Articles Posted in Florida

All five passengers of a helicopter that crashed into a New York City river are confirmed dead on Monday morning.

After 7 p.m. on Sunday, several people watched as the chopper went down in the East River.

According to New York Police Department, the pilot was able to escape.

The New York Fire Department said firefighters and divers had to remove the five passengers from the helicopter.

While two passengers were found dead on arrival, the other three were taken to the hospital in critical condition. They were later pronounced dead.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it is investigating the crash.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a helicopter crash, or if you have lost someone close to you, you need experienced legal counsel to help you understand how to protect your best interests. Our team of Florida Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are composed of trial lawyers serious about helping injury victims. We help determine which laws apply to your case, as well as walk you through the process, step-by-step.

Due to the volatile nature of helicopter crashes, there are many different situations that can lead to a crash or an accident. The most common causes of an accident are:

  1. Operational Error: Helicopter accidents caused by some form of human error, which is usually due to pilot negligence.
  2. Mechanical Malfunction: Accidents that are caused by the failure of some component of the aircraft, such as design flaws or manufacturing problems.
  3. Electrical Malfunction: This refers to accidents caused by some malfunction in the electrical components of the aircraft, such as an electrical short, inadequate design, testing, or improper quality control.

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A passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship was in stable condition Wednesday after being rescued out of the water near the Bahamas, the cruise line said.

The passenger was reported overboard Tuesday night from the Norwegian Epic, which returned to its home port of Port Canaveral at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, an hour late.

The ship then slowed to a stop and maneuvered to allow the crew to search for the missing passenger.

As lifeboats searched for her, about eight to 10 passengers yelled out from their balconies to the woman to not give up and to keep calling out for help.

After she was rescued, she was taken to the ship’s medical facility, Norwegian Cruise Line said, and taken for additional medical attention on land once the ship arrived at Port Canaveral.

Falls from cruise ships can and do happen. They can occur many different ways including:

  • Inadequate or defective handrails
  • Intoxication from being over served alcohol in the ship’s bars and lounges
  • Failing to warn of rough seas
  • Violent actions of the ship’s crew members or other passengers

The cruise ship can be held liable for falls overboard that cause injury or distress to passengers. Our Florida Cruise Negligence Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are committed to helping victims obtain compensation from cruise lines who do not provide a safe environment for passengers. Most lawsuits relating to cruise ships departing from Florida must be filed in Florida, however, specific information about where you can file the lawsuit and the statute of limitations that applies can be found on the back of your cruise ship ticket. We can help you with your claim throughout the state of Florida.

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An Orlando property owner is suing an insurance company, alleging breach of contract.

The property owner filed a complaint Feb. 2 in the Orange County Circuit Court against Florida Specialty Insurance Company, alleging failure to pay for damage caused by a hurricane.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 11, 2017, while the Orlando property was insured under a homeowners insurance policy, it sustained a covered loss due to Hurricane Irma. However, the suit says Florida Specialty has refused to provide coverage.

The property owner alleges Florida Specialty Insurance has failed to fully pay for all of the insurance losses and forced the property owner to retain the services of an attorney.

Our Florida Hurricane Claims Lawyers at Whittel & Melton represent homeowners and businesses in hurricane damage claims in Orlando and the surrounding areas. We know how hard it can be to get your insurance company to cooperate following a hurricane or storm damage claim. We can help you recover what is rightfully owed to you, according to the terms of your policy agreement.

Insurance companies use tactics that are meant to protect the company’s interests and do not always act in good faith when it comes to paying out for valid claims. We are more than familiar with the unfair strategies insurance companies use, including:

  • Denial of a claim
  • Delayed payment of a claim
  • Underpayment of a claim

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A Pinellas County woman, who requires a scooter to move about, is suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, alleging negligence caused her injuries.

The woman filed a complaint Feb. 1 in Orange County Circuit Court against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts US Inc. and Disney Vacation Development Inc., alleging the park failed to provide a safe environment for its business invitees.

According to the complaint, on Dec. 7, 2017, the woman was at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, trying to move from her scooter to a DVD transport vehicle. The suit says the woman fell while trying to get into the vehicle.

The woman says she suffered bodily injury, resulting in pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, scarring, mental anguish and aggravation of previous existing condition. The suit claims Disney employees negligently failed to properly assist the handicapped plaintiff.

The woman says the park failed to provide a handicap accessible transport vehicle, failed to train its employees regarding transport protocol for handicapped guests and failed to render aid to her after the incident.

There are many ways someone can get suffer an injury. Sometimes, these injuries are no one’s fault. However, in some situations, injuries can be the direct result of the actions of another person or business entity. These injuries could be the result of an accident or an intentional act.

The law clearly states that an at-fault person or business entity who causes personal injury to another is civilly liable to pay for their financial damages. Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you if you have been injured due to the acts of another.

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A new report out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looks at the shifting trends in Americans’ health and mortality, and the conditions most likely to take lives.

While heart disease and cancer still top the list, Motor vehicle accidents, unintentional drug overdoses, and accidental falls and other injuries take the no. 4 spot.

According to the CDC, more than 2 million people are injured, and another 33,000 deaths occur each year due to auto accidents. It is no wonder why motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death in the U.S.

In 2015, more than 35,000 car-accident deaths occurred throughout the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Of those deaths, 3,174 occurred in Florida.

The good news is that most injuries and deaths on the road are entirely preventable,. The bad news is that the majority of those injured or killed are done so through no fault of their own. Auto accident victims are left with medical bills, lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and, in many cases, permanent injury or death. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an auto accident in Florida, our Car Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you understand how to pursue financial compensation from the at-fault party.

According to the National Safety Council, slip and falls are one of the leading causes of accidental injury. Slip and falls lead to an estimated 9 million visits to the emergency room each year. The risk of slipping and falling increases with age. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a slip and fall, it is best to speak with our Florida Slip & Fall Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton to understand your legal options.

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An Orlando man is suing Dollar Tree, alleging negligence led to his injuries.

The man filed a complaint Nov. 28 in Orange County Circuit Court against Dollar Tree Store Inc., doing business as Dollar Tree, alleging the retail store failed to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition.

According to the complaint, on Feb. 11, 2017, the man was a lawful business invitee at Dollar Tree’s store at 4568 S. Semoran Blvd Orlando. The suit says the man slipped and fell on a liquid substance on the floor.

As a result, the man says, he sustained bodily injury, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, loss of ability to earn money, plus medical and treatment expenses.

The man alleges Dollar Tree failed to inspect its floors to ascertain whether it is safe for customers and failed to warn customers of the danger of the liquid substance on the floor.

The man seeks trial by jury, damages in excess of $15,000, interest and court costs.

In order to prove negligence in a slip and fall injury claim, two questions must be answered. First, it must be determined what caused you to fall. The second question is how what caused you to fall got there, and if anyone knew about the problem. This can be more difficult to uncover, but certainly not impossible.

If you suffered significant injuries in a slip and fall accident at a business as a result of negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek financial compensation for the harm you suffered. Slip and fall lawsuits help injury victims recover the costs to pay for medical bills, any lost earnings, disfigurement, emotional distress or permanent physical disability suffered as a result of the property owner’s negligence.

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The holiday season is a time for joyful celebrations and enjoying time with friends and family. It is also a high-risk time to be on the roadways. Christmas, New Year’s, and the days surrounding these holidays are days when there is a substantially higher number of auto accidents and crash fatalities than other times of the year. If you or someone you love is injured or killed in a holiday car accident, our Florida Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are here to help you through.

Christmas and New Year’s are all at the top of the list of high-risk days for drivers. These holidays see some of the year’s highest accident rates, along with Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Independence Day. The increase in fatalities and serious injury accidents on these holidays is substantial, with motorists facing a dramatically increased chance of being involved in a crash.

The Christmas holiday period includes Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas. During this holiday time, an average of 343 people die in motor vehicle accidents. New Years is also defined as a three-day holiday period including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Over New Year’s, an average of 373 people die in car accidents. Why? More drivers on the roads and more drunk drivers are two primary reasons for the rise in car accident deaths on both Christmas and New Year’s.

Drivers need to be aware of the added dangers of driving on these holidays and should take precautions to try to protect themselves from becoming accident victims. There are a few things you can do to make sure you are set up well for travelling this holiday season.

  1. Make sure your car is in good condition before traveling.
  2. Get plenty of rest to avoid drowsy driving.
  3. Check road conditions to be prepared for adverse weather and avoid driving during storms.
  4. Try to limit travel time to daytime rather than driving at night when the accident risks are greater.
  5. Stay sober and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  6. Don’t succumb to distractions when driving!

If you or someone you love is the victim of a crash on any day or holiday, our Florida Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can provide assistance with pursuing a case for financial compensation for crash injuries or wrongful death.

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An Orange County woman is suing McDonald’s, alleging failure to properly secure the lid of a hot coffee cup that led to injuries.

The woman filed a complaint Nov. 6 in Orange County Circuit Court against McDonald’s Restaurants of Florida Inc., alleging failure to exercise reasonable care for the safety of customers.

According to the complaint, on Nov. 1. 2016, the woman was at the drive-through at McDonald’s when an employee handed her a cup of hot coffee. As she took a sip of the coffee, she said, the lid was not properly secured, and the hot coffee spilled onto her.

As a result, the woman says she sustained physical injuries, mental anguish, loss of earnings and incurred medical expenses.

The woman alleges the McDonald’s employee failed to adequately secure the lid on the coffee cup, thus creating a hazardous condition to its customers when handing them hot coffee.

If certain details of this case sound familiar, you are probably thinking of the most famous case of a coffee-related burn lawsuit where a New Mexico woman successfully sued McDonald’s for over $2.8 million after suffering serious burns from a 190 degree cup of coffee. That judgement was later reduced to just over $600,000 before a confidential settlement was reached between the two parties.

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A Tallahassee man is suing a Clearwater miniature golf facility, alleging negligence.

The man filed a complaint Nov. 7 in Pinellas Circuit Court against the mini golf business owners, alleging they failed to provide a safe environment for its business invitees.

According to the complaint, on Aug. 2, the man was at the miniature golf course when he unknowingly stepped down a steep angle on the floor, causing him to fall.

The lawsuit states the man suffered serious injuries to his right leg and back, resulting in pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, loss of earnings and aggravation of a previous existing condition.

The man alleges the business owners failed to provide a side walkway, lighting, and warning of a steep drop-off, failed to inspect the hidden dangers on the property, and failed to warn the man of the dangerous drop-off.

Mini golf is usually a fun experience enjoyed by everyone. No one ever thinks they can be injured playing mini golf, but the truth is, you can certainly sustain injuries while mini golfing. Even the safest mini golf attractions can have lapses of negligence. As an invitee of the mini golf course, you as the guest have a right to be reasonably protected against any safety risk while in the park under Florida premises liability law. Failure on the mini golf location’s part to protect you may be considered negligence.

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Halloween is tomorrow and our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want everyone to remember to make safety a part of your celebration at home, at a party, or while trick or treating. Please keep the following safety tips in mind for happy Halloween memories:

Trick or Treating Safety

  • Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult while trick or treating. With older children, curfews should be established. Encourage teens to stay with a group and make sure you know what route they plan to use.
  • You can reduce the risk of a pedestrian accident by using flashlights and glow sticks when trick or treating. These will allow motorists to see your trick or treater on the street. We also encourage you to dress your children in costumes with reflective material, lighter colors, and free from excessive material, which could prompt a slip and fall accident. Proper footwear is essential in preventing falls, too. Avoid wearing masks that are too large, which can obstruct your child’s vision.
  • Always have your cellphone on you in case of an emergency!
  • Stay in well-lit areas on familiar streets, and pass on going to dark homes. Make sure your kids know to never enter homes or cars to retrieve candy.
  • Always inspect candy for choking hazards and potential tampering before eating.

Safe Driving On Halloween

  • As a driver, be especially cautious in residential neighborhoods where trick or treaters may travel. Drive slowly and be vigilant in watching out for children in costume and other pedestrians.
  • If you are reversing from a home or street, please look for anyone behind you before doing so.
  • Distracted driving and speeding should be avoided during heavy trick or treating hours, and really any time when you are behind the wheel.
  • Turn on headlights, even during daylight hours just to be extra cautious.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, a slip and fall accident or any other type of accident due to another’s negligence, we can help. Call us for a free consultation at 866-608-5529 or contact us online. We can begin helping you with your potential case right away, so do not delay.

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