Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

The holiday season us officially upon us and New Year’s Eve is around the corner, so you want to avoid a car accident! Drinking and celebrating with friends and family are holiday traditions. The goal is to enjoy yourself and get home in one piece. Sadly, along with Christmas, holiday and New Year’s Eve parties comes more drunk drivers on the roads.

New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for car accidents and drunk driving incidents. January 1 is one of the worst days for serious car accidents caused by drunk drivers.

5 New Year’s Eve Road Safety Tips

  1. Plan your night ahead of time. If you are planning to drink at a party, make plans to spend the night, call a cab services or schedule a ride with Uber or Lyft. Another option is to book a hotel within walking distance. You can also try to find a designated driver you can trust to stay sober and get you home safe.
  2. If you are hosting a party, offer your spare room, couch and floor to anyone who would like to stay overnight. You do not want an overserved guest to be involved in an accident. You can also make sure that there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available along with food to help your guests from getting too inebriated.
  3. If you suspect someone is driving drunk, call the police. If you witness someone speeding excessively or weaving on the road, pull over and call the police. By calling the police, you could end up preventing a fatal car accident.
  4. If you have no other way of getting home safe, just celebrate without the booze. Just think, you can spend New Year’s day without a hangover!
  5. If you are driving home, always drive with extra caution and care. You never know who you are sharing the road with, so be smart and drive defensively.

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Tens of millions of Americans travel over the long Thanksgiving weekend to spend time with family and friends –  nearly 51 million are expected to travel 50 or miles from home this year, AAA estimates.

All of the extra traveling and other activities at Thanksgiving lead to a higher number of cooking and car accidents. According to The American Red Cross, the additional cooking duties over Thanksgiving leads to a higher number of house fires. On a similar note, a higher number of travelers on the highways cause more traffic accidents. The National Safety Council estimates that 407 fatal traffic accidents occurred around the Thanksgiving holiday from 2008-2013.

Our Citrus County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you to have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. To ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe over this holiday weekend, please consider the following simple tips.


  • Anyone travelling in a vehicle should wear their seat belts.
  • Never drink and drive.
  • Do not drive tired.
  • Do not use your cell phone when driving for any period of time.
  • Do not speed.
  • Drive slowly in work zones and use extra caution.
  • On long trips, make sure that you rotate drivers every two or three hours.
  • Do not tailgate. It will not get you to your destination any faster, and it may cause a serious accident.
  • Turn on headlights when it starts to get dark and when you have to use your windshield wipers.


  • Thanksgiving Day is the annual peak for home cooking fires. There were 1,760 home cooking fires in 2015 reported to U.S. fire departments.
  • Cooks should not wear loose clothing around the stove.
  • Use a timer to remind you that the stove is on.
  • Keep your pets and small children away from cooking areas.
  • Check that all smoke alarms are functioning.
  • Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for an emergency.

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Two people were killed Tuesday night in a motorcycle crash in Lecanto.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 48-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman were killed when their 2008 Kawasaki motorcycle collided with a Chevrolet S10.

The crash happened on Homosassa Trail near West Granton Lane just before 7 p.m.

Troopers said a 72-year-old Lecanto woman was driving the Chevrolet northbound on Homosassa Trail and attempted a left turn onto Granton Lane as the Kawasaki was traveling southbound on Homosassa Trail.

The Chevy and motorcycle collided, ejecting the pair on the motorcycle. They both died at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

Motorcycle crashes usually result in very serious injuries, and sometimes death, to the driver and any passengers. These crashes usually happen because of a negligent car driver who was not aware a biker was on the roadway. In most motorcycle crash accidents, car drivers are distracted, inattentive, or careless behind the wheel and fail to take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe roadway for motorcyclists.

A car provides some sort of protection against injury in the event of a crash, whereas motorcyclists do not share this  luxury of protection. Because of this, the worst injuries are usually suffered by the motorcyclist and any passengers.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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