Get Help From Top Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in New Jersey
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 reported that motorcycle accidents accounted for approximately 5,000 deaths in just one year, 2015, as well as 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-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for a free consultation: We can help you stand up for your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve.
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 of the most 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. The turning vehicle may hit a motorcycle when the motorcycle is passing the vehicle, going through the intersection or trying to overtake the vehicle. This particular cause of motorcycle accidents is so common that it accounts for more than 40 percent of accidents that involve a motorcycle and another vehicle. This is due in part to the motorcycle’s smaller size, making it less visible to other motorists on the road. In such cases, you can get invaluable assistance from a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer in NJ when you work with Parker Waichman.
Drowsy Driving or Driver Fatigue
Fatigue that impairs driving performance can be caused by physical or mental exertion. Drivers can be fatigued by work, strenuous activities, a lack of sleep or a combination of these factors. An extremely tired motorist can accidentally fall asleep at the wheel or become distracted and collide with a motorcycle, resulting in serious injuries.
Distracted drivers contribute to a significant number of vehicle crashes, particularly motorcycle crashes. Texting while driving is still one of the most common forms of distracted driving and 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
- Talking to passengers
- Seeing a person or object on the side of the road
- Adjusting controls or devices such as mirrors or seatbelts
If a distracted driver caused your injuries, consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in NJ by calling Parker Waichman.
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 the motorcycle has less space in which to maneuver and often, other drivers are not expecting to be passed by another vehicle in a traffic jam, let alone a motorcycle.
Hazards on the Road
Because motorcycles are smaller in size and usually less stable than a regular passenger vehicle, hazardous conditions on the road put them at special risk. For example, potholes, uneven lanes, gravel, and other unexpected objects or irregularities can create safety issues for motorcycles.
Blind Spot Accidents
Because motorcycles are often less visible to other motorists due to their smaller size, many drivers fail to see motorcyclists who are traveling in their blind spot. Drivers who fail to check their blind spots completely 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 protection that vehicles do for other motorists, accidents that happen at high rates of speed can be catastrophic.
Other Traffic Violations
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 the right of way
When it is rainy, icy, snowing or sleeting, many accidents occur because a motorist is driving too fast for the conditions or loses control of their vehicle. Motorcycles in particular really can’t handle these types of conditions, and when motorcyclists find 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 had any formal training on how to ride or simply has not ridden that often or for very long, the motorcyclist faces a greater risk of 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 do not, which can lead to disastrous results.
Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Driving after drinking alcohol or using drugs is never a good idea, but it’s an especially poor decision to operate a motorcycle under the influence. Operating a motorcycle requires significant attention, and when you’re already more vulnerable and at risk of injuries, drinking or doing 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 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. Accidents that result from taking a curve too fast are common among inexperienced riders.
No matter what caused your motorcycle accident, if you have been injured, you should consider contacting the experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at Parker Waichman today to learn how our firm might assist you.
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 is more likely to be fatal to the motorcyclist. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a head-on crash, a New Jersey motorcycle accident attorney can help you seek justice.
Motorcycle rollover accidents can be particularly devastating and can result from 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, a guardrail or a construction cone or barrier. The cause of these crashes is usually a hazard in the road, a motorcycle traveling at a high rate of speed or a motorcyclist 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.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
At Parker Waichman, our motorcycle accident lawyers in New Jersey have represented individuals with wide range of injuries as a result of a motorcycle crash, including:
Broken bones are common in motorcycle accidents, which is not surprising given that there’s no real physical barrier between a motorcyclist and the road or other vehicles in a crash. Broken bones can include the 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 thrown 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 internal bleeding can result. If you’ve faced a serious medical complication such as this, a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer in NJ may be able to help you.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Even though motorcyclists are required to wear helmets, brain injuries still happen in motorcycle accidents. A traumatic brain injury 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 that can result from a motorcycle accident.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries happen when spinal vertebrae suffer trauma. This can occur when a motorcyclist lands on his or her back or neck or 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, Experienced Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, it’s very important to 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. To receive the compensation you need and deserve, you must first establish the liability of those responsible for your injuries. Call Parker Waichman today to learn what you may be entitled to. We’ll assign you a motorcycle accident lawyer in New Jersey who is skilled at evaluating and establishing liability.
New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Do if I Am in a Motorcycle Accident in New Jersey?
First of all, if you can do so safely, try to move over 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’s 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.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in New Jersey?
Every state sets a deadline for filing a personal injury case, using laws known as statutes of limitations. 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.
If I Have a Motorcycle in New Jersey, Am I Required to Carry Insurance?
If you operate a motorcycle on New Jersey’s roadways, you must have minimum liability insurance in order to cover others who might be injured in an accident that you cause. However, it’s important to know 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.
What Is Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and Should I Carry This as Well?
UM/UIM coverage is not required by New Jersey law, but if you own and ride a motorcycle, it’s probably a good idea to purchase it. The minimum requirement 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, their insurance company will not pay more than $15,000; 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. When you purchase UM/UIM coverage, you can get compensation from your insurer for injuries and other damages beyond what is paid by the other driver’s liability insurance.
How Do I Seek Compensation if I’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident that you believe was due to the negligent or careless actions of someone else, you might be entitled to seek compensation through a lawsuit.
In order to 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 carefully 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 that you were hurt as a result. Some examples of negligent or careless behavior would be failing to stop at a stop sign or red light, texting while driving or speeding, all actions that can cause or contribute to an accident.
It’s important to note that in a motorcycle accident, more than one defendant may be responsible for your injuries and other damages. Others who might be liable for a motorcycle accident can include another driver, the manufacturer of defective motorcycle parts or 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. When it comes time to collect and sort through this documentation, a skilled motorcycle accident attorney in NJ with Parker Waichman can help you put together the strongest possible case.
Is There Comparative Negligence in New Jersey?
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 20 percent at fault for the accident, then the amount you receive will be reduced by 20 percent; 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 51 percent at fault, you would be prevented from recovering any monetary damages.
What Kinds of Damages Might I Be Entitled to in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and you are able to prove liability successfully, you might be entitled to recover compensation for 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.
What Should I Do if I Can’t Afford a Lawyer to Represent Me in My Motorcycle Accident Case?
Call Parker Waichman: We take all cases on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you pay nothing out of pocket for our services. We only get paid from a percentage of your settlement or jury award. If you don’t get compensation, neither do we.
At Parker Waichman, 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 are respected among other lawyers, judges, and clients, and our law practice has a national reputation for getting results. We’re also one of the few law firms nationwide to have recovered more than $2 billion for our clients. When you decide that Parker Waichman is the right firm for you, you can relax knowing that your accident case is in good hands.
But you don’t just have to take our word for it. Our personal injury lawyers have earned many accolades that testify to our skill, including:
- A listing in Best Lawyers, a publication based on extensive peer review
- Recognition as preeminent lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell
- An AVVO rating of 9.8 out of a perfect 10
- Lawdragon’s highest ranking of “5 Dragons” based on peer review
While we are honored to receive these plaudits, our primary focus is always our personal injury clients and their cases. When you choose Parker Waichman, you can be sure that we will work hard to secure the best possible results for your claim.
Speak With One of Our Lawyers About Your Legal Rights for Free Today
At Parker Waichman, 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 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. Call us today at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.