Denville, NJ Bicycle Accident Attorney
When a bicycle rider is hit by a car, they can suffer severe injuries. Often, without the body of a car around them to protect them, bikers are left with more serious injuries than the driver. This potentially results in thousands of dollars’ worth of damages for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Getting the compensation you need can be harder than you might expect. No-fault insurance rules in place in NJ might block you from filing a lawsuit, but our lawyers can work to get your case into court and gain access to additional claims for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
For a free review of your case, call The Carrion Law Firm’s bicycle accident attorneys today at (718) 841-0083.
How to Get Compensated for a Bicycle Accident in Denville, NJ
New Jersey’s bike laws essentially treat cyclists on the road as vehicles, which gives them the same rules of the road as any car or truck. However, the law does not require riders to carry car insurance like it does for drivers of motorized vehicles. That means that after a crash, whether or not you have insurance to cover your injuries will play a big part in how you get your damages compensated.
Does a No-Fault Policy Cover Your Bike Accident?
If you happen to have auto insurance because you also drive a car, then that policy should be able to cover you for a bike accident as well. In fact, if you do not have insurance but someone else in your household has a no-fault insurance policy, it should also cover you. Our bicycle accident lawyers can help you determine what policy – if any – covers your accident and what options you have to claim compensation.
What a No-Fault Policy Does for Injured Cyclists
When you are under a no-fault insurance policy, the law requires you to file your claim through that policy, and it blocks third-party claims and lawsuits for damages. This means that your coverage could be limited to only what your policy covers for medical bills and lost wages. Typically, this is a minimum of $15,000 for injuries for a “basic policy” or “standard policy,” but both policies can pay more in certain situations. For either of these so-called “limited right to sue” policies, you do not get pain and suffering damages.
Suing for Pain and Suffering for a Bike Accident
To access compensation for pain and suffering – such as emotional distress, mental anguish, and other intangible harms the accident could have caused you – there are three routes. First, if you do not have a no-fault policy that covers you, you should not be limited by these restrictions and might be able to turn straight to a lawsuit to seek compensation. Second, if your policy is an “unlimited right to sue” policy, these restrictions do not apply, and you can usually sue for additional damages not covered by your no-fault policy. Third, if you do have a no-fault policy, you can still sue if you meet the “serious injury threshold.”
NJ’s serious injury threshold applies to bikers and pedestrians and really anyone covered by a limited right to sue policy after an auto accident. This rule only allows lawsuits and third-party claims for pain and suffering if the victim suffered permanent injuries or a displaced fracture. Whether an injury is permanent is decided by medical standards, so a doctor often has to testify on your behalf. While scarring is usually permanent as well, scarring does not meet this threshold unless it is “substantial.”
Through any of these three routes to get pain and suffering damages, you could potentially file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. However, some drivers are not required to carry this insurance, and a lawsuit might be your best option to recover pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
Common Bike Accident Injuries Our Denville Injury Lawyers Can Help With
If you were hurt in a biking accident, you could be left with a wide range of injuries our lawyers can help you get compensation for. For many injuries, the results of the accident involve medical care, lost time at work, and many areas of pain and suffering. The specific damages you face from your accident will often depend on what injuries you faced.
For many common injuries, the resulting pain and suffering is minimal. For things like cuts and scrapes, you could end up facing medical bills to bandage you up, but the ultimate pain and suffering might not be high. For more severe instances of cuts and scrapes – especially for something like road rash abrasions – pain and suffering could be severe. Especially when these injuries leave substantial scarring, the pain and suffering damages you can claim account for the scarring and its effect on your image in addition to the pain itself.
Often, bicycle accident injuries can leave you out of work. Some injuries will have a definite healing period after which the injury will be healed, allowing you to return to work. This is often the case with broken bones, sprains, and strains. For other injuries, the future is uncertain. Especially in the case of head injuries or back and neck injuries, you might be left with long-term disabilities and injuries that make it hard to return to work at your full capacity. This can often result in damages to pay for the difference between the wages you used to earn and any reduced wages affected by your injuries.
Victims can also face more serious injuries if they are run over, potentially including broken ribs, internal organ damage, and more. Bicycle accident victims often face a long road to recovery and could need help with day-to-day tasks for a prolonged period. This also factors into the damages you can claim for your injuries.
Call Our Denville Bicycle Accident Injury Lawyers Today
If you were hurt in a bike accident, call the Denville bicycle accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.