Articles Posted in Insurance

Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest days for drivers. Statistics show that there is an average of 258 fatal accidents every year during this family holiday.

Our Hernando County Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have compiled a list of tips to help you avoid a driving tragedy on Thanksgiving:

  • Don’t Drive Drunk: If you plan on drinking, ask a sober friend or family member for a ride. You can even use a taxi or ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft. Drunk driving is particularly more common the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which is called “Black Wednesday,” so whatever you do, never drink and drive.
  • Drive during the day: Most tragic accidents happen in the evening, so try to drive during the day instead. This will make it easier to see the road and other vehicles.
  • Have an emergency kit on hand: Your car should be stocked with an emergency kit that includes items like safety triangles or squares. If your car breaks down or you are involved in an accident, having an emergency kit can be a major lifesaver and even help other drivers see you if you cannot move your car from the road.
  • Fly instead of drive: A road trip might sound like fun, but the more people on the road means the greater the chance of an accident. If you can afford it, skip the long road trip and buy a plane ticket or take a train.

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With Hurricane Irma looming over Florida, now is the time to review your insurance policies and be prepared for what to do if your home or business suffers devastation this week.

You purchase insurance coverage to protect against hurricane damage, flood damage or other kinds of damage to your home, and you expect your insurance company to honor your claim in the event that your home or business is damaged. Sadly, insurers will use many strategies to avoid paying out policyholders for their legitimate insurance claims.

Our Hernando County Hurricane Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are here to help homeowners and businesses understand the hurricane claims process in Spring Hill, Hernando Beach and other areas located on the Gulf Coast. We have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies operating in bad faith, so we fully understand the law governing insurance policies and practices. Our goal is to obtain favorable results on behalf of our clients.

We have seen the damage, devastation and disruptions that hurricanes and storms can cause. We are prepared to take your case all the way to trial should that be what it takes to recover just compensation on your behalf.

We have assisted homeowners and businesses with all of the following hurricane claims disputes:

  • Structural foundation claims
  • Water damage and mold claims
  • Hurricane insurance disputes
  • Tropical storm claims
  • Underpayment or “lowball” settlements by insurance companies

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President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in the state of Florida on Wednesday and ordered federal aid to supplement recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Hermine.

Hermine, the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005, dumped several inches of rain on Florida and caused major flooding issues.

The president’s action makes federal funding available to affected people in Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Leon, Levy, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help residents and business owners recover.

Federal funding also is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofits on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities. That’s in place for Citrus, Dixie, Franklin, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Pasco, Pinellas, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla counties.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance Thursday by registering online or calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing- or speech-impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7am to 9pm seven days a week until further notice.

Our Hernando County Hurricane & Storm Damage Claims Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are ready to help you file a claim with your insurance company to cover property damage and losses. You should receive full and fair compensation and we will work hard to ensure that you are not taken advantage of. Many insurance adjusters will do whatever they can to unfairly deny, delay or underpay insurance claims. We know the tricks insurance companies use and we will do whatever it takes to help you recover what you are owed.

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A 9-year-old boy was killed in a multi-car pileup in Hernando County Thursday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers believe that traffic along the stretch of I-75 near mile marker 302 was traveling slowly, or maybe even stopped, on Thursday due to an accident a few miles down the road.

A driver apparently failed to slow down and slammed into the family’s car, causing a chain reaction. Six cars total were involved.

Reports indicate that the boy’s parents and his 5-year-old sister survived.

The Florida Highway Patrol says charges are pending and the investigation could take months to complete.

Anytime a loved one is killed unexpectedly, especially a child, this can be hard to take. The mental and emotional pain this causes can be almost unbearable.

When an accident involves more than two vehicles, fault can lie with multiple drivers. The facts of these accidents often take a great deal of time to discover and piece together.

Insurance companies need to know who is at fault to determine who should be held financially responsible for the collision and any damages, personal injuries and even wrongful death. When multiple parties are at fault, the cost is divided between insurance companies.

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A 22-year-old woman was killed when her car crashed into a Spring Hill home Thursday.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the woman failed to stop at a stop sign at Norbert Street while driving south on Harrow Road.

Troopers believe that the undercarriage of her 2008 Nissan Altima hit the road, sending the car into the air, colliding with a tree and then into a house.

The woman was apparently not wearing a seatbelt and died at the scene, troopers said.

The crash remains under investigation.

Wearing your seatbelt significantly improves your chances of surviving an accident or not being seriously injured in a collision. Statistics show that seat belts save lives. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, seatbelts reduce the number of auto accident injuries and deaths by half. Regardless, many people still choose to not wear their seat belts when they get into a motor vehicle.

Simply put, seatbelts have been proven to save lives. Wearing a seatbelt anytime you are inside a car reduces the likelihood of death or a serious injury by as much as 50 percent. When you choose to not fasten your seatbelt, even minor accidents can become much bigger incidents resulting in serious injury and even wrongful death.

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A deep fryer apparently caused a house fire in Spring Hill, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue.

A deep fryer was left unattended in the kitchen and started a fire inside the home located at 16517 Albright Avenue.

Firefighters arrived at the scene and found heavy smoke and flames shooting from the double-wide mobile home.

Crews battled the fire and were able to contain it to the kitchen and dining room area.

The homeowner was treated for smoke inhalation. One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion and released. There were no other injuries.

Due to smoke, heat and water damage, the mobile home is a complete loss.

The Red Cross is assisting the family of five that lived in the home.

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We all know that there are things in our homes to keep away from children. However, you may be unaware of some things that could be very dangerous when in the hands of little ones.

The following five things are hidden hazards in most households, according to the Consumer Product Safety.

Magnets

If swallowed, small powerful magnets can attract inside the body and block, twist or tear the intestines. If you think your child has swallowed a magnet, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.

Recalled Products

Stay on top of the latest safety recalls and get dangerous products out of the home. Sign up for recall notices now at www.cpsc.gov.

Windows

Do not place a crib or playpen near a window blind. Children can strangle on blind so it is best to install cordless blinds or safety devices on blind cords. It is also a good idea to install window guards or stops to prevent falls.

TipOvers

Kids will climb, there is no doubt about that. Top-heavy furniture, TVs and stoves can tip over and crush young children, so it is very necessary to make these objects more stable by installing anchors and brackets.

Pools & Spa Drains

The suction from a pool or spa drain is powerful enough to trap a child, or  even an adult, underwater. Always inspect pools and spas for missing or broken drain covers.

If your child has been injured on someone else’s property, the property owner could be liable for damages. Our Hernando County Premises Liability Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help identify the responsible party.

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A father and a 1-year-old child were injured when a driver lost control of an SUV and crashed into a Spring Hill home Monday afternoon. The crash occurred on the 7400 block Pinehurst Drive.

The father was playing with his 1-year-old daughter in the family’s living room. His wife was in another part of the house.

Crews responded to the scene and arrived to find a single vehicle, a silver SUV, inside the front of the home. The vehicle came to a stop half way in the living room.

Both the father and his daughter sustained minor, non-life-threatening injuries.They were transported to Bayfront Hospital.

The man said his daughter was in her playpen at the time of impact, and was thrown across the room.

The driver of the vehicle, a 21-year-old woman, was not injured. She told responders she lost control of the vehicle and subsequently struck the home.

There was light rain in the area at the time of the crash.

Hernando County Fire Rescue would like to remind drivers to use extra care when it is raining and driving wet roads.

Driving on Hernando County roads is risky enough in good conditions. When the roads are slick from rain, this only increases the risk that your vehicle could be involved in a crash or other accident. Wet roads can cause you to lose control of your car and there is always the danger of hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning is when the water on the road surface in front of your vehicle gathers together more rapidly than your tires are able to push it away. When this happens, the pressure of all that water can elevate your car so that it slides and breaks the tires’ direct contact with the road surface, which can make you lose traction resulting in you losing control of your vehicle.

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A Spring Hill man was critically injured Thursday after he was thrown from his motorcycle after colliding with a car.

According to Florida Highway Patrol officials, the 26-year-old was on his motorcycle heading south on Mariner Boulevard when a car on the northbound side of the road turned left into his path.

The man’s bike struck the passenger side of the car, and the man was ejected from the bike.

Troopers believe the man was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident.

He was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital, where his condition is listed as “critical.”

The driver of the car, an 82-year-old Spring Hill woman, was not injured in the crash.

At this time, investigators do not believe alcohol played a role in the incident.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you probably have a lot of questions. In addition to any injuries suffered, there may be financial considerations on your mind. Your medical bills might be growing and you may be unable to work and you could be losing wages.

At Whittel & Melton, our Hernando County Motorcycle Accident Lawyers know that insurance companies are not  always friendly. Even if they seem nice at first and appear to be concerned about your well-being, it is important to remember that insurance claims adjusters are paid to settle claims as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they are looking out for your best interests.

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One person was killed Tuesday morning in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 75.

The crash happened at 6:15 a.m. when a box truck crashed into the back of a semi-truck near Mile Marker 302 in Ridge Manor, according to Hernando County Fire Rescue.

The driver of the box truck was killed. The driver of the semi was not harmed.

The northbound lanes of I-75 were temporarily shut down, until one lane could safely be opened to allow the heavily backed up traffic to proceed slowly past the accident scene.

The accident is still under investigation.

One out of every 8 fatal accident on highways across the country involve a semi-truck. This statistic alone serves as a reminder that trucking accidents are a huge problem and that trucking companies should be held accountable for the negligence of their drivers.

  • In 2013, there were more than 327,000 accidents involving semi trucks.
  • Of those, 3,906, of these accidents were fatal.
  • 63 percent of fatal accidents involved two or more vehicles.
  • 25 percent of these fatal crashes occurred on interstate highways.
  • 66 percent of all deadly accidents took place during the daytime.

Our Hernando County Truck Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you or your loved ones who have been involved in these types of collisions. We are able to properly survey a truck accident scene and re-create the collision by working closely with reconstruction specialists. We can look for crucial pieces of evidence that can assist with your claim, including:

  • How many hours the trucker was supposed to drive before they were required to pull over for rest.
  • Whether or not their truck exceeded weight restrictions.
  • Verifying if the trucker kept proper travel logs required by law.
  • Ensuring appropriate licenses were issued to operate the semi-truck.

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