Like most states, New Jersey considers the bicycle to be a legal vehicle. This means that bicyclists have the same responsibilities and rights as other types of motorists. While bicyclists have an equal right to be on the streets, however, they do have supplementary regulations and rules that are specific to them.
New Jersey bicycle laws
According to Title 39 of the state’s Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations laws, all individuals riding a bicycle on the roads are required to stay as near to the right roadside as possible, and must exercise due care on the roads at all times.
The state also has a bicycle helmet law, requiring all bicycle riders and passengers aged 17 and below to wear a properly fastened and fitted safety helmet. This requirement is only waived if the roadway is closed to motor vehicle traffic.
Causes of bicycle accidents
Bike accidents can be caused by a number of factors. Some of the most common causes of these accidents in New Jersey are:
– Distracted or inattentive drivers
– Dangerous roadways
– Defective bicycle parts or bicycles
– Driver’s failure to yield the right-of-way
Liability in a bike accident
In almost all bike accidents, the liability falls on another driver. A motorist who does not obey traffic rules or who is reckless or negligent increases the risk of an accident, and puts everyone on the road in serious danger.
If a negligent driver injures a bicycle rider in a crash, then the driver may be held liable for all medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other losses or damages suffered by the victim.
In other cases, however, it is possible for liability to fall on the state, county or city. This occurs when hazardous roadways cause the accident, or if the department or agency in charge of maintaining the roadway has become negligent in its duties.
It is also possible for a defective bicycle or bicycle part to cause an accident. In such situations, the manufacturer may be held responsible for its negligence.
Seeking legal representation
Being a victim of any kind of accident may result in substantial physical, emotional and financial hardships. A bicycle accident is no exception. Even the most careful bicycle rider may not be able to evade a collision with another vehicle.
If you or someone close to you is a victim of a bicycle crash or accident, immediately call The Grossman Law firm at (732) 943-0383 for a free consultation.