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sparklers-828570_1280-300x200Floridians are legally able to celebrate the Fourth of July by lighting off fireworks this year. While this might be great news to some, some medical professionals and others who have had life-changing experiences from fireworks injuries want to warn everyone of the hazards fireworks can bring. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill back in April that made it legal for Floridians to light off fireworks on three holidays: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and of course, the Fourth of July. 

Due to the pandemic shutting down many big fireworks displays, it is likely that we will see an increase of people having their own backyard, or front yard, fireworks shows. 

sanitizing-5095967_1920-300x184The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to consumers across the U.S. to stop using 9 brands of hand sanitizer as they may contain methanol, also known as wood alcohol, which is a substance that has very serious side effects when it is ingested or absorbed through the skin. 

You can view the list of the 9 brands of hand sanitizer manufactured by the Mexican company Eskbiochem here

This alert is alarming because of the fact that the coronavirus is still lingering across the U.S., which has increased the demand of hand sanitizers. The coronavirus pandemic has many people using more hand sanitizer when they cannot wash their hands with soap and water. 

The FDA issued its warning on Friday after the agency tested samples of products that contain methanol, which is toxic, so it should not be used in hand sanitizers. 

The FDA is requesting that consumers stop using any of these dangerous hand sanitizers right away and throw any unused product into hazardous waste containers. 

The FDA says to not flush or pour any hand sanitizers down the drain. 

Methanol poisoning can be toxic, so if any consumers have used any of the 9 brands the FDA is warning about, they should seek medical care right away. According to the FDA, prolonged exposure to methanol can cause: 

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Permanent blindness
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Damage to the nervous system
  • Death

Anyone who ingests these hand sanitizers or consumes them as an alcohol substitute are at highest risk for methanol poisoning, according to the FDA.

Everyone wants to stop the spread of COVID-19, which is why hand sanitizer has been a staple. Now, it is very important that we check our brand of sanitizer so that we can steer clear of methanol poisoning. Our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to read the label on your sanitizer carefully and check the FDA website regularly to stay up to date on recalls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), consumers should use alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% ethanol.

Methanol poisoning from hand sanitizer is very serious. Methanol is a type of toxic alcohol that is commonly used as a pesticide or fuel source. The CDC says that symptoms of methanol poisoning may not be apparent for 1 to 72 hours after exposure. The good news is that methanol poisoning can be reversed if medical treatment is administered. 

Whittel & Melton Can Help 

If you or someone you love has suffered harm due to methanol poisoning, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. The FDA has said that those most at risk are those that drink the toxic hand sanitizers. Babies and toddlers that get a hold of these sanitizer bottles can easily ingest the toxic chemicals and suffer methanol poisoning. Make sure you are keeping these products out of a young child’s reach. 

The company/manufacturer that makes these dangerous products can be held responsible for any injuries or deaths that result. We are here to help review the facts of your case and fight to secure financial compensation for your suffering. 

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woman-65675_640-200x300Abuse and neglect in nursing homes, assisted living facilities (ALFs), and even adult daycare centers is rampant across the U.S. While this is a terrible thing, this is what happens at facilities that are more about making money than taking care of their residents. Not all facilities are guilty of these deplorable behaviors, but the reality is that many of them are. 

In Williston, the owner of an adult care home was charged with mistreating residents by not providing them beds, restraining one with handcuffs, and abusing residents. 

It was found that the woman failed to provide all the residents in her care with a bed, did not care for residents wounds, inflicted wounds on residents, abused a disabled adult, and used handcuffs to restrain another resident. She also did not pay two disbaled adults their monthly allowance for their personal needs. 

This was a small adult home with only 10 residents, according to reports.

The woman was arrested by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Sheriff’s Office. All of her charges are felonies. 

Abuse in nursing homes, ALFs, and adult daycare centers are heartbreaking as well as shocking. The signs are not always blatantly obvious, which is why so many of these cases go undetected. This is especially true when the victim is disabled or suffering from depression, anxiety, or even PTSD. These conditions may prevent seniors from telling someone about their mistreatment, but some seniors are too fearful of staff members to speak out as they believe their treatment will get worse. The truth is that unless someone is keeping close tabs on the facility in question, abuse can continue to happen without consequence. This is why if you have a loved one in a nursing home or other type of facility, you must educate yourself on the warning signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. 

While there are many types of abuse at these facilities, you can be on the lookout for certain patterns that could lead to abuse. The first being physical abuse, which is one of the more obvious forms of abuse as you can see the results on the person’s body. You should look for unexplained bruises, scrapes, cuts, broken bones, fractures, and welts. These could all be signs of trauma happening, such as residents being dropped, restrained, or beaten. Some of these injuries could be the result of accidental slip and falls, but a medical doctor can evaluate the injuries and determine what was the result of an accident or assault. 

Other signs of physical abuse may be a resident all of a sudden becoming withdrawn socially and being scared or startled easily. Any behaviors or injuries that are recurring are likely signs that abuse is the culprit. 

Emotional abuse can also happen at nursing homes and ALFs. These signs are a bit more subtle, but if you notice a loss of self confidence, isolating, acting scared or not wanting to be left alone, rocking back and forth, sucking, mumbling, or a refusal to take medications, then this could point to neglect or abuse. 

Sexual abuse also occurs in nursing homes and ALFs. Signs to look for are torn or stained underwear, bruising on the breasts or genitals, vaginal or anal bleeding, self-isolation, and episodes of rage or anger. 

Financial abuse is another form of abuse that occurs regularly at these facilities. This abuse usually involves manipulation, so that the abuser has the seniors consent. You can look for unexplained expenses, missing money or valuable possessions, bills for unknown expenses, and missing checkbooks or credit cards. 

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disposal-5021447_1920-300x200Johnson & Johnson recently released the news that they will not be selling their infamous talc-based baby powder any longer in the US and Canada. 

Why? According to their website, the novel coronavirus urged them to rethink their product in March, and lead to them stopping shipments to the US and Canada. They claim the purpose of this was to place a priority on more in demand products and maintain social distancing measures in their distribution centers and manufacturing facilities. 

The company said there has been a decline in the demand for nearly 100 products, including their talc-based baby powder. Johnson & Johnson does have a cornstarch-based powder that will continue to be sold on retail stores shelves. 

coronavirus-4817431_1920-300x80There have been 1,502 deaths of residents at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida, according to a new report. This is an increase of 145 deaths in just one week. 

However, reports are showing that the weekly death rate is slowing down. Last week was a 10.7% increase, but still a decrease from 14.1% for the period of May 29 to June 5. 

Records indicate that 10 employees at these facilities have died since March. 

sunset-958145_1920-300x225Busch Gardens and Adventure Island in Tampa Bay are starting their phased opening today with many new safety changes due to the coronavirus. 

Guests are expected to see many new safety changes that were implemented in collaboration with park officials and health officials these last few months. The main concern is keeping all guests safe, according to reports.

So, what has changed? 

traffic-3098816_1920-300x225A rollover crash in Tamarac, Florida has left two teen girls dead, according to reports from Florida traffic homicide detectives. 

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office released a report stating the accident happened at Tamarac intersection Thursday morning. 

Reports indicate that a 14-year-old boy was driving the car with three other teen passengers. As the car entered the intersection, a pickup truck smashed into the passenger side of the vehicle, resulting in the car flipping over. Two teen girls, 13 and 16, were killed. The 14-year-old driver and a 16-year-old passenger both suffered injuries that required hospitalization. 

The 68-year-old truck driver suffered no harm, according to reports. 

No further information has been made available at this time, but it has been reported that no charges have been filed yet. 

Rollover accidents have the very real potential to be fatal, as this case highlights. This is due to the fact that rollover crashes tend to be pretty violent collisions. Any car has the ability to rollover, but certain vehicle types are more prone to rolling over. Narrow, tall vehicles like SUVs, trucks, and vans have higher centers of gravity compared to smaller passenger vehicles, which makes them more likely to rollover in the event of an accident. 

Speed also plays a pivotal role in rollover crashes, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reported that nearly 40% of all rollover crashes involve cars travelling at excessive speeds. Another interesting fact, ¾ of fatal rollover crashes took place on roadways with a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour or higher. 

The NHTSA also reports alcohol is a factor in half of all rollover collisions. It is important to highlight that driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is never a good idea as this can negatively impact your good sense of judgment, muscular coordination, and vision, which only increases your odds of losing control of your car. 

Driver behavior also plays a big role in preventing rollover crashes. Data from the NHTSA shows that more than 90% of vehicles involved in rollover collisions were engaged in routine driving behaviors, such as making a turn or travelling straight, when they crashed and flipped their vehicle. Data further shows that 85% of rollover deaths happen in single-vehicle collisions. These numbers suggest that distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, inattentive drivers, and speeding all contribute to an increased likelihood of a vehicle rollover crash. 

If you are involved in a rollover crash, there are things you should do to protect yourself and any passengers. First and foremost, our South Florida Auto Accident Attorneys Whittel & Melton urge you to seek medical attention right away. Even if you feel fine, you need medical care to make sure that you do not have any physical injuries that may not be immediately apparent. You never want to delay medical treatment, as you may have a very serious injury that you have yet to discover and delaying care can only make the injury worse. You will also want to notify law enforcement right away to get to the scene. They will need to report their findings and keep the area safe. If possible, it is a good idea to take pictures and get the contact information for any witnesses. 

When it comes to rollover accidents, our South Florida Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help victims recover for their injuries. We are equally as dedicated to helping family members who have been killed in auto accidents recover for their losses through a wrongful death lawsuit. Multiple parties can be responsible for a rollover accident, so it is very important for us to identify the at-fault parties early on in the investigation so that we can file the right claims. 

Rollover accidents can be complicated matters, but we are well equipped to handle these types of cases, as well as all auto accident claims. Victims of rollover accidents may be entitled to financial compensation for their suffering and we can help you evaluate your accident and determine what steps you can take to recover damages. 

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key-west-81664_1920-300x199Monday started the Atlantic Hurricane Season, and now with the coronavirus pandemic still lingering, preparing for this season might be a bit different than previous years. 

By the time the Category 3 Hurricane Dorian hit Florida’s East Coast in September of last year, it brought damage to the Daytona Beach Pier and caused powerful storm surges with wind damage throughout Florida’s East Coast.

And with hurricane season raping up again, the threat of another strong hurricane lingers. 

wm-harley-1024x647 Whittel & Melton, award winning Florida motorcycle injury lawyer Jason Melton and the National Academy of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers (NAMIL) is bringing back their ​online giveaway​ for 2020, and you could be the lucky winner of a brand new 2020 FXDR 114 Harley Davidson Motorcycle valued at over $21,000.00. 

The Harley FXDR™ 114 is a bike that boasts some pretty bold features, some say it will blow away your senses. If you’re looking for a bike with agility, speed, and a massive amount of torque, this is the bike for you. And yes, it looks as good as it rides. 

Looking to upgrade your bike? Looking to become a new motorcycle rider? We welcome you to enter the giveaway HERE. The deadline for entry is Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 11:59:59 PM ET. We have limited this contest to only one entry per person.

Whittel & Melton Are Founding Members of NAMIL 

The National Academy of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers (NAMIL) was created by a personal injury attorney passionate about protecting the rights of motorcyclists everywhere. Our Florida Motorcycle Injury and Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton helped found NAMIL and we proud to be able to help bikers throughout the state of Florida. We have considerable experience handling motorcycle injury and death claims and have been recognized as being able to handle complex motorcycle injury claims with compassion, professionalism, and excellence. As NAMIL members, we are always looking to expand our practice and are constantly studying and furthering the development of motorcycle law to better help serve our community of motorcyclists. 

We Are Here to Help with Motorcycle Crashes in Florida 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,985 motorcyclists killed in 2018, the latest year for motorcycle crash statistics. Our Florida Motorcycle Injury and Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to protecting and upholding your rights as a motorcyclist. We are proud to serve the entire state of Florida and provide you with the expert legal services you need if you have been injured or lost someone close to you in a motorcycle crash. 

If you already own a motorcycle, then you know what it feels to experience the love for the open road. Getting on your motorcycle and cruising the streets and highways is a passion for many, and our team of injury lawyers understand that. Motorcycles have just as much a right to be on the road as any other car or vehicle. But the truth is, motorcycling can definitely be a dangerous activity. The latest data from the NHTSA also shows that motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle crash in comparison to passenger car occupants. Motorcycling, just like any activity, can be a hazard, but you can be safe on your motorcycle by having good balance, coordination, and always using your best judgment. 

Florida has the perfect weather for motorcyclists to ride pretty much year round. We want all motorcyclists to be safe out on the roads, so we recommend making sure you are road ready before you ever take your bike out. 

First things first, you should be properly licensed before operating a motorcycle. Driving a car and driving a motorcycle require different skill sets. To obtain a motorcycle license in Florida, you must have a valid driver’s license and complete a basic rider course. You can learn more about all the requirements by visiting the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) website. 

Once you are properly licensed, we recommend getting some good practice in before entering the highway full throttle. You want to get familiar with your bike and make sure you are comfortable with operating it before you enter into traffic. Weather conditions can change in the blink of an eye, so it is a good idea to learn how to handle various hazards like wet or slick roads, debris, and potholes before you venture out. 

Once you are ready to ride, you want to check your bike for any possible issues before taking it out. Tire pressure, headlights, fluid levels, hand and foot brakes, and signal indicators should be checked before taking any trips, long or short. Another good thing to check for is a potential gas or oil leak under your bike. 

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covid-19-4855709_640-300x200As COVID-19 continues to keep most of the world on lockdown with ‘Safer at Home’ orders extended, there are many people still stranded on cruise ships. It has been reported that some cruise lines are currently working with the CDC to resolve the current “No Sail Order” and problem releasing their crew members.

While there are literally thousands of crew members left stranded at sea with no known date of when they can set foot on land, the sad reality is that they can continue to contract the novel coronavirus while being trapped and quarantined aboard a cruise ship. 

Perhaps the most troubling piece of information is that recent reports have indicated that the cruise line industry knew about the coronavirus problem on their ships, but continued to sail anyways. This neglect on their part very well could have helped fuel this crisis, causing countless individuals to become infected. With that said, if you contracted coronavirus or lost a loved one due to COVID-19 onboard a cruise ship, you may be able to join a class-action lawsuit with other crew and passengers infected with COVID-19.

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