Motorcycle accidents are almost always catastrophic events for the person or persons riding on the motorcycle. The lack of physical protection on a motorcycle compared to a passenger vehicle places the person on the motorcycle at greater risk for injuries. High impact accidents can even throw the person on the motorcycle from their vehicle, adding to the intensity of the accident.
Driving a motorcycle is perfectly legal and is safe if you know how to operate the motorcycle. There are laws regarding driving a motorcycle in New Jersey, and it is important that you always comply with these laws. Failure to do so can not only cause you to be involved in a motorcycle accident, but it can also complicate your claim for compensation.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, speak with a NJ motorcycle accident attorney today. Call 833-323-4448 for a FREE consultation.
Motorcycle Laws In New Jersey
In addition to obeying all traffic and safety laws for operating a vehicle on New Jersey roads, motorcyclists must be aware of the following laws:
- You must wear a DOT certified helmet at all times. New Jersey law requires that all persons on the motorcycle must wear a helmet when the motorcycle is in operation.
- You must not exceed passenger capacity on a motorcycle. A motorcycle is either built for one or two people. You must comply with the manufacturers and seat design of the motorcycle t operate the vehicle safely.
- You cannot operate a “chopper-style” motorcycle that has handlebars whose grips are higher than shoulder level.
- You must have a windshield on your motorcycle or use a helmet that has a windscreen.
- You cannot operate a motorcycle with a sidecar.
- Lane splitting is illegal. Lane splitting is defined as driving your motorcycle in between cars or in the same lane as a passenger vehicle. You must remain in a legal space on the roads at all times.
It is important to remember that even if one of these laws has been violated, you will still retain the right to seek compensation in an accident. However, if one of these broken laws is the cause of the accident, your case can become a little more complicated.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
It has been our law firm’s experience that there are a few very common reasons that motorcycle accidents occur. While anything can happen to cause an accident, the following scenarios are the most common:
- Left Turns. The most common place for a motorcycle accident to occur is at an intersection where the passenger vehicle is turning left. He driver of the passenger vehicle may not see the motorcycle in the oncoming lane, or they may misjudge the distance of the motorcycle.
- Entrance Ramps. Many passenger vehicle drivers do not provide enough right-of-way to motorcycles entering the highways. This is especially true at night.
- Driving Under the Influence. Many motorcycle accidents involve drivers of the passenger vehicle that were driving under the influence. Since driving while intoxicated causes poor judgment and poor response times, it is easy to understand how this can cause an accident with any vehicle.
Motorcyclists are always encouraged to take actions that make themselves better seen when they are on the road. This can be something as simple as wearing a reflective strip on their coat and keeping their headlights on during the day. Little actions like these can help prevent serious accidents and injuries.
Speak With An Attorney
Motorcycle drivers often face many obstacles when they file a claim for compensation. The insurance companies often treat motorcyclists differently than injured parties in a passenger vehicle. It is their assumption that driving a motorcycle is riskier than a passenger vehicle, and therefore, the injured party must accept some of the responsibility for the accident and losses.
This is simply untrue.
If you are operating a motorcycle within the guidelines of New Jersey law, you have the same protections and rights as someone operating a passenger vehicle. If you are injured while operating your motorcycle, you have the same rights as everyone else to claim for compensation.
Protect your rights as an injured motorcyclist and schedule a consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney. Hiring a lawyer to manage your compensation claim will protect you from the biases of the insurance company and will help you secure a compensation package that is fair and complete.
Further reading: Motorcycle Accident FAQs