We are taking the threat of COVID-19 very seriously. Click here to find out what our firm is doing.

Articles Posted in Crystal River

Serious car accidents involving pedestrians are much more likely to occur on Halloween than other days due to a combination of increased pedestrian traffic, alcohol use and nighttime activities.

According to the NHTSA’s Halloween statistics:

  • 50% of pedestrians die from a drunk driving accident (33% on an average day).
  • 28% of crash victim fatalities are pedestrians (14% on an average day).
  • Approximately 20% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involve a drunk driver.
  • More than 50% of pedestrian fatalities occur between 4pm and midnight.

Our Citrus County Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge both drivers and pedestrians to pay attention to what’s around you, particularly when going through intersections or crossing the street. Pedestrians should cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Always look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Put your electronic devices away and keep your head up and walk, don’t run, across the street.

Continue reading

A 24-year-old pedestrian was killed in a hit and run Friday night in Citrus County.

The crash occurred around 10:20 p.m. at W. Southern Street and S. Fairlane Terrace.

Troopers said the woman was walking along the outer roadway edge, eastbound in the westbound lane along West Southern Street.

A vehicle traveling westbound on W. Southern St. struck the pedestrian and fled the scene, according to reports.  

The woman was airlifted to an area hospital and later died from her injuries.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Florida Highway Patrol at 813-631-4020.

If someone you love has been killed in a pedestrian or hit and run accident, you may not know where to turn next. Our Citrus County Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton work hard to protect the rights of pedestrians in hit and run accidents. We are ready to help you understand your options today.

One of the major concerns in hit and run and pedestrian accidents is insurance coverage. Most of these cases involve a pedestrian who has been struck by a negligent party without insurance coverage.

Continue reading

A motorcyclist was killed Sunday night in Citrus County after troopers said the motorcycle overturned and was hit by an oncoming vehicle.

The crash occurred around 8 p.m. at US 19 and West Bentbow Path.

The 47-year-old was traveling southbound on US 19 on his bike, when for an unknown reason, he stopped in the roadway and the motorcycle fell over on his leg. Troopers said a GMC Acadia traveling behind the man was unable to avoid the overturned motorcycle and collided with him.

The man suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Acadia and his passenger did not receive any injuries.

According to the report, charges are pending.

As motorcycle riders share the roads with other motorists, collisions and wrecks are all too common. In many cases, the motorcyclist is not at fault and the other driver is liable for the crash and the biker’s injuries.

Our Citrus County Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton handle personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of injured bikers and their families. We can help you aggressively pursue financial compensation for injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents caused by another driver’s carelessness.

Continue reading

Florida is bracing as Hurricane Irma, the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, is slated to hit Florida on Sunday.

The hurricane “remains a dangerous and life-threatening Category 5” storm, Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned Wednesday night at a briefing. Forecast models have put the storm on a track to hit Florida over the weekend.

Irma is bringing 185-mph winds and is located about 50 miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the National Hurricane Center said in a 8 p.m. ET advisory. Irma is considered much worse and more devastating on its current path than Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm which hit Florida in 1992.

Battling the hardships brought on by hurricanes and the damage they leave behind takes patience and persistence. Discovering afterward that you also have to go to battle with your insurance company over your legitimate claim only makes things worse.

Our Citrus County Hurricane Claims Lawyers at Whittel & Melton represent homeowners and businesses in hurricane damage claims in Crystal River, Homosassa, Homosassa Springs, Dunnellon and Sugarmill Woods. We can stand up to insurance companies and work towards achieving favorable results on your behalf.

While policyholders rightly expect hurricane insurance that they pay for to cover their losses when a storm does hit, insurance companies use tactics that are meant to protect the company’s interests. We are more than familiar with the unfair strategies insurance companies use, including:

  • Denial of a claim
  • Delayed payment of a claim
  • Underpayment of a claim

Continue reading

A murder charge has been filed against the 27-year-old man accused of killing a Citrus County woman during a hit-and-run crash in Sumter County.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the 27-year-old man was speeding away from police after a traffic stop in Wildwood Tuesday afternoon when he was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving a death, providing false information, felony murder, driving with a revoked license, as well as fleeing and eluding.

After the crash, investigators found an AK-47 rifle in the car.

He was also charged with felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Troopers also said they’re still looking for the second person who ran away from the scene that was riding in the car with the man, when the deadly crash took place at the intersection of State Road 44 and County Anyone with information about this case, including the whereabouts of the second person in the car, is asked to call the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office or the Florida Highway Patrol.

Any type of accidental death may qualify as a wrongful death — this includes car accidents caused by an unsafe driver, as is the case for this particular incident. A negligent or careless driver can be found criminally responsible for your loved one’s death, and you can also seek damages in what is called a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action unrelated to any criminal charges, which is brought by the decedent’s surviving family to collect financial compensation for damages, such as funeral expenses, loss of companionship, etc.

Continue reading

The Crystal River City Council is considering letting golf carts drive on city roads. They will vote on whether or not to move forward with the plan during their meeting Aug. 14.

In almost every driveway in Crystal River Village, you’ll find a golf cart. It’s residents’ preferred method of transportation to get around the community.

By state law, carts aren’t allowed to travel on state roads, and currently residents can’t take them on neighborhood roads.

The motion the council is voting on would allow carts within four zones around State Road 44 and U.S. 19. Council members will also discuss what streets need more signage and speed reduction to allow carts during the meeting.

If approved, it would still be several months before carts could be on the roads while any the signs and speed modifications are put into place.

It seems with residential areas like The Villages and now possibly Citrus County, we are bound to be seeing golf carts outside of the local 18-hole course. Due to their accessibility and efficiency, golf carts are expanding beyond the greens and into many communities.

In areas that are focused on reducing heavy traffic, golf carts seem to be the perfect middle ground. Now, golf carts could be seen outside quiet communities and onto local streets. With the possibility of these lightweight and slower vehicles hitting the roads, you may wonder if golf cars are truly safe on streets. Our Citrus County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton remind everyone that if you operate a golf cart, you must follow all of the same rules as people driving cars. You should have a valid driver’s license, obey the rules of the road, and never drink and drive.

Continue reading

One Georgia teen was killed and another is in critical condition following a late-night ATV crash Sunday.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, a 2016 Polaris four-wheeler was traveling west on NW 44th Street in western Hamilton County when it reached a sharp curve at NW 24th Avenue at 11:50 p.m.

The 18-year-old driver was unable to negotiate the curve and continued west off the road on the ATV, according to the report.

The four-wheeler hit a light pole and overturned, the report states.

The 18-year-old is in critical condition at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

Another 18-year-old was killed in the accident, according to the report.

FHP said charges are pending an investigation and the role alcohol played in the crash is also being investigated.

Many people in Citrus County and throughout the state of Florida ride all-terrain vehicles. The three-wheeled and four-wheeled motorized vehicles are designed to handle rugged off-road terrain. Even for experienced riders, ATVs are dangerous and serious injuries are quite common.

ATVs are widely used for outdoor recreation in Florida. However, Florida state laws prohibit the operation of all-terrain vehicles on public roads, streets or highways.

Continue reading

Two people suffered critical injuries earlier this month in a head-on crash on a Citrus County roadway.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened on US Highway 41 at East Live Oak Lane in Inverness.

A baby in one of the vehicles suffered minor injuries.

The crash occurred just after 8 p.m. when a 19-year-old man attempted to pass traffic on US 41 on the inside lane while approaching the intersection.

His 2006 Ford F350 truck smashed into the front of 1998 Chevy Silverado truck that was in the intersection making a left turn.

The 19-year-old driver and his 18-year-old passenger were taken to Ocala Regional Hospital with critical injuries.

The 57-year-old driver of the Chevy Silverado was not hurt.

Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death on Florida roads, highways and interstates. Collisions can occur in all types of ways, including rear end collisions, side impact wrecks and head-on collisions. The most dangerous type of crash is a head-on collision, which occurs when two cars smash into each other head first. The speed of the vehicles in these types of accidents usually determine the severity of the injuries suffered. If you, or someone you love, has been injured in a head-on collision in Citrus County, our Citrus County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you figure out how to file a claim for compensation.

Continue reading

A 63-year-old motorcyclist was killed in a vehicle wreck Saturday night in Citrus County.

The crash occurred around 10:30 p.m. at N Citrus Avenue and W Emerald Oaks Boulevard.

Troopers believe another man driving a GMC Terrain was traveling eastbound on West Emerald Blvd. and traveled across the intersection and into the southbound lanes, in the path of a motorcycle.

The motorcyclist was transported to a local hospital where he passed away.

The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending, according to the report.

Motorcycle riders have the same rights to the road as other vehicles. Other drivers do not always recognize that fact, though. All bikers are at the mercy of other motorists, so when they fail to share the road or keep an eye out for bikers, serious injuries and even wrongful death occur. When accidents happen, insurance companies are quick to blame the motorcyclist simply because riding a bike has risks. This unfair thinking is why you need a Citrus County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton working on your side to make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries. We also help surviving family members recover compensation for their loved one’s wrongful death.

Continue reading

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and this is a great time for all drivers to be reminded of safe driving practices on the roadway.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle deaths occur 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other motor vehicles. Motorcycle accidents usually occur because other drivers are distracted and not paying attention to the number one task of driving. Taking your eyes off the road, even if for just a few seconds, can prove deadly.

Our Citrus County Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Whittel & melton urge drivers to refrain from any distracted driving behaviors. Please do not answer your phone or look at a text while driving. If you must take a call or text, pull over to a safe area off the side of the road and park first. Even a glance may take your eyes off the road for the second it takes to miss seeing a motorcycle.

It is equally important to highlight that motorcyclists have the same rights as any other vehicle. Just understand that because they are smaller, you may not be able to see them right away, so train yourself to keep an eye out for them. Always look twice before pulling out or making a turn.

Moreover, pay attention to your blind spots and always double check your side view mirror before changing lanes. Use your turn signal and turn your head to look before changing lanes. Motorcyclists should not be driving in a car’s blind spot, but taking a second look may save a life.

Motorcyclists also need to drive defensively and follow safety rules. They must obey all traffic laws.

Here is a list of tips for all motorcyclists to be reminded of:

  • Wear brightly colored clothing and reflective tape
  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and protective gear
  • Obey all traffic laws, including the posted speed limit
  • Use hand and turn signals
  • Never ride distracted or impaired

Continue reading

Contact Information