Articles Posted in Personal Injury Claim


Celebrating the Fourth of July is one of the best ways to welcome summer. This national holiday in the United States is one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year. There are numerous ways to have fun on the Fourth of July, including outdoor events like pool parties, backyard BBQs, and fireworks displays. If safety is not prioritized at these events, the holiday can also bring about catastrophe.

These Fourth of July safety recommendations from our personal injury attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you enjoy Independence Day safely.

The Most Dangerous US Holiday

Over the Fourth of July weekend, the National Safety Council (NSC) predicts that over 619 people will pass away on the road and over 70,600 will have nonfatal injuries for which they will seek medical attention. The Fourth of July is the deadliest holiday of the year in the United States, and it is not only because of traffic accidents. When everyone is in the mood to party with explosives and safety is put on the back burner, unintended injuries and mishaps can happen in a matter of seconds.

Additionally, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year is the one before the holiday. Accident risk is multiplied as a result of increased traffic and airport passenger flow. Add alcohol and/or drugs to this and you have a recipe for disaster.

Untitled-design-44-200x300Fireworks Safety: Know the Laws

On the Fourth of July, Roman candles, airborne fireworks, fountains, and other novelty firecrackers are allowed to be set off in Florida. On all other days of the year, all loud or projectile fireworks are strictly forbidden.

You can read more about fireworks safety here.

Grill and Burn Injuries

On July Fourth, careless use of pyrotechnics is the primary cause of most burn injuries. Over the holiday, improper grilling can also result in life-threatening burn injuries. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that from 2017 to 2021, there were 22,155 emergency room visits annually as a result of grill-related injuries.

Here are a few grill safety tips that can keep you and your guests safe this Fourth of July holiday:

  • Never leave a grill unattended. Always make sure an adult is watching any open flames—preferably someone who is sober.
  • Place the grill outside in a well-ventilated location at least 10 feet away from buildings, trees, or anything else that can easily catch fire.
  • Do not light coals that are already on fire with lighter fluid.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.


If you or someone you love suffers a burn injury as a result of someone else’s careless behavior, make sure to you make getting medical care your number one priority and then contact our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton.

Pool Safety

A backyard pool party can increase the excitement of a Fourth of July party and keep everyone cool from the heat of the summer. However, if the necessary precautions to ensure safety are not taken, swimming pool mishaps can happen.

Make sure all younger swimmers are well watched while in the water, and forbid any rough play. When planning a pool party, consider the level of experience of each swimmer. Any games and pool gadgets that pose serious safety dangers should be banned. Additionally, make sure there are enough of life jackets and other flotation devices that are Coast Guard approved are available in case of emergency.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when having people over for a pool party:

  • Never allow someone to swim alone. It is always better to have another person nearby who can assist in case there is a drowning incident.
  • Never run near the pool. This is one of the most common reasons for slip and fall accidents.
  • Never dive. Most backyard swimming pools are not deep enough for safe head-first diving.
  • Stay alert. Pay attention to what is going on around you so you can help, if needed, or take the right precautions to prevent any injuries.
  • Have a CPR-trained adult present in the case of emergency.
  • Try to keep people away from the pool who are obviously drunk.

Enjoy the Holiday Safely And Contact Us if You Need Assistance 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


Decorating for the Christmas season is something millions of people partake in every year, and your Christmas tree is a holiday staple. Getting into the Christmas spirit by decorating is great fun, but you may be unaware that Christmas trees can be huge dangers to your home. However, if you know the risks associated with Christmas trees, then you can be prepared in the event of an accident.

Our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We want your holiday season to be happy and bright, so here are 4 Christmas tree hazards you should familiarize yourself with:

  1. Both Real and Artificial Christmas Trees Can Catch Fire

Many people are unaware that real or artificial trees can catch fire and cause serious burn injuries or home fires. You can prevent burns and fires from happening by:

  • Christmas-Tree-Safety-101-4-Dangers-of-Christmas-Trees-You-Should-Know-200x300Selecting a fresh Christmas tree if you are opting for a real one. Look for green needles that do not shed easily.
  • Keep an eye on your tree’s water level daily and make sure that it does not dry out.
  • If you are going with an artificial tree, check the labels before you purchase it to make sure that it is flame-retardant.
  • Keep your real or artificial tree at least three feet away from heat sources, like candles, fireplaces, radiators, heat vents, lamps, and space heaters.
  • Turn your Christmas tree lights off anytime you are away from home or when going to bed.
  • If your real tree starts showing signs that it is drying out, then it is time to dispose of your tree. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that 37% of Christmas tree fires start in January, so keep checking on your tree after Christmas.
  1. Christmas Lights Can Be Hazardous

Many people opt for string lights when decorating their trees, mantles, etc., but if not used properly, these lights can lead to electrocution injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says 20% of holiday decoration injuries that are treated in emergency rooms in the U.S. are related to Christmas tree lights. Here are some Christmas light tips to keep in mind when decorating:

  • Check that the lights you plan to use are designed for indoor use.
  • Do not use lights that have frayed or punctured cables, broken bulbs, or other signs that they are defective.
  • Do not overload your outlets – use an extension cord and do not connect more than three standard-size sets of Christmas lights to one extension cord.
  • If you have a real tree, then keep extension cords away from the tree’s water source.
  • Never place cords under rugs as they could overheat.
  • Never try to squeeze cords behind furniture where they can pinch – this can lead to fraying and cause the cords to short.
  1. Be Mindful of Slip and Fall Accidents When You Are Decorating

For bigger trees, you may require a ladder to help you reach the top. It is easy to fall off a ladder when decorating, so proceed with caution when decorating.

  • Do not use a chair to reach the top of your tree – ladders or step stools are much better options. Chairs are not designed for people standing on them, making them more susceptible to toppling over.
  • Have someone else nearby who can spot you and hand you ornaments and other décor that you may need. The less you must move around while using a ladder or step stool, the better.
  • Keep any cords out of walkways so that no one will trip and fall.
  1. Decorate Safely for Children and Pets

Small children and pets will be very interested in your holiday décor, so keep these tips in mind so that you can prevent children and pet injuries during the holidays:

  • Extension cords need to be out of sight and out of reach. Kids can get tangled in them and pets may chew on them.
  • Ensure that your tree is secure in its base, as kids or pets that push or pull on the tree could cause it to tip over, resulting in injuries.
  • Watch that pets and kids do not drink from your real tree’s waters. Any fertilizers or bacteria present could upset your child or pet’s stomach.
  • The best thing you can do with kids and pets around is to not leave them unattended around your tree.

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ZEPHYRHILLS, FL – Two people were hospitalized today after a vehicle they were working under fell on top of them, reports WFLA.

The incident happened on Windknob Court at an unspecified time on April 18. Pasco County Fire Rescue designated the men as trauma alerts and scrambled two medical helicopters to the area.

Little else is known about the incident at this time. We will provide updates as possible.


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.


Using a rideshare service, like Uber or Lyft following a party or big night out at the bar or club on New Year’s Eve is a responsible thing for someone to do after they have been drinking. NYE is a busy time and Uber and Lyft drivers are placed at a disadvantage when it comes to maneuvering roads shared with drunk drivers.

If you drive for Uber or Lyft, then our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to stay alert for drunk drivers on the roadways. We know this is a popular time to work and make some good money, the tradeoff is that there are risks of running into drunk drivers and other negligent drivers on the roads.

app-gbfc8a35b4_1920-300x200Every rider you pick up and drop off means one less drunk driver on the roads, which is great, but not everyone will make the responsible decision to get a sober ride home, so we encourage you to stay alert and brush up on some safety tips, especially if you are not accustom to driving late night/early morning hours.


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


July Fourth weekend is upon us and there may be no better way to spend the summer holiday than surrounded by your family and friends taking in fireworks, grilling, swimming, or even boating in one of Florida’s abundant waterways. As most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, this year’s Fourth of July festivities will be in full swing. As you and your family/friends prepare for a fun-filled weekend, our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to also think about your safety and plan accordingly. Here are some tips for staying safe this holiday weekend: 

#1: Fireworks Should Be Left to Professionals

Sparklers and other common fireworks can be quite dangerous when used incorrectly. Sparklers are usually thought to be harmless, but did you know that these handheld fireworks can reach smoldering temps of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit? Such high temps can easily lead to severe burn injuries, especially for children handling these without supervision. We want you and your loved ones to remain safe this Fourth of July, so please take in a professional fireworks show instead of attempting to light your own fireworks. 


On Thursday, a partial collapse of a Champlain Towers South, a condo building in Surfside, Florida, occurred that is currently under investigation. The 12-story building resulted in multiple deaths and at least 150 more people missing. 

First responders and firefighters are conducting a search and rescue mission for all survivors and federal agencies are assisting on the state and local level. 

jsar-2680391_1920-300x225Partial Collapse of Champlain Towers South

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