In an incident where you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a motorcycle accident, your time following the incident is going to be stressful as you focus on your health and well-being. Apart from recovering physically, you may be struggling to recover financially, as motorcycle accidents can be draining on your financial health.
A vehicle accident of any kind can leave you in pain and feeling frustrated and hopeless. When the accident is due to someone else's lack of care, you may need legal representation to ensure your rights and best interests are protected—in these situations, having someone who is on your side to back you up can be a huge relief.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in compassionate client care and honest, straight-forward approach. To us, that means an experience free from legalese, hype, hassle, and intimidation. We are NOT like the others. That’s why our clients tell us we are the best New Jersey motorcycle accident attorneys.
When you hire a New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer from our team at Brandon J. Broderick, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. That means if we don’t win, you don’t pay. Without a legal claim, the insurance company can offer you a lowball offer that barely covers any of your needs for your motorcycle crash and may even refuse to cover some of the damages. You may be left having to pay for the costs of your injuries on your own. Contact us today and let us turn your setback into a comeback.
With our 12-hour callback guarantee and long track record of success, you can count on us to work tirelessly for your quality of life. We’ve helped people just like you move forward after sustaining an injury that was caused by another’s negligence. Contact us now at 201-379-2502
Throughout this article, we are going to give an easy-to-digest overview of information regarding motorcycle accidents in New Jersey.
Brandon J. Broderick, New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Attorneys, Turn Your Setback Into a Comeback
Recover the full cost of medical expenses and injuries -- now and in the future
Being involved in a serious motorcycle crash can be traumatic, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. Motorcycles provide significantly less protection than a standard car which results in a higher likelihood for serious injuries and fatalities for the motorcycle driver. It's important to consider your rights and understand what your needs may be down the line. Often, insurance companies will attempt to contact an injured victim and try to settle for very little as quickly as they can. It’s critical to give yourself time to fully consider the scope of your injuries and how those injuries not only affect your expenses now but also how those injuries could affect your quality of life later and future wages.
Experienced negotiators and trial attorneys
Without a legal claim, the insurance company can offer you a lowball offer that barely covers any of your needs and may even refuse to cover some of the damages. By having legal representation, Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf and work toward securing the compensation you rightfully deserve. And, if an agreeable negotiation can’t be had, we won’t hesitate to take the case to trial -- and win.
By your side.
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law will step in and handle everything so you can focus on healing. Our firm of experienced attorneys will work with you to achieve the settlement that you deserve. We will do everything possible to defend your rights and will work with you by your side to help you through such a trying time. Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney, at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.
What to Do if You're Involved in a Motorcycle Accident
Getting into a motorcycle crash can be a surreal and scary experience. When you ride a motorcycle, your body is much more exposed than it would be while driving a standard car. Following a motorcycle collision, there are many things that you should do both directly after the accident and the months (and even years) after.
While this may seem like the most obvious step, it is essential to stress calling for help directly after an accident.
Whether you are the motorcycle rider or witnessing the accident, someone on the scene needs to immediately call for an ambulance. Even in situations where no one appears to be hurt, medical attention is a necessity. Concussions and other invisible injuries can occur after impact.
Move Away from the Scene
The next step that you need to take following a vehicle accident of any kind is to get to a safe area.
If you have just gotten out of a motorcycle accident, it is likely that you and other people may still be on the road. Being on the road, especially if the road is a highway or freeway, can expose you to another accident.
Gather Evidence of the Accident
If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident and record as much evidence as you can.
While some people suggest documenting the accident before you remove your bike from the scene, it is safest to get yourself in a safe spot first, especially on busy roads. However, if you know that you have enough time to take pictures of the accident, you will have good evidence should you need it.
All parties who are involved in a motorcycle accident will want to exchange each other's information. The information you should exchange with others will usually include:
- license plates
- phone numbers
- home addresses
- additional vehicle information, such as the vehicles' year and model.
Having everyone’s information on the scene is the best way to be prepared for the following legal action taken by anyone involved. Make sure that the police come to the scene and create a police report. In New Jersey, any accident with damage more than $500 must be reported to the police.
Contact a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer and Your Insurance Company
The next step is perhaps the most dreaded part of any vehicle accident. Following the incident, you will need to inform your insurance company about the situation that has taken place. When delivering all critical information about the accident, be careful not to admit to guilt in the case.
If you have exchanged information with other individuals, the other person's insurance company may also reach out to you. It can be tricky when dealing with insurance companies on both ends, an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and deal with insurance and legal claims. When you contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the crash, you have the best opportunity to gather evidence, collect statements while the accident is still fresh in everyone's mind and plan for a claim.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t wait. Contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.
Motorcycle Accident Settlements
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, the insurance company may be offering you a settlement or you may be wondering what the average settlement is for a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle accident settlements include two types of compensation for your injuries -- economic damages and non-economic damages. It’s important to consider the full scope of your injuries, the permanency of those injuries and you or your loved one’s expected outcome.
Economic Damages in Motorcycle Crash Settlements
Economic damages are awarded based on your financial losses because of the accident.This monetary award includes the loss of income and the projected lost income over the ongoing course of rehabilitation and treatment. Additionally, the full cost of your medical expenses -- both in the immediate aftermath of the accident and ongoing treatment are included in economic damages. Examples of medical expenses include:
- Hospital bills
- Doctor’s’ visits co-pays and bills
- Physical or occupational therapists
- Other medical costs like transportation to and from appointment
The higher the amount of your medical bills and other damages that you are seeking, the more complex the negotiation becomes--and the more important it is to enlist the help of a New Jersey motorcycle accident attorney who can do all of the negotiations on your behalf. Most insurance adjusters will take you seriously if you pursue a high-value claim with the help of a lawyer, making it much easier to obtain fair compensation.
Calculating the Cost of Future Medical Needs
If your medical treatment will extend far into the future, or you have lasting injuries that will require ongoing treatment, your claim could include a demand for compensation for future medical expenses. It’s important to consider your future damages and make sure you understand the full scope of your injuries. If you have severe injuries, the settlement offer should include compensation for any future and ongoing medical needs.
Calculating your future economic damages can be complex and often requires expert testimony and opinion. Medical experts may be needed to determine the severity of an injury and what could be expected for a long-term prognosis. An economist or labor expert may be needed to calculate the loss of an income and projected income over a long period of time. Hiring a motorcycle accident law firm to navigate this complexity and ensure your best interest is important, especially in cases with serious long-term injuries. Examples of future economic damages include:
- Future medical costs
- Future nursing care costs
- Future lost earnings/loss of earning capacity
- Money to pay for household services that you are no longer capable of performing
One of the main reasons why it is important to avoid accepting a settlement offer early on, especially when the offer appears low, is because you need to know the full scope of your damages. This means calculating all the losses you have experienced as a result of your injuries. If you are still seeking medical treatment, for example, you may require procedures or longer treatment in order to recover. If you accept a low offer too early and still need treatment, you are on the hook for it.
Non-Economic Damages in Motorcycle Wrecks
While non-economic damages are harder to calculate, they are a common part of an injury claim following a motorcycle crash. Non-economic damages include the physical and emotional pain that may impact an individuals' life regardless of whether or not they lose money as a result. This type of damage can include pain and suffering evidenced by depression, PTSD, mental anguish, and more.
Every case and settlement is unique, so insurance companies look at the severity and permanency of your bodily injuries. In other words, you will be entitled to more money for pain and suffering if you suffered a serious brain injury than if you bruised your leg. The more severe and permanent your injury is, the more pain and suffering you will experience, and the more you deserve in compensation for your injuries.
Insurance companies typically multiply the cost of medical bills by a number between one and five to calculate “pain and suffering.” The more severe and permanent the injury, the higher the multiplier. Because of the complexity and judgment required to estimate pain and suffering, hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is imperative to get the compensation you deserve. Their experience will help to be prepared to explain and justify your calculation.
With our 12-hour callback guarantee and long track record of success, you can count on us to work tirelessly for your quality of life. We’ve helped people just like you move forward after sustaining an injury that was caused by another’s negligence. Contact us now at 201-379-2502
Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
In the tragic event that your loved one passed away in a fatal motorcycle accident, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death claim can arise after situations in which a victim who would otherwise have a valid personal injury claim is killed as a result of the defendant's wrongful action. In other words, the same negligence standards apply which means that if someone else’s negligence caused the motorcycle collision, the deceased person’s family has the right to seek compensation for the loss.
In New Jersey, a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, sibling, niece/nephew or anyone who can prove they were dependent on the victim may bring a wrongful death action on behalf of his or her deceased relative. While no amount of money can replace the loss of your spouse or loved one, the unexpected death of a spouse can sometimes come with a heavy financial burden. After your spouse or loved one dies in a motorcycle crash, damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey may include:
- Hospital and medical expenses related to accident
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost income and loss of deceased person’s expected lifetime income
- Lost health and insurance benefits
- The deceased person’s pain and suffering
- Your loss of love and companionship
- Your loss of consortium
Determining Who’s At Fault in a Motorcycle Accident
Like car accidents, motorcycle accidents are governed by the same principles of law where fault and negligence come into play. All drivers have a duty or obligation to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. Yet, in two-thirds of motorcycle collision involving another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle rider's right of way and is thus liable or at-fault for the accident. Motorcycles are harder to see and can be obscured by other vehicles, or by road and weather conditions. This is an issue especially at intersections, where approximately 70 percent of motorcycle-versus-vehicle collisions occur.
If the negligent driver was operating a work vehicle or working while driving, the business owner of the vehicle could bear some responsibility for the accident, depending on the circumstance. In some instances, the motorcycle manufacturer could be held liable or at-fault for the accident. For instance, especially at higher speeds, the front end of a motorcycle may become unstable and begin to shake due to a product defect. In that case, the manufacturer of the motorcycle might be held financially responsible for any resulting injuries.
Every NJ motorcycle accident is different and liability can be complex to determine. The best way to figure out who may have legal liability to you for injuries you suffered in a crash is to speak with an experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident attorney right away.
NJ Statute of Limitations for Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim
There is a time limit to when you must file a lawsuit, called the Statute of Limitations, which mandate that a suit be filed within a specific time period. In New Jersey, the deadline for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of injury. If you, or someone you love was injured because of another’s negligence, it’s critical that you abide by these rules, otherwise, you lose your right to file a claim permanently. The sooner a lawyer starts working on behalf of an injured motorcycle rider, the better that lawyer’s chances of securing important evidence and of building the strongest possible case against any parties who may be liable.
Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
Because a motorcycle provides significantly less protection than a standard car, many injuries can occur after an accident. Knowing the most common injuries that can happen can help you understand how to safely treat your body immediately following an accident.
Road rash is one of the most common injuries that can occur from a motorcycle crash. Upon impact, the person on the motorcycle is likely to be thrown from the bike. When the body makes rough contact with gravel or dirt, the skin can suffer damage in a way that causes what is known as road rash.
A road rash is a skin abrasion and can be prone to infection and can cause nerve damage. In most situations, road rash can be treated at home and usually has no serious consequences. However, in incidents such as a car accident, it is worth getting yourself checked out by a medical professional.
Lower Body Injuries
In a motorcycle crash, damage to the lower body (involving the legs, feet, thighs, ankles, etc.)is also reasonably typical. While not every lower-body injury is life-threatening, the wounds should never be left unattended.
Leaving a leg injury unattended could lead to long-term mobility issues. A doctor should immediately check any extreme pain(or lack of feeling)in your lower body after an accident. Your lower body may have been subjected to fractures, nerve damage, or other injuries that can cause life-altering issues.
Not only can you lose mobility by sustaining injuries to the lower body, but the femoral artery is also located primarily in the bottom region of the body. If the femoral artery would be punctured or ruptured, the human body could bleed out in moments.
Head and neck injuries are some of the most severe injuries that can follow an accident. Wearing a helmet is one of the most important things you can do if you ride a motorcycle.
Head injuries can result in instant death in several ways. Protecting the head and neck are both equally as important. As the head protects the brain, the neck protects the brain stem. If both are damaged enough, the injuries could be fatal.
Severe concussions can also prove to be fatal if left untreated. After a motorcycle accident, all involved should immediately get someone to check them for symptoms of a concussion. Concussions can be tricky as they are sometimes hard to spot, and those who are suffering from a concussion may not even notice.
Vehicle and motorcycle accidents are one of the biggest causes of traumatic brain injuries. As a motorcycle rider, make sure you are wearing proper protection.
U.S. Motorcycle Accident Statistics
To help keep you informed, we will go over a list of national statistics involving motorcycles, motorcycle safety, and other important information that we feel you should know.
Car vs. Motorcycle Accidents
When it comes to comparing cars and motorcycles, you are almost 30 times more likely to be killed in a motorcycle accident than you are in a car accident. While cars are more prominent and heavier, they offer much more structure and protection than the average motorcycle. When driving a motorcycle, you need to be wearing added protection to compensate for a bike's lack of security. There have been many fatalities as a direct result of not wearing a helmet or jacket.
Causes of Fatal Motorcycle Crashes
The amount of motorcycle fatalities in a year is staggeringly high. In 2018, there were 4,985 deaths as a result of a motorcycle. The number is a definite decrease from the year before; however, the number of fatalities can follow the downward trend by taking proper precautions. Being under the influence can play a large part in motorcycle accidents and deaths. In fact, in 2018, up to 26 percent of drivers involved in fatal accidents were proven to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.
The time of the year can impact how many motorcycle deaths occur in the United States. Winter sees a lot fewer motorcycle deaths than the spring and summer months. The lack of accidents in the winter is most likely because driving in the snow or on icy roads can be too difficult or unpleasant as motorcycles do not shield you from the wind or cold. In 2018, the months ranging from May to September held the most deaths, accounting for over 3,000 of the 4,985 fatalities that year. If you are riding a motorcycle in the summer, make sure to take as many safety precautions as possible to avoid any accidents.
New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Now that you are more informed on statistics of motorcycle accidents and fatalities on a national level, it may also be beneficial to know the New Jersey area's statistics.
In the year 2018, there were 564 total deaths due to a vehicle in New Jersey. 525 total crashes resulted in fatalities. Out of those fatalities, 53 involved a motorcycle, just under 10%. The ages of those who passed away in 2018 as a result of a motorcycle fell into three predominant age groups. These age groups were 50-64, 30-39, and 25-29.
Many factors contribute to accidents, injuries, and fatalities regarding motorcycles. These factors can include many things, such as not paying attention, being under the influence, passing at the wrong times, not wearing the proper protection, and much more. According to NJ.gov, in 2016, the most significant cause of motorcycle deaths was speeding and not paying attention, and passing during inappropriate times. Knowing this, motorcycle drivers should avoid passing and driving carelessly and paying close attention to other drivers.
Accidents Involving Other Vehicles
Often, motorcycle accidents will involve other vehicles, especially if the accidents occur on a busy road. Over half of motorcycle accidents will happen at an intersection. Another reason that other cars are involved in motorcycle crashes is that drivers often have a hard time seeing motorcycles.
Motorcycles are significantly smaller than the average car. Cars that are bigger than average can have an even harder time being able to spot motorcycles. When bikes are passing cars on a highway or freeway, they can easily slip into a cars' blind spot due to their size. Passing a car on a motorcycle at the wrong time is one of the biggest reasons other cars may not see a bike.
Accidents Without Other Vehicles
It is vital to remember that accidents and fatalities can still occur even if you do not drive around other vehicles. When it comes to motorcycle accidents that do not involve other vehicles, more than half of the accidents occur from speeding.
While speeding, sudden braking or turning can be deadly as the motorcycle is likely to spin out of your control. Speeding can also prevent you from being able to spot oncoming traffic. Speed limits are put in place to protect drivers from themselves as much as others.
Inexperience is another significant factor in lone biking deaths. While a motorcycle is smaller than a car, it does not require less training. Inexperienced drivers may feel more confident in driving a bike than they should and run the risk of driving a motorcycle recklessly. Drivers who have not taken the proper training on riding a motorcycle are also more likely to refuse to wear safety gear.
With our long track record of success, you can count on Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, to work tirelessly for your case. We’ve helped people just like you move forward after sustaining an injury that was caused by another’s negligence. Contact us now at 201-379-2502
New Jersey Motorcycle Laws
Riding a motorcycle comes with its own set of laws and regulations, as many dangerous incidents occur. To help keep you safe and informed, we will go over the most important rules and regulations to know before you ride or purchase a motorcycle.
In New Jersey, motorcycle riders must obtain a special license that allows them to legally drive a motorcycle. The process of getting a motorcycle license is similar to getting a standard license. You must first obtain a learner's permit available to drivers who are 17 years old and older.
After getting a learner's permit, you will be able to take a road test after 20 days of owning your permit. If you do not want to take a road test, you can take the Motorcycle Safety Education Program Basic Rider Course, where you will get the approval for your license upon completion of the course.
If you are from out of state and already have a motorcycle license, New Jersey's state will allow the license as long as it is valid.
Register Your Motorcycle
To register your motorcycle, you must be able to provide proof of insurance on the bike. Once you have provided proof of insurance to a DMV, you will be able to pay to register your motorcycle.
The right protective gear is not just a safety recommendation; it's actually within the New Jersey law to have the necessary equipment to ride a bike safely.
According to the New Jersey DMV, you must have safety goggles while riding a motorcycle if the bike does not feature a windshield of any kind. Goggles are important to keep bugs and debris out of your face while driving at high speeds. If anything were to get in your eye, the temporary blindness could cause you to lose control of the bike.
However, regardless of whether or not you have a windshield, you are required to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle at all times. The helmet that you wear must be approved by safety regulations and have reflective tape on both sides of the helmet.
If the motorcycle driver has any passengers, each passenger must also be wearing an approved helmet. Any passengers must be sitting in the correct spot of the motorcycle for the safest ride.
To be road-safe in the state of New Jersey, the handlebars of a motorcycle must meet a height requirement. The handlebars cannot be higher than the person driving the bike, and riding with the handlebars at an unsafe height can result in a citation or fine.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
While it is obvious that you should be safe when riding a motorcycle, knowing what steps to take to ensure your safety is not always apparent. In this section, we will go over the best safety tips and advice for motorcyclists.
- Deck Yourself Out on Safety Gear. There is no shame in practicing good safety habits, even if it feels awkward or uncomfortable at first. One of the best ways to have a safe ride is to wear the appropriate motorcycle gear. But motorcycle gear is more than just helmets and goggles. You can also wear gloves, jackets, boots, and pants. Each article of clothing is made specifically to protect the body against impact, road rash, and wind-related damage.
- Make Yourself Visible. One of the biggest reasons that motorcycle accidents occur is because motorcyclists are not seen in time. To avoid these situations from occurring, you should find ways to make yourself visible to traffic at all times. A good option for new motorcycle riders is to only ride when there is light out. Riding in the dark can decrease the visibility of traffic regardless of how many headlights are on. If you choose to ride in the dark, you should wear protective gear that is both reflective and brightly colored. Reflective tape on motorcycle gear is essential to help cars see you at nighttime.
- Only Ride in Safe Weather. Icy roads and heavy rain can cause a wide range of accidents, no matter what kind of vehicle you are driving. As motorcycles already pose a lot of safety risks, it is best to keep the bike in the storage on days that there is bad weather.
Motorcycle Accident FAQ
What compensation is a motorcycle accident victim entitled to?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may have the right to recover financial compensation for the harm the accident caused, including:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Lost future wages or earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment
How can I prove the other driver is responsible for my motorcycle accident?
The ability to successfully prove liability for an accident hinges on the establishment of the at-fault party’s negligence. Negligence is established by showing that:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. This duty of care, in terms of a motorcycle accident, would likely be something to the effect of operating his or her motor vehicle in a safe and lawful manner.
- There was a breach in that duty of care. In other words, the motorist failed to safely or lawfully operate his or her vehicle by engaging in dangerous behavior, such as speeding or distracted driving.
- The breach resulted in the accident, which caused your injuries.
An attorney or law firm experienced in motorcycle accidents can help you gather evidence to prove negligence and file a claim for compensation for your injuries.
How is a settlement reached in a motorcycle accident?
A settlement is reached when the defendant agrees to pay an amount to the plaintiff in order to drop the case, usually after a period of evidence gathering and negotiation. In many cases, an attorney can negotiate a settlement before a lawsuit is even filed. There are several factors that are considered when determining a settlement amount, including the severity of the injury, pain and suffering, and medical costs.
Should I get a lawyer for a motorcycle accident?
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness or reckless actions, it is in your best interest to consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer to understand your options. Working with experienced attorneys can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. They will have the expertise and knowledge to gather and uncover evidence that can bolster your claim and will negotiate and deal with insurance companies on your behalf. Most personal injury attorneys work on contingent fees that are only collected if you win your case.
Are helmets required when riding a motorcycle in New Jersey?
Yes, New Jersey law requires helmets to be worn at all times when riding a bike.
How many people die in motorcycle accidents every year in New Jersey?
In the year 2018, there were 564 total deaths due to a vehicle in New Jersey. 525 total crashes resulted in fatalities. Out of those fatalities, 53 involved a motorcycle, or just under 10%.
What are New Jersey’s motorcycle license requirements?
To be eligible for a motorcycle license in New Jersey, riders must:
- Be at least 17 years old. If you are 17, you must be your parent’s permission to apply.
- Be a resident of New Jersey. New Jersey honors out of state residents with motorcycle licenses from other states.
- Pass a vision test
- If you do already have a driver’s license, you will need to first apply for a permit.
- Complete a NJ Motorcycle Safety Education Program (MSEP) Basic Rider Course. By completing this highly valuable course, you will receive a certificate that will validate your permit, and allow you to obtain a license.
Brandon J. Broderick is Here for You 24/7
We get it. Motorcycle accidents can have an impact on your health, well-being, and finances which can cause worry, fear, and anxiety -- for you and your family. Wouldn’t it be a relief to know you could count on a trusted friend and advisor to passionately champion for you? Someone who’s got your best interests in mind?
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in exceptional client care, empathy, and results. That’s what makes us one of the best motorcycle accident lawyers in New Jersey. With our long track record of success, you can count on us to take the best strategy and work tirelessly for your quality of life. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing victims in car accidents. We’ve helped people just like you move forward after sustaining an injury that was caused by another’s negligence or reckless conduct. Contact us today for a free consultation.