What Are My Rights as a Motorcycle Passenger if I’m Injured?

By Greg Kohn

The motorcycle lifestyle in New Jersey comes with risks to both riders and passengers. 

Recent NTSA  reports indicate that motorcyclists experience fatalities and injuries at a far greater rate than passenger car occupants. Motorcycle passengers are particularly vulnerable as they have no independent means of averting dangers on the open road. 

While it may not be possible to fully protect yourself as a motorcycle passenger, New Jersey motorcycle accident attorneys advise that you can take steps to preserve your rights in the event of an accident. 

What Are My Rights as a Motorcycle Passenger if I’m Injured?

Being involved in a motorcycle accident is scary, even more so when you are a motorcycle passenger. As a passenger, you are entirely reliant on the skills of others to avert driving dangers. When a crash happens, you may be left wondering what recourse you have for compensation after the accident?  

The first thing you should do is reach out to a qualified New Jersey personal injury attorney for help. You may be entitled to much-needed compensation for healing and recovery. A skilled personal injury attorney specializing in motorcycle crashes can help assess your situation and navigate an insurance claim or legal action on your behalf.

Who Is Liable for a Motorcycle Passenger’s Injuries in New Jersey?

Determining fault in a motorcycle accident may be tricky. Depending on circumstances, the motorcycle rider may be partially or fully at fault for the accident.  Since New Jersey is a comparative negligence state, this could affect a future award of damages in a legal action or insurance claim. 

Should a Motorcycle Passenger Sue for Damages After an Accident? 

Injury accidents often carry a heavy financial burden resulting from medical expenses and lost wages. Yet many times, motorcycle passengers hesitate to pursue a claim for damages because they don’t want to file an action against the rider if they were deemed at fault.

It’s important to understand that even if the rider was at fault, you are not filing a claim against them directly, but rather against their insurance company. Do not be dissuaded from filing a claim. Your personal injury attorney will explain your options for recovering damages and how it might affect the parties involved. 

4 Things New Jersey Motorcycle Passengers Can do to Protect Their Rights 

If you are going to be a passenger on someone’s motorcycle, there are some steps you should take to protect yourself before a possible accident. 

Passengers should know if they are covered by insurance before riding on a motorcycle.  If the rider’s policy does not provide passenger coverage, the passenger should take steps to purchase their own motorcycle insurance. 

For safety and claim protection, all passengers should adhere to New Jersey’s helmet law.  Failure to wear an approved motorcycle helmet could result in severe brain injury from a crash and may jeopardize any right to compensation for head injuries. 

As in any vehicle accident case, insurance companies will attempt to shift blame and minimize their exposure. Understanding your insurance coverage and adhering to motorcycle safety rules will provide the best possible outcome in a claims process. 

  1. Ask the rider if they have motorcycle insurance that covers passengers.
  2. Check your insurance policy regarding coverage as a motorcycle passenger.
  3. Purchase motorcycle insurance covering yourself as a passenger.
  4. Always wear a helmet and protective gear. 

Contact a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an injury attorney today. Understanding your rights after an accident is essential to protecting your claim and getting financial compensation to cover medical expenses and lost income. 

To learn more about motorcycle passenger rights and filing a compensation action, contact our office to speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.