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Does a Motorcycle Accident Claim Require a Collision?

Recovering Damages When There’s No Contact with Another Motor Vehicle

Does a Motorcycle Accident Claim Require a Collision?Even with national awareness programs, it’s still common for motorists to ignore or fail to see motorcycles on the roads. As a motorcyclist myself, I see how often the driver of a passenger vehicle will unexpectedly veer into the path of a motorcycle, causing driver to lay down their bike or lose control in an attempt to avert impact. If you avoid a crash in such circumstances, but still suffer personal injury or damage to your bike, can you pursue compensation for your losses? Does there have to be contact with another vehicle for you to have a valid claim?

Your Claim is Based on Negligence, Not Contact

There’s no requirement that you collide with another vehicle in order to seek damages after a motorcycle accident. In most instances, such lawsuitsare based on the legal theory of negligence. Under this concept, it is assumed that all individuals in society have a duty to exercise reasonable care at all times, including when operating a motor vehicle, manufacturing a product, or maintaining property that could possible harm others. To be entitled to compensation after a motorcycle wreck, you must convince the jury of the following:

  • The defendant (the party you want to pay for your losses) did not act reasonably under the circumstances—In other words, the driver of the passenger car “breached” the duty of care.
  • The failure to act reasonably caused an accident—You must prove that you would not have crashed had the defendant not been careless, and you must show that the injuries you sustained were “reasonably foreseeable” as a consequence of the defendant’s carelessness.
  • You suffered actual losses as a result of the accident—Any losses reimbursed by an insurance company cannot be recovered a second time against the defendant (though the insurance company may seek reimbursement from the defendant for payments made to you). In addition, if you had property damage, but the property had no meaningful value, there’s no right to recovery.

In a no-contact motorcycle accident, then, the court will simply apply the negligence standard set forth above. There is no requirement of impact for recovery.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 or 877-HOGLAW1 to schedule an appointment. We are currently communicating with clients by phone, text message, and online videoconferencing. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

Tips for Having a Safe 2020 Riding Season

Hazards to Avoid for Motorcyclists in New Jersey

Tips for Having a Safe 2020 Riding SeasonWinter is winding down and if you live in New Jersey and ride a motorcycle, chances are pretty good it’s been stored inside for the past few months. Sure, you can ride in the winter, but spring, summer and fall are the ideal times to be on the road.

As you get back in to the swing of things, there are a number of things to pay attention to, so that you minimize the risk of injury:

  • Be prepared for potentially rough roads—In places like New Jersey, where the weather can often fluctuate above and below freezing during the winter, the roads can deteriorate significantly during the winter. Snow and ice melt, fill the cracks in the pavement and then freeze again, expanding and breaking apart the road. Be prepared for lots of potholes, as well as the potential for loose gravel, asphalt or pavement. In addition, the salt and sand often used to make roads safer in the winter can leave residue that makes the roads more hazardous in the spring.
  • Watch out for debris on the roads—There’s less effort made to keep roads cleared of bottles, cans and other debris in the winter. In many instances, it’s scraped up by snow plows and left along the side of the road. Watch out for trash and other items on and along the roads.
  • Watch out for other drivers—Other motorists have not seen motorcycles on the roads for a few months. They’ll need to readjust to your presence. Always ride defensively. I always anticipate when I ride that motorists will turn in front of me, pull out in front of me and change lanes without looking.
  • Get in physical shape—Of course, you’ll be a bit rusty, too, and may be a bit out of shape physically. Check your weight before you get back on the bike…might be time to lose a few pounds. Do some stretching, focusing on arms, back and legs. Get out and walk around the neighborhood. Take your bike to a vacant parking lot and reacquaint yourself with the operation of your bike, including gears, throttle, brakes and turning radius.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Roadway Defects That Pose Risks to Motorcyclists

Road Hazards to Watch Out For in New Jersey

Roadway Defects That Pose Risks to MotorcyclistsOne of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, particularly those involving a single bike, is a roadway defect—some irregularity or dangerous condition that causes the biker to lose control. In New Jersey, you can sue a government entity for negligence in roadway design or road maintenance, including issues relating to obstructed views or construction detours. The process of suing the government is somewhat different than bringing a civil suit against a privateindividual. As a general rule, to bring an action against a governmental body in New Jersey, you must file a notice of your claim within 90 days of the injury. There also are unique rules addressing how parties to the legal action are to be notified. If you don’t follow the rules, you canlose your right to compensation.

Here are some of the most common roadway hazards that pose accident risks to bikers in New Jersey:

  • Uneven roads—Frequently, with resurfacing or other roadway work, one lane may be at a significantly different height than the other. That difference can create a dangerous situation, even if a motorcyclist is aware of it. This problem also can arise where two sections of a road or bridge are joined with an expansion joint.
  • Potholes—Deteriorating roads can cause fairly significant bumps, which can easily cause a biker to lose control.
  • Loose gravel—Gravel of any size can be a hazard for motorcycle riders. Gravel can migrate onto roads from construction projects or the shoulder of the road.
  • Rough roads—Poorly maintained roads, where dirt or gravel are allowed to accumulate, or water or ice are present, make conditions extremely difficult for bikers.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

New Technology Being Applied to Motorcycle Helmets

MIPS-Equipped Helmets Reduce Impact of Head Trauma

Motorcycle HelmetsSafety officials have long known that head injuries are the leading cause of death and injury in motorcycle accidents. Statistics also show that most head injuries occur when a biker hits his or her head against the ground at an angle.

A number of motorcycle helmet manufacturers are developing new products that integrate multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS) safety technology to minimize the consequences of angled-impact trauma. MIPS replicates the action of the brain’s cerebrospinal fluid, the body’s natural defense response to an angled impact on the skull. With MIPS, wafer-thin material causes your helmet to slide relative to your head. Studies show that such movement minimizes the severity of the impact.

MIPS technology was first developed about 15 years ago and used extensively by jockeys and horseback-riding enthusiasts. About ten years ago, the technology started to appear in bicycle helmets. It comes as an insert installed between the EPS liner and interior padding of the helmet.

The developers of MIPS say helmet manufacturers were initially resistant to the technology, fearing bikers would not see a significant benefit for the additional cost. But motorcycle airbag vests and jackets received a similar response, initially being dismissed by riders who did not believe they were effective. It’s anticipated that, just as airbag safety equipment has garnered wide support and acceptance, MIPS technology will become commonplace.

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home, if necessary.

Motorcycle Airbag Vests and Jackets

Do They Really Work?

Motorcycle Airbag Vests and JacketsWhen you ride a motorcycle, you accept a certain risk that’s not there when you travel in a passenger vehicle. But the statistics are a bit staggering. Motor-vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among people under the age of 30, and about one in three of those fatalities involves a motorcyclist. Furthermore, about 90% of serious and fatal injuries to bikers stem from trauma to the head, neck, or chest. What if there were an effective way to minimize the consequences of a motorcycle collision, particularly when the crash involves impact with the road or other obstacle? A new product may do just that.

Airbag technology has long been standard in most cars and trucks, but it may surprise you to learn that the first patent application for airbag technology, filed in 1976, applied to motorcycles. The approach is different, though, with motorcycles. Instead of attempting to put an airbag on the bike itself (there’s no assurance that would provide any protection to the rider), product developers have integrated airbag technology into motorcycle vests and jackets. Studies show that the result may be effective in preventing injury.

How Does a Motorcycle Vest/Jacket Airbag Work?

With most vest and jacket airbags, a tether or lanyard attaches to your bike, with the other end connected to the vest or jacket. If you fall off the bike, the pull on the tether punctures a CO2 tube in the clothing, which immediately inflates the airbag. Most available jackets and vests are fully inflated within one quarter of a second.

Smart technology also is being applied to airbag vests and jackets. At the high end of the spectrum, there are airbag vests and jackets with built-in sensors that detect when you lose control and automatically inflate.

Does the Technology Work?

Because the products are relatively new, there’s not a lot of data available yet regarding the efficacy of airbag vests and jackets. A two-year study of lanyard-based airbag clothing reported no situations where the airbags accidentally deployed. That study also reported that one biker lost control of his motorcycle on a wet road. The airbag deployed as intended, and the biker walked away without injury. Studies done by Honda have found that airbag vests and jackets reduce forward momentum by more than 50% and head trauma by more than 80%.

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online, or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home, if necessary.

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