Edison Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident may affect a victim’s ability to work, interact and financially provide for his or her family, or engage in activities of daily living or leisure activities. The physical pain can be significant and lifelong.
Then there is the financial pain of having a mailbox flooded with bills for the care you receive. Even if you have auto and health insurance policies with high maximum coverage amounts, a hospital stay of just a week can eat that up completely, leaving you holding the bag for a significant amount of medical debt.
Beyond just the cost of medical care, you have probably had to miss work, maybe for your initial hospital stay and to attend follow up or therapy appointments or perhaps additional surgeries and other medical procedures. Depending on your company’s time off policy and whether you are an hourly or salaried employee, your lost income could prove significant—further adding to an inability to simply cover necessities, to say nothing of being able to pay your bills.
If you are unable to return to your pre-accident professional work due to physical or mental health injuries, you may be forced to take a lower-paying job, losing out on future wages as well. You may not be able to work at all.
New Jersey law, however, allows you to recover from the driver who injured you in your accident in the form of a personal injury lawsuit which you must file within two years of the date of your injury. No exception exists to this rule (the statute of limitations) and if you file late, the court will dismiss your suit, leaving you with zero compensation regardless of how legally sound your claims and severe your injuries.
Don’t wait, contact our Edison Motorcycle Accident lawyers as soon as you can. Two years can fly by if you are focused on healing, but you do not want to miss this window and be out of luck for any recovery at all.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Damages
In New Jersey, there are two types of damages plaintiffs may recover in personal injury lawsuits—compensatory and punitive.
As the name implies, compensatory damages are intended to compensate you for damages you have actually suffered. This includes those things for which you receive a bill and those which are more intangible.
- Medical bills – You can receive compensation for both the cost of your original hospital stay and any follow on care, prescriptions, medical devices, therapy, and rehabilitation you require to diagnose, treat, and recover from your motorcycle accident injuries.
- Property damage – You’re entitled to receive compensation for any property damages you suffered in your accident. This will include damage to your bike, and also damage to your helmet and any property you had on you at the time such as a cell phone.
- Lost wages – Unless your company has a personal time off policy, missing work both initially and for any follow on care, will mean missing out on wages. This is especially true for hourly workers who often work for tips and only make money when they’re actually working. Workers can also miss out on commissions and retirement contributions. If your injuries are serious enough you may not be able to return to your previous line of work or be unable to work at all. While future lost wages are more difficult to calculate, they can be calculated by an actuary who will take into consideration such factors as your pre-accident wages, level of professional training and education, your age, possibility for career advancement, and the cost of inflation.
- Non-economic damages – It is possible to be compensated for non-economic damages—those intangible losses that you don’t receive a bill for. These include such things as physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or emotional distress. In addition, a victim’s spouse may be able to file a claim at the same time the victim files his or her lawsuit for loss of consortium. This is intended to compensate the spouse for the loss of the victim’s companionship and services, including the loss of a sexual relationship and the associated inability to procreate and services the injured spouse provided to the family and household.
Punitive damages are rarely awarded in New Jersey personal injury lawsuits. They are intended to punish the defendant for especially egregious behavior and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future. The amount a plaintiff may recover is limited under New Jersey law. The exception to the damages cap is when a defendant has been found guilty in a criminal proceeding based on the same event that resulted in a plaintiff’s injuries.
How an Edison Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you are wondering whether or not you should retain an attorney to help you pursue your personal injury lawsuit, wonder no more. The answer is almost alwaysyes. Because of the degree of complexity of personal injury suits, and the fact that the other party (the defendant) is almost guaranteed to have at least one attorney of their own, facing off against the party that harmed you alone, without knowledge of the law or experience in handling motorcycle injury suits, puts you at a high risk of recovering nothing.
Worried about how you will pay your attorney when you can’t even pay your bills? Don’t be. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, since our founding nearly 50 years ago, we have been committed to providing high quality legal representation to everyone who has been injured without regard to their ability to pay. This is why we operate on a contingency basis—you never pay us a penny unless and until we recover for you. So don’t delay reaching out—you don’t want to miss the two- year deadline for filing your suit because you have an unfounded worry about paying your lawyer.
Filing Your Lawsuit
Of course, it is basic lawyering to file your lawsuit both on time and against the appropriate defendant. And it seems like a simple thing to do. But it can get complicated quickly depending on the specific facts of your case. Almost certainly, at least one insurance company will be involved—yours, the defendant’s, and possibly others. Obviously, the defendant himself will be a party. But what if the defendant was on the job when your wreck happened? Is his employer an appropriate defendant? It’s possible.
Just like with missing the statute of limitations, suing the wrong defendant can cause you to lose out on compensation to which you would otherwise be entitled. A defendant who feels like they are wrongfully sued and does not have liability in the case can petition the court to dismiss (throw out) your lawsuit. If the judge agrees that your claim against the defendant is meritless, she will do just that and you’re back to square one which might cause you to miss timely filing of your suit.
Conducting Negotiations With the Defendant(s)
The majority of personal injury suits settle out of court and the same is true of those based on motorcycle injuries. That’s why it’s important to choose an attorney who has experience with this type of lawsuit and has the skill to competently negotiate with both individual defendants and any companies involved—companies which may have literal teams of attorneys who do nothing but defend against lawsuits and whose entire job is to minimize the amount their employers pay out to victims.
Having someone fighting for you who understands how to effectively negotiate without alienating the other party is critical to your case. And a settlement can occur right up until the time a jury gets your case for deliberation if you do take it to trial, so a good attorney will always keep the door for future negotiation open wide.
Litigating in a Jury Trial, if Necessary
While it’s likely your case will end in an out-of-court settlement, you may not receive an offer you are willing to accept. And it is about whether you are willing to accept it. Your attorney is obligated to present all offers to you and will likely offer an opinion as to whether it is a good offer, but it is your case and you ultimately have the sole power to choose how to resolve it—whether to settle or let a jury decide if the defendant is at fault and, if so, the amount of damages you are owed.
The experience of your attorney is really important in a trial. Not all attorneys have good trial skills. Check up on how many trials your attorney has done and the results she has gotten. Of course, there’s no guarantee that just because she’s recovered successfully for past clients that she will be able to do so for you, but knowing she can do so is a good first step.
Make sure that he or she has not only tried personal injury cases generally, but motorcycle accident cases specifically. Attorneys, just like medical doctors, develop focuses. That a lawyer is a great criminal defense attorney has no bearing on his ability to successfully take a personal injury suit to trial and win an adequate damages award. You wouldn’t trust a brain injury to a podiatrist and you shouldn’t trust your motorcycle accident lawsuit to anyone who doesn’t have experience in motorcycle accident cases.
Contact the Edison Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers
If you were in an Edison motorcycle accident, there’s a good chance (an 82 percent chance, as a matter of fact, on average) that you were injured. Possibly severely. In the battle of motorcycle versus car, the motorcycle and its rider rarely escape completely unscathed. In New Jersey in one recent year, 13 percent of traffic fatalities involved a motorcycle. More than two-thirds of vehicle accidents involving motorcycles occur because the driver of the car does not see the motorcycle, and half of these wrecks occur at intersections.
For nearly 50 years, since our founding in 1972, we at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, have developed a reputation for competent and compassionate legal representation for those who have been injured at the hands of others. We possess motorcycle accident lawsuit experience and are comfortable both at the negotiation table and in front of juries who may ultimately determine whether or not our clients are entitled to recover their damages.
We bring our long history of personal injury practice, extensive knowledge of the law and rules of civil procedure, experience conforming to the practices of our jurisdiction, and compassion for each individual client in every case we take on.
In addition to our attorneys, we also have a team of other professionals who will assist with your case. Our investigators conduct interviews and review evidence. Our team of paralegals and legal assistants conduct legal research and stay on top of making sure any pleadings and motions are timely filed and filed within the requirements of the court. We also have access to a vast network of experts who may prove important to your case, such as medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, and financial experts.
Edison Motorcycle Accident FAQs
The Garden State features many enjoyable and scenic routes for motorcyclists. Even within Edison, motorcycles are a popular form of transportation, providing many benefits, including reduced emissions and fuel savings, when compared to cars. However, motorcyclists in Edison face hazards each day, including inclement weather conditions, traffic congestion, driver distraction, and other risky driving practices committed by other users of the roadway.
If you sustained injuries in an Edison motorcycle accident that resulted from someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, read on for answers as to how you can obtain compensation for the expenses and impacts to your life that you have experienced due to your injury. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Jacoby & Meyers LLP will gladly provide answers to the questions you have about your specific case and will have an understanding of your legal options.
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, our results in motorcycle accidents include a $536,000 verdict for a client who suffered serious injuries after an occupant of a parked vehicle opened a door into the motorcyclist’s path, causing him to wreck. The injuries our client suffered left him with difficulty walking or standing and made it impossible for him to return to his trade as a furniture builder.
How do I obtain compensation after a motorcycle accident?
More than 50 people die each year in motorcycle accidents on New Jersey roadways, as well as many more individuals who sustain serious injuries. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that someone else’s carelessness or recklessness caused, you can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury through a motorcycle accident lawsuit.
To prove liability, you must demonstrate:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care, which is best explained as the precautions that a reasonable person would take in a given set of circumstances to protect the safety of others. The duty of care that motorists owe to other roadway users is to drive safely and follow all traffic laws.
- The at-fault party breached the duty of care, which refers to the actions that the at-fault party took that contradicted the duty of care. Examples of common risky driving behaviors that could constitute a breach in the duty of care include speeding, alcohol impairment, failure to yield the right-of-way, and distractions, such as texting while driving.
- The breach in the duty of care resulted in a motorcycle accident in which you sustained injuries. The injuries you incurred resulted in expenses and impacts on your overall quality of life.
What damages are available to me?
In New Jersey, motorcycle accident claimants are permitted to seek the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages. For clarification, damages in motorcycle accident cases refer to compensation that you seek for the harm you suffered in the accident. Economic damages refer to compensation for the out-of-pocket expenses your injury caused you to incur. Non-economic damages refer to compensation for the impacts on your quality of life that you encountered because of your injury.
Some examples of the types of expenses and impacts for which you can receive compensation through the claims process include:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of treatment, medications, physician services, physical therapy, surgery, and other medical interventions required to treat your injury or to assist in your mobility and ability to communicate after suffering a catastrophic injury, such as those often experienced by motorcyclists in accidents.
- Lost wages that resulted from you being too injured to work.
- The loss of future earning capacity, if the disabilities you incurred in your accident prevent you from earning as much as before the accident.
- The cost of repairing and replacing your motorcycle, helmet, and gear that suffered damage in the accident.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life, if the severity of your injury prevents you from participating in activities that you formerly enjoyed.
I wasn’t wearing my helmet at the time of my crash. Does that mean I can’t recover compensation?
While many states require helmet use for motorcycle riders and passengers under 18 or 21, New Jersey is one of a handful of states in the nation that requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a DOT-approved helmet. What this means is that if you are involved in an accident while riding without a helmet, you will likely receive a traffic ticket.
However, just because you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of your accident doesn’t mean that you were liable, nor does it excuse someone else’s liability. Because of this, you can still seek compensation from other liable parties. If the defendant can prove that your lack of helmet was directly responsible for the severity of your injuries, the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive will likely be reduced to reflect the increase in injury severity that resulted from your failure to follow the state’s helmet law.
Is there anyone besides a motorist or motorcyclist who can face liability for an accident?
Yes. As with any type of motor vehicle accident, there are a lot of potential sources of liability.
Other sources besides the motorist or rider include:
- Other roadway users, such as a motorist that swerves to avoid a pedestrian and collides with a motorcycle in an adjacent lane instead.
- Occupants of parked vehicles who open their doors into a motorcyclist’s path.
- The manufacturer or distributor of defective auto or motorcycle parts.
- The entity responsible for maintaining the city street if an unreasonable hazard resulted in the accident.
I was injured by a car that turned left into my path. Who is liable?
More than half of the motorcycle accidents occurring in New Jersey occur in intersections, and left-turning cars are one of the most common reasons for motorcycle-involved intersection accidents. This type of accident generally occurs when the left-turning driver is at a light that does not provide a green turn arrow, so it is up to the driver to judge the gap in traffic traveling in the opposing travel lane to have ample space to get through the intersection.
The driver of the car in these accidents may claim that he or she did not even see the motorcycle approaching as he or she turned. Studies indicate that there is some validity to the claim, as drivers often suffer a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness, in which the driver’s brain will prioritize the hazards that it recognizes and responds to, often focusing first on larger objects while not seeing smaller objects, such as a motorcycle.
Inattentional blindness, however, doesn’t negate the driver’s legal responsibility to ensure that the travel lane is clear before turning. This type of accident is almost always due to the left-turning driver’s actions.
The at-fault motorist’s insurance provider already offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
It is not unusual for an insurance company to offer a quick settlement, particularly in cases where liability obviously rests with the insurance company’s insured party. Sometimes, these offers arrive so quickly that the injured person has not even been released from the hospital yet.
The danger with these quick-and-dirty settlement offers is that they are made at one of the most vulnerable times in a person’s life—when they are in pain and concerned about the financial consequences of the injury and likely have not had the chance to talk to an attorney. It is a calculated move designed to limit the cost of the payout, and many accident victims are tempted to accept the offer in exchange for a quick resolution.
Unfortunately, accepting these offers is almost always a mistake. It takes some time to fully realize the expenses and impacts of an injury. If you settle your case before understanding the amount of compensation you deserve, you lose your right to go back and ask for more money if you later realize that the initial settlement amount wasn’t enough.
An experienced attorney can properly value your case and also handle the negotiation process so that you are not forced to determine from your hospital bed whether an offer is fair without having all the information necessary to make that decision. Contact Jacoby & Meyers LLP today for help with your Edison motorcycle accident claim.
You mentioned a $536,000 verdict in a motorcycle case you represented. Is that how much I should expect in my case?
No. The $536,000 verdict in a different case was based on the unique aspects of that specific case, including the severity of the rider’s injuries, the cost of his treatments and other expenses stemming from the injury, and the impacts he experienced. Case results are not uniform and are only presented for potential clients to evaluate, as the information is indicative of the experience our legal team has in cases involving this type of accident and the devotion we have to ensure our clients receive the maximum amount of compensation available to them in their cases.
One of the services our attorney will provide to assist you in obtaining compensation after an Edison motorcycle accident is establishing a value to your case. This value will be based on the expenses and impacts you have already incurred as well as those you are likely to incur in the future. Knowing the true value of your case will help you evaluate potential settlement offers and determine whether you should proceed to trial.
If a motorcyclist is conscious after the accident, what information should he or she gather at the scene?
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, and your injuries are not so severe as to prevent you from doing so, you should obtain vehicle, contact, and insurance information from the operator of any other vehicle(s) involved, as well as the name and contact information of any eyewitnesses. Take pictures of the scene, including the damage to both vehicles and any injuries that you have. When a police officer arrives to investigate the accident, make sure to answer his or her questions honestly and as thoroughly as possible. Get the officer’s name and badge number, and ask how to go about receiving a copy of the accident report.
Evidence gathered at the scene is very important as it can provide a lot of information about how the accident occurred and who was at fault. While it is possible—and often necessary—to work cases in which the motorcyclist could not gather this information, if you can, definitely collect as much information from the scene as you can. Taking these steps will help your attorney build a winning case and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
Why do I need to find an attorney with experience in motorcycle accident cases?
Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in an accident than the occupants of motor vehicles. In addition to the vulnerability that riders face on Edison’s busy streets, motorcyclists also face negative stereotypes that can cause insurance adjusters and others to behave as though the motorcyclist is always in the wrong.
An attorney with experience in motorcycle accident cases is prepared to deal with these negative stereotypes and counter them with facts. Experienced motorcycle accident attorneys have an understanding of the statutory deadlines for motorcycle accident cases and the evidence needed to prove liability in court. Most importantly, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer understands the profound expenses and impacts that typically accompany motorcycle accident injuries and how those expenses and impacts can extend throughout the rider’s lifetime.
Let an experienced motorcycle accident attorney from Jacoby & Meyers LLP help you make sense of the legal process of pursuing compensation after your accident. For a free case evaluation, reach out to our team today.
Edison, NJ 08817
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I’m really grateful for the settlement my lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers helped me to obtain. I was badly hurt when another driver crashed into my card. The driver was carelessly. My team at Jacoby & Meyers didn’t let the reckless driver get away with it. I’m really glad I made the call to Jacoby & Meyers and would suggest anyone hurt in a car crash do the same.”
Review by: Jose V.
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