Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

One person was killed and another was seriously injured in a vehicle crash last Thursday night in Hernando County.

The crash occurred just before 8 p.m. at California Street and Old California Street in Spring Hill.

Troopers said a Buick LeSabre was traveling northbound on California Street when the 57-year-old driver failed to negotiate a right curve and traveled into the southbound lane.

The Buick collided head-on with a Volvo V50, according to reports.

The drive of the Buick died at the scene. The driver of the Volvo suffered serious injuries and was transported to Bayonet Point Regional Medical Center.

Head-on collisions can be tragic accidents. To put it into better perspective, two cars traveling at 50 mph crashing into each other has the same effect as if a car drove straight into a concrete wall at 50 mph. The reality of the crash is that it’s as if the cars crashed into each other at 100 mph.

Continue reading

Halloween is today! This is a fun time for children and adults alike to dress up, eat candy and have fun. For all the joy that Halloween brings, it is still important to remember that there are many dangers during this spooky holiday that can lead to injuries.

Of all the possible dangers, car accidents are the most common, and many of these accidents lead to wrongful death. Safe Kids USA reported recently that children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a motor vehicle on Halloween night as any other time of the year. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, from 1990-2010, 115 child pedestrians died on Halloween. Many of the fatal accidents reported happened outside of an intersection or crosswalk.

Serious Halloween car accidents happen most frequently from 4-10 p.m., and it is particularly common for accidents to happen when the sun sets because drivers have trouble seeing the road in front of them.

Our Hernando County Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you and your children to stay safe tonight, and every night for that matter. The following safety tips can help you get through Halloween safely:

  • Put reflective tape on all bags and costumes to ensure that drivers can see you and your children.
  • Have a flashlight on while trick-or-treating to ensure that you can see and be seen by drivers and others.
  • Look both directions before going across the street. Use crosswalks if they are available.
  • Walk only on sidewalks as much as possible. If none are available, walk on the far edge of the street against traffic.

Drivers should remember the following road safety tips:

  • Drive slower than normal.
  • Put your cell phone away while driving.
  • Beware of young children running into the street.
  • Yield to child pedestrians.
  • Use your turn signals.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact our office at 352-666-2121 for a complimentary consultation. We are available 24/7 on Halloween and stand ready to assist you and your loved one should you need us.

Continue reading

The latest study regarding the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy shows a strong correlation.

Researchers at Boston University who are studying brains donated by families of former NFL players said that 110 of the 111 donations showed signs of CTE.

While that’s not a random sample reflecting the entire sport (the donations come largely from players who were struggling with some issue or had committed suicide), the big numbers do alarm those studying the issue.

The Boston University study covered 202 brains donated by families of men who had played some level of football. CTE was discovered in 177 of them (87 percent). The 99 percent of former NFL players was the highest level. The study also showed CTE in 3-of-14 who played at the high school level (21.4 percent), 48-of-53 who played in college (90.6 percent), 9-of-14 who competed semi professionally (64.3 percent) and 7-of-8 who played in the CFL (87.5).

The NFL has pledged to devote $100 million and resources toward the effort, and spoke at the league meetings this spring about specific research into helmet safety.

The NFL is committed to supporting scientific research into CTE and advancing progress in the prevention and treatment of head injuries.

Football is a great sport that is loved by many, but it is also a dangerous sport that causes severe concussions, brain trauma and in some cases death. Football involves tackling, direct hits and lots of aggression, which only increases the chances of suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during games or even at practices.

Continue reading

Two people were killed early Tuesday in a head-on crash that involved a wrong-way driver.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a 37-year-old driver was heading west in the eastbound lane of Cortez Boulevard in Ridge Manor at about 1 a.m.

A deputy and the driver of a truck traveling in front of the deputy both swerved off the roadway to avoid a collision with the 37-year-old.

The deputy called for help, and about a minute later the driver crashed head-on into another vehicle traveling east near the Ridge Manor Campground.

The driver of that vehicle was 23-year-old Webster woman.

Both drivers died at the scene, according to reports.

Cortez Boulevard was blocked off for hours in both directions from McKethan Road to Westwood Drive. It was reopened at 7:25 a.m.

FHP is still investigating the crash.

Driving against traffic is quite possibly the deadliest decision that a driver can make. Wrong-way driving accidents are usually catastrophic. Families can lose loved ones, and survivors are often left with significant injuries resulting in astronomical medical costs. The loss in income due to death or injury caused by a wrong-way driver can also be devastating to survivors and/or family members.

The most common wrong-way driving collisions can be attributed to the following:

  • Drunk drivers
  • Speeding drivers. Most wrong-way driving accidents occur on interstates or freeways, and involve cars traveling at high rates of speed, which seriously decreases the survivability of a head-on crash.
  • Limited visibility at night. It can get very dark at night on roads and highways, which only increases the possibility that a driver—drunk or sober—may become confused and drive the wrong way. The darkness also decreases the amount of reaction time that other drivers have to avoid the accident by swerving or slowing down.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Multiple cars were involved in a collision on U.S. 19 in Hernando County Sunday, resulting in three people, including two children, injured.

The crash occurred just north of Glenn Lakes Boulevard.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol release, the crash happened around 2:20 p.m. A 63-year-old woman was turning left into the intersection of U.S. 19 and Happy Days Drive, and the turn took her into the path of another oncoming car.

The second car, driven by a 33-year-old man collided with the left front of the woman’s car. The man and his two passengers, an 11-year-old and an 8-year-old, all suffered injuries in the crash.

The 11-year-old and her father were transported to Bayonet Point Hospital, while the 8-year-old was transported to Tampa General Hospital. No further information has been released on their condition.

According to Hernando County Fire Rescue, the crash was so severe a Bayflite helicopter had to be called to the scene.

The woman was not harmed in the crash, according to reports.

The investigation is ongoing.

Auto accidents can be devastating, but when multiple vehicles are involved these accidents can be further complicated. When a highway pile-up or intersection accident occurs, it can be difficult to determine fault of each party and liability for injuries. These motor vehicle collisions can cause catastrophic  injuries and tragic fatalities that can place heavy emotional, physical and financial burdens on any victims and their families.

If you or someone you love has been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a Hernando County Auto Accident, in order to secure the financial compensation that you deserve, you need legal assistance. Our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can handle negotiations with the insurance companies and even initiate an injury or wrongful death lawsuit if necessary to recover compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages and other types of damages.

Continue reading

Contact Information