Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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A recent study shows that as many as 93 percent of new parents make a big mistake when positioning or installing their newborn’s car seat on the way home from the hospital.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the following positioning errors were found when it comes to new parents installing car seats for their infants:

  • 69 percent of infants had harnesses that were too loose
  • 34 percent of infants had latches that were too low
  • 18 percent of infants had latches that were too high
  • 20 percent of infants had a product that was not deemed compatible with their car seat
  • 15 percent of parents did not know how to secure their child in the car seat.

125486076_5dc1245ba9_zThe following additional installation errors were found:

  • 43 percent of installation errors occurred when a car seat was unfastened.
  • 26 percent of installation errors occurred when the car seat was at the wrong angle.
  • 23 percent of installation errors included an unlocked safety belt.
  • 17 percent of installation errors occurred when the infant car seat was too close to the front seat of the car.

The above mistakes could result in serious harm to an infant if a car accident occurs. As a new parent, it is very important to make sure that your child is properly secured before leaving the hospital parking lot. Many hospitals, police stations and fire departments in the local area host free car seat clinics. At these events, professionals will be on hand to check the installation of your child’s car seat, and make all the necessary adjustments. You can can also look for a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area that can help.

Your child is the most precious cargo in your vehicle, so take the time to ensure they are buckled in safely every time you get on the road, whether you are going across the street or taking a lengthy road trip.

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A man driving a pickup truck exited the road and hit a mobile home Friday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

3937464237_0c5f7a1919_zThe 23-year-old Zephyr­hills man was driving north on 23rd Street approaching Lizbeth Circle at 12:04 p.m. when he left the roadway and struck a mobile home on Lizbeth Circle, according to authorities.

The 22-year-old resident was not home when the crash occurred. The truck driver suffered minor injuries and was ticketed for failure to drive within a single lane.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States each year. The injuries that people can suffer in motor vehicle accidents can range from relatively minor cuts, bumps and scrapes to more serious injuries that can lead to permanent disability or could even be fatal.

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With Halloween on Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is speaking up about their annual safety campaign. They are advocating for everyone to make safe transportation arrangements before celebrating or taking part in any Halloween festivities.

This year Halloween falls on a Friday night, and Halloween night and weekend are traditionally dangerous times to be out on the road. Despite the fact that impaired drivers face serious legal penalties like jail time, court costs and fines, there will still be impaired drivers on the road this Halloween.

58965867_e1a9992cca_zHalloween Drunk Driving Statistics

  • From 2007 to 2011, 52 percent of fatalities across the country took place on Halloween night because of drunk driving accidents.
  • In 2011, 44 percent of fatalities throughout the United States on Halloween weekend involved a drunk driver or motorcyclist.
  • In 2011, about half of all drunk drivers killed in car accident nationwide during Halloween were 21 to 34-year-old males.

There are many things that people can do to avoid getting into trouble on Halloween. Partygoers can help keep the roads safe for everybody by acting responsibly. First and foremost, anyone that knows they will be going somewhere and drinking, should plan their way home ahead of time. The list below can help make sure your Halloween night/weekend is safe and enjoyable.

Safety Tips for Halloween

  1. Make a plan for a sober ride home before you head out.
  2. Delegate a designated driver before attending any festivities.
  3. If you are impaired, don’t get behind the wheel. Call a cab, a sober friend or any other type of car service that can get you to your final destination safely.
  4. If you see an unsafe or drunk driver, contact your local law enforcement agency right away.
  5. If you know somebody who is attempting to drive drunk, take his or her keys away and find them sober transportation home.

The Pasco County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to stress that buzzed driving is drunk driving. Halloween is a particularly dangerous night mostly due to the fact that drunk and buzzed individuals often make the choice to get behind the wheel. We cannot say this enough: always make plans ahead of time, and always find a safe ride home if you have been drinking.

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A 29-year-old father of five was killed Monday night when he stopped to help a driver who ran out of gas on a Zephyrhills highway.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the man was on a 1998 Suzuki ATV trying to tow a Ford Ranger pickup truck when a semi-truck caused the fatal accident on U.S. 301 around 10:30 p.m.

As the man moved into the left turn lane to execute a left turn onto Central Avenue, the tow strap connecting the vehicles stretched across U.S. 301. The semi traveling south on U.S. 301 then ran into the strap, causing the ATV to eject the man and overturn.

8303067574_d98a3ab5b1_mThe ATV driver was not wearing a helmet and suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene, according to troopers.

Troopers believe the person inside the Ranger made it to the gas statio, pumped gas and drove off.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 45-year-old St. Petersburg man, was not injured.

Investigators are asking for anyone with information regarding the crash to contact the FHP at 813-631-4020.

ATVs have a high center of gravity and a narrow wheelbase, which places riders at an increased risk of a rollover accident. These vehicles weigh up to a quarter of a ton and are able to reach top speeds of 100+ miles per hour. With that said, ATVs can cause serious injuries when they do overturn. Common ATV rider and passenger injuries include:

  • Skull fractures
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of Limbs
  • Death

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A 25-year-old woman was killed early Monday after she drove the wrong way on Interstate 75 in Pasco County and struck a semi-truck, according to authorities.

The Florida Highway Patrol claims the woman was driving northbound in the southbound lanes at 4:35 a.m. when her 2012 Nissan sedan hit a southbound tractor-trailer carrying food and beverage products near St. Joe Road, four miles north of State Road 52 in San Antonio.

Officials believe that the woman’s Nissan smashed into the semi and then a concrete barrier. The impact caused the semi to roll over in the crash.

14527872443_451e16ec6e_mTroopers said the semi-truck driver, a 42-year-old Port St. Lucie man, tried to avoid a collision by moving to the outside lane, but was unsuccessful. The Nissan hit the left side of the semi, but the diver was not injured.

As the semi came to a halt on the highway, the Nissan traveled to the median and onto the concrete barrier wall.

The driver of the Nissan was airlifted to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, where she later died.

The southbound lanes of I-75 were closed at mile marker 290. One of the southbound I-75 lanes was reopened just before 7:30 a.m.

This crash marks the fifth serious wrong-way crash in the Tampa Bay area interstate highway this year, now totaling 11 people being killed.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a Highway Special Investigative Report entitled Wrong-Way Driving in December 2012 that focused on wrong-way collisions, mostly addressing incidents that occurred on high-speed divided highways or ramps for controlled-access roadways. The study concluded that wrong-way crashes were relatively infrequent, accounting for only about 3 percent of the accidents on those roads. However, just because these accidents are not the most common, due to the fact that they tend to be head-on accidents, wrong-way crashes are usually more serious and more often fatal than other types of highway accidents.

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A school bus was involved in an accident while on its way to school in Land O’ Lakes. No injuries were reported, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

According to school officials, the bus was transporting 11 students to Oakstead Elementary School at 9:30 a.m. when it was involved in the crash.

Another bus was sent to finish the bus route and pick up any students who were waiting to be taken to school.

school bus 414According to officials, the bus involved in the crash was able to continue on to school with the students once it was released by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

Millions of students ride school buses every single school day, leaving millions of parents to trust that their children will arrive at their destinations safely. They trust that the bus driver transporting their child is appropriately licensed and trained and that the bus is in satisfactory working condition. But as we all know, mistakes happen, and sometimes these mistakes result in serious school bus accidents.

At Whittel & Melton, our Pasco County Injury Lawyers represent the families of students who were injured or killed in school bus accidents. In school bus accident claims, our top priority is to obtain fair compensation for your damages as well protect other children from suffering a similar harm. That is why we conduct extensive investigations into the accident sites and rely on the help of experts to determine who caused the accident and why so that all negligent parties can be held legally liable.

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Even though the weather in Florida does not show it, summer is coming to an end. This Monday is Labor Day, and families and friends across the country will be gathering together over the long weekend to say goodbye to summer. Most people think of Labor Day weekend as their last chance to take a vacation, visit the beach or even just grill outdoors. The following safety tips can ensure that you have safe and fun Labor Day holiday.

Road Trip Safety Tips

  • Always have an emergency kit in your vehicle that contains flashlights, extra batteries, jumper cables, bottled water, a tool kit and a knife.
  • Tell someone who is not travelling with you about your travel arrangements. That way someone knows where you’re going, how long you will be away and what time you will be back.
  • Fasten your seatbelt! Make sure everyone in the car properly fastens their seat belts, and small children remain in their appropriate car seats.
  • Never drink and drive. Figure out a safe alternative home before you go anywhere.

Swimming Safety Tips

  • Check the weather and stay away from water during a lightning storm.
  • Don’t swim alone. Children should always be supervised by an adult when playing in or around water.
  • Emergency floatation devices should always be readily available. If taking your boat out, you should have enough life jackets for everyone on board.
  • Refrain from consuming alcohol while boating. You can be arrested for driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol.

7525573720_957c2abe23_mGrilling Safety Tips

  • Make sure your grill is set up in a safe location, away from houses, trees and any other flammable objects.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill.
  • Do not add charcoal starter fluid after you have already ignited the coals.
  • Wear gloves when grilling foods to prevent burns and always handle food in a safe manner.

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A four-month old baby who was struck by a car in Holiday on Saturday is on the mend, according to doctors.

He suffered bruises and road rash on his face, legs and arms.

His 17-year-old parents were also hit in the accident and suffered sprained ankles.

The couple spent Saturday afternoon in the park, and were heading home on foot pushing their baby in his stroller along Chatlin Road in Holiday, when out of nowhere, they were hit by a car.

7138315493_7a4c7e4499_m (1)The driver apparently stopped for a minute to make sure the family was alright. The baby’s father told the driver to call 9-1-1, but the motorist got in his car and drove away.

Neighbors nearby claim they heard tires screech and came running to help as they waited for ambulances.

Police are searching for the driver who they believe to be a young man in a blue Ford Crown Victoria.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Florida Highway Patrol at 813-631-4020.

Hit-and-run car accidents often leave pedestrians with serious, life-long injuries, and that’s if they survive the impact of the crash. Sadly, in many hit-and-run accidents, it is not uncommon to find a pedestrian left on the side of the road with life-threatening injuries after the driver of the car has fled from the scene of the crime without stopping to help or call for emergency assistance.

Leaving the scene of a pedestrian accident or a car accident without stopping to render aid is illegal. In many cases, the hit-and-run driver will leave the scene of the crash because they are guilty of other illegal acts, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving with a suspended license or even because there is a warrant out for their arrest.

If police and local authorities are unable to locate the person who hit you, it can be difficult to recover damages since the person responsible for your medical bills and other compensation cannot be found. In most cases those who flee the scene of an accident are uninsured, making collecting damages even harder.

Pedestrian accidents are actually far more complicated than you might think. The insurance company is equipped with teams of highly trained adjusters and lawyers who will fight to protect their bottom line. Trying to take on these companies alone is never a good idea. The insurance company knows that you alone are no match for their team of professionals. A Pasco County Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can level the playing field and make sure the insurance company fights fair.

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A dirt bike rider and a pickup truck driver were killed Saturday night in Hudson following a three-vehicle crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 1996 Chevy Silverado pickup truck driven by a 72-year-old Hudson man and a 2006 Lifan G20-5 motorcycle ridden by a 29-year-old Zephyrhills man were traveling in opposite directions on Hudson Avenue when both vehicles approached a private drive at 11029 Hudson Avenue around 9:10 p.m. The truck apparently turned into the path of the bike, and the bike struck the right rear of the truck, according to troopers.

dirt-bike-209489_150The dirt biker, who was not wearing a helmet, was ejected onto the roadway.

As the driver of the Chevy Silverado got out of his truck and approached the injured biker, he and the biker were struck a 2007 Chevy Silverado driven by a 59-year-old Hudson man heading eastbound.

Both the biker and the 72-year-old man died at the scene. The 59-year-old was not injured.

As of now, no charges have been filed.

When a loved one dies, it can be an extremely difficult blow to recover from. If someone else’s negligence or carelessness caused or contributed to their death, it can be even harder. The ability to take care of your family as well as the security of your future comes into question. Taking care of children, paying household bills and all other payments can be tough to do while grieving a loss.

A Pasco County Wrongful Death Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you and your family find a solution to any financial strains in the case of a wrongful death. We can help you recover monetary compensation for lost income, funeral expenses, loss of companionship and mental and emotional anguish.

We will make sure that all negligent parties are held accountable for their actions. This can help you move forward with your life and keep you on track in the future.

Our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys will investigate the cause of your loved one’s accident, which means we will use experts to review all reports, medical records and witness statements to piece together an accurate assessment of what happened. We will even retain experts to evaluate how the death has affected you financially.

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Everyone loves celebrating the Fourth of July as this is a great holiday to spend time with friends and family. No matter what you plan on doing, traveling, attending a cookout, watching the fireworks or just relaxing around the house with those you love, this time of year is certainly enjoyable and should be taken advantage of. While the Fourth of July is certainly a fun-filled holiday, there is one thing that is not so wonderful about this day – drinking and driving.

accidentAlcohol-related collisions claim the lives of many Americans this time of year, and thousands more are injured in auto accidents by motorists who choose to get behind the wheel of a car after having too much to drink. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ranked the Fourth of July as the deadliest holiday of the year, even beating out New Years.

As Pasco County Auto Accident Lawyers, we know just how dangerous DUI-related crashes can be, and we want to we want to urge all Florida residents to be safe this holiday. Whatever plans you may have for the Fourth, if they involve alcohol, please keep the following tips in mind:

Before anyone starts drinking, select a designated driver. Make sure that all the members of your group are on the same page so that everyone can have a fun night and not worry about transportation. Select a safe method home, and if you have a designated driver, make sure they understand their responsibilities. The designated driver should steer clear of alcohol for the entire evening, not just drink less than everyone else.

Give your car keys to a sober person or party host. Many people think that they are fine to drive when they are actually not. If you are at a neighbor’s house or out with friends, give your keys to someone who you can trust. They can return your keys to you when they believe you are safe to drive.

Stay with your group and watch out for everyone. As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers. Watch out for your pals and make sure no one is tempted to drive home after drinking any amount of alcohol. If a friend is clearly intoxicated and tries to drive away, speak up and make sure you confront them. They may be angry for the night, but they will thank you the next day.

Drunk driving crashes can be quite tragic. Don’t risk your safety, or anyone else’s for that matter this Independence Day weekend. Should you or someone you love become injured in a car accident, please call us as soon as possible at 727-847-2299 or contact us online.