pasco County Injury Attorney Blog

Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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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This Fourth of July weekend, many people will be traveling, enjoying fireworks or just firing up the backyard grill. At Whittel & Melton, our Pasco County Injury Lawyers want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday. We urge you to have fun, but also make sure safety is a top priority.

The American Red Cross offers a series of steps everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday weekend.


There will be millions of people on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. Follow these 6 steps to stay safe while traveling:

  • Buckle seat belts.
  • Observe Speed Limits.
  • Do Not Drink and Drive.
  • Pay Attention to the Road. Avoid using a cell phone to call or text.
  • Use Caution in Work Zones.
  • Stay Alert at Night. Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see,  and turn the headlights on as dusk approaches as well as during inclement weather.


4428561177_831c2f9269_zThe best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display put on by professionals. However, if you are going to partake in your own fireworks show at home, follow these safety steps:

  • Never Give Fireworks to Small Children.
  • Always Follow the Instructions on the Packaging.
  • Keep a Supply of Water Nearby.
  • Anyone Lighting Fireworks Should Wear Eye Protection.
  • Light only One Firework at a Time and Never Try to Relight “A Dud.”
  • Never Throw or Point a Firework at People, Animals, Vehicles, Structures or Flammable Materials.


Each and every year during the Fourth of July holiday, people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up lunch or dinner for your backyard barbecue:

  • Always Supervise a Grill when in Use.
  • Never Grill Indoors.
  • Keep Children and Pets Away from the Grill.
  • Keep the Grill Away from the House, the Deck, Tree Branches, or Anything that Could Catch Fire.

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A fatal accident on Madison Street in New Port Richey occurred when a Mustang going at a high rate of speed crashed into a power pole. The Mustang was torn in half as a result of the crash, and debris was littered down the street.

Crews spent an entire morning clearing the car and removing debris from the roadway. Utility crews also worked to fix the pole and the power lines. About 1,000 Duke Energy customers were left without power. All power was restored after a few hours.

This accident serves as a morbid reminder of the importance of Uninsured Motorist or UnderInsured Motorist Coverage. Should an investigation lead a reasonable factfinder to conclude that another vehicle was responsible, in whole or in part, then the family/Estate for the victim would be entitled to pursue a claim against the UM carrier. Florida UM policies provide that the carrier step into the shoes of the at-fault party, even if the at-fault party is unidentified and thus defined as a “phantom vehicle.”

The UM insurance company pays when the other driver does NOT have any insurance. UM coverage pays for most of the things that the other person’s insurance would have paid if it existed. UM insurance coverage should cover the following losses:

  • Ambulance fees, paramedic fees, hospital and medical bills, such as Dental, X-Rays, MRI and Prescriptions
  • Loss of Wages, Earnings and Income
  • Pain, Suffering, Disfigurement, Emotional Distress and Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Loss of Future Earnings and Earning Capacity

Remember, UM or UIM coverage is not a gift or present from your own insurance company, so do not be afraid to make a claim against your own insurance company. You already paid a premium for it, so do not trick yourself into thinking that you are taking “advantage” of your insurance company or doing anything wrong because you have to make an uninsured motorist claim.

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A 54-year-old motorcyclist was killed and his passenger was critically injured in a crash on Little Road in New Port Richey early Sunday.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the New Port Richey biker was driving a 2006 Harley Davidson north of Plathe Road around 2:45 a.m. and ran into the back of a Ford F-150 pickup truck that had slowed to avoid hitting a disabled vehicles.

272144714_c0b59cc542_zThe biker died at the scene, and his passenger, a 51-year-old woman, was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point with life-threatening injuries, according to troopers.

The 21-year-old driver of the pickup was not injured.

No charges have been filed as of yet. The crash remains under investigation.

Motorcyclists lack the protection of a car or truck, making them especially vulnerable during accidents. When other drivers fail to see motorcyclists or fail to share the road, crashes can leave bikers and their passengers with serious, life-threatening injuries.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the last thing you should be worrying about is how you will pay your bills. A Pasco County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can handle every aspect of your personal injury claim so that you can focus on what matters most – your health.

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A New Port Richey man died Friday night in a single-vehicle collision in Pasco County.

The crash occurred shortly after 8 p.m. on Rowan Road, just north of Notre Dame Street, in New Port Richey.

The Florida Highway Patrol believes the 55-year-old man was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu south on Rowan Road when he lost control of his car.

6163093436_20352b9566_zThe car then traveled off the road and into the wood line, where it hit a metal sign and trees, according to troopers. The car came to rest in the tree line.

The man died at the scene of the crash.

A single-vehicle crash is exactly what its name suggests – a traffic collision that only involves one vehicle. This usually involves a car and a fixed object, like a street sign, tree, wall, freeway divider or other obstacle. These accidents can also commonly be caused by animals in the roadway. Depending on the speed and force of the collision, a single car accident can deliver serious and lasting injuries to the driver or passenger of the vehicle. The result could be expensive medical care costs and lost earnings from missed work. Recovering financial damages from your insurance claim is very important so that you can rebuild from the accident and recover to your normal life.

After a single-vehicle crash, you may think that you are the only person to blame. However, this is not always the case. A defective auto part or poorly designed or maintained roadway could have caused or contributed to the accident. Even if you were possibly somewhat at fault, you need to speak to a lawyer to fully evaluate how best to seek financial compensation from your own insurance company, or that of another, for the injuries you have suffered. A Pasco County Auto Accident Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you with your insurance claim so that you can recover the money necessary to cover any medical bills, damage to your vehicle and other losses or damages you have experienced.

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Aggressive driving behaviors are a problem in Pasco County, as well as across the country. Road rage is not the only form of aggressive driving. In fact, there are a variety of unsafe practices behind the wheel that can be categorized as aggressive. From speeding to tailgating, aggressive driving places everyone travelling on Pasco County roadways in danger.

12374549414_7fb61ba45a_zCommon Types of Aggressive Driving Practices:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Improper Lane Changes
  • Driving in Wrong Lane
  • Failing to Signal

Speeding is dangerous. In fact, about 1,000 Americans are killed in speed-related crashes every month. More than half of all speed-related crashes, 66 percent, involve single vehicles. Drivers that are involved in speed-related fatal collisions are highly likely to have a history of traffic violations. Most speed-related fatal accidents take place at night between the hours of 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

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A Spring Hill man was killed Saturday night when a pickup truck pulled out in front of his motorcycle on U.S. 19, authorities said.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the 56-year-old man was riding a 1994 Harley Davidson north on U.S. 19 in the center lane around 10:10 p.m.

A 2004 Ford F150 driven by 20-year-old Hudson woman pulled out from Viva Via Lane on the west side of the highway to turn left onto U.S. 19.

The truck then crossed directly into the path of the motorcycle and the front of the motorcycle struck the rear of the truck, according to troopers.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

1578401339_1e71ef7afe_zThe woman was cited for violating the right of way. Neither she nor her passenger, a 6-year-old girl, were injured.

There is absolutely nothing worse than the pain associated with losing a loved one in an accident that did not have to happen. During such a highly emotional time, you should not have to worry about financial issues like medical bills and funeral expenses, which only add more stress to your life.

A Pasco County Motorcycle Wrongful Death Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can represent you in a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for the loss of a family member due to a motorcycle vs. truck accident.

We will investigate your claim and consult with experts to strengthen your claims. We will make sure that the insurance companies understand that you are willing to go to court if necessary to get the full and fair compensation that you deserve, rather than settling for a low-ball offer that will not come close to meeting your needs.

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Law enforcement officials throughout the state will be cracking down on drunk driving this Super Bowl weekend. It’s all a part of the national campaign “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.”

When it comes time for the big game, fans will be cheering either the Seahawks or the Patriots at a local sports bar, a restaurant or over at a friend or family member’s house. Because of these rowdy sports events, there is usually a significant increase in the number of drunk driving accidents in the early and late evening hours. Expect to see more law enforcement officials on Pasco County roadways to help get any dangerous drivers off of our streets and highways.

Super Bowl parties usually start mid-afternoon and continue into Sunday night. Due to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 16165977478_fa0a3fc559_zcampaign, more than 170,000 NFL fans have pledged to be designated drivers this season, a new record! However, that does not mean no drunk driving accidents will occur. You can help by making sure that you and those you love stay out of the driver’s seat after consuming any amount of alcohol during this year’s Super Bowl extravaganza.

Whether attending the game, watching at a sports bar or hosting a party, the NHTSA is urging everyone to ensure a designated driver is on their team. Before heading out, make sure that you have a designated driver if drinking is going to be involved in your Super Bowl party. If you are going to be drinking, pace yourself. Should you find yourself drunk and without a designated driver, ask a sober friend or family member to give you a ride home, call a cab company or stay where you are and sleep it off.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl celebration, remember to make sure that everyone in your crew has a designated driver before kickoff. Keep plenty of non-alcoholic beverages for these drivers and consider shutting down the bar at the end of the third quarter. And most importantly, make sure that you have phone numbers to local cab companies ready to give out to help intoxicated friends and family members get home safely.

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A teenager was killed and two other people suffered serious injuries Monday morning in a head-on crash on U.S. 301 in Zephyrhills.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 16-year-old Tampa teen was driving a U-Haul rental truck south on U.S. 301, just south of Chancey Road, around 10 a.m. when a tractor trailer hauling fertilizer was heading north on U.S. 301 at the same exact time.

Investigators are unsure why, but the U-Haul truck crossed over the double yellow line of the two-lane road and veered into the path of the tractor trailer.

7390225772_637619f827_zThe driver of the tractor trailer, a 31-year-old Bradenton man, drove partially onto the shoulder to avoid a collision, but the U-Haul truck smashed into the rear axles of the trailer.

The U-Haul truck flipped and eventually came to rest in the northbound lane of U.S. 301.

The teen died at the scene of the crash. Two passengers in the U-Haul, a 14-year-old and a 23-year-old, were both taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital with serious injuries.

The crash caused the northbound lanes of U.S. 301 to be shut down for three hours.

A person who has been injured or the surviving family members of someone who has died in a head-on collision caused by the driver of another vehicle may make a claim for financial compensation for losses resulting from the accident. Due to the severity of the injuries usually associated with head-on crashes, victims often endure hefty ongoing medical bills and are usually unable to return to work.

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The mayor of San Antonio was arrested Thursday on charges of driving under the influence.

The 43-year-old mayor was driving 71 mph in a 45-mph zone on U.S. 19 near Cross Bayou Boulevard just after midnight when he was pulled over, according to the arrest affidavit. Police said he was driving through a construction zone at the time of his arrest.

Police allege that the man had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, bloodshot and watery eyes and slurred speech.

The mayor apparently told police that he hadn’t had anything to drink that night.

3299783919_c4bcc93195_zThe arresting officer said that the mayor performed poorly on sobriety tests, which led him to his conclusion that the man was drunk and “unfit to operate a vehicle in a safe manner,” according to the affidavit.

The mayor was placed under arrest and taken to the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center. He provided law enforcement with two samples of his breath for alcohol testing and came up with blood-alcohol content of 0.21, officials said. In Florida, intoxication is presumed at 0.08.

The mayor was released from jail Thursday morning.

People who make the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking are far more likely to cause accidents than sober drivers. Intoxicated drivers have slower reaction times and their better judgement is impaired, so it is not uncommon to see serious injuries and even death after a drunk driving collision.

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