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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared the month of April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. They will be running a campaign this week from April 9-16, 2018.

You can expect that state and local law enforcement agencies across the nation will be stepping up their enforcement efforts all month, especially this week. This year, the campaign is focused on the financial and personal burden of texting behind the wheel. The “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign is all about raising awareness of the economic costs of texting while driving. The NHTSA is mostly targeting men and women between the ages of 18 and 34, with an emphasis on female drivers.

A Look At The Stats

According to the most recent statistics available from 2016, 3,450 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers.

  • 2 percent of fatal crashes were reported as being distracted-related in 2016.
  • Nine percent of drivers 15 to 19-years-old involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash.
  • Handheld cell phone use while driving is highest among 15 to 29-year-old drivers.
  • Female drivers are most at risk for being involved in a fatal crash involving a distracted driver.
  • Female drivers with a cell phone have been more likely to be involved in fatal distracted driving crashes when compared with male drivers every year since 2012.

Motorists in Hernando County, and really throughout the state of Florida, can expect to see more police officers patrolling the roads during the month of April, and especially during the enhanced enforcement period (April 12-15, 2018). Our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you to know that distracted driving is extremely dangerous. Taking your eyes off of the road for an average of five seconds, which is about the time it takes to read or send a text, at 55 miles per hour, is equivalent to driving the length of a football field. Would you ever drive that far with your eyes actually closed? While most would say no, that is essentially what you are doing when you text behind the wheel.

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Alarming new numbers released by AAA suggest drowsy driving is a much bigger problem than previously thought.

The American Automobile Association put cameras in thousands of cars and followed drivers for months.

The cameras were focused on their faces. Some of those drivers got into accidents, and the cameras recorded the drivers nodding off.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the problem is about eight times higher than federal estimates indicate.

Researchers in the study found that 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of crashes resulting in significant property damage involved drowsiness. Federal estimates indicate drowsiness is a factor in only 1 to 2 percent of crashes.

Our Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know that drowsy driving is a big issue. There are some simple things everybody can do to be a little safer and keep from dozing off behind the wheel.

The most common symptoms of drowsy driver include:

  • Having trouble keeping your eyes open
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Not remembering the last few miles driven

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, we recommend pulling over to a safe place and taking at least a 20 minute nap. You only need about 20 minutes to recharge yourself so that you can safely operate your vehicle again.  

The most important thing is to get enough sleep to begin with. You need at least seven hours of sleep per night. You should also travel at times of the day when you are normally awake, avoid heavy foods and avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment.

If you are planning to drive for an extended period of time, make sure to schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles, and maybe consider traveling with another person so you can take turns driving.

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When you enter into marriage, the property that you and your spouse purchase together becomes known as marital property. Under Florida law, this includes homes, cars, businesses, furniture, electronics and more. This marital property is considered joint assets, meaning it is owned by both parties.

When a couple decides to end their marriage, their marital property, as well as debts, must be split in a fair and equitable manner under Florida law.

What does this mean for you? There are many ways to divide things up, and the court will look at the big picture. You will not necessarily end up with 50 percent of everything. For example, one spouse may be awarded $100,000 of the equity in the family home, while the other spouse could receive $100,000 in retirement funds. Anything of value will be added and divided to get a fair and even split between the two parties.

While this might sound simple, it is not always an easy thing to do. In fact, property and asset division is a hot button issue in most divorce proceedings. The first step in property division is to determine which assets are marital property and which assets are separate property. Assets may need to be appraised to understand their full value. The hope is that both parties can work together and come to an agreements on property and asset division that the court can approve.

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One person was transported to the hospital in critical condition after a crash Friday morning in Brooksville involving a Hernando County school bus and a vehicle.

The crash happened at Cortez Boulevard near McKethan Road just before 10:30 a.m., according to Hernando County Fire Rescue.

According to the report, a car traveling westbound on State Road 50 attempted to turn left at McKethan Road, across the eastbound lanes of SR 50, and failed to see a school bus–traveling eastbound–approaching. The report stated that the vehicle did not have a solid green traffic arrow, only a solid green signal for the east/westbound traffic.

As a result, the school bus collided with the right side of the car.

There were no serious injuries among the driver of the school bus or the 20 students on the bus. Three were evaluated for minor injuries.

The driver of the car was trapped in the vehicle and sustained serious injuries and was trauma alerted. Crews needed to use extrication tools to rescue the driver.

The driver, in critical condition, was transported by ambulance to the trauma center at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.

There was also a dog in the vehicle that sustained serious injuries. The dog was turned over to a Hernando County Animal Services officer.

Thousands of people are seriously injured in car accidents across the country every year. Injuries suffered in auto accidents can take an extreme financial, emotional, and physical toll on victims and their families. Any injury victims who can establish that another person’s negligence is to blame for their suffering may be able to collect financial compensation for their losses.

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The holidays are here and you will most likely have some parties to attend, if you haven’t already been to 1 or 2. There are office holiday parties, ugly sweater parties, white elephant gift swaps, holiday brunches and of course al the New Year’s Eve extravaganzas.

Just because the holidays are here does not mean the rules of the road are thrown out the window. As always, our Hernando County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to exercise extra caution this time of year when driving and remind you to never drink and drive.

No person plans to be involved in a car crash where alcohol is involved. If the intoxicated driver had chosen not to drink and drive, the injuries, trauma and hardships could have been avoided altogether. Unfortunately, all too often this time of year, we see an increase in drunk driving accidents. When you are involved in a DUI crash, you deserve competent legal counsel from injury lawyers who will stand up and fight to make sure that your rights are protected.

Our Hernando County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are focused on handling injury claims, including auto accident claims, truck accident claims, and DUI accident claims. We understand how to prepare these types of cases and we know exactly what is at stake for you and your family. We will work tirelessly to make sure you and your family receive the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one is a drunk driving victim, we can advocate on your behalf for all injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Loss of limbs
  • Paralysis
  • Head, neck and back injuries
  • Scarring, bruising and disfigurement
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Fatal accidents resulting in wrongful death

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There is an unfortunate national trend around the Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season. The National Fire Protection Agency reports that there are four times as more home fires on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. These fires are entirely preventable – one third of Thanksgiving home fire are due to unattended stovetop cooking or frying.

Our Hernando County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to make sure you stay safe during the holidays and every other day of the year. To help you enjoy Thanksgiving safely, make sure you follow these safety tips:

  • Always be sure you have working smoke alarms.
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Never leave a stovetop unattended while cooking food. Setting a timer and walking away doesn’t mean you are being safe. You should always have eyes on your stovetop when you are cooking, as spillovers, splatters and burning can occur in the blink of an eye.
  • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

Equally as important, make sure your appliances are in good shape to prevent them from sparking a fire. Anything damaged or that has worn cords should be replaced immediately. Damaged appliances can easily cause an electrical shock or fire.

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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.

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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.

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One dog was killed and another dog was critically injured on Wednesday from the improper use of a generator inside a Hernando County home.

Hernando County Fire Rescue was called out to the home around 10:56 a.m. Wednesday due to a portable generator possibly being run inside a home.

Fire crews forced entry into the home and found a generator running inside the garage with the garage door closed.

They found two dogs inside the home, but no one else. The dogs were evacuated from the garage, officials said, and one was killed, more than likely from carbon monoxide fumes, fire rescue said.

The other dog was still alive but required aggressive treatment by fire/rescue personnel.

This tragedy reminds us that generator usage is deadly if not used appropriately.

Hernando County Fire Rescue has had two significant emergencies related to improper generator use during Hurricane Irma. A home was destroyed by a generator catching fire on Monday, Sept. 11.

HCFR urges residents to follow manufacturer recommendations in the proper usage and placement of portable generators.

When there are power outages, many people turn to portable generators without fully knowing the risks. As generators have become more popular to have on hand, the number of  carbon monoxide (CO) deaths have spiked. The following generator safety tips can keep you and your loved ones safe during an emergency situation:

  • Generators should be used in well ventilated locations outside at least 5 feet away from all doors, windows, and vent openings.
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
  • Place generators in a place where exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building. The exhaust must be directed away from the building.
  • Make sure to install CO alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
  • Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is hot.
  • Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas.

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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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