Articles Posted in New Port Richey

There is nothing that can compare to the helplessness we feel after a hurricane. We are unable to stop or limit the outcome of these natural disasters, like Hurricane Irma headed our way. While we can all take protective measures to help reduce the amount of damage Irma might cause to our property, there are no guarantees of what could happen.

Hurricanes are totally unpredictable and can cause wind damage, water damage, destroy vehicles and homes, and leave behind massive amounts of other problems to your home or property. You could be facing a whole laundry list of issues that force you to file a claim with your insurance company, only to find that your valid claims are denied or hardly paid for by your insurance company.

An insurance company’s job is to take in as much money as possible and pay out as little as they can. Regardless of what your policy says, insurance adjusters will offer the minimum or make you a “lowball” offer when it comes to covering damage to your property. To remedy this situation, talk to our New Port Richey Hurricane Claims Attorney at Whittel & Melton regarding your options for flood damage.

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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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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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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.

The holiday season is here and for most, this is a time for joyful celebrations. Sadly, the holidays are a high risk time for Florida’s roadways. Christmas, New Year’s, and the days surrounding these holidays are when we see a much higher number of motor vehicle accidents than other times of the year. If you or a loved one is harmed in a car accident this Christmas, our Pasco County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will be here to help.

According to reports, the most dangerous days on U.S. roads are Christmas, New Year’s, and Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Independence Day.

The Christmas holiday period includes Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas. During this holiday period, an average of 343 people die in auto accidents. Over New Year’s, an average of 373 people die in car accidents. Increased travel and drunk and drugged drivers are two primary reasons we see a rise in car accident deaths on both Christmas and New Year’s.

All drivers need to be aware of the heightened dangers of driving during the holidays and take extra safety precautions, especially if heading out of town for the holidays. Make sure to do preventative car maintenance before traveling, get plenty of rest to avoid drowsy driving, check road conditions for inclement weather and try to travel during daylight hours to avoid dark roadways. It’s important to also note that staying sober when behind the wheel as well as avoiding any distractions is pertinent to arriving to your destination safely.

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