People who ride motorcycles may be seriously injured in an accident, even when it occurs at fairly slow speeds. Often, these crashes are caused by drivers of larger vehicles who do not expect to see a motorcyclist on the road or who are distracted by other things like their cell phone or the radio. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Middlesex or Mercer County, you may be able to recover compensation with the assistance of a motor vehicle collision lawyer. At Siegel & Siegel, our Middlesex County motorcycle accident lawyers understand motorcycle culture and how to persuade a jury.Motorcycle Accidents Cause Serious Harm
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are over 29 times more likely than people occupying a passenger car to die in a vehicle accident and five times more likely to suffer injuries. A large percentage of motorcycle accidents involve driver inattention. If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident in which another driver was distracted or otherwise not fully following the rules of the road, you may sue for damages under a theory of negligence.
Generally, you will need to establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence to recover damages. This means that you will need to prove that another driver failed to use reasonable care while driving and in so failing caused your injuries. Often, drivers of larger vehicles defend themselves by claiming that a motorcyclist was also negligent. In New Jersey, your damages may be reduced by the amount that the jury determines that you were at fault for the accident. If you were over 50% responsible for an accident, you will be precluded from receiving damages at all. This rule provides incentives for insurers for at-fault drivers to try to speak to motorcyclists before they are represented by an attorney so that they can get an admission or some other evidence that the motorcyclist was negligent. The motorcycle accident attorneys at our Middlesex County firm can counsel you on how to deal with defendants and insurers.
New Jersey has a helmet law (P.L. 39:3-76.7). This law requires motorcycle operators to wear properly fitting helmets that are the right size and type and have a neck or chin strap and reflectors. Failing to wear a helmet may exacerbate some injuries, particularly head injuries. However, failing to wear a helmet may not be relevant to injuries such as fractures, paralysis, and internal bleeding. An expert can testify regarding whether a motorcyclist’s lack of a helmet had any impact on the harm that they suffered.
It is important to promptly see a doctor and follow the doctor's recommendations. For example, you may be advised to go to a physical therapist twice a week so that you are able to recover the functioning of your leg muscles after suffering a serious leg injury. If you keep up with your appointments but still lose the use of your legs for an extended period, it is easier to make an argument that the damages resulting from this loss should be attributed entirely to the defendant. Your medical providers also can supply documentation or testimony regarding the cause and scope of your injuries, as well as their likely future impact on your life.
In addition to economic damages like the costs of medical treatment and any missed wages, you likely will be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering that you endured in the motorcycle crash. This is an example of non-economic damages, which may require a knowledgeable attorney to present and quantify in a manner that a jury can understand.Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident Case with a Middlesex County Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents are traumatic, devastating events that may have a permanent impact on a victim’s life. Our firm may be able to help you recover compensation, including medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, household services, and pain and suffering. Our Middlesex County motorcycle accident attorneys represent injured people in Plainsboro, Cranbury, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, New Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and West Windsor, as well as other areas of Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, Monmouth, and Union Counties. Contact us online or call us at 609-799-6066 to set up a free consultation with a car crash lawyer.