Newark, NJ Bicycle Accident Attorney
Being involved in a bicycle accident can leave you with many questions. It might not be clear how you get compensation, whether you file with your own insurance, or what damages you are even entitled to. For help after a bike accident, it is important to work with an experienced lawyer who can advise you on your next steps and manage your case while you focus on your recovery.
Our Newark bicycle accident lawyers can help track your damages, build your case, and fight insurance companies and at-fault drivers to get your damages paid after your accident. It is important never to rely on insurance companies to have your best interests in mind and to instead work with a lawyer.
Call The Carrion Law Firm’s Newark bicycle accident attorneys as soon as you can. Call us at (718) 841-0083 to get started.
Can You File an Insurance Claim for a Bicycle Accident in Newark, NJ?
If you were hurt in a car accident, you would typically file a claim with your own insurance company. Bicycles qualify as vehicles in New Jersey, and riders should also be covered by insurance in case of an accident with a car. However, bike riders are treated as pedestrians for purposes of auto insurance. This has a few effects that our Newark bicycle accident lawyers can explain and help you with in your case.
First, it is important to understand which insurance policy covers your case. If you are also a driver and have car insurance, you might want your car insurance to cover your bicycle accident. In some cases, this insurance might kick in – but the primary insurance that will cover your injuries is the no-fault insurance for the driver who hit you. Each driver is required to carry no-fault insurance that will cover them, their passengers, and any pedestrians they hit. That means their insurance should cover first – but additional supplemental first-party benefits on your insurance might also apply to your case. Check with a lawyer.
If your injuries are severe enough, you might be able to file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance for additional damages. However, doing so can be complicated. No-fault insurance only covers medical bills and lost wages. Third-party claims are necessary to get property damage – such as a destroyed bike – covered. However, additional third-party claims for pain and suffering damages are barred unless your injuries qualify as sufficiently serious under NJ law. And even when third-party insurance claims are available, drivers with “basic” policies might not have liability insurance anyway. In those cases, you might need to turn to a lawsuit.
Can You File a Lawsuit for a Bicycle Accident in Newark, NJ?
In order to be able to file a lawsuit for a bicycle accident, you typically need to be able to prove that your injuries meet New Jersey’s “serious injury” threshold. Once this “verbal threshold” is met, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, potentially opening access to additional damages like pain and suffering.
To meet the “serious injury” threshold contained in N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-8, your injuries must include some kind of permanent injury or another type of “serious injury” listed in the statute. The most common “serious” injury is a broken bone that is “displaced,” (i.e., one that needs to be set by a doctor before healing). Injured bike riders can also sue if they have permanent scarring, lost a body part, or faced other serious injuries. Loss of a fetus also qualifies for a lawsuit, as does the death of the rider, allowing the family of the deceased to sue.
If you have any injuries like this or believe that your injuries might qualify for a lawsuit, speak with our Newark bicycle accident lawyers right away. We can help advise you on how to get your case into court and what your case might be worth.
As part of filing your lawsuit, we will come up with a list of all of the damages you will claim in your case. Lawsuits do not have the same restrictions that insurance claims have, allowing you to claim additional damages in most cases. This can include medical expenses at their full value instead of the potentially reduced value covered by PIP insurance. Additionally, this can include non-economic benefits like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress. These damages can be substantial, especially if your injuries were very serious or leave you with permanent disabilities.
When to Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Newark, NJ
It is important to contact a Newark bicycle accident lawyer early on in your case. The statute of limitations on personal injury claims is 2 years under N.J.S.A. § 2A:14-2(a). This seems like a long time, but you should likely contact an attorney much earlier. Giving your lawyer time to build evidence is important. Plus, contacting a lawyer earlier gives them time to collect evidence that might be lost or destroyed, such as security footage. It also allows your lawyer to track your medical expenses and other damages as you go.
As for understanding when your case is appropriate for a lawsuit, it is important to know that any injuries are serious enough to seek compensation for. Many times, bicycle accident victims try to handle their case through insurance without the help of a Newark bicycle accident attorney only to end up with low compensation. Alternatively, injured cyclists might not bother with a lawsuit or insurance claim and instead pay for their medical care out of pocket. If you end up facing higher damages than you expected, you could be left with substantial bills that you should not have to pay on your own. Our attorneys can advise you on the seriousness of your case and help you get damages in any case where you suffered injuries.
Call Our Newark, NJ Bike Accident Attorneys for Help
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, call The Carrion Law Firm today. Call us at (718) 841-0083 for a free case evaluation.