In 2020, there were 80,000 motorcycle crashes that caused injuries and 5,715 fatal accidents in the United States. Sadly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that per mile traveled, motorcyclists were about 4 times more likely to get injured and 28 times more likely to die than other road users. Even minor collisions can cause serious injuries for motorcycle riders and their passengers as they have much less protection than other road users.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Judd Shaw Injury Law aim to be our clients’ knights in shining armor. We understand the toll a motorcycle accident can take on your body, life, and family. We want to do everything we can to pursue justice for you – that’s the “Judd Shaw Way.”
We want to hear the details of your accident. Call us 24/7 at 1-866-909-6894 or complete our online form for a free conversation with a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Who to Sue in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Bikers, drivers, and pedestrians must be alert at all times to keep each other safe. If either party fails in their duty to drive responsibly, they may open themselves up to being sued for damages.
In no-fault states like New Jersey, every vehicle owner must have liability insurance and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This means no matter who was at fault, your insurance company will cover your medical expenses. Depending on the insurance coverage you have purchased, lost income and other related damages may be covered as well.
However, you can also pursue a claim against any other liable party. This could include:
- Other drivers involved in the accident
- Pedestrians who contributed to the accident
- The owners of the vehicles involved, if different from the drivers
- The local municipality if poor road maintenance caused the accident
Identifying the liable parties and proving liability can be very challenging. That is why it pays to work with a qualified motorcycle attorney who can successfully handle the case on your behalf.
Proving Liability in a Motorcycle Accident Case
To sue someone personally in a motorcycle accident case, you or your attorney must prove liability. Simply put, you must show that the at-fault party’s actions caused the accident. There are four legal points your lawyer must demonstrate for your case to be successful:
- Duty of care: The other driver had a duty of care to drive responsibly and keep other motorists safe
- Breach: Due to negligent actions, the other driver breached the duty of care. This could be through negligence – failing to do something, or recklessness – taking risks that resulted in harm to you
- Cause: The other driver’s breach caused your accident
- Damages: The collision caused you losses, such as injuries, property damage, pain, and suffering, and you are entitled to compensation for them
In motorcycle accident cases, several people’s actions may have contributed to the accident. Additionally, you may also bear a measure of liability.
To protect your rights, New Jersey state law follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. Under this law, insurance companies investigate auto accidents and indicate the degree of fault each individual contributed. If your fault was 50 percent or less, you may still be able to collect compensation, albeit at a lower rate than if you were not liable at all.
Proving liability can be complex. You or your attorney will need to gather evidence to build a strong case against the liable party that will stand up in court. In many scenarios, filing a lawsuit against the individual who caused the accident may not be the best option to pursue at first.
Should I sue or negotiate a settlement?
Rather than suing the negligent party immediately, your attorney may recommend negotiating with the insurance company to secure a fair settlement. This approach may be faster and less expensive than filing a lawsuit against the individual. Alternatively, he or she may recommend you file a lawsuit but also negotiate with the insurers and try to settle before the case comes to court.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Entering into negotiations with insurance companies is not for the faint-hearted or the inexperienced. Adjusters know every trick in the book to try to reduce your settlement or not pay out at all.
The insurer could claim:
- A lack of evidence of liability
- You were to blame
- Your medical conditions were not caused by the accident
To level the playing field, it pays to work with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who has seen all these tactics before and knows how to overcome them. Rather than taking on the insurance bullies yourself, allow a Judd Shaw Injury Law attorney to represent you. Our lawyers can take the weight off your shoulders and aggressively pursue a fair settlement while you focus on recovering.
Build a Strong Case
Whether you negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or go to trial, your legal team can work with you to gather evidence and build a strong case.
Your motorcycle accident lawyer can gather evidence from many sources to build a picture of the losses you have suffered. This could include medical evidence, witness statements, police reports, photographs and videos from the accident scene, and expert testimony.
Calculate fair compensation
It is not easy to calculate the entire cost of the injuries you have suffered, especially if you will continue to need medical care and support in the future. However, it is possible to quantify the amount of suffering you have experienced and the long-term care you will require.
First, your attorney can calculate the economic losses you have suffered, which may include:
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Loss of earning potential
Next, your lawyer can also put a dollar figure on the intangible losses you have endured, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of family life
- Loss of consortium
This in-depth analysis of the entire, true cost of your accident can empower you to resist the temptation to settle for a lowball offer that does not truly cover your ongoing needs.
File an insurance claim or lawsuit
Once all the evidence is gathered, your attorney can file an insurance claim or lawsuit on your behalf.
Rather than liaising with insurance companies yourself, hand over the responsibility to your lawyer. He or she can handle all communications for you, protecting you from saying anything that could detrimentally affect your case.
Go to trial
If it is impossible to secure a fair settlement through negotiations, your lawyer will go to trial on your behalf. You can rest assured that he or she will fight tenaciously to get justice for you. Finally, the judge or jury will rule on the case and award the settlement.
Get Committed Motorcycle Accident Lawyers on Your Side
A motorcycle accident can seriously dent your confidence and leave you in pain, with a long recovery ahead. At times like this, you need a trusted friend by your side, handling your case for you. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Judd Shaw Injury Law want to fight for the compensation that can get you your life back and on track.
The sooner you reach out, the sooner our legal team can get to work on your behalf. Our compassionate lawyers are ready to hear your story.
Schedule a free case consultation today at 1-866-909-6894 or by completing the contact form on our website. Our representatives are standing by 24/7 to take your call.