Each state in the US is given the discretion to decide what kinds of insurance policies will be available for cars, motorcycles, and trucks. New Jersey is one several states which employs the idea of “no-fault” auto insurance. This means that anyone injured in any kind of car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident will first turn to their own insurance company for injury compensation (through their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy specifically), and may only file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent motorist under specific circumstances.
However, when it comes to motorcyclists and motorcycle accidents, things get significantly more difficult when it comes to injury protection, as PIP insurance is not available to motorcyclists in New Jersey, and any PIP coverage they have through a car insurance policy will not apply to a motorcycle accident.
So how can this impact recovering compensation for your injuries if you are injured as a motorcycle driver, or injured by a motorcycle driver? Let’s take a look.
Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Lawyers New Brunswick, NJ
Even though motorcycles provide a great deal of freedom and maneuverability to riders, they also present a much greater risk of injury to those same motorcycle riders. In addition to this increased risk of injury, motorcycle insurance policies in New Jersey do not provide Personal Injury Protection, meaning injured motorcyclists will often need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused their accident and injuries in order to cover their expenses beyond what their own insurance policy covers.
However, depending on the motorcycle insurance policy you purchased, this may not even be an option. In general, motorists in New Jersey can choose between a “limited right to sue” and an “unlimited right to sue” insurance policy. If you chose an insurance policy with a limited right to sue, you can only seek compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries in the case that your injuries caused dismemberment, permanent injury, scarring, disfigurement, displaced fractures, a loss of a fetus, or a wrongful death.
On the other hand, if you chose an unlimited right to sue insurance policy (often significantly more expensive), you can file a motorcycle accident personal injury claim for any kind of injuries resulting from the reckless or negligent actions of another driver or drivers.
Protecting Yourself with the Right NJ Motorcycle Insurance Policy
Regardless of your ability to sue as described in your insurance policy, it is also important to understand that if you do file a motorcycle accident personal injury claim, you will be seeking damages from the negligent driver’s insurance policy, and their own policy may not necessarily be enough to cover your damages. While there is a $15,000 minimum coverage mandated by the state for all insurance liability policies, many times that driver’s coverage will not extend much further beyond that amount.
So rather than relying on another driver’s liability coverage to protect you from motorcycle accident injuries, it may instead be a much more prudent move to increase your own coverage. This can be through increased uninsured/underinsured coverage, and possibly even any additional coverage you may be able to secure through other types of insurance.
Not only can this increased coverage help you in the event that you suffer a motorcycle accident injury, it can also protect you should you cause some type of accident and another driver files a personal injury lawsuit against you! Remember, once your own liability coverage has been exceeded (again the minimum here is $15,000), you yourself can be held financially responsible. When it comes to the serious injuries that motorcycle accidents and car accidents can often cause, $15,000 will almost never be sufficient in covering injury damages, leaving your own assets and income vulnerable and at risk.
The bottom line is that motorcycle injury insurance policies can be tricky, so it is important that you have as much coverage as possible. And of course, if you have suffered a motorcycle accident injury and your own coverage is insufficient to covering your damages, it is important that you retain the counsel of an experienced Mercer County motorcycle injury attorney in order to help you file, and ultimately recover compensation through, a personal injury claim.
Contact Our Mercer County Motorcycle Injury Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Cohen & Riechelson, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients injured in motorcycle accidents of all kinds in towns across New Jersey and Mercer County, including Hamilton, Lawrence, Trenton, Princeton, and New Brunswick.
Practicing personal injury law since 1972, our firm has built a well-deserved reputation for tenacious and effective legal representation amongst insurance companies, legislators, and the community at large. Many times, the simple act of retaining our services will cause insurance companies to deal much more fairly with you, and make much more accurate settlement offers for your injuries.
To speak with our personal injury team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding a motorcycle accident, your injuries, and how specifically we can help you to recover full and fair compensation, please contact us online, or through our Hamilton, NJ office at (609) 528-2596.