At Whittel & Melton, we represent clients in a wide range of personal injury, wrongful death, criminal defense, and employment matters in Florida. Our team of Florida lawyers includes former Florida prosecutors, former Florida State defenders, a former Assistant Attorney General, retired military and a Board Certified Specialist recognized by the Florida Bar. The founding members of our firm are former nominees for federal and state offices. Whether you need an Florida personal injury attorney in Spring Hill, Brooksville, New Port Richey, Inverness, The Villages, Ocala, Gainesville, a Florida criminal defense attorney, or an advocate for your workplace rights, we are committed to meeting and exceeding your needs. Our attorneys and staff are available 24 hours a day to help our clients navigate the Florida legal system.
Whittel & Melton's success and reputation has always been based on high-quality legal work, performed by well-prepared lawyers who are devoted to their clients. Colleagues have lauded our attorneys as outstanding litigators by recognizing them in publications such as U.S. News and World Report Best Lawyers and Best Law Firms, Super Lawyers, and Florida Trend’s Legal Elite attorney rankings. Lawyers in the firm have also been designated by Martindale-Hubbell with an “AV” rating, the highest rating in that journal. Partner Jason Melton is a Life Member in the exclusive Multi-Million and Million Dollar Advocates Forums.
A personal injury matter may involve any careless, reckless, or intentional act that causes harm to a victim. There are various theories under which a personal injury lawsuit may proceed. The most common theory is negligence, in which an injury attorney in Hernando County can help a victim argue that the defendant failed to use reasonable care, thereby causing harm to the victim. However, defendants also can be held liable under a theory of strict liability in some cases. Our firm handles lawsuits arising out of car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and other accidents.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that you will need to turn first to your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to obtain compensation for medical bills and other economic losses, irrespective of who caused the crash. However, you can step outside the no-fault system and sue an at-fault driver if you meet certain prerequisites. You usually have four years from the date of a crash to commence a car accident lawsuit in Florida. The state follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, which means that you still can recover some compensation for an accident in which you were partly at fault. Our Hernando County injury attorneys will pursue the full scope of the damages to which you may be entitled.Truck Accidents
Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, injuries that result from a truck accident are often devastating. Truck drivers must follow numerous laws and regulations, including rules related to how long they can operate the vehicle between rest breaks, logbooks, cargo loading, and precautionary inspections of the vehicle. There may be numerous truck accident victims, all with catastrophic injuries, bringing claims against the truck driver’s insurance policy after a truck accident. Accordingly, your attorney should investigate the causes of the accident and bring into the lawsuit any party that may have contributed to it. For example, a trucking company may be vicariously liable for its employee driver’s negligence, and it may also have direct liability for its own negligent training, negligent hiring, or negligent supervision of the driver.Motorcycle Accidents
Florida is a popular state for motorcyclists, but it also has a high rate of motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists deserve the same respect on the road as anyone in a vehicle. Unfortunately, drivers of larger vehicles do not always give them the right of way when they are entitled to it. Some drivers fail to give them enough space when making turns or changing lanes. A motorcycle rider may be able to recover compensation from a driver who caused a crash. Our Hernando County injury lawyers can help a victim fight back against any allegations that they were at fault so that they can maximize their damages award.Premises Liability
Florida property owners have a duty to make their property safe for visitors. This can include a duty to make repairs of dangerous conditions or issue warnings. If you are injured because of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you may be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. Premises liability lawsuits can arise out of dangerous conditions at places such as grocery stores, gyms, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, and bars. You probably will need to show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, the property owner failed to repair or provide warnings of the dangerous condition, and you were injured because of the dangerous condition.Wrongful Death
A wrongful death lawsuit may be brought when someone’s death is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, breach of contract, or warranty of any party. A wrongful death lawsuit is brought in civil court and is wholly distinct from any criminal proceedings. In fact, a wrongful death lawsuit may succeed even when a defendant is not convicted of a crime, due to the lower burden of proof in civil court. A personal representative of the victim’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit with the assistance of an injury lawyer in Hernando County. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit may be recovered on behalf of the decedent’s estate and the decedent’s survivors.Criminal Defense
We handle both felony and misdemeanor charges in state and federal courts. Criminal cases that we have handled have included DUI, drug crimes, violent crimes, sex crimes, theft crimes, white collar crimes, juvenile offenses, probation violations, and traffic offenses. The appropriate defense to raise will depend on the nature of the charge and the surrounding circumstances. For example, if you are charged with a drug crime, we might investigate the way in which law enforcement collected the evidence against you. If it failed to comply with constitutional requirements, we might be able to get the evidence suppressed.DUI Defense
We handle all types of DUI charges in Circuit Court and County Court. You should not assume that a conviction is assured, even if your blood alcohol concentration was measured at .08 or greater. We can look closely at the circumstances under which you were pulled over and arrested and determine whether your constitutional rights were violated. If the police had no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to pull you over, for example, we may be able to get evidence from the stop suppressed. In other cases, we might be able to expose errors in the testing procedures that the police conducted.Criminal Appeals
Our attorneys are often hired to file an appeal after a conviction, sentencing, or final hearing. We can review the evidence, transcripts, witness testimony, and facts to determine whether an error was made that would form a basis for an appeal. We may bring an appeal based on errors made during pre-trial dispositive motions, plea negotiations, sentencing, trial, or jury selection. If you want to file an appeal in Florida State Court, the notice of appeal needs to be filed within 30 days of the final order.Employment Law
Employees have substantial protections under federal, state, and local laws. Unfortunately, employers do not always honor their obligations under these laws. Employment law may involve disputes related to wages, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or whistleblowing. It is important to choose an attorney who can help you craft a claim that maximizes your remedies.Wage and Hour Law
Wage and hour violations can involve wage theft, a failure to pay the minimum wage, a failure to pay overtime, and more. Whether you are paid hourly or on a salary does not affect whether you are entitled to be paid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Your eligibility for overtime is dictated by whether you are an exempt or non-exempt employee, based on the legal criteria for these categories and your job duties, occupation, and wages. There are harsh penalties that can be rendered against an employer that fails to pay overtime or retaliates against you for seeking unpaid wages.Employment Discrimination
Federal and state laws prohibit Florida employers from discriminating against employees based on their membership in certain protected classes. Adverse employment decisions that would be prohibited if based on an employee’s protected characteristic include termination, failure to hire, failure to promote, disparate pay, harassment, and more. The Florida Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on color, race, sex, religion, national origin, handicap, age, or marital status. Sometimes an employer uses a pretext to cloak a discriminatory action, but a careful investigation can reveal the true motive.Retain a Skillful Attorney to Fight for Your Rights
Whether you were injured in a car accident, arrested for DUI, or denied your proper wages, you should consult a skillful trial attorney. At Whittel & Melton, our success and reputation are recognized by colleagues and judges alike. We are dedicated to developing and maintaining long-term relationships in communities in which we practice. Call us at 866-608-5529 or contact us via our online form for a free consultation with an injury attorney in Hernando County or guidance in a criminal case or employment dispute.