Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Two people died after a charter bus that departed from from Orlando overturned on Interstate 95 in Virginia.

The Tao’s Travel Inc. bus traveling from Florida to New York had 57 people aboard when it rolled and ran off the left side of an Interstate 95 exit ramp in Prince George County about 5:22 a.m., according to authorities.

One person died at the scene, while another person died a couple of hours later.

The bus driver has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the crash.

The bus departed from Orlando, Florida, and stopped in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to switch drivers, police said. It was headed to New York City when it crashed.

Bus travel is a very popular mode of transportation. However, buses can pose a serious danger to passengers if they are not operated by trained, attentive employees and if the equipment is not properly maintained. If you have been involved in an accident with a charter bus, it is important to contact our Florida Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible.

Similar to truck drivers, bus drivers must have proper background checks and receive adequate training to provide safe travels for passengers. Many bus accidents are attributed to unsafe driver conditions, such as:

Driver negligence

  • Poor bus security
  • Operating on dangerous roads and interstates
  • Operating during dangerous weather conditions
  • Driving drunk or drugged
  • Fatigued driving
  • Inadequate maintenance of the bus and its equipment

When someone you love is injured or killed in an unexpected bus accident, you may be in shock and unsure of what to do next. You or your loved one may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages resulting from the bus accident. When death occurs, the responsible driver may also face criminal charges for wrongful death.

Continue reading

Longtime Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim struck and killed a man along an interstate highway late Wednesday night as he tried to avoid hitting the man’s disabled vehicle, according to police.

Syracuse believe the 51-year-old deceased man was an occupant in a black Dodge Charger with three others when they apparently lost control on a patch of ice and hit a guardrail before midnight Wednesday on I-690 in Syracuse.

Boeheim struck the man with his GMC Acadia while trying to avoid the disabled car, which was resting perpendicular on the darkened highway. The group had been heading toward the median for safety. The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Another man in the group suffered minor injuries in the accident, police said.

Police said Boeheim has been cooperating with the investigation. He even used his cellphone light to warn other drivers of the disabled car after the accident, police said.

Police said sobriety tests administered to Boeheim and the unidentified driver of the other vehicle were negative for any signs of impairment.

No tickets have been issued to Boeheim at this time and the investigation is continuing. Police did say that they do not believe criminal charges would be filed.

When it comes to pedestrian accidents, many drivers will attempt to blame the accident on the pedestrian to avoid legal liability. Sadly, pedestrians involved in car accidents can suffer from the following:

  • Severe head trauma
  • Brain damage
  • Leg injuries
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Amputations
  • Disfigurement
  • Death

At Whittel & Melton, our Florida Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys will conduct a thorough accident investigation to determine who exactly is to blame. The smallest details may become the evidence needed to prove speed or driver inattention caused the crash, even when the driver states otherwise.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or death as the result Continue reading

Seven former employees, including a nurse practitioner, have been indicted after prosecutors say conditions at an Ohio nursing home got so bad that one patient “rotted to death.”

The contracted nurse practitioner and two workers are being charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly neglecting two patients, according to reports, which says the four other employees are accused of neglect or falsifying patient care records.

The group worked at a care center in Columbus.

According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, nurses failed to properly care for a male patient who died of septic shock after his wounds led to gangrenous and necrotic tissue in 2017.

According to reports, an attorney for the nursing facility said all the employees involved were fired two years ago.

Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult one. Selecting the right home can be a stressful and emotional process. Regardless of how much research and thought is put in to choosing the right facility, you may end up with a facility that fails to provide quality care and treatment.

Too many Florida nursing home residents are victims of neglect and/or abuse. The result of this abusive treatment can be devastating to family members. That is why our Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help loved ones of nursing home abuse and neglect discover what they can do to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

Continue reading

Officials say a worker doing construction on central Florida’s massive highway expansion project was killed after being struck by a drainage pipe.

According to the Orange County Fire Rescue, the worker was struck by a 20-foot iron pipe on Monday.

Workers were moving the pipe when it fell and hit the worker in the head along Interstate 4 near Winter Park, Florida.

The sheriff’s office is investigating.

If you have lost a loved one in a construction accident that could have been prevented, you may have a wrongful death claim. After a construction accident results in injury or death, it is important to investigate the site in the same condition as it was when the accident occurred. Construction sites are constantly changing, and owners may attempt to cover up a dangerous situation that caused the accident, or it could be fixed as part of the construction job.

Losing a loved one in a construction accident could entitle you to financial compensation for damages. Our Florida Workers Compensation Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can review the facts of your case and determine what steps to take next. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we don’t get paid unless there is a settlement or recovery of funds made on your behalf.

Continue reading

A Florida jury has awarded nearly $500 million to the family of a woman fatally shot during an argument in a car in 2011.

The family of the 20-year-old Jacksonville woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the man who shot her and two other men who helped dump her body.

The man who shot her was sentenced to 45 years for second-degree murder in 2017. The other men pleaded guilty to accessory charges.

On Tuesday, a Duval County jury awarded the family over $495 million for emotional distress and punitive damages.

Deciding whether to file a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one is a personal matter. While no one else can make this decision for you and your family, our experienced Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can provide you with useful information about the benefits of filing a lawsuit so that you can make the best decision.

There are two main reasons people choose to file wrongful death suits:

  1. Hold the person responsible for the death accountable for their actions. A wrongful death lawsuit holds the at-fault party legally accountable for a wrongful death.
  2. Obtain and protect your financial recovery. The only way to recover monetary compensation after the wrongful death of a loved one is to file a wrongful death claim. This can provide you with money that you need to pay any outstanding medical bills and funeral costs caused by the other person’s negligence. It can provide you with compensation for the lost income your family has suffered, and will continue to suffer, and it can also compensate your family for other damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish.

Continue reading

A woman and baby were killed and a man and another infant were seriously injured in a crash at a Florida intersection Sunday afternoon.

Florida Highway Patrol says a man lost control of his pickup truck and crashed into the victims’ car, as well as other vehicles. Officials say a 19-year-old and a 1-year-old were pronounced dead at the scene. The car’s driver, a 22-year-old man, was taken to a Fort Myers hospital with serious injuries, and a 1-year-old was airlifted to a Tampa hospital with critical injuries.

Several occupants of other vehicles suffered minor injuries.

The crash remains under investigation. No citations were immediately reported.

Highway intersections bring multiple roads and opposite lanes of traffic together. It’s no wonder that they are the site of so many car accidents. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 40 percent of car crashes in the U.S. happen at intersections.

The at-fault driver of an intersection accident that causes serious injuries or death may be legally liable if it was caused by their carelessness or recklessness. Those who have been injured or suffered a serious loss have a right to seek financial compensation when this happens.

Continue reading

Florida has revoked the license of a nursing home where 12 elderly patients died in the heat after it lost power during a 2017 hurricane.

The Agency for Health Care Administration issued its order Friday, saying an administrative law judge correctly concluded the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills “created an unsafe environment” in September 2017 after Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning.

Patients began dying three days after the storm passed. Investigators believe the center did not evacuate patients as temperatures inside rose, even though a fully functional hospital was across the street. The home’s license was suspended days after the storm and it closed.

Police have been investigating the deaths, but no charges have been filed.

Nursing homes have a legal obligation to make sure their patients are properly cared for, even in the midst of a hurricane. When the facility and staff are not prepared, residents can suffer serious personal injuries and even wrongful death. For those who suffer injuries in a nursing home, or families who have lost loved ones in a nursing home, our Florida Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can investigate if the nursing home is liable for any wrongful actions.

We proudly help injured nursing home residents, and surviving family members, recover financial compensation to cover medical expenses, therapy, rehabilitative care, as well as wrongful death expenses. We start with looking into nursing home policies and practices to determine if negligence caused a resident to suffer harm. From there, we can help your pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Continue reading

A head-on collision killed a woman and seriously injured a man on South U.S. 301 in Summerfield Thursday night.

According to a witness, a 2011 BMW 5 series driven by a 34-year-old was in the wrong lane on U.S. 301 at Southeast 132nd Street Road and collided with a 47-year-old driving a 2003 Honda Civic.

Marion County Fire Rescue and arrived at the scene at 10:30 p.m. The driver of the Honda Civic was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m., according to reports.

The BMW driver was taken by ambulance to Ocala Regional Medical Center.

According to FHP, the BMW was stopped in the outside northbound lane of U.S 301 facing south. The Honda was just south of the intersection, traveling north in the inside lane.

Troopers said the BMW proceeded south in the northbound lanes and the Honda took evasive action by swerving to the left into the outside left turn lane, but the two cars collided head-on.

There are no updates at this time if alcohol was a factor and if charges will be filed.

Wrong-way driving occurs when a motorist drives against the direction of traffic. The most common result of this error is a serious head-on collision. Wrong-way driving accidents can happen at any speed on any street, highway, or road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 350 people are killed every year nationwide in wrong-way highway accidents.

Serious injuries can result from wrong-way accidents, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, lacerations, and even death. These injuries can be costly to treat, which is why Florida law allows you to recover financial damages through a personal injury or wrongful death claim. These damages may include medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, costs of future medical care, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and all other losses resulting from the accident.

Continue reading

Investigators believe a casino shuttle boat fire that killed one woman and injured 14 other people off Florida’s Gulf Coast was caused by poor maintenance and the captain’s failure to shut down the engine sooner.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a report this month outlining the factors that led to a 42-year-old woman’s death and the destruction of the $450,000 boat. According to authorities, about 50 passengers jumped into the chilly waters off Port Richey in January when the Island Lady caught fire. It was heading to a Tropical Breeze casino boat in the Gulf of Mexico, where gambling is legal.

Problems outlined in the NTSB report include lack of company guidance regarding engine high-temperature alarms, lack of fire detection in unmanned spaces, insufficient preventive maintenance and insufficient crew training.

When you are harmed in a boating accident, you are suddenly left to endure injuries, medical bills and lost wages. When a fun excursion on the water results in serious injury or a wrongful death, our Florida Maritime Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can provide you with quality legal representation.

Maritime laws apply to boating accidents that occur at sea or on lakes or rivers. Maritime law is quite different from the law that applies to auto accidents or other accidents that occur on land.

The owners and operators of boats have a duty to warn passengers of dangers and to operate their boats properly. We represent clients who have been injured while on vacation or enjoying a day on the water in:

  • Cruise ships
  • Shuttle boats
  • Yachts
  • Deep sea fishing boats
  • Jet Skis and other personal watercrafts
  • Charter boats
  • Sail boats

Continue reading

A deadly Sunday crash that killed a cyclist and injured six others in South Florida is sadly the latest reminder about the dangers of distracted driving.

Investigators are still working to piece together what happened, and state lawmakers are continuing their push to strengthen Florida’s traffic laws in the hopes of making people safer on the road.

And it’s not just lawmakers calling for change. Families who have lost loved ones are joining in the effort, saying the laws don’t do enough to crack down on texting while driving.

Legislation has been trying to enhance existing laws since 2015, but concerns about racial profiling and potential privacy issues have put the brakes on any substantial change.

Under the latest proposal, drivers could still use cell phones for navigation. To talk on their phones, however, they would be required to use a hands-free device.

Last year, state Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville, now the Senate Minority Leader, suggested that moving to hands-free devices would erase concerns about racial profiling.

Keeping with current law, the legislation allows for cell phone records to be accessed in cases dealing with deal or physical injury. That could curb some of the privacy concerns voiced in years past.

Though this year’s version of the bill has not been assigned to any committees yet, lawmakers will return to Tallahassee in December for the first rounds of committee hearings.

On highways, interstates and roadways throughout Florida, drivers who allow distractions to interfere with their driving cause serious accidents that can lead to fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you don’t need to go through this difficult time on your own. Our Florida Auto Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help.

We will investigate your case and determine if the other driver involved in your accident was using their cellphone or otherwise driving while distracted. We can use this evidence to establish liability, so that you can seek financial compensation for your losses.

Continue reading

Contact Information