Articles Posted in Personal Injury Claim

The Florida Supreme Court came to a decision this week that overturned the state law limiting pain and suffering, and other non-economic, monetary awards in medical malpractice cases.

Previously, a person that suffered an injury due to medical malpractice could only be awarded $500,000 for pain and suffering by the court regardless of what a jury decided. If a person was catastrophically injured, the limit capped out at an even million. However, these limits do not include monetary damages for lost wages, medical care, or any other losses – they strictly cover pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.

The Supreme Court based its decision on a 2007 case where a woman was undergoing surgery for her carpal tunnel syndrome. After the surgery, her throat was injured when removing a breathing tube, and this injury led to a six week coma and other serious injuries. When her case finally came to trial, a jury awarded her $4 million, however, the court reduced the award by half due to the state law limiting medical malpractice damages.

In 2014, the woman’s appeal verdict was found in her favor, striking down the cap. The court ruled that the limit violated the equal protection clause due to the arbitrary basis for reducing damages in the law. The court basically found that the law did not make sense, and now the Supreme Court has weighed in. They agreed with the appellate court and upheld the decision.

It is unclear if the caps on medical malpractice claims in other states will be challenged now. The Florida Supreme Court only impacts Florida law.

Medical malpractice is classified as any negligence of a health care provider that causes an injury. When a doctor, nurse or healthcare facility fails to provide a patient with quality medical care, they can be held liable for their carelessness.

Continue reading

A school bus accident in Williston sent 13 students to Regional General Hospital with minor injuries Wednesday.  

According to reports, Levy County school bus 0409 was stopped at a railroad crossing in the 800 block of East Noble Avenue shortly after 7:30 a.m. when the driver of a 2006 Dodge truck struck the bus from behind.

The driver of the Dodge truck was cited for following too closely, according to reports. The students on the bus attend Joyce Bullock Elementary and Williston Elementary schools.

As a parent, there is nothing scarier than finding out your child has been injured while getting to and/or from school on a school bus. When you send your children on a school bus, you trust that they will arrive at their intended destination safely. Even though school buses are widely considered to be the safest form of transportation for school children, the reality is that injuries on school buses can and do happen. If your child suffers an injury on a school bus, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any medical bills or other damages endured. After an accident like this, you should always contact a Levy County Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible to discuss a potential legal claim.

There are many complicated issues surrounding school bus accident cases and it is important to make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for your child’s losses. Losses/damages can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disabilities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Continue reading

A woman is suing Wal-Mart Stores for negligence in a store accident that resulted in a stack of tables falling on her arm.

The woman filed a complaint on March 20 in the Orange County Circuit Court against Wal-Mart alleging that its store failed to provide a reasonably safe environment for its patrons.

According to the complaint, the woman says that on May 21, 2016, she suffered bodily injury, disability, medical expenses, loss of earnings and aggravation of a previously existing condition resulting from the negligent action of an employee as he allowed a stack of tables to fall on her arm.

She holds Wal-Mart responsible because the store failed to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance, inspection, customer service or mode of operation of the premises.

The woman is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $15,000 together with interest and costs.

When you set foot inside a retail store you expect you will be provided with a reasonably safe shopping experience. In fact, retail stores are legally obligated to maintain safe premises. If you slip, trip, fall or suffer another type of injury in a retail store you may have a valid legal claim against the store for financial compensation.

Many retail store injuries can leave you emotionally traumatized and physically unable to work. When you are unable to work, your finances can wind up in complete disarray. If you have suffered due to the negligence of a retail store employer or owner, let our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton help you obtain the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

Continue reading

Hurricane season doesn’t officially begin until June 1, but President Donald Trump has proclaimed this week ‘National Hurricane Preparedness Week.’

The time to prepare is now, before any storms make it to Florida. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard- this could be a deadly mistake.

Many people facing tropical storms and hurricanes last year in Florida, wish they had been more prepared, and for good reason. This is why President Trump hopes people get prepared right now during Hurricane Preparedness Week.

Your to do list should include:

  • Coming up with an evacuation plan
  • Getting your disaster supplies together
  • Calling your insurance company for a checkup to make sure you have the right coverage
  • Checking your home to make sure it’s in good condition and can withstand a storm
  • Checking in with your neighbors on their storm plans
  • Writing down your hurricane plan so your whole family is in the know

Our Florida Hurricane & Storm Damage Lawyers at Whittel & Melton would like to recap the 2016 hurricane season. We started with a rare January hurricane, Alex, and ended with Hurricane Otto which made landfall in Nicaragua on November 24. This year was an above-average season. There were 15 named storms and 7 hurricanes. There were 3 major hurricanes: Gaston, Matthew and Nicole. Category 5 Matthew was the strongest one.

Continue reading

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday celebrated today- the 5th of May! The date is observed to recognize the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is heavily celebrated. Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to help you celebrate safely. Here’s how to have an unforgettable and safe Cinco de Mayo:

Plan Ahead

All-terrain vehicle-related injuries are a huge problem across the United States, and we see more children affected than adults. According to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the major risk factors for young riders also are entirely preventable.

Their studies show that the injuries children sustain from ATV-related accidents are frequently more severe than injuries received from motor vehicle crashes.

Researchers reviewed data from 16 published studies conducted from 2000 to 2010 on the epidemiology and risk factors among ATV-related injuries in American children.

Data from 2013, the most recent reporting year from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, showed that there were an estimated 99,600 ATV-related injuries in the United States that required at least emergency department treatment. Of those, approximately 25 percent were in children under 16.

The factors that appear related to the relatively high rates of death and injury for children are more powerful machines, younger drivers and lack of safety equipment and risky driving behavior. The most common causes for ATV injuries among young riders are vehicle rollover, collision with a stationary object and ejection from the vehicle.

One of the biggest dangers is when children are given free rein to use an adult-sized machine, like an ATV. The truth is that ATVs are often driven by children too young for a driver’s license, and allowing them access to these machines that are prone to flipping over and rolling is just not a good idea. It is very easy for kids to lose control of these machines, as ATVs can reach speeds above 50 MPH. Most parents would not allow their child to drive a car at that speed, and cars are outfitted with airbags and seat belts, where ATVs are not.

ATV accident victims can suffer severe injuries and even wrongful death. Traumatic brain injuries are common for ATV accident victims, and these injuries usually require long-term medical care.

Continue reading

Nearly two dozen visitors to Six Flags America in Bowie, Maryland, were stuck on a roller coaster when it stalled Thursday.

A spokesman for Prince George’s County Fire Department said firefighters rescued all riders on board the Joker’s Jinx coaster four hours after crews arrived to rescue them.

Six Flags issued a statement about the incident:

Joker’s Jinx did not complete its regular ride cycle causing it to stop at a safe location on the track. The Prince George’s County Fire Department is onsite to assist in getting the riders safely off the ride. The safety of our guests is our highest priority and the ride will be closed for a thorough inspection before re-opening.

The ride has had this problem before when it became stuck in 2014. The rescue took hours.

Roller coasters, while thrilling, are the most dangerous rides at amusement and theme parks. Each year, roller coaster and theme park injuries account for 9,000 emergency room visits.

If an amusement park’s negligence results in an accident, whether it be a roller coaster stalling or a slip and fall accident, injury victims may be entitled to financial compensation from the amusement park owners for their suffering.

Continue reading

Shaquille O’Neal has bought new furniture for the family of a 5-year-old Atlanta girl who survived a dog attack that left another child dead.

According to reports, the girl returned home this week after being hospitalized since the Jan. 17 attack. The two children were walking to a bus stop when they were attacked by two dogs. One died from his injuries. The dogs’ owner has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

O’Neal met the family at an Atlanta furniture store and picked up the tab for new items. The family said that the former NBA star and current TNT analyst has been involved with the family since the attack.

This may come as a surprise, but nearly 4.7 million Americans are attacked by dogs every year. These attacks result in 800,000 people requiring medical treatment for their injuries. Sadly, the dog attacks that result in fatalities usually involve innocent children.

It is true that most dogs go through their lives without delivering harm to anyone. However, most does not mean all and traumatic dog attacks do happen. If a victim survives a dog attack, they are usually left to deal with painful, permanent scarring to the face and body.

Continue reading

Drivers should anticipate an increase in motorcycle traffic on Florida roads, as thousands of motorcyclists ride into Daytona for the 76th annual Daytona Bike Week March 10-19.

With that said, Florida has the most motorcycle crash fatalities in the nation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to the most recent crash data, Florida saw a 30 percent increase in motorcycle deaths in 2015, the highest on record. Motorcyclists accounted for 20 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in the state, yet motorcycles account for only 3 percent of registered vehicles. In 2015, 606 people died and 9,045 were injured in motorcycle crashes on Florida roads.

The top counties for motorcycle fatalities are:

  1. Miami-Dade
  2. Hillsborough
  3. Broward
  4. Palm Beach
  5. Pinellas
  6. Lee
  7. Orange
  8. Duval
  9. Brevard
  10. Pasco
  11. Polk
  12. Volusia

Motorcyclists lack the protection offered to drivers of cars and trucks. Collisions that would cause minor injuries to a car or truck driver can be fatal to motorcyclists. That is why the fatality rate for motorcyclists in accidents is six times the fatality rate for passenger vehicle occupants.

Continue reading

Manzana Products Co. Inc. is voluntarily recalling three different types of Trader Joe’s apple sauces because of the potential presence of glass pieces.

The three applesauces recalled are:

  1. Trader Joe’s All Natural Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  2. Trader Joe’s Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  3. Trader Joe’s First Crush Gravenstein Unsweetened Apple Sauce

Each apple sauce is packaged in a 24-ounce glass jar, and customers can find the “best before” date stamped on the top of the lid.

The recall was initiated after the company received customer reports of glass found in some of these products.

The company said that all products have been removed from store shelves and destroyed.

Customers who have purchased the products listed above should not consume them. They may return them to Trader Joe’s for a full refund or throw them away.

Call Manzana Products Co. Inc. at 707-823-5313 with any questions.

Swallowing glass can pose serious health concerns. Sharp foreign objects, like glass, can cause laceration, puncture or other physical injury to someone’s teeth, jaw, tongue, perioral tissue, pharynx or esophagus. Once swallowed, glass or any foreign body can also cause injuries to the stomach, intestine or rectum while passing through the lower gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, the foreign matter cannot be passed and requires surgery.

Another concern of swallowing a foreign object, like glass, is the choking hazard. If a shard of glass is caught in a person’s throat, this can result in hypoxic brain injury or asphyxia related death.

Continue reading

Contact Information