New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer understands that riding a motorcycle gives drivers a sense of freedom on the open road. You get to feel the wind rushing by you as you enjoy the warmth of the spring day. However, cruising down the road on your motorcycle, you are more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a crash.

According to The Office of the Attorney General for the state of New Jersey, 81% of motorcycle drivers were wearing a DOT-approved helmet but still suffered fatal injuries. This goes to show how vulnerable motorcycle drivers are in crashes. 

With such limited protection, motorcyclists need representation they can count in. Motorcycle injuries can be severe, and often the damage to the bike is irreparable. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC understand the suffering associated with a motorcycle crash and are here to help. 

A black motorcycle helmet placed on the seat of a black motorcycle parked on the street with a natural landscape.

Factors Contributing to Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists have no barriers between themselves and the road. Keeping this in mind, motorcyclists wear helmets, leather jackets, vests, chaps, and gloves to protect themselves from road abrasion in the event of a crash.

Motorcyclists take extra precautions to check their blind spots, leave extra room between themselves and other vehicles, and use hand signals before changing lanes. 

Even with all these precautions in place, a motorcyclist is 29 times more likely to die in a crash than a passenger vehicle driver.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcyclists are more at risk of being seriously injured in a collision for two main reasons:

  • Motorcyclists are less stable than passenger vehicles during maneuvers such as emergency braking and swerving and are less visible on the road; and
  • When motorcyclists crash, they lack the protection of a closed vehicle, so they are more likely to be injured or killed

New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Helping You in a Collision

Motorists often do not realize that motorcycles function differently than cars. Upon approaching a red light, motorcyclists first downshift before coming to a complete stop. Frequently motorists do not realize that the motorcyclist is slowing down since they do not see brake lights appear.

A leading cause of many motorcycle collisions is distracted drivers. Anytime a driver takes their mind or eyes off the road, and their hands off the wheel, they significantly increase their chances of getting into an accident.

These distractions come at a price for motorcyclists. Motorcyclists are already at greater risk of being hit when visibility is limited, such as driving at night or in inclement weather. Distracted driving, while easily preventable, puts motorcyclists in grave danger. 

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

Common causes of motorcycle crashes are:

  • Left-turn accidents: a driver taking a left-hand turn at an intersection may collide with a motorcyclist going straight
  • Rear-end collisions: a driver may collide with a motorcyclist if they fail to notice that they are downshifting or due to poor visibility
  • Improper lane change: a driver switching lanes suddenly and moving into a motorcyclist’s path may cause a collision

New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer. Motorcycle and helmet on the street after dangerous traffic incident

Causes of motorcycle accidents 

While we mentioned a few motorcycle accidents, there are many more, and the underlying issue with many of these collisions is driver error. Do not assume you know what led to your accident, allow an investigator to do their job and find evidence that proves what happened. 

Driver error 

Motorcyclists are notorious for reckless driving, but that is untrue. All drivers can commit errors that can lead to a motorcycle accident. The most common driver errors are:

  • Speeding: many accidents are the result of a driver speeding. When driver speeds, their reaction times are slower, and they cannot stop when they see a hazard or another vehicle ahead. Nearly a third of motorcycle accidents involve speeding. 
  • Not checking blind spots: there are several areas around a vehicle that have blind spots, and when a driver is switching lanes, they must check these areas. If they fail to check blind spots, they can miss a motorcycle. Serious motorcycle accidents are the result of motorists not seeing motorcycles. Switching lanes, backing up, and turning are all actions that require motorists to double and triple-check blind spots and avoid an accident. 
  • Driving under the influence: drugs and alcohol will heavily impact the ability of drivers to function, and when they get behind the wheel, they do not see anything else in front of them.  
  • Distractions: there are many distractions on the road, from GPS, cell phones, grooming, eating, and changing the radio. When Bronx drivers take their eyes off the road to address one of these distractions, they put others in danger. A motorcycle accident can happen in seconds when drivers are not paying attention.  

Motorcycle defects 

A manufacturing defect on a motorcycle can cause the vehicle to malfunction and lead to a collision. These defects occur during the manufacturing process, way before the bike gets to the hands of the consumer. Design defects happen when there is a discrepancy with the bike’s design. There are also defective parts that can contribute to a motorcycle accident. Most often, you will see defects like:

  • Leaky fuel tanks
  • Fault brakes 
  • Wobbly tires 
  • Faulty exhausts

When your bike is suffering from a defect, and you are in a motorcycle accident, the manufacturer or designer is a responsible party you must hold liable in your claim. 

Weather and road conditions 

Mother nature controls when it will rain and be sunny, but drivers control how they drive in these conditions. Fog, rain, and snow are hazardous conditions for two-wheel drivers. When it rains and there is an accident, many drivers do not think they have any options. When other drivers are on the road, they participate in negligent practices like:

  • Following too closely
  • Not using headlights during times of poor visibility.
  • Driving at unsafe speeds for the conditions. This does not include speeding, as you can drive too fast for the conditions and be under the speed limit.
  • Driving an improperly maintained vehicle, such as worn tires or broken tail lights 

The road is also imperative to safe driving. When there are road hazards, it is dangerous for motorcycles because they have less to maneuver with and react to these hazards. Some road hazards that can cause a motorcycle accident and require a local government to be held responsible include:

  • Potholes
  • Uneven pavement
  • Debris on the road
  • Loose asphalt or gravel
  • Slick pavement 
  • Construction zones and materials

Bike riders believe these are hazards that are simply a part of being on the road. Still, the local municipality is responsible for maintaining the road and ensuring all drivers are safe. Your injuries directly result from their negligence, and they must pay for their actions.

Motorcycle accident injuries 

Queens Riders will wear protective gear just in case an accident occurs, but some accidents are so severe that this gear can only do so much. Some motorcyclists feel fine after the accident but begin to feel more pain a day or two later. The adrenaline and shock of the accident can cause you to feel a delay in symptoms, so you must pay close attention and get medical care the moment you feel weird. Riders will often suffer from multiple injuries, which is why these accidents are so severe. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Burns, road rash, and skin infections 
  • Organ damage
  • Loss of limb
  • Lacerations and cuts
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Head trauma 
  • Loss of hearing, sight, or speech
  • Facial injuries 
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Arm and leg injuries 
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Sprains and strains 
  • Broken bones 

Motorcycle accident victims require specialists, which can be challenging to find and pay for. You will require hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, medication, and other rehabilitative care. You cannot return to your daily functions while getting care, which causes a more considerable burden. Work with a New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer to ensure you get the best care and financial protection during this challenging time. 

New Jersey Motorcycle Insurance

The Garden State is known for motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, New Jersey does not offer motorcyclists Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for insurance coverage. 

However, motorcyclists are required to have minimum coverage, which includes:

  • $15,000 for bodily injury per person per accident
  • $30,000 for total bodily injury per accident
  • $5,000 for property damage per accident

This coverage is often not enough when a motorcyclist is involved in an accident. If a motorcyclist is interested in using the other driver, they need to begin the lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. If you wait longer, then you will not be able to recover the compensation you deserve.

Avoid these mistakes 

There are big mistakes, and there are small ones, but any error can hinder your ability to recover compensation after a motorcycle accident. When you have a New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer on your team, we can help you avoid these pitfalls. 

Admitting fault 

Never admit fault or say anything that makes it seem like you could be at fault. Saying “I’m sorry” can be enough for investigators to believe that you are responsible for causing the accident. Say as little as possible and keep details vague when speaking to police, insurance companies, or witnesses. Admitting fault or implying fault can mean you are left to pay for the accident’s losses. You can also face additional penalties like traffic tickets and insurance increases when you are at fault for an accident. Do not try to determine who is at fault; leave that to the professionals. 

Giving the insurance company too much information 

You are required in your policy to notify your insurance company of a motorcycle accident, but you are only required to give them exhaustive information. Have your New Jersey motorcycle lawyer handle all communications on your behalf, including when you need to provide a statement to the insurance company. 

The insurance company is looking to reduce liability; therefore, they want you to slip up and say the wrong thing. They will also send you documentation to fill out and sign, which can result in significant consequences in the future. If the insurance adjuster wants you to sign a medical release, they can look at all of your medical records and find a prior injury or procedure they can pin your pain on. You do not need to speak to the other insurance company. 

Waiting too long 

Time is of the essence in motorcycle accident claims. Evidence will disappear, and there are stringent deadlines you must follow. Accident victims often postpone contacting a New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer because they do not believe they have a case or have time. Having a lawyer is vital because they can persevere with evidence, talk to witnesses, gather documents, handle communications with the insurance company and build your case. 

Additionally, there is a two-year statute of limitations for all New Jersey personal injury cases. Two years can seem like ample time, but the insurance company is working diligently to bar you from ever getting a dime for your losses. Investigations and negotiations take a long time, and that two-year window can close up very quickly. The vehicle you are in an accident will also determine how long you must file a claim. You will have a few months to take action if it is a government-run vehicle. Move quickly and consult with a New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer to ensure you do not miss your chance. 

Social media posts

The new age is here, and social media has led to everyone sharing every nuance of their life. Keeping friends and family updated through social media is convenient but also detrimental after an accident. Insurance companies and their lawyers are looking through your social media for any mention of the accident, so they can use this as evidence. Having a private account does not prevent insurance companies from finding ways to see your post. 

Do not just avoid posting about the accident on social media but refrain from posting in general. Having fun with your friends is evidence that the insurance company will use to diminish your injuries. If you are in a motorcycle accident, resort to avoiding posting online until the claim resolves. Provide updates to friends and family in person or on the phone. When you hang out with friends, avoid pictures or posting them. 

Accepting the first settlement offer you receive

A severe injury will leave you out of work and result in medical bills hitting your inbox constantly. These expenses will make victims want to settle fast. The insurance company knows most people are unwilling to wait for full and fair compensation, and they will swoop in and offer a lower settlement. You are under stress, and the insurance company sends you an offer; you take it but later find out your injuries require extensive care, and your settlement offer will not cover them. When that happens, you lose your legal option because accepting a settlement involves signing a release and barring you from filing a lawsuit. 

Your motorcycle accident case value 

You need to make many decisions, but evaluating your case’s worth is not one. You are not a New Jersey motorcycle lawyer and therefore do not know how much an injury costs. You are also not a doctor and can not predict the future expenses you will incur for medical care. The same injury on different people can have different impacts on their life. Before we can evaluate your case, you must reach maximum medical improvement, which is the best improvement you can make from your injuries. 

Your New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer will work with medical professionals and financial experts to determine how the injury currently and in the future impacts your life. They will also calculate the cost of future medical care. When the time comes, we will combine all these expenses and request the amount from the insurance company through a demand letter. Several parties can award you damages depending on how far your case goes, including the insurance company, judge, or jury. 

You can garner three categories of financial compensation from a New Jersey motorcycle accident claim. 

  • Economic damages: any expenses that have a tangible loss, like property damage and medical bills. These are easy to calculate as you have the documentation for them. You will also need to account for future losses, which is a bit more challenging, but your past bills can indicate your future bills.  
  • Non-economic damages include losses that do not have a price tag attached and those fall under non-economic damages. Pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, and a diminished quality of life fall into this category. 
  • Punitive damages: In cases involving egregious negligence, victims can recover punitive damages. These damages punish the negligent party, and you cannot calculate them. The court will award them as they see fit, and there are limits to how much you can receive if you are eligible. 

In some instances, children, spouses, and parents can also seek compensation for loss of consortium and guidance. You will often see these awards in cases where the driver loses their life. 

Benefits of having a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

A motorcycle accident will alter the rest of your life, and you cannot leave your future in the hands of the insurance company. Instead, you must find adequate representation to secure compensation and protect your rights. There are many roles your New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer will play. We will:

  • Conduct an investigation 
  • Collect medical files 
  • Communicate with the insurance company and others 
  • Negotiate a fair and full settlement 
  • File all relevant paperwork 
  • Work with expert witnesses
  • File a lawsuit 
  • Represent you in mediation 
  • Prepare for trial

Having the right New Jersey Certified trial attorney is invaluable after a motorcycle accident. 

Contact a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyer 

If a motorcyclist suffers from injuries or property damage due to a collision, it is always in their best interest to discuss their situation with a knowledgeable attorney. When you need guidance, Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC is only a phone call away. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer.

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