Articles Posted in TBI


Florida lawmakers are discussing a potential law that would make helmets mandatory for motorcycle riders under 21.

Sen. Keith Perry’s (R-Gainesville) bill would change the helmet exemption from 16 to 21. Under the change, drivers over 21 must have an insurance policy for at least $10,000 to ride without a helmet.

Any motorcyclist under 21 not wearing a helmet would be charged with a traffic infraction.

According to AAA, motorcycle accident deaths in Florida are up 30 percent since 2014, with 606 motorcyclists losing their lives in 2015 alone.

Lawmakers have tried and failed to bring back the mandatory helmet law the legislature repealed in 2000.

The new bill would require that motorcyclists and moped drivers under the age of 21 wear helmets.

Still, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration finds it’s not young people but motorcyclists 40 and over who are more likely to die in accidents: that age group comprised 54 percent of motorcycle fatalities in 2015.

One of every five motorcycle crashes reported results in head or neck injuries. Head injuries are are far more common in motorcycle crashes. Research shows that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of neck or head injury. Most crashes on a motorcycle happen on shorter trips and even with low-speed crashes, there can be a fatality. For most riders who are travelling at around 30 miles an hour when they get get involved in a crash, helmets can cut both the number and the severity of injuries by half. Regardless of what speed a motorcyclist is travelling at, not wearing a helmet places you at an increased risk of suffering from a head injury or wrongful death than riders who are wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

Continue reading


A 26-year-old man on a scooter suffered serious injuries after a crash Tuesday morning in Clearwater.

According to police, the man was riding a scooter that collided with an SUV just before 7 a.m. on Belcher Road just north of Drew Street.

The man is in critical condition at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.

Officers believe the man was travelling northbound on Belcher Road on his scooter when the 48-year-old driver of the SUV tried to exit a convenience store parking lot to go southbound on Belcher, triggering the collision.

Authorities claim the scooter driver was not wearing a helmet.

An investigation into the crash is pending.

Scooter vs. automobile accidents can be deadly, strictly due to the size and lack of protection that a scooter provides to a driver. If a scooter driver/passenger does survive, they are likely left suffering severe injuries. Most scooter accidents involve ejections and not wearing a helmet can only make these injuries more tragic.

There are many reasons for scooter vs. automobile accidents, including reckless or negligent driving, drivers failing to see the scooter, poor visibility/bad weather, roadway defects and even driver impairment. Regardless of what caused an accident, it is important to get an injury attorney involved right away to make sure all evidence is promptly collected, witnesses are interviewed and insurance companies involved are dealt with accordingly. Our Clearwater Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know that these types of cases can be complex, mostly because insurance companies are quick to place the blame on the scooter driver. We can help make sure your rights are protected and that we do everything we can to recover full and fair compensation on your behalf for all injuries.

Continue reading


A 20-year-old Seminole woman visiting Busch Gardens was hit by a stray bullet fired into the air during New Year’s Eve celebrations Wednesday night, according to police.

According to Tampa police, the woman was sitting in the Gwazi Pavilion area around 11:50 p.m. when she felt pain in her lower left leg. Busch Gardens Medical Services assisted the woman and transported her to St. Joseph’s Hospital.

X-rays showed a bullet lodged in her leg, according to reports. No other injuries were reported at the theme park.

902817172_d0a9bfcb7a_zA Busch Gardens spokesman said it appears the gunfire came from off the premises.

The incident just reiterates how dangerous firing weapons into the air can be.

In 2012, a stray bullet came down and pierced the skull of a 12-year-old boy as he watched fireworks outside his family’s home in Ruskin. The bullet traced diagonally through his brain, leaving him comatose for several days.

Many people celebrate New Year’s Eve by firing guns into the air. However, what these people fail to realize is that this can cause serious injury or death. When bullets are fired into the air, they fall with great force, creating an impact substantial enough to cause serious injury and even death. The risk of fatality is usually far greater than for gunshot injury victims due to the fact that victims are usually struck in the head. Head injuries like these can mean loss of cognitive abilities, sensation and movement. Traumatic brain injuries from gunshot wounds often entail a lifetime of rehabilitation and medical bills.

Continue reading


A Virginia mother has filed a $1 million lawsuit against Trimper’s Rides and Amusements in Ocean City alleging that a ride left her 2-year-old son with a traumatic brain injury.

The woman filed the personal injury claim in U.S. District Court on July 23, and according to the court filing, her son and his young cousins were on the Hampton I, a ride geared toward children that features miniature trucks and cars that travel in a circle, when an operator stopped the ride to let another child off.

However, when the ride came to an abrupt stop, the woman’s son thought the ride was finished and exited his car. But, according to the complaint, the operator started the ride back up and one of the cars hit her son, knocking him down and “fracturing his skull on the cement floor.”

3494898735_0a93ccc660_mThe lawsuit alleges the boy, who was 2 at the time, was “slammed into the floor and crushed between the ride’s tracks and the vehicle which had impacted him, as the vehicle continued along the tracks.”

Since the accident in June 2012, the lawsuit claims that the woman’s son has had significant medical expenses and suffered continued daily ill effects from his injuries.

The woman has accused the ride operator of being negligent due to the fact that he failed to secure all passengers and to check that the tracks were clear before resuming the ride.

Generally, in order to prove a negligence claim, it must be demonstrated that the defendant had an obligation to act in a responsible manner and with reasonable care in a specific situation and that the result of the defendant ignoring that duty caused an injury. This lawsuit alleges that the ride operator committed negligence because the ride was restarted before a sweep was done to make sure all children were secured in their seats and that the tracks were clear.

For this specific case, the operator of the ride would likely be found to have a duty to operate the ride in a reasonably safe manner. Any negligence found on the part of the individual operator could also lead to legal liability for the park’s owners as well since employers can be held responsible for negligent, careless or reckless acts committed by employees during the course of employment.

The two most common defenses to negligence claims are assumption of risk, where it is believed that the situation was so inherently or obviously dangerous that the injury victim should have known there were hazards and took the chance that he or she could be injured, and when a person acts carelessly and causes his own injuries. Although, these defenses could be difficult to prove due to the fact that the injured party is a  2-year-old child.

Continue reading


Slip, trip, and fall accidents are a primary cause of injury in the United States for people of all ages and genders. June is National Safety Month, which is why it is important to address these risks, and for all of us in Florida to strive to help prevent future accident injuries.

The Second Week of National Safety Week Is Dedicated to Fall Prevention

Caution_wet_floorThe National Safety Council has dedicated the second week of June to raising awareness about slip and fall and trip and fall injuries. There are many ways we can prevent serious injuries and fatalities throughout our Florida communities, including the following:


A 46-year-old Hudson, Florida man has been charged in a December accident that killed a woman and left a man with serious brain injuries.

The driver was allegedly intoxicated when he crashed his 2004 Lincoln sedan into a moped around 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 15. According to, the impact of the collision instantly killed the passenger on the moped, a 27-year-old female from New Port Richey.

The 24-year-old driver of the moped was reported seriously injured according to Florida Highway Patrol and has had several brain surgeries since the crash.

The man responsible for the crash supposedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.095. He faces charges of DUI manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury and DUI with property damage. His bail was set at $16,000.

If you or a family member has suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by a DUI accident, you could be eligible to recover compensation for the brain or head injuries sustained. The Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you and your loved ones obtain financial compensation for medical expenses, loss of benefits, lost wages, mental anguish, physical pain, medical equipment and rehabilitation fees.

The most common cause of a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an extreme blow or force delivered to the head. The National Institute for Health’s research shows that car accidents, which includes DUI-related collisions are responsible for around half of all TBIs in the U.S. annually. TBIs can take years for a victim to recover from, if there is a possibility for full recovery, and can affect a person’s speech, memory, mobility, concentration, personality, behavior and obviously capacity to earn a living.

TBIs can present themselves in a variety of ways, and it is important to note that you and the ones you care for have rights despite whether injuries can be seen. Brain damage is permanent and can have a wide range of physical, emotional and cognitive symptoms that can often be misunderstood. It is not uncommon for mild TBIs to be overlooked because it can take time for a victim of an accident to start showing signs of injury. Even the slightest brain injuries can have a lasting impact on the way a person lives his or her life. Warning signs associated with a TBI can include nausea, confusion, seizures, depression, personality changes, irritability and other types of behavioral and emotional problems. A TBI can range in seriousness from a mild concussion to permanent physical, mental and emotional impairments, coma, seizure disorders, paralysis and even wrongful death.

The Florida Brain and Head Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton recognize that brain trauma, like TBIs related to DUI wrecks, can create continuing aftereffects. Our staff and attorneys are well experienced working with experts in the fields of neuroanatomy, medicine and rehabilitation planning.

Continue reading

Contact Information