Navigating U.S. roadways can be dangerous for motorcyclists. Close to 5,000 motorcycle riders are killed in accidents on roads throughout the United States each year. That number represents approximately 14% of all annual traffic fatalities.
This rate is particularly alarming when you learn that motorcycles account for a mere 3% of registered vehicles and 1% of miles traveled in the country. According to NHTSA statistics, motorcyclists are 6 times more likely to be injured and a shocking 29 times more likely to die in collisions than occupants of cars.
Motorcycle Accident Risk is Increasing for Some Groups
The number of registered motorcycles in the United States was just over 6.6 million in 2006. By 2015, that number increased by approximately 28%, reaching more than 8.6 million. A rising interest in motorcycles among baby boomers is one of the main factors contributing to this trend. Unfortunately, this surge in popularity has also resulted in a 17% increase in motorcycle accident fatalities among riders aged 40 years and older. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle crash in NJ, you should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your case.
That said, while the fatality rate among middle-aged motorcyclists has increased, the overall rate of injuries and fatalities resulting from motorcycle accidents has otherwise remained relatively consistent.
Common Motorcycle Accident Causes in NJ
Frontal collisions account for almost 75% of motorcycle collisions involving two vehicles. These accidents typically occur when another vehicle crosses the path of a motorcyclist without giving him or her sufficient time or space to avoid a collision. It’s also worth noting that more than 40% of fatal accidents involving a motorcycle and other type of vehicle happen because the other vehicle turned left into the path of the motorcyclist.
That said, a significant portion of motorcycle fatalities do involve collisions with stationary objects.
Contrary to popular belief, hazardous weather conditions don’t have a major impact on motorcycle fatalities. A mere 2% occur in rainy conditions. Additionally, most take place on non-interstate roads during daytime hours.
Alcohol Impairment and Speeding as Causes of NJ accidents
Caution is essential when operating any motor vehicle, but it’s especially crucial for anyone operating a motorcycle. Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than drivers and passengers in other vehicles.
Thus, motorcyclists must monitor their surroundings vigilantly, abide by all New Jersey and other state motorcycle laws, and refrain from driving when under the influence of intoxicating substances. It’s also crucial to take additional precautions, like making sure he or she leave sufficient space between themselves and others on the road.
That said, if you or a loved one have been harmed in a motorcycle crash in NJ, it’s important to discuss the matter with a qualified attorney.
New Jersey Motorcycle Laws: Liability and Damages After a Crash
According to New Jersey motorcycle laws, you may be entitled to damages if you were injured in a crash as a result of someone else’s actions or negligence. In fact, you may still be entitled to damages even if you were partially at fault. To learn more about liability and related issues in your case, get in touch with an NJ motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Each individual motorcycle crash case in NJ is unique. However, the following are common types of damages awarded in these suits.
- Reimbursement for medical expenses
- Compensation for projected future medical expenses
- Past and projected lost income
- Pain and suffering
What is the Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents in New Jersey?
A statute of limitations is the time allowed for a party to initiate legal proceedings against another entity. After that time, except in certain circumstances, you can no longer bring a case in court for your injuries. The statute of limitations varies by state. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident is two years from the date of the crash.
Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents prove fatal. If a person dies due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate has two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This lawsuit is filed on behalf of the deceased family members, and by New Jersey Law, requires that the deceased person’s personal representative or executor must file the claim.
What Happens if the Accident Occurs on Government Property?
The New Jersey statute of limitations is much shorter if the accident occurred on government property or a government vehicle was involved. These include those properties or vehicles owned by federal, state, county, and municipal entities and boards of education. For instance, if the motorcycle accident occurred on public school grounds or the motorcyclist was involved in a crash with a county-owned vehicle, the incident is subject to this shorter statute of limitations.
The plaintiff must file a Notice of Claim with the public entity within 90 days of the accident, or it cannot go forward. The government entity has a six-month review period before a lawsuit may be filed.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
Exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident deadline in New Jersey are limited. However, exceptions are made if the accident victim is under 18 at the time of the collision or has a mental disability preventing the accident victim from understanding his/her legal rights. Once the child turns 18, the clock starts ticking for the full two-year statute of limitations. That is also the case if the person with a mental disability regains suitable mental capacity to understand how to file a case (NJ Statutes section 2A:14-21). Statute of Limitations and Evidence
It is critical that motorcycle accident victims not wait until the two-year deadline of the statute of limitations approaches before obtaining legal counsel. Waiting too long means it is much harder to collect evidence. In addition, valuable evidence that can prove your case, such as neighborhood surveillance videos and the like, may vanish if victims do not contact a personal injury attorney soon after the accident.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in NJ
If you’ve lost a loved one or have been injured in a motorcycle accident on NJ’s roadways, discuss your case with a motorcycle accident lawyer. You need help from a professional who understands the complicated process of pursuing damages in these cases. Act fast, as the Statute of Limitations establishes deadlines for filing a lawsuit after a motorcycle crash in NJ.
Help is available. All you have to do is call 1-800-624-8888 or complete our free case evaluation form to schedule a FREE consultation. Our team of NJ motorcycle accident lawyers will review your case and determine the best course of action. If we take your case, we work on a contingency fee basis- which means we do not collect any legal fees unless we win money for you.