Articles Posted in Insurance

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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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.

As you are planning your Thanksgiving this week, our Pasco County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to not forget about fire safety. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires and the number of home fires actually double on Thanksgiving, so it is important to add fire safety to the menu this year to avoid a preventable tragedy at your house this year.

The following tips could help you prevent a fire from breaking out at your household:

  • Roasting a turkey? Set a timer so you will not forget about your bird as you watch the parade or football.
  • Frying a turkey? Use a fryer with thermostat controls as this ensures the oil will not overheat.
  • It is important to completely thaw your turkey because any ice on the bird will cause oil to splatter and could potentially cause severe burns.
  • Always use the fryer outdoors. Children and pets should be kept at a minimum of three-four feet away from the fryer.
  • When using your stove, don’t walk away from the food. It is always best to stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling or broiling. You can catch spills or spot any hazards before they turn into a fire if you stay nearby.

Our Pasco County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you and your loved ones to have a delicious and fire free Thanksgiving. We understand that sometimes accidents happen, which is why we will be available 24/7 this holiday to help with any tragedies.

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Driver behavior is apparently the culprit behind the pain of driving on Ridge Road in Pasco County.

The issue? Texting. While stopped at the light, many drivers go right to their phones and don’t notice when the light turns green.

If three seconds go by without a car passing the sensor, the signal thinks there’s no more traffic, and the next red cycle starts.

There are two signals that are out of sync, according to Pasco County Traffic Management. Ridge at Regency and Ridge at Congress are not complete yet and are running on fixed time.This means there is no vehicle detection at the moment.

Officials are working on fixing the problem.

This problem brings up an issue that has plagued streets and highways across the country for a while – texting while driving. While this is an obvious dangerous thing to do, people continue to text while they drive. Studies suggest that texting lengthens driver’s reaction time by as much as 300 percent due to the fact that it takes eyes off the road. If you have ever had to hit the brakes at an intersection, you know how important reaction time is.

Please be aware that currently, Florida has the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving” law which makes it a secondary offense. This means that a driver can only be issued a citation if they are stopped for another traffic offense, such as speeding or running a red light.

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On Wednesday, President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in the state of Florida and ordered federal aid to supplement recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Hermine.

Hermine, the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005, dumped several inches of rain on Florida and caused major flooding issues.

The president’s action makes federal funding available to affected people in Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Leon, Levy, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help residents and business owners recover.

Federal funding also is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofits on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities. That’s in place for Citrus, Dixie, Franklin, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Pasco, Pinellas, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla counties.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance Thursday by registering online or calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing- or speech-impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7am to 9pm seven days a week until further notice.

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A 48-year-old Zephyrhills man was killed in a two-vehicle crash Saturday evening in Dade City.

The collision happened on US-301, south of the intersection of Jordan Road, in Dade City around 7:40 p.m.

As a result of the crash, the 48-year-old passenger in a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero was killed. The driver, a 54-year-old Lutz man, was transported to Lake Regional Health with serious injuries.

Five people in the other vehicle, including two young children, suffered minor injuries.

The investigation is ongoing. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, charges are pending.

Losing a loved one because of someone’s negligence or wrongful act is certainly a tragedy that no amount of money can compensate you for. The grief and emotional pain you feel because of another person’s recklessness may never go away.

For most people, a wrongful death case is not just about the amount of money but making sure that there is justice obtained that will send a message to others to steer them away from recreating a similar tragedy. The financial compensation awarded can help you escape the financial stress accompanied with losing a loved one.

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A man was killed Saturday after a drunk driver crashed into his scooter while fleeing the scene of another crash, according to New Port Richey police.

The 43-year-old was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a crash involving death.

Police believe the man was traveling westbound on Main Street approaching U.S 19 shortly after midnight.

The man crashed in the back of a car stopped at the intersection, according to police. He left the scene of that crash and then collided with a scooter. The driver of the scooter was killed instantly, according to reports.

The man fled the scene with the driver of the scooter still on the hood of his car. He sideswiped another car while traveling north in the southbound lanes.

Police believe the man entered the parking lot of a Winghouse before hitting a parked car. The crash caused the victim to be thrown from the hood of the car. Bystanders at the restaurant rushed to the scene. They apparently pulled the man out of his car and held him until police arrived, according to authorities.

He was booked into the Pasco County Jail.

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If you have a swimming pool on your property or one nearby, odds are you will be using it a lot this summer. Kids are out of school, there are lots of hours of sunlight, and it is hot in Pasco County, which makes the pool THE SPOT for parties, barbecues, and many other get-togethers with friends and family. However, pools can be dangerous, so make sure you follow these swimming pool safety tips to minimize the risk of an accident.

Install A Fence And Gate Around The Pool

Pools need to have a barrier around them. A gate and fence should be able to prevent young children from gaining access to the pool when they should not be out there. Your fence should be at least five feet tall, and have a gate with a latch that is well out of the reach of kids.

Keep Safety Devices On Hand

Lifesaving devices, such as life jackets and telescoping hooks, should be within reach sho that if swimmers run into trouble they can be helped. Always inspect these devices for any damages, and replace them as necessary.

Have Pool Rules To Limit HorsePlay

Make a list of pool rules and enforce them. Don’t run around the deck area surrounding a pool as a wet pool deck is slippery and one of the single biggest causes of pool-related injuries every year. Slipping and falling could result in serious injuries,  and could be fatal if you slip and fall into the actual pool.

Adult Supervision Is A Must

Anytime you are at the pool with kids, make sure the pool premises is never without the supervision of an adult in case any dangerous situations arise.

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A 75-year-old man died Saturday in a crash in Pasco County involving three cars, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers believe the incident occurred at the intersection of Little Road (County Road 1) and New York Ave.

A 70-year-old woman was traveling south on Little Road when she entered the intersection under a red light.

The woman collided with the car driven by the 75-year-old man. The impact caused a wheel to detach from the man’s car and hit a third car in the intersection.

The 75-year-old man was severely injured in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 70-year-old woman suffered minor injuries and was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital.

The driver of the third car, a 57-year-old New Port Richey man, was not harmed.

Pileup accidents can be devastating accidents. Not only do they usually result in severe injuries, but establishing the cause of pileup accidents can be difficult, sometimes making it impossible to figure out which driver was the liable party. If you have been injured or harmed in a pileup accident you need an aggressive Pasco County Auto Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton who can fight for your rights and help you recover fair compensation for your injuries.

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A 31-year-old man is facing aggravated battery charges after the Florida Highway Patrol says he ran over two motorcyclists.

According to troopers, a cell phone video from a witness shows the man turning his silver sedan into a motorcycle on US 41 and County Line Road in Lutz Monday afternoon.

The collision knocked the male driver of the motorcycle and his female passenger off the bike. One of the back wheels of the sedan went up in the air as it drove over the motorcycle.

The car then sped off.

Authorities caught up with the sedan and arrested the man moments later. The sedan had damages consistent with the hit and run crash, according to troopers.

Authorities claim that during interrogations, the man admitted to running over the motorcycle. Authorities said exchanged words between the motorcyclist and the man sparked the road rage.

The man and woman knocked off the motorcycle were treated at the scene.

The man was charged with leaving the scene of a crash with injuries and aggravated battery.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the Land O’ Lakes man has previous driving offenses and has been labeled as a habitual traffic offender.

He has a $35,000 bond.

If you have suffered a catastrophic injury caused in an incident of road rage while on a motorcycle, you need to retain the help of a Pasco County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton. We have experience handling motorcycle accident and road rage personal injury lawsuits.

Road rage and motorcycles are a dangerous mix – bikers are at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to protection due to the sheer weight and size of passenger vehicles. The weight of the other vehicle can result in serious injuries, and possibly death, despite protective headwear and other gear. Enraged drivers will often use the size difference as an intimidation factor. Deliberately running a biker off the road, swerving into them, forcing them into oncoming traffic, etc. is never ok. A misunderstanding that results in violence must be dealt with accordingly, and the person who is accused of road rage could be looking at criminal charges in addition to a civil suit.

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