Articles Posted in Uncategorized

From 2017-2019, there were 8,792 fatal crashes in the state of Florida. MoneyGeek analyzed these collisions in order to identify the deadliest roads that make up the 275,376 miles of road in the Sunshine State.

County Results:

Most Deadly Road in Hillsborough County – US-41

Most Deadly Road in Pinellas County – US 19

Most Deadly Road in Pasco County – US 19

Most Deadly Road in Hernando County – US 19

Most Deadly Road in Citrus County – US 19

Most Deadly Road in Alachua County – I-75

Most Deadly Road Levy County – US-27

Most Deadly Road Marion County – SR-40

Most Deadly Road Lake County – US-441

Most Deadly Road Sumter County – US-301

Most Deadly Road Palm Beach County – I-95

Most Deadly Road in Miami-Dade County – US-1

Untitled-design-13-200x300Here are the 10 Deadliest Roads in Florida to Date:

  1. US-19: Denton Ave. to San Marco Dr. located in Pasco County

Total Distance: 4.9 miles

Crashes Per Mile: 5.1

Fatalities: 25

Fatal Crashes: 25

  1. US-41: 23rd to Pearl Ave. located in Bradenton

Total Distance: 4.7 miles

Crashes Per Mile: 4.7

Fatalities: 23

Fatal Crashes: 22

  1. US-41: N. Macdill Ave. to N. 40th Street located in Tampa

Total Distance: 4.8 miles

Crashes Per Mile: 4.4

Fatalities: 21

Fatal Crashes: 21

  1. US-19: 54th N. to Queensboro Ave. S. located in St. Petersburg

Total Distance: 4.7 miles

Crashes Per Mile: 4.3

Fatalities: 20

Fatal Crashes: 20

  1. SR-816: NW 35th to NE 8th Ave. located in Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, and Lauderdale Lakes

Total Distance: 3.7 miles

Crashes Per Mile: 4.9

Fatalities: 19

Fatal Crashes: 18

  1. SR-580: Webb Road to W. Waters Ave. located in Tampa

Total Distance: 4.8 miles

Crashes Per Mile: 3.7

Fatalities: 18

Fatal Crashes: 18

  1. US-19: Lake Tarpon Dr. to Royal Blvd. located in Pinellas County

Total Distance: 4.4 miles

Crashes Per Mile: 3.8

Fatalities: 21

Fatal Crashes: 17

  1. US-19: Royal Blvd. to Lake Tarpon Dr. located in Pinellas County

Total Distance: 4.4 miles

Crashes Per Mile: 3.8

Fatalities: 21

Fatal Crashes: 17

  1. US-19: Embassy Blvd. to Marine Parkway located in New Port Richey and Port Richey

Total Distance: 4.4 miles

Crashes Per Mile: 3.9

Fatalities: 19

Fatal Crashes: 17

  1. SR-50 East Colonial Drive: Old Cheney Highway to Lake Downy Dr located in Orlando

Total Distance: 4.8 miles

Crashes Per Mile: 3.3

Fatalities: 16

Fatal Crashes: 16

Other Key Findings:

  • Drunk Driving caused more fatalities (1,888) than speeding (829) and distracted driving (662) combined
  • March saw the most fatal accidents – 846 within 2017-2019
  • Miami-Dade County had the most fatal accidents (US-1 is the city’s deadliest road)

Injured in a Car Crash in Florida? Call Us Now at 866-608-5529 Continue reading

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with friends, family, and neighbors and share food, drink, and be thankful for all the blessings of the year. This is also a time where injuries can arise easily, so our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have compiled a list of the most common holiday accidents so that you can be prepared and take appropriate precautions.

Car Accidents

According to a report from the National Safety Council, the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday period of Wednesday, November 23-Sunday, November 27 will see an estimated 518 road deaths. If this estimate holds true, this year will be the most Thanksgiving traffic fatalities since 2007. The Thanksgiving holiday sees an increase in crashes and fatalities due to increased congestion on the roads as many people are travelling at the same time and alcohol consumption.

Follow these tips to avoid a car crash this Thanksgiving holiday period:

  • Travel at the posted speed limit
  • Avoid distractions
  • Never text while driving
  • Wear your seatbelt properly no matter how short the distance you are travelling

Fires and Burns

Fires and cooking accidents are very common during the holidays. The biggest reason for fires on Thanksgiving can be traced back to unattended cooking. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 49% of all home fires and 42% of all home fire injuries can be linked to cooking mishaps Cooking accidents are also responsible for 20% of all home fire deaths.

Happy-Thanksgiving-200x300Here are top cooking safety tips to remember this Thanksgiving:

  • Turkey fryers that use cooking oil are not safe and can cause devastating burn injuries. Consider using an infrared fryer, air fryer, or electric turkey fryer if you wish to “fry” your own turkey. You can also purchase a store-bought fried turkey or one from your restaurant of choice.
  • When cooking on a stove top, stay in the kitchen to keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in your home when cooking a turkey, and be sure to check on it often.
  • Keep children away from stoves, hot food, and hot liquids.
  • Make sure knives are kept out of reach of children.
  • Do not leave lit candles unattended.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are in working condition. You can test them by pushing the test button.

Slip and Falls and Trip and Falls

The grocery stores are busy during the Thanksgiving holiday season. You can easily suffer a slip and fall or trip and fall injury at the grocery store grabbing the necessary items to prepare your feast. Wet floors, uneven surfaces, poor lighting, clutter, and more can all lead to grocery store slip and fall accidents. Parking lots filled with cars and busy shoppers can also lead to serious injuries that require medical attention. You can also suffer and slip and fall or trip and fall accident at your own home, friend’s house, or relative’s home this Thanksgiving, so make sure floors stay clean and dry and are not cluttered with the kid’s toys are other belongings that could be hazards.

Food Poisoning

Thanksgiving revolves around turkey and other food items – and when a turkey or other meat is handled improperly then food poisoning can happen quite easily. When other food items are left at room temperature for too long, they can also develop bacteria. To prevent food poisoning, make sure you cook all food thoroughly and check the temperature to ensure it is safe to consume. You also want to throw out any foods that have been sitting out for more than two hours, per the USDA. Reheating something that has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours will not be safe from bacteria.

Whittel & Melton Wishes You a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving! Continue reading

Whatever method of transportation you prefer, car, bus, motorcycle, train, etc., at some point in time, you are a pedestrian.

The sad reality is that pedestrian accident rates resulting in severe injuries and death remain high. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2020 saw 6,516 pedestrian fatalities and another 55,000 pedestrians suffered injuries across the U.S.

October-is-Pedestrian-Safety-Month-200x300Motorists have the duty to maintain safe speeds and exercise other safe driving habits in order to create and keep better walkable communities for everyone.

In order to create safer walking environments, we must go back to the basics.

Below Are 8 Safety Tips for Drivers:

  1. Always keep a watchful eye out for pedestrians.
  2. When driving in bad weather that makes it harder to see, like when it is raining or at night, exercise extreme caution.
  3. When you are turning or entering a crosswalk, be prepared to slow down or stop.
  4. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and make sure to stop at a far enough distance so that other cars can see the approaching pedestrian and stop as well.
  5. Never pass other vehicles that are stopped at crosswalks. There could be pedestrians crossing that you are unable to see from where you are positioned.
  6. Always refrain from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  7. Always follow the posted speed limits, especially in in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are nearby and in places where there are lots of pedestrians on the streets.
  8. Before backing up and in the process of doing so, keep a close eye out for pedestrians that could be approaching behind you.

81-200x300Below Are 8 Safety Tips for Pedestrians:

  1. Always obey all traffic signs and signals that are in place for your protection.
  2. Always use sidewalks when they are available.
  3. If no sidewalk is present, then remember to walk facing traffic and stay as far away from traffic as possible.
  4. Use crosswalks or intersections when you need to get to the other side of the street. Before crossing, look for approaching vehicles from both directions, including cars that may be turning left or right.
  5. If there is no intersection or crosswalk available for use, then be patient and wait for a large enough gap in traffic that will allow you enough time to cross the street safely. As you cross, continue watching for traffic in all directions.
  6. When walking in your neighborhood or in parking lots, watch out for cars backing up.
  7. Avoid drugs and alcohol when walking as they can impair your ability to make sound decisions.
  8. Walking is a healthy form of transportation, so be vigilant and get moving!

Continue reading

A 27-year-old man attending the Steelers game on Sunday died after falling 40 feet from an escalator around 4:30 p.m. after the game ended and crowds of fans were exiting Acrisure Stadium.

According to reports from the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety, EMS responded to a “fall from height” call around 4:45 p.m. at Acrisure Stadium, minutes after the Steelers lost to the Jets.

They tended to the man at the scene, and transported him to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

The Steelers released a statement Sunday evening stating that they were aware of the situation and would assist police in any way to further investigate the matter.

Escalators are easily accessible in airports, large buildings, shopping malls, and stadiums and other large venues. While these devices are certainly convenient for the masses, they are also heavy machines that have many moving parts, so things can go awry very quickly.

Florida-Stadium-Personal-Injury-Lawyers-200x300While we do not often hear about escalator incidents in the news and other media outlets, when these accidents do happen, they are usually unexpected and leave victims suffering from serious injuries if they are lucky enough to survive. After such a tragedy, victims and their families may be wondering who is liable. Is the stadium owner or manager responsible for legal damages?

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed because of a dangerous condition or defect at a sports venue in Florida, then our Florida Stadium Injuries Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help protect your rights. Under premises liability laws, you may be entitled to financial compensation for personal injury or wrongful death damages after a slip and fall or trip and fall at a stadium if the venue’s owner or manager failed to live up to their obligations and keep their premises safe to all spectators and visitors.

What Causes an Escalator Accident?

Escalators are comprised of many moving parts, so when they are poorly designed or maintained, things can go wrong in an instant. The most common escalator accidents happen due to:

  • Fingers getting trapped
  • Escalators changing direction – leading to a pileup
  • Limbs getting trapped between steps
  • Missing comb plates
  • Missing foot brushes
  • Overcrowding
  • Gaps in plates or steps
  • Flaws in the escalator design
  • Clothing and limbs getting stuck in machinery
  • Poor lighting
  • Loose or missing screws
  • Emergency shut-off buttons that fail
  • Defective handrails

Slip and Fall or Trip and Fall Incidents at Stadiums

In order to be successful in a Florida stadium injury or wrongful death lawsuit, it must be shown that the property owner or manager was negligent. Whether filing a claim against Tropicana Field, Silver Spurs Arena, Raymond James Stadium, Pensacola Bay Center, Marlins Park Lockhart Stadium, Lakeland Center, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Hard Rock Stadium, Germain Arena, Florida State Fairgrounds Complex and Expo Hall, FIU Stadium, First Data Field, FAU Stadium, EverBank Field, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, Doak S. Campbell Stadium, CFE Federal Credit Union Arena, Camping World Stadium, Bright House Networks Stadium, Bragg Memorial Stadium, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, BB&T Center, Amway Center, AmericanAirlines Arena, or Amalie Arena, plaintiffs must be able to prove the following elements:

  • The stadium or sports venue owed you a duty of care
  • The owner or manager of the venue knew about a hazard, or should have known about the hazard, and failed to remedy the situation or failed to warn all visitors of the danger
  • The negligence of the owner or manager contributed to your injuries (or the death of a loved one) in some way
  • Economic damages were suffered as a result of the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, funeral expensed, and other financial losses

Continue reading

Christmas is just days away, and this time is filled with laughter, family, friends, and revisiting all the memories you have made this year. The holidays should be a happy time, but each year there are thousands of people who are injured or killed in Christmas and holiday-related accidents. Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you and your loved ones to stay safe this holiday season, so we have compiled a list of the most common Christmas accidents.

Common Christmas Accidents

The holidays bring joy, but also give rise to more accidents and injuries. From DUI accidents to Christmas tree fires, there are numerous accidents that could happen during the holidays, the most common being the following:

  • christmas-g5411a15ae_1920-300x194Decoration/Christmas light accidents: Decking the halls can be deadly. According to Science News, Christmas tree lights cause an estimated 31,855 injuries nationwide each year. Electrical injuries from decorations other than tree lights are estimated to injure 36,054 and nonelectrical decorations injure 80,208 annually. On that same note, using ladders and heavy lifting account for numerous visits to the ER each year.
  • Christmas tree fires: Live Christmas trees require water daily, and when these trees are dry, the risk for a fire increases exponentially. Most people are not aware that live Christmas trees need water daily, and even if they are aware, many forget to do so. If you have a live tree, keep it hydrated. You can read more about preventing Christmas tree fires here.
  • Cooking accidents: Winter holidays are peak times for cooking fires. Cooking equipment and candles all contribute to fire-related accidents around Christmas time in the U.S.
  • Car accidents: The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 371 people will be killed in car accidents across the U.S. for the 2021 Christmas Day holiday period (6 p.m. Thursday, December 23 – 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 26.) Drunk driving, distracted driving, and all other reckless behavior while driving can easily contribute to a fatal car crash.

The easiest way to prevent a Christmas accident from happening, is to celebrate responsibly. Exercise added caution this Christmas season so that you can avoid a slip and fall, a fire, or car crash that can forever impact future Christmas celebrations.

Ho, Ho…Ouch! Common Christmas Injuries

Accidents can happen anytime, but there is an increase during the Christmas holiday season. Broken ornaments, tree and candle fires, ladder falls, cooking accidents, and even wrapping and opening presents can lead to injuries like deep lacerations and burns that can be painful and ruin your holiday.

If you or a loved one suffers a serious injury to do another person’s recklessness or a product defect of some kind, then you could be entitled to financial damages. The most common Christmas injuries are:

  • Burn Injuries
  • Back Injuries
  • Neck Injuries
  • Hand and Finger Injuries
  • Head Injuries
  • Scars and lacerations

If you are injured over the Christmas holiday, then you should remain calm and seek medical care right away. If you are contemplating filing a personal injury claim, you will want to have an attorney assess your case to determine your odds of recovering financial compensation. We will be available 24/7 over this holiday season, so we urge you to call us at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Need Help this Holiday Season with an Injury Claim?

If a Christmas injury has dampened your holidays, then you need to speak with our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton today to learn more about pursuing a legal claim for damages. We can eliminate the stress and hassle these claims can place on you during this hard time and make sure you understand and are updated on the legal process every step of the way. To learn more about how we may be able to assist with your claim, call us now at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Continue reading

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

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, 91, has been accused of sexually assaulting a teen boy in Massachusetts in June of 1974, making him the highest ranking church official to face charges of this nature. 

He was charged Wednesday with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child over the age of 14 in Dedham District Court by the Wellesley Police Department. This is his first criminal charge since he has been accused of abusing seminary students in New Jersey years ago. 

The charges stem from an incident at a wedding in June 1974 in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

According to records, the accuser was 16 at the time of the incident and was also abused at other locations in Massachusetts and in other states, including New Jersey.

McCarrick ranked among powerful officials in the Catholic Church for decades until he was removed from ministry in 2018 after the church found abuse allegations against him to hold merit. He was defrocked a year later following accusations that he abused children and adult seminary students.

While the man has been sued several times by men in New York and New Jersey who claim he abused them as children, the statute of limitations has kept authorities from proceeding with any criminal charges. 

priest-3621038_1920-300x169But now, under Massachusetts law, the statute of limitations would have been suspended when McCarrick, who worked in the New York Archdiocese at the time, left the state after the wedding.

McCarrick was the bishop of Metuchen in the 1980s and the Archbishop of Newark from 1987 to 2000. He was then promoted to be head of the Washington, D.C., Archdiocese even though Pope John Paul II was investigating allegations against McCarrick for abusing adult seminary students at a New Jersey shore home for many years.

A Vatican report issued last year alleged that several New Jersey bishops lied in letters to the pope about what they knew about sexual abuse allegations against McCarrick, which helped him have his promotion approved.

McCarrick is accused of abusing children in other pending lawsuits that were filed in New Jersey under a law that suspended the civil statute of limitations on sex abuse complaints for two years, starting Dec. 1, 2019.

McCarrick is currently residing at the St. John Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Missouri, a home for clerics who have committed sexual abuse and other troubled priests, according to reports. Missouri records apparently show that eight registered sex offenders, including two from New York, live at that address.

If you or your son, daughter, stepchild, niece, nephew, or grandchild were sexually abused by a member of the Catholic church, then you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against the perpetrator of the abuse as well as the Church itself. The diocese has an obligation to keep children and others safe from their employers and should conduct a background check on its employees to make sure that priests and other employees are cleared to be around children. Likewise, any allegations made against priests or other employees should be investigated thoroughly to prevent further sex abuse complaints. If the diocese failed to conduct a background check or knew that a priest had a history of child sex abuse complaints against them or had any other indications that raised any red flags, then they can be held liable for their negligence.  Continue reading

A 24-year-old woman with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit ran a red light in Delray Beach on Sunday and slammed into a couple crossing the street while pushing their two young children in a stroller, according to police.

According to a city police report, the accident happened around 10:40 p.m. Just minutes after the crash occurred at the intersection of East Atlantic Avenue and Gleason Street, the woman apparently fled the scene.

The Boynton Beach woman stopped her vehicle after she plowed her Honda Accord into traffic signs about three minutes away on the 700 block of Southeast Third Street. That is where officers caught up to her and placed her under arrest.

The man and woman she hit were left lying in the road. The stroller they were pushing carried their 4-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy, who were not harmed. The impact of the collision sent the stroller flying into the bushes with the children strapped inside.

Both parents were transported to Delray Medical Center and the children were turned over to family members. According to a police spokeswoman, the mother was released from the hospital Sunday night, while the father remained in the hospital Monday with a serious leg injury.

Police claim a witness to the crash helped them locate the woman accused of hitting the couple. They apparently found her sitting in her silver Accord after she crashed it a second time with the engine running and the windshield smashed. She allegedly admitted to hitting the family and fleeing the scene.

An officer at the scene claims the woman apologized several times.

Police noted the woman had glassy, red eyes and the scent of alcohol on her breath. She allegedly admitted to consuming several vodka drinks.

According to the arrest report, she nearly fell over and struggled to perform the field sobriety exercises she was asked to complete. Several of the tests were ended because the woman could not comprehend the instructions.

Reports indicate that breath tests revealed the woman’s blood alcohol content to be .263 and .265. The legal limit is .08.

car key betch.jpgThe woman has a clean driving record, however she just received her Florida driver’s license about two weeks ago, according to state records.

She is facing charges of DUI causing serious injury and hit and run. She remained jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail as of late Monday.

Any time a driver chooses to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, they knowingly place everyone sharing the road with them in serious danger. Palm Beach County drunken driving accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, including lacerations, disfigurement, broken bones and fractures. These accidents can also cause more serious and even permanent injuries like spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and even death.

Continue reading

Contact Information