pasco County Injury Attorney Blog

Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Thanksgiving is a holiday devoted to spending time with those you love. With that said, it is one of the busiest travel days of the year. While millions of people are on the roads headed to visit with family members and loved ones, just as many are at home, preparing for those coming their way for visits. This Thanksgiving weekend you can help to avoid holiday accidents and injuries at home and on the road by following some simple safety tips.

Be Safe In The Kitchen

Preparing a holiday feast is a tradition in most homes throughout the country. However, all that cooking in the kitchen over Thanksgiving ends up resulting in an increased risk for fires. The kitchen is the most common place for a fire to originate in the home. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, the following Thanksgiving fire safety tips can decrease the likelihood of a fire in your home:

  • Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking
  • Never leave foods cooking on the stove or in the oven unattended
  • Make sure children stay at least three feet away from the stove to prevent burns
  • Keep matches out of reach of children
  • Keep potholders and oven mitts away from burners as these can catch fire quite easily
  • Do not leave candles or fireplaces burning unattended
  • Be sure all kitchen appliances are turned off before leaving the room
  • Make sure working smoke alarms are installed on every floor and in all sleeping rooms in your house

Many people prefer the taste of fried turkey compared to oven roasted, but the NFPA discourages the use of home turkey fryers. These fryers can lead to tragic burns and can end up destroying your property. If fried turkey is a must for you, get one from a local restaurant or caterer.

Road Safety

The American Red Cross advises following these Thanksgiving travel safety tips to ensure you get to your destination safely:

  • Be well rested before hitting the road
  • Make sure everyone is buckled up safely, regardless of how short the trip is
  • Avoid distractions while driving, such as texting or cell phones
  • Obey the speed limit
  • If you have car problems, pull of the road as far as possible

As always, please refrain from getting behind the wheel if you have been drinking, and avoid taking any prescription medicine that could impair your judgement while driving.

Contact a Pasco County Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton Today!

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A 98-year-old man was killed after an overnight crash in which he drove through a red light and was hit by a Pasco County deputy’s patrol car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Holiday man was driving a 2010 Ford Escape west on Darlington Avenue when he failed to yield to northbound traffic on U.S. 19, troopers said. The patrol car struck the driver’s side of the Escape.

The man was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, where he died from his injuries.

The 30-year-old  New Port Richey deputy was transporting a member of the sheriff’s office’s youth Explorers program. Both the deputy and the youth were taken to a hospital with minor injuries as a precaution, the sheriff’s office said.

Although running a red light might not seem like a big deal, it is a very dangerous traffic violation. Running a red light is the number one cause of car accidents in urban areas. According to reports, nearly 165,000 people are injured each year when a driver runs a red light.

Drivers run red lights for many different reasons. The most common is because they are just “in a hurry.” Another leading cause is driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Those who are not driving under the influence may think they can clear the intersection before the yellow signal turns red. Others are simply distracted and not paying proper attention to the road.

If you are injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver who is guilty of a red light violation, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your suffering. A Pasco County Auto Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you obtain reimbursement for your medical costs, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses. We are dedicated to assisting Pasco County residents who have been injured due to the negligence of others.

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According to Pasco County residents, drivers in and around the Mitchell Ranch Plaza need a refresher course on the rules of the road.

If you pick up a copy of the Florida Drivers Handbook, you’ll read this as it pertains to pedestrian safety and crosswalks:

“The driver of a vehicle at an intersection that has a traffic control signal in place shall stop before entering the crosswalk and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian, with a permitted signal, to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.”

However, many residents claim that traffic does not always stop for pedestrians using the crosswalk .

Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins reminds drivers they are required to stop.

“Pedestrians have the right-of-way in a crosswalk unless directed by signals not to cross,” he said.

Drivers who do not yield right-of-way face the possibility of a $62.50 fine.

When someone is injured or worse, killed, in a Pasco County crosswalk accident, those who have been harmed may have legal options that include the filing of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit with the help of our Citrus County Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton. In order to file such a legal suit, there are many factors that rely on the specifics of the accident. These specifics will determine who the at-fault party is and what, if any, legal recourse is available.

Crosswalks in the state of Florida are governed by basic traffic laws. Pedestrians are allowed to cross the streets  inside these crosswalks and when a traffic signal allows them with the opportunity to cross. At intersections where there is no electronic traffic signal, pedestrians should look both ways for oncoming traffic and only cross inside the crosswalk when it is safe to do so. Once a pedestrian has reasonably entered a crosswalk, they then have the right-of-way and other travelers are expected to yield.

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Halloween is a holiday enjoyed by both children and parents alike. However, Halloween can pose major safety risks for children if proper precautions are not followed. Halloween can easily become a nightmare when you combine darkness, unsupervised children and costumes that may make visibility difficult. By following a few Halloween safety tips from our Pasco County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton, you can reduce the odds of a child injury affecting your family.

Costume Tips:

  • Make sure costumes are bright and reflective. Costumes should also be short enough to prevent tripping or contact with flame.
  • Try adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives.  
  • Make sure all costumes and accessories are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child can easily get hurt by these accessories.
  • Children should be equipped with flashlights with fresh batteries for trolling around dark streets.
  • Give your child a cell phone and teach him or her how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost.

Carving Pumpkins:

  • Small children should not carve pumpkins. A safer alternative is to have children draw a face with markers and then parents can do the cutting.
  • Use a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you are using a candle to light your pumpkin, votive candles are best.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave them unattended.

Home Safety:

  • You want to keep your home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters,so it is best to remove anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations from the front yard and porch area.
  • Replace any burned-out bulbs outside.
  • Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and steps.
  • Keep any pets restrained so they do not jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.


  • A parent or other responsible adult should always accompany young children when trick-or-treating.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan their route and agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for candy.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication or emergency calls.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • Do not cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Never assume as a pedestrian that you have the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters, so be extra cautious!
  • You should notify police immediately about any suspicious or unlawful activity.

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A motorcyclist was killed Tuesday night in a crash on the Suncoast Parkway.

The crash occurred at 8:11 p.m. just south of State Road 52 on the Suncoast Parkway.

The 22-year-old man of  Masaryktown was riding a 1995 Honda motorcycle north when troopers believe the motorcycle exited the roadway for unknown reasons and traveled onto the median.

The motorcycle smashed into the cable barrier, and the man was thrown from the motorcycle.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Motorcycle accidents can most definitely be the fault of the motorcycle driver, but they are usually the result of negligent automobile drivers. Accidents often occur because drivers fail to pay attention to motorcyclists sharing the road, despite misconceptions to the contrary. Unfortunately, it is often the motorcyclist who suffers the worst of the injuries when an accident does occur.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 50 percent of motorcycle accidents that result in death involve another vehicle, while another 42 percent of two-vehicle fatal motorcycle wrecks involve a vehicle turning left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle.

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A Tarpon Springs woman was killed in a crash in Holiday Monday night.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 56-year-old woman ran a red light while traveling westbound on Flora Avenue approaching US 19.

Troopers believe the woman’s 2010 KIA Forte collided with a vehicle traveling northbound in the inside lane on US 19.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other driver suffered minor injuries, according to reports.

When you approach an intersection with a green light, you assume that you are safe to proceed. However, another driver facing a red light may not notice or may choose to ignore the signal to stop. When this happens, the end results are usually catastrophic and require injury victims and/or family members to take immediate action in holding the responsible party accountable for all damages.

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A 24-year-old motorcycle driver and his 20-year-old female passenger were killed in a high-speed crash in rural Zephyrhills on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old St. Petersburg man was driving a 2001 Suzuki GSR600S south on Fort King Road at a high rate of speed around 8:30 p.m., according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers believe the motorcycle ran into a 2013 Dodge Dart that had turned south onto Fort King Road from Phelps Road.

The man and his passenger were ejected. The man died at the scene. The woman was flown to St. Joseph’s hospital in Tampa, where she later died.

Motorcycle accidents can have a variety of different causes. However, some of the most common causes of Pasco County motorcycle accidents include:

  • A car or truck moving into a motorcyclist’s right of way.
  • A driver talking on a cell phone, sending a text message or distracted by something resulting in hitting a motorcyclist from behind.
  • A driver is drunk or under the influence of drugs and fails to react to a red light or traffic signal, resulting in an intersection accident.
  • A driver speeding or weaving in and out of traffic lanes on a highway.
  • A motorcyclist coming into contact with road defects, like bumps, potholes, loose gravel or debris.

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A 17-year-old boy suffered minor injuries Tuesday morning when he was hit by a vehicle in Wesley Chapel.

According to reports, the crash happened on Mansfield Boulevard in front of John Long Middle School.

Officials have not yet released information on the victim or the exact injuries.

The crash is currently still under investigation.

If you have suffered road rash injuries, broken bones, head injuries, or any other major or minor injuries related to a bicycle accident, it is very important to proceed with caution. While you should seek immediate medical care, you should also enlist the help of a Pasco County Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton to help guide you through the process.

Immediately following an accident it is best to try and gather as much information about the accident as possible, including the driver and the car, as well as any witnesses, and take photos. You may be able to recover monetary damages for your medical bills and pain and suffering.

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A Dade City man was killed Saturday after a vehicle smashed into the motorcycle he was riding in Sumter County.

The crash occurred on State Road 44 near I-75.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the 49-year-old Dade City man was riding his Kawasaki motorcycle on SR 44 when a Chevrolet Suburban made a left turn into the path of his bike.

The man died at the scene of the crash.

Charges are pending for the driver of the Suburban.

Most motorcycle accidents result in some type of injury. Unlike other motor vehicles, motorcycles lack the protection of seatbelts, airbags, roofs and doors. When a negligent driver causes an accident, the motorcyclist can be ejected from the bike and strike the ground or other nearby objects causing a wide array of injuries including road rash, broken bones, leg injuries, nerve damage, disfigurement, internal bleeding, neck, back and spine injuries, skull fractures, traumatic brain injury, paralysis or even death.

Even relatively minor injuries like road rash can over time lead to infection or nerve damage. More severe injuries can require surgery, amputation, physical therapy or potential long-term care.

After an accident, a Pasco County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you seek monetary compensation for your injuries including the cost of past and future medical bills, present and future wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. In the event that you lost a loved one in the collision, we can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased in order to obtain financial compensation for your loss.

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Even though the fear and pain can be similar in truck accidents and car accidents, there are several key differences between these two types of auto accidents.

It is important to know about the following differences if you have been involved in an truck accident, as these may have an important impact on your truck accident recovery. The following three things are important to note:

  • Truck accident cases can have different defendants. Unlike car accidents where the defendant is usually the other driver, in truck accidents, the defendant could be the other driver, the trucking company, contractors who are responsible for vehicle maintenance or loading, as well as other parties who are potentially at fault.
  • Truck Accident Cases Rely on Different Evidence. Just like a car accident, the evidence at the scene of the crash is very important to your recovery. However, in a truck accident case, other types of evidence are equally as important. This can include records of the number of hours the trucker was driving, the rules and regulations of the trucking company, information about the hiring process of the truck driver, as well as other information.
  • Different laws may be involved in truck accident cases. The federal government has specific rules, like the hours of service rules, that apply to truck drivers, but not to individual car drivers. Figuring out if the truck driver and trucking company complied with these rules can be a critical factor in your recovery.

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