Motorcycle riders are the most vulnerable motorists on the road. In fact, they are five times more likely to sustain injuries in an accident and more than 26 times more likely to die. In the United States alone, there were 88,000 motorcyclist injuries in 2013. If you drive on Routes 287, 206, 1, 9 or 78, you know full well the dangers of being a biker in New Jersey. The New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway are the scene of many a bike crash, as well.
Team Law attorney Andrew Prince has spent more than 25 years working hard to educate and protect motorcyclists. He is focused on rider education and making sure bikers are fully insured to protect themselves financially. However, he also knows that accidents happen. When they do, in addition to extremely critical injuries and even death, accidents cause serious emotional and financial tolls on all involved. Mr. Prince understands the financial, physical and emotional hardships you may be facing after your own motorcycle injury, or the death of a loved one. He specializes in only this area of the law because it is so complex, and he knows how to successfully fight for the compensation and help you need to get your life back.
While many people think motorcyclists are typically at fault in motorcycle/vehicle accidents, it is usually the fault of the car or truck driver. Vehicle and truck drivers are much more likely to be distracted or inattentive simply because of the safer, more enclosed environment of their vehicle. How often do you see a motorcyclist texting or talking on a cell phone? You don’t. Alternatively, how often do you see someone using a cell phone, eating or even reading a newspaper in their car? The inattentiveness and distraction of car and truck drivers, along with their failure to yield to motorcycles, puts bikers at much greater risk. Additionally, motorcycles are machines that don’t always work properly. There can be defective parts or a malfunction that causes an accident. Other factors that come into play are the motorcycle’s one headlight vs. a vehicle’s two and the sheer size and enclosed protection of a car vs. the openness of a motorcycle.
None of the above safety issues should be an excuse for car and truck drivers when involved in an accident with a motorcycle. There is an obvious prejudice toward motorcycle drivers and this often rears its ugly head when an accident occurs. This negative attitude even carries over to the courts, where judges and juries often decide in favor of the car or truck driver simply because of the stigma attached to motorcyclists. This is not fair, but it happens. Andrew Prince has an impressive record of obtaining compensation for his clients. With over 25 years of experience, he is extremely knowledgeable in motorcycle law and will work relentlessly to get you the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you love has been involved in a motorcycle accident, let Mr. Prince help you too.
The answer is simple: yes. While you aren’t required by law to hire an attorney, rest assured the insurance company will take your claim more seriously when they know you mean business. Further, Mr. Prince takes cases on contingency. If he doesn’t recover financial damages for you, you don’t pay him a dime.
There are many types of damages that can be recovered after a motorcycle accident. Common damages include:
It is not uncommon for the other driver’s insurance company to tell you that hiring a motorcycle attorney is unnecessary. They will attempt to make you believe that they will provide you with adequate compensation once their investigation is complete. Do not listen to them. This is their attempt at getting your recorded statements, analyzing your motorcycle insurance policy’s uninsured or underinsured coverage, sending you to their doctors and delaying the entire process as they build their case. In fact, don’t speak to them at all. A motorcycle attorney can handle all communications and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire process. Protect your rights, your safety and your freedom to ride by contacting Andrew Prince for education on safe motorcycle practices, and for skilled legal representation if you or a loved one is in an accident in Essex, Orange, Jersey City and throughout the state.
Team Law attorney Andrew Prince will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident. He is a rider advocate and gives frequent educational lectures at his main office in Clark, NJ. Mr. Prince handles motorcycle accident cases throughout Union and Middlesex Counties and across all the counties in the state of New Jersey. Contact him today for a free consultation.
1. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
2. Leg Injuries
3. Muscle Injuries
4. Neck Injuries
If you’ve ever been involved in a motorcycle accident, then you probably know just how chaotic the aftermath of such a catastrophe can be. Immediately after a collision, it’s likely that all parties involved will experience a rush of emotions like fear, panic, anger, relief, sadness, regret or even guilt. People may be injured, and property may be significantly damaged. Always reach out to the police when these conditions are present. They will create a report of the incident and help anyone injured. Afterward, it may be time to begin thinking about the next steps in reporting the accident.
There are plenty of reasons why someone might not want to involve their insurance company in an accident. Many fear that their monthly rates will rise and others dislike the idea of having a minor accident listed on their insurance driving record forever. Despite these valid concerns, it’s necessary to notify your insurance company when you or someone else has sustained serious injury or property damage. If the accident was someone else’s fault, then make sure to let the agent you speak with know. Provide the agent with any details you can remember including witnesses, what was damaged and who was injured. Be as honest as possible when speaking with the representative because there is a possibility of a future investigation into the accident being opened by the insurance company.
There are situations in which you won’t need to notify your insurance company about an accident. These types of accidents usually do not involve injuries or significant property damage.
If one or more parties involved seeks out a claim, then the insurance companies will likely begin investigating the situation. You may be contacted by representatives, and it’s important to cooperate with their requests. They may need to inspect your property or view medical records related to injuries.
It’s common knowledge that riding on a motorcycle is inherently riskier than driving in a full-sized vehicle, but it may come as a surprise that the majority of bike-related accidents typically involve a passenger vehicle. In about 67 percent of these accidents involving other motorists, the other vehicle has directly caused the accident by violating the biker’s right-of-way.
When another car collides with a biker, the most likely culprit is driver negligence on the part of the full-sized vehicle’s driver. Most collisions with bikers occur when the other driver fails to give the biker their right-of-way. In other cases, the other driver fails to see the smaller vehicle. When injuries or property damage results from these types of accidents, the other motorist will be held liable for the damages.
At times, bikers may be held liable for damages associated with an accident when they were driving negligently. Some bikers have been known to ride recklessly and put other motorists in danger. According to statistics, about 25 percent of motorcycle-related accidents occur when the biker collides with a fixed object or the roadway rather than another car.
Surprisingly, only about three percent of all motorcycle-related accidents are attributed to vehicular failure. When vehicular failure occurs, bikers are most likely to lose control but not hit another car. If damages are present in the accident, then it’s possible the manufacturer of the bike will be held liable. If courtrooms find that the vehicle was defective due to improper maintenance or driver error, then the driver may be held liable for the accident. It’s important to understand that knowingly driving a car in need of repair is considered negligent behavior.
Adverse Weather or Roadway Defects:
Surprisingly, roadway defects account for only about two percent of all motorcycle accidents. When poor road conditions contributed to your crash, it may be possible to collect compensation from the governmental agency tasked with keeping the road safe. It may also come as a shock that adverse weather was not a factor in over 98 percent of biker accidents.
The following are a list and definition of the legal terms that are used in every motorcycle accident case:
– Tort – Contrary to popular belief, a tort is not just the name of a dessert. Rather, in the legal context, a tort is the wrongful act that caused the plaintiff injury or property damage.
– Plaintiff – This is the party that initiates the personal injury lawsuit and is the one who is seeking monetary compensation for his or her injuries. If you are the one who files a personal injury lawsuit, you will be called the plaintiff.
– Defendant – This is the party to the lawsuit that is named as the at-fault party. The defendant defends himself or herself against the claims that the plaintiff brings in his or her lawsuit to avoid being held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.
– Damages – Damages is a term used to describe the amount of money you, as the plaintiff, want to recover from the lawsuit. Damages can be compensatory, meaning they are sought out to make you whole again after the accident, or punitive, meaning they are sought to punish the defendant for his or her behavior. Moreover, compensatory damages are sometimes divided further into what are called economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are damages that can be easily calculated, such as costs for reimbursement of medical bills, whereas noneconomic damages are damages for injuries that cannot be easily quantified, such as for emotional distress or pain and suffering.
– Prayer For Relief/ Ad Damnum Clause – To initiate every personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must file a complaint against a defendant. In this complaint, the last paragraph is typically supposed to state the type of relief the plaintiff seeks to obtain from filing the lawsuit. The relief is often monetary compensation but can be another form of relief. This last paragraph is called the prayer for relief or, stated differently, the ad damnum clause.
– The preponderance of Evidence – This term is used when describing the legal standard by which the plaintiff has to prove his or her case against the defendant. Under this legal standard, you need only have to prove that it is more probable than not that the defendant caused the injuries you sustained.
Other Legal Terms Used In Motorcycle Accident Cases include:
– Negligence – This term is a legal theory by which a plaintiff can hold a defendant liable for his or her injuries. Negligence occurs when a person owes a duty to another person, breaches that duty by failing to act in a reasonable manner, this breach caused injuries (or damages to a person), and there are actual damages.
– Proximate Cause – This term is used to describe an element of negligence. It is rather amorphous, but generally, it is defined as the main reason that resulted in injury to the plaintiff.
– The statute of Limitations – This terms refers to the deadline by which a plaintiff may file a personal injury lawsuit against a defendant.
– The Assumption of the Risk – This term refers to an affirmative defense the defendant can try to prove to evade liability and bar you from recovering damages. To successfully assert this affirmative defense, the defendant must prove that you knew that a dangerous condition was present and could cause you injury, but you voluntarily chose to act anyway.
– Contributory Negligence – This term refers to another affirmative defense the defendant can assert, whereby the defendant endeavors to prove that you are at least partially at fault for the accident and your own injuries.
It’s a challenge attempting to calculate the monetary value of injuries and other losses associated with a motorcycle accident, but it’s an important consideration when deciding whether to pursue a personal injury case or not. The most important factor in determining the worth of your motorcycle accident case is determining who was at fault. Typically, the more negligent driver will bear the burden of losses incurred in an accident. If you are not able to prove the other driver’s negligence, then it will be difficult to obtain financial compensation. It’s the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove the other driver’s negligence. You can still seek compensation when you can prove the other driver’s negligence even when you have also contributed to the accident.
Next, you will need to consider the real value of the damages you’ve incurred. Some damages may be easy to quantify utilizing medical bills, insurance estimations of damage and other methods. To calculate how much money you lost from missing work, you’ll need to add up the income and benefits that you missed out on due to your injury. When you’ve lost the ability to return to your same area of employment, then you may need to consult with an expert to determine the value of your lost earnings. Other types of losses, such as pain and suffering, are not as easy to calculate. Judges usually rely on the jury to make a reasonable determination about these types of damages.
By: Andrew S. Prince, Esq.Attorney1-(800)-TEAM-LAW (832-6529)[email protected] Insurance is a word that can cause confusion when trying to understand what is and is not covered under your policy when a loss occurs. As a motorcycle attorney, I know just how hard this can be. To help you out, I have clarified three of the more[…]
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