Hopewell NJ Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims Lawyers
Personal Injury Attorneys with Offices in Mercer County, New Jersey
Society tends to have a skewed view of motorcycle riders. Although many motorcycle accidents are caused by inattentive drivers of cars and trucks, motorcycle riders are perceived as being most responsible for accidents. That’s why you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to argue on your behalf throughout the legal process.
Cohen & Riechelson is a law firm that has been representing clients in New Jersey since 1972. During that time, we have helped motorcycle accident victims file personal injury claims throughout Mercer County, NJ, including Hopewell, West Windsor, and Ewing. We understand the nuances of motorcycle accident laws in New Jersey. We are also committed to providing personalized attention to each and every client. Call our firm now at (609) 528-2596 to discuss your motorcycle accident case with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.
Winning a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Mercer County NJ
Your safety and health should be your primary concern if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. However, there are also other considerations that come into play because of the potential for a lawsuit:
- Remain at the accident scene. Do not leave the accident scene until you have spoken with a police officer. Leaving the scene of an accident is a very serious criminal offense in New Jersey.
- Contact law enforcement. You need to report the accident to the police so that there is an official record of the accident. This will matter a great deal when you file a claim with the insurance company.
- Get the other driver’s contact information and insurance information. You should also write down their vehicle license plate number.
- Get information from potential witnesses. Many witnesses won’t bother to wait for the police to arrive. That’s why you need to get their names and contact information immediately. If possible, try to get written statements from the witnesses.
- Take photographs of the accident scene. This is important because the evidence of the accident could soon disappear. For example, skid marks in the road or anything else that might be used to prove liability might not be visible a few days later. It is crucial that you obtain a visual record of the accident because this evidence can be used during negotiations and litigation.
- Take photographs of your injuries. Although your injuries may be clearly visible, they will fade over time.
- Take photographs of property damage. You are going to want visual evidence of the damage to your motorcycle.
- Seek medical attention. Not only is it important for your long-term health to get medical treatment for your injuries; it is also important for your legal claim that there is a record of your injuries. Even if you do not think your injuries are that serious, speak with a doctor; many times, severe injuries don’t manifest until several days after the accident.
- Notify your insurance company. If you fail to inform your insurance company of the accident as soon as it occurs, your claim could have red flags.
- Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Motorcycle accident laws are incredibly complex. That’s why you need to speak with an attorney very early in the legal process.
What it Takes to Prove Your Motorcycle Accident Case
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and want to file a claim, several elements need to be proven to have a positive outcome in your case. First, you must prove that the defendant (the other driver) had a duty of care towards you, which means they had an obligation to operate their vehicle safely and reasonably. Next, you must prove that the defendant breached their duty of care by acting negligently, carelessly, or recklessly. Third, you must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries. Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages due to the defendant’s breach of duty, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related expenses.
Important Evidence in Motorcycle Accidents
There are several documents your attorney will need to build your personal injury case. Medical records such as bills, diagnoses, treatment records, test results, image results, referrals, prescriptions, etc. Information regarding your income, such as pay stubs or financial statements, is also essential.
Any photos or videos of the scene of the accident, your motorcycle, or the other person’s vehicle are helpful. Contact information for witnesses, the other people involved in the accident, and their insurance company can be beneficial. The police report and your written description of everything you can remember about the accident.
Determining Fault for Motorcycle Crashes
Determining fault in a motorcycle versus vehicle accident typically involves examining various factors. The first thing that investigators will examine is whether either party involved in the accident violated any traffic laws. This can include running a red light, failing to yield the right of way, or speeding. Investigators may also look at the road conditions at the time of the accident. Rain, snow, and other adverse weather conditions can reduce visibility, traction, and control, making motorcycle accidents more likely. For example, suppose the road was wet or covered in ice. In that case, this may have contributed to the accident also if either vehicle was driving negligently by not slowing down because of the road conditions.
Another factor that may be considered is visibility. If one of the vehicles involved was difficult to see due to poor lighting or weather conditions, this could have played a role in the accident. A common aspect found to cause accidents is driver impairment. Drivers who look at their phones, text, or drive under the influence of alcohol or other substances can cause serious accidents. Drivers who are distracted by their phones, passengers, or other factors may not see motorcyclists and cause collisions. Similarly, drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to cause accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities.
In some cases, experts may be called in to analyze the accident. This could include accident reconstruction specialists or medical experts who can provide insights into the cause of injuries sustained in the accident. Always, drivers of other vehicles should also be aware of motorcyclists on the road and take care to avoid collisions. Likewise, defective motorcycle parts or maintenance issues can cause accidents and result in serious injuries, so examining whether fault may be traced back to a product manufacturer who provided faulty motorcycle parts is important when determining who is at fault for causing the crash.
Avoid These Mistakes That May Undermine a Successful Motorcycle Accident Claim
Many times, under the stress and anxiety of having an accident, people will apologize to the other driver or admit fault when that isn’t necessarily the case. You should never admit fault to the other driver, the police, the insurance company, witnesses, etc. Even an apology can be misconstrued as admitting fault, so err on the side of caution and keep quiet. This is important because you may get traffic tickets or be liable for damages. Also, New Jersey’s comparative negligence rule means that if you are more than 50% at fault, you cannot seek damages for your injuries and lost wages.
Of course, you must notify your insurance company, but having your attorney communicate with them is better. You never know if what they are asking is part of a routine investigation or trying to trip you up and find a reason not to accept your claim. You should follow the instructions in your policy, but their main goal is to reduce their liability and keep their money. Additionally, only sign something after talking to your attorney first. Something as benign as a medical release form could be used to request all of your medical records from years prior, allowing them to claim that many of your injuries are derived from pre-existing conditions.
Another common mistake is waiting too long to file your claim. Your injuries may require your focus and time; however, the sooner you hire a lawyer, the faster their investigation can begin. They can work on your behalf by talking to witnesses, gathering and preserving evidence, speaking with witnesses in general, and putting together a rock-solid case for your claim. The statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim is two years. That seems like plenty of time to most, but negotiations with insurers can take longer than you would imagine.
Today’s methods of communication are inundated with applications such as Facebook, Tik Tok, and Instagram. We all want our friends, family, and ex’s to know we are living our best life. We also share when life isn’t so great. Sometimes we overshare and give insurance companies the details they need to deny our claim. As private as your account may seem, there are still ways insurers can get through. How can a harmless picture of you bear hugging your friend or dancing at a birthday party affect your case? If you are claiming specific injuries that would prevent you from doing those things (such as a TBI or neck/spine injury), those pictures could profoundly affect your case.
Lastly, the Achilles heel of personal injury claims is accepting a settlement too soon. As motorcycles are not included in the “no fault” insurance laws in New Jersey, it can be stressful to see those bills pile up when you cannot work. It is tempting to take the first offer you are given in search of financial relief, but to get fair compensation; you must be patient. Accepting a lowball settlement means you cannot file a personal injury claim later when you realize you weren’t paid what you deserved.
How an Attorney Can Help You Obtain Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Hamilton NJ
It is often necessary for an attorney to conduct an in-depth investigation of the motorcycle accident in order to determine important liability issues. This investigation needs to happen sooner rather than later so that important evidence is preserved for trial. Additionally, your attorney needs to interview witnesses and responding police officers as soon as possible so that the details of your motorcycle accident are still fresh in their minds. Beyond that, your attorney needs to file all necessary paperwork in a timely fashion. Failure to file certain documents could lead to your case being dismissed before trial even begins.
Having an accident can be frightening. It can also cause severe physical pain and property damage. If you have had an accident on your motorcycle and are looking for an accomplished motorcycle accident lawyer who is results-oriented and knowledgeable about the law, the attorneys at Kamensky, Riechelson, and Cohen are ready to take your case. We know how to navigate the process and bring to the table a multitude of skills and practices to obtain positive results.
How Much Time Is Needed to Reach a Settlement?
Unfortunately, there is no way of determining how long a case will take. If there is little pushback from the insurance company and the case is strong, it could be settled in as few as six months. Other cases can last for years. Settlement negotiations can continue for over a year if the settlement amount is high. If the case goes to trial, it could be another year or more before it ever sees the inside of a courtroom. Following your attorney’s suggestions before making any critical decisions is essential, as your lawyer is there to provide the best possible outcome for you.
Contact a Lawrence NJ Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Claim
The motorcycle accident attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson are ready to fight for you and help you secure maximum compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries. We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid when we win your case. Call CR today to speak with a member of our litigation team, or email us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our offices in Hamilton or Pennington, New Jersey. Our firm has spent over 50 years advocating for motorcycle crash victims and those who have been injured by the negligence of others in Lambertville, Princeton, Burlington, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Burlington County, and throughout New Jersey.