Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accident

Traffic accidents are never an easy thing to deal with. The headaches that follow a car accident seem to be endless – from property damage, personal injuries and dealing with the insurance companies, auto accidents generally result in a tremendous amount of frustration for all parties involved. While car accidents can be aggravating, preparing yourself for how to react in the event you are involved in an accident can help ensure that your legal rights will be protected.

2852943886_500df8916f_zOur personal injury lawyers at Whittel & Melton have worked with many car accident victims and know firsthand how certain mistakes people make after a collision can jeopardize their  right to financial compensation. The following are the 5 most common mistakes to avoid after you have been involved in an auto accident:

  • Not Calling Police. If you can call the police after an auto accident, then it is best to do so. Law enforcement can handle any emergency and/or criminal issues that can arise at the scene of an accident, as well as take notes about the accident and record any witness statements. Should you choose to pursue an injury claim, these notes could become useful.
  • Not Getting the Other Driver’s Information. You should always try and exchange information with any other motorists involved in an accident. It can be difficult to make a case without this information. Make sure to get a driver’s license plate number, insurance information and contact information. If any witnesses are present, jot down their information as well.
  • Not Seeking Medical Attention. Many people that are involved in car accidents refrain from seeking medical care because they do not feel any pain right away. However, by not seeking prompt medical attention, you put yourself and your potential injury claim in danger. Waiting to seek out medical help is common, but a very big mistake.
  • Believing the Insurance Company. Despite what you may think, the insurance company is in business to protect their bottom line, and that is it. Do not believe for a second that an insurance company will fairly compensate you for your damages, and never accept an offer without consulting with a lawyer first. This is a costly mistake.
  • Not Calling a Lawyer. An auto accident attorney can help you understand all of your legal rights and help guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. Moreover, an injury lawyer can help you deal with the insurance company and get you the financial compensation you deserve.

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As with most other holidays, New Year’s Eve brings an increase in the number of accidents, especially on highways and roads. New Year’s actually sees some of the largest amount of drunk driving offenders compared to other holidays, due to the fact that the main cause for celebration is a late-night party with drinking. This just means more drunk drivers and more tragic accidents.

339912423_4416699c99_zWhile the best safety advice anyone can give for New Year’s is the obvious, “don’t drink and drive,” it is also equally important to refrain from texting and driving, or really just avoiding any distracting activity while behind the wheel. This isn’t only for your own safety, but for that of others. While most people understand that drunk driving can cost lives, texting, eating, applying makeup, etc. while driving can impair your reaction time just as much as alcohol. However, many people still do not regard distracted driving as a deadly error in the same way we think of drunk driving.

If you need to text someone while driving, the safest thing to do is to pull over first. If it is not worth pulling over, then the text really is not that urgent.

Staying alert and practicing defensive driving can prevent many of the accidents that happen on New Year’s, or any other holiday for that matter. Remember that when you get in that driver’s seat, it may not be enough to be sober and distraction-free. Other drivers around you could be distracted or impaired, and if you are driving defensively you will be able to see them coming and avoid any dangerous driving maneuvers on their part. How can you be a defensive driver? The main things to remember when  defensive driving are:

  • Avoid rushing. Leave early so that you have plenty of time to get to your final destination.
  • Avoid tailgating. Allow extra room between yourself and other vehicles.
  • Let people pass you.
  • Regularly check your mirrors, especially before executing any lane changes.
  • Always use your turn signal!

Lastly, you can help prevent accidents even when you are not on the roadways by planning a designated driver to get you and your pals home safely on New Year’s Eve. If someone you know is not safe to be behind the wheel, speak up and take their keys. While they may be mad at the time, they will thank you for it the next day.

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One of the biggest risks for motorcyclists is navigating through intersections. All drivers of motor vehicles travelling through an intersection are obligated to obey traffic signals, and along with that comes the duty to keep a proper lookout for others in the roadway. However, many drivers fail to pay attention to motorcyclists, and when this happens, the results can be deadly.

On Sunday, a Spring Hill motorcyclist was killed in a crash with a Chevy Camaro.

According to reports, a 2011 Chevy Camaro, driven by 50-year-old woman was stopped facing south on St. Ives Boulevard at a stop sign at the intersection of County Road 574.

13667211083_9feebb4f97_zAround the same time, a 2006 Yamaha MTCY driven by 68-year-old man was traveling east on Spring Hill Drive in the inside lane, approaching the intersection of St. Ives Boulevard.

The man attempted to cross Spring Hill Drive before he collided with the Camaro.

The man was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

As mentioned before, the law requires that every driver obey traffic signals. Florida law mandates that all drivers exercise proper care when behind the wheel, which means exercising reasonable care even if they have the right-of-way when they are entering an intersection.

One of the biggest risks facing motorcyclists at intersections is a driver coming from the opposite direction trying to make a left hand turn in front of the motorcyclist. These drivers often try to argue that that the motorcyclist must have been speeding and appeared out of nowhere. The reality is that many of these drivers are simply not paying attention before they execute a turn, and the collision is their fault.

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Florida’s warmer temperatures and sunny skies bring out many bicycles and other cyclists to our roadways. People use bicycles for many reasons—for exercise, recreation, running errands, commuting to and from work or even conserving energy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2000 to 2012, the number of Americans traveling to work by bicycle increased from 488,000 to nearly 786,000. And while a bicycle can offer many health, financial and environmental benefits, it is important to note that it can also bring about many dangers just like any other vehicle.

Bicycle accidents accounted for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities and 2 percent of all crash-related injuries in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A whopping 48 percent of bicycle accident fatalities happened between 4 p.m. and midnight. In this same time period, almost 9 in 10 bicyclists killed were male. Even more shocking, one in four bicyclists, or 24 percent, who were killed in collisions had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 percent or higher.

742586262_4198415493_mBicyclists and drivers alike make mistakes that often contribute to crashes, but when a collision involves a biker and a car, SUV, truck or bus, it is the biker who is most likely to be injured or killed.

Drivers have a duty to make sure they are operating their vehicles in a safe manner, which includes sharing the road with cyclists. This also means motorists must allow adequate room when passing a bicycle on a roadway. The NHTSA recommends three feet of distance between an automobile and a bicycle. Drivers must also keep an eye out for cyclists on roadways, in parking lots and when turning. When drivers and bicyclists both exercise necessary safety precautions, serious crashes can be avoided.

Bicycle Safety Tips

The following are some important safety precautions that bicyclists can use to reduce and prevent two-wheeled tragedies.

  • Always Wear a Helmet: Wearing a helmet is the number one way to prevent a head injury should you become involved in a bicycle accident.
  • Wear Proper Clothing: Cyclists should wear bright-colored or reflective clothing so that they can easily be seen by other motorists on the roadways.
  • Follow All Traffic Laws: Just like any other driver, bicyclists must obey all traffic laws and rules.
  • Respect the Rules of the Road: Cyclists must practice specific safety precautions such as using turn signals, yielding to traffic and driving in the same direction as motor vehicles.
  • Never Operate a Bicycle while Impaired: In 2012, 24 percent of bikers killed in traffic accidents were under the influence of alcohol.

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As summer comes to an end and the beginning of school approaches, so does Labor Day. This holiday gives professionals, families and loved ones a three-day weekend to gather for a celebration of sorts.

While Labor Day is an enjoyable holiday for millions of Americans, the weekend does increase risks to drivers. According to AAA, an estimated 29.2 million people will be travelling on roads and highways over the holiday weekend, a 4.3 percent increase from last year’s 28 million.

4962604100_280e82ab6f_mWith increased traffic comes aggressive driving, speeding and DUIs that all contribute to higher collision rates. The National Safety Council expects 400 deaths related to car accidents this Labor Day weekend. However, as drivers, we can take added precautions to ensure the safety of ourselves and those around us.

Preliminary data collected by the National Safety Council shows that deaths from auto accidents during the first six months of 2014 are down 4 percent, compared to the exact same six month period in 2013. In 2014, 16,180 traffic fatalities occurred from January through June, compared to 16,860 in 2013.

The exact reasons behind the traffic fatality decrease is unknown at this time.

5591761716_57cf063d96_mDeborah Hersman, the president and CEO at NSC released the following statement: “Studies show that 90 percent of crashes involve driver error, including speeding, alcohol use and distractions. Although it’s encouraging to see a decrease in fatalities, the unfortunate fact remains that many of these crashes could have been prevented.”

Moreover, the estimated cost of motor-vehicle deaths, injuries, and property damage through June was $123.0 billion, a 3 percent decrease from 2013. These costs include wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, employer costs, and property damage.

While the downward trend in traffic fatalities is a vast improvement from last year, even just one traffic death is one too many. At Whittel & Melton, our Hernando County Auto Accident Attorneys remain dedicated to helping injury victims and the families of those killed in a fatal car accident obtain financial recovery for their loss. Financial compensation from a fatal car accident lawsuit can cover medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of future income and benefits, loss of spousal companionship, emotional distress, mental anguish and pain and suffering.

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Drivers in Hernando County who travel on the Suncoast Parkway, Interstate 75 and other roads could soon see the speed limits increased by 5 mph.

The Florida Senate and House have approved a measure that would boost the posted speed to 75 mph on certain sections of state roads.

The measure will make its way to Gov. Rick Scott for approval despite reservations by some lawmakers about safety for tourists and seniors. If approved, it would then be up to Florida’s Department of Transportation to decide whether to increase minimum and maximum speed limits on all divided highways that have at least four lanes.

I-75If the measure is approved, the speed limit surge would affect about 1,500 miles of interstates in Florida and other limited access highways.

Any increase in speed limit on a given stretch of highway would only happen if state traffic engineers establish that the roadway is safe enough for a higher speed.

Under current laws in Florida, the speed limit on interstates is 70 mph, 65 mph for highways with a divided median and 60 mph on certain other roadways, including rural highways.

According to Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, each road will have to be looked at individually to make sure an additional 5 mph would not have an impact on safety.

In 1995, the federal government did away with a nationwide 55 mph maximum speed limit and allowed states to set their own limits. Since 1996, Florida has had a maximum speed limit of 70 mph.

Some critics of the increase fear that motorists will drive 80-85 mph if they are allowed to go 5 miles faster.

Several senators have argued against the bill, claiming the increase is not worth risking lives, especially in a state with a high number of retirees who operate their vehicles at a slower speed.

Speed can play a major role in the severity of injuries when a car accident takes place. The faster a vehicle is travelling the greater distance it requires to stop, limiting the amount of time a driver has to react to emergencies. According to the World Health Organization, a car traveling 30 mph will need approximately 42 feet to stop, whereas a car moving at speed of 25 mph will only need 27 feet to come to a standstill.

Speed also plays a role in how violent the impact will be when a collision occurs. The WHO states that the probability of death in a car travelling at 50 mph is 20 times higher than in a vehicle operating at speed of 20 mph.

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A 25-year-old motorcyclist was killed Monday after a car turned in front of him, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The Brooksville biker was apparently heading south on Calienta Street at a high rate of speed near Maplewood Drive just before 5:30 p.m. A Toyota Celica driven by a 60-year-old Spring Hill man was traveling north on the same street.

Troopers said that the driver of the Celica attempted to make a left turn to park on the west shoulder of Calienta when he crossed into the path of the motorcycle.

The car and motorcycle slammed into each other head-on, ejecting the motorcyclist, who was not wearing a helmet. The motorcyclist landed on the west shoulder of Calienta Street, while the motorcycle came to rest on top of a truck. The man was taken to Bayonet Point hospital, where he died a short time later.

The FHP does not suspect that alcohol contributed to the crash. The collision remains under investigation and charges are pending.

motorcycle crash betch.jpgMost motorcycle accidents occur due to another driver’s negligence. When a motorcyclist collides with another vehicle, the motorcycle rider usually suffers severe injuries. While wearing a helmet when operating a motorcycle can help prevent many catastrophic injuries to the head, brain or facial region, even with a helmet, a biker can sustain very serious injuries and even death after a motorcycle accident.

In states that have universal helmet laws, motorcycle riders and passengers of any age must wear a helmet at all times. The state of Florida has partial helmet laws, making it legal for adults over the age of 21 to operate a motorcycle without wearing a helmet as long as they are covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries sustained as a result of an accident.

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A 29-year-old woman lost control of her motorcycle on Bayshore Boulevard early Monday morning and died following the crash.

Officials say she was wearing her helmet while riding her 2013 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle when she entered a bicycle lane and hit the curb.
She lost control of the bike after striking the curb and travelling through some standing water. She was ejected from the motorcycle and hit a concrete monument, according to police.

The woman was taken to Tampa General Hospital where she died from her injuries.

162863_biker_chick.jpgA motorcycle accident with injury or death can still occur even if a motorcycle is being handled safely and a driver is travelling at an appropriate speed for the road. Many problematic road conditions can result in a motorcyclist losing control of their bike ultimately causing significant injuries and even wrongful death. Bikers must always be on the lookout for potholes, uneven pavement, faded road traffic control lines, construction zones and any objects in the roadway, as any of these hazards can cause or contribute to a Hernando County motorcycle accident.

Potholes, road construction and poor highway maintenance are all leading contributors to motorcycle accidents in Hernando County. Because of this, all bikers in Hernando County must pay extra close attention to defects in the roadways and be prepared to slow down in construction zones, when travelling through areas with loose gravel and when riding through all other road conditions that pose a great threat to bikers. However, even paying extra close attention to road hazards can lead to a tragic accident. If you feel that poor road maintenance or any other type of road hazard resulted in you or your loved one’s motorcycle accident, a Hernando County Motorcycle Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton can make sure you understand your rights and help guide you through the appropriate steps for filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

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A 67-year-old Hernando County motorcyclist was killed in a freak accident last week while riding a trike in Lake County.

On March 2, the man was headed west on State Road 44 when a plastic banner advertisement detached from its post and landed on the windshield of his three-wheel motorcycle.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, the man lost control of the bike and slammed into a wall.

The Spring Hill man was rushed to Florida Hospital DeLand, where he died.

Troopers said the man was wearing a helmet.

The crash is still currently under investigation.

792929_harley_day_in_arnhem.jpgFreak accidents embody any type of accident that is out of the ordinary or completely unexpected. While these types of accidents come as a total surprise to victims, they usually also cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries. These one-of-a-kind accidents can be quite complex when it comes to determining fault, and while some accidents don’t warrant legal liability, a Hernando County Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can assess your case and work to identify if there are any responsible parties.

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