Common New Jersey Motorcycle Accidents and How to Recover Damages


While motorcycle riding can be fun and exciting, it can also be extremely dangerous. Regardless of the safety precautions you might take, accidents can occur out of nowhere. Since motorcyclists have almost no protection against impacts with the road or other vehicles, collisions often result in catastrophic injuries. Knowledge of the risks involved can go a long way to helping you avoid a life-altering accident.

Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Failure to observe — Due to the comparatively small size of motorcycles, they often are unnoticed by other vehicles on the road. This failure to notice may be worsened by limited visibility, road glare or obstructed view.
  • Lane splitting — When a motorcycle rides between two lanes of car traffic, other drivers may not notice the bike and may make maneuvers that cause collisions.
  • Other vehicles making left turns — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, left turns made by other vehicles are responsible for 42 percent of motorcycle crashes nationwide.
  • Hazardous road conditions — Potholes, loose gravel, slippery surfaces and debris in the road pose increased danger for motorcycles, which don’t have the stability of larger vehicles.
  • Reckless driving — Speeding and other forms of reckless driving by others on the road increase the likelihood of an accident.

Since motorcycles do not have the protective steel surroundings of cars, SUVs and trucks, riders are more likely to suffer a severe injury or a fatality in an accident. Even if a motorcyclist wears a helmet and other protective gear, a collision can cause head injuries, paralysis, broken bones, nerve damage or other serious injuries.

If you’ve been badly hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to recover your damages. However, since New Jersey’s no-fault law does not apply to motorcycles, you can’t rely on getting compensated from your own insurance company. Instead, you must bring a personal injury lawsuit against another driver you believe was at fault. You must prove three elements to prevail in a motorcycle accident lawsuit and obtain compensation:

  1. Establish the other driver was at fault
  2. Show that your injuries were caused by the other driver
  3. Prove that you suffered damages as a result of the accident

Under New Jersey’s comparative negligence law, you can recover damages from another driver as long as you were not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Whatever damages you can prove will be reduced in proportion to your share of the fault.

The damages you may be awarded include your unreimbursed medical expenses, lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses. You may also be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced due to your injuries.

The New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Siegel Law can help you obtain the maximum compensation for injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. Call 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation in our Ridgewood office.

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