pasco County Injury Attorney Blog

Articles Posted in Car Accidents

A 21-year-old Zephyrhills man was killed Tuesday in a motorcycle crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the man died when his 2005 Yamaha motorcycle collided with a vehicle that turned in front of him on US 301 at Chancey Road in Zephyrhills.

Troopers believe the man was traveling southbound on US 301 when a driver turning left in the northbound turn lane turned his 2002 Oldsmobile into the path of the motorcycle.

The man collided with the Oldsmobile and was pronounced dead at the scene.

As a biker, you are entitled to the same driving rights as other vehicles sharing the road with you. The unfortunate truth, though, is that cars and trucks don’t always respect these rights. In fact, the majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by another driver that has failed to drive responsibly.

Around 65 percent of all motorcycle accidents involving another car happen because the car did not yield the right of way to the biker. Many others are the result of a driver failing to check their blind spot before veering into the lane of a motorcyclist. Even what is referred to as a “near miss” with another vehicle can still result in a devastating accident involving just you on your motorcycle. Regardless of if there was no collision with the car, the other driver’s actions may have caused the accident.

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The driver of a dump truck was killed Friday morning after a tire blowout and crash on Interstate I-75 in San Antonio, Florida.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the blowout happened at 5:53 a.m. and set off a five-vehicle crash on I-75 near State Road 52 in the San Antonio area.

Troopers believe the dump truck was traveling southbound in the outside lane when the front left tire blew, causing the driver to lose control of the truck.

The dump truck rotated, and smashed into the rear of a van which was in the inside lane.

Troopers said the dump truck then overturned and went through a guardrail. A second dump truck that was in the outside lane collided with the first one as it overturned.

An Isuzu pick up truck in the inside lane swerved to avoid the trucks and crashed into a semi-truck. The driver of the Isuzu suffered serious injuries.

The driver of the overturned dump truck died at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation, according to reports.

One common cause of tire blowouts is low air pressure in tires. Every driver is responsible for monitoring the tire pressure on their tires in order to avoid these types of accidents. Most newer cars have automatic warning lights to notify the driver when the tire pressure dips below a safe level. However, if for some reason this warning light fails on an automobile, the vehicle manufacturer may be liable for the damage and injuries caused by the tire blowout.

Defective tires are another reason that tire blowouts occur. If a manufacturer sells defective tires, this places the driver and anyone else sharing the roadway at risk. An incorrect installation could even create conditions for a dangerous tire blowout and accident.

According to the National Safety Council, there are a few steps that a driver can take to ensure their safety after experiencing a tire blowout on a busy road or highway.

  • Instead of slamming on the brakes, try to slowly take your foot off the gas pedal.
  • Coast to the shoulder or other area away from traffic.
  • Stay calm.
  • Turn on your emergency flashers.
  • When waiting for help, stand as far away from your vehicle as possible.

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A 20-year-old motorcyclist was killed Monday night in a collision with a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer in Zephyrhills.

According to authorities, the Zephyrhills man was driving a Suzuki GSXR south on Fort King Road, behind the truck and 24-foot trailer, around 8 p.m.

When the pickup slowed to turn left onto Phelps Road, the motorcyclist tried to pass the truck and trailer and collided with them, troopers said.

The biker was ejected from the bike and died at the scene.

The driver of the truck, a 19-year-old Dade City woman, and a 16-year-old passenger from Lecanto were uninjured.

No charges have been filed.

Motorcycle accidents result in a higher rate of severe injuries and deaths than collisions that involve only passenger vehicles. Sadly, motorcyclists are significantly more likely to be killed in a traffic collision than passenger-vehicle occupants, even if the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet.

While bikers face much greater physical risks compared to other motorists, it is important to note that they have the same general entitlements as other drivers, including the right to pursue legal action after being hurt in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence.

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A motorcyclist died Saturday night after crashing into a pickup truck that turned in front of him on U.S. 301, according to authorities.

The 45-year-old Zephyrhills man was traveling north on U.S. 301 around 8:50 p.m. when a southbound Ford F-150 crossed into his path attempting to turn onto State Road 39. The vehicles collided, and the man was ejected, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The man was taken to Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, where he later died.

The driver of the pickup, a 44-year-old Zephyrhills woman, and her two passengers were not injured.

The FHP said charges are pending.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 4,500 motorcycle drivers are killed each year in traffic accidents and more than 85,000 are injured. That equates to roughly 56 deaths for every 100,000 motorcycles on the road, compared to nine deaths for every car on America’s highways.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a motorcycle vs. truck accident, you need an attorney on your side who can uncover the truth and fight for your rights and those of your family. At Whittel & Melton, our Pasco County Motorcycle Accident Lawyers are familiar with these types of cases and how they must be handled. We will launch an investigation immediately so that you will know exactly what happened before, during and after the motorcycle accident. We will act fast to protect your best interests.

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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.

Trick-Or-Treating:

  • 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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