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This first weekend in December is one of the most popular periods to decorate your home for the holidays, second only to Thanksgiving weekend.

Additionally, it is the time when safety specialists’ shudder at the surge in hospital emergency rooms.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 160 decorating-related accidents occur every day throughout the holiday season.

Choosing a tree and setting up decorations inside and outside your house might be enjoyable for the whole family, but there is also an added opportunity for injuries to happen.

Every holiday season, more than 5,800 fall injuries are caused by holiday décor mishaps, according to the CDC. A little over 43% of those injuries are the result of ladder falls. According to estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year about 18,000 Americans visit the emergency room due to injuries sustained from putting up Christmas decorations.


Be careful getting that #christmastree up at your home. Here are some #christmas safety idea to think about. Be safe and have a great holiday season. #personalinjurylawyer #tampabay #springhillflorida #gainesvillefl #miamiflorida

♬ original sound – Jason Melton FL Injury Lawyer

The leading cause of ladder-related injuries is a ladder sliding out at the base due to an incorrect setup angle.

Here are some tips for ladder safety during the holidays: 

  • Use the proper ladder or step stool to reach high places. Do you simply need a step stool to change a lightbulb, or do you need an extension ladder to get on your roof to hang Christmas lights? Selecting the appropriate ladder can reduce your risk for injury.
  • Longer ladders are less stable, so use them only when essential. On the other hand, most injuries occur when you reach farther than your normal reach on the ladder. Therefore, you run a higher danger of falling if you utilize a shorter ladder than necessary.
  • Observe the “Three-Point Rule.” When using a ladder, make sure you always have three points of contact: two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand. To climb, grab the ladder’s rungs rather than the side rails.
  • Do not stand on furniture, like desks, chairs, tables, etc.
  • Due to limited stability, most ladders are not intended to support a person at the top. Instead, store your tools, decorations, and other job-related supplies on the top step or cap.
  • If using a step ladder next to a doorway, make sure to lock or barricade the entrance. To ensure that no one opens the door and knocks you off the ladder, you can also post signs on the door.
  • Aluminum ladders or any other metal ladder can conduct electricity. Therefore, stay away from carrying or handling live wires as they may cause electrocution if they encounter metal.
  • Avoid decorating at night and abstain from alcohol both before and during the decorating process.
  • Make sure that a friend, relative, or neighbor is always at the base of the ladder. They can pass objects up to you so you do not have to carry them up the ladder and assist with anchoring the ladder. In the event of an accident, they can also immediately call for assistance.

During the Christmas season, emergency rooms throughout the country are overflowing with victims of holiday decorating disasters. In the months of November and December, there are an average of 230 decor-related injuries treated by American hospitals every day. So that this season can continue to be joyous, please be cautious! Continue reading

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Six people were killed in a collision with a train in Plant City on Sept. 23, and another was seriously injured and expected to survive the crash.

There is a stop sign placed at the railroad crossing where the fatal collision took place, but there is no signal light or crossing arms. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is still looking into why the motorist did not stop.

A Hillsborough County commissioner is considering installing signals and crossbars at each train intersection in the county in the wake of the fatal collision. According to Commissioner Michael Owen, whose district includes Plant City, there are 19 junctions in the county that just have a stop sign and no flashing lights or crossing arms, including the one where the accident occurred.

Untitled-design-80-200x300Owen intends to ask the board’s legal division to investigate what might be done to make those crossings safer during the next commission meeting. The board must first determine what they can do legally because the crossroads where the deadly collision happened on September 23 is located on a private road, according to Owen.

A sudden loss of family members can be devastating, making the task of seeking out a competent wrongful death lawyer much more challenging. You need an experienced wrongful death attorney who is also compassionate and not afraid to obtain the results you need and deserve.

Our Florida Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to get you the economic and non-economic damages you are entitled to, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Wage loss – both now and in the future
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of consortium – love, companionship, mentoring, etc.
  • Financial support

A knowledgeable Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer will know how to properly investigate the accident and gather the testimony and evidence required to establish the cause of death and pinpoint who is responsible. It can be difficult to think about these things when you are mourning the loss of a loved one, but it is essential to take immediate action. Our Florida Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are sensitive, knowledgeable, and experienced in dealing with the legalities of defending your rights amid such a trying time.

There is no cost to you to hire one of our wrongful death attorneys because we work on a contingency fee basis. We do not get paid unless we have helped you win a settlement or verdict. Continue reading

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PASCO COUNTY, FL – Emergency responders were dispatched to the scene of a serious crash in Pasco County Wednesday morning.

In a traffic alert posted at 7 a.m.,  Pasco County Fire Rescue said the accident occurred in the area of State Road 52 and Ehren Cutoff in Land o’Lakes.  Injuries were reported in the wreck but no further details were available on who had been hurt.

All lanes of State Road 52 were shut down between US-41 and Bellamy Brother’s Road.  Drivers were advised to expect significant traffic delays and to move over for first responders.

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Preliminary data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows that already in 2023 Florida has seen 3,863 motorcycle crashes resulting in 219 deaths and 3,341 injuries.

In 2022, Florida saw 9,153 total motorcycle crashes resulting in 590 fatalities and 7,863 injuries.

These staggering statistics tell us that is important to protect yourself in the event of an unfortunate motorcycle accident. Accidents of any kind frequently occur when you least expect them, including motorcycle crashes. You could be driving to work or you might just be running out to get gas or grab a quick dinner for the family. According to the NHTSA, more than 52% of all motor vehicle accidents happen within five miles of where they live, and 69% happen within ten miles. It is best to always drive defensively and anticipate the unexpected.

Your heart will be racing and you might be in shock immediately following an accident. While it is important to know what to do after a motorcycle crash, it is equally important to know what not to do to keep yourself safe.

Below are 3 Things to NOT Do Following a Motorcycle Crash:

  1. Do not worry about calling lawyers, worry about yourself. Our team of attorneys at Whittel & Melton hope you are riding with someone because when your bike goes down after a crash, you are probably very hurt and unable to make important decisions. This is why you need to prioritize your health and safety and get the medical care you need right away.
  2. Do not call insurance companies at the exact moment of your accident. When you are down on the ground injured, this is not the time to call an insurance company. This the time to call police to respond to the event or an ambulance to get you to the hospital.
  3. Do not speak to an insurance company about your accident right away. Whether it is your insurance company or the other driver’s, just know that you do not have to answer any of their questions until you speak to your lawyer.

#motorcycle #bikers #bikerlawyer #motorcyclelawyer @BikersWin @TVBikerDad @Namil.Org

♬ original sound – Jason Melton FL Injury Lawyer

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The juncture of Northwest 39th Avenue and 13th Street in Gainesville may appear to be your typical residential intersection, but during rush hour, this crossroad seems more like crash racing at a Demolition Derby show.

This busy intersection has been the site of 358 collisions from Jan. 1, 2014, to May 31, 2022. One of these crashes in June 2021 took the life of an 18-year-old Gainesville High School student.

There are 26,500 westbound vehicles and 20,400 eastbound vehicles that pass through the intersection of Northwest 39th Avenue every day of the year, which is more than any other road in the northern Gainesville region, according to Florida Traffic Online.

Untitled-design-30-200x300However, there are proposals to make the intersection safer from the Florida Department of Transportation. The proposed improvement, if given the go-ahead by the FDOT later this summer, would cost close to $300,000 and would not be finished until 2025.

The Northwest 39th Avenue left turn lanes would be extended to 13th Street and a new median would be built along those lanes in both the east and westbound directions. The medians would be 350 feet long in total. The only thing separating the lanes from the opposing-direction traffic now is a thin, flat median.

While this intersection is considered one of the most dangerous in Alachua County, it is surpassed by Northwest 39th Avenue and 34th Street, which saw 51 sideswipes, 147 rear end collisions, and 17 pedestrian and bicyclist accidents from Jan. 1, 2014-May 31, 2022, according to FDOT.  More than 100 people were injured in car crashes surrounding the center of the intersection, which is the size of a neighborhood swimming pool.

In the first 20 days of 2023, the intersection saw six accidents.

In May 2022, Metric Engineering Inc., an engineering consulting company, conducted a safety analysis for the intersection in order to obtain crash data for the previous eight years and make field observations of the crossing.

According to the analysis’s data, left turns were to blame for 19% of the intersection’s 358 collisions that have been reported since 2014.

The safety analysis proposes the installation of traffic separators to block vehicles from executing left turns across Northwest 39th Avenue.

The safety analysis estimates that the planned improvements will cost $289,000 in total.

If allowed, temporary barriers would be installed on Northwest 39th Avenue in the fall of 2023.

Permanent concrete would be poured for traffic dividers in the fall of 2024, with construction wrapping up in the spring of 2025. Continue reading

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PORT RICHEY, FL – A collision in Pasco County Monday morning killed a man riding a motorcycle, Pasco News Online reports.

The accident took place on Ridge Road near Stirling Road in Port Richey.  The Florida Highway Patrol said a 21-year-old Port Richey woman was driving westbound in the outside lanes when she changed lanes.  Her vehicle crashed into a motorcycle and the rider was thrown from the bike.  The car rotated and rolled over.

The motorcyclist, a 20-year-old Port Richey man, was pronounced dead after being taken to an area hospital.


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

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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

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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!

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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

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