Traveling at high speed on a motorcycle certainly makes it harder to avoid a collision. The most recent research on this subject was released in the 1980s by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and shows that in the 900 motorcycle accidents examined, the median speed was just 29.8 mph. The report also noted that the “one-in-a-thousand crash speed” was around 86 mph.
Of course, not all motorcycle accidents happen due to factors in the rider’s control, like speed. If you have had a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for the injuries and losses you have suffered. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Judd Shaw Injury Law are here to fight for your rights.
Schedule a free case consultation to discuss your accident by contacting us at 1-866-909-6894. We will listen to your story and guide you through your legal options.
The Role of Speed in Motorcycle Accidents
According to the NHTSA, speeding is a factor in motorcycle crashes more often than in other motor vehicle accidents. In 2018, 31 percent of riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding. The problem is that motorcycles are more stable at higher speeds but are less maneuverable. This makes it harder to safely react to emerging dangers on the road. In addition, once a motorcyclist loses control, the bike provides almost no protection to the rider.
Although many motorcycle accidents occur at relatively low speeds, unsafe speed was still the top contributing factor for New Jersey motorcycle fatalities in 2016. Interestingly, unsafe speed does not always mean going beyond the speed limit. For example, a driver can be cited by the police for driving “too fast for the conditions,” which may include traveling at or below the speed limit during icy, snowy, or wet weather.
Speed in single-vehicle accidents
Speed can also play a part in single-vehicle motorcycle accidents. The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General reports that “40 percent of single-vehicle motorcycle fatalities occur during turns and corners.” Carrying too much speed into a corner makes a rider much more vulnerable to coming off the motorcycle and suffering serious harm.
Speed is not the only factor
Motorcycle accidents that happen at higher speeds can be more catastrophic, but the reality is that serious and even fatal accidents can happen at any velocity. Other factors, including the speed of other vehicles, other drivers’ road behavior, lane splitting, and prevailing weather conditions, all play a part in how serious the accident turns out to be.
Can you seek damages if you were speeding?
If speeding played a part in your accident, you may wonder if that would invalidate your claim for compensation. The good news is that New Jersey follows a doctrine of comparative negligence. Under this rule, even if you were partly responsible for the accident, you may still be able to pursue a claim for damages.
When multiple parties contribute to an accident, an insurance adjuster will assess each person’s degree of fault based on the unique circumstances of the crash. However, do not rely on insurance companies to accurately assess fault and provide fair compensation.
The motorcycle accident attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law have the skills and experience to go toe to toe with insurance companies and fight for justice on your behalf. Our personal injury lawyers can assess your case and advise you on the best course of action to pursue the compensation you deserve.
The Biggest Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The NHTSA reports that the number of motorcycles on US roads nearly doubled between 1998 and 2020. Sadly, this has been matched by an increase in the number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities. The NHTSA further notes that in 2018, 14 percent of motor vehicle-related fatalities involved motorcyclists.
Determining the cause of your motorcycle accident is crucial when you file a claim for damages. Additionally, your legal counsel must demonstrate that the accident was entirely or largely due to another person’s negligence or recklessness for you to successfully secure the compensation you need.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), single-vehicle accidents accounted for over 41 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents nationwide in 2020. Over-braking and collisions with stationary objects are two possible causes.
Therefore, if you got hurt in a single-vehicle accident, it is easy to conclude that there would be no third party to pursue for compensation. However, that may not necessarily be the case. A vehicle defect could have caused your accident.
The motorcycle manufacturer may be liable for vehicle defects such as:
- Brake failure
- Tire defects
- Electronic component defects
Road conditions can also play a part in single-vehicle accidents. For example, suppose the municipality or a county entity failed to properly maintain the roads, and potholes or untreated icy conditions contributed to the accident. If so, you may be able to pursue a claim against the city or county for damages.
The NSC also reports that two-vehicle crashes were responsible for more than 50 percent of fatalities in 2020. Some of these cases involved motorcyclists or drivers of other vehicles who were alcohol-impaired at the time. If the driver of the other vehicle involved in your accident was alcohol-impaired, you may be able to sue that person for the losses you have incurred.
Statistics from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety show that more than half of motorcycle crashes in New Jersey occur at intersections. Motorcyclists know they always need to be alert for left-turning vehicles. It is easy for drivers to fail to check their blind spots before turning and not see motorcyclists coming. The results can be very serious, especially for the riders and passengers.
The same report highlights that the other driver did not see the motorcycle in two-thirds of motorcycle accidents. Risky behaviors like lane splitting, which means riding in and out of lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic, make collisions much more likely. While lane splitting is not explicitly illegal in New Jersey, you can be cited for failing to keep right.
In 2020, most motorcycle fatalities occurred on urban roads, during daylight conditions, when weather conditions were good. However, these are also usually the times when traffic volume is at its highest. Therefore, under these conditions, you may find yourself involved in a multi-vehicle accident.
Determining who is liable in a multi-vehicle accident can be very complicated. That is why it is best to turn to an experienced motorcycle attorney to investigate your case, identify the liable parties, and pursue compensation on your behalf.
How Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help Your Get Justice
Whatever speed you were traveling when your motorcycle accident happened, we can understand the trauma you must have been through. Now is the time to focus on your recovery and getting your life back on track while qualified motorcycle accident lawyers seek justice on your behalf.
The experienced motorcycle accident legal team at Judd Shaw Injury Law knows how to get results for our clients. We believe in treating our clients with the highest standards of courtesy and respect while aggressively fighting insurance companies to secure you a fair settlement.
Find out whether you have a strong case by talking to one of our motorcycle lawyers. The initial consultation is free, and you only pay us a portion of your settlement if we successfully secure compensation for you.
Call us today at 1-866-909-6894 or schedule a consultation here on our website.