Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accident

This Saturday, October 10, 2015, is National Motorcycle Ride Day. This is a day that is important for several reasons. While any Saturday in Florida is a great day to go out for a ride, the actual purpose of National Motorcycle Ride Day is to:

  • Unite all motorcyclists for a day solely dedicated to riding. While Florida does not technically have a motorcycle season due to our general year-round temperate climate, late fall and winter is approaching in other areas of the country, which means it is time to put the bikes away. However, the fun is not over just yet. National Motorcycle Ride Day is a day of celebration and adventure for all bikers, regardless of their experience or the type of motorcycle they own.
  • Support the motorcycle industry. John Dunlop developed the first practical pneumatic tire in October 1887, which was a significant step in making modern day motorcycles. Because of this, the date of National Motorcycle Ride Day was chosen to honor Mr. Dunlop and to encourage bikers everywhere to support the local motorcycle industry.

National Motorcycle Ride Day will continue to be celebrated annually on the second Saturday of October through at least 2020 for now. From all of us at Whittel & Melton, we hope that you have an enjoyable motorcycle ride this year and keep safety a top priority.

If you plan on riding your motorcycle on Saturday, or any other day, here are a few tips from the to keep in mind while out on the road:

  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
  • Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
  • Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
  • Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
  • Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
  • Never ride distracted or impaired.

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A motorcyclist was killed Wednesday morning after he was hit by a Jeep in Homosassa.

The crash occurred at 11:46 a.m. at the intersection of Kingston Road and U.S. 19.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 25-year-old Inglis man was riding his 2001 Honda motorcycle east on Kingston Road. At the same time, a 54-year-old Homosassa man was traveling south on U.S. 19 in a 2015 Jeep.

A Citrus Springs man died from injuries he suffered after his motorcycle was rear-ended earlier this month, according to troopers.

The crash occurred at 8:33 p.m. on W. Country Club Boulevard at the intersection with N. Deltona Boulevard.

The 78-year-old biker was stopped at a stop sign on West Country Club Boulevard when a 2003 Infiniti G35 hit the rear of his 2009 Suzuki motorcycle, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The man was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.

15849242659_110cf9957a_zAccording to troopers, charges are pending.

A rear-end crash can be especially traumatic for motorcyclists, who lack the protections that driver and passengers have inside a car, SUV or a truck. In many motorcycle accidents, insurance companies will try to argue that the motorcycle rider was at least partially at fault. Sadly, motorcyclists are stereotyped as people who are careless and reckless, when that is certainly not accurate in all situations.

A rear-end accident, in most cases, is entirely the fault of the driver who rear-ends the motorcycle. A driver who causes such an accident may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, texting while driving, or distracted by something else. Even if the facts clearly display the biker was not at fault, the victim or the victim’s family may need a legal advocate who can negotiate a fair settlement or take the case to trial if need be.

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With Memorial Day Weekend signifying the beginning of summer, this means the beginning of many family road trips, and our Citrus County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to urge motorists to take all necessary precautions before hitting the roads. A little bit of maintenance can go a long way when it comes to road trips, so it is always a good idea to make sure your car is properly equipped to take on the highways this summer.

California Redwood Road Trip

Pre-Road Trip Maintenance

Before you head out with family and friends on your summer excursions, make sure your car is ready for the drive. Getting stranded on the side of the road can put a serious damper on what could have been the ultimate family fun trip. Basic regular maintenance can ensure your car is ready for a trip of any length. It may be necessary to get a tune up, oil change, battery check and tire rotation before you head out of town. If you are unsure about your car’s service history, it is a good idea to speak with a mechanic before any issues arise. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Practice Safe Driving Habits

In addition to getting your car properly serviced, it is equally important to engage in safe driving habits, not only for your summer road trip, but all year long. Make a commitment to practice distraction-free driving, as well as buckle seat belts, observe “Move Over” laws and make sure all children are properly secured in age and size appropriate car seats.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued a consumer safety advisory encouraging motorists to be prepared before heading out on summer road trips. The following is a list of their Summer Driving Safety Tips:

  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Buckle seat belts
  • Protect child passengers
  • Avoid distractions
  • Observe “Move Over” laws

Summer Car Accidents

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Munroe Regional Medical Center has told Florida hospital regulators that it is ending its effort to build a trauma center.

The 421-bed hospital notified the Florida Department of Health that it will not formally apply for permission to build.

The deadline for formally notifying the state is April 15, and Munroe previously had indicated an interest in pursuing the idea and contacted the DOH in writing as to its intent.

Munroe’s president and CEO did tell the Ocala Star-Banner that it made little sense to build a trauma center at Munroe since Ocala Regional Medical Center, located just across the street from Munroe, already has a Level II trauma center.

6590137951_d19713f65c_zMunroe also is partners with UF Health Shands Hospital, which operates a Level I trauma center in Gainesville.

According to state guidelines, two centers are allowed in Trauma Service Area 6, which covers Marion, Hernando and Citrus counties. ORMC already has one. Citrus Memorial Hospital in Inverness has also indicated interest in establishing one.

Hospital Corporation of America owns Ocala Regional and West Marion Community Hospital and it leases Citrus Memorial. The plans for the trauma center were halted because it was not believed that the plans would be approved.

Instead, Munroe will focus on improving its emergency department, other hospital areas, and its satellite facilities.

The main focus will be expanding its ER.

The hospital had about 110,000 emergency room visits last year, and that figure includes visits to Munroe’s stand-alone Timber Ridge emergency facility on Southwest State Road 200 and the hospital’s pediatric emergency department.

The expansion of the emergency room will be part of the $150 million improvement package that Community Health Systems promised to make as part of its 40-year lease agreement.

CHS leases Munroe from the Marion County Hospital District, which owns the facility on behalf of the public.

The improvement plan will also likely include a new wing of private patient rooms, which would help accommodate the growing number of patients entering the hospital through the ER.

CHS began its lease of Munroe almost a year ago and owns or leases 208 health care facilities in 29 states.

CHS was required to submit its $150 million improvement plan to the hospital district by last October. Upon receipt of the plan, district trustees complained that what they received was far too vague and incomplete.

According to reports, the hospital needed more time to deliver a more thorough master facilities plan, and that the October deadline was never practical.

It is unfortunate that these plans have ceased for the time being. This new trauma center would have provided much faster service to accident victims in Marion and Citrus Counties as currently they are often taken to Shands in Gainesville or left to wait in line at Ocala Regional.

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Statistics from the Insurance Research Council shows that one in seven drivers in the United States is uninsured. When a car accident occurs, usually the at-fault driver’s insurance covers the damages.

The IRC reports that nearly 14 percent of drivers are uninsured. So, what should you do if you have been hit by an uninsured driver?

  1. Obtain as Much Info As You Can

Even though the other driver is uninsured, you need to gather as much information as possible. Get their name, contact information, driver’s license number and license plate number. Then, take pictures of all the damage to your car, the other car, and while you are at it, snap a pic of the license plate on the car that hit you.

  1. Call the Cops

2957925933_85ed92d9cc_z (1)Whether or not the other driver is being cooperative or uncooperative, it can still be a good idea to get the police at the scene, especially if the damage goes beyond a fender bender. The police can document the incident, and the report can assist with your insurance claim later on.

On a side note, most states have laws requiring all drivers to have car insurance, including Florida. Due to the fact that uninsured drivers are breaking the law, it is probably best to get the police involved.

  1. Call Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance company so that they can check if your policy has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If this is something you do not have, you should definitely consider getting it.

Uninsured motorist insurance compensates you for injuries and damages in the event you are in an accident with another party who has no insurance at all. On the other hand, underinsured motorist insurance covers the rest of the damages when the other side’s insurance is not enough to cover your total damages. To review, let’s say your underinsured motorist insurance covers $100,000. If the at-fault driver’s insurance covers $50,000 in damage, but your damages totaled $75,000, you would get $50,000 from the other driver’s insurance, and the $25,000 from your policy would cover the rest of the damages.

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Spring break is upon us, which means school is out! This time of year is highly anticipated by students of all ages. For an entire week there are no exams, quizzes, and lectures, and that means more time in the sun with friends. For students heading somewhere far away that requires a plane trip, there is little to stress about minus the occasional delay. However, some students opt for the road trip with friends, sometimes travelling more than 14 hours to reach their spring break destinations.

Students that are driving long distances face many dangers, including distractions in the car, fatigue and of course, the regular car maintenance issues. The following tips can prevent potential accidents on the road:

  • Make sure to inspect the vehicle being used for travel before leaving. You need to check the tire pressure, engine, brakes, fluids, etc. Anything can happen when you are on the road, from getting a flat tire to your engine overheating. While you cannot always anticipate these things, do your best to prevent obvious hazards, such as engine check signals and low tread on tires. Be prepared for any mishaps and keep an emergency road kit in your car with spare tires, jumper cables, and any other necessary equipment you may need.
  • 8488072162_fc9168fdc0_zCreate a driving plan and rotate drivers every couple of hours. Driver fatigue is dangerous and should be avoided. It can be quite difficult to fight off feelings of drowsiness. If you or another driver starts to feel their eyelids getting heavy or experiences uncontrollable yawning, these are signs it is time to switch who is in the driver’s seat. Never allow all passengers to doze off and leave the driver without company. Sometimes simple conversation can prevent the driver from becoming too exhausted and falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Everyone that will be driving needs to have a valid driver’s license. The vehicle’s registration and insurance should be kept in a convenient place. Before you head out, make sure that stickers, registration and insurance are not expired. Getting stopped by law enforcement in a foreign place without the proper identification and forms can be an unnecessary headache you do not want to deal with.
  • Do not keep valuables in your car for an extended period of time. People will be more inclined to break into your vehicle if they spot valuable items sitting on the seat, like wallets, phones and laptops. Make sure when you haul these items in your car, that you secure them somewhere out of sight when you have to leave your vehicle for a food or bathroom break. Locking your vehicle is the best way to protect your belongings. Do not leave your windows open enough for anyone to stick their hands in.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a press release last month regarding the results of two recent studies on impaired driving in the U.S. The NHTSA reports even though drunk driving has declined, drug use behind the wheel has increased across the nation.

3926259585_5f265f6683_zDrunk driving has been very high on the list of national motor vehicle safety issues for the past couple of decades. Due to nationwide safety campaigns and high-visibility law enforcement patrols, drunk driving has decreased in the U.S. And while this is great news to drivers in Florida as well as the rest of the country, it is important to point out that there is an increase in impaired driving involving illegal and legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs across the U.S. From cold medicine to marijuana, driving under the influence of drugs is very dangerous and places all roadway users in danger of serious injury or death.

Impaired Driving Statistics

  • The number of drivers with alcohol in their systems has declined by nearly one-third since 2007.
  • The number of drivers with alcohol in their system has declined by three-quarters since 1973.
  • The number of drivers on weekends during the nighttime hours with evidence of drugs in their system increased from 16.3 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2014.
  • The number of drivers with marijuana in their system climbed by almost 50 percent.
  • In a 2014 survey, nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect their abilities to safely navigate behind the wheel.

While driving under the influence of legally prescribed and purchased over-the-counter medications is not widely publicized as impaired driving, you should know that there are dangers of taking these medications and driving. In fact, any medications or drugs that can impact your ability to drive safely pose a threat to yourself and others should you choose to get behind the wheel of a car. Drowsiness and fatigue are a common side effect of many prescription and over-the-counter meds, and falling asleep at the wheel could prove lethal. If you are taking a medication that makes you tired or sleepy, you shouldn’t be operating a vehicle.

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If you have survived a car accident, you are probably feeling hurt, scared and confused. It can be difficult trying to move on from this stressful time when no one completely understands your physical pain or emotional suffering.

You are not alone when it comes to surviving an auto accident. In fact, the latest research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that:175119264_e5ab911826_z

  • Combined, car accident victims in the United States spend about one million days in the hospital each year.

This Sunday the wait is officially over – the Superbowl is here! Football fans across the country have already started preparing to watch and celebrate Sunday’s Super Bowl with friends and family. Our Citrus County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are encouraging NFL fans to enjoy the game responsibly and designate a driver if they intend to drink.

Whether you’re hosting a Super Bowl party or out watching the game with friends, remember that fans don’t let fans drive drunk. It should always be to priority to get home safely.

In 2013, there was one death every 52 minutes across the country due to drunk drivers, according to the NHTSA. That breaks down to 10,076 people killed in crashes involving a drunk driver. More than half of those fatalities, 56 percent to be exact, happened during weekends (Friday 6 p.m. to Monday 5:59 a.m.)

16165977478_fa0a3fc559_zThe NHTSA, NFL and the Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management Coalition have joined forces with local highway safety and law enforcement officials to remind everyone about the national campaign, “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.” If you are hosting a party, watching the game at a bar or restaurant or even attending the game, always make sure you have a sober ride home before choosing to drink.

If you’re attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a bar or restaurant:

  • Select a sober driver or plan another way to get home safely before you start partaking in Super Bowl festivities.
  • You can even use the NHTSA’s new SaferRide mobile app. This app helps people who have been drinking get a safe ride home by identifying their location so they can be picked up. You can get the app for Android devices on Google Play and Apple devices on the iTunes store.
  • Do not let friends drive if they have had too much to drink.
  • When you are on the road, always buckle up – this is always your best defense against drunk drivers.

If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served at your soiree ends up in a drunk driving collision.
  • Have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the game’s third quarter.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies on hand, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink. Offer your couch to friends and family if need be.

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