Articles Posted in Personal Injury Attorney

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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It’s almost Thanksgiving, and that means family and friends coming together to enjoy food and one another’s company. It is also the leading day for U.S. home cooking fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association’s latest “Home Fire Involving Cooking Equipment” report, nearly four times as many home cooking fires occurred on Thanksgiving Day in 2015 as on any other typical day of the year. The day before Thanksgiving represents the second-leading day for home cooking fires.

Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 170,200 home structure fires involving cooking equipment, which resulted in 510 fire-related deaths, 5,470 fire-related injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage. Unattended cooking is, by far, the top contributing factor in home cooking fires and fire-related fatalities.

Between 2011 and 2015, cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fire incidents. Cooking fires caused 20 percent of home fire deaths, and accounted for 45 percent of the reported home fire injuries.

It is very easy to get distracted at Thanksgiving due to the fact that most people are cooking multiple dishes and trying to entertain guests. You may easily be prompted to walk away from the kitchen or forget something is cooking on the stovetop or in the oven. However, just one simple mistake can increase the likelihood of a cooking fire.

Fortunately, there are many simple steps you can take to greatly reduce the risk of cooking fires on Thanksgiving and beyond. The following are NFPA tips and recommendations for cooking safely:

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking to keep a close eye on the food, especially when frying with oil.
  • Use a timer to keep track of cooking times. Check the stove or oven frequently. Consider putting timers in different rooms so that you can hear them over music, football games, and party chatter.
  • Stay alert and focused when cooking. To help minimize the risk of injury, avoid cooking when drinking alcohol or if you’re tired.
  • Keep things that can easily catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers and towels away from the cooking area.
  • Kids should stay 3 feet away from stovetops, as well as from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, or gravy could cause serious burns.
  • Frying turkeys at Thanksgiving has become increasingly popular. However, NFPA discourages the use of turkey fryers, as they can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and the destruction of property due to the extensive amount of hot oil used with fryers. If you prefer fried turkey, check out your local grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants that sell deep fried turkeys.

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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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A motorcyclist was killed Sunday in a hit-and-run crash in Daytona Beach, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The crash happened at the intersection of 13th Street and San Jose Boulevard at about 5:10 p.m.

Troopers said the crash involved a motorcycle and a pickup truck.  

The motorcyclist died at Halifax Medical Center.

The driver of the pickup fled on foot, according to reports. Witnesses saw the driver of the pickup get into a white passenger car that fled the scene, according to police.

Other motorcyclists have died in crashes in Central Florida since Friday.

Two motorcyclists were killed in a crash near International Speedway Boulevard in Volusia County on Friday.

A fatal motorcycle crash in Volusia County was reported on Saturday.

Thousands of motorcyclists were in Daytona Beach Oct. 21-22 for Biketoberfest.

Drivers who cause motorcycle collisions may experience a moment of panic immediately after when they decide to stay or flee the scene. Those who choose to leave the scene of the crash are are in fact breaking the law and committing a serious crime. In such cases, it is the victim and their family who are burdened with all the expenses of the aftermath of the crash, including costs of hospitalization, rehabilitation and even funeral expenses, lost wages and more. Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help those injured and families of those killed in hit-and-run accidents better understand their legal rights.

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A Broward County woman is suing Hyatt, alleging negligence led to her suffering injuries in the shower.

The woman filed a complaint Sept. 28 in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Florida Orange County against Hyatt Corporation alleging they failed to use ordinary care to maintain their premises in a safe condition.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 22, 2015, the woman sustained serious injuries on the side of her neck when the shower head in a Hyatt Regency of Orlando bathroom suddenly dislodged and struck her. The suit says this caused her to violently twist her body and fall full force onto her right arm, neck and shoulder area.

As a result, she says she suffered bodily injuries, resulting in pain and suffering, disability, mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of earnings.

Sometimes something as simple as bathing can be a hazardous activity. Injuries from falls in the bathroom, particularly when getting in and out of a shower or tub, are common occurrences.

Bathroom falls typically mean violent contact with hard surfaces, which may result in traumatic brain injuries, back, hip or spinal injuries, neck fractures, or broken bones. If you suffered a serious injury from a hotel bathroom fall, you may still be dealing with the after effects.

If the hotel where you fell did not provide reasonable accommodations to protect you from an accident, you may be able to file an injury claim against the hotel for failing to provide a reasonably safe environment. Our South Florida Slip, Trip & Fall Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you pursue potential compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

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The Volusia County Sheriff was injured in a crash while riding a bicycle Friday morning.

Authorities said his bike was hit by a pickup truck in the 4900 block of South Peninsula Drive. It happened just before 9 a.m.

The driver of the truck, who remained at the scene, was found at fault and received a traffic citation, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The man was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

He suffered a broken left hand, a possible ACL tear in his right knee and two fractured vertebrae. He also received sutures in his left knee.

The 54-year-old was elected sheriff in November 2016 and sworn in on Jan. 3. He formerly served as police chief in Daytona Beach.

Volusia County is a populated region, and a lot is happening here all the time. Bicycle accidents are pretty common here, sadly. The most common reasons bike accidents occur are due to the following:

  • Negligence of the drivers on the road.
  • Drivers operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Drivers failed to stop at stop signs.

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