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.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so it seems fitting that a new study has some troubling findings.

Despite mass attempts to preventing using cell phones while driving, the study—by driver analytics company, Zendrive—revealed that drivers in America use their mobile devices during 88 out of 100 car trips.

In what Zendrive calls the largest behavior study on distracted driving, the company analyzed three million anonymous drivers for three months, reviewing 570 million car trips taken between Dec. 2016 and Feb. 2017, covering 5.6 billion miles.

The found drivers used their phones during 88 percent of the 570 million trips, but also, during hour-long drives, drivers spent an average of 3.5 minutes using their phones.

Past studies from researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute have shown that dialing a phone could increase a drivers’ chance of crashing by 12 times. Simply reaching for your mobile device raises the risk of crashing by almost five times.

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Fire can happen at any home, at any time, destroying property and wreaking havoc on homeowners. What you may not know is that fire damage is one of the most common disasters that affects homes across the United States every year.

As was the case Tuesday evening when lightning struck a house off Glenridge Boulevard in the Sugarmill Woods subdivision in Homosassa, causing the home’s attic to catch fire.

No one was injured.

Many different things can cause house fires, including:

  • Lightning strikes
  • Area wildfires
  • Cooking fires
  • Faulty electrical appliances or wiring
  • Candles

Your homeowner’s insurance will usually cover fire damage to homes and property. However, policy limitations, exclusions, and deductibles may affect the amount what is covered and what amount will be paid to cover the loss. As a homeowner, it is very important to review your homeowner’s insurance policy very carefully to make sure you understand what coverage and exclusions apply. Citrus County is a high risk area, so many homeowner’s insurance companies require property owners to purchase additional coverage to cover fire damage.

As soon as possible after a fire, homeowners should file a claim with the insurance company. Acting fast can speed up the claims process, which means you can start the repairs process sooner.

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A fatal accident temporarily shut down the intersection of Country Club Boulevard and US 41 early Friday morning.

The accident occurred around 6 a.m.

Troopers believe a Honda Accord was stopped at a stop sign on Country Club Blvd. and pulled out into the path of a Chevy pickup truck that was traveling southbound on US 41.

The driver of the Honda, a 63-year-old woman, was killed in the collision. Her passenger, a 64-year-old woman, received serious injuries.

The driver of the truck, a 27-year-old man, also received serious injuries.

A car crash can have a serious effect on all aspects of your life. Many times these accidents cause victims to suffer significant injuries that leave them unable to work. If you were seriously harmed, you could require extensive surgeries or other costly treatments for your injuries. While the medical bills pile up, your other bills could be falling behind because you can’t earn the money that you could before the accident. Our Citrus County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand the stress and frustrations that build up following a car crash.  

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The Coast Guard is currently searching for a Floral City man who fell off a Carnival Victory cruise ship Wednesday morning in the Gulf of Mexico near Cuba.

Officials said the 23-year-old man went overboard from the eighth deck of the cruise ship around 3 a.m.

The ship was 33 miles northwest of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba.

The cruise ship and the Coast Guard have launched several searches for the man.

In a statement the Coast Guard said, “The ship’s command immediately began taking actions to turn the ship around and begin search and rescue operations.”

The cruise ship is based year round in Miami and was traveling between Key West and Cozumel on a four-day cruise.

Cruise ship accidents, injuries and deaths are handled differently than personal injury cases that occur on land. Because these happen at sea, different laws apply. Our Citrus County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know how dealing with unexpected catastrophes can be. It is imperative to think clearly in times of duress and understand your legal rights.

If you or a loved one has been harmed on a cruise and think that the cruise line is responsible, you need to act fast and retain legal help. Time is of the essence in these cases. It is best to act before time constraints keep you from making a legal claim.

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A 24-year-old man was killed Sunday evening when his motorcycle collided with a deer on a Citrus County road.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the Chiefland man was riding his 2003 Harley-Davidson motorcycle northbound at 7 p.m. on US Highway 19 just before West Bentbow Path, when a deer jumped into his path.    

The motorcycle collided with the deer and overturned, troopers said.

The man, who troopers said was not wearing a helmet, was transported to Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center, where he later died.

Deer that jump out into the road can cause all sorts of collisions, including motorcycle crashes. Bikers and motorists alike should abide by the following safety tips when travelling through areas known to have wildlife:

  • Always drive with caution, especially at dusk and dawn when deer activity is high.
  • Reduce speed in wooded areas and fields.
  • If you see a deer, know that there are likely more in the area, so keep an eye out.
  • Avoid swerving, whenever possible.

Victims of deer accidents are often barred from recovery under Florida law.  That said, an immediate consult with a qualified and experienced Personal Injury lawyer is invaluable to investigate all angles of recovery.

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A 26-year-old Inverness man was killed early Monday in a motorcycle crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the biker was killed just before 2 a.m. in a crash on West Fort Island Trail in Crystal River.  

Troopers said the man was traveling westbound on his 2015 Yamaha motorcycle when he failed to negotiate a left curve in the roadway. The motorcycle traveled onto the grass shoulder and collided with a tree.

Authorities did confirm the man was wearing a helmet. He died at the scene.

Riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating, giving you a huge sense of freedom. They can also be very dangerous, often resulting in serious injuries and even death. The lack of protection motorcycles offer to riders leaves drivers exposed to their surroundings, so serious injuries from motorcycle accidents are a common occurrence.

There are many causes of motorcycle accidents, including negligent driving, traffic violations, speeding, and distracted driving. There are other factors that may be out of a driver’s control, such as wet roads, inclement weather, vehicle failures, and roadway defects.

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A Dunnellon man was killed and a Gulfport couple suffered critical injuries Sunday night in a Citrus County crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the 45-year-old man was killed in the 3-vehicle crash that happened just after 8 p.m. on U.S. Highway 19 at West Arber Court in Homosassa.

Troopers believe the man’s 2004 Nissan Xterra was bumped by a 2000 Jeep Cherokee when the driver attempted a lane change.

The collision sent the Nissan to the right, forcing the man to over-correct. His vehicle began to rotate while going back across all of the northbound lanes and into southbound traffic.  

The Xterra crashed into a 2012 Nissan Altima. The Xterra overturned and the man was ejected. He died at the scene.

The driver of the Nissan Altima and her passenger suffered critical injuries and were rushed to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson.

The 29-year-old driver of the Jeep and his 28-year-old passenger were not injured in the crash.

The crash is still currently under investigation.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a Citrus County multiple vehicle collision, it is best to retain legal help right away. You want to make sure that the responsible party is held accountable and that you or your family receive fair compensation. Our Citrus County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can handle negotiations with the insurance companies and even file a lawsuit if necessary. Our goal is to make sure that all auto accident victims recover a financial payout to cover medical bills, lost wages and other types of damages.

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While you may think all children’s toys are safe, you’d be wrong. While there is some regulation on kid’s toys, there are many toys stocked on department store shelves that need to be avoided this year.

“World Against Toys Causing Harm” (WATCH) is non-profit organization that aims to educate the public about dangerous children’s products. Since 1973, WATCH has released their annual 10 Worst Toys list. The toys on this list have been labeled as having the highest potential to cause injuries or death to children.

Our Citrus County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to making sure everyone knows about possible dangers, and that includes any hazardous products.

Please take a look at this year’s 10 worst toys list:

  1. Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddles Family: This toy is sold at Target and Amazon. It has earned its place on the WATCH list because some packaging reads that this product is OK for ages 2+ with no warnings for choking hazards, while other packaging says 3+ with a choking hazard warning. This is causing a higher potential for choking injuries.
  2. Kids Time Baby Children’s Elephant Pillow: This toy is sold on Amazon. It made the WATCH list because it has has no warnings on the product despite the fact that the website for the toy states the pillow should only be used by an infant if an adult is present. It has a suffocation hazard. This product is in violation of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act which states, “Infant pillow[s]” and “any other similar article[s]” which are “intended or promoted for use by children under one year of age” have been banned.
  3. Slimeball Slinger: This toy is sold at Toys R Us and Amazon. It made the WATCH list because the product says that the “ammunition” can be fired over 30 feet. Any objects travelling that far and fast can cause serious eye injuries. The warning on the product reads: “Never shoot at any person or animal…”
  4. Banzai Bump N’ Bounce Body Bumpers: This toy is sold at Walmart, Amazon, Ebay and Sears. It is on the WATCH list because children ages 4 and up are encouraged to wear these and run into each other, and in the picture, with no protection, despite the warning on the box that reads, “To avoid risk of serious injury or death: …This product does not provide protection. Impact hazard may present; protective equipment (for head, elbows, knees, hands, etc) should be worn (not included).”
  5. Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 Blaster: This toy is sold at Walmart, Target, Amazon and Kmart. It is recommended for ages 14+ but has no safety warnings. This product is on the WATCH list because it encourages “precision battling” and “intense head-to head competition”. Eye injuries are a serious risk with this toy.
  6. The Good Dinosaur Galloping Butch: This toy is sold at Walmart, Amazon and Toys R US. This toy is on the WATCH list because the toy has a “hazard” for puncture wound injuries, therefore WATCH feels that there is a huge potential for these injuries.
  7. Peppy Pups: This toy is sold at Toys R US. It has no warnings on the packaging, however is on the WATCH list because of possible strangulation injuries. The industry’s standard for strings on crib toys is 12 inches. However since this product is 2+ the cord, which measures 31 inches is allowed.
  8. Flying Heroes Superman Launcher: This toy is sold at Toys R Us, Amazon, Walmart, Sears, Ebay and BigW. The warning on the packaging states, “Never aim at eyes or face”. This toy is on the WATCH list for the potential for eye and facial injuries.
  9. Baby Magic Feed and Play Baby: This toy is sold at Toys R Us, Amazon and Sears. It has no warning labels, however this toy is on the WATCH list for its potential for ingestion injuries. The interactive spoon is thin and hard and could constrict a child’s airway.
  10. Warcraft Doomhammer: This toy is sold at Toys R Us and Amazon. The warning label states, “Not suitable for children under 36 months, choking hazard.” This toy is on the WATCH list for the possible blunt impact injuries it could cause, as 6-year-olds are encouraged to use the heavy rigid hammer based off of weaponry in the “Warcraft” movie.

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Thanksgiving is a very happy holiday for most, but on the flip side – it is also one of the deadliest. Across the United States, the fatal traffic accident death rate increases each year over the four-day holiday weekend.

According to the NHTSA, almost half of the traffic fatalities that happen on Thanksgiving involve alcohol. In 2012, there were reportedly 764 fatalities. Around 40 percent of passengers killed during the Thanksgiving holiday were involved in collisions with drunk drivers. Another 60 percent of passengers were not wearing their seat belts. There were another 50,000 non-fatal car crashes over the holiday as well.

AAA has estimated that 46.9 million Americans will travel fifty or more miles from their home for this 2016 holiday – Wednesday 23-Sunday 29. This is a 0.6 percent increase of travelers compared to last year.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is viewed as the worst day to travel. Wherever you are are heading to this Thanksgiving, our Citrus County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton recommend leaving early in the morning to avoid any high traffic areas. We urge you to drive safe, and plan ahead for your Thanksgiving travels.

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A water main break has lead to a portion of Truman Blvd in Beverly Hills to be closed until further notice.

Yesterday, Nov. 14, a water main break caused a huge hole in front of 11 Truman Blvd. A vehicle that had been stuck in the hole has since been removed.

Crews are stilling working to repair the hole and a detour has been put in place. Truman is shut down from S. Washington St. to S. Barbour St.

Officials are asking drivers to avoid this area.

Holes in the roadway can cause a variety of different damages to a vehicle, not to mention cause accidents that result in serious injuries. Typical damages to a vehicle include:

  • Tire blow outs
  • Under carriage damage
  • Fender damage
  • Cracked rim
  • Total loss of vehicle
  • Airbag deployment

Roads are supposed to be properly maintained so they are suitable for driving and free from defects, sinkholes, potholes, etc. Additionally, drivers should be warned when such dangers exist in order to minimize their exposure. Multiple parties can be at fault for any damage related to a hole in the road, and our Citrus County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help with your claim. We can make sure you recover financial compensation for your damages.

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