Belleville, NJ Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bike riders are afforded the same rights on the road as drivers of cars and trucks. However, drivers often ignore bikers and put them in danger because they fail to follow these rules. When cars and trucks hit bikers, the rider can be left with serious injuries.
Proving fault will be important in getting the compensation you need after a bike accident. When you work with a Belleville, NJ bicycle accident attorney, they can argue the facts of your case, fight to hold the at-fault driver responsible, and work to get you the compensation you need. Do not rely on insurance companies, as profit is often more important to them than getting your injuries taken care of.
For a free case review, call the Belleville, NJ bicycle accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm today. Call us at (718) 841-0083.
Insurance Claims vs. Lawsuits for Injured Bike Riders in Belleville, NJ
New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state. This can put up some big barriers to recovery for many injured bike riders, but our Belleville, NJ bicycle accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you need after a serious accident. This might mean fighting insurance companies or filing a lawsuit if that opportunity is open to you.
NJ is actually a choice no-fault state, so drivers have multiple options when getting insurance. The most common options for insurance include a limited right to sue and no-fault coverage. With no-fault coverage, your injuries are covered by your own insurance regardless of who was at fault in the crash, but you forfeit your right to sue except in cases of “serious injury.”
Many bike riders also have cars and drive, meaning that they will have their own insurance. However, bike riders and pedestrians are typically covered under the no-fault insurance of the driver who hit them. This means that your first place to turn for compensation will usually be the at-fault driver’s PIP insurance (personal injury protection).
However, PIP only covers economic damages like medical bills and lost wages. If your injuries involved additional damages such as pain and suffering, these damages cannot be claimed through a PIP insurance claim. Instead, you will have to prove that you have “serious injuries” and file an insurance claim against their liability insurance or file a lawsuit.
Many drivers carry liability insurance to cover them if they cause injuries or property damage. If your injuries meet the “severe injury” threshold, you could be entitled to file a claim against the driver’s liability insurance to get additional damages like pain and suffering covered. However, this is still an insurance claim, and it is still up to the insurance company to decide coverage. Additionally, many drivers have “basic” insurance policies that do not include liability insurance.
When you sue a driver for their injuries, you can claim any and all damages you suffered. To be able to sue, your injuries must meet that “severe injury” threshold, but this is commonly met when it comes to serious bike accident injuries. Talk to your Belleville bicycle accident attorneys about how fighting your case before a neutral court could be better for your case than relying on insurance companies to pay you what they owe you.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Belleville, NJ
Bicycle accidents are caused by many different mistakes and traffic violations. In most cases, the driver who caused the accident is responsible, having committed some kind of violation that would make them responsible for any kind of auto accident. In other cases, special rules surrounding bicycle riders come into play.
Most auto accidents, including bike accidents, are caused by dangerous traffic violations. Things like speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving are some of the most common causes of bike accidents and car accidents in general. Drivers can also be held responsible for accidents where they run a red light or traffic sign, fail to yield, or violate some other traffic violation.
Many bike accidents are caused by inattention or failure to watch out for cyclists. Passing a biker then turning right across their path in a “right hook” accident often means the driver was not checking their blind spots or looking out for other bikers on the road. Similarly, drivers who clip bikers when passing too closely are often responsible for those accidents as well.
Determining Fault in a Bicycle Accident in Belleville, NJ
In some cases, the biker is potentially responsible for shared fault. In general, the court can assign partial fault to each driver or biker and have them pay for their fair share of fault.
In most accident cases where the cyclist did nothing wrong, you will prove that the driver was 100% responsible for the crash by pointing to their traffic violations and your safe driving. However, if you might have committed a traffic violation as well, you could be left on the hook for a portion of your own damages.
Bikes are considered vehicles, and bike riders are typically required to ride on the street, stop at stop signs, yield to pedestrians, and follow other rules of the road. When they fail to do so, accidents can happen – but this is rarely the sole cause of the crash. If the driver was primarily responsible, courts can find you shared only a small percentage of fault in your accident case.
Under NJ law, victims can still recover compensation for their injuries so long as they were 50% at fault or less, but the other driver will pay only for their percentage of the total damages. This could ultimately reduce your damages but not block your claim entirely (unless you were more than 50% at fault). Talk to your Belleville bicycle accident lawyers about how this could affect your case.
Call Our Belleville Bike Accident Lawyers Today
For a free review of your bicycle accident injury case, call the Belleville bicycle accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm. Our number is (718) 841-0083.