Motorcycle accidents are particularly dangerous for riders. Whether your accident was a head-on collision with another vehicle or if it was a single-vehicle crash, you might have sustained severe injuries. Not to mention, your bike might be totaled. Motorcycle accidents are different than ordinary car accidents, and many riders are unprepared for the high costs incurred after a crash.
Motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous because riders are not protected within an enclosed vehicle. Instead, riders are completely exposed during an accident. The only protection most motorcycle riders have is a helmet and the clothes on their back. These conditions often lead to extremely painful injuries that might be life-altering and equally devastating medical bills.
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you likely need help covering your expenses while healing from your injuries. Our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident attorneys can help you get financial compensation from the person or people responsible for the crash. Call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769, and we can conduct a free case review to get you started.
Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance in Jersey City?
Motorcycle insurance is required by law, just like ordinary car insurance. Any riders stopped by the police without any insurance will face legal penalties. There are different levels of insurance available depending on your chosen insurance company. However, there are some basic requirements that all motorcycle insurance policies must meet. Our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident attorneys can help you determine if your insurance policy meets these legal standards.
Minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance include $15,000 in bodily injuries per person, $30,000 for total bodily injuries if several people are hurt, and $5,000 in property damage coverage. You might have more coverage depending on your insurance company and the options available to you, but these are the minimum requirements that all motorcycle riders must meet.
Under N.J.S.A. § 39:6B-2, riders stopped by law enforcement without any proof of insurance may face several legal penalties. For a first offense, a person may be fined at least $300 but no more than $1,000, and the court can consider a period of community service. The court also has the discretion to suspend the defendant’s license for up to 1 year. Luckily, courts can reduce or eliminate the license suspension if the defendant can prove that they were actually insured at the time of the traffic stop and just failed to carry the proper proof of insurance.
For subsequent violations, a defendant may be fined up to $5,000, jailed for up to 14 days, and lose their license for up to 2 years. The court can also consider imposing up to 30 days of community service.
How Insurance Laws Apply in Motorcycle Accident Cases in Jersey City, NJ
Insurance laws vary from state to state. Many states take a fault-based approach that requires accident victims to file claims with the other driver’s insurance and prove they were responsible for the collision. A few other states, including New Jersey, are no-fault states in which your own insurance covers your accident, and there is no need to prove fault. However, motorcycles are exempt from these insurance laws, and obtaining compensation after a motorcycle crash can be difficult.
The personal injury protection (PIP) insurance under your auto insurance policy does not extend to your motorcycle. Motorcycle riders typically have special insurance policies that cover motorcycle accidents. These policies tend to cover some property damage limited medical bills. Many motorcycle riders pay for their medical costs either from separate health insurance or out of their own pockets.
You might need to file a lawsuit to get adequate compensation. Lawsuits are often time-consuming, complex, and tiring. Our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident attorneys can help you file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation as quickly as possible.
What Is Personal Injury Protection in Motorcycle Insurance?
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is sometimes referred to as no-fault insurance because you do not have to prove anybody was at fault for the accident to file a claim. In New Jersey, PIP is standard for car insurance policies but does not for motorcycles. Motorcycle riders without PIP must file third-party claims with other drivers’ insurance companies or file lawsuits. Our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident attorneys can help you figure out your legal options.
Ordinarily, PIP insurance covers the medical expenses of people involved in car accidents. Motorcycle riders without PIP may add something called med-pay onto their existing motorcycle insurance.
Med-pay is similar to PIP because it can cover your medical expenses after a motorcycle accident. Med-pay is not required by law and may be added to your motorcycle insurance as an option. Those who already have medical coverage through other health insurance might not need med-pay.
Our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident lawyers can help you decide if med-pay is right for you or how to file a med-pay claim. If you already have sufficient health insurance through another provider, like through your job, you might not need med-pay. Med-pay might be a good idea if you do not have health insurance, although it may make your monthly premiums more expensive.
File a Lawsuit for a Motorcycle Accident in Jersey City, NJ
When beginning a personal injury lawsuit related to a motorcycle accident, there are numerous important issues to hammer out with your attorney before anything is officially filed. One such important issue is the identity of your defendant. Our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident lawyers can help you with all issues surrounding your case.
It is easy to assume that the defendant in a motorcycle accident will always be the other driver. Unfortunately, real life is very rarely so simple. While another driver is often named as a defendant in motorcycle accident cases, there may be complications. For example, determining which driver is at fault can be challenging if multiple vehicles are involved in your collision.
You must also carefully consider what damages you will claim in your lawsuit. Damages are like the losses you incurred because of the accident. Damages can be financial, but they can also reflect non-tangible losses, like pain and suffering. It is crucial that you claim all possible damages when filing your lawsuit. If you overlook certain expenses and do not claim them, they cannot be awarded even if you win your case.
You might want to begin a lawsuit but are unsure where to start. The process tends to be legally complex, and an attorney is necessary for most plaintiffs. Our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident lawyers can help you get started.
Collecting Evidence from a Jersey City, NJ Motorcycle Accident
To get compensation from a personal injury lawsuit, you need strong evidence to support your claims. Unfortunately, evidence can be hard to come by in motorcycle accidents. Many riders are so seriously injured that they are whisked away to the hospital before taking a good look at the crash scene. The accident scene has likely been cleared by the time they are recovered enough to think about compensation. Our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident lawyers can help you find important evidence to support your damages claim.
Police reports are a good place to begin your search for evidence. When investigating a crash, the police will take copious notes and compile a report about how the accident happened. These reports are usually not admissible in court because they are often composed of hearsay. However, they can help us find witnesses and other important evidence we can present at your trial.
Eyewitness testimony may be crucial for your case, especially if physical evidence is lacking. The identity of any witnesses may be contained in the police report. You should also present any records of your injuries, including hospital bills and medical records. We not only need to establish the extent of your injuries, but we also must use this information to help calculate damages.
Damages and Injuries Related to Motorcycle Accidents in Jersey City, NJ
Motorcycle accidents often lead to incredibly severe injuries. While drivers in cars are protected within enclosed vehicles, motorcycle riders are exposed and may be thrown from their vehicles or dragged along the pavement. Common motorcycle accident injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Head injuries
- Brain damages
- Neck and spinal cord damage
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Amputated limbs
- Loss or limitations of bodily functions
These injuries and more may take a long time to recover. Some riders never make full recoveries and are left permanently injured or disabled. While these injuries are painful and debilitating, they are also very expensive.
Economic damages refer to the financial losses incurred by motorcycle riders after a crash. Medical bills, the cost to repair/replace a damaged motorcycle, and more may be claimed as economic damages. If you have to take time off work to recover or lose your job because of the accident, you can even claim your lost income as part of your damages.
Non-economic damages do not come with a financial cost but must still be compensated financially. For example, plaintiffs can claim their emotional and physical pain and suffering after an accident as part of their non-economic damages. These damages are often difficult to calculate. Their value comes from their overall effect on the plaintiff’s everyday life; the more negatively impacted your daily life is, the greater your non-economic damages.
Settlements for Motorcycle Accidents in Jersey City, NJ
While we must be prepared to take your case to a court of law for a trial, not all cases end this way. Lawsuits commonly end in settlement agreements between plaintiffs and defendants. A settlement is where the defendant agrees to pay you money for your damages, and you drop the case in exchange. How much money the defendant must pay as part of the settlement is up for negotiation. Although, most settlements are not for the full value of damages initially claimed by plaintiffs.
It is up to you whether to accept a settlement offer. If the settlement does not cover all your damages, or you want your day in court, you can reject an offer. Our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident lawyers can help you negotiate a settlement that meets your needs.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Jersey City, NJ Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
You are not legally required to retain an attorney to help you with your motorcycle accident, but an attorney can make things much easier. People often underestimate the number of services an attorney can provide in accident cases. While they can help you file a lawsuit, there are other areas where they can assist.
When you file a claim, either with insurance or a lawsuit, you must calculate your damages. Your damages are the losses you experienced because of the accident. Things like medical bills and the cost to replace your motorcycle should be included. There are also other damages people often overlook or do not know how to calculate accurately. Pain and suffering, for example, may greatly increase your total damages in a severe motorcycle accident.
An attorney can also help you gather evidence to support your claims. Whether you are filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit, you must have evidence establishing your damages and showing that the other driver is at fault. A skilled lawyer will know what kind of evidence your case needs and where and how to obtain it. For example, your lawyer can help you contact businesses near your accident scene and inquire about traffic camera footage of the accident. Such footage would be extremely important evidence in your case.
Your lawyer can also work to suppress evidence against you in a lawsuit. Not all evidence is good evidence. Strict legal standards for evidence must be met before allowing evidence in court. If the defendant tries to bring up evidence that does not meet these standards, our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident attorneys can keep it out.
Call Our Jersey City, NJ Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for Help
After a motorcycle accident, you need time to recover from your injuries. However, recovery is often expensive, and insurance might be somewhat lacking. Our Jersey City, NJ motorcycle accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you need. Call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769 for a free case review.