Motorcycle accidents are an unfortunate reality on New Jersey’s roads, and the statistics are alarming. In 2019 alone, there were 77 fatal motorcycle crashes in the state, accounting for a staggering 14% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, time is of the essence. You need the assistance of a skilled and experienced Jersey City motorcycle accident lawyer at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC. Our team will protect your rights and help you fight for fair compensation. In the meantime, read on to learn more about pursuing a motorcycle accident claim.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Numerous things can lead to a motorcycle accident in Jersey City. Some of the most common causes are discussed below.
Driver error includes failing to see a motorcycle or misjudging its speed or distance, resulting in a collision. Many drivers do not look for motorcycles when driving, especially in their blind spots. Other times, they might see the motorcyclist but fail to realize how fast the bike is traveling or how close the bike is. Left-hand turn accidents are often caused by driver errors.
Speeding is a common cause of all types of motor vehicle collisions. High-speed crashes can be particularly deadly for motorcyclists. The faster a vehicle travels, the more force it will generate in a collision. Because motorcycles don’t provide the same protection or safety features that a car or truck does, motorcyclists are more likely to be injured in a collision. If a motorcyclist is hit by a speeding driver, the risk of severe injury is even higher than in a low-speed crash.
Most people only think about texting and driving when they think about distracted driving, but distracted driving is anything that diverts your attention from the road. Examples include looking at the GPS, changing the radio station, eating, drinking, talking with passengers, putting on makeup, and more. Any type of distraction increases the risk of an accident.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impair judgment and reaction time, which is why impaired drivers are more likely to cause accidents. It’s important to note that impairment can also refer to prescription drugs. If a medication comes with a warning not to operate a motor vehicle while taking it, and a driver takes that medication and causes a crash, the driver could face charges or be liable for damages.
Road Hazards and Adverse Weather
Hazards like potholes or road debris can cause motorcycle riders to lose control and fall off their bike or fall onto the road. Sometimes, hazards pose no risk to a larger vehicle or truck but are very dangerous for motorcycle riders. Adverse weather conditions, including fog, snow, sleet, and ice, can create treacherous road conditions for motorcycle riders.
Defective motorcycle parts, such as faulty brakes or tires, can lead to accidents. If a mechanical defect caused your accident, you might have a claim against the retailer, parts manufacturer, or even the bike manufacturer. Proving that a product defect caused your motorcycle accident is complicated and requires a thorough investigation of your accident. But an experienced Jersey City motorcycle accident attorney will know how to investigate and build these types of claims.
Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident injuries are often catastrophic because the vehicle or truck usually makes direct contact with the motorcycle rider’s body. Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries include the following.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Even motorcycle riders who use helmets can experience life-altering brain injuries. Head trauma can range from a concussion to a severe injury resulting in permanent brain damage.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Most spinal cord injuries are permanent and result in some loss of sensation or movement or total paralysis from the injury site down. Victims with spinal cord injuries usually have lifelong disabilities and require constant care.
Broken and Fractured Bones
Broken and fractured bones are also common in motorcycle accidents, especially in the legs and arms. If a vehicle directly strikes a motorcycle rider’s body, the impact could shatter or crush a limb. In extreme cases, doctors might need to amputate the injured limb.
Road rash is excruciating and typically leaves the victim with disfigurement and scarring. Subsequent infections are common, exacerbating the situation. Victims may need multiple medical treatments, including painful cleaning sessions and skin grafts.
Some injuries, such as internal injuries, aren’t apparent to the naked eye. You could have internal bleeding or organ damage and not realize you’re injured for hours or even days after an accident. This damage could be life-threatening if left untreated.
Possible Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident in Jersey City, NJ
Compensation in a Jersey City motorcycle accident varies from case to case. You could be entitled to compensation if you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident due to another party’s negligence. Potential damages include:
- Economic damages. These damages compensate you for monetary losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, future medical expenses, and loss of earning capacity.
- Noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages compensate victims for their physical and emotional suffering, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages. Courts only award punitive damages in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or intentional. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct.
Speak to your Jersey City motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss the types of damages you might be eligible to receive.
Statute of Limitations for New Jersey Motorcycle Accidents
In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including motorcycle accidents, is two years from the accident date. Failing to file a claim within the statute of limitations period can result in losing your right to compensation. It’s important to note that some circumstances can alter the filing deadline. Depending on the circumstances, you might have extra time to file, or you might have less time to file. Working with a skilled Jersey City motorcycle accident attorney can help you meet all necessary deadlines and file your claim on time.
Hiring a Jersey City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When choosing a Jersey City motorcycle accident attorney, look for someone with experience representing clients in motorcycle accident cases and who can provide personalized attention and support. Your chosen personal injury lawyer should have a track record of success and be willing to go to trial, if necessary, to fight for the compensation you deserve.
At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, our Jersey City motorcycle accident lawyers know what it takes to succeed at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. We’ve built a reputation for success and work tirelessly to help our clients achieve the best outcomes possible for their cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.