New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Injured In A Motorcycle Crash?
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association motorcycle fatalities in the U.S. decreased 5.6 percent in 2017. While this news is encouraging, motorcycle accidents are still very high; nearly 5,000 people lost their lives in crashes during this same year. In New Jersey, 11.8% of motor vehicle fatalities were motorcycle riders or passengers.
Even if a motorcycle crash is not fatal, riders and passengers face a much higher chance of serious personal injuries, such as spine and brain injury. This is because motorcyclists have no walls, doors, a roof, floor or airbag to shield them from impact. Below are common reasons for motorcycle accidents and several valuable safety tips.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
The greatest cause of motorcycle accidents is the inattention of drivers, but there are other prevalent factors, which include:
Right of Way Violations. One of the most common types of motorcycle accidents happens when a car turns left across oncoming traffic. Before turning, a driver may fail to notice an oncoming motorcyclist – even when the rider has the right of way. This can result in a head-on collision or “T-bone” accident.
Speeding. Car drivers who speed may be unable to stop in emergency situations. This can result in serious or fatal rear-end collisions or other accidents.
Drunk Driving. If a car or truck driver is drunk, he or she is much less likely to notice a motorcyclist.
Lane Splitting. This practice involves motorcyclists riding between adjacent lines of traffic. Lane splitting is dangerous because a car or truck driver may not notice a motorcyclist when merging or turning.
Motorcycle Defects. A tire, wheel or any other part of a motorcycle may fail if it has manufacturing or design defects. If so, the parts manufacturer may be liable for the damage caused by the crash.
New Jersey Motorcycle Safety Tips
Although many motorcycle accidents result from driver negligence, motorcyclists should still take steps to protect themselves, such as:
Always wear a helmet! Helmets reduce your risk of head and brain injuries in the event of a crash. The Governors Highway Safety Association reported that in 2016, 802 people would have survived if they had been wearing a helmet when they crashed. In New Jersey, all motorcycle drivers and passengers must wear a helmet, regardless of age.
Wear other protective gear. Gloves, boots, a sturdy jacket and long pants may protect riders from painful injuries in a motorcycle crash. Additionally, bright colors and reflective clothing will help other drivers see motorcyclists .
Be comfortable on your bike. Riding a motorcycle is very different from driving a car, and motorcycle training can help ensure you know what to do in all emergency situations. The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission can help you find a motorcycle training course in your area.
Practice defensive driving. Since many drivers overlook motorcyclists, you should exercise caution when approaching an intersection or turn. It is also best to avoid blind spots and leave a safe traveling distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you.
Be mindful of weather and road conditions. With only two wheels, motorcycles are more prone to skidding in wet or icy weather, or from debris on roadways. Riders also have little protection against the elements, which could reduce visibility or impact your reaction time.
Drive responsibly. Like the driver of any vehicle, motorcyclists should always follow posted speed limits and never drive while drunk, drowsy or distracted.
What to Do If You Are In a Motorcycle Accident
Follow the same steps as you would in a car accident.
After a motorcycle crash in New Jersey, you will have to file an insurance claim, either with the at-fault driver’s provider or your own. However, just as with car accidents, an insurance company may attempt to pressure you into an early, l low settlement. You should always speak to a lawyer before speaking the other driver’s insurance adjuster or investigator.
Get a Free Consultation with a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The results of a motorcycle crash may involve not only serious injuries or wrongful death but may also include complicated insurance claims and possibly a personal injury lawsuit.
Our attorneys, paralegals and investigators are experienced in handling motorcycle accidents whether negotiating with insurance companies or litigating cases in court. We are relentless in pursuing our clients’ accident claims so that they receive fair and just compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and/or reduced earning capacity
- Car damage or total loss
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages
How much does it cost to hire a motorcycle crash lawyer?
New Jersey motorcycle accident cases are classified as personal injury lawsuits, which are typically handled on a contingency basis. This means that you will not have to pay for any legal expenses up front or during the handling of your case. When your case settles, legal fees are deducted from the insurance settlement or trial award. Your Keefe Law Firm personal injury attorney will explain this to you and will also provide it to you in writing before beginning any work on your case.
What is a fair settlement for a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Every motorcycle crash is different and it is impossible to determine a fair compensation amount until all of the facts are examined. The determining factors include lost wages, the cost of medical treatment, home health care and above all, the extent of your injuries. These are called compensatory damages. Victims may also pursue punitive damages, which are meant to punish the person responsible for the accident. The best way to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who has successfully advocated for victims at the settlement table or in the courtroom.
What can I do to help my case?
After a motorcycle crash, do these five things to help your case:
- Give your doctor or healthcare provider complete and accurate information about your injuries and any other negative physical, mental or emotional symptoms you are experiencing. Your medical records are one of the most important pieces of evidence in your case. Healthcare are required to keep accurate and detailed records of your complaints, injuries and illness. Their diagnosis and the treatment plan to care for you after the accident. This includes a description of your accident and how you were injured. Often, in the eyes of your insurance company and the judge or jury, if it is not in your medical records, it did not happen.
- Follow doctors’ orders to a “T”. Not doing everything your physician and other healthcare providers prescribe can really harm your case–reducing the amount of compensation. Insurance companies use anything and everything they can against plaintiffs.
- Document your injuries in writing: Write everything down as soon as you are able immediately after your motorcycle crash and up until your case settles. Record how you are feeling daily, including how your injuries have affected your personal life, employment and hobbies. Store this documentation electronically by simply emailing it to yourself. This information can help increase the value of your case when it comes time to explain how the accident affected your daily life.
- Document Your Lost Wages and Income: Keep a written record of missed work and lost wages due to recovery, doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, etc.
- Keep Track of Medical Bills and Expenses: After an accident you will receive “explanation of benefits” forms from your health insurance company. It is important that you read and note these forms; often after an accident your insurer will deny payment until you provide information about how you were injured. If your medical bills are turned over to a collection agency your credit score will suffer. Also, medical providers have contracts with your health insurance provider in which they agree to receive an amount of money less than what they charge for payment in full. This means that if your medical bills are not fully paid by your insurance, you will have to pay the difference out of pocket.
Injured In A Motorcycle Accident? Our Lawyers Will Provide A Free Case Evaluation
At Keefe Law Firm, we stand for our injured clients to attain nothing less than the compensation they deserve. Talk to a Keefe Law Firm lawyer today about your options.