Edison Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
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.
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 personal injury attorneys 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
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.