Articles Posted in Wesley Chapel

A 45-year-old Zephyrhills woman was killed Sunday night in a motorcycle crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, she was a passenger on a Kawasaki motorcycle involved in a crash on State Road 54 just before 8:30 p.m.

Troopers said the man driving the motorcycle was heading westbound on SR 54 approaching Morris Bridge Road when he failed to stop and crashed into the back of a Honda Civic.

Both the man and the woman were thrown from the motorcycle. Both were wearing helmets.

Troopers said the woman died at the scene. The male motorcycle driver suffered serious injuries and remains at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.

The driver and passenger in the Honda were not injured.

Troopers said the crash, which is under investigation, was not alcohol related.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that more than 4,500 motorcycle deaths occur every year. The victim could be the rider, passenger of the motorcycle, pedestrian, or any party who is unfortunate enough to be at the scene of an accident. These wrongful deaths usually occur because of another person’s negligence and leave families at a loss for what to do.

When someone is killed in a motorcycle accident, multiple parties can be negatively affected. In most cases, the following people would be entitled to receive financial compensation:

  • Widow
  • Next of kin or heirs
  • Children
  • Parents

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A 2-year-old girl is confirmed dead after she was found floating in a Port Richey lake on Sunday.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Willow Drive just before 1 p.m.

The child was transported to a hospital where she later died.

Investigators believe the child was able to get out of a lanai at the residence.

The Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation, but said the incident appears to be accidental.

Drowning accidents can occur in natural bodies of water, swimming pools, hot tubs, or even in the bath. A drowning accident victim can die within five minutes of submersion and a small child may drown in less than two inches of water. If someone survives a near drowning they can be left with severe injuries such as permanent brain damage and disability.

Pursuing a lawsuit for a drowning or near drowning accident all depends on the circumstances of the accident. Our Pasco County Swimming Pool & Drowning Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you determine what will be best for your case. If you have suffered from losing a child or someone you love in a drowning or near-drowning accident, we can advise you of your options for pursuing a legal claim.

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An investigation is ongoing into the death of a worker killed at a Pasco County landfill.

The 46-year-old worker at a private landfill in Hudson was found dead Saturday morning in what deputies say appears to be a work-related accident.

The body of the man was found at Coastal Landfill Disposal, a privately owned landfill at 11416 Houston Ave.

The death doesn’t appear to be suspicious.

Pasco County Sheriff’s investigators said the worker had been in a trash shredding machine clearing a jam when he instructed other workers to restart the machine.

After approximately 1 to 2 hours, the other workers realized they had not seen the man and did not know where he was since repairing the machine. They began digging through the debris the machine discarded into the landfill and located his body.  

The Sheriff’s Office’s forensics unit as well as officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating.

In most construction jobs and some other occupations, large equipment, machines, and vehicles are necessary to complete the work project. As an employee, you can be expected to work with heavy machines every single day. work with and around them every single day. The bad news about this line of work is that it places you and your co-workers at constant risk for serious injuries or wrongful death.

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A cable failure on board the Island Lady led the shuttle boat to crash into Tropical Breeze Casino’s dock and building back in October, according to a U.S. Coast Guard damage survey.

The report states that on Oct. 22, the cable going from the boat’s micro command box to the transmission failed. The crew couldn’t disengage the starboard engine.

Damage to the boat is described as “minimal” — minor scratches on the bow.

When the coast guard took a look at the boat the next day, a visual inspection of the hull was conducted and tests involving the engines were performed. The report noted these tests were satisfactory, as was a visual inspection of a new cable.

Damage to the building, meanwhile, was described as “catastrophic.”

A city site inspection report notes that plans have been submitted to repair the dock and the building.

Fifty passengers were forced to jump from the Island Lady into the gulf last month when the boat became engulfed in flames. One woman later died.

Spokespeople for both Tropical Breeze Casino and the U.S. Coast Guard declined to comment on the report because of the ongoing investigation into that fire.

There’s no information that suggests the October crash is connected to the January fire.

When a boating accident occurs due to another person’s negligence, any victims may have the legal right to file a lawsuit and obtain financial compensation for any damages and injuries. Our Pasco County Boating Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you understand what steps to take next. We are dedicated to helping injury victims receive full and fair compensation for their injury claims.

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Due to the new tax law, spouses paying alimony won’t be able to take a deduction while spouses receiving alimony will no longer have to report it as income. The alimony deduction has been in the tax code since 1942.

Some experts are predicting a surge in divorces this year as spouses paying alimony seek to take advantage of the deduction before it is eliminated.

The change doesn’t affect people who divorce or sign a separation agreement before 2019, according to reports.

Spouses negotiating alimony payments may try to pay less when the change takes effect because there will be no tax savings, according to some experts. Women are more likely to be hurt by the change as they negotiate divorce terms.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 98 percent of the 243,000 people who received alimony payments last year were women.

Elimination of the deduction will lead to higher revenues overall for the government because the person who deduced the alimony was likely in a higher tax bracket than the spouse declaring the alimony as income. Eliminating the deduction could also push the alimony payer into a higher tax bracket.

To determine alimony, the court looks at the respective needs and abilities of both parties.These factors are generally referred to as the alimony factors:

  • Standard of Living
  • Duration of the Marriage
  • Physical and Emotional Condition of the Parties
  • Financial Resources of Each Party
  • Time Needed to Obtain Employment
  • Contribution to the Marriage
  • Financial Condition of the Parties
  • Any Other Relevant Factors

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A 59-year-old man was killed in a Sunday night crash in Pasco County.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the Zephyrhills man died at the scene of the crash on Lake Iola Road shortly before 10:30 p.m.

Troopers said the man was traveling southbound on Lake Iola Road and failed to negotiate a right curve south of Blanton Road.

His vehicle drove onto the east shoulder, collided with a street sign, then collided with several trees. The vehicle also overturned.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Pasco County car crash, you do not have to deal with the aftermath by yourself. Our Pasco County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help defend your rights and pursue full and fair compensation for all of your suffering.

We may be able to help you recover various forms of financial compensation to help you deal with the physical, emotional and financial damages you have encountered, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Doctors’ visits and copays
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage

If you lost a loved one in a Zephyrhills collision, our Pasco County Wrongful Death Lawyers might be able to help you obtain financial awards for:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of emotional support
  • Medical expenses prior to the death of a loved one
  • Funeral expenses
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of retirement and/or insurance benefits

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A 17-year-old teen was killed in a vehicle crash Friday evening around 5:30 p.m. at US Hwy 98 and Trilby Road.

Trooper said a Jeep Cherokee was traveling westbound on Trilby Rd. and failed to yield for a flashing red light at the intersection of US 98. The jeep ran through the intersection into the path of a GMC Terrain that was traveling southbound and had a flashing yellow light.

The Terrain collided with the passenger side of the jeep. One of the passengers in the jeep, the 17-year-old teen, was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle, troopers said. He was transported to Dade City Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

The driver of the jeep received minor injuries and his second passenger received serious injuries and was transported to Lakeland Regional.

The driver of the Terrain only received minor injuries.

Troopers are continuing to investigate and charges are pending, according to the report.

Seatbelts save lives. Our Pasco County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton cannot stress this enough. Statistics show that bucking up in the front seat of a passenger car can reduce your risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and moderate to critical injury by 50 percent. While wearing your seatbelt is the smartest thing to do every time you get in a car, it is also the law in Florida.

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Holidays are known for celebrations and usually celebrations mean alcohol is involved. Many party goers knock a few back with friends and family and proceed to drive themselves home. Driving under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous and often results in serious drunk driving accidents.

The number of drunk driving-related incidents increase substantially on or around the fall and winter holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acknowledges that the holidays are a dangerous time to be on the roads due to intoxicated drivers. The NHTSA even has a campaign for increased law enforcement efforts for DUI called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Our Pasco County Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you to know that you can hold a drunk driver liable for your injuries or even the wrongful death of a loved one. While we cannot take your injuries away, or bring back a loved one, you do have the right to seek financial compensation from a drunk driver who causes your accident. We can help you obtain money for the following:

  • Economic damages for past and future lost income and past and future medical expenses.
  • Noneconomic damages for loss of enjoyment of life, disability or disfigurement, emotional distress, or physical pain and suffering.
  • Punitive damages, which is compensation paid to victims meant to punish the drunk driver for their behavior.

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Thanksgiving is almost here! And if you’re like most Americans, you’re gearing up for a holiday weekend trip to visit family and friends and share a great meal.

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. An estimated 51 million Americans will be traveling to go see family and friends throughout the Thanksgiving weekend. Many will be traveling on planes, trains and cars to get to their destination this year.

People throughout Pasco County will be anxious to arrive to their destinations on time. Whether you choose to take an airplane or drive to your destination, be patient when traveling and expect delays to occur.

Please keep these safety tips in mind over the holiday weekend:

  • Give Yourself Time – Don’t rush yourself. Make sure to leave early in order to give yourself extra time in case a delay does happen. This is also a great way to avoid holiday traffic and frustration.
  • Drive Defensively – You will see an influx of drivers on the roadways, so be alert and drive defensively. Stay off your cell phone and give yourself enough room to brake.
  • Avoid Distractions – We cannot stress this enough. Put your phone away while driving! Your phone can be a distraction when driving, so stow it away so that you arrive to your destination safely.
  • Never Drink & Drive – If you plan to drink, then make alternate plans for getting home safe! Designate a sober driver, utilize the multiple car services available or use public transportation, you have plenty of options.

If you do find yourself involved in a Thanksgiving auto accident, our Pasco County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are available 24/7 to assist with your injury claim. As always, seek medical attention first and then call us to see how we can move forward with your personal injury suit. Call us at 727-847-2299 for a free consultation or contact us online.

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A 27-year-old man was killed Sunday evening in Zephyrhills when the go-kart he was driving was struck by pickup truck.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the man on the go-kart was in the eastbound lane facing east on Central Avenue, west of Warbler Street, when a GMC Sierra pick up being driven by a 64-year-old man crashed into the back of the go-kart.

The go-kart was knocked off the road.

The driver of the go-kart was rushed to Florida Hospital of Zephyrhills where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The crash remains under investigation.

In neighborhoods and suburban developments, go-karts provide an easy means of transportation. With the increased use of go-karts comes increased opportunity for injuries. In many go-kart accidents, the injuries are serious as these vehicles do not have seat belts or passengers do not use seat belts that may be available. Sadly, horrific and life changing accidents can occur on go-karts. Accident victims are often left with broken bones, neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, or even head injuries and concussions, and in the worst cases, death.

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