Atlantic City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you ride a motorcycle, you know the thrill of the open road. It’s also important, however, to remain cognizant of just how much trauma and danger a motorcycle accident can present. When you straddle your bike, after all, you have nothing but your gear to protect you from the impact of an accident. Always make motorcycle safety your priority and understand the injury and accident risks.
If another driver’s negligence injured you in a motorcycle accident, you no doubt feel overwhelmed and probably aren’t sure how to proceed. Serious motorcycle accidents can derail your life in a split second. If you suffered an injury, you need experienced legal counsel. Consult with a skilled Atlantic City motorcycle accident lawyer at The Levin Firm today.
Motorcycle Accidents: The Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shared these startling motorcycle accident statistics in 2015:
Motorcycle-related deaths increased to 8 percent more than the 2014 rate.
Motorcyclists constitute 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, 4 percent of all traffic injuries, 17 percent of all occupant fatalities (which include both drivers and passengers), and 4 percent of all occupant injuries.
Motorcyclist fatalities took place almost 29 times more often—per vehicle-mile traveled—than fatalities among car drivers and their occupants.
If such an accident injured you, first seek immediate medical attention, then obtain experienced legal counsel. The skilled legal team at The Levin Firm has the experience, commitment, and knowledge to help guide your claim toward its most beneficial resolution, and we’re here to protect your rights.
Helmets Save Lives
Motorcycle helmets save lives, so if you ride (at the helm or as a passenger), New Jersey law requires you to wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved helmet that fits. Wearing a helmet can not only save your life but can bolster your motorcycle accident claim at the same time. Helmets, however, do not prevent all head injuries—a percentage of riders suffer brain injuries and head trauma when they crash, even when wearing helmets.
Your Injuries And Compensation
If someone else’s negligence injured you in a New Jersey motorcycle accident, you no doubt feel overwhelmed. Such serious and long-lasting—or even permanent—injuries may lead to indeterminately mounting medical expenses. These ongoing expenses often include lost wages and diminished earning potential, long-term medical costs, lost companionship, and the pain and suffering associated with these dreadful accidents.
Serious Injuries That Motorcyclists Commonly Sustain Include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Muscle and soft tissue tears
- Broken or crushed bones
- Cracked ribs
- Punctured lungs and other organ injuries
- Broken jaws and facial fractures
All of the above injuries—among others—require immediate, sometime ongoing, but always costly medical treatments. In addition, many of these injuries can prevent you from working or performing household duties, which can cause many complications and losses for you and your family.
Because of your extensive losses, know when you have the right to seek compensation from any negligent drivers or other parties that caused your accident.
Negligence that can cause motorcycle crashes includes:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Speeding, tailgating, and other aggressive driving behaviors
- Running traffic signals
- Failing to yield
- Selling motorcycles with defective parts
- Dangerous road hazards
Once you determine who caused your motorcycle accident, you will need to present evidence to prove fault, whether you pursue an insurance claim or file a personal injury claim in civil court. In many cases, persuasive evidence of negligence can help you obtain a favorable settlement without having to go to court—and our legal team can gather and present evidence in your favor.
A motorcycle accident can indeed become overwhelmingly complicated very quickly. Furthermore, evidence in support of your claim can swiftly deteriorate. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer, however, can help ensure that your claim continues to effectively and efficiently move toward the compensation to which New Jersey law entitles you.
New Jersey’s Shared Fault Approach
If you share some of the blame—or fault—for a motorcycle accident that injures you, New Jersey law still provides you with the opportunity to recover partial damages.
New Jersey employs a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that the degree of fault that each party contributed to the accident will factor into the legal result of the case. In other words, if you are partially at fault for the accident, the jury will deduct your percentage of fault from your compensation. If you are less than 50 percent responsible, however, you can still obtain important compensation to put toward your medical expenses and other losses, so you should still consult with an attorney about your legal rights.
Atlantic City Motorcycle Accident FAQ
People love to ride their motorcycles to, around, and from Atlantic City. On the way, they experience the freedom and adventure of motorcycling while exploring the Garden State’s beaches, barrens, blueberry farms, and byways.
Unfortunately, motorcycling in and around Atlantic City comes with its share of risks to riders. According to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, motorcycle accidents take the lives of between 50 and 100 riders each year throughout the state. Motorcyclists account for a disproportionate number of fatal accidents; they are more than 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash, and five times more likely to suffer injuries.
Victims of Atlantic City area motorcycle accidents have lots of questions about their legal rights and financial interests in the wake of a crash. Below we answer some common questions we hear from clients and potential clients about motorcycle wrecks. For answers to detailed questions about a motorcycle crash that harmed you in and around Atlantic City, contact the skilled Atlantic City motorcycle accident lawyers at the Levin Firm today.
What motorcycle laws do I need to know?
New Jersey law governs various aspects of motorcycle riding and safety, including helmet requirements, bike equipment requirements, and rules of the road for motorcyclists. Here are a few of the most significant ones.
New Jersey motorcycle license requirements. All motorcycles must be titled, registered, and insured. Residents operating a motorcycle in New Jersey must have a motorcycle license or an endorsement on their existing driver’s license. A motorcycle license is similar to a driver’s license, but is only for motorcycles. An endorsement, in contrast, is an addition to your current driver’s license that allows you to legally operate a motorcycle as well as a car. New Jersey accepts motorcycle endorsements from other states.
Whether you already have a driver’s license or you want to obtain a motorcycle-only license, if you are under the age of 18 then the first step is to take a Basic Rider Course from an approved provider. Upon successful completion, you’ll receive a stamped waiver form and completion card. If you are older than age 18, you do not need to take this course, but must get a motorcycle permit.
If you are over the age of 18 and already have a driver’s license, you must first apply for a motorcycle permit at your local motor vehicle agency. You must pass vision and knowledge tests. Upon passing these tests, you can schedule a road test on your motorcycle. The road test takes place 20 days after taking your knowledge and vision tests so that you have time to practice.
If you do not have a driver’s license and wish to get a motorcycle-only license, you must practice ride for six months after receiving your permit if you’re younger than age 21, or three months if you’re older than 21, and receive no citations during this time. After this period, you can take your road test; upon successfully passing, you’ll receive a probationary license. For one year, you are not allowed to ride after dark, on state-restricted toll roads, or with passengers. Completing the probationary year qualifies you for a full motorcycle license NJ.
While riding with only a permit, you cannot:
- ride with passengers on your motorcycle.
- ride on any toll road or limited-access highway.
- and, ride after dusk or before dawn.
Safety helmet. New Jersey law provides that “No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he wears a securely fitted protective helmet of a size proper for that person and of a type approved by the federal DOT.” Such a helmet must be equipped with either a neck or chin strap and have reflectors on both sides. This law exists for riders’ safety. Unhelmetd riders are three times more likely to die from head injuries in an accident than helmeted riders.
Eye protection. All motorcycle drivers must wear protective eyewear, such as goggles or a face shield, unless the motorcycle has a windscreen.
Lights and reflectors. All motorcycles must have at least one working headlight, but not more than two, along with a brake light, tail light, license plate light, and at least one rear reflector. The law does not require turn signals, but they are an excellent safety feature.
Mirrors. Motorcycles in New Jersey must have at least one rear-view mirror so that the motorcyclist can see all of the vehicles and road hazards in the area.
Passenger seat. Motorcycles designed to carry more than one person must have a passenger seat and adequate passenger footrests.
Handlebar height. Handlebars cannot be higher than the shoulder height of the driver while seated.
Do I need motorcycle insurance in New Jersey?
You must have proof of insurance to register a motorcycle in New Jersey. The state law requires a minimum of $15,000 in liability insurance, $30,000 for total bodily injury for multiple people, and $5,000 for property damage.
Different levels of coverage are available. Underinsured Motorist/Uninsured Motorist is a type of motorcycle coverage that isn’t required by NJ law, but it is important to carry if you can afford it. It protects you in the event you get into an accident in which the other driver is at fault, but that driver either has no insurance, or not enough insurance to cover your injuries.
Who faces legal liability for Atlantic City motorcycle accidents?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may face huge medical bills, loss of income, and costly repairs to your bike, all because of someone else’s dangerous decisions of actions. In many cases, New Jersey law allows you to take legal action against the at-fault party seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.
The law of negligence is the basis for most motorcycle accident lawsuits. We all must take care to avoid injuring others who use New Jersey roads. Negligence is “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” Atlantic City motorcycle accidents often happen because someone other than the motorcyclist failed to exercise that level of care, making that person, business, or entity legally liable to the motorcyclist for damages.
In many Atlantic City motorcycle accidents, the driver of a car or truck that collides with a motorcycle has a legal liability to the injured biker. However, drivers are not the only parties who can owe damages after a motorcycle crash.
Depending upon the circumstances, others could include:
- The employer of a driver who crashes a work vehicle into a motorcycle;
- The local or state government entity responsible for the maintenance of a roadway, if an unreasonably dangerous, preventable hazard caused the accident;
- The manufacturer of the motorcycle, if a defective part caused a mechanical failure that led to a crash; and
- The repair shop that did a poor job of inspecting or maintaining a motorcycle, leading to a dangerous condition that caused an accident.
These are just a few examples. Virtually any person, business, or organization could face legal liability to an injured motorcyclist after an Atlantic City bike wreck. To learn who may owe you money damages for the harm you suffered in a crash, contact an experienced Atlantic City motorcycle accident injury lawyer today.
What are some common causes of Atlantic City motorcycle accidents?
Atlantic City motorcycle accidents happen in all kinds of ways.
Some common causes include:
- Driving a car or truck under the influence. Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs can lead to deadly accidents, as well as criminal and civil and liability. Alcohol and drug use is a factor in many motor vehicle accidents, and drunk drivers put motorcyclists at extreme risk of harm.
- Speeding. A driver who speeds has time to see and react to motorcyclists than a driver operating at a safe speed. In general, the higher the speed of a collision between a car or truck and a motorcycle, the more severe the injuries to the motorcyclist.
- Left-turn accidents. Approximately 42 percent of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a car happen when cars make left-hand turns into the path of a motorcycle. Usually, the car hits the motorcycle when the motorcycle is passing the car, trying to overtake the car, or traveling through an intersection.
- Unsafe lane changes. Motorcycles are smaller than most other vehicles, and can disappear in car and truck blind spots. A driver who fails to check their blind spots for motorcyclists risks changing lanes into a motorcycle’s path, causing an accident.
- Car doors. Motorcyclists are frequently victims of “dooring.” This happens when a driver in a parked car opens a door directly into the path of a motorcycle approaching the car from behind, resulting in a potentially fatal collision between the motorcycle and the door.
- Sudden stops. Drivers often fail to appreciate that motorcycles can brake and stop much more quickly than cars or trucks. Motorcyclists also often downshift, rather than squeeze the brakes, to slow down. Drivers who follow motorcyclists too close risk a rear-end collision with a motorcycle in these situations.
- Motorcycle defects. A defect in the motorcycle or a motorcycle part can cause a sudden, unexpected mechanical failure, resulting in a deadly accident.
What kinds of Atlantic City motorcycle accident injuries do you handle?
Experienced lawyers for Atlantic City motorcycle accident victims know that bikers can suffer a wide, and potentially deadly, assortment of injuries in a crash.
Some common injuries these lawyers have the skill and know-how to handle include:
What compensation might be available for an Atlantic City motorcycle accident?
If you suffered injuries in an Atlantic City motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, then you likely have the legal right to seek compensation from the party at-fault. Every motorcycle crash has unique features that affect the types and amounts of compensation you may seek to recover.
However, legal actions after an Atlantic City motorcycle crash can often secure compensation to help pay for:
- Medical expenses related to the treatment of accident injuries, including emergency care, surgeries, hospitalizations and long-term care stays, medication, and medical equipment.
- Other expenses that result from the accident and injuries, such as costs of adapting a home to accommodate a new disability, or hiring help with day-to-day activities.
- Past and future lost income due to missing work because of motorcycle accident injuries;
- Pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life and relationships caused by the injuries; and
- In some cases, punitive damages that extreme recklessness or other egregious conduct that led to a crash.
The law does not guarantee that an Atlantic City motorcycle accident victim will recover compensation. However, victims of motorcycle crashes can give themselves the best possible chance of securing the compensation they need and deserve by hiring an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer as soon as possible after suffering their injuries.
What should I do to protect my rights after an Atlantic City motorcycle accident?
- The most important thing you can do is take care of your health and safety. Move to a safe area, check yourself and others for injuries and call 911 for immediate assistance from a medical professional or ambulance. Let an EMT examine you, go to the hospital by ambulance if recommended, and follow up with your regular doctor for a full exam to screen for injuries.
- If you do not call 911, you should still call the police. They will investigate the scene and file a police report, which you may need later if you file a lawsuit.
- Gather as much contact information as possible from the other party and any other witnesses to the accident.
- If you can, take pictures from several angles of the damage to your motorcycle, your injuries, the other vehicle, and the scene of the accident.
- Save your motorcycle, clothing, and helmet. These may constitute important pieces of evidence in a claim for damages.
- Do not admit fault or discuss your case with insurance representatives before speaking with an attorney.
- Make copies of all medical records, insurance information, and other documentation.
- Contact an experienced Atlantic City motorcycle accident lawyer right away. You have only limited time to take action to protect your legal rights and financial interests.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in an Atlantic City motorcycle accident, then consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at the Levin Firm as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
If A Motorcycle Accident Injured You, Contact An Experienced Atlantic City Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Motorcycle accidents can seriously overwhelm you. If a motorcycle accident injured you, you know just how much trauma it can cause. Motorcycle accident claims are complicated, but there’s no need to navigate your claim on your own. Allow the experienced legal team at The Levin Firm in Atlantic City to guide your claim in support of its best possible resolution. Our skilled, dedicated, and compassionate motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help, so please contact us online or call our team at (215) 825-5183 to schedule a free consultation today.