Articles Posted in Premises Liability

Halloween is a fun time for both children and parents. However, there are some very important safety tips that are worth considering as a way to keep everyone safe during this spooky time of year. Parents should make sure children know to never walk near an open flame or lit candles that they could encounter while trick-or-treating. As an added safety measure, please make sure that all costumes are flame resistant.

Dark Houses

Children should be instructed to stay away from dark houses or houses that do not have their lights on. It should also be a given that children should know to never accept a ride from a stranger when trick-or-treating. Children should also be taught the importance of knowing what is safe to eat after trick-or-treating ends.

Candy & Costume Safety

Factory wrapped type candies and treats are considered safe. Candy and treats that are homemade or look like they have been opened should be avoided, especially when the source of these candies is unknown.

Costumes should fit correctly and not be too long or dragging the ground as this is a slip and fall or trip and fall hazard. Masks and other accessories like large hats should be avoided as they can obstruct vision. Even poorly fitted shoes can result in a slip and fall related injury.

Crossing the Street

Children should walk on sidewalks when they are available. If there is no sidewalk it is best to walk as far away from the road as possible while always facing traffic. You should always look both ways before crossing a road and take full advantage of crosswalks when they are available, as this is the best option when preparing to cross a road or intersection. It is best to bring a flashlight along when trick-or-treating because it is an excellent safety precaution. A flashlight is useful because it allows others to see trick-or-treaters and it helps trick-or-treaters to see where they are going.

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A Holiday Inn Express maintenance employee has been credited with saving a toddler from drowning in the hotel pool this weekend.

The man decided to check the busy hotel pool before leaving work, and that’s when he noticed a 2-year-old floating about a foot underwater.

Reports indicate that the boy was limp, almost lifeless, but the man lifted him out of the pool and placed him over his knee to release any water in the boy’s body. The child then opened his eyes.

7079820043_e66619c2f4_zThe boy’s family was in the pool but lost track of the toddler, according to reports.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for every child that drowns, another four will need emergency medical attention for near-drowning injuries. The extent of near-drowning injuries can depend on various factors, such as the length of time under water, the temperature of the water, the amount of water aspirated, the type of water and if the victim suffered from any pre-accident medical conditions. Statistics do show that at least one third of survivors will sustain moderate to severe brain injuries including memory loss, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning.

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A Spring Hill teen that was left paralyzed after a golf cart accident in April is speaking out to others about the potential dangers of the vehicles.

The 17-year-old girl says she was test driving a golf cart with her boyfriend in his neighborhood when the throttle got stuck. The golf cart crashed and ejected the girl, injuring her spine and leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

The teen now uses a wheelchair, but she is determined to walk again.

1306465079_03959d1d39_zShe is taking strides to speak out to others so that they realize that golf carts can be just as dangerous as cars. Along with her boyfriend’s mother, the teen hopes to reach out to others and let them know to think twice before getting in a golf cart.

Medical bills are quite high for the family – they have already surpassed a million dollars.

According to Technology Associates, a company on the leading edge of research in golf cart safety, there are roughly 150,000 accidents per year that end with emergency room visits. These numbers are attributed to the open-air design and relatively poor braking capabilities.

Today’s golf carts can reach speeds of 25 mph and travel 40 miles with a single charge to their battery. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 40 percent of those 150,000 accidents each year involve children. The majority of these accidents involving children occur when the child is ejected from or falls out of the golf cart. As a result of the handrail actually acting as a fulcrum in many accidents, children often land on their heads and can suffer significant brain injuries. As this case shows, injury victims can suffer devastating injuries, including paralysis.

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The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. The warm weather, summer vacations and patriotic sentiment make this a fun and relaxing holiday. The bad news about this holiday is that thousands of people are injured in accidents caused by the negligence of others on the days surrounding the Fourth.

Several activities, accidents and products may result in serious injuries on the Fourth of July, including:

Fireworks: Fireworks are highly regulated under Florida law and safety advocacy groups have been advising people to stop using these products for decades. Despite their dangers, fireworks continue to be an integral part of Fourth of July celebrations. Please remember that these devices can cause serious injury when improperly designed, manufactured or handled.

DUI Accidents: Holidays are usually a time to gather with friends and family to eat, drink and have a relaxing time. These occasions are also closely tied with the consumption of alcohol and, unfortunately, that usually means people drinking and driving. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Fourth of July has many fatal car accidents, and an estimated 40 percent of those crashes are attributed to drunk driving.

Barbeque Grills: Grilling is a big tradition for many Florida residents around the Fourth of July holiday. However, any time open flames are involved there is a serious risk for injury and burns. In some cases, grills may be defective and can malfunction, resulting in fires and causing injuries. Children can easily injure themselves on grills due to a lack of supervision by adults.

Boating and Water Accidents: To celebrate Independance Day, many people head to Pine Island Beach, Hernando Beach, the WeekiWachee River or the Withlacoochee River to swim, participate in watersports or just to spend the day relaxing on a boat. While boating and water-related activities can be a great way to spend a weekend, they also carry high risks such as drowning and other types of accidents. Distracted, impaired and inexperienced boat drivers can cause water crashes resulting in serious injuries. Moreover, children who are not properly supervised or do not have adequate flotations devices can easily drown or suffer in near-drowning accidents.

Contact a Hernando County Personal Injury Attorney Today For a Free Consultation

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Hernando County swimming pool accidents can take place on public and private property. When swimming pool injuries occur, they are usually the result of negligent actions or lack of action by private pool owners or public pool operators.

It is important to get help from a Hernando County Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer if you have lost a family member or were seriously harmed due to the negligence of a private pool owner or public pool or waterpark operator. At Whittel & Melton, our Injury Lawyers stand ready to represent your personal injury claims due to negligence.

8596781337_05b272388a_zSwimming pool accident injuries can happen in or out of the water. Harm may be caused by poorly maintained swimming pool drains that can result in a child being trapped underwater. An accident can also occur if a child somehow manages to gain access to a swimming pool through a broken fence or gate. Other swimming pool injuries are the result of wet or slick surfaces around pools, inattentive on duty lifeguards or distracted adults.

Swimming pool accident injuries can include:

  • Drowning
  • Near drowning
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries

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Summertime grilling is enjoyed by many. The sunshine pairs well with the charred aroma, and when the grill comes out it usually means family get togethers and parties.

While everyone loves a good cookout, as with anything fun, it can also be dangerous. This is usually because everyone’s too busy having fun to be careful. Regardless of whether you are tailgating or just hanging out in the back yard, the following are some tips to keep you safe while grilling out this summer:

  • Never Grill Inside. Unless you are using a George Foreman indoor/outdoor grill, you should always be outside when grilling, preferably a safe distance from the house. Aside from the obvious fire hazards, smoke inhalation is the number one cause of fire-related death.
  • 4540006521_19bf4a3ac7_zDo Not Wear Flammable Clothing. While this sounds simple enough to follow, you may actually have flammable chemicals on you and not know. Stay away from a lit grill if you have just applied sunscreen, or if you may have gotten some gas on your clothes.
  • Never Underestimate the Power of Propane. Most people agree that gas grilles are easier to operate than charcoal grilles, but the reality is that gas grilles are very dangerous. Always be extra careful when igniting or reigniting the grill, as high levels of propane can be released or even leaked propane can flare up, causing severe burns.
  • Be Aware of  Grill Brush Bristles. Never swallow these brush bristles. While this may seem obvious, these bristles can deteriorate over time and become loose, get stuck in food, and consequently become lodged into your esophagus. On a side note, grill brushes are great for maintaining your grill, but just make sure you maintain your brush as well.

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The holidays are a joyous time to celebrate with family and friends, but it can also be a dangerous time when an accident or injury may come about. There are numerous types of accidents that can happen during the holidays. The following tips can help you and your loved ones avoid a holiday disaster.

  1. Be cautious with the turkey fryer. Exploding turkey fryers are the cause of many holiday-related homeowners’ insurance claims. If you are going to fry a turkey this holiday season, follow the directions, the most important being – Never fry a frozen turkey!
  2. 5981606757_b22a9c310e_mKeep your house free of any hazards that could cause slips, trips and falls. Put down mats and rugs where guests may track in moisture from outside your home, so that slip and fall accidents can be avoided. If you are having small children around, consider installing baby gates around stairways and cover all electrical outlets.
  3. Be extra careful on the roadways this holiday season. Traffic increases during the holidays, and with all the excitement, drivers can be easily distracted. While you cannot avoid all accidents, just exercising added caution can increase your chances of escaping a holiday fender bender unscathed.
  4. For last minute holiday shopping trips, be very careful entering and exiting stores.  With so much foot traffic in stores during the holidays, entry ways can be slippery and stores aisles and walkways can be cluttered with merchandise.
  5. Blow out your candles when you leave the room. Candles go hand in hand with the holidays, but they can often be forgotten about. Always extinguish them before you fall asleep or leave the area.

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Now that there are just 14 days until Christmas, holiday shoppers are flooding malls and department stores on the hunt for the perfect holiday gifts. As with anything that involves large numbers of people in a close proximity to one another, accidents are bound to happen. The following are some helpful tips that can help you get through your holiday shopping trips without injury.

  • Shop during the day! Most people shop at night when they are done with work. You can avoid the massive crowds of people by shopping during the day.
  • Dress appropriately for your shopping trip! Wearing the right footwear can help you avoid a slip and fall or trip and fall accident.
  • There is safety in numbers! It is always a good idea to go shopping with a friend. Not only do you have another set of eyes looking out for you, but you can check more off your shopping list.
  • Always park your car in a well-lit area. This will decrease your chances of sustaining an injury.

15800264667_e39b6010eb_zThe holidays tend to put people in a frenzy, making them frantic and careless when trying to stock up on last minute gifts. Don’t forget that the “return season” that follows the holidays can create just as much chaos in malls and department stores. Our Hernando County Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday, so please keep the above tips in mind when heading out to shop!

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While a slip and fall or trip and fall accident can leave any one of any age with an injury, for senior citizens, falls are becoming more and more fatal.

9187011641_6982a3fb9c_zThe number of those over the age of 65 who die after a fall has sharply spiked in recent years, according to The New York Times. The fact that Americans are living longer only adds to the serious realization that the numbers of seniors affected by serious and fatal falls is likely to continue increasing in the next several years.

The following are five facts about seniors and potentially fatal injuries caused by falls:

  1. Falls are the No. 1 cause of fatal injuries for senior citizens. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, falls are the leading cause of both nonfatal injuries and fatal injuries among adults 65 or older.
  2. An estimated 24,000 seniors died from falls in 2012. In 2012, nearly 24,000 seniors died from injuries suffered in falls. That is almost double the number of seniors who suffered fatal injuries from falls in 2002.
  3. 2.4 million seniors were taken to the ER for fall-related injuries in 2012, 50 percent more than a decade earlier.
  4. Senior care facilities are taking measures to address falling hazards, according to The New York Times. These facilities are taking extra precautions such as installing floor lighting and illuminated pathways, installing impact-resistant flooring and providing exercises to help seniors improve their balance.
  5. A fall could be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. When a fall is caused by the negligence of another party, such as  a property owner failing to maintain his or her premises in a reasonably safe manner, then a personal injury lawsuit could result in financial compensation for injuries suffered in the fall. In the event that someone you love was killed, you may be able to seek retribution through a wrongful death lawsuit.

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A 51-year-old Spring Hill truck driver was killed in an industrial accident at the Cemex cement plant in Brooksville Wednesday morning.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, the man was driving the first truck of the day to dump a load of ash. As he exited his truck, the driver of the front-end loader, who was moving debris from one bin to another, failed to see the man.

As the driver of the front-end loader attempted to return to the bin, he backed into the deceased man, pinning him against the cabin of his own truck.

3995710252_ed1a1bb328_mHe was transported to Bayfront Health Brooksville, where he later died.

The accident is still being investigated by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Industrial accidents can take place in many lines of work, although employees are usually at a heightened risk in environments involving scaffolding, cranes, power tools, forklifts and all other heavy and dangerous industrial equipment. During dangerous construction work in Brooksville and Spring Hill, there is always the risk of suffering a severe personal injury during any shift. When job duties put you in harm’s way, or when an employer’s negligence causes an accident to occur, you need the help of a Hernando County Injury Lawyer who can aggressively fight to protect your rights.

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