Call for a Free Consultation : 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT

New Jersey Motorcycle Accidents

What Happens If You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet at the Time of the Crash?

New Jersey Motorcycle AccidentsUnder New Jersey law, anyone operating a motorcycle on the road in the Garden State, as well as any passengers on a motorcycle, must wear an authorized helmet. The helmet must be the right size and must be properly secured with a neck or chin strap. So what happens if you are involved in a motorcycle accident and you weren’t wearing a helmet? Do you still have a claim for compensation for your injuries?

Failure to Wear a Helmet Does Not Bar Recovery

In New Jersey, the fact that you were not wearing a helmet at the time of a motorcycle accident will not prevent you from seeking and recovering some level of compensation for your injuries. It may, however, reduce or limit the amount that you may recover, based on the principle of comparative negligence in New Jersey.

How Comparative Negligence Will Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

In any personal injury claim in New Jersey, there are essentially two determinations that must be made:

  • The total amount of loss suffered by each party
  • The extent to which each party is responsible for either causing the accident or causing the injuries

Under the comparative negligence approach, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, but were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, the first thing a jury will do is determine the full extent of your losses. Let’s assume, for example, that you were unable to work for some period of time, and had unreimbursed medical expenses, totaling $250,000.

Once the full amount of your losses is calculated, the jury will then determine the extent to which your actions caused your injuries. That will likely include a consideration of whether your injuries would have been as severe if you had been wearing a helmet (as a reasonable person would). If the jury determines that the failure to wear a helmet had no impact on the injuries suffered (you had no head injuries), you may get the full amount of damages. However, if the jury determines that you would not have suffered any head injuries if you’d worn a helmet, you may be barred from recovering for those losses.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Factors that Can Have an Impact on a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuit

Things that May Affect How Much You Can Recover

Factors that Can Have an Impact on a Motorcycle Accident Injury LawsuitYou’ve been involved in an accident while riding a motorcycle, either as the operator or a passenger. There’s clear evidence that another driver acted carelessly or negligently, contributing to the circumstances that led to the crash. You want to file a lawsuit to recover full and fair compensation for your losses, but you’ve never been involved in this type of matter and you’re not sure what to expect. What factors will have an impact on your right to recover, and on how much you can potentially recover?

The Concept of Comparative (or Shared) Liability

If the accident was caused entirely by the wrongful acts of other persons, this won’t have any effect on your case. A common strategy among defense attorneys, though, is to argue that you were at least partially liable for causing the accident. Perhaps another motorist ran through a red light or stop sign, but you were exceeding the speed limit at the time of the collision. Opposing counsel may argue that, had you not been speeding, the accident would not have occurred.

In New Jersey, such a circumstance is governed by the law of comparative liability. In such a situation, the court will first determine the full amount of your losses. Next, the court will establish the extent to which you were liable, typically stated as a percentage. For example, you may have $100,000 in losses and the court may find that you were 25% responsible for causing the accident. In such a case, your damage award would be reduced by 25% and you would receive $75,000 for your losses. It’s important to remember, though, that New Jersey’s “modified comparative negligence” approach will only allow you to receive compensation if you are less than 50% liable for the crash.

Other Factors that May Affect Your Recovery

The amount you receive in a verdict or settlement may also be affected by:

  • The nature and severity of your injuries—Often, the more serious your injury, the more likely you’ll be able to settle for a fair amount, as defense attorneys won’t want to put your case before a sympathetic jury
  • The types of insurance coverage available—In New Jersey, there’s a requirement for minimum coverage, but drivers can have varying levels of liability coverage
  • Stereotypes about bikers—You’ll want an aggressive and knowledgeable attorney to counteract attempts to stereotype you in the minds of jurors

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Motor Vehicle Accidents in New Jersey

What Are Your Rights When an Accident is Caused by a Product Defect?

Motor Vehicle Accidents in New JerseyAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), millions of motor vehicles are recalled every year because of product defects. While some of those problems are minor, others may pose serious risk of injury. What are your options when you have been hurt in an automobile accident caused by a dangerous or defective vehicle or part?

Product Liability and Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are a number of ways that you may recover compensation after a car accident involving a dangerous and defective vehicle or part. As a general rule, such personal injury claims are based on allegations of negligence. You must show that the party from whom you seek compensation had a duty to exercise reasonable care and failed to meet that standard, causing an accident that led you to suffer losses.

With a product liability claim, you can seek damages from anyone within the chain of distribution of a product, including the designer, manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler or retailer. The different legal theories that a product liability claim can be based on include:

  • Negligent or careless design—This alleges that the designer failed to reasonably consider potential risk of injury. An example would be designing a motor vehicle with such a high center of gravity that it was unreasonably susceptible to rollovers.
  • Negligent or defective manufacturing—This alleges that the manufacturer used substandard materials, careless assembled the product, or failed to properly oversee it’s construction, assembly or fabrication. An example would be tires made with substandard rubber.
  • Negligent marketing—You may be able to recover damages if a party in the chain of distribution knew of a potential danger and failed to reasonably warn you or provide notice with the product.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Motor Vehicle Accidents in New Jersey

How to Reduce the Risk of a Winter Weather Automobile Wreck

Motor Vehicle Accidents in New JerseyIt’s November, and in New Jersey, that means that snow or ice may be in the forecast any time for the next 4-5 months. The winter weather can make driving treacherous, limiting visibility, as well as your ability to stop or negotiate a turn. There are, however, some simple strategies you can employ to minimize the risk that you’ll be hurt in a motor vehicle accident this winter.

Be Prepared for Winter Driving before You Get on the Road

Whether you’re headed to the grocery store or visiting family upstate for a few days, take the time before you pull out of the driveway to be as safe as you can be:

  • Warm up the car before you leave, so that you won’t have condensation, frost or fog on the inside of the windows
  • Take the time to clean all snow and ice off of your car, including the hood, windows, front and back lights, and roof of the vehicle
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread
  • Make certain that all turn signals, headlights and brake lights function properly

Use Reasonable Caution When on the Road

Assume that you’ll need a little more time and distance to come to a complete stop, so pay close attention to posted speeds and stay below them. Reasonable caution does not necessarily mean driving at a crawl—that can pose a risk of collisions with other motorists as well.

Make certain that you allow enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Under normal conditions, you should allow on car length for every 10 miles per hour at which you are traveling. In snowy or icy conditions, consider bumping that up to two car lengths, so that you have ample room to stop.

Try not to put yourself in situations where you slam on the brakes—feathering your brakes will give you greater control. Anticipate turns and make them more gradual, if possible, so that you don’t fishtail around a corner.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Recovering Damages After a Car Accident

What If the Driver of Your Vehicle Was at Fault?

Recovering Damages After a Car AccidentIf you’re hurt in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, there’s a tendency to look at the other vehicles involved in the wreck and determine whether they were careless or negligent. But what if you’re a passenger in a vehicle, and the driver of that vehicle causes the crash? Can you file a legal claim for compensation for your losses? What if the driver is a family member?

Can You Sue the Driver of the Vehicle in Which You Were Traveling?

Absolutely! When you suffer a personal injury caused by another person, you generally have a right to seek compensation for any associated costs. Most personal injury claims are based on a legal theory of negligence. Negligence requires you to prove that the other person:

  • failed to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances,
  • thereby causing an accident
  • that led you to suffer actual losses.

Accordingly, if you’re hurt in a motor vehicle collision that occurred because the driver of the car in which you were traveling was speeding, ran a red light, or was driving while distracted, you can generally include them as defendants in a lawsuit to reimburse you for your losses. In fact, as a general rule, you can sue both the driver of your car and any other driver who was potentially at fault.

What If the Driver of Your Car Was a Family Member?

Your right to sue can potentially change if the driver was a family member, based on the circumstances of your relationship and living arrangements. In New Jersey, auto insurance policies generally cover the policyholder and all resident relatives—any family members with whom they live. Accordingly, if you’re injured in an accident as a passenger in a car driven by someone with whom you live, you cannot sue that family member as you’re already covered by their policy. On the other hand, if you were riding with a relative with whom you don’t live, you can take legal action against them to get compensation for your losses.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an email today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Who Is At Fault in a Left-Turn Accident?

Is the Driver Turning Left Always at Fault?

Who Is At Fault in a Left-Turn Accident?Under the rules of the road in New Jersey, drivers making a left turn must yield to oncoming vehicles. There are two exceptions: when the driver has a green left-turn arrow and when there are stop signs on both sides of the intersection and the driver turning has arrived at the intersection first. These rules suggest that in all other accidents where a driver was turning left, that driver caused the accident and should be liable.

While practically speaking that may be the result in an overwhelming number of such accidents, there is no hard and fast rule that makes the driver executing a left turn liable for causing the accident. Instead, the jury must look at all the facts to determine if there was any wrongdoing on the part of the driver traveling straight through the intersection.

Most personal injury claims are based on a legal theory of negligence, which requires that persons in society act reasonably at all times, whether driving a car, maintaining property, or manufacturing a product. The jury can look at the actions of both parties—if they were both acting unreasonably, they may both have some liability.

In some instances, a jury may even find that the driver traveling straight was solely responsible for the accident. Examples include exceeding the speed limit or running a red light. The jury may also determine that the driver traveling straight had a reasonable opportunity to avoid the accident but acted carelessly or negligently.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an email today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

The Differences Between Motorcycle and Automobile Accident Claims

Why You Want a Lawyer Who Has Successfully Handled Motorcycle Claims

The Differences Between Motorcycle and Automobile Accident ClaimsWhen you’re hurt while riding a motorcycle, whether as a passenger or driver, you may think that it’s just like any other motor vehicle accident, so you just need a good auto accident attorney. That’s not true, though. There are significant differences between bike accidents and other motor vehicle wrecks. Here are a few.

As a Motorcyclist, You Can Expect Bias From the Jury

When your lawyer selects a jury, you hope that he or she will eliminate anyone with an unfair perception of motorcyclists. Jurors tend to carry a few biases against bikers:

  • There’s an unfair and unfounded societal perception that most bikers are rebels or outsiders, reckless or even lawless—you’ll need an attorney who has the experience to overcome that.
  • There’s also the perception that riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous, leading to less sympathy among jurors.

Most Jurors Won’t Understand the Challenges of Riding a Motorcycle

Virtually every adult drives a car, but less than one U.S. household in ten has a motorcycle parked in the driveway. For that reason, you can expect that a minority of the jurors have ever been on a bike and most won’t understand how the wrongful actions of another motorist could cause you to lose control of your bike. Most jurors also won’t understand that you need to maintain a certain speed to ensure stability and balance while operating a motorcycle—they may attribute that speed to carelessness or recklessness. You want an attorney who can clearly explain the details of safely operating a bike.

Serious Injuries Can Occur Even at Low Speeds

In virtually every motorcycle accident, you’re going to go down. Because you’re essentially unprotected–other than by a helmet, gloves, and other protective gear–the likelihood is that you’ll suffer serious injury, even if you’re traveling at a relatively slow speed. You want a lawyer who knows the potential injuries that can arise and how to work with experts to convey full and accurate information to the jury.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an email today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

New Jersey Motor-Vehicle-Accident-Injury Claims

How Does Your Own Negligence Affect a Claim for Injuries?

New Jersey Motor-Vehicle-Accident-Injury ClaimsIn a personal injury lawsuit, one of the primary things to determine is liability—who caused the accident. It’s not uncommon for a number of parties to be at fault, including the injured party. What happens if you contribute to the chain of events that leads to an accident and causes you injury? Do you still have legal recourse? The answer—maybe.

Contributory vs. Comparative Negligence

For centuries, the principle of contributory negligence determined the rights of injured parties. If you engaged in any action that contributed in any way to the accident and your injuries, you were without legal recourse. Under such a rule, the objective of defense counsel was clear—find any way (even the slightest) that the injured party contributed to causing the accident and get the claim dismissed.

The contributory negligence approach often resulted in great inequity; for example, grossly negligent defendants could escape liability entirely by showing an insignificant careless act by the plaintiff. For that reason, New Jersey abandoned contributory negligence and instituted the concept of comparative negligence in personal injury claims.

Under the theory of comparative negligence, the court first determines the full amount of an injured party’s losses. Next, the court determines the extent to which the injured party caused his or her losses, expressed as a percentage of liability. The court then reduces the damage award by that percentage. For example, if the total damages are $1,000,000 and the plaintiff is was 15% responsible, the total damage award will be $850,000 ($1,000,000 minus $150,000).

Modified vs. Pure Comparative Negligence

The 45 states that have adopted comparative negligence principles take two different approaches:

  • Pure comparative negligence—Under this scheme, an injured party always receives something, even if his or her liability is deemed to be greater than that of other parties.
  • Modified comparative negligence—With this approach, an injured party may only recover compensation if his or her fault falls below a certain threshold, typically 50%.

New Jersey follows the modified comparative negligence approach.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary..

How Much Is Your Car-Accident-Injury Claim Worth?

Determining Compensation in a Motor-Vehicle-Accident Lawsuit

How Much Is Your Car-Accident-Injury Claim Worth?If you’re hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you have a right to pursue legal action to require that that person t0 compensate you for your losses, including wages and income, unreimbursed medical expenses, and physical pain and suffering. Your immediate concern might be how much you can expect to receive from a personal injury lawsuit. How will the court calculate the amount of your losses? What factors will affect the amount you receive?

Establishing Liability for the Accident

Most legal claims are based on allegations of negligence. To prove negligence, you must show that the defendant—the person being sued—did not act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances, and that their failure to do so caused the accident. In a motor vehicle accident, the failure to act reasonably can take a variety of forms, including:

  • Failing to obey known or posted traffic laws; for example, using excessive speed, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, or making an illegal turn or lane change
  • Failing to pay attention to the roadway while looking at a handheld device, adjusting the radio, looking in the backseat, or looking at the side of the road
  • Failing to maintain a vehicle in safe operating condition
  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to adjust driving to account for an adverse weather or road condition

You must also convince the jury that the accident would not have occurred if the defendant had acted reasonably, and that the accident and the injuries you suffered were a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s failure to act reasonably.

Damages in a Motor-Vehicle-Accident Claim

You can only recover compensation for actual losses. Losses covered by insurance are typically not available in a personal injury lawsuit. The damages available fall into two general categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that can be precisely calculated, such as lost wages or income, unreimbursed medical expenses, and property damage. Non-economic damages are intangible and include physical pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.

The amount you recover can be reduced if you are found to be partially liable for the accident. The legal theory of comparative negligence allows the court to determine the percentage of your fault and lower your damage award accordingly.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment. We are currently communicating with clients by phone, text message, or videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

© 2019 karbasianlaw All Rights Reserved.
Concept, Design & Hosting by GetLegal's Practice Builder Team Sitemap | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy