Motorcyclists are particularly susceptible to severe injuries in motor vehicle accidents. Drivers of automobiles frequently don’t pay enough attention to motorcycles and not give them the same respect on the road that they do to another car. The attorneys at Wolf Law have over 35 years of experience in representing Motorcyclists and dealing with the peculiar laws involving payment of their medical bills, compensation for injuries, and the interplay of your motorcycle and automobile insurance in Uninsured/Underinsured claims. In 1997 Randolph Wolf successfully appealed the denial of UM/UIM benefits on behalf of his client who was injured while driving his motorcycle and won the landmark case against the automobile insurer. [Click to read the reported decision by the Appellate Division]
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
- According to the Federal Highway Authority, in 2018 the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes nationally was 4,985.
- Since 1997, the number of fatal injuries have doubled.
- While motorcycles make up only 3% of registered vehicles, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic deaths in 2017.
- Motorcyclists are more than 28 times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle crash then than passenger car occupants.
- Motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured in a motor vehicle crash then passenger car occupants.
- In New Jersey, in the last ten year reported period (2008 to 2017), motorcycle fatalities have varied. The highest number of fatalities (93) occurred in 2011 while the lowest number (50) occurred in 2015. From 2012 to 2016, there have been nearly 12,000 crashes in New Jersey involving motorcycles.
- There were approximately 2,200 motorcycle drivers involved in crashes in the New Jersey in 2016, which resulted in 69 fatalities.
- If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, statistics show that you have an 82% chance of being injured.
- More than half of motorcycle/automobile accidents in New Jersey occur at intersections.
- More than two-thirds of motorcycle/automobile accidents in New Jersey occur when the automobile driver does not see the motorcycle.
All drivers in the state of New Jersey are required by law to retain insurance policies to cover injuries and/or loss in the case of an accident. The level of insurance coverage varies from policy to policy so it is wise to consult a lawyer about the type and amount of insurance coverage you possess to ensure your expenses will be covered.
Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage
Motorcycle drivers should consider purchasing additional uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This optional coverage provides additional coverage and protection in a case where a party is injured by another with no insurance coverage or not enough coverage to cover the cost of damages and serious injuries in a motorcycle accident. The issue of whether your automobile insurance will provide such coverage if you are injured on a motorcycle is one that can be contested by the car insurer and it is safer to have separate coverage for this on your motorcycle policy.
New Jersey Helmet Law
The state of New Jersey requires by law that all persons driving or riding on a motorcycle must wear a helmet that is securely fastened with a chin strap and the correct size approved by the federal DOT. A helmet is your first and best defense against serious injuries.
Medical Bills and Loss of Income
Unlike automobile insurance, New Jersey does not require that motorcycle insurance carry coverage for medical bills and loss of income. To make matters worse, your automobile insurance policy generally does not cover medical bills or lost income which results from an accident when you are on a motorcycle, even if you are in a collision with a car.
In many cases the only coverage for medical expenses will be your own health insurance and if you do not have any you are personally liable for all of your medical bills. Unless you are covered by New Jersey State Disability or a private disability plan, you may not have the income you require to pay your bills. It is important that you review these insurance coverages before riding a motorcycle. After you are in an accident it is simply too late. Your only recourse at that point will to include the claim for medical bills and lost income in the lawsuit for the physical injuries sustained in the accident. While you may eventually get these monies back, it will not help you in the short term when you need these monies to pay your bills.
HOW WOLF LAW CAN HELP YOU-
Wolf Law can help you through the often difficult process of getting your medical bills paid and obtaining compensation for your injuries whether through the insurance carrier of the automobile that hit you or through the UM/UIM benefits that may be available through your own insurance policy. Call us today at 732-741-4448 for a free consultation.