Articles Posted in Personal Injury Attorney


A woman in Ireland recently learned the hard way that social media is not your friend when it comes to a legal dispute, like a personal injury claim.

After a photo of the 36-year-old woman winning a competition to see who could throw a tree the farthest surfaced online, an Irish court denied the mother’s $820,000 insurance claim.

In 2017, the woman apparently claimed in disclosures made before Ireland’s High Court that she suffered from “debilitating pain” from a car accident that prevented her from lifting heavy objects and kept her in bed on bad days.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is warning consumers to avoid purchasing aftermarket steering wheel decals as they may detach in a collision and cause very serious injuries or death.

The NHTSA reports that at least one motorist suffered the loss of sight in one eye when a rhinestone embellished aftermarket emblem dislodged from the steering wheel in a crash and hit her in the face.

The item in question is a metal or plastic plate with an adhesive back that covers the vehicle’s logo in the center of the steering wheel.  It is typically adorned in rhinestones or other shiny embellishments. When an air bag deploys in a collision, the product may become a projectile that causes significant harm or even death.

These aftermarket decals, unlike the permanently mounted insignia on your vehicle’s steering w, can readily become detached when the air bag deploys.  Your air bag may also stop working properly if you make any modifications to it or its cover.

The NHTSA has released a warning asking consumers to avoid purchasing these potentially dangerous decals.  If you have already purchased one and applied it to your steering wheel, the NHTSA urges you to remove it promptly to avoid any potential injuries.

Why Is Bling on Your Steering Wheel Dangerous?

These shiny, gemstone encrusted decals go over the steering wheel, which is where the driver’s side airbag deploys in the event of a crash.  This is essentially placing a fragile item on top of an explosive. If a crash occurs, the stones from the cover could separate and become airborne shrapnel scattering about the vehicle that could cause harm to vehicle occupants.

Though aesthetically pleasing, these diamond or rhinestone embellishments are not safe.  You may be entitled to compensation for losses such as medical costs, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and emotional anguish if you were hurt by products manufactured using defective components.  Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can offer you a free consultation about your legal rights and alternatives. Continue reading


Hiring the right lawyer for your case does not just mean getting the best results. It also means getting the right treatment.

The truth of the matter is that our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have been practicing personal injury law for a very long time, and we have great relationships with doctors all over the Sunshine State, especially in the communities near our office locations in Spring Hill, New Port Richey, St. Petersburg, Inverness, Beverly Hills, Bushnell, The Villages, Gainesville, Tampa, Boca Raton, and Miami Beach.

What does this mean for injury victims? The benefit of seeking treatment from a medical professional recommended by an attorney is that you will probably be seen immediately away and can choose a location that is convenient for you.

It is acceptable to receive care from your health insurance provider if you have coverage. Your health insurance company will be entitled to compensation for any accident-related medical care it paid for when your injury claim is resolved.

When receiving care through a health insurance provider, there may be protracted wait times and challenges obtaining physical therapy authorization. Additionally, you might need to see a chiropractor but your insurance does not cover that type of care.

If you employ a personal injury attorney, they may recommend a physician who will treat you on a lien, which means you will not have to pay the physician until after you have received the settlement money from the case. Doctors that have an established relationship with your lawyers will prioritize seeing you and will go that extra mile to really do what they can to help you.

At the end of the day, a personal injury case is not only about money – it is about making you feel better, getting you quality medical care, and getting you on the right track for now as well as in the future. This is why it is so important to hire the right lawyer and not just any lawyer. Continue reading


Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer for many Americans. Beer will be flowing, and barbecue grills will be lit. While most Memorial Day celebrations are enjoyable and safe events, accidents do occasionally occur and people get hurt. If you are hosting or attending a Memorial Day party, our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have some helpful advice for you.

Memorial Day Safety Tips for the Party Hosts

Adult supervision: During your barbeque, appoint a rotating team of one to three adults to keep an eye on kids playing, especially close to the grill or fire pit. Stop any dangerous activities before they start, like jumping off patio furniture and marshmallow roasting stick sword fights.

Grills: To minimize burn injuries, place grills about 10 feet away from people.  Furthermore, one of the primary causes of barbeque fires is leaning your bag of charcoal against the grill; refrain from doing this. After you have finished grilling, let the coals cool for a while before pouring water on them. You can view more tips on grilling here: Grill Tips

Standing water: Backyards may have standing water areas. Standing water is a mosquito breeding ground and a slip and fall hazard. Of course, empty any containers that have water, including the tarp that covers any backyard boats that may have collected rainwater. Place temporary ground covers or just rope off portions of your yard that have standing water.

Pets: While your precious pup may not hurt a fly, sometimes large crowds can cause them to exhibit erratic behaviors. Secure pets in areas where kids and even adults will not be in danger.

Swing sets and other outdoor play equipment: Swing sets should be anchored and level. You will want to inspect tree houses and other play structures for any cracks, holes, or exposed hardware that could cause injury. If you have a trampoline, make sure it is anchored securely before you allow any jumpers inside. An adult should always supervise jumpers.

Swimming pools: Make sure you have adults always supervising tiny swimmers. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4, so keep this in mind. Make sure you have fences, alarms, and covers for your pool and keep all chemicals locked away. Flotation devices do not prevent drowning, so you still need to supervise children who are wearing floaties. Do not run around the pool. Tell kids to refrain from pushing or dunking people in the pool, as well as playing any hold your beath underwater games. If there is bad weather, like lightning, then get out of the pool immediately.

Untitled-design-33-200x300Memorial Day Safety Tips for the Party Guests

You should take precautions to avoid getting hurt when you are celebrating Memorial Day on someone else’s property. Here are some common reasons slip and fall and trip and fall accidents occur:

  • Wet or slick floors
  • Unsecured carpets or rugs
  • Cracked or broken sidewalks
  • Cracked or broken stairs
  • Extension cords that are loose

If you or a loved one is harmed in an accident this Memorial Day weekend, then you need to get medical care as soon as possible. Once your injuries have been handled by a medical professional, then you should contact our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton. We can help you pursue financial compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other damages.

Sometimes an unsafe accident scene does not necessarily indicate that the property owner was careless. As the injured party, you must establish that the property owner was aware of the harmful condition yet did nothing to address it. Our attorneys have a wealth of knowledge demonstrating that property owners failed to take reasonable safeguards and endangered visitors.

You can contact us online 24/7 or you can call us any time of the day or night at 866-608-5529. Your consultation with us is always free. Continue reading


School buses happen to be one of the safest vehicles on the roadway. Every day, millions of children ride school buses and less than 1% of all traffic deaths involve children on school buses.

School buses are designed so that they are highly visible to others and are equipped with safety features like flashing red lights, stop-arm signs, cross-view mirrors, high crush standards, protective seating, and rollover protection features.

Children are at a greater risk of being involved in an accident when entering or exiting a school bus than when they are passengers on one, so it is very important for all drivers, parents, and students to understand school bus safety.


A new report by Tripadvisor shows that 3 cities in Florida – Orlando, Miami and Key West – are among the top 5 most popular vacation destinations in the U.S. The Sunshine State boasts beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches and waterways, fun night life, exciting theme parks and water parks, and of course, delicious cuisine. Figures from show that in 2021, Florida saw 122.4 million visitors. With that many people coming to Florida, there are bound to be some mishaps that lead to injuries.

Below you will find the top five most common injuries suffered by tourists visiting Florida:

  1. Fractures and broken bones: Falling from a height or other traumas can certainly result in fractures or broken bones, but the most common reason for fractures or broken bones are car accidents. According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department, around 200,000 car accidents occur annually on Florida’s roadways, equaling out to 650 crashes per day. Visitors who are unfamiliar with the road and traffic patterns are at a greater risk of being involved in a car accident. Many tourists elect to not drive themselves and use rideshare services, like Uber or Lyft. These are great services, but also carry risks. If you are injured while on a ride with an Uber or Lyft driver, we can help.
  2. Internal organ injuries: Florida is ranked as the No. 1 most dangerous state in the country for pedestrian deaths, according to U.S. News. With that said, tourists are at a great risk of being hit by a car while walking or biking to their destinations. If you are lucky enough to survive being struck by a car, then you could be left suffering severe damage to internal organs, like your stomach, spleen, heart, kidneys, liver, and brain.
  3. Injured-on-Vacation-300x300Neck and head injuries: Car accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls, sporting and recreational accidents, and too much alcohol consumption are all common causes of head and neck injuries. Using golf carts, bikes, electric scooters – all popular modes of transportation in the Sunshine State – can present risks to tourists who are not used to using these vessels. Hiking, surfing, paddle boarding, parasailing, snorkeling, and kayaking are all recreational activities that many tourists partake in, but there are inherent risks.
  4. Soft tissue injuries: These injuries involve muscles, tendons, and ligaments and commonly result in sprains, strains, tendinitis, bursitis, and contusions. Many of these injuries are the result of sporting activities, but they can also occur from slip and fall or trip and fall incidents. Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents often happen at resorts and hotels in Florida vacation destinations, especially those that have beach access and swimming pools. Hotel owners are responsible for making sure that their premises are free from any and all hazards that could lead to guests sustaining injuries. If the premises are not properly maintained and clear of clutter, water, and debris, or have no warning signs about any dangerous conditions, then the hotel could be held liable for any injuries suffered by guests.
  5. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): A TBI is an injury that affects how the brain works. A blow, bump or jolt to the head can lead to a mild TBI or concussion, a moderate TBI or a severe TBI. The CDC reports that there were 64,000 TBI-related deaths in the U.S. in 2020. There can be numerous reasons for TBIs, but most Florida visitors suffer TBIs from recreational activities, like jet skiing, swimming and diving, boating, and parasailing.

Whatever injuries you have suffered, whether from a negligent hotel or a faulty jet ski rental beach company, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can pinpoint who is liable and pursue financial compensation for your suffering. We specialize in all types of personal injuries and wrongful death cases, including what is known as “resort torts,” or injuries or death that happen while on vacation and staying at a resort, hotel, or in a recreational setting. Continue reading


Hyundai and Kia have issued a warning to vehicle owners of 484,577 cars and SUVs across the United States to keep using their vehicles, but keep them parked outside and away from any structures as they could contain a defect that could cause the vehicles to burst into flames unexpectedly, even if the car is turned off.

What is the problem? Possible “foreign contaminants” in the anti-lock brake computer control module can short circuit and cause the engine compartment to potentially catch fire.

Hyundai is recalling 357,830 automobiles, including the following vehicles:

  • 2014 Tucson SUVs
  • 2015 Tucson SUVs
  • 2016 Santa Fe SUVs
  • 2017 Santa Fe SUVs
  • 2018 Santa Fe SUVs
  • 2017 Santa Fe Sport SUVs
  • 2018 Santa Fe Sport SUVs
  • 2019 Santa Fe XL models

Kia has recalled 126,747, including the following:

  • 2014 Sportage SUVs
  • 2015 Sportage SUVs
  • 2016 Sportage SUVs
  • 2016 K900 sedans
  • 2017 K900 sedans
  • 2018 K900 sedans

fire-g6834a84ab_1920-300x169According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Kia said they know of three vehicles that have caught fire. Kia did say that vehicle owners can continue driving their recalled vehicles, but should not park near any structures or buildings.

If you are a Kia or Hyundai vehicle driver, then you can check the status of your vehicle by contacting the company’s customer service department or by checking the NHTSA’s auto safety website.

Dealers are starting to replace the recalled vehicles’ anti-lock braking control module, which is a small computer system that controls the vehicle’s emergency anti-lock braking system at no cost to owners. They will also replace a fuse that controls the electric current to the anti-lock braking control unit that will reduce the amount of power entering the module.

Seeking Compensation for Vehicle Fires

If you have been the victim of a vehicle fire, then we encourage you to speak with our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton about filing a personal injury claim for financial compensation. We can help you understand what you need to do to pursue a financial award for property damage, physical injuries, and all other damages related to the dangerous vehicle. Continue reading


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its preliminary data for January-September (the first nine months of the year) for 2021.

Their projections estimate that 31,720 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes for the first nine months of 2021, which is about a 12% increase from the first nine months of 2020.

This projection is not just higher than 2020 or even 2019. It is actually the highest number of fatalities during the first nine months of any year since 2006 AND the largest percentage jump during the first nine months in the history of the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.


The tradition of a real Christmas tree may be something your family enjoys partaking in every year. Loading everybody up in the car and heading to the tree farm to select your perfect tree, chop it down, and bring it home to decorate might be what Christmas means to you. Fresh trees smell great and can be quite charming, but you may not realize that real trees can be very hazardous when they are dry. A dry tree combined with fireplaces, hot Christmas lights, and any other sources of heat can be a recipe for real disaster. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association has said that dry Christmas trees can quickly turn into a rapidly spreading fire that burns even faster than paper. If your version of Christmas involves a live tree, then you need to know how to prevent a tree fire from ruining your holiday.

How Do Dry Trees Lead to a Fire?

Take a look at this video published by the National Fire Protection Association to see just how hazardous an unwatered Christmas tree can really be.

What starts as a small flame quickly demolishes the tree in just a few seconds. At 30 seconds, the entire room is engulfed in a blaze. This is how Christmas tree fires happen every year and devastate families holiday traditions.

How to Prevent Christmas Tree Fires

Perhaps the most logical answer for this is to just water your live tree. Trees that are hydrated are much less likely to start a blaze.

Live Christmas trees must be watered daily. Many people do not realize that their live tree needs water every single day. Research indicates that 70% of people with live trees are unaware that their tree needs water daily. Only 45% of people with live trees actually water them daily, so there is a huge risk of fires happening in households all across Florida and the rest of the U.S.

While you want to make sure that your Christmas tree is watered daily, you also want to make sure that you are purchasing a hydrated tree before you get it home. You can do this by only buying a tree that has been freshly chopped. Trees that have been previously cut weeks ago have been losing water and because of their dehydrated state, it can be much more difficult to get them hydrated so that they do not pose risk of catching fire.

In addition to watering your tree, you can also follow these tips to prevent a fire:

  • Make sure all lights do not have loose connections or any frayed cords
  • Just use one extension cord for your tree lights so that nothing gets too tangled
  • Turn the lights off on your tree every day/night before leaving or going to sleep
  • DO NOT place candles near your tree
  • Keep your tree AT LEAST THREE FEET from any heat source
  • By observing the above tips, you can make sure your holiday goes smoothly.

Get Help from Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton Continue reading


Whittel & Melton is pleased to announce that its founding partner Jason M. Melton has been named to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® again for 2021, an annual listing that highlights the most exceptional attorneys throughout  the country in high value and high stakes litigation matters. Jason Melton has been distinguished among his peers for 2020 and 2021 as America’s America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®. 

logo-150x150-1In order to be considered for the high honor of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, an attorney must meet specific criteria, including litigating business matters for a plaintiff or defendant with at least two million dollars at stake. Candidates are then screened meticulously through data analysis of their professional experience, litigation experience, their case results, their peer reputation, their high stakes litigation matters, and the impact they have on their community. Once they are ranked accordingly, less than one-half percent (.5%) of active attorneys throughout the country will receive the high honor of being named an exclusive and high level top litigator. To learn more about this great achievement, click here. 

Jason Melton is a skilled personal injury, wrongful death, and criminal trial attorney in the state of Florida. He has battled against large insurance companies and major corporations in the civil arena, which has earned him the honor of being a high stakes litigator. Jason has been a past president and treasurer of the Hernando County Bar Association and is active in many local charities, including two annual college scholarship programs that he founded. Jason has also earned an AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell, and has been listed among Florida’s Super Lawyers. He is a founding member of the National Academy of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers and was named Top 20 Motorcycle Injury Lawyer in the United States in 2020. Continue reading

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