Citrus County Injury Attorney Blog

Citrus County Personal Injury Lawyers | Whittel & Melton, LLC | Inverness, Crystal River

The Citrus County Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are committed solely to assisting injury victims and their families attain justice. We represent clients throughout Inverness and Crystal River in every type of personal injury matter, varying from car accidents, motorcycle collisions and medical malpractice. When someone else’s negligence contributes to the death of a loved one, we can pursue a wrongful death claim on the family’s behalf. Our team of capable trial attorneys can make sure your rights and interests remain protected from start to finish. With Whittel & Melton, you can be certain all of your questions will be answered and that your recovery will be maximized.

Don’t Face the Judge Alone! Beverly Hills, Lecanto, Homosassa, Dunellon

Many questions surface after an accident. Do I need to contact my insurance company? What if an insurance adjuster calls me? Who is going to pay for my medical expenses? Will I have to go to court? What is my case worth? How will I take care of my family while I’m out of work? These questions cannot be ignored after you are involved in an accident. At Whittel & Melton, we can help you and your family members obtain the answers you are looking for.

Personal injury law can be challenging, and attempting to handle your injury or wrongful death claim alone can further complicate matters and result in unfair or inadequate compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident throughout Citrus County, we can help. Your initial consultation is always free, and you will not pay us any fees unless we recover compensation for you. Contact Whittel & Melton today.

Proudly Serving Clients in Inverness, Crystal River, Beverly Hills, Lecanto, Homosassa, Dunnellon, Hernando, Sugarmill Woods, Citrus Springs and Floral City.

A summer without multiple trips to the pool just would not make sense. It’s hot in Florida, so cooling off poolside is a MUST!

With everything good, comes some bad, and unfortunately, pools can be danger zones for kids. Fortunately, the following safety tips can help you and your youngsters stay cool and safe.

Adult Supervision Is A Must!

Kids need to be monitored 24/7 by an adult anytime they are near water. Teenagers do not count, so make sure an adult is keeping an eye on the children. Turning your head, even just for a minute, could be disastrous. Practice the 10/20 rule: Check the pool every 10 seconds and make sure you are close enough to get to a child in distress within 20 seconds if needed.

Safety Devices Are Not Foolproof

Children can easily fall off pool floats and those “water wings” can puncture and deflate. Life jackets are best, but they should be replaced when they are torn or worn and no longer fit.

Make Sure Your Cell Phone Is Fully Charged & Close By

Having a phone handy could save a life if a medical emergency arises. On a side note, having your address posted in a spot that is easily accessible for guests can help should an emergency operator need it.

Kiddie Pools Should Be Emptied After Each Use

Small children can easily drown in shallow water. They lack the upper body strength to pull themselves up. If you leave a kiddie pool full of water in the backyard, or anywhere near the house, a child could fall in and drown.

Install A Fence And Gate Around Larger Pools

A fence with a gate makes it a lot harder for small children to gain access to the pool unsupervised. With that said, remove any stacked lawn chairs or anything that can be used to climb over the fence – children can be very resourceful!

Curb The Alcohol

Pool parties and barbecues usually involve alcohol. Excessive drinking can cause your focus to fall away from supervising little ones.

Limit the Horseplay

Leave those cannonballs and backflips to the professionals. Kids can easily get hurt playing around and diving and trying out crazy tricks.

If you or a loved one is injured in a swimming pool accident, our Citrus County Swimming Pool Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help.

Continue reading

Summer is here, and our Citrus County ATV Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to warn parents about the dangers of children riding adult ATVs.

During the 2015 Memorial Day holiday weekend, there were at least 13 deaths and an estimated 2,900 emergency room treated injuries associated with ATV usage, according to reports gathered by the CPSC. Reports for the six Memorial Day holiday weekends from 2009 to 2014 show a total of more than 114 ATV-related fatalities.

While these all terrain vehicles are fun to tool around on, the fact is that they can be quite dangerous when not handled properly. The CPSC has released the following safety tips to keep children safe this summer:

  • Do not allow children to ride ATVs that are meant for adults. Children under the age of 16 should only operate youth model ATVs appropriate for their age.
  • Do not let children younger than 6 on an ATV.
  • Make sure children wear a helmet and other protective gear that fits them right whenever they are on an ATV.

The following safety tips will keep children and adults safe while using ATVs:

  • Avoid travelling on paved roads.
  • Do not operate ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger.
  • Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, including eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Drive at a safe speed and exercise caution when turning and crossing slopes.

Continue reading

Memorial Day weekend is here and this marks the unofficial start of  summer! The three-day weekend is generally filled with family activities, parties with friends and, of course, road trips! Lots of these events involve alcohol, and with a high number of drivers on the roadway this weekend, getting behind the wheel after drinking can have devastating consequences.

The risk of being involved in a car accident increases significantly around holidays. The National Safety Council reports that there has been an 11.5 percent average increase in fatal traffic accidents during the Memorial Day weekend over the past six years, compared to other summer weekends. According to the NSC, there could be more than 400 car accident fatalities and another 43,500 injuries that require medical attention this weekend. In 2010, there were 397 deaths over Memorial Day weekend and 40 percent were alcohol-related.

If you keep a few simple safety tips in mind, you can avoid injuries, and keep you and your family safe this Memorial Day weekend:

  • Refrain from using your cell phone to talk or text while driving.
  • Always buckle up, regardless of how far or short your trip is! Make sure all backseat passengers are buckled up, too.
  • Obey posted speed limits, and don’t rush to get to your destination.
  • Do not drive while distracted or drowsy. Drowsy driving can actually be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
  • If you plan on drinking, have a plan on how to get home safe. Remember, even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgment and affect your reaction time.

Continue reading

A Homosassa man died Monday morning after he lost control of his motorcycle in Floral City, according to reports.

The crash happened at 9:05 a.m. on East StageCoach Trail at the intersection of South Zanmar Drive.

Troopers believe the 65-year-old was riding a 2006 Honda motorcycle east on Stage Coach Trail when he failed to negotiate a curve in the road.

The bike exited the road and traveled onto the shoulder, then overturned, ejecting the man.

He was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, where he died from his injuries.

Balance is critical when it comes to operating a motorcycle. Most bikes have both front and rear brake controls, however, motorcycles can corner quickly, which is why you should avoid using brakes during a turn. Braking and turning can result in you losing control of your motorcycle, so it is best to brake and slow down before executing a turn. Once you are actually turning, you should accelerate through it.

If you are injured after losing control of your bike, or for any other reason, you should speak with a Citrus County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer. We can try our best to help you obtain financial compensation for your injuries. If you have lost a family member in an unexpected collision, we can investigate the facts to see whether you can file a wrongful death claim for damages. We can determine what caused the accident and link any responsible parties to your potential lawsuit.

Continue reading

A Homosassa man was killed early Sunday when he was hit by a car while walking along U.S.19.

The Florida Highway Patrol believes the 22-year-old was walking along the edge of the southbound lanes of U.S.19 at 2:15 a.m. when he was hit by a 1999 Ford Explorer.

According to troopers, the driver of the Explorer failed to stop at the scene of the crash. The owner of the Explorer surrendered the vehicle to the FHP on Sunday afternoon but no arrest has been made yet.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call FHP at 813-631-4020.

Car accidents can be absolutely devastating. Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when it is unexpected and unnecessary. After such a tragedy, it can help to know that someone is being held accountable, which is why hit-and-run accidents can be especially hard to deal with.  

Our Citrus County Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will fight to get you the financial compensation you deserve. In cases where a driver has fled the scene of an accident, we will exercise every effort to identify the at-fault party. What happens most often with these types of accidents is that a driver flees the scene if they were driving a stolen car, were drunk, had outstanding arrest warrants, lacked a valid driver’s license or legal status, or does not have insurance. Regardless, there is never a valid excuse to leave the scene after an accident has occurred.

Continue reading

A Crystal River woman was killed Tuesday in a traffic crash on U.S. 19 in Citrus County.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened just north of the Citrus-Hernando County line.

No further details regarding the crash have been released at this time.

While it is not known right now what caused this accident, most auto accidents result from driver negligence or recklessness. Some of the most common careless driving behaviors that result in accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Distracted driving: cell phone use, texting, eating and drinking, use of GPS, use of radio, reading a map or written directions, daydreaming, etc.
  • Driving while extremely tired or fatigued
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Failing to yield right-of-way
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Making unsafe lane changes

Every year, more than 100,000 people are killed due to someone else’s negligence. The families of those who have lost a loved one due to wrongful death often suffer emotional, mental and financial injuries after such a tragedy.  

Continue reading

An Inverness teenager died from her injuries Tuesday, two days after she and her brother were hit by a suspected drunk driver.

The 14-year-old died Tuesday night at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. She and her 13-year-old brother had been at the hospital since Sunday afternoon, when they were hit by an SUV.

The teen’s family said she was taken off life support Tuesday night and has since passed away. Her organs were donated.

Her brother, who was taken to the hospital in critical condition, has undergone several surgeries. He remains in the hospital.

The brother and sister were riding on the same bike north on Independence Highway when a 40-year-old Inverness man drove up behind them, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The man crossed the center double solid line in an attempt to overtake them, but the teens swerved into the path of the SUV, and both were thrown from the bike.

Investigators are unsure as to why the teens swerved.

The man was arrested on charges of driving under the influence.

Nothing is more devastating than losing a family member or loved one in a collision caused by a drunk driver. These accidents are 100 percent preventable, making the situation that much more tragic. When an intoxicated person gets behind the wheel of a car and kills someone, families are left grieving and unsure about what to do next.

At Whittel & Melton, our Citrus County Auto Accident Lawyers represent families who have lost loved ones in fatal DUI accidents. We work to obtain financial compensation for the survivors by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. We will aggressively pursue the drunk driver as well as the establishment that may have served the drunk driver. We know that no amount of money can replace your loved one, but it can help you now and in the future so that you can mourn without the added stress of worrying about money.

Continue reading

Two teens are in critical condition after a car smashed into the bicycle they were riding on Saturday evening.

Florida Highway Patrol officials say the incident occurred around 5:32 p.m. Saturday near North Independence Highway and Forest Drive in Inverness.

The two teens, both riding on the same bicycle, were traveling northbound on North Independence Highway. A Chevy Suburban driven by a 40-year-old man was also traveling northbound and crossed the center double line and pulled alongside the teens in an effort to pass them.

Troopers believe the bicycle then made a sudden left turn, crossing in front of the Suburban, resulting in the crash.

Both teens were thrown from the bicycle and severely injured. They were transported to Shands Hospital for treatment of their injuries.

The man was not injured in the crash. Reports indicate that he was, however, arrested and charged with DUI.

Every day across the United States, drunk driving accidents injure an estimated 720 people and take the lives of about 28 others. Even more shocking is the fact that nearly 2 in every 3 people will be involved in a drunk driving accident during their lifetime, either as the victim or the drunk driver.

Our Citrus County Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to holding drunk drivers responsible for causing accidents, injuries and deaths. Victims and their families can count on us to aggressively fight for their rights and pursue all avenues to help them obtain maximum compensation for damages after drunk driving accidents.

Continue reading

We all are aware that driving is a task that requires 100-percent of our concentration. Anything less and you risk being involved in a serious accident. Sadly, very few people follow this unwritten rule.

Whether it be texting and driving or driving drunk, new figures show that 87 percent of all drivers have admitted to risky behaviors while behind the wheel. The study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers are constantly distracted by technology, the lack of sleep or drugs and alcohol.

AAA broke down the study into different categories researchers considered to be unsafe behaviors: Distracted Driving, Drowsy Driving, Impaired Driving, Red-Light Running, Seat Belt Use, and Speeding.

According to the study that polled nearly 2,500 licensed drivers, most drivers think distracted driving is a bigger problem today than it was three years ago. Still, more than 2 in 5 drivers admitted to reading a text message or an email while driving in the past 30 days.

Nearly 70 percent of the drivers reported talking on a cell phone while driving.

Impaired driving was found also found to be quite prevalent among the drivers polled. More than 1 in 8 drivers admitted to getting behind the wheel when their alcohol level may have been near or above the legal limit.

Drunk driving crashes cost the country more than $50 billion each year.

Our Citrus County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton hope this research influences drivers to eliminate their risky behaviors while behind the wheel. Not only will this save you money and the headaches associated with any legal action, but it could also save your life.

Continue reading

Toyota issued a statement on Thursday regarding a recall for 2.9 million sports utility vehicles, including more than 1.1 million in the U.S., because of seat belts that might fail in a crash.

The recall covers RAV4 SUVS from the 2005 through 2014 model years, the RAV4 electric vehicle from 2012 through 2014, sold in North America, and the Vanguard sold in Japan from 2005-2016, the Japanese automaker said.

According to Toyota, it is possible that the belts in both second-row window seats could come in contact with a metal seat cushion frame in a severe frontal crash. If that happens, the belts could be cut and would not restrain passengers.

The company said it will add plastic covers to the metal frame at no cost to customers.

The recall also affects 625,000 vehicles in Europe, 434,000 vehicles in China and 177,000 in Japan.

It is universally known that the use of seat belts saves many lives each and every day. In fact, according to a study by James Madison University, when properly used, safety belts reduce the number of serious traffic injuries by 50 percent and fatalities by 60-70 percent.

And while the benefits of seat belts are undeniable, a defective seat belt can lead to disastrous consequences. If a person is involved in an accident with a flawed seat belt, and that belt fails at the moment of impact, serious injuries, including death, can occur. Sadly, seat belt defects are all too common, as this recall highlights.

Accidents involving defective seat belts can lead to various injuries, including bruises, lacerations, broken and fractured bones, brain injuries and wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident, and you have reason to believe that a defective seat belt may have contributed to the injuries, you may have a legal right to financial compensation for the harm suffered. With that said, it is crucial that you explore all of your legal options as soon as possible as there are limitations placed on how long you have to pursue your legal rights.

Continue reading

Contact Information