Articles Posted in Truck Accident

Road construction is now underway in downtown Inverness, which can lead to some serious construction accidents.

The plan is to resurface State Road 44 between Highland Boulevard and Cherry Avenue, but drainage improvements must be made before any actual work can be done.

According to state transportation officials, all the work should wrap up by the summer of 2016 and that the resurfacing work will be done at night.

With construction starting up, it is important to touch on construction accidents and defects, like what you should do if you fall into an open pit or trench. A construction site accident can be extremely serious, and may cause permanent disability, loss of a limb, head injury, fractured or broken bones, amputation, scarring, and in the worst cases, wrongful death. These accidents usually result in hefty medical bills, and there may even be a long period of disability and lost wages, which can have a devastating impact on your finances. While worker’s compensation may pay for some of the medical bills and lost earnings, worker’s compensation will not fairly compensate an injured worker for permanent losses and disability stemming from a serious construction accident.

Common Types of Construction Site Accidents:

  • Highway construction accidents
  • Wrongful death
  • Roadway safety defects
  • Crane accidents
  • Anchor bolt failures
  • Scaffold accidents
  • Falls into unprotected holes
  • Safety code violations
  • Explosions
  • Improper site design or inspection
  • OSHA violations
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slips and falls
  • Trip and falls
  • Open pits or trenches
  • Burns
  • Heavy equipment failures
  • Unprotected holes
  • Pedestrian construction accidents

Continue reading

Road construction is officially underway in downtown Inverness, which is causing headaches for many drivers.

The plan is to resurface State Road 44 between Highland Boulevard and Cherry Avenue. Before that can happen, drainage improvements must be made.

State transportation officials say all the work should wrap up by the summer of 2016 and that the resurfacing work will be done at night. The cost of the project is about $1.8 million.

Speed and driver distractions are the main factors involved in traffic accidents occurring in road construction areas. When drivers fail to take note of reduced speed limits or the redirected flow of traffic, collisions involving traumatic injuries can easily occur due to the sheer fact that there is nothing a motorist can do to avoid the collision in the work zone.

Our Citrus County Auto Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are very familiar with the dangers construction zones pose to motorists. Depending on the nature of the accident, a legal claim for damages may be pursued against various parties who may be responsible for the accident including:

  • Driver of the at-fault vehicle
  • Local governmental entities
  • Construction companies
  • Safety inspection companies

Continue reading

A wrong-way driver was killed in a crash that seriously injured another driver Saturday night in Inverness, according to reports.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the wrong-way driver, a 76-year-old Dunnellon man, was driving a 2001 Nissan Xterra east in the inside westbound lane of State Road 44 around 11:30 p.m.

The Nissan collided with a Chevrolet Cruz travelling westbound after crossing Kensington Avenue.  

The wrong-way driver was killed on impact and pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Chevy Cruz, a 44-year-old Homosassa man, was taken to Ocala Regional Hospital with serious injuries.

Drivers who cause accidents by driving the wrong way place other drivers sharing the road or highway in terrifying situations. When wrong way drivers speed they leave other drivers with very limited options to avoid a severe accident that causes critical or fatal injuries.

Our Citrus County Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help those in Inverness and the surrounding areas that have been injured by wrong way drivers. We can pursue maximum financial compensation from all sources of insurance coverage, including the other driver’s policy, your own policy and the liability of third parties when applicable. When your injuries are serious, every single dollar will be needed to cover medical bills, lost income and future medical care needs.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

A bicyclist died last Thursday, two days after he was hit by a car while riding in Citrus County, according to reports.

The 75-year-old Crystal River man was riding his bicycle east along the southern edge of the Ozello Trail during the morning hours of March 31.

At the same time, police claim that a 73-year-old Homosassa woman was driving a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox east on the Ozello Trail.

13205411865_d6f7f39a9f_zTroopers believe the driver failed to see the biker. The right front corner of her car sideswiped the biker, ejecting him onto the road.

The man was taken to Bayonet Point, where he died from his injures two days later.

Bicycling is more popular than ever in Florida, due to our war climate and what seems like never-ending bike trails and bike lanes on Citrus County streets. As the popularity of biking continues to grow, bike riders must remember that their safety is not guaranteed as long as they share streets and street crossings with cars and trucks. Bikers are extremely susceptible to injury compared to the drivers of other vehicles on the road.

Cycling accidents are a serious problem not just in Florida, but across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 726 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2012. In that same year, the death toll for cyclists accounted for nearly 2 percent of all deaths on the roadway, despite the fact that bicycles represented only 1 percent of all traffic on the road.

Continue reading

An Inverness man died Wednesday morning after he was involved in a crash on State Road 44.

The collision occurred shortly after 10 a.m. on State Road 44 near Shady Knoll Place.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the 70-year-old man was driving a 2002 Mercury east in the outside lane of State Road 44. At the same time, a 67-year-old man was also driving east in the inside lane.

Troopers believe that the driver of the Mercury attempted to change from the outside lane to the inside lane, but when he did so the the left front of his Mercury clipped the right rear of the other driver’s 2009 Ford Ranger.

Both vehicles spun clockwise onto the south shoulder of State Road 44. The Ranger overturned, while the Mercury came to rest on the sidewalk.

The driver of the Ford Ranger died from his injuries at the scene. His passenger suffered serious injuries and was taken to Bayonet Point.

16718015131_b6b211a325_zThe driver of the Mercury was not injured. His passenger was taken to Seven Rivers Hospital with minor injuries.

The highways in Citrus County are becoming increasingly more crowded and sophisticated. With drivers traveling at high speeds on these highways and roads, lane changing accidents and lane merger accidents occur on a regular basis, ultimately resulting in injuries to drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 533,000 – or 9 percent – of all motor vehicle accidents are lane changing and merging collisions. Of those reported accidents, 200 result in fatalities.

The most common causes of lane change accidents include:

  • Improper Lookout
  • Distracted Driving
  • Driver Fatigue
  • Impaired Driving
  • Low Visibility

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Driving in a new area can be stressful to many drivers and could cause them to travel the wrong way down a one-way street or even make a fatal mistake at a highway entrance. Intoxicated drivers are also highly prone to wrong-way driving errors and usually do not pick up on their mistake until it is too late, due to delayed reaction times.

These mistakes or impairment can result in tragic Citrus County auto accidents. These accidents have been seen at an alarming frequency in central and south Florida in the past few years. According to data from the Florida Department of Transportation, there were 1,173 wrong-way crashes on Florida’s freeways and toll roads from 2003 to 2012, the most recent years for which data are available. They killed 164 people and injured 1,322.

3994897686_42349ec320_mAccording to law enforcement, many things can cause a wrong-way driving accident, including drunk driving, drugged driving, and elderly motorists and those unfamiliar with a particular area. The Federal Highway Administration mandates safeguards to keep these accidents from occurring, including “Wrong Way” signs and “Do Not Enter” messages. While it can be hard to miss these prominently displayed warnings, impaired or distracted drivers may not notice them, or they could be too confused to understand them.

The following steps could prove useful if you are involved in a wrong-way driving accident:

  1. Move your car to a safe nearby location, just make sure you are careful and do not leave the scene.
  2. Check to see if anyone is hurt and call 911 for medical assistance.
  3. Contact the police. They can let you know if it is necessary for an officer to be present.
  4. Get the names, phone numbers, addresses and email addresses of all occupants and witnesses.
  5. If you can, take photos of the accident scene and all vehicles involved.
  6. Get the insurance company name, policy number and phone number for all drivers involved in the accident.
  7. If emergency services are called to the scene, record the police report number, phone number, officer name and badge number, and any other information that could be relevant.
  8. Call Whittel & Melton at 352-726-0078 or contact us online.

If you have been injured in a wrong-way accident in Inverness, Crystal River, Beverly Hills, Lecanto, Homosassa, Dunnellon, Hernando, Sugarmill Woods, Citrus Springs or Floral City, it is best to consult with a Citrus County Auto Accident Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton who can advise you of your rights.

Continue reading

Contact Information