Florida Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured, or if you have lost a loved one because of another person’s negligence or reckless actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and injuries. The St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers at Whittel & Melton help clients hold the insurance corporations and the people who caused their accidents accountable for their actions by filing an insurance claim or by bringing a civil lawsuit.
We can assist you in securing financial compensation for your damages and loss. We also may be able to help you obtain medical care and assist with other costs associated with your accident while your case is pending. Whittel & Melton’s success is built on a strong foundation of high-quality legal work and a devotion to our clients. We are proud to help accident victims in St. Petersburg and throughout Florida fight for what they are entitled to recover. Let us put our skills to work for you.Personal Injury
You have a narrow window of time, known as a statute of limitations, within which to file your personal injury lawsuit. The type of claim can affect the statute of limitations, but in most personal injury lawsuits, you have four years from the date of the injury or accident to sue for damages. You have two years to sue for wrongful death. Our personal injury attorneys in St. Petersburg can ensure that victims meet all the procedural requirements, while crafting strong arguments in favor of liability.Car Accidents
A car accident may occur whenever a driver fails to use reasonable care behind the wheel. A driver may breach the duty to use reasonable care by speeding, driving drunk, tailgating, weaving, driving while fatigued, or failing to obey traffic signals and signs, among other examples. Your attorney would need to show that the accident would not have occurred if the defendant had acted reasonably. Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. If a plaintiff was at fault for an accident, they still can recover damages that are proportionate to the defendant’s fault.Truck Accidents
Truck accident lawsuits are complicated and often involve substantial damages. Many truck accidents result from a truck driver’s negligence. Some common examples of truck driver negligence include making improper wide turns, overloading cargo, driving while fatigued, or failing to abide by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. However, other parties may share the blame for an accident, such as the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, a mechanic, or a third-party loader. Our St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys will investigate the causes of the accident and bring all the appropriate parties into the litigation.Motorcycle Accidents
There is no buffer between a motorcyclist and a larger vehicle. It is common for motorcyclists to suffer back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, road rash, and burn injuries in a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, many insurance carriers and juries are biased against motorcyclists, and an insurance adjustor may try to argue that a motorcyclist was at fault. Our firm can conduct its own investigation of the motorcycle accident and present your case in a persuasive manner. We also can help you find a doctor for your injuries while your case is pending and arrange to have the doctor hold the bills until after the matter is resolved, even if you do not have health insurance.Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents often are preventable. Unfortunately, drivers of larger vehicles may not abide by traffic rules, leaving pedestrians highly vulnerable to injuries. Under Florida Statute section 316.130(15), a driver is supposed to use reasonable care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian. A personal injury lawyer in the St. Petersburg area can help residents and tourists pursue damages from drivers who failed to use reasonable care. If a pedestrian accident causes a tragic death, the victim’s family can pursue a wrongful death claim.Boating Accidents
Although boating is a popular recreational activity in Florida, people on the water may find themselves susceptible to catastrophic injuries. Many boaters do not have the education and training necessary to operate their boats. Injuries may result from a boat operator’s failure to complete a boating safety course or alcohol or drug use while operating the boat. Boating accidents also can result from overcrowding, speeding, driver inattention, or failures to abide by safety rules and norms. Sometimes boating accidents result from equipment failures or defective safety products, in which case it may be possible to hold a manufacturer liable in a lawsuit.Premises Liability
If you are injured on someone else’s property, you may be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. You will need to show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your injuries. For example, if you suffer a slip and fall in a grocery store, you can try to show that the property owner had actual or constructive notice about the transitory substance that caused your accident under Florida Statute section 768.0755. Alternatively, you can try to show that the condition happened regularly and was therefore foreseeable. Our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers can gather the evidence that you need to prove liability.Workplace Injuries
In most cases, your only remedy against your employer after a workplace accident is a workers’ compensation claim. These benefits are provided regardless of who was at fault. However, you may be able to recover additional damages by suing a third party, such as a manufacturer, property owner, or driver. We are dedicated to fighting for workers’ rights in cases involving car accidents, workplace violence, slip and falls, trip and falls, explosions, fires, and exposure to toxic substances. The compensation awarded in a third-party claim based on workplace injuries often goes well beyond the benefits awarded through workers’ compensation.Dog Bites
If you were a victim of a dog bite, you may be able to recover damages from the dog owner. Florida follows a rule of strict liability, which means that you can hold an owner liable for a dog bite even if the owner did not previously know that the dog had vicious propensities. If the dog owner is a friend or family member, a personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg can help you file a claim with the appropriate homeowners’ insurance company to get compensation for the injuries. The compensation to which you are entitled may include medical care, counseling, lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.Wrongful Death
Under Florida Statutes section 768.19, when someone’s death is caused by another party’s breach of contract, default, negligence, or wrongful act, the decedent’s estate can bring a civil lawsuit to seek a legal remedy for the death and the losses arising out of it. While nothing can replace a lost loved one, a lawsuit can help reduce the financial burden on family members. In Florida, you have two years from the date of a death caused by negligence or wrongful conduct to file a wrongful death action. The wrongful death action is separate from any criminal proceedings that may be instituted against an at-fault party.Wage and Hour Laws
As an employee, you are entitled to be paid the highest minimum wage that applies in St. Petersburg (or in any other city where you work), whether that is a federal, state, or local rate. Florida does not have its own overtime law, but the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that employers pay overtime to hourly, non-exempt employees. The FLSA requires that employers pay an employee time and a half for any work that goes beyond 40 hours in a work week. You can sue for an overtime violation through a civil lawsuit. You may be entitled not only to unpaid back wages for an overtime violation, but also to liquidated damages in the same amount.Hire a Dedicated Personal Injury Lawyer in the St. Petersburg Area
After a serious accident, obtaining fair compensation can be crucial. If we are retained, our attorneys will carefully work up your case with an eye toward trial, in case you do not receive a fair settlement offer from an insurance company, property owner, or negligent driver. Our goal is to put you in the best position to recover damages. Representation does not cost our clients anything until they are compensated. Call us at (727) 823-0000 or contact us via our online form to set up a free consultation.