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.

A Florida woman has died in a crash near Tampa from injuries that may have been caused by an exploding Takata air bag inflator.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the July 19 death in Holiday, which could be the 19th worldwide and 13th in the U.S. blamed on the Japanese company’s faulty parts. Authorities in Florida have not yet released the cause of death.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force and blow apart a metal canister, spewing shrapnel. The defective inflators have touched off the largest automotive recall in U.S. history, involving 42 million vehicles and 69 million inflators. More than 100 million have been recalled worldwide. All the deaths but one have occurred in Hondas. Five happened in Malaysia and one in Australia.

Authorities identified the woman as a 34-year-old who was driving a 2002 Honda Accord when a 19-year-old man turned left in front of her in a 1999 Pontiac Firebird. The Accord struck the passenger side of the Firebird, causing the driver’s airbag to inflate. Three other people in her car, including a 4-year-old girl, suffered only minor injuries according to a Highway Patrol press release. The woman’s car was equipped with the original Takata air bag. The woman died of blunt force trauma.

The Accord, like many of the Hondas in which people have died, had been recalled by the automaker, but repairs had not been made. Honda said in a statement that it mailed 21 recall notices to the owners of the Accord, including 10 to the current registered owner. The company also tried “numerous times” to reach the owners by email and telephone.

Honda and investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration inspected the Accord on Thursday and determined that the driver’s inflator ruptured, according to Honda.

There are about 98 million Takata inflators still on the road in the U.S., according to figures provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Takata supplied about 114 million inflators in the U.S., and only about 16 million of them have been replaced. A total of 46 million have been recalled in 34 million vehicles thus far, with more recalls to be phased in through 2020.

Millions of motor vehicles may have been manufactured with Takata airbags that contain a defective inflator and propellant device. If a collision occurs, the airbag could deploy improperly and shoot metal fragments that could injure or kill the driver and passengers, as this case shows.

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This week, the Florida Highway Patrol joins Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee to reduce serious bodily injury and fatal crashes on Florida’s roadways.

The multi-state, multi–jurisdictional, highly visible initiative will raise awareness of traffic safety issues and create increased enforcement of traffic violations, helping to ensure motorists Arrive Alive.

“The Florida Highway Patrol is committed to making our highways safer, and we plan to do that by bolstering our forces to reduce the number and severity of crashes,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Troopers will take appropriate enforcement action on those drivers who put themselves and others in danger. We want everyone to have a safe traveling experience, and I encourage motorists to do their part by complying with all traffic laws, including making sure everyone in their vehicle is buckled up and drivers are not driving distracted or impaired.”

This effort is in conjunction with Florida’s Arrive Alive campaign, which applies highly visible traffic enforcement within data-driven “hot spots”. The Florida Highway Patrol, Georgia State Patrol, South Carolina Highway Patrol, Alabama State Patrol, and Tennessee Highway Patrol will also be working with local law enforcement partners to enhance education, visibility, and enforcement to help ensure the southeastern United States has the safest roadways possible. Troopers will be especially vigilant regarding seatbelt usage, speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving violations.

Traffic safety should be a top priority for everyone traveling on Florida’s roadways. Motorists are reminded to:

  • Obey all speed limits
  • Every time you get in a vehicle, buckle up! Wearing your seatbelt reduces your risk of being injured or killed in a crash by almost 50 percent.
  • Do not text and drive. Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions because it requires manual, visual and cognitive ability- the same abilities that are needed to drive safely.

A traumatic car accident can disrupt your life completely – the pain, the stress, the medical bills, and not knowing what could happen to you and your family is enough to drive you crazy. This heavy burden you are hauling is not one you need to bear alone – our Pasco County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We can take some of that weight off your shoulders so that you can focus on what is important: your recovery.

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A 28-year-old man was killed Tuesday morning during a crash in Hudson.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the two-vehicle collision happened shortly after 6am on State Road 52 at Alpine Parkway. The crash closed the eastbound lanes of State Road 52 for several hours.

Troopers said the New Port Richey man died at the scene of the crash.

The man was apparently driving a 2013 Ford Taurus and crashed into the back of a garbage truck while the truck attempted a U-turn on SR 52.

Two men in the garbage truck were not injured.

Charges might be pending in the crash.

Garbage trucks can pose serious dangers to drivers on the road. They weigh several times more than standard passenger vehicles, and this significant weight difference means they can be extremely dangerous should an accident occur.

Every single car, truck, or industrial vehicle accident has the potential to change victims’ lives forever. Sadly, many auto accidents result in wrongful death. Our Pasco County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton strive to help surviving family members recover for all accident-related expenses. We know that no amount of money will bring your loved one back, but it certainly can help you get through the grieving process and make sure your family is financially secure in the future.

We will investigate every aspect of you or your loved one’s accident in order to find out what happened. We will then collect and analyze any evidence to help prove the at-fault party’s negligence was what caused the accident.

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Authorities are currently investigating a fatal crash involving a pedestrian.

The collision occurred around 8:45 a.m. Monday on U.S. Highway 19 just south of Hudson Avenue.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a vehicle was traveling northbound on U.S. 19 when a 46-year-old Wesley Chapel man walked into the vehicle’s path.

Troopers said the pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.

FHP is still investigating.

When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, there are many questions that must be asked. Our Pasco County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton strive to help Pasco County residents with car vs. pedestrian accidents. Every accident situation is unique and there are many factors involved. In very case, we must evaluate the conduct of the pedestrian up until the accident to determine if the driver can be legally held responsible.

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The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office stopped a scooter Monday night on U.S. Highway 19 because it didn’t have a functioning headlight.

According to reports, the driver was trying to use a cell phone light as a headlight by bungee-cording the phone to a mirror.

Authorities did not say if the driver was charged, but the driver was sent home walking, without his scooter.

Cell phones have plenty of uses, but a headlight isn’t one of them. In addition to wearing a helmet, here are some general scooter safety tips:

  • Obey all traffic control devices and use proper hand signals.
  • Always ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Pay attention to the roadway, and look for potholes, expansion joints on bridges, oil slicks, and crumbling edges of the roadway.
  • Be aware of motor vehicle blind spots.
  • Maximize your visibility at night – wear reflective clothing and apply reflective tape to your scooter.
  • Use extra caution at intersections, parking lot entrances and exits, and driveways.
  • Always use your headlight, even during the daytime.

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As drivers, we all know that distracted driving is a serious problem. While we all know we should not give in to the many distractions out there while driving, the reality is that most of us do. Given that reality, our Pasco County Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to spread the word that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. If we all just take a few minutes to alter our driving habits, maybe we can eliminate some of these distractions and make the roads a much safer place.

The Statistics Are Troubling

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, the following statistics outline the problem of distracted driving in the United States:

  • 3,477 people died in car accidents in the United States in 2015 because of distracted driving.
  • That equates to more than 9 people every day or one person every 2.5 hours.
  • Distracted driving crashes injured 391,000 people in the United States in 2015 alone.
  • That equates to one person suffering injuries every one minute and 20 seconds, every day.
  • During daytime hours, approximately 542,000 people are driving and using handheld cellphones.

Distracted Driving Bad Habits

According to the American Automobile Association, or AAA, Americans spend an average of 17,600 minutes behind the wheel of a vehicle every year, which is more than 293 hours or more than 45 minutes every single day of the year. It is easy to develop bad habits when driving, such as using your cellphone, reaching for something inside the car, looking at something going on outside your window, reading something like text messages, GPS or emails, and applying makeup. The best thing you can do is identify what distractions you give in to and adjust from there. Doing so could save your life.

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A 73-year-old man died in a motorcycle crash Monday afternoon.

The crash happened around noon at Duck Slough Boulevard and Green Ridge Drive in Pasco County.

Troopers believe the 73-year-old biker was traveling northbound on Duck Slough Boulevard when he took a right curve just north of Green Ridge and lost control of his motorcycle.

The motorcycle collided with the curb, then crossed over the sidewalk and collided with a metal fence.

The man was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital where he died from his injuries.

According to the report, the man was wearing a helmet.

No biker ever wants to lose control of their bike on a turn. Riding defensively and doing your best to try and avoid any roadway hazards is a great way to prevent a loss of control accident. It is important to be extra cautious when riding in poor weather, and keep an eye out for dangerous or distracted drivers. It is always a good idea to make sure you’re familiar with your bike before hitting the open road.

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Last week, a 4-year-old Pasco County child accidentally shot himself.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office, along with Fire Rescue, received the call of an accidental shooting at a residence on the 6700 block of Boulder Run Loop in Zephyrhills at 9:17 p.m. last Wednesday.

According to officials, the child appears to have suffered an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was flown to an area hospital and is currently in stable condition.

While the boy’s grandmother was in the bathroom, police say he found a loaded firearm in the bedroom and shot himself.

The boy’s prognosis is good and he is expected to recover.

Guns of are designed to injure and kill. While, in the right hands guns can be used as a tool for hunting or as a means of protection. However, in the wrong hands, guns can lead to tragic and accidental injuries.

Not everyone that picks up a gun knows how to use it. If you or someone you love was seriously injured in an accidental shooting, you may be able to recover financial compensation to cover your medical bills and any other damages you may have incurred.

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A 73-year-old Tampa man was killed in a motorcycle crash Saturday morning.  

The crash occurred on SR-52 east of Ehren Cutoff in Land O Lakes, Florida.

According to Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol, a 29 year-old Spring Hill man was traveling east in a 2009 Dodge Caliber on State Road 52 to the east of Ehren Cutoff. The driver of the Dodge collided with the man’s motorcycle from behind.  

FHP reports that the man was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. He was transported to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point where he died from his injuries.

Troopers do not suspect that alcohol played a role in the crash and charges are listed as pending.

When you lose a loved one, there is no amount of money that can make up for this loss. While the pain of losing someone you love in a motorcycle accident is extremely hard to come to terms with, a wrongful death attorney can help you and your family recover the full and fair compensation that you are due.

Motorcycle wrongful death accidents are usually caused by the following:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Drunk Driving
  • Inclement weather
  • Drivers failing to see a motorcyclist
  • Road hazards and debris

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The Florida Highway Patrol is currently searching for the driver who hit a bicyclist Tuesday night in Pasco County and took off.

Troopers said the 50-year old was riding his bike on the north shoulder of Fivay Road in Pasco, west of Library Road when a vehicle traveling the same way, attempted to pass the man and sideswiped him. The man was pushed off the roadway and collided with a wooden bench.

He was transported to Bayonet Point with serious injuries.

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