For more than 25 years, the New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at Eisbrouch Marsh have been helping victims and their families put the pieces of their lives back together and obtain fair compensation for their injuries.
Motorcycle accident victims in Passaic, Hudson, Essex, Morris, Middlesex and Bergen county trust our seasoned NJ personal injury attorneys to thoroughly investigate a crash to determine where responsibility lies and seek monetary damages accordingly.
Record Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Award
A jury recently awarded a Vernon couple $19.3 million for the injuries the husband received in a 2010 motorcycle accident. Of that amount, $15.5 million was awarded to the husband for his injuries, while the remaining $3.8 million was awarded to his wife for her loss of consortium. The verdict is the largest personal injury jury award in Sussex County history. The husband suffered permanent spinal damage when his motorcycle was struck by a pick-up truck driven by a 23-year-old man. The pick-up truck’s driver pleaded guilty to careless driving.
Some observers are struck by such a substantial award from such a conservative county. But before the recent verdict, the highest personal injury award was in another motorcycle accident case. This is a sign that juries appreciate the danger that careless drivers put law-abiding motorcyclists in.
Why Motorcycle Accidents Are So Serious
There is a simple matter of physics that makes motorcycle accidents so dangerous – often serious or fatal – to the motorcycle driver. The motorcyclist may only be protected by a helmet and some leather. The driver of an SUV, on the other hand, is protected by over 4,000 pounds of steel. Traditional vehicles are also much more stable, having four wheels on the road instead of two.
Adding to the danger is the tendency of other drivers to not look for motorcycles. Traffic laws give motorcyclists equal rights to the road but car, truck, and SUV drivers often do not notice motorcycles on the road, putting them in harm’s way.
Minor car accidents are often referred to as “fender benders” – people often walk away without injury, just a dent in the bumper. Motorcyclists are much less likely to walk away without a scratch – more than 80% of the reported motorcycle accidents result in injury or wrongful death.
The injuries a motorcyclist receives tend to be much more serious than the injury the driver of the car involved received.
Some of the more common motorcycle injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
Such serious injuries can completely disrupt the lives of not just the motorcyclist but those closest to him or her. Even a non-fatal serious injury can prevent a mother or father from working to support a family. These are all losses that New Jersey motorcycle accident attorneys at Eisbrouch Marsh can calculate to determine the true scope of the damages you sustained as a result of your injuries.
Proving Liability in a Motorcycle Accident
In motorcycle accident cases, as in other types of personal injury lawsuits, a plaintiff must prove that the driver was negligent. To do this, he or she must establish that:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty
- The defendant breached that duty
- The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injury
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result
Automobile drivers have a duty to other drivers on the road – they must control their vehicles and not act unreasonably. Our personal injury lawyers work with experts like accident reconstructionists and biomechanical experts to show a jury how the defendant breached the duty and how it caused the motorcyclist’s injuries. Many times the automobile driver’s breach of duty is caused by his distracted driving – checking text messages, scrolling through the GPS screen, or any other task that takes his or her eyes or concentration off the road.
Car and truck drivers are not the only potentially at-fault parties in a motorcycle accident. There may also be liability by a car or motorcycle manufacturer for a defective product or even by some other party who left an obstruction in the road. Each situation is unique and requires a careful analysis to determine who may be liable. The New Jersey car accident lawyers at Eisbrouch Marsh have walked this road with clients before and know how to spot liability issues.
Compensation Available for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
If an injured party, including the loved ones in the case of a fatality, proves a negligence case, they may be entitled to compensation. Recovery can come in the form of a settlement or a jury award, and often, but not always, comes from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Often retaining a personal injury lawyer and filing a lawsuit will convince an insurance company to do the right thing and offer a fair settlement to the injured party. But sometimes it requires an aggressive but compassionate attorney to try the case and show the jury that the compensation is just.
How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
The experienced Bergen County personal injury attorneys at Eisbrouch Marsh know the laws that affect motorcycle accident liability in New Jersey and understand the frequent causes of collisions. Most importantly, we understand the financial and emotional stress that a sudden accident can cause for a victim and the victim’s family.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident you may have a strong claim for damages. Call Eisbrouch Marsh at 201-342-5545 for a free, no-obligation, consultation. We are always here to help and answer questions. You will not owe any money up front – we get paid only if we recover for you. We serve residents in northern New Jersey, including Hackensack, Newark, Bergen County, and Essex County from our offices in New Jersey and New York.
- NJ Department of Law & Public Safety, Motorcycle Safety Resources, http://www.nj.gov/lps/hts/motorcycle/
- New Jersey State Police, Fatal Accident Statistics, http://www.njsp.org/info/fatalacc/spec_c.html