In 2020, there were over 121,000 registered motorcycles in New Jersey. With some of the longest commutes and most congested streets in the nation, it is no surprise that so many people find both enjoyment and practicality in motorcycles.
Unfortunately, motorcyclists have to be hyper-aware of their surroundings. A lot of vehicle drivers forget to look for motorcycles on the road. Because of their size, motorcycles can be difficult to see, making them more prone to collisions with inattentive drivers.
If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligent or intentional behavior, a Newark motorcycle accident attorney can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Types of Newark Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The severity of motorcycle injuries depends mainly on the speed and angle of impact. By law, New Jersey motorcyclists are required to wear a DOT-approved helmet. Eye protection, a jacket, pants, foot coverings, and gloves are also recommended. Here are a few common types of injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI),
- Broken bones,
- Cuts and lacerations,
- Spinal injuries,
- Facial scarring or disfigurement,
- Internal bleeding, and
- Damage to organs.
In worst-case scenarios, fatalities can occur. A total of 5,579 motorcyclists died in crashes in the U.S. in 2020. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by another person or party, you might be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim on their behalf. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Newark, NJ, can help you determine if you have a case.
Methods to Be Seen and Heard
One of the benefits of riding a motorcycle is that you are fairly nimble in the ability to navigate through traffic, but that also means that drivers who are accustomed to watching for automobile-sized vehicles may not notice you. It is more difficult for drivers to determine the distance and speed of a motorcycle. Here are some recommendations on how to be seen and heard when navigating roads in New Jersey.
Wear Bright Clothing
Dark clothing may look cool, but bright, reflective clothing and helmets will help others see you. Fluorescent colors make you stand out during the day, while reflective or retro-reflective materials increase visibility.
Turn Your Headlights On
Even during the day, keeping your headlights on can significantly improve the likelihood that you will be noticed.
Use Your Turn Signals
Motorcycles can quickly maneuver in and out of traffic lanes, but it is essential to take the time to use your turn signals every time. You can use mechanical signals on your bike or hand signals. Turn signals should be used not less than the last 100 feet traveled before the vehicle turns.
Always make sure you have a functioning brake light. Tapping the foot brake lightly before slowing down will help others see you, especially at night. It is very important to signal when you are slowing more quickly than anticipated or when being followed closely.
Honk the Horn
Using your horn is a good way to get the attention of other motorists who may not see you. Make sure you still react defensively and do not depend on the driver to adjust to avoid a collision or other danger.
When behind a vehicle, position yourself so you can be seen in the rearview mirror. Riding too close to the side of a vehicle can cause you to be in their blind spot. Ideally, try to find a place where you can see yourself in the rearview mirror.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Newark?
Your health is by far the most important priority after a motorcycle accident, which means your first step is to seek medical attention. Injuries from motorcycle accidents are usually significant. Even if you do not think you have been injured, it is important to be evaluated by a medical professional. Not only is this the best thing for your immediate health, but it could also be important if you seek compensation for injury later on.
Contact the police as soon as possible. If you were not present at the scene to speak to the police because of a medical emergency, you can request the police report. This report should contain impartial observations and statements from witnesses. If you are present at the scene, try and gather some evidence yourself, such as photos of the accident scene. These could be valuable for your case. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Newark, NJ, can also help you acquire evidence.
Make sure to keep a record of all expenses associated with your injury, including medical costs, lost wages, in-home care, transportation, and more. These could be compensable depending on the unique circumstances of your case.
No-Fault Auto Insurance
New Jersey is a no-fault auto insurance state which means that drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their own medical bills regardless of who caused the accident. You may opt-out of the PIP requirement, but most people do not. In this case, you can file a lawsuit under a few circumstances pertaining to the extent of your injuries. Applicable injuries include:
- Displaced fracture,
- Loss of a limb,
- Permanent disfigurement,
- Loss of a fetus,
- Permanent injury,
- Or death.
It is important to call your insurance company as soon as possible. Note that property damage is not covered under PIP. Do not accept any insurance settlement offer until you have spoken with a motorcycle accident attorney in Newark, NJ. Understanding the actual value of your claim and the compensation you are entitled to is crucial to receiving a fair settlement.
Hiring a Newark Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents in New Jersey is two years from the date the accident occurred. Whether that seems like a lot of time or a little, the sooner you file your claim, the better. Though not impossible, gathering evidence is more challenging the longer you wait.
When looking for an experienced Newark motorcycle accident attorney, consider the award-winning team at O’Conner, Parsons, Lane & Noble. We have received large verdicts and settlements for our personal injury clients and will not settle for less than what you deserve. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.