Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

A Pasco County man is accused of leaving three children in a hot car Friday while he shopped for diapers.

The man is charged with child neglect for the incident that occurred in a Wesley Chapel Publix parking lot.

Deputies said the children–ages 6, 4, and 1–were locked in the car with the window rolled up for 15 minutes.

Deputies said the children were sweating and warm to the touch. They were not injured.  

When deputies made contact with the man, he said he was only going to be in the store for a minute, so he left the kids in the vehicle.

He was arrested and booked into the Pasco County jail.

Every year, accidental deaths occur when children are left inside cars. According to reports, 735 children have died from being left in cars that overheated since 1998. Thus far for 2017, 35 children have died of heatstroke after being left inside vehicles. Last year, 39 children died of heatstroke in hot cars. All of these deaths could have been prevented. Most of these deaths are caused by lack of attention, which means that vehicular heatstroke can be a wrongful death case.

There are three primary circumstances that lead to children being left in hot cars:

  • The child was forgotten in the car.
  • The child was playing unattended inside a car without the knowledge of the caregiver.
  • The child was intentionally left inside the car generally while the adult ran an errand.

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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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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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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 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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A member of a popular Pasco County band was killed in a motorcycle crash over the holiday weekend.

The 33-year-old fiddle player was killed in a motorcycle crash Saturday night in New Port Richey.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the man was riding northbound on US Highway 19 just after 9 p.m. when the driver of an SUV turned left into his path, causing him to hit the right rear of the vehicle.

The man was ejected from his motorcycle and later died at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.

He was a singer and a fiddle player with the Bearded Brothers Band.

The crash is still under investigation.

While motorcycle accidents can be caused by the motorcycle driver, more often than not these accidents are caused by negligent motorists. Because of the fact that motorcycles do not offer drivers the same protection as that of a passenger vehicle, truck or SUV, these crashes usually deliver severe injuries to the motorcycle driver. As this case shows, many motorcycle accidents end in tragedy.

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