Motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries like spinal cord injury, limb amputation, burns, broken bones, disfigurement, and organ damage. According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there were 256,482 crashes in the state in 2016. Of these crashes, 59,096 resulted in injuries, with 70 cases being fatal motorcycle crashes.
One of the most pressing concerns after being involved in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey is determining whether or not your medical bills will be paid. Very often motorcycle riders are unaware that they may not have medical coverage despite having insurance! Likewise, there may be a concern over whether or not you make a personal injury claim. You’ll be disoriented and in pain, but once you’ve gathered your wits, it’s critical that you take the right steps in claiming what’s yours.
Making the wrong move (or not doing anything at all) could mean losing your right to file an injury claim. You can prevent that by doing the following:
Retain legal counsel
Needless to say, you should first check yourself for serious injuries after an accident. After you and everyone involved have been attended to by a medical provider, you should seek legal counsel, preferably one who knows and has handled many motorcycle accident cases.
If you’re the driver of the motorcycle, chances are you'll have difficulty claiming damages even if you’ve observed every possible precaution. That’s because some juries are prejudiced against motorcycle operators and will assume you’re at fault. Having legal counsel will not only dispel notions that you were negligent but also work toward preserving evidence, which is crucial to winning a case.
Preserving evidence at the scene of the crash may be easier said than done, but it’s essential to claiming compensation. Failure to do so, or failure to do it quickly enough, could be catastrophic to your case.
For instance, as the motorcycle driver, you would want to prove that you were not recklessly swerving from one lane to another. An experienced personal injury attorney can facilitate investigations that will involve gathering and documenting physical evidence of a collision — these may include tire marks, the scraping marks of the motorcycle, and other pieces of evidence.
It’s essential that you or a companion take photographs, collect witness testimonies, collection telephone numbers, addresses and contact information from witnesses and safeguard all written records (medical records, medical bills, police records, witness accounts, and the like).
Let an attorney deal with insurance companies
After an accident, you should spend your time recovering instead of sorting out insurance matters. For one, anything you say to an insurance adjuster may be used against you in ways you never suspected possible. In other words, talking to insurance companies after an accident may be rife with consequences that can significantly reduce your claim. Leave it to personal injury attorneys to deal with insurance companies to give you the best possible settlement.
Claim against responsible entities
In New Jersey, you can claim against responsible entities in the following scenarios:
- As a driver or passenger
As a driver or passenger in a motorcycle accident, you can recover for personal injuries including but not limited to payment of medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, and even emotion distress.
- Injured by a pothole
There are cases where a pothole has caused a motorcycle to lose control and collide with another vehicle, resulting in life-changing injuries. In such scenarios, the municipality, city, or state may be liable to pay for damages. In any case, it’s best to consult an attorney who can advise you of your legal options.
KMH&L Lawyers have helped clients in Hamilton, Trenton, Princeton, and surrounding areas win motorcycle accident cases, claim fair compensation, and get their lives back. Schedule a free consultation today.