Many people throughout New Jersey choose to ride a bicycle every day. Some cyclists use it as a means of commute and others see it as recreation or exercise. No matter the reason, cycling can be a dangerous activity on roadways with cars and other motorized vehicles. Drivers often fail to account for cyclists with whom they share the road.
There are a number of common occurrences that could create liability for a driver involved in a bicycle accident. If a driver’s negligence or recklessness causes harm to a cyclist, the cyclist may decide to pursue monetary damages in court. Damages could include medical bills, lost wages, and the cyclist’s pain and suffering. Potential plaintiffs only have two years from the date of the accident to file their lawsuit in court, so you should speak to an attorney immediately if you were injured in a bicycle accident.
New Jersey cyclists deserve the full protection of state law. The only way to ensure that you are properly represented is to call Legal Care New Jersey. Our New Jersey bicycle accident injury lawyers have the dedication and resources to ensure that our clients achieve the compensation they deserve, whether through settlement or court decision. To hear more, call us at (732) 838-9769.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in New Jersey
Bicyclists and motorists must coexist on the roadway. When drivers fail to follow the rules of the road, it can put cyclists in very precarious circumstances. Below are some of the most common instances of driver negligence that can cause accidents with bicycles.
Drivers who are traveling at high rates of speed often struggle to adjust their course, both in terms of the speed of the car and the reaction time required. Cyclists are at the whim of drivers who decide to violate speed limits. Crashes, where a car is moving at excessive speeds, can be the most dangerous for cyclists.
Drivers who attempt abrupt lane changes are most common in areas where there is high traffic congestion, such as cities. Not surprisingly, cyclists are also more common in urban environments. Drivers attempting to avoid traffic backup may indiscriminately swerve into the bike lane, creating hazardous situations for cyclists in their rightful lane.
Turning without Signals
There is no way to know when a driver is going to adjust course if they do not utilize their turn signal light. Bicycles, who often utilize the outside of the roadway, may be caught by surprise when a car suddenly veers into their path.
Cyclists enjoy a full 360-degree range of vision while in motion. Drivers are not so lucky. Thus, drivers have a responsibility to assume that there may be someone in their blind spot while driving so that they avoid creating danger while merging, turning, or adjusting course.
Drivers who are in close proximity to cyclists create unnecessarily dangerous situations. Not only do they leave themselves less time to brake or turn, but they also limit the cyclist’s options to avoid accidents.
Damages for Bicycle Accidents in New Jersey
When a personal injury plaintiff wins a suit, the money that they recover is referred to as “damages.” The amount in damages that a cyclist could recover in a lawsuit after an accident in New Jersey depends on the nature of the accident and the harms sustained.
Plaintiffs can recover the cost of their medical care associated with their injury, as well as the property damage to their bicycle, which may be substantial. If the recovery process required of the injury causes the plaintiff to miss time at work, damages may include the plaintiff’s subsequent loss in wages. This is particularly common if the plaintiff is using their bicycle for work (e.g., delivery workers).
An injured cyclist may also claim damages for the physical, mental, and emotional toll that their experience has taken on them. Being in an accident can be traumatic and leave those involved with psychological consequences. Dealing with the subsequent injuries may impact a victim’s ability to maintain relationships as they had previously or otherwise enjoy life in the same way as they had prior to the injuries. New Jersey law allows courts to compensate plaintiffs for the pain and suffering that they have and will experience following their bicycle accident.
Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accident Injury Lawsuits in New Jersey
If you are injured in a bicycle accident in New Jersey and hope to pursue a personal injury claim in court, you only have a limited amount of time. The statute of limitations (or length of time that a potential plaintiff has to file a lawsuit) is two years from the date of the accident. For instance, if you were involved in an accident on February 12, 2021, you have until February 12, 2023, to formally file your complaint with the court clerk. If you file your complaint on February 13, the judge will likely dismiss your case without even listening to the merits.
Two years may seem like a long time, but the process of preparing your filing can be complicated, especially if your injuries are severe. Prior to filing, you will need to compile information such as identification information of the other parties, medical records, and estimates of total damage to person and property that you hope to recover. For this reason, we recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible if you hope to avoid missing your deadline to file suit in New Jersey.
We Can Help with Your Bicycle Accident in New Jersey Today
No matter how severe, your injuries deserve to be compensated. The qualified New Jersey bicycle accident injury attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey can help. Call (732) 838-9769 today for a free consultation.