car driving behind a motorcycle

I’ve Been Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident – Do I Need a Lawyer?

Many NJ residents are motorcycle enthusiasts who appreciate the thrill of riding the open road. Motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles must share the same road. As a result, they can become involved in accidents.  Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are often more serious. It is often more challenging for other drivers to see motorcyclists, and corners and turns can lead to collisions. You should speak with an attorney immediately if you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident. Our New Jersey motorcycle accidents attorney can help you evaluate your case and file all claims you may be entitled to pursue.

Safety First 

If you are a motorcycle driver, it is essential to take safety training to learn how to properly and safely operate your vehicle. It is estimated that 90% of the riders in crashes have no formal training. You can obtain training through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, which has many valuable programs for new or experienced riders. You may be to avoid severe injuries if you are involved in a crash and hopefully avoid an accident altogether.

However, you still have to be aware of other drivers who are often unfamiliar with how to share the road safely with motorcyclists.

Who is Responsible in a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident

New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state. This means that the personal injury protection part of your insurance policy would pay for your medical bills and costs in the event of an accident or injury. This coverage is applicable regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

However, this type of insurance does not always cover everything. Because motorcycle accidents can be more severe, they have higher costs than what may be covered by your insurance plan. In this situation, you may have to look to other options to get reimbursed. But, what options you may have are dependent on who is found to be responsible for the accident. This is where the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can be invaluable.

In New Jersey, to recover money for any personal injury, you must be less than 51% at fault for the accident or event that caused the injury. The allocation of fault is what is referred to as “comparative negligence”. The more you are at fault, the less you can recover. This standard applies to all damages, including non-medical costs you may suffer. Where you are primarily at fault, you may not be able to recover anything at all.

Insurance Companies Will Try to Reduce Your Claim 

When you inform your insurance company of the accident and file a claim, the company will engage in its investigation to determine fault. The company can look at police reports, statements at the scene, and other evidence. They then assign a percentage of fault to every party involved in the accident. Many insurance companies aim to keep their costs down. They may try to avoid paying your claim by claiming you were too much at fault and should not be compensated. Alternatively, they may offer you a low settlement.

Unfortunately, there can be more bias against motorcycle drivers than drivers of cars. There is often a preconceived notion that motorcyclists speed, take unnecessary risks, and are not as responsible. This is unfair and often completely untrue. An attorney familiar with motorcyclist claims can help you deal with insurance companies and avoid this bias.

Speak With an Attorney Right Away  

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and you’re not sure what you need to do, you should contact a lawyer for advice. The sooner you do so, the better able you are to protect your rights. In New Jersey, you have a limited amount of time in which you may be able to file a claim for injuries resulting from an accident or damage to your property. The statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years. The statute of limitations for an injury to personal property is six years.

Our firm knows how to protect your rights and deal with insurance companies. Contact our office today for a free consultation.