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 Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has opened the first two lanes (of four total) of the new State Road 52 highway in Pasco County.

The first two lanes opened on Friday and now provides a direct route from I-75 to U.S. 301.

The entire four lanes of the $82 million project are slated to be open by the early months of 2024.

Here is everything you need to know about the new State Road 52 in Pasco County:

  • State Road 52 begins at Uradco Place and moves east where it connects to Clinton Avenue in Dade City
  • State Road 52 ends at U.S. 301 near U.S. 98
  • State Road 52 is hoped to ease the traffic at the current State Road 52 and Curley Road
  • State Road 52 will be managed by Pasco County
  • The four-lane 7-mile stretch of road should be complete by early 2024
  • GPS, Google Maps, and other mapping systems have been provided the road changes, but will need time to reflect these changes in their systems

Untitled-design-17-200x300The new State Road 52 will not only be helpful to commuters, but also truck drivers as they can avoid travelling through small neighborhoods and towns. Pasco County has more distribution centers and warehouses popping up, so the ability to move truck more easily will be a great help to the county/community.

According to Florida’s regional transportation secretary, the new road is constructed from concrete, which should withstand heavy truck traffic better than traditional asphalt.

The new stretch of road aims to cut down on traffic pileups and give drivers a straight shot through the county. The hope here is also that the number of traffic accidents will decrease.

With just a few months into 2023, Pasco County has already seen 798 crashes resulting in 4 deaths and 824 injuries, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). In 2022, Pasco County saw 7,721 roadway crashes that resulted in 105 deaths and another 7,498 injuries. In 2021, 8,155 crashes were reported that resulted in 105 fatalities and 7,595 injuries. Data from 2020 shows 7,327 total crashes resulting in 107 deaths and 6,363 injuries. Continue reading

If Tropical Storm Nicole knocks out your power, you want to make sure that you and your emergency generator are ready.

A portable generator can be your best mechanical friend if you have lost power during a hurricane or storm, but it can also cause serious harm if you do not know what you are doing.

It is critical that you know how to use a generator properly. Here are some tips to help you use a generator safely:


  • Start your machine and run it for a short period of time periodically throughout the year, so you know that the machine is working properly and ready to go when you need it.
  • Check the oil frequently.
  • Have fresh fuel on hand to power your generator. If your generator runs on gas, then you will need to plan for about 21 gallons a day for it to operate 24 hours.
  • Check your generator’s capacity before you power any devices. If your combined wattage for devices that you are powering exceed the capacity of your generator, then this is a recipe for disaster.
  • Make sure your extension cords are heavy-duty and properly grounded.
  • If you want to connect an emergency generator to your home’s main electrical system, then make sure you hire a qualified technician to install a transfer switch.


  • Keep a running generator in your garage or inside your home. Generators need to be at least 15 feet away from enclosed structures as they emit odorless carbon monoxide exhaust fumes that can be deadly.
  • Keep fuel stored in your home or garage near appliances, like a water heater, furnace, or any other potentially combustible appliances.
  • Power a generator directly to your home’s electrical box as this is a fire hazard.
  • Run a generator in rain. Electrical panels that get wet could not only damage the machine, but deliver an electric shock.
  • Refuel a generator when it is running. If fuel spills on a hot motor, then this can spark and explosion or fire.

If you have any power outages or downed power lines in New Port Richey, then you can report them to Duke Energy at 800-228-8485, or call 911 immediately. You can also text OUT to 57801 or report the outage online here. Remember, never touch a power line or anything in contact with it. Pasco County now has an online tool where you can report structural damage to homes and businesses, storm debris and fallen trees, and human needs like food, water, clothing, and shelter. Simply click on “Report Damage & Debris.” This is the quickest way to get help after a hurricane or tropical storm. Residents of Pasco County can also report storm damage on the county’s website., by downloading the MyPasco App in the App Store or on Google Play or by calling 727-847-2411. Continue reading

Contaminants in the water wells at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune contained dangerous chemicals for decades, including trichloroethylene, benzene, perchloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and other harmful compounds that resulted in numerous Marines, civilian workers, residents, and naval personnel developing cancers and other illnesses.

While the wells on base were shut down in 1985, thousands of active-duty military members and their families suffered toxic water exposure between August 1953 through December 1987. Being exposed to these toxic chemicals found in the water supply on MCB Camp Lejeune can cause:

  • Adult leukemia

US-19 is a stretch of straight, flat, and wide highway that sprawls through New Port Richey, Port Richey, Hudson, and Holiday in Pasco County. The highway features three lanes moving in each direction, with extra turn lanes on the right and left making totaling eight or nine lanes at the majority of intersections.

Along this stretch of road, you will find tattoo parlors, Dunkin Donuts, Walmart, Publix, medical equipment supplies stores, strip clubs, motels, auto body shops, chain restaurants, and even a mini-golf center where you can actually feed baby alligators.

When driving this highway, you may never be aware of the dangers, but if you are walking, then you definitely will. The speed limit is 45 to 55 miles per hour, but the cars drive much faster through these parts. There are very few crosswalks for pedestrians, leaving those on foot to trapse more than half a mile to get to a crosswalk so that they can safely cross a street to get to a business that is a few hundred feet away.

Using information from the government’s database of fatal car crashes, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a team from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee identified that US-19 saw 137 pedestrian deaths between 2001 and 2016.

Data from the Florida Department of Transportation shows that pedestrian fatalities on US-19 have remained a problem past 2016 – 48 pedestrian deaths have occurred between 2017 and June 2022.

For every 100 miles on US-19, there have been at least 34 deaths since 2017, making it the deadliest road in the state of Florida.

Mint-Green-Super-Swiss-Road-Safety-Poster-225x300Florida ranks No. 1 in the nation for pedestrian deaths. In 2020, 716 pedestrians were killed while traveling on foot in the Sunshine State. In 2021, the death toll for pedestrians reached 899.

Pedestrians fill the roads and sidewalks of Florida throughout the day and night, including the dangerous span of highway in Pasco County known as US-19. The sad truth us that too many motorists fail to pay attention to pedestrians or choose to ignore that they may have the right away, which can easily result in tragedy.

The numbers are staggering in Pasco County along US-19 and throughout the rest of the state. A pedestrian accident can result in the wrongful death of a loved one or a very serious and life-changing personal injury. Dealing with a death or medical issues is enough to deal with without piling on the headache of handling uncooperative insurance adjusters and/or a legal claim. Our Pasco County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are ready to help you explore your rights to file a claim for compensation after a pedestrian accident. We will conduct a thorough investigation in order to determine who is to blame in the crash.

When it comes to liability in pedestrian crashes, the smallest details may be the evidence needed to prove what actually happened. If you are being met with resistance from an insurance company, then we can step in and deal with them directly. We will focus our efforts on making sure you are fairly compensated for your suffering. Continue reading

David Gwynn, Florida’s regional transportation secretary, said that the state is looking to make the 13 mile stretch of highway from Tampa to Pasco County safer by installing three traffic signals at dangerous, crash-prone intersections.

The state is also researching how to widen the U.S. 301 due to the high number of accidents as well as future projections showing as many as 49,300 vehicles using the road by 2040.

Gwynn told the Hillsborough Transportation Planning Organization last week that when he drives U.S. 301 from Tampa to meetings in Pasco County that he finds himself often speeding just to keep up with other motorists sharing the highway and prevent them from erratically passing him.

Shortly after sharing the state’s plan – just 16 hours later – a four-vehicle crash happened on U.S 301 just before 3 a.m. killing two people and leaving two others with serious injuries. The accident caused the road between Zephyrhills and the Temple Terrace area to be closed off for over six hours.

According to state data, 16 people have died and another 338 have been injured in 464 crashes on U.S. 301 for a five-year span ending in 2019. This crash rate is twice the statewide average for similar roadways.

From 2015-2019, there were 24 head-on collisions on the highway, with speeding being identified as the main issue. Gwynn said that impatient drivers try to maneuver dangerous passing techniques that can result in serious crashes.

The plan to turn the two-lane road into a four-lane divided highway between State Road 56 in Pasco and Fowler Avenue is in the study stage, according to reports. There is no money currently budgeted for this estimated $199.5 million job.

There are also concerns about the speed limit and whether it should be reduced to 45 mph.

Pasco-County-Car-Accident-Lawyers-300x300Head-on collisions are some of the most life-threatening car accidents a person can be involved in. These crashes happen when two cars bang into each other head on, usually resulting in pretty serious injuries and in the worst cases, fatalities. If you are lucky enough to survive a crash of this magnitude, then you are likely suffering from any of the following injuries:

If you have suffered harm in a head-on collision on U.S. 301, our Pasco County Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can review the details of your specific crash and work towards helping you recover financial compensation from the at-fault party. Continue reading

A skydiver was killed in a tragic accident in Zephyrhills earlier this month.

The Zephyrhills Police Department has confirmed that a 33-year-old male skydiver from British Columbia, Canada was killed after a hard landing at Skydive City in Zephyrhills.

The Zephyrhills Police Department and Pasco Fire Rescue responded to Skydive City after receiving a 911 call.

The man was taken as a trauma alert to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives with the Zephyrhills Police Department along with crime scene investigators are all a part of an ongoing investigation.

Untitled-design-1-300x251Skydiving has something that adventure and thrill seekers alike seek: a rush of adrenaline and maybe a bit of fear. This excitement can get adrenaline junkies hearts pumping. Some people save skydiving for a special occasion – like a birthday, an anniversary, or even a special group outing for work or to strengthen a friendship bond. However, accidents can and do happen in the sky. Our Pasco County Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help if you or a loved one was involved in a skydiving accident that has gone awry. We want to help you hold all responsible parties accountable for any negligence.

Most landings from skydiving are issue free. Parachutes have really given skydivers much greater control of their fall/landing. Slowing down the rate of a skydiver’s descent will allow a softer touchdown.

Most skydiving businesses require all jumpers to sign a waiver before they partake in the excursion so that they are relieved of any liability should something go wrong. In certain cases, any carelessness or recklessness on the part of the company can void this waiver. In other cases, these waivers are air-tight and alleviate the company of any faults related to equipment failure or any other type of accident.

Before you partake in skydiving, you should read these waivers and take them seriously before signing your name. Depending on the terms of the waiver, if you are harmed in a skydiving incident, you may not be able to take legal action to cover financial needs stemming from the accident, such as medical bills or lost wages. Continue reading

Riding a motorcycle is dangerous, and if you are an avid biker, then you know that riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a car due to the lack of safety protections. This is why having the right gear is a MUST when you are riding on the open road. Our Pasco County Motorcycle Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have outlined 5 key pieces of gear you need every time you ride:

  1. Motorcycle Helmet: While Florida requires all motorcyclists under 21 to wear a helmet, riders over the age of 21 can opt out of wearing one as long as they have at least $10,000 in medical benefits on their insurance plan. Helmets are a good idea to wear regardless of the law because (a.) it keeps bugs out of your eyes and mouth (yuck!), (b.) many helmets on the market now come with Bluetooth so that you can make phone calls, listen to music, and even get driving directions while wearing it, (c.) it protects your brain – God forbid you are involved in a crash, a traumatic brain injury can change your life forever.
  2. Dont-Sweat-It-2-300x300Leather Gloves: this is the second most important piece of gear for bikers as if you are ejected from your bike, you will use your hands to protect yourself. If you do not have gloves on for protection then you can easily lose skin, fingers, and break bones. No, gloves won’t protect you from everything, but they can really help if you are involved in a crash. Many come with knuckle protectors and are wind and waterproof.
  3. Motorcycle Jacket: This can keep you warm when it’s cooler out and thanks to perforated leather jackets, you can stay cool in the Florida heat. Some leather jackets are even made of ballistic mesh, which is great for heat. While a jacket may increase your body temperature causing you to sweat a bit, if you do crash then a jacket can protect your body if you slide on the pavement. A jacket keeps your skin from being scraped off your body – if you don’t have one on then your muscle, bones, and nerves can all be exposed after a bad accident.
  4. Motorcycle Boots: Yes, they look cool, but they also provide you with traction and protect the bones in your feet in the event of a crash. You want to look for sturdy boots that offer over then ankle protection – this keeps them from flying off you if a collision occurs.
  5. Motorcycle Pants: Shorts leave your knees and legs exposed. Jeans can get shredded if you slide on pavement. Motorcycle pats are made with Kevlar panels added to key places, so you have built in armor to zones that will likely see impact in the event of a collision.

Continue reading

Doctors, surgeons, and medical staff are all highly trained professionals, but just like everyone else, they can make mistakes. If these errors are egregious enough, then this could mean there are grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If you have been the victim of a surgical mistake or botched medical care in New Port Richey, Port Richey, Hudson, Dade City, Holiday, Trinity, Zephyrhills, Land O’Lakes, Wesley Chapel, or elsewhere in Pasco County, then we urge you to contact our Pasco County Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Whittel & Melton right away for a free consultation so that we can assess your unique situation and determine if you have a valid claim for financial compensation for the harm you have suffered.

Surgical Errors That Could Be Medical Malpractice

There are many nursing homes in the state of Florida and throughout the United States that provide excellent care to the elderly, but there are also many other facilities that do not properly care for elderly residents in their care. Our seniors deserve to be cared for properly and with respect and dignity, but sadly this is not always the case.

Seniors who are neglected or abused can suffer from serious injuries or even wrongful death. Our Pasco County Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are here to help advocate on behalf of any nursing home residents who are being mistreated. We know that placing your loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision as well as a strain on your finances. These facilities are costly and you likely did your due diligence to find the best facility that fits into your budget. Finding out that your loved one was harmed in a nursing home can be absolutely devastating.

wrist-watch-ga9fedbe05_1920-1-300x125Top 5 Nursing Home Injuries

  1. Falls: There are roughly 1.6 million residents in nursing homes throughout the country and nearly half of these residents suffer from a fall every year. Of those, about one in three falls more than once a year. One in 10 elders suffer serious injuries after a fall. How do you know if negligence resulted in a fall at a nursing home? Look for signs of unsafe equipment, understaffing, and environmental hazards.
  1. Pressure ulcers or Bedsores: These happen when a nursing home resident stays in the same position for too long placing increased pressure on the skin. These wound usually develop on the heels, ankles, tailbones, and hips. Residents who cannot move on their own must be turned over and shifted consistently to reduce any pressure that could lead to bedsores. If your loved one has developed bedsores, then this is usually a sign of negligence due to overworked and understaffed facilities.
  2. Infections: There are about 400,000 nursing home residents who die every year due to developing an infection. Nursing home staff should be aware of their residents’ conditions and do everything they can to protect their residents from infections. The most common infections residents of nursing homes can suffer from include:
  • COVID-19
  • Flu
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory infections
  • Soft tissue infections
  • Skin infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  1. Medication Mistakes: Many nursing home residents need multiple medications daily. A good amount of nursing homes have at least 100 residents, so mix-ups and mistakes can happen easily, but when they do, it can be deadly. Negligent facilities must be held accountable for their reckless and careless actions when seniors in their care suffer as a result.
  2. Broken Bones and Fractures: Aging causes bones to weaken and become more brittle. They elderly are at heightened risk for hip and neck fractures. In fact, around 300,000 seniors are hospitalized every year for hip fractures – most of which are women. Many residents of nursing homes are there because they can no longer care for themselves independently, but when nursing home staff do not properly assist their residents, then injuries leading to broken bones and fractures can easily occur.

Our Pasco County Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Lawyers at Whittel & Melton Can Help Continue reading

There are an estimated 18 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that can be dangerous and disrupt a person’s ability to breathe normally while sleeping. In the past, those diagnosed with sleep apnea would be prescribed a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP machine) that can pump air into a person’s lungs continuously as they sleep at night. These machines provide a more restful night of sleep for users and also make sure that the right oxygen levels are maintained.

In June 2021, the Philips CPAP recall affected roughly four million devices in the United States. Users of these defective devices were left to suffer by not using their device or continue using them at an added risk. Philips has issued statements that they will replace or fix all their defective devices, but have said that it will take until September 2022 to get the job done.

pillows-g979174480_1280-300x200This situation is less than ideal for CPAP users, and for some it can be life- threatening. Now there is a new study that has emerged linking sleep apnea to increased complications or death from COVID19.

COVID-19 and Sleep Apnea

Research from the Cleveland Clinic shows that sleep apnea increased the risks of severe COVID19 and death. The study found the following:

  • Patients suffering from sleep apnea in the study who contracted COVID19 were 31% more likely to suffer from serious complications needing hospitalization
  • Patients suffering from sleep apnea in the study who contracted COVID19 were 31% more likely to die

In May of 2021, another study conducted at Kaiser Permanente in California found that sleep apnea patients had a higher infection rate of COVID19. The study also found that the longer patients used an assisted breathing device through the night, the less likely they were to contract COVID19.

Philips CPAP Recall

Philips recalled millions of their CPAP devices, BiPAP and ventilator machines in June 2021 following complaints that their devices had foam particles breaking down, resulting in users inhaling and ingesting these toxins that could cause short and long-term health issues.

The following machines have been recalled:

  • E30 (Emergency Use Authorization)
  • DreamStation ASV
  • DreamStation (ST, AVAPS)
  • SystemOne (ASV4)
  • C Series (ASV, S/T, AVAPS)
  • OmniLab Advanced Plus (In-Lab Titration Device)
  • SystemOne (Q Series)
  • DreamStation (CPAP, Auto CPAP, BiPAP)
  • DreamStation GO (CPAP, APAP)
  • Dorma 400,500 (CPAP)
  • REMStar SE Auto (CPAP)
  • Trilogy100
  • Trilogy 200
  • A-Series BiPAP Hybrid (A30) – not marketed in the United States
  • A-Series BiPAP V30 (Auto)
  • Garbin Plus, Aeris, LifeVent
  • A-Series BiPAP A40
  • A-Series BiPAP A30

Class actions lawsuits have been filed against Philips seeking compensation for injuries and illnesses, lost wages, emotional and physical suffering.

Contact Our Pasco County Phillips CPAP Device Recall Lawyers at Whittel & Melton Continue reading

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