We have all seen motorcyclists traveling on New Jersey highways on beautiful fall and spring days. However, New Jersey motorcycle accidents occur across the state. According to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, motorcyclists are 28 more times likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than passenger car occupants. They are five times more likely to be injured.
Between 2012 and 2016, there were almost 12,000 crashes involving motorcycles in New Jersey.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents in New Jersey?
There are many reasons motorcycle accidents happen in New Jersey. Many are caused by the same reasons car and truck accidents occur, such as speeding, impaired driving, driver fatigue, and distracted driving.
Other causes include:
- Road condition–potholes, large cracks and debris in the roadway are more hazardous to motorcyclists than car and truck drivers;
- Drivers making left-hand turns–some drivers do not realize a motorcyclist is in front of them and/or has the right of way. Some do not care;
- Drivers simply do not see the motorcyclist.
What Should You Do If You Get in a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident?
If you are able, collect as much information as you can. You should get the names and contact information of the driver, any passengers and witnesses. In addition, take pictures of the damage to your motorcycle and any of the vehicles involved in the accident.
The police should be called. You will want a copy of the police report.
If the accident was caused by road conditions, take a picture of those conditions.
What Types of Injuries Occur in Motorcycle Accidents in New Jersey?
There are many types of injuries that occur in New Jersey motorcycle accidents:
- Soft tissue
- Bruises, lacerations
- Bone fractures
- Road rash
- Concussions, head injuries
- Shoulder, back and neck sprains/strains
- Damage to internal organs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Amputations of limbs
- Spinal cord/paralysis
Serious injuries that a person sustains in a motorcycle accident can mean hospitalization and multiple follow-up visits to a doctor. People who sustain injuries listed above may also need multiple visits to a physical therapist or chiropractor for treatment.
What Are My Damages in a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Case?
In a New Jersey motorcycle accident case, there are several types of damage claims you can make:
- Medical expenses-You may recover all of your medical expenses (even those for which insurance paid);
- Lost wages- You may recover wages you were not paid if you had to miss work because of your injuries;
- Pain and suffering-This type of damage is subjective but is widely recognized in New Jersey personal injury law. You can tell the jury how badly your back hurt after your motorcycle accident, how you got chiropractic treatment for weeks and you still have stiffness in your back most mornings when you wake up. That is pain and suffering;
- Disability-If there are lingering symptoms from your injury (and there often are) you can tell the jury about them. Perhaps you work in a warehouse and are required to lift or move packages. But you have difficulty doing so because of the injury to your shoulder in the accident. You can tell the jury about that. The jury can take that into account during their deliberations and factor it into their damage award;
- Future medical treatment-If you suffered a traumatic brain injury or compound fracture of your leg in the accident, you may need medical and physical therapy treatment for the foreseeable future. You (and your doctor) can tell the jury about that; and
- Loss of consortium-If your spouse was killed in a motorcycle accident, or severely injured, the jury can compensate you for the loss of consortium-the loss of the affection, advice and companionship spouses show each other
Experienced New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Schiller, Pittenger & Galvin, P.C. at 908-490-0444 at their Scotch Plains office or online for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer. There is no attorneys’ fee charged to you unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery on your behalf.