Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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The Thanksgiving holiday will have over 54 million drivers hitting the road to visit with their families and friends. With an increased number of cars on the road, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are at greater risk for being involved in a car accident resulting in serious physical injuries. Our Florida Auto Accident Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have outlined traffic tips below to keep you and your loved ones  from becoming another car accident statistic this holiday season.

Delete Distractions

Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents at any time of the year. When driving, even the smallest distractions can become disastrous. Some of the most common driving distractions include texting or talking on cell phones while driving, eating and drinking while driving and adjusting car radio or temperature control dials. Please keep your eyes on the road the entire trip and pull over when you must use your cell phone or interact with other passengers.

Travel Delays Will Happen

Speeding is another major cause of car wrecks. Anticipate that there will be holiday traffic, so plan ahead so you aren’t speeding to make it to Thanksgiving dinner. Allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at the destination without the need to break speed limits. You can even choose alternative travel days to avoid being on the road during peak travel days like Thanksgiving and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Make Sure Your Vehicle is in Top Shape for Travel

Drivers and their passengers should always wear seatbelts and follow traffic safety rules. If an accident does occur, wearing a seatbelt can be the difference between a minor injury and a serious injury or even wrongful death. Infants and young children should be using properly installed car seats and pets should be adequately secured in the vehicle. Make sure your car has been properly maintained with adequate amounts of gasoline, oil, windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid and air in the tires. Turn signals, brake lights and headlights should be functioning properly, and if a service light is illuminated on the car’s dashboard, have the car checked out by a certified mechanic to make sure everything is safe before leaving for your destination.

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A Florida sheriff’s deputy who was involved in a recent crash that killed a pickup truck driver has been involved in yet another collision.

The 29-year-old Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy was cited for improper lane change on Tuesday.

Th deputy swerved into another car while trying to avoid traffic near Orlando, causing a three-vehicle crash. No one was injured in the crash.

On Oct. 5, the deputy didn’t stop at a red light and crashed into a pickup truck that then hit two other vehicles. The crash killed a 34-year-old man.

The deputy was placed on administrative during an investigation into that crash.

Car accidents can happen to anyone, even police officers. However, It is the duty of any operator of a motor vehicle to be alert and aware of all the motorists on the roadway. A safe lane change is one that is executed carefully, using turn signals, and checking side-view and the rear-view windows, always remaining aware of blind spots. If a driver fails to perform a lane change safely or engages in reckless driving and causes a collision, all injured parties are entitled to make a claim for damages against the at-fault driver.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle crash or lost a loved one because of a negligent automobile driver, contact our Florida Auto Accident Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton soon as possible following the accident to protect your right to a recovery. Florida has a relatively short statute of limitations, which is the time you are legally allotted to file a lawsuit to recover compensation, so it is important to act fast.

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A 3-year-old is in critical condition after being shot in the head during a road rage incident.

Port St. Lucie police say the toddler is a victim of a shooting incited by road rage. The child was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in critical condition.

Police say the incident happened at 1000 Southeast Bywood Drive around 2 a.m on Sunday.

Most car, truck and motorcycle accidents are just that – accidents. However, sometimes deliberate acts of drivers cause collisions. Drivers in the Orlando area should be familiar with the term road rage, as it is to blame for numerous unnecessary and avoidable crashes.

There are multiple signs of road rage, including:

  • Tailgating another driver
  • Deliberate acceleration or deceleration too close to another vehicle
  • Cutting-off of another vehicle
  • Slamming on brakes in front of another car
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Constant honking of horn
  • Displaying inappropriate hand signals or yelling at another driver

Road rage and aggressive driving contribute to hundreds of accidents every year. Sadly, innocent victims can get in the way of a driver’s road rage, as this case shows. If you find yourself caught in the midst of a road rage incident, the best thing you can do is allow the other driver as much space as possible in order to avoid an unnecessary collision. If at all possible, get out of the way of aggressive driver so that you can protect yourself and your passengers.

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A limo carrying several couples to a birthday party failed to stop at an intersection in upstate New York and struck a parked vehicle, killing 20 people in the deadliest transportation accident in the United States in nearly a decade.

The 2001 Ford Excursion limo was traveling southwest on State Route 30 when it blew past a stop sign at the intersection with State Route 30 A and collided with an SUV in a parking lot shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday in Schoharie, New York.

All 18 people in the limo, including the driver, were killed. Two pedestrians near the unoccupied, parked 2015 Toyota Highlander were also killed.

It is not yet clear whether the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine had any mechanical issues that may have contributed to the limo accident. It is important for investigators to gather as much evidence as possible to assist the families of the victims with pursuing wrongful death claims. A wrongful death claim holds those responsible for the accident accountable, and awards financial compensation for the loss of a loved one.

Wrongful death claims also seek to make impactful changes when it come to safety procedures. Whether it’s adding seat belts, mandating their use, or improved training of limousine drivers, a wrongful death claim can make a difference. The goal is to make sure that accidents like this one are avoided in the future.

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On Nov. 30, 2016, an elderly woman in her 80s was brought to Mariners Hospital after she had a seizure and her heart stopped.

Her physical condition was appalling as she was bleeding, covered in urine and feces, and had severe bed sores indicating abject neglect, according to court documents.

Doctors and nurses transported her to Homestead Hospital where she died the next day of septic pneumonia.

The woman’s death led investigators with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families to discover two unlicensed elderly care facilities: one in Plantation Key and the other, a trailer in Key Largo. Six patients, all over 80, lived at the two homes.

All the patients were in wheelchairs, had mental disorders and were prescribed either antipsychotic or anti-anxiety medications. They were all incontinent and required extra skin care and to be frequently turned over so their skin would not blister from exposure to their own waste.

None of the patients received anywhere near the proper care they needed for their conditions, which require 24-hour attention. Some were not being treated at all, according to court documents.

The facilities were operated by a 67-year-old doctor who was arrested at his Miami Beach home last June on two counts of aggravated neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult.

A 49-year-old woman, who was running the facilities on site despite having no medical training, was charged with the same crimes.

Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are out of jail awaiting trial. Their next court appearance, a status update, is scheduled for Oct. 30 at the Plantation Key courthouse.

Investigators also said the doctor was billing Medicare and being paid for services he was not providing.

Abuse and neglect in nursing homes and assisted living facilities occur every day across the country. Nursing home and assisted living facility negligence includes failing to protect residents from health and safety hazards. Negligence can result in injuries such as broken bones, bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, and other medical conditions which cause harm and even wrongful death.

Our Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you and your loved ones fight to recover everything you deserve. We are experienced in nursing home negligence matters, and will thoroughly and carefully assess each individual case. We prepare each case for trial in order to obtain maximum compensation for injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. We want to help victims and their families hold these facilities accountable.

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