How to Receive FULL Compensation for Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
Riding a motorcycle is a popular activity in New Jersey, particularly during the warmer summer months. However, with the fun and freedom associated with motorcycling also comes a significant risk of being involved in a catastrophic accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that motorcycle accidents accounted for approximately five thousand deaths in 2015 and countless serious injuries.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, be sure to call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your case.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Although motorcycle accidents are not necessarily more common than other motor vehicle accidents, riders involved in them are more likely to sustain serious and even fatal injuries. Some more common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
Vehicles Making Left-Hand Turns
When a vehicle is attempting to make a left-hand turn, motorcyclists are at risk of danger. When these accidents occur, the turning vehicle may hit a motorcycle when the motorcycle is (1) passing the vehicle; (2) going through the intersection; or (3) trying to overtake the vehicle. This particular cause of motorcycle accident is so common that it accounts for more than forty percent of accidents that happen between a motorcycle and another vehicle. This is due in part to the motorcycle’s smaller size making it less vehicle to other motorists on the road.
Drowsy Driving or Driver Fatigue
Fatigue or extreme tiredness can be caused by physical or mental exertion that impairs performance. When a driver is fatigued, it may be due to work, strenuous activities, lack of sleep, or a combination of factors. An extremely tired motorist can accidentally fall asleep at the wheel or become distracted and collide with a motorcycle which can result in serious injuries.
Distracted drivers cause and contribute to a significant number of vehicle crashes, and particularly motorcycle crashes. Texting while driving is a still one of the most common forms of distracted driving the often leads to serious accidents.
However, a driver can also be distracted if their attention is drawn away in a number of different ways including:
- Talking on a Cellphone
- Using the Internet
- Using Social Media
- Eating or Drinking
- Adjusting Audio or Climate Controls
- Personal Grooming
- Other Passengers
- Moving People or Object on the Side of the Road
- Adjusting Controls or Devices such as Mirrors or Seatbelts
- General Distraction
- Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Motorcycle lane splitting happens when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of slowly moving or stopped traffic. Many motorcycle accidents are caused by lane splitting since a motorcycle has less space in which to maneuver, other vehicles are in close proximity to a motorcycle, and oftentimes in traffic jams, other drivers are not expecting to be passed by another vehicle let alone a motorcycle.
Hazards on the Road
Because motorcycles are smaller in size and usually less stable than a regular passenger vehicle, they are more at risk of encountering hazardous conditions on the road. For example, potholes, uneven lanes, gravel, and other unexpected objects or irregularities can create safety issues for motorcycles.
Blind Spot Accidents
Because motorcycles are oftentimes less visible to other motorists due to their smaller size, many drivers fail to see motorcyclists who are traveling in their blind spots. A driver who fails to check their blind spots completely or simply fails to check altogether before changing lanes, or turning can cause an accident.
Many motorcycle accidents occur because of speeding either on the part of the motorcyclist or another driver. Since motorcycles do not provide the support and protection that vehicles do for other motorists, accidents that happen at high rates of speed can be catastrophic.
Other Traffic Violations
Other traffic violations that may result in a motorcycle accident include:
- Not following traffic signals
- Following another vehicle too closely or tailgating
- Running a stop sign or a red light
- Not using turn signals or headlights
- Failing to yield to the right of way
When it is rainy, icy, snowing or sleeting, many accidents occur because a motorist is driving too fast for conditions and/or loses control of their vehicle. But motorcycles in particular really cannot handle these types of conditions due to decreased stability. When a motorcyclist finds themselves having to drive on slippery roadways, a serious accident can occur.
Lack of Experience or Licensing
Many motorcycle accidents happen due to driver inexperience. If a motorcyclist has not taken any formal training on how to ride, or simply has not ridden all that often or for very long, they risk being involved in a serious accident. Moreover, while all residents who operate motorcycles in New Jersey are required to have either a motorcycle endorsement on an existing driver’s license or a separate motorcycle license, some motorcyclists do not have this endorsement or are not even properly licensed to operate a motorcycle which can lead to disastrous results.
Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Driving after drinking alcohol or consuming drugs is never a good idea, but it could be argued that it is an especially poor decision to operate a motorcycle when you’re under the influence or intoxicated. Operating a motorcycle requires significant attention and when you’re already more vulnerable and at risk of injuries, drinking and consuming drugs can adversely impact your reaction time, stability, and ability to recognize hazards.
Reckless Riding and Super Sport Motorcycles
Individuals who ride super sport motorcycles, or those motorcycles that have the ability to reach excessive speeds and do road tricks, risk being involved in severe accidents when they decide to test the potential of these bikes.
Taking Curves Too Fast
When a motorcyclist takes a curve too fast, it can increase their risk of injury in an accident. Accidents that result from taking a curve too fast is common among inexperienced riders.
No matter what caused your motorcycle accident, if you have been injured or otherwise damaged, you should consider contacting the experienced New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP today to learn how our firm might assist you with your case.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents in New Jersey
Motorcycles, like other vehicles, are involved in many different types of crashes, including:
Head-on collisions occur when the front of a vehicle crashes into the front of a motorcycle. A head-on collision between a motorcycle and a car are usually more likely to be fatal to the motorcyclist.
Motorcycle rollover accidents can be particularly devastating and be the result of a number of different forces including road hazards, colliding with another vehicle, slippery conditions, or a malfunction in the motorcycle itself.
Collisions between Motorcycles and Fixed Objects
Many motorcyclists are involved in accidents with fixed objects such as a light or telephone pole, a curb, guardrail, or construction cone or barrier. The cause of these crashes is usually due to some hazard in the road, a motorcycle traveling at a very high rate of speed, or a motorcyclist who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Tire Blowout Accidents
When a motorcycle’s tire blows out, the effects can be devastating, especially when traveling at high speeds. In these instances, the tire manufacturer may be responsible for the blowout, and thus motorcyclists might be entitled to seek financial compensation from them.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers have represented individuals who have sustained a wide range of injuries as a result of your motorcycle crash, including:
Broken bones are common injuries in motorcycle accidents. This is not surprising given that there is no real physical barrier between a motorcyclist and the road or other vehicles when involved in a crash. Broken bones can include legs, arms, ribs, jaw, skull, fingers, hands, ankles, and feet.
Road rash, also known as road burn, is an injury that can happen when a motorcyclist’s skin comes into contact with the surface of the road and is dragged for some distance. Many motorcyclists suffer road rash when they are flung from the motorcycle, or the motorcycle tips and they slide along the roadway before coming to a complete stop. Road rash is often seen on a motorcyclist’s legs, back, arm, hands, and face.
When a motorcyclist’s body hits the ground, an object, or another vehicle with significant force, their internal organs can be damaged and they may be bleeding internally.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Even though motorcyclists are required to wear helmets, brain injuries still happen in motorcycle accidents. A TBI can happen when the head is shaken, hits an object with extreme force, or is punctured by an object. These types of injuries are considered some of the most serious among motorcyclists who are involved in an accident.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries happen when the vertebrae that compose the spine suffer trauma. This can occur when a motorcyclist lands upon their back or neck, is crushed between objects, or something punctures the spine. Spinal cord injuries may lead to paralysis, which in some cases can be permanent.
Discuss Your Legal Rights With a Dedicated, and Experienced Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, it is very important that you contact one of our dedicated and skilled New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers today. Depending on the types of injuries and other damages you’ve sustained, you may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation and/or you might be unable to return to work. In order to receive the compensation, you need and deserve, you must first establish the liability of those responsible for your injuries. Call Parker Waichman LLP today to learn what you may be entitled to.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS IN NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should I do if I am in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey?
A: First of all, if you can do so safely, try to move over and/or get off of the road right away, but remain at the scene in order to exchange information with others who were involved in the accident. This information can include names, phone numbers, addresses, license plate and driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and the names and contact information of any accident witnesses. If you have been injured, or you see that others have been seriously injured, it is a good idea to call 911. After you’ve received any necessary medical treatment, you may want to consider contacting an experienced New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who can help you with the claim filing process and potentially a lawsuit should the need arise.
Q: Are there time limits for filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit in New Jersey?
A: Every state sets a deadline for filing a personal injury case. These laws are also known as statutes of limitation. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident cases and most other personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of your injury or accident. If you fail to adhere to this deadline, you risk losing your right to compensation.
Q: If I have a motorcycle in New Jersey, am I required to carry insurance?
A: If you operate a motorcycle on New Jersey’s roadways, you must have minimum liability
insurance in order to cover others who might be damaged or injured in an accident that you cause. However, it is important to see that your liability insurance only covers the damages or injuries of others involved in an accident. Any injuries that you sustain or damages to your motorcycle are not covered by your liability insurance. There may also be other alternatives available, such as collision coverage that can help with these types of costs.
Q: What is Underinsured Motorist/Uninsured Motorist coverage and should I carry this as well?
A: UM/UIM coverage is not required by New Jersey law, but if you own and ride a motorcycle, it is probably a good idea to purchase it. The minimum requirements for liability insurance in New Jersey is $15,000, so if you are injured in an accident with someone who only has the minimum amount of insurance, and you sue them, then their insurance company will not pay more than $15,000, or you won’t receive anything at all in the case of someone with no insurance. If you sustain severe injuries in a motorcycle accident, this coverage will not go far in terms of medical costs and expenses. When you purchase UM/UIM coverage, you can obtain compensation for injuries and other damages beyond what is paid by the other driver’s liability insurance.
Q: How do I seek compensation if I’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident?
A: If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident that you believe was due to the negligent or careless actions of someone else, then you might be entitled to seek compensation through a lawsuit. In order establish the other driver’s negligence or liability, you will first have to prove that the other driver owes you a duty of care. The duty of care that drivers owe one another is usually to drive reasonably careful to avoid the risk of injury to other drivers. You must also be able to show that the other driver breached this duty of care, that this breach resulted in your accident, and you were hurt as a result. Some examples of negligent or careless behavior are motorists that fail to stop at a stop sign or red light, text while driving, or speed and these actions cause or contribute to an accident.
It is important to note that in a motorcycle accident, more than one defendant may be responsible for your injuries and other damages. Others that might be liable for a motorcycle accident can include, another driver, the manufacturer of motorcycle parts such as a defective tire or brakes, and even government entities that are responsible for maintaining roads. No matter who or what was the reason for your accident, you will likely have to collect evidence to prove your case which can include police reports, photographs, and the testimony of experts and eyewitnesses.
Q: Is there comparative negligence in New Jersey?
A: In some instances, a motorcycle accident may be the fault of both another driver and the motorcyclist. New Jersey follows what is called a modified comparative negligence scheme, meaning that a jury will evaluate an accident and reduce the motorcyclist’s recovery by their percentage of fault. For example, if a jury awards you $80,000 in damages, but also finds that you are twenty percent at fault for the accident, then the amount you receive will be reduced by twenty percent. So, instead of $80,000, you would recover $64,000. However, if you are found to be more at fault than the other party, even just fifty-one percent at fault, you would be prevented from recovering any monetary damages.
Q: What kinds of damages might I be entitled to in a motorcycle accident case?
A: If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and you are able to prove liability successfully, you might be entitled to past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, mental anguish, household services, and loss of consortium. If the accident causes a loved one’s death, depending on your relationship, you might be able to bring a wrongful death claim to recover damages including medical expenses, lost income, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of care, companionship, and comfort.
Q: But what should I do if I can’t afford a lawyer to represent me in my motorcycle accident case?
A: When it comes to a motorcycle accident and other personal injury cases, many lawyers will take them on a contingency fee basis. A lawyer’s contingency fee is a percentage of your recovery if you settle the case favorably or win at trial. In other words, you typically will not owe any money upfront, and will not have to pay your lawyer anything unless you obtain favorable results in your case. At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers will work hard to obtain the compensation you need and deserve, and we will not expect any upfront payment from you.
Why Choose Parker Waichman LLP
At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers have many years of experience dealing with motorcycle accident victims and their families and have helped them to recover the compensation they need. The lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP are respected amongst other lawyers, peers, judges, and clients, and our law practice has a national reputation for obtaining positive and significant results. Notably, we have achieved substantial monetary awards for our personal injury and wrongful death clients in a total amount of more than one billion dollars. When you decide that Parker Waichman LLP is the right firm for you, you can relax knowing that your accident case is in good hands.
Our Firm’s Awards and Accolades
We have earned a reputation for success as a result of the hard work and determination of our experienced lawyers. Some of the recognitions we’ve received include:
- A listing in Extensive Peer Review’s Best Lawyers Publication
- Recognition as “Preeminent Lawyers” by the AV Peer Review Rating
- An AVVO rating of 9.8 of a perfect 10
- Lawdragon’s highest ranking of “5 Dragons” based on peer review
While we are honored to receive these recognitions, our primary focus and concern are always on our personal injury clients and their cases. When you choose Parker Waichman LLP, you can be sure that we will work hard to secure the best possible results in your claim.
Speak with One of Our Lawyers About Your Legal Rights Today By Calling
At Parker Waichman LLP, our motorcycle accident lawyers have many years of experience helping individuals who have sustained serious injuries and other damages in motorcycle accidents in New Jersey. When you decide that Parker Waichman LLP is the right law firm to represent you in your motorcycle accident case, you can rest assured that we will make every effort to secure the compensation you are legally owed.
If involved in a serious motorcycle accident, it is imperative that you contact us today by either calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or filling out our contact form online to schedule your free, no obligation and confidential consultation.
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