the holiday and these fires produce more than $15 million in property damage. Moreover, fires have the ability to deliver severe burns and injuries. Our Hernando County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to help your family enjoy a safe and injury-free holiday, which is why we have compiled the following safety tips:

How to Safely Fry Your Thanksgiving Turkey

  • Place the fryer a safe distance from any structures, trees, or wooden components such as a deck or patio. Never use a turkey fryer indoors!
  • Fill the fryer to the recommended level and then lower the thawed turkey into the cold oil to ensure that you have enough oil. If you have too much, just remove the excess.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before you place it in the fryer.
  • Turn off the fuel source before you lower the thawed turkey into the hot oil.
  • Do not marinade the turkey prior to frying it
  • Never leave your bird unattended in the fryer.
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby when frying a turkey and never use water to extinguish a grease fire!
  • DO NOT add water or ice to the oil to try and cool it down once the turkey is done cooking!

Additional Safety Tips for Cooking Thanksgiving Feasts

While not everybody fries a turkey on Thanksgiving, this doesn’t mean that there can’t be other cooking mishaps during the holiday. All holiday chefs should take note of the following:

  • Refrain from wearing loose clothing when cooking.
  • Keep cooking surfaces clean and free from grease.
  • Keep kids and pets out of the kitchen while preparing and cooking food
  • Make sure all flammable items, like oven mitts, kitchen towels, and pot holders away from the stove top.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen where it can be easily reached in an emergency.
  • Check all of your home’s smoke detectors and ensure that they have  fresh batteries and are working properly
  • Make sure you turn everything off in the kitchen, like stovetops and ovens, before you sit down to dinner.

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