A motorcyclist was killed Tuesday evening in a crash, and according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, charges could be filed against the driver who slammed into the biker.

The incident occurred just before 7 p.m.

HCSO believes the biker was operating a motorcycle on Boyette Road when he drove in between two vehicles as he was approaching the intersection of Balm Riverview Road.

At the same time, a female driver was heading westbound on Boyette Road, attempting to turn left and travel south. She pulled into the path of the motorcycle and struck the biker with the passenger side of her car.

The biker was apparently not wearing a helmet and died at the scene after he was ejected from the motorcycle, according to reports. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to police, the female driver had an “odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her mouth and admitted to having consumed alcohol.”

The woman agreed to a blood draw and could be charged based on the result, investigators said.

Motorcycle accidents usually involve serious injuries, and in the worst cases, death. A motorcycle offers riders very little protection in the event of a collision, leaving bikers vulnerable to catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord trauma, traumatic brain injuries, loss of limbs, neck and back injuries, knee and shoulder injuries and broken bones.

Our Tampa Bay DUI Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can protect your rights after a motorcycle accident, and help you and your loved ones pursue compensation for losses. As former DUI prosecutors, we know how to hold drunk drivers accountable for the pain and suffering they cause to motorcycle accident victims and their families.

Continue reading

A 64-year-old moped driver who was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Orange County last week has died, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The crash happened at 4:40 a.m. at the intersection of Colonial Drive and Forsyth Road.

According to troopers, the moped driver was stopped at the intersection in a left turn lane of westbound Colonial Drive, where he was trying to make a U-turn.

As he made the turn, troopers said a Honda Accord, traveling eastbound, hit the back of his moped. He was run over by the car. The driver of the car fled the scene.

The moped driver was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he later passed away.

The Honda, which was reported stolen, was found the day after the crash.

According to FHP, the crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a moped accident, or if you have lost someone close to you in an auto accident, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We are dedicated to helping victims and families throughout the state of Florida who have suffered personal injuries or wrongful death due to the negligence and carelessness of other people. We know that no amount of money can bring back your loved one, but we are prepared to fight for the money you deserve.

Continue reading

Biketoberfest has been bringing bikers together from all over the world in Daytona Beach since 1992.

Biketoberfest is a celebration of Florida’s bike culture that involves trade shows, concerts and other special events. It also involves three days of rides throughout Volusia County. While this will surely be a fun event for everyone, our Florida Motorcycle Injury Lawyers know that there are safety risks anytime a group of motorcycles share the roadways with other motor vehicles.

We urge drivers to be aware that there will be lots of bikers out during Biketoberfest and motorists should be respectful of their right to share the road.

Biketoberfest will occur between October 13 and 16 this year, and drivers should be extra cautious during this time and in the days before and after the special event.

In 2015, more than 100,000 people were expected to turn out to the festival. Researchers last year said the event brings in over $40 million to the local economy.

Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to “look left, look right, look twice, save a life.”

Biketoberfest Safety Tips

  • Allow for more following distance in between a car and a motorcycle. Motorcycles frequently slow down by downshifting or rolling off the throttle, so drivers should not count on a brake light to let them know when a bike will be stopping.
  • Leave motorcycle riders their own lane. Don’t try to crowd in or share the lane.
  • Don’t rely on turn signals. Motorcycle turn signals do not turn off automatically and sometimes riders forget to turn them off. Make sure you see what a rider is doing before you make any moves.

Continue reading

Samsung wants everyone to turn off their Galaxy Note 7 even if they have received a replacement. This comes right after the company said it was halting production of the smartphone.

Samsung Electronics says it is stopping production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, a day after it put an end to global sales of the devices.

The South Korean company said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it has made a final decision to stop production for the sake of consumer safety.

Samsung is struggling to regain consumer trust after a first round of recalls. The company stopped selling the device after finding that even the supposedly safer replacements it was providing for recalled Note 7 phones were catching fire.

There have been at least five reports of people claiming the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 replacements have caught fire.

One report came out of Kentucky – the owner said he woke up to a hissing sound and smoke filling the room when he realized his phone was on fire.

Samsung released this statement Monday night:

“Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.”

Cell phone retailers including AT&T and Verizon are offering refunds for the Galaxy Note 7 or an exchange for a different smartphone.

On September 2, 2016, Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 in 10 countries, including the U.S., just 2 weeks after the product was launched. Six days later, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advised passengers not to use, charge, or even stow Galaxy Note 7 phones on domestic flights.

An investigation was immediately launched in response to dozens of consumer complaints about Samsung phones catching fire. The problem was identified as a potential battery flaw that affects about 1 in 42,000 units.

The Samsung Note 7 recall highlights how dangerous electronic devices can be. Samsung Note 7’s use lithium-ion batteries, which are useful because they can store large amounts of energy in a small space. However, this same quality is what makes lithium-ion batteries hazardous. The more energy stored, the potentially more dangerous the battery becomes.

Continue reading

The United States Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against a Lakeland mobile home park for racial discrimination.

The DOJ said it investigated the mobile home park last year to see if it was complying with the Fair Housing Act.

Their reports found that African-American potential buyers were treated differently than potential white buyers.

Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that the mobile home park told African-Americans about fewer mobile homes for sale than whites, quoted higher sales prices for African-Americans and told African-Americans higher down payments would be required.

The DOJ said it was seeking financial compensation for victims and civil penalties for the owner and managers.

Most cases of discrimination have to do with employment, however, race discrimination in the sale or rental of an apartment or home is also illegal under both state and federal law.

Housing discrimination can happen in various ways. A landlord who refuses to rent to African-Americans, charges them higher rent than non-blacks, or a developer or property owner who refuses to sell to a minority or charges more is guilty of housing discrimination.

Continue reading

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for all of Florida as Hurricane Matthew threatened to wreak havoc on the East Coast later in the week.

Hurricane Matthew was southeast of Jamaica on Monday but was predicted to head north and likely produce “devastating impacts from storm surge, extreme winds, heavy rains, flash floods, and/or mudslides in portions of the watch and warning areas in Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas,” the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.

While the path remains unclear as the storm goes further north, the Hurricane Center said direct hurricane impacts are possible in Florida later in the week.

Our Florida Hurricane & Storm Damage Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you to be prepared for Hurricane Matthew. We urge you to read through the following and make sure you and your family are properly outfitted with supplies in case of an emergency.

Have a 3-7 day supply of each item for every person in your home:


  • 1 gallon of water per person per day stored in clean plastic containers


Purchase foods that require no refrigeration and little preparation, such as:

  • Ready-to-eat canned food
  • Canned juices, milk, soup
  • Snacks like cookies, cereals, etc.
  • Soft drinks, instant coffee, tea
  • Lots of ice – so you can freeze your water supply!

For Baby

  • Formula, bottles, powdered milk, jarred baby foods
  • Diapers, moist towelettes and special medications


  • Newspapers or cat litter
  • Canned or Dry Food
  • Plastic sheets to cover floor of pet’s room


  • First aid kit
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Aspirin, non-aspirin pain reliever, antacid
  • Extra prescription medication  – ask your physician how to store prescription medication
  • Personal Items
  • Toilet paper, towels, soap, shampoo
  • Personal and feminine hygiene products
  • Denture needs, contact lenses and an extra pair of eyeglasses

Other Supplies

  • Battery-operated radio, flashlights, non-electric can opener, extra batteries
  • ABC-rated fire extinguisher in a small canister
  • Portable cooler
  • Plenty of absorbent towels, plastic trash bags
  • Wind-up or battery-operated clock
  • Tarp or sheet plastic, duct tape, hammer and nails for temporary roof repairs
  • Cleaning supplies such as chlorine bleach
  • Aluminum foil, paper napkins and plates, plastic cups
  • Can of spray paint – this can be used to identify your home by insurance adjusters in case it’s damaged
  • At least one change of clothing per person, sturdy shoes, hat and work gloves
  • Pillows and blankets or sleeping bags

Continue reading

Police have reported that a teenage girl riding a Universal Orlando amusement park ride suffered burns after an electronic cigarette belonging to another rider exploded and shot a fireball at her.

Police believe that the 14-year-old girl from Tennessee was riding the Hogwarts Express train Saturday with her family when an e-cigarette belonging to a rider in another group blew up in his pocket and the fireball hit her in the face and elsewhere.

The explosion wasn’t big, but scared everyone on the train, according to reports.

The girl was taken to the hospital with mild to moderate burns to her face, arm and leg. The man suffered minor injuries.

An e-cigarette, also known as a vape, is an electronic nicotine delivery system that produces a heated vapor that resembles smoke. They have been for sale in the United States since 2007. E-cigarettes are now used by more than 2.5 million people in the U.S.

If you were burned by an exploding e-cigarette or vape, you could have a legitimate claim against the manufacturers of the vape device and battery, and perhaps other parties. What this means is that you could file a personal injury claim for monetary damages for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional & mental anguish

Continue reading

South Florida cities are amping up their efforts to prevent fatal alligator attacks like the one that occurred in Orlando’s Walt Disney World when an alligator emerged from a lagoon, grabbed a toddler wading in ankle-deep water and killed him.

From Oakland Park to Delray Beach, cities have begun replacing “no swimming” signs with stronger warnings on lakes and canals where alligators and snakes might lurk.

Florida does not regulate whether cities or counties need warning signs.

Delray Beach is taking no chances. The city, which currently has only a few “no swimming” signs, plans to install 20 signs that warn of alligators at eight canals and lakes.

So are Oakland Park, North Lauderdale and Parkland, where staff are adding warning signs at parks by water.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission numbers, there were nine alligator attacks in 2015, one of which was fatal, and 10 in 2014, none of which were fatal. Since 2006, there have been five reported fatalities due to alligator attacks. There have been 23 reported attacks since 1948, when the agency began keeping track.

Living in Florida, we know the dangers of alligators in any body of water, as well as hotels, golf courses and even backyards. Most public places located near bodies of water are pretty vigilant about relocating dangerous animals out of these areas. The added signage going up in south Florida is great, as it could prevent another tragedy from occurring.

Continue reading

NASCAR is being sued for alleged racial discrimination, according to a complaint filed on Monday.

Terrance Cox III, the CEO of Diversity Motorsports, claims that NASCAR refused to work with him and tried to prevent him from increasing the number of African Americans in the sport.

Cox is seeking $500 million in damages for racial discrimination in a complaint filed Monday.

The complaint also said NASCAR prevented African American comedian Steve Harvey from creating a racing team with Diversity Motorsports. Harvey allegedly wanted to start a team called “Steve Harvey Races 4 Education” in September 2015, but NASCAR wouldn’t sanction it.

Harvey denied that during his radio show on Tuesday. He said Cox approached him about helping to expose underprivileged kids to NASCAR, and he was willing to participate. But, he said he wanted nothing to do with the suit and told Cox not to use his name.

The suit named 19 other defendants including Richard Petty Motorsports, Team Penske, Hendrick Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing.

Cox claims he’s been working to increase the number of African American drivers and racing teams since 2009. He founded Diversity Motorsports to promote that effort.

NASCAR has three national racing series — the Sprint Cup Series, the XFINITY Series and the Camping World Truck Series. The Sprint Cup Series is considered the most prestigious and “viewed as the major league level,” according to NASCAR.

There aren’t any African American drivers in the Sprint Cup Series and there’s only one in the XFINITY Series. No African-American driver has ever participated in the Daytona 500 and only three African American drivers have ever raced in top-tier events.

NASCAR said in a statement that Cox’s suit is an attempt to gain publicity, and that it would pursue action against Cox for defamation.

Racial discrimination can rear its ugly head in many ways. In some cases, employers may fail to hire or promote a person because of the color of their skin. In other scenarios, the discrimination involves unequal compensation and work conditions. Racial discrimination may also be shown by unfair or unequal rules enforced by supervisors, verbal harassment by supervisors or co-workers, or even wrongful termination.

Continue reading

One of St. Petersburg’s highest ranking sewage operators has filed for federal whistleblower protection, claiming the city was warned that closing a water treatment facility would result in sewage being dumped into Tampa-area waterways.

Since August 2015, St. Petersburg has dumped more than 190 million gallons of sewage into Tampa Bay and other local waterways. The sewage operator says city officials were warned this could happen when they shut down the Albert Whitted water treatment facility.

The man has sent a letter informing the mayor and City Council that he has filed for federal whistleblower protection, citing public safety.

In the document, he says he is “exercising my rights” under the whistleblower act and Federal Water Pollution Control Act “prohibiting retaliation against any employee who reports alleged violation relating to discharge of pollutants into water.”

The whistleblower letter claims a 2014 study showed St. Petersburg’s southwest water treatment plant “could not handle the flow due to high weather events” if Albert Whitted were to close.

Despite the concerns, the man claims the city closed the plant anyway without making the recommended upgrades to the southwest site.  

Moving forward, the man recommends the city reopen the Albert Whitted facility until the necessary upgrades are complete.

Continue reading

Contact Information