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Pasco County Personal Injury Lawyers | Whittel & Melton, LLC | New Port Richey, Dade City

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may already be dealing with the pressure associated with your family’s wellbeing. The claims process for an injury can be overwhelming, so it is normal to feel scared and unsure of what to do next. While you may be tempted to accept the insurance company’s initial offer just so you can put the matter behind you, the reality of the situation is that you may be entitled to much larger compensation than the insurance company wishes to let on.

Don’t Face the Judge Alone! Zephyrhills, Land O’Lakes, Hudson, Holiday, Lutz, Trinity

As Pasco County Personal Injury Lawyers, we are more than familiar with the measures some Florida auto insurance companies will stoop to in order to settle claims in their favor. We focus on helping individuals and their families suffering from accidents related to auto collisions, motorcycle and ATV accidents, electrical contact, slip, trip and falls and medical malpractice. We represent regular, hard-working people who have become injured either on the job or as a result of the carelessness of another person or company. Our main goal is to see that you receive the greatest financial security for your family so that you have the peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of throughout this difficult time.

No matter how complex the case, the Pasco County Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have the staff, legal resources and experience to take on your injury matter in New Port Richey, Dade City, Zephyrhills, Land O'Lakes, Hudson, Holiday, Lutz, Trinity and Wesley Chapel.

If your or a family member has suffered from a serious injury, give our Pasco County Personal Injury Lawyers a call today. You can review our practice areas pages here to see the various injury cases we handle. Your consultation is always free, and by contacting us you will speak to one of our personal injury attorneys who will supply you with a detailed legal assessment of the merits of your case. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you will pay no fees unless and until a financial recovery for damages is collected for you.

Navigate our web site and explore our blog to see if the information posted can shed some light on the legal issues you may be dealing with and to learn more about our firm, our attorneys, and why you can trust us with your case. Once you decide that your situation demands personal representation from experienced counsel familiar with the Pasco community, contact us to see how we can help resolve your injury matter.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office saved five men who were stranded in the Gulf of Mexico after their boat capsized Saturday. 

None of the men suffered any injuries. 

According to reports, the group of men were about 15 miles off the shore when they called for help. 

The U.S. Coast Guard also helped with the rescue.

The good news is that all the men were wearing their life jackets, which is a great reminder to everyone how important it is to be safe when on the water. 

According to the Coast Guard’s 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics, there were a total of 4,168 boat crashes that resulted in 613 deaths. In this same year, another 2,559 injuries were reported as well as a whopping $55 million in property damage all due to recreational boating accidents. The Coast Guard also found that 79% of recreational boating deaths involved victims who drowned. Furthermore, 86% of fatal drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. 

Nothing beats a hot sunny day on the water, and Pasco County is a great area for year-long boating activities. However, just one tiny slip up and a fun-filled day can turn into a nightmare in a matter of seconds. Anytime you head out on the water you want to be as prepared as possible. Our Pasco County Boating Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to remind you of the following safety tips. 

Boat safety starts before you even get on the water. You want to make sure your vessel is in good working condition before taking it out. This means you need to regularly inspect your boat for properly working steering, throttle, fuel and battery lines, and all switches and cables. If you have not taken your boat out in a while, you want to properly inspect it and be thorough before you get it on the water. 

Life jackets are a must for every single passenger. Every person on your watercraft needs to wear a life jacket. This is a non negotiable, as having one on can save your life, as this article shows. You want the life jackets to be kept in places that are easily accessible. You also need to inspect them often to make sure they are not ripped, torn, or otherwise defective. You also want to be aware of the laws regarding life jackets in Florida. For children under the age of 6: They must wear a USCG-approved life jacket while on boats that are under 26 feet in length on Florida waterways. Everyone on board a personal watercraft or being towed by a PWC must also wear a USCG-approved life jacket at all times. 

Pay attention to the weather and prepare yourself accordingly. A severe thunderstorm can quickly turn a nice day into a dangerous one. If severe warning is on the radar, consider taking your boat out another day. Once dark clouds are hanging over your vessel, it is usually too late to get back to shore safely. 

Do not drink and operate a boat. Just like driving a car, drinking while boating is dangerous and can prevent you from being able to operate a vessel safely. Likewise, drinking large amounts of alcohol can hinder your balance, and that combined with a rocky boat can easily lead to passengers falling overboard. 

Keep an eye on your boat’s weight. An overloaded boat can lead to a capsized boat. Your boat weight needs to be evenly distributed. You want to secure your anchor to the front of the boat (the bow). When the boat is moving at fast speeds, remind passengers to stay seated so that they can avoid falling overboard. 

Follow appropriate traffic guidelines. Be advised that larger boats like fishing boats, sailboats, etc. have the right away. It is best to stay to the right when approaching another vessel. You always want to yield to the boat that is on the right. 

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skate-629740_640-150x150A 14-year-old died Tuesday morning in New Port Richey after being struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle. 

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash involved a Jeep and happened at Moon Lake Road and Slidell Street just after 7 a.m. 

The child was transported to an area hospital but later died due to the injuries suffered in the crash. The child was a 9th grader at River Ridge High School.

The crash remains under investigation and authorities are asking drivers to avoid the area. 

At this time, no charges have been filed.

Anytime a child is hit by a car while riding their bike, it is every parent’s worst nightmare come true. Sadly, a child’s bicycle is no match for the mass and velocity of a full-sized car, so when these accidents occur, serious injuries and/or death are often the result. 

In most of these accidents, the chances are, the driver didn’t mean to hit your child. They may have been rolling too fast through a stop sign, texting while driving, or just simply failing to pay attention to their surroundings. 

If your child is struck by a car, your next steps are very important. Our Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have compiled a list to help you think fast and preserve critical evidence. 

  • Take Care of Your Child’s Injuries/get them to the hospital
  • Keep the accident site intact 
  • Establish Witnesses
  • Call the Police
  • Collect Driver Information
  • Take Photographs
  • Talk to the Police
  • Hire an Attorney

The first, and most obvious thing, is to tend to your child’s injuries. There is a very high chance that they will be badly scraped up and bruised from impacting the car, but they could also have broken bones, a concussion, dislocated joints, or other very serious injuries after the crash. Do everything you can for your child and, if necessary, prepare to call an ambulance to take them directly to a hospital.

Whenever possible, try not to disturb the bicycle’s location too much while treating your child as this can be an important detail for later. You want to make a mental note of where your child was exactly after the crash. 

The next step is to identify any witnesses and get their accounts of the accident. You will want them to make a report to police once they arrive at the scene. If witnesses can’t stay because they need to be somewhere, collect their names and contact information so they can be called about the incident later on.

The driver should remain at the scene and speak with the police. If they leave, the accident escalates to a hit-and-run. 

Once the police are called, it’s time to make sure you have all the information you will need in the future. You need to get the driver’s full name, license plate number, and the details of their insurance policy. Try and take a picture of both sides of their insurance card so you can confirm the details later on.

We strongly recommend not conversing with the driver other than gathering their information. Don’t say anything accusatory, don’t ask for an apology. You do not want to say something that can jeopardize a legal case because you are upset after an accident. The less you and the driver talk (aside from exchanging information) the better. 

If your child is suffering from significant injuries beyond a few easily healed scrapes and bruises, then you need to call an attorney. While the law will hold the driver responsible for any criminal actions like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will need legal help to hold them personally responsible for the damage done to your child. This is where our Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can be your best ally.

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Recent recalls of popular antacids, such as Zantac and its generic version, ranitidine, as well as another drug, nizatidine, have left many patients suffering from heartburn with a loss of what to do. 

While these drugs are no longer available at pharmacies, they may still be in your medicine cabinet. Our Pasco County Zantac Lawsuit Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want you to be informed on what to do. 

Here is what has been recalled and why: 

Companies that make the antacids ranitidine and nizatidine (brand name: Axid) have voluntarily recalled more than a dozen lots of unexpired medications in 150 mg and 300 mg strengths. Exact lot numbers of the recalled drugs can be found on the FDA’s website.

The FDA said the medicines may contain “unacceptable” amounts of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a substance the World Health Organization has classified as a “probable human carcinogen.”

Valisure, an online pharmacy that analyzes every batch of medications it receives, first discovered the elevated NDMA levels in samples of ranitidine. 

Due to the molecular makeup of ranitidine, when it is exposed to heat, it breaks down and forms NDMA. It can breakdown in as little as 15 minutes and form NDMA, according to researchers. In theory, ranitidine could develop the toxin while in hot delivery vehicles, or even stored in steamy bathrooms.

Should you be concerned? 

None of the recalled lots has been associated with any illnesses or injuries. FDA testing of recalled ranitidine detected NDMA levels similar to the amounts found in grilled and smoked meats. Doctors have reported that the link between NDMA and the development of cancer is still misunderstood by many, but patients should discuss this with their physicians. 

Are there alternatives to the recalled medications?

Due to the fact that so many people rely on Zantac for heartburn relief, there are similar drugs on the market that could help. Sales of over-the-counter and prescription ranitidine topped $221 million in 2018 alone, according to the pharmaceutical research firm IQVIA. 

Other heartburn medications, such as famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and omeprazole (Prilosec) have not tested positive for signs of NDMA.

Heartburn drugs work to reduce stomach acid, but lifestyle changes can help, too. Losing a few pounds, even as little as two to three BMI points, can significantly improve symptoms, quitting smoking, and cutting back on dietary fat can also help.

The condition that usually causes severe cases of heartburn is called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It occurs when the valve that separates the esophagus and the stomach opens when it’s not supposed to. When that happens, the contents of your stomach, which naturally contains a lot of acid, travels into the esophagus.

Because GERD is essentially a valve problem, nighttime heartburn patients can slightly elevate the head of their bed, and sleep on their left side for relief. When you lay on your left side, the faulty valve is positioned in a way that separates it from food and acid, which means less stomach acid will back up into the esophagus.

What if your heartburn will not go away?

Occasional heartburn is common, especially after big meals, and usually is not serious. But sometimes, that burning sensation can indicate something more serious, such as ulcers, bleeding or an inflammation of the lining of the esophagus.

Gastroenterologists recommend contacting your doctor’s office if your heartburn won’t go away after two weeks, you’re having trouble swallowing, or your heartburn is causing nausea and vomiting.

Zantac Cancer Lawsuits 

The first Zantac lawsuit filed against the drugmaker Sanofi was filed in California on the same day the FDA published its safety warning. Since then, there have been other suits. Plaintiffs say that the drugmaker had an obligation to know about the potential for contamination and to advise the medical community of the danger.

Anyone who regularly used Zantac for an extended period of time and has since been diagnosed with cancer can file a claim. Any Zantac users that have suffered acute damage to their liver can also file suit. The following cancers are known to be caused by NDMA exposure:

  • Stomach Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Small Intestine Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer

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A deadly hit-and-run crash last week shut down part of Little Road in New Port Richey overnight.

The crash happened just after 1 a.m. at Little Road and Heritage Lakes Boulevard. 

Florida Highway Patrol says a vehicle, believed to be a 2001 to 2004 Toyota Tacoma in silver, white or light grey color, hit a person trying to cross Little Road near the Heritage Lakes Boulevard intersection, then continued going north on Little Road. 

FHP had the northbound lanes of Little Road shut down for hours from St. Lawrence Drive to Heritage Lakes Boulevard while they investigated. 

The road reopened around 6:45 a.m. 

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call FHP at 813-558-1800.

In recent years, Florida has earned the title of being one of the worst states for pedestrian safety. Of the 20 deadliest U.S. cities for pedestrians, 9 are in Florida. Orlando ranks as the least safe for pedestrians and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolis takes the number 14 position, according to a report from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Pedestrians are injured and killed every day across the United States. So, why is Florida so unsafe for pedestrians? There is no single reason why and multiple factors contribute to why pedestrians are at such a higher risk to be struck by vehicles. 

In the U.S. data has shown that pedestrian deaths have increased by 35.7 percent from 2008 to 2017. During this ten year period, a total of 49,340 pedestrians were killed. If you break it down, the numbers equate to 13 pedestrian fatalities every single day for the whole country. 

As far as Florida pedestrian accidents go, there were 5,433 pedestrian deaths between 2008 and 2017, which averages out to 2.73 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. The Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) calculated in the report is 182.0. The U.S. as a whole shows an average of 1.55 deaths per 100,000 people and a 55.3 PDI. The numbers show that Florida doubles the national statistics.  

Orlando had 656 pedestrian deaths over 10 years with a PDI of 313.3 and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach had 1,549 pedestrian deaths and a PDI of 153.5. To put this into better perspective, New York City-Newark is one of the most heavily walked metropolitan areas in the country, but only has a PDI of 27.1. Washington D.C. has a PDI of 39.7 and Chicago 34.5.

Pedestrians continue to be struck and killed every day in the United States. While not every pedestrian accident results in a fatality, many do. For those that survive a pedestrian accident, they may be left battling chronic pain and suffering for the rest of their lives. Their injuries could result in them losing their jobs and experience a reduced quality of life because their injuries keep them from the activities they love. 

Every person should be able to walk to a destination without the fear of being struck by a speeding, drunk, or distracted driver. Our Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help those who have been injured in pedestrian accidents, as well as the families of those who have been tragically killed. We can help you seek financial compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

The laws in Florida are designed to protect those who become injury victims due to the negligence of another. When a pedestrian is injured through the fault of a motorist, that pedestrian may be entitled to bring a claim for their damages in an effort to obtain financial relief.

In the event that the at-fault driver fled the scene and cannot be located, pedestrians are not necessarily simply out of luck. It is possible for a claim to still be made on the pedestrian’s behalf that could allow them to recover for actual losses like medical and surgical bills incurred as well as less tangible damages including pain and suffering, loss of a normal life, and permanency of damages.

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A teenage girl was struck by a car in New Port Richey and was airlifted to a hospital as a trauma alert. 

The accident happened around 10:45 a.m. Monday morning on Madison Street. 

Residents believe a narrow sidewalk on a busy street is at least partly to blame. 

Pasco County Fire Rescue says the teenage girl suffered from a head injury and was flown to a hospital as a trauma alert. 

Residents say this is the second student to be struck by a car on Madison Street this year.

Residents agree that speeding is a problem on the busy street. 

There is currently no update on the teen’s condition or who is to blame for the accident. 

In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes across the United States. These statistics mean that on average, one pedestrian is killed every 1.5 hours. Every year in the United States, at least 100 children are killed in collisions while walking to or from school. Nearly half of all pedestrian deaths of children in or near school zones involve kids who are 15 or older.

Around Florida schools the speed limit is 20 mph. Special speed limit signs are posted around schools to alert you as you enter the zone. These signs have flashing lights to tell you when the lower speed limit is in effect, and there is a sign to indicate when you have left the school zone. 

When drivers failure to obey the school zone speed limits, accidents can and do occur. When traveling 20-25 mph, the stopping distance for an average vehicle and a driver with average reaction times is at least 56 feet. At 35 mph, the stopping distance is at least 95 feet. When drivers travel at a normal speed instead of slowing down in school zones, they add 40 feet to their stopping distance.

According to Florida’s State Uniform Traffic Control Law, a pedestrian is defined as any person travelling on foot. Pedestrians are required to obey the instructions of any traffic control device or police officer. Pedestrians are also required by law to use a sidewalk when provided and are not permitted to walk on the paved road. If there is no sidewalk present, pedestrians are required to walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the road facing traffic approaching from the opposite direction.

If your child or teen is walking to or from school or bus stops, especially in heavy traffic areas, it is extremely important to go over safety points with them, including:

  • Do not walk distracted. Keep your head up and stay off your phone, so that you can keep an eye on traffic at all times.
  • Do not wear headphones and turn any music off. It is very important to be able to  hear what is going on around you like screeching tires, horns, sirens, or other audible indicators an accident might occur.
  • Always use crosswalks when they are available. Look left and right before crossing and continuously scan traffic while crossing.
  • Be alert and watch oncoming traffic when crossing roadways, even when you are legally crossing in a designated crosswalk with the walk sign lit. Not every vehicle will stop behind the white line, so it is important to pause at each lane and make eye contact with the driver to make sure that they see you and are stopping to allow you to pass.
  • When sidewalks are not available, walk facing traffic, as far from the road as possible. Look out for oncoming traffic that may swerve, because the driver is distracted or engaging in any type of dangerous driving behavior. 

In any pedestrian accident, it is almost always the person walking who suffers the worst. When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, they are at risk of:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Back Injury
  • Broken Bones
  • Facial Injuries
  • Internal Injuries

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National Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs from October 20-26, is a great time to address teenage driver safety. As parents, you have a lot of power over your children’s decisions. Research shows that parents are the biggest influence on their teens’ behavior behind the wheel.

Every year thousands of teens are injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes. In fact, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic crashes are a leading cause of death for teens 15 to 18 years old. In 2017, the most recent data available, 755 teen drivers died in crashes, and a total of 2,038 teen drivers were involved in crashes where someone in the vehicle died.

Teenage passengers are more likely to be injured in a car being driven by a peer. Some of this has to do with general distraction. The high rate of crashes among teen drivers is caused primarily by their lack of maturity and driving experience coupled with overconfidence and risk-taking, according to the NHTSA. New drivers are more likely to take eyes and attention off of the road, increasing crash risks.

To try and decrease the risks that teen drivers pose to themselves and others, the state of Florida has implemented a graduated drivers license (GDL). Teen drivers must obtain their learner’s permit first and then they can graduate to receiving their driver’s license, granted they meet the requirements.

To get your Learner’s Permit in the state of Florida, teens must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 15 years old
  • Provide proof of completion of a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education Course
  • Provide parental consent form if under 18 and required documents for proof of identity
  • Complete your permit exam
  • Pass a vision and hearing test

Once you obtain a learner’s permit in Florida you have some driving privileges, but they are restricted. The rules for operating a motor vehicle with a learner’s permit are as follows:

  • You must be accompanied by a licensed driver in the front passenger seat at all times. This driver must be 21 years of age or older.
  • You can only drive during daylight hours for the first 3 months from the date you receive your permit.
  • After the initial 3 months, you are permitted to drive between the hours of 6:00 am and 10:00 pm.

If you are under the age of 18, the following rules apply to getting your driver’s license:

  • You’ve had no moving traffic citations within 12 months of the issuance of your permit. (You may have 1 traffic violation where adjudication is withheld. Adjudication withheld is when you are not convicted of the offense, while still being held guilty).
  • Your parent or legal guardian, or a responsible adult 21 years or older, has certified you’ve completed at least 50 hours of driving experience, including 10 hours at night.
  • You must pass a driving test.

It is a great idea to use National Teen Driver Safety Week as a way to discuss the potential road dangers that could affect your teen driver. The best thing you can do is enforce the rules of the road.

The Rules of the Road

Wear seat belts

The car should not even be started until everyone is buckled up. It does not matter if you are sitting in the front seat or back seat or even how far you are going — everyone in the vehicle should always wear a seat belt. Over half of the passengers killed in cars driven by teen drivers in recent years failed to wear a seat belt.

Drive sober

It is illegal to drink before you are 21, and driving drunk or under the influence of drugs is illegal at any age. In 2017, almost one out of five teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking.

Do not get distracted

Focus on the only task you need to – driving. Do not use your phone to text or talk, and refrain from doing anything else, like eating, drinking, or fixing hair and makeup. About 10% of all teen drivers involved in fatal crashes in recent years were distracted at the time of the crash. Encourage your teen driver to activate the “do not disturb” feature on their phone to eliminate the distractions notifications cause.

Follow the speed limit

In 2017, almost one-third of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding. When you speed, you limit the extra reaction time you need to avoid a collision. Every driver must obey posted speed limits.

Extra passengers are not a good idea

Teen drivers are at a greater risk for a crash when they have other people in their car. This extra cargo can be a distraction to novice drivers.

As parents, don’t forget that you are a role model. When your teen driver sees you following the rules of the road, then they are more likely to do the same. If you break the rules, then they think it is OK to as well.

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A teenager remains in the hospital in serious condition Tuesday morning after being struck by a vehicle while walking to school in New Port Richey. 

According to Pasco Fire Rescue, the incident happened around 7 a.m. at the intersection of Schrader Blvd and Little Rd in New Port Richey near Fivay High School.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 16-year-old boy was walking across the northbound lanes of Little Road when he was hit by a Ford F150 driven by a 57-year-old man. The teen was listed as a trauma alert and transported to Bayonet Point Medical Center in Port Richey. 

Hurricane season officially begins June 1st, peaks September 10th, and officially ends November 30th. Our Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have compiled some helpful information on being prepared for any tropical storms and hurricanes that occur during the season and appropriate steps to take in the event you have a home, business, or property that is affected by a storm.

List of 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Names:

  • Andrea
  • Barry
  • Chantal
  • Dorian
  • Erin
  • Fernand
  • Gabrielle
  • Humberto
  • Imelda
  • Jerry
  • Karen
  • Lorenzo
  • Melissa
  • Nestor
  • Olga
  • Pablo
  • Rebekah
  • Sebastien
  • Tanya
  • Van
  • Wendy

While there’s no way to prevent a tropical storm or hurricane, you should take steps to protect your loved ones and property from a storm. Our Pasco County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melon are committed to making New Port Richey, Dade City, Zephyrhills, Land O’Lakes, Hudson, Holiday, Lutz, Trinity and Wesley Chapel a safe place for all. Below we have outlined some practical safety measures, and how we can help you rebuild after a hurricane, like Hurricane Dorian.

Hurricane Preparedness for Homeowners & Property Owners

It is very important for homeowners to keep proper records of their property’s condition in the event that it is necessary to file a claim through their insurance company.

Before a Tropical Storm or Hurricane:

  • Take pictures of your property.
  • If you are not able to get any pictures before a storm, collect the most recent photos you have taken of your property.

After the Tropical Storm or Hurricane:

  • Once it is safe to do so, take pictures of your property’s interior, exterior, and roof.
  • Before making any statements to your insurance company or meeting with an adjuster, consult with an attorney who can handle insurance claims.
  • Homeowners should get an inspection performed by a qualified contractor and/or roofer to assess whether the hurricane force winds have damaged or diminished the roofing system.

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With summer approaching, National Safe Boating Week is here to encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with the best practices for a safe boating experience.

The 7-day period before Memorial Day weekend is “National Safe Boating Week,” and runs from May 18 through May 24, 2019.

In 2017, the Coast Guard recorded 4,291 recreational boating accidents that contributed to 658 fatalities and roughly $46 million in losses. Drowning is the leading cause of death in 76 percent of boating fatalities, and about 85% of those victims were not wearing a life jacket. Life jackets are designed to keep you afloat following an accident and save thousands of lives every year.

Here is a breakdown of Florida life jacket laws:

  • All recreational vessels must have at least one personal flotation device (PFD) that is U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved and of the proper size for each person on boat
  • Vessels 16 feet or longer must have one “throwable” Type IV PFD which is USCG approved and immediately available
  • Children under six years old must wear a USCG approved life jacket at all times on any vessel less than 26 feet in length that is underway in Florida waters
  • Children under 13 years of age on vessels operating on waters outside the geographical boundaries of Florida must wear a USCG approved PFD unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin
  • Each person on a personal watercraft (PWC), such as a Waverunner or Jet Ski, must wear a USCG approved life jacket

The following are a few boating safety tips our Pasco County Boating Accident Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have compiled:

  1. Wear a life jacket that is certified by the U.S. Coast Guard. We encourage you to check life jackets here: safeboatingcampaign.com
  2. Know local and state boating laws
  3. Consider taking a Florida Boating Safety Course before getting out on the water
  4. Make sure your vessel is properly prepared before heading out on an excursion
  5. Schedule a Vessel Safety Check with the U.S. Coast guard
  6. Prepare a U.S. Coast Guard Float Plan. You can check that out here: http://floatplancentral.cgaux.org/
  7. Always have a communication device ready
  8. Do not drink and operate a boat
  9. Follow all navigation rules

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A school bus crash in Pasco County Wednesday morning left multiple people with injuries, including three children.

According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, the crash happened just after 7 a.m. at Kitten Trail at Oakwood Lane in Hudson.

A vehicle collided almost head on with the school bus.

The driver of the small car was extracted and transported as a trauma alert.

There were three students on the bus that suffered minor injuries. All students refused transport and were released to parents.

The driver of the bus was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

When a crash involves a car or truck colliding with a school bus, the injuries can be quite serious as many school buses are not required to have seat belts to protect students in the event of an accident. If your child was injured in an accident where another car hit a school bus, you may be able to recover financial compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You could receive compensation for your child’s pain and suffering and other damages such as loss of normal life, emotional distress, and disability or disfigurement.

If the school bus driver is at fault, you may be able to recover financial compensation from the school district, which is required to have insurance to cover accidents caused by school bus drivers. However, this can be a long and challenging process.

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