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Not Wearing a Helmet at the Time of a Motorcycle Accident?

Can You Still Recover Compensation for Your Losses in New Jersey?

Under New Jersey law, if you are operating a motorcycle on New Jersey roads or riding as a passenger on a bike, you must wear a properly fitting helmet approved for use by the federal Department of Transportation.Under New Jersey law, if you are operating a motorcycle on New Jersey roads or riding as a passenger on a bike, you must wear a properly fitting helmet approved for use by the federal Department of Transportation. The helmet must have either a neck or chin strap and must have reflective tape or similar markings on both sides. What if you’re out on the road without a helmet and you’re hurt in an accident caused entirely by the wrongful act of another motorist? Will you be prohibited from seeking compensation for your losses because you weren’t wearing a helmet?

How the Failure to Wear a Helmet Affects a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim in New Jersey

Though you can always file a personal injury claim against another person who intentionally caused you harm, as a practical matter, most personal injury claims in New Jersey are based on allegations of negligence. To establish negligence, you need to prove that:

  • The defendant (person from whom you seek compensation) failed to act reasonably;
  • The defendants failure to act reasonably caused an accident; and
  • You suffered actual losses (injuries, etc.) as a result of the accident.

The fact that you were not wearing a helmet will not automatically disqualify you from seeking and recovering damages. Instead, the jury will attempt to determine what caused the accident—was it the wrongful act of the defendant or was it some type of carelessness or negligence on your part. While the fact that you were not wearing a helmet may have contributed to the severity of your injuries, it did not actually cause the crash or your injuries. The jury may conclude, though, that your injuries would not have been as severe if you had been wearing a helmet. Accordingly, if they determine that the accident itself was caused by the defendant’s negligence or carelessness, they will likely rule in your favor. However, if they determine that your injuries would not have been as severe if you had been wearing a helmet, they may reduce your damage award.

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 accident 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.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident Caused by Debris in the Road?

What Are Your Options for Recovering Compensation?

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident Caused by Debris in the Road?When you’re on a motorcycle, any type of debris in the roadway, from trash or construction materials that have fallen off a truck to a muffler or chunk of tire, can be treacherous. You may need to brake suddenly or take evasive action, which can cause you to lose control of your bike and put you at risk of serious injury. What are your options, if you’ve been in an accident caused by roadway debris, of recovering any compensation for your losses?

Can You Determine Where the Debris Came From?

If you can, you can always bring a lawsuit against the person who caused the debris to obstruct your path. Anyone who takes a car or truck on the road must use reasonable care to ensure that his or her actions don’t cause injury to others. If another motorist failed to secure a load or otherwise carelessly caused debris to fall into the roadway, that motorist can be held liable. The challenge, of course, is knowing who that person was and how to contact them. If you saw the debris fall in the roadway, or if there were witnesses, you may be able to find the driver.

When You Can’t Identify Where the Debris Came From?

Even if you can’t determine how the object came to be in the road, you may still be able to seek damages for your losses. A common approach is to pursue compensation through your own insurance company. However, you’ll need to have coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists. That’s available in New Jersey, but typically as a rider to your policy with an additional premium. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney who knows understands the language of auto insurance policies, who can look at yours and determine whether you have any coverage.

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 accident 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

Injured in New Jersey When Your Motorcycle Broke Down?

Can You Recover Damages for Defective Parts or Negligent Repair?

Injured in New Jersey When Your Motorcycle Broke Down?When you’re involved in a collision with another vehicle while riding your bike, you can bring a lawsuit against the other motorist, provided you can show that he or she acted carelessly or negligently, causing the accident and your injuries. But what are your rights when your motorcycle breaks down, causing you to lose control? There’s no other motorist to blame for your losses. What are your options?

Product Liability Claims for Defective or Dangerous Parts

If your bike broke down because of a poorly designed or manufactured component, such as the brakes, a tire or the steering mechanism, you may be able to file what is commonly referred to as a “product liability” claim. There are typically three types of product liability claims, ones based on:

  • Negligent design—Carelessness in the design of a product
  • Negligent manufacture—Lack of care in the fabrication, construction, assembly or manufacture of the bike or one of its component parts, including the use of substandard materials
  • Negligent marketing—Failure to warn of known dangers associated with a product

In a product liability claim, you may typically bring in any party in the chain of distribution, from the designer to the retailer.

Negligence Claims for Careless Maintenance or Repair

If the failure of a mechanic or garage to properly maintain or repair your motorcycle caused the accident, you can bring a lawsuit based on negligence. To succeed, you will need to show that the garage or mechanic failed to act as a reasonable person would, that the failure to do so caused the accident, and that you suffered actual losses as a result of the accident.

The Potential for Comparative Negligence

Under the comparative negligence principles in New Jersey, you may be partially responsible for your losses if it can be shown that you were partially at fault. For example, if you failed to maintain your bike, you could be held somewhat liable. With New Jersey’s modified comparative negligence, the defendant would need to show that you were more than 50% responsible to prevent you from recovering something 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 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal accident 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.

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