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No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents in New Jersey

Can You Pursue Compensation If There Was No Collision?

No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents in New JerseyWhile a motorcycle brings a great feeling of freedom on the road—one of its major appeals—it’s also easier to have a no-contact accident on a motorcycle, often with serious consequences. These types of crashes stem from a variety of factors:

  • another motorist cuts into your lane, forcing you down or off the road;
  • another motorist suddenly brushes up next to you or fails to obey a traffic sign or signal, forcing evasive action that causes you to lose control;
  • water, loose gravel, uneven lanes or potholes cause you to skid or lose traction; or
  • your bike breaks down, leading to a fall.

In these situations, you may suffer serious and catastrophic injury but without impacting or colliding with another vehicle. Can you seek compensation from another party, even though no one hit you? Fortunately, the answer is yes.

Recovering for Your Losses Based on a Claim of Negligence

In a motorcycle-accident-injury claim, as with most other personal injury claims, your right to recover for your losses is almost always based on a legal theory of negligence. To prove negligence in court, you must demonstrate that:

  • the defendant (the accused wrongdoer) failed to act as a reasonable person would;
  • the failure to act reasonably caused an accident; and
  • you suffered actual losses because of the accident.

The law does not identify specific acts considered unreasonable. Instead, that determination is left for the jury to decide based on the specific facts of the case.

To establish cause, you must show two things:

  • that the accident would not have occurred without the defendant’s wrongful conduct; and
  • that the accident and injuries suffered were “reasonably foreseeable” consequences of defendant’s failure to act reasonably.

Under the law, you may seek damages for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, even though there was no contact or impact. The jury will carefully consider defendant’s actions, determining whether they were reasonable and whether they caused you to lose control or otherwise crash.

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. We are currently communicating with clients by phone, text message or videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

The Importance of Wearing a Motorcycle Helmet

Statistics Show the Need for and Positive Impact of Wearing a Helmet

Importance-of-Wearing-a-Motorcycle-HelmetAccording to statistics reported by the state of New Jersey, more than half of all motorcycle accidents occur in intersections, with about two of every three caused when other motor vehicle operators fail to see a biker. Excessive speed is a factor in the majority of motorcycle accidents, and lack of experience accounts for one in every five fatal motorcycle accidents.

Safety advocates have long encouraged bikers to wear an approved helmet, urging that such use has can minimize injuries in collisions. New Jersey requires all bikers to wear a securely fitting helmet that complies with federal Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines, including a neck or chin strap, as well as reflectors on both sides.

A number of other statistics support the use of motorcycle helmets:

  • Contrary to popular perception, a helmet won’t impede your view of potentially dangerous situations. In fact, in a study of nearly a thousand bikers, 40% of whom wore helmets, not a single person reported a helmet causing obstruction of surrounding dangers.
  • A motorcycle crash can be fatal, even at relatively slow speeds. According to the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, most motorcycle accidents occur when bikers are traveling less than 30 miles per hour. At these slower speeds, helmets can cut both the frequency and severity of head injuries in half.
  • Regardless of speed, bikers without helmets are three times as likely to suffer fatal head injuries as those wearing DOT-approved helmets

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. We are currently communicating with clients by phone, text message, and videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

Motorcycle Accidents and Protective Clothing

Can You Recover Damages If You Weren’t Wearing Protective Clothing?

Motorcycle Accidents Involving Roadway HazardsOne common recommendation to minimize the risk of serious injury on a motorcycle is to wear protecting clothing—helmet, gloves, boots, pants, and a durable long-sleeved shirt or jacket. Many affordable options are available—you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on leathers. But say it’s summer, and you’re only going around the corner to the store. Do you really need to wear all your protective gear?

Unfortunately, accidents can happen at any time. Statistics consistently show that the largest number of motor vehicle accidents happen within a mile from home. So what happens if you get on your bike without safety gear and are injured in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness? Can that person avoid liability for your injuries on the grounds that you wouldn’t have been injured if you had been wearing appropriate safety gear? Well, maybe.

Here’s how it works. In a personal injury claim, recovery is typically based on the legal theory of negligence, which requires you to show the following:

  • that the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would;
  • that the failure to act reasonably caused an accident; and
  • that you suffered actual losses as a result.

The defendant can argue that you also failed to act as a reasonable person would, and are therefore somewhat responsible for your injuries, because you wouldn’t have suffered road rash to your hands and arms if you’d been wearing gloves or a long-sleeved jacket. New Jersey, like most states, applies the legal concept of comparative negligence, which requires the jury to determine the degree to which you were responsible for your injuries. Under the New Jersey rule, if you were more than 50% responsible for your own injuries, you cannot recover anything. Accordingly, if the jury determines that your failure to wear protective clothing was the primary cause of your injuries, it may be difficult to recover for your losses.

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, or online videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

New Jersey Motorcycle Accidents Involving Drunk Drivers

Your Right to Recover Compensation

Motorcycle Accidents Involving Roadway HazardsWhen you’re injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a drunk driver in New Jersey, you can always file a personal injury claim against the impaired driver. Intoxication generally does not excuse a person from liability for negligence. It’s important to understand, though, that you also may be able to pursue damages from other parties under New Jersey’s dram shop law or under a theory of social host liability.

New Jersey’s Dram Shop Law

Dram shop laws establish whether an employee or establishment are liable for serving alcohol to a patron who causes an accident. In New Jersey, a person injured by a drunk driver may seek compensation from the bar, restaurant, or other establishment that served or sold alcohol to the driver, but one of two criteria must be proven:

  • The person who was served (and subsequently caused the injuries) was visibly intoxicated when sold or served alcohol; or
  • The person served was under the age of 21 at the time, and the server knew or had reason to know that the person being served was a minor.

Social Host Liability

New Jersey’s social host liability law applies the concept of dram shop liability to persons serving alcohol in their homes or at private parties or events. Under the law, a social host may be responsible even if the guest served himself/herself, and even if the guest brought their own alcohol to the event. New Jersey law allows you to sue a social host if:

  • The person causing the accident was visibly impaired, and the host knew or should have known
  • The alcohol was consumed under circumstances “manifesting reckless disregard for the consequences;”
  • Those circumstances involved an “unreasonable risk” of harm to either people or property; and.
  • The drunk person caused injury to other persons or property.

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. We are currently communicating with clients by phone, text message, or online videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

Motorcycle Accidents Involving Roadway Hazards

Common Types of Roadway Hazards | Recovering Compensation for Your Injuries

Motorcycle Accidents Involving Roadway Hazards Though the vast majority of motorcycle accidents are collisions with other vehicles, a significant number of crashes are single-vehicle accidents. One of the most frequent causes is some type of roadway hazard that causes a biker to lose control and crash.

The Most Common Types of Roadway Hazards for Motorcyclists

  • Potholes, rough roads, or uneven surfaces (such as edge breaks between lanes), which can cause a sudden shift in balance;
  • Sand, gravel, water, oil, or other slippery substances on the road, causing loss of control in a turn or difficulty stopping;
  • Roadway debris, including branches, construction cones, rebar, trash, tools, or tire treads;
  • Trees, shrubs, signs, or other objects that limit or obscure your view of vehicles coming from side roads;
  • Stalled vehicles with no hazard lights on; and
  • Dead animals on the road.

Recovering Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident Caused by a Roadway Hazard

In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, one of the first things you should do is retain an experienced attorney to represent you. At my office, I will immediately start investigating how the accident happened and who caused it. I have been representing injured clients for 28 years and riding motorcycles for over 45 years. I know how roadway hazards are dangerous to motorcyclists. Any legal action we take is based on negligence. To succeed with a claim, we will need to show that:

  • The defendant (the person or company you sue) failed to meet the standard of care expected (for example, their truck recently spilled gravel on the road, and they failed to put up warning signs to alert those on the roadway, including motorcycle riders);
  • That failure to meet the standard of care caused your accident; and
  • As a result of your accident, you suffered actual losses and injuries

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 open with safety precautions and can also communicate with clients by phone, text message, and videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

The Impact of Not Wearing a Helmet on a Motorcycle Injury Claim

Can You Still Sue for Injuries Suffered as a Result of Someone Else’s Negligence?

The Impact of Not Wearing a Helmet on a Motorcycle Injury ClaimNew Jersey is one of 19 states that currently require anyone on a moving motorcycle to wear a helmet. Motorcycle operators and passengers may be ticketed for failure to comply with the law. But what are the consequences with respect to recovering for personal injury if you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, but weren’t wearing a helmet? Will that failure prevent you from recovering anything?

New Jersey’s Modified Comparative Negligence Statute

Like all other states, New Jersey has replaced the old concept of contributory negligence (which would prevent a person from recovering anything in a personal injury claim if he or she contributed in any way to causing the injuries) with the principle of comparative negligence. Under New Jersey’s “modified comparative negligence” law, the fact that you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident may or may not prevent you from recovering for your losses. Here’s how it works.

Under comparative negligence law, a jury first determines the entire amount of your losses. The jury will then seek to establish the extent to which you were responsible for causing your injuries, expressing that as a percentage of total liability for your losses. In New Jersey, if the jury determines you were more than 50% responsible for your losses, you cannot recover anything.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet, it’s very possible that the jury will consider your failure to wear a helmet as a form of negligence especially for a head injury. If the jury determines that your injuries were primarily the result of not wearing your helmet, you may be precluded from any 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 or online videoconferencing. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

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