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Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Morristown, New Jersey

There’s nothing quite like the freedom and excitement you get from riding a motorcycle. However, this freedom requires the rider to be extra cautious to ensure their safety. Motorcycle accidents tend to be some of the more dangerous crashes that occur on our roadways and can often lead to serious injuries. When this happens, you’ll likely want to pursue a personal injury claim to recover damages. 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident and you’d like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case, call us at The Law Offices of Gold, Albanese & Barletti, LLC. We’re proud to serve clients in Morristown, New Jersey, and throughout New Jersey, New York, and Boston, Massachusetts. Set up a consultation with our team today. 

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Steps to Take If You Were In a Motorcycle Accident

Any time you’re involved in a car or motorcycle accident, the most important thing you can do is address your own physical health and safety. This means you should seek medical help right away, even if you don’t feel obviously injured. You may not be immediately aware of your injuries and some injuries may even take days to show up. Furthermore, if you fail to get medical attention in a timely manner, the insurance company may use this fact against you in an attempt to show that your injuries weren’t serious. 

You’ll want to document everything you can during this time. This includes obtaining a copy of the police report, keeping copies of all correspondence with insurance companies, and obtaining medical records, bills from property damage, pictures or video of the scene of the incident, and witness contact information and testimony. It will also help your case if you can keep a journal documenting how your injuries are affecting your everyday life, including your emotional distress.  

Contacting the insurance company to start a claim is your next step, and you should seriously consider hiring a motorcycle accident attorney at this time. Dealing with insurance adjusters can be a stressful and time-consuming process and a good lawyer can offer advice and negotiate on your behalf. Because of New Jersey’s laws regarding personal injury claims, this may mean you’ll have to file with both your own insurance company and the other driver’s. 

New Jersey Motorcycle Laws  

Not all accidents can be avoided, but the best way to prevent accidents from happening in the first place is to follow all state laws for motorcycle riding. Like most states, New Jersey requires riders to obtain a specific license that includes an endorsement for motorcycles. Helmet laws and eye protection (such as goggles or a windscreen) are required for all riders regardless of age. If you do wish to carry a motorcycle passenger on your bike, they must also wear a helmet and there must be an actual seat for them. Required motorcycle equipment includes a headlight that must be on at all times, at least one rearview mirror, and handlebars that are below shoulder height when seated. 

A common question that comes up in cases like this focuses on the legality of lane splitting, where a rider drives between lanes on the road if cars are stopped in traffic. State law doesn’t address this specifically which can lead to a lot of confusion from riders and drivers alike. However, even though lane splitting is neither legal or illegal, it’s usually in your best interest to avoid it if possible.  

Determining Fault in New Jersey 

New Jersey is called a “choice no-fault” state, and this means that you typically must file a claim under your own insurance policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) before you can seek damages from the other party. However, if your injuries are severe enough, you can bypass this step and file directly with the other driver. When trying to prove negligence, you should also be aware of the state’s comparative fault rule. Essentially, this means that fault can be shared between parties and your total compensation will be commensurate with your percentage of liability.  

Filing a Claim for a Loved One 

Unfortunately, sometimes these accidents can be so damaging that you’ll need to file a motorcycle wrongful death. If you have a family member who was killed or incapacitated due to someone else’s negligence (as is the case for some motorcycle accidents), you’re likely able to file a lawsuit on their behalf, but this must be done within two years of the date of the death. Legally, only the “personal representative” of the deceased is allowed to file. if this role isn’t assigned in a will, a judge can order a family member or close friend as the representative.   

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Morristown, New Jersey

If you need help with your motorcycle accident claim and are in the Morristown, New Jersey area, reach out to our team at The Law Offices of Gold, Albanese & Barletti, LLC for help. Our attorneys are here to help you move forward.