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A woman was fatally shot in the parking lot of a Home Depot on Sunday around 9:15 p.m.

When deputies arrived they found a woman suffering from a single gunshot wound.

She was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead just before 7 p.m. Monday.

Investigators believe the shooting was drug-related. No arrests have been made and the Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about the shooting to call homicide detectives at (813) 247-8200.

A number of factors can make a property unsafe. A lack of security guards, broken cameras, and poor lighting are just a few things can make a property dangerous and more susceptible to a crime.

If you or a loved one is the victim of a crime on someone else’s property, including parking lots, you may have a negligent security claim, and you may be entitled to financial compensation from the property owner, property management company or security company. When crimes occur in shopping centers, parking lots, apartment complexes, hotels, bars, etc, property managers and security companies can be held accountable if they fail to provide reasonable safety and a guest is attacked or killed.

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A crash involving a golf cart in Brevard County sent an 11-year-old girl to the hospital.

According to troopers, the girl was driving the golf cart along Fox Trail Court and James Road in Cocoa on Sunday afternoon when it overturned as she rounded a corner.

The girl was flown to Arnold Palmer Hospital, where she remains in serious condition.

Officials said there were two adults in the golf cart with the child. They were not injured.

The crash is currently under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.

You do not have to be golfing to use a golf cart. These small modes of transportation are used on many large campuses, in communities and at airports. These vehicles can top at speeds of 40 MPH and are used commonly without reasonable safety precautions, placing riders at risk of injury.

Our Florida Golf Cart Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton help those injured in golf cart accidents throughout the state of Florida. While golf carts look like smaller vehicles and are used the same way as cars, they are not regulated like automobiles because they were never intended for road use. Golf carts are not required to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and the American National Standards Institute does not require them to have seatbelts, so this allows these vehicles to be manufactured with low safety standards.

Golf cart accidents are quite common, as they are prone to tip over easily, they lack restraints, and they are open on the sides. Golf cart accidents can result in minor injuries like lacerations and scrapes to much more severe injuries like brain injuries and even fatalities.

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A woman who was driving without a valid license is accused of fatally hitting a 13-year-old girl Wednesday morning as the teen was riding her bike to school.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 25-year-old woman from Argentina who had been staying in the Kissimmee area.

According to deputies, the woman was driving a minivan around 7:50 a.m. Wednesday when she struck the 13-year-old student in the Poinciana/Kissimmee area.

The eighth grader was on her way to Lake Marion Creek Middle School when she was hit. The child was airlifted to Orlando’s Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, where she later died.

The man told deputies she has been in the U.S. on a “visitor pass” since October of 2018. She presented an Argentinian identification card to investigators.

Deputies said condensation covered approximately 80% of the woman’s windshield at the time of the crash, obstructing her view.

She has been charged with operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license causing death, a third-degree felony.

If your son or daughter has been killed in a pedestrian or bike accident, this is a tragic time for your family. It is important that you do not accept an insurance company settlement as compensation for your loss without consulting our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton. A sudden death in a family can take its toll not only emotionally, but also financially. Not only are family members grieving an irreparable loss, but they are also struggling to deal with medical expenses and funeral and burial costs, which can add up quickly.

The insurance company does not care about your family’s welfare or your losses. Their goal is to offer you the least amount of financial compensation possible so they can get rid of your claim quickly. During such a challenging time, you need our Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys on your side as we have successfully handled numerous fatal pedestrian accident cases.

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A Florida caregiver is accused of abusing a 94-year-old amputee at an assisted living home.

The 64-year-old caregiver was arrested last week after the woman’s son placed a camera inside her room at the facility in Clermont.

An arrest report says the woman told her son the caregiver was being too “rough with her.” The son viewed the video footage and found his mother was being abused by her caregiver.

He reported what he saw to management at Crane’s View Lodge Assisted Living and Memory Care.

The caregiver was suspended and the facility reported the incident to the Department of Children and Families and police. She’s charged with abuse of an elderly person.

Placing a loved one in an assisted living facility or nursing home is a tough decision, but oftentimes necessary. You trust that the facility you choose will treat your loved one with the respect and dignity they deserve, but sadly this is not always the case.

Our Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home patients and ending nursing home neglect and abuse. If you suspect a loved one is a victim of neglect or abuse in a Florida nursing home or assisted living center, we have the experience and resources you need to secure justice and recover financial losses.

The first step in protecting your loved one from further harm is reporting suspected neglect or abuse. Contacting our team of attorneys is a great next step as we can help ensure your claim is thoroughly investigated and that critical evidence is preserved. We can also pursue financial compensation for associated damages including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and in the worst cases, wrongful death.

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A Pinellas County woman is suing an Oldsmar Aldi grocery store, alleging negligence led to her fall.

The woman filed a complaint Feb. 11 in Pinellas County Circuit Court against Aldi LLC, doing business as Aldi Inc., alleging the grocery store operator failed to exercise reasonable care for her safety.

According to the complaint, on May 11, 2017, the woman went to shop at the Aldi grocery store in Oldsmar when she fell due to a puddle of liquid on the floor. She sustained bodily injuries, resulting in pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, and the expense of hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment.

The woman says Aldi negligently allowed the puddle of water to remain on the floor and failed to clean up the mess.

Spills happen in grocery stores. In fact, you have probably been shopping and heard something fall or shatter followed by “Clean-up on Aisle 5” over the loudspeaker. When spills do happen, the owner or operator of the grocery store is supposed to get the spill cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time so that customers or employees don’t slip and fall.

A slip and fall in a grocery store can result in serious injuries. When you slip on something like a puddle of liquid on a smooth floor, you gain velocity, which increases the force of your impact. You could easily break an arm, shoulder, kneecap, elbow, or leg, or land on your back and end up with head injuries or spinal cord trauma. A slip and fall can also cause your body to twist in unnatural ways that tears ligaments or cartilage, which can result in painful injuries that require surgery.

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Two people died after a charter bus that departed from from Orlando overturned on Interstate 95 in Virginia.

The Tao’s Travel Inc. bus traveling from Florida to New York had 57 people aboard when it rolled and ran off the left side of an Interstate 95 exit ramp in Prince George County about 5:22 a.m., according to authorities.

One person died at the scene, while another person died a couple of hours later.

The bus driver has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the crash.

The bus departed from Orlando, Florida, and stopped in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to switch drivers, police said. It was headed to New York City when it crashed.

Bus travel is a very popular mode of transportation. However, buses can pose a serious danger to passengers if they are not operated by trained, attentive employees and if the equipment is not properly maintained. If you have been involved in an accident with a charter bus, it is important to contact our Florida Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible.

Similar to truck drivers, bus drivers must have proper background checks and receive adequate training to provide safe travels for passengers. Many bus accidents are attributed to unsafe driver conditions, such as:

Driver negligence

  • Poor bus security
  • Operating on dangerous roads and interstates
  • Operating during dangerous weather conditions
  • Driving drunk or drugged
  • Fatigued driving
  • Inadequate maintenance of the bus and its equipment

When someone you love is injured or killed in an unexpected bus accident, you may be in shock and unsure of what to do next. You or your loved one may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages resulting from the bus accident. When death occurs, the responsible driver may also face criminal charges for wrongful death.

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A Roman Catholic priest in Florida is facing charges that he drugged a female parishioner and raped her.

The man was in a Miami-Dade County jail late Saturday charged with sexual battery on an incapacitated victim.

According to reports, in October, the 64-year-old priest invited the victim to his home at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Homestead. The woman said she drank tea he gave her and passed out. She told investigators she woke up two hours later naked in the man’s bed, believing she was raped.

She did not notify police until two weeks ago after telling another priest. The Miami Archdiocese says she was told to contact authorities. Officers say the man confessed when confronted.

Priests are religious figures that you believe you can trust. However, when they violate that trust, the long-lasting effects on the victim can be devastating. They can range from depression and sleeping disorders to self-harm, suicide, and substance abuse.

If you are a survivor of clergy abuse, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. You may receive damages for medical and therapy bills and loss of income. You may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are designed to punish the individuals and the institutions that allowed these acts of abuse to occur.

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The National Academy of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers (NAMIL) is doing an online giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a brand new 2019 FXDR 114 Harley Davidson Motorcycle valued at over $21,000.00.

The FXDR 114 is fast, agile and boasts loads of torque for blasting off from stop lights and hitting entrance ramps. The bike features a Milwaukee-Eight 114 Engine, Bold 2-into-1 Exhaust, and a Softail Frame. The all-new aluminum swingarm and subframe reduces overall weight and maximizes acceleration, braking, and performance.

The promotion runs through September 30, 2019. The winner will be drawn at random on October 31st, 2019. Feeling lucky? Enter the giveaway by clicking here. The contest is limited to one entry per person.

Whittel & Melton are Founding Members of NAMIL

Our Florida Motorcycle Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are founding members of NAMIL – National Association of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers. This means we are fully competent in Motorcycle Injury Law as evidenced by the fulfillment of standards and criteria as established by the NAMIL Board of Examiners and Board of Governors: we have substantial experience in handling complex matters relating to Motorcycle Injury claims, we have been recognized by our peers as a leading practitioner in the area of Motorcycle Injury Law, and we are actively involved in improving the practice and study of Motorcycle Law as well as protecting Motorcyclists rights.

Call Us Today if You Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Florida

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Holding your phone, putting on makeup or petting your dog while driving could all be illegal in Florida if state legislators pass a new bill that outlaws distracted driving.

Rep. Jackie Toledo and Sen. Wilton Simpson, who are sponsoring the legislation, contend Florida needs stricter laws for safer roads. They feel the best way to keep drivers and pedestrians safe is to eliminate distractions behind the wheel and put the focus back on driving.

“The focus of this bill is to save lives and get people’s behavior to change,” said Toledo, R-Tampa. “While you’re driving, you should be focused on driving.”

But opponents say the proposed law is too broad and raises concerns about racial profiling and unequal enforcement.

Currently, Florida drivers can hold a phone in their hands. But using one to text, write emails or send other messages is a secondary offense, meaning police officers must have another reason to pull someone over before they can issue a citation. They also need evidence that the driver was using the phone to send a message.

Toledo and Simpson, R-Trilby, filed bills that originally sought to make holding a cellphone while driving a primary offense. This would mean law enforcement would not need to prove an individual was writing a message.

But the legislation took a new direction in a Senate committee hearing last week. Senators on the Infrastructure and Security Committee decided to broaden the bills and target any action that distracts a driver.

The amended legislation lists several tasks that would be illegal while behind the wheel: reading, writing, performing personal grooming, applying a beauty aid or similar products, interacting with pets or unsecured cargo, and using a “personal wireless communications device” such as a cell phone.

The bill also includes a clause that could apply to any number of actions not listed: “engaging in any other activity, conduct, task, or action that causes distraction.”

That provision could be a problem, according to Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg.

“This gives law enforcement license to pull anyone over at any time for anything,” he said. “It’s completely subjective,” and would lead to uncertainty about what is and isn’t legal.

Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, signed on as a co-sponsor of the Senate bill when it dealt with cell phone use while driving. But he said the broader nature of the amendment makes him think twice about supporting it going forward.

“I understand the intent and purpose,” Rouson said. “But what creeps into this is what constitutes a distraction and can it open drivers up to profiling or discriminatory treatment based on culture or personal choice.”

Currently, Florida is one of three states that doesn’t allow law enforcement officers to pull drivers over just because they are on their cellphones. It is currently a secondary offense, meaning officers can cite drivers for texting only after stopping them for other reasons, such as speeding. The current offense brings a $30 fine, plus local add-on fees.

The bills, if passed, would give Florida some of the toughest laws against distracted driving in the nation.

Florida is one of the worst states in the country for distracted driving. According to the state department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were almost 50,000 crashes involving distracted drivers in Florida in 2016. This breaks down to more than five crashes every hour. These distracted driving crashes accounted for more than 3,500 serious injuries and 233 deaths.

Distracted drivers can cause severe accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries and even wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help.

We can investigate the cause of your crash and determine if the other driver involved was using their cellphone or engaging in other acts of distracted driving, like eating, applying makeup, or even tending to a pet. We can use this evidence to establish liability, with the hopes of obtaining financial compensation for your losses.

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Longtime Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim struck and killed a man along an interstate highway late Wednesday night as he tried to avoid hitting the man’s disabled vehicle, according to police.

Syracuse believe the 51-year-old deceased man was an occupant in a black Dodge Charger with three others when they apparently lost control on a patch of ice and hit a guardrail before midnight Wednesday on I-690 in Syracuse.

Boeheim struck the man with his GMC Acadia while trying to avoid the disabled car, which was resting perpendicular on the darkened highway. The group had been heading toward the median for safety. The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Another man in the group suffered minor injuries in the accident, police said.

Police said Boeheim has been cooperating with the investigation. He even used his cellphone light to warn other drivers of the disabled car after the accident, police said.

Police said sobriety tests administered to Boeheim and the unidentified driver of the other vehicle were negative for any signs of impairment.

No tickets have been issued to Boeheim at this time and the investigation is continuing. Police did say that they do not believe criminal charges would be filed.

When it comes to pedestrian accidents, many drivers will attempt to blame the accident on the pedestrian to avoid legal liability. Sadly, pedestrians involved in car accidents can suffer from the following:

  • Severe head trauma
  • Brain damage
  • Leg injuries
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Amputations
  • Disfigurement
  • Death

At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys will conduct a thorough accident investigation to determine who exactly is to blame. The smallest details may become the evidence needed to prove speed or driver inattention caused the crash, even when the driver states otherwise.

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