YOUR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN NEW JERSEY & NEW YORK
Statistics - Motorcycle Collisions
Anyone who rides can likely tell you that motorcyclists are at an increased risk of injury and death than the drivers and occupants of a car or truck. Statistics show that motorcycle riders have a 29% greater chance of being involved in a fatal accident than the occupant of a car.
However, not every motorcycle accident is fatal, motorcycle accident injuries range from minor to disabling, and include road rash, broken bones, burns, traumatic brain injury, and more. Not every accident ends in hospitalization, 45% of crashes involve more than minor injuries.
This may be due to the fact that injuries like road rash can be more devastating than you might think. It’s not as simple as scraping your knee, and if road rash is not treated properly, can lead to serious infections and permanent disfigurement.
Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Most motorcycle accidents are caused by negligence, and often it is negligence on the part of another driver, other than the motorcyclist. More than 75% of motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle, and about 67% of these are caused by the other driver violating the biker’s right-of-way.
These crashes are often due to another driver making an impromptu lane change trying to pull ahead of other traffic, or making an improper left turn. The fact is, most of these types of accidents occur because other drivers fail to spot the motorcycle in time to avoid the collision, due to their smaller profiles.
While many motorcycle accidents cannot be avoided, approximately 33% of these crashes show that alcohol use has been involved. Bikers enjoy heading out on the open road, but the joy can quickly turn ugly when alcohol is involved.
A motorcyclist has approximately two seconds to perform all accident avoidance maneuvers, and that isn’t usually enough time even when you’re sober. Studies show that an inebriated driver has a much slower reaction time, resulting in overbraking or underbraking – a situation that often leads to serious injury or death for the biker.
Motorcycle crashes can also be caused by driver error, either on the part of the biker or the driver of another motor vehicle, engaging in perilous and illegal behavior on the roadway, and in approximately 2% of these accidents, poor weather conditions. Occasionally, defective vehicle parts are to blame.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Regardless of the cause of a motorcycle accident, injuries suffered by the motorcyclist will often be severe. Indeed, even if the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet (which is required under NJ law), they may still suffer facial injuries, head injuries, or even a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A motorcycle accident can also result in psychological harm as well, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
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Why You Should Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in New Jersey
Being involved in a motorcycle accident can result in tens of thousands of dollars of losses in the form of property damage expenses, medical bills, future medical and rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
While some of these costs may be covered by a motorcyclist’s own health insurance, most of them will not be covered by the motorcyclist’s own vehicle insurance. In fact, motorcyclists in our state do not carry Personal Injury Protection insurance coverage, which helps to pay for the above costs in an accident regardless of fault.
Note that in New Jersey and New York, comparative fault laws will apply when you are seeking compensation. Per New Jersey Statutes Annotated Section 2A:15-5.2, your percentage of fault cannot be greater than the degree of fault of the party from whom you are seeking damages; if you were more than 50 percent at fault for the motorcycle accident, you will be barred from recovery.
However, if you were 50 percent or less at fault for the accident, you can still seek compensation from the other driver, but your recoverable damages award will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. This is one reason it is so important to have a motor vehicle accident attorney on your side.