Motorcycles tend to be less visible and less stable than cars, which leaves riders more vulnerable to injury and death than drivers in closed vehicles. Motorcycle accidents are 27% more likely to result in fatalities per mile traveled than car accidents. (Source)
Any motorbike rider who has been injured in an accident should contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the incident.
A lawyer will help them understand their legal options, gather evidence and witness statements, review medical records, work with accident reconstruction experts, and navigate insurance settlements.
What Are the Chances of Getting in a Motorcycle Accident?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that 5014 motorcyclists died from motorcycle crashes in 2019, and this number seems to consistently hover around 5000.
These deaths account for 14% of all traffic fatalities.
In New Jersey alone, approximately 2,500 motorbike accidents occur every year, leading to more than 50 fatalities and 2000 injuries. The top contributing factors for these injuries and deaths is driver inattention and speeding.
Navigating roadways can be risky for motorcycle riders. This is why caution is especially important for anyone driving a motorbike. They need to take additional measures to ensure their safety as well as the safety of passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists.
What is the Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?
In New Jersey, drivers are required to get personal injury protection (PIP)—a no-fault insurance policy that pays for medical costs and other related expenses. In the event of an accident, a driver will first turn to their PIP provider to recover damages.
However, motorcycle riders are not covered by New Jersey’s no-fault laws. This means that injured riders can’t use PIP insurance and will either have to pay out-of-pocket or pursue compensation from the insurance at-fault party or their insurance company to pay for medical costs, pain, and suffering lost wages, and other types of damages.
The amount of compensation or settlement a rider or their family can get from a motorcycle accident depends on the following factors:
- Concrete costs such as medical bills or lost wages
- The degree of fault for both parties
- Any impairment on the part of the at-fault driver (e.g. sleep deprivation, poor eyesight, distraction, intoxication, and other similar factors)
- Insurance policy coverage and limitations
- The extent of injury, pain, and suffering, and disability
- Property damages
Most motorcycle accident claims are resolved through a settlement between the claimant and the insurance company. However, if both parties are unable to agree, the claimant may have no other recourse but to litigate and ask for a judgment award from the court.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident?
Unless the rider is only suffering from minor injuries, it is often worth it to hire a lawyer to represent them in a motorbike accident claim.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will:
- Calculate the value of the case and determine whether it’s worth pursuing in court
- Communicate and negotiate with the insurance company
- Investigate, find evidence and witnesses, and work with accident reconstruction experts to determine what exactly happened during the accident and who is at fault
- Deal with the lengthy and complex paperwork
- Fight for the rider’s interests and rights and make sure that they receive a timely payout so they can focus on recovering
Without legal representation, riders stand to lose out on money that they’re rightfully entitled to.
After all, insurance companies also have aggressive lawyers working for them to negotiate the cheapest possible settlement.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, a New Jersey motorcycle accident attorney can help you deal with the insurance company and obtain the best possible outcome for the case.
Your lawyer will fight for your rights and interests and help ensure that you get the maximum settlement amount.
When Should You Contact a Lawyer After an Accident?
An injured rider should contact a lawyer immediately after an accident in the following scenarios:
- Severe Injuries: The more severe the injuries are after a motorcycle crash, the more expensive they can be. Severe injuries take a longer time to heal and can lead to exorbitant medical bills. A motorcycle accident attorney can help manage and speed up the claims process so that the victim can recuperate peacefully.
- Missed Work: Some injuries may cause the victim to lose weeks or even months of work. The victim may need extensive medical care or long-term rehabilitation before they can fully recover. A motorcycle accident attorney can help them pursue damages for lost wages.
- Claim Denial: Insurance companies are notorious for their dismissive attitudes towards claimants without an attorney. It’s not unusual for valid claims to be denied by insurance companies who count on profiting from vulnerable parties.
- Lowball Settlement Offer: In the interest of profit, insurance companies will do all they can to avoid paying what a claim is truly worth. In many cases, they’ll offer the lowest possible settlement amount and pressure the victim to accept it. Once the victim does, they can no longer file a lawsuit later on. An experienced motorbike accident lawyer can help them avoid situations like this.
Having a lawyer for a motorcycle accident claim is crucial. Most lawsuits are settled before the parties even step inside a courtroom.
The sooner a lawyer is hired, the sooner they can work on strengthening a claim.
NJ Motorbike Accident Claims
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one due to a motorcycle accident, find a professional who can help make things right. Discuss your case with a qualified and experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can help you navigate the complicated process of pursuing accident claims.
The team at Grossman Law has advised and represented countless clients in personal injury and motorcycle accident cases in New Jersey. We can review your case and help you determine the best course of action. Call (732) 625-9494 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.