New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Helping Injured Motorcyclists throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland
Motorcycle riding has always had a certain appeal for adventurous people. Avid riders preach about the joys of riding through open air, being at one with the road and taking full advantage of scenic views. Unfortunately, riding motorcycles does not come without risk. Statistically, operating a motorcycle puts the driver at a much higher accident risk than operating a motor vehicle.
Many people think that motorcycles themselves are dangerous. Yet, most motorcycles accidents are caused by a negligent driver of a car, truck or SUV. Since bikers are not protected by their vehicle, motorcycle accidents are much more likely to be fatal than a typical car accident. Vehicles provide drivers and passengers with a variety of safety features that motorcycles lack. Motorcyclists who are involved in motor vehicle accidents can be seriously injured and many accidents result in death.
Safety Precautions Are Essential
Because motorcycle riders risk being in an accident every time they take their bikes out on the road, every rider should do their best to follow the law and take appropriate safety precautions. First and foremost, every motorcycle rider should wear a helmet while riding on a motorcycle. Without a helmet, the risks for traumatic brain injury and head trauma drastically increase.
In New Jersey, the law requires motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear helmets with reflective tape. If the helmet lacks a wind screen, another form of eye protection, such as goggles, is required. Riders who disregard the law are subject to tickets and fines and may also be denied insurance coverage if an accident does occur.
Helmets are not the only pieces of safety equipment a motorcycle driver should wear; most motorbike retailers sell leather riding suits that protect a biker’s skin from road rash. Motorcycle boots, full-fingered gloves, leather jackets and jeans will also offer some measure of protection. The safest course of action is to wear fitted clothing that covers all exposed skin to reduce the risk and severity of injury.
Rules for Operating a Motorcycle in New Jersey
All motorcyclists in New Jersey must have a current driver’s license along with proof of registration and insurance for their motorcycle. New Jersey also requires that all bikes pass an annual safety inspection to meet the safety standards put forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the emissions standards set forth by the Environmental Inspection Agency. Standard inspections check lights, steering, brakes, alignment and tires.
Motorcycle riders are required to abide by the rules of the road. Even though a motorcycle is smaller and more maneuverable than a motor vehicle, drivers should not share lanes with cars or other bikes. Lane sharing also increases the risks and severity of motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle drivers should maintain situational awareness at all times and be comfortable with their operating skills before driving on major highways.
Roads themselves can pose hazards for motorcycle drivers. Potholes and road debris can be deadly for a motorbike driver. Bikers should also take additional precaution in poor weather conditions and during dusk and dawn.
Motorcycle Accidents and Liability
If a motorcycle accident occurs, the first thing that must be established before filing a legal claim is negligence. For legal purposes, negligence is defined as “behaving in a thoughtless or careless manner that causes injury to another person.” Any driver who is not following common road rules can be found guilty of negligence; however, in most motorcycle accidents, it is the driver of the other vehicle who caused the accident. If it can be proven that the accident was the result of negligence, the other driver is liable for the accident and can be held accountable for their actions.
In order for a legal claim to be successful, certain elements of negligence must be present in the case. The plaintiff must prove that:
- The defendant was breaking the law
- The defendant was not taking proper care on the roadway
- The defendant’s actions caused the accident and the driver injuries
It is important to note that the motorcycle driver must have sustained some form of injury or damages in order to pursue a claim. In the absence of these factors, a motorcycle driver cannot sue the person who caused the accident, even if negligence was involved.
Liability May Extend to Multiple Parties
In some cases, liability for the accident may be shared. The driver of the motor vehicle may be guilty of negligence, however the biker may have been operating the motorcycle in a reckless manner which contributed to the accident. If the other driver can prove that the biker was behaving recklessly, they may not be liable for all the motorcyclist’s resulting injuries.
New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore Represent Motorcycle Accident Victims
If you have been injured or suffered damage in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to pursue compensation. New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers and personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore can help. We fight hard for the rights of accident victims and are skilled at representing motorcycle accident claims, and will provide you with one-on-one attention until your case is resolved. Please call 1-800-CANT-WORK or 856-497-2203 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation.