Riding along New Jersey’s roadways on a motorcycle can be an invigorating experience for riders. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are at increased risk of injury when an accident occurs, with more than eighty percent of the twelve thousand accidents reported between twenty-twelve and twenty-sixteen resulting in injury or death.
There are several options for a victim to get compensation for their injuries. Motorcyclists are required by law to maintain an insurance policy with bodily injury liability coverage on their motorcycles, and car owners will usually have bodily injury liability coverage as a part of their policies as well.
WHAT WILL INSURANCE COVER?
All motorcyclists must have insurance policies that include minimum bodily injury liability coverage to pay for personal injuries. Typically, all drivers will have standard auto policies that include equal coverage. However, drivers may choose a basic auto policy that does not include this coverage.
Generally, the number of victims will determine what a policy will pay out. Basic motorcycle policies and standard auto policies will include a minimum fifteen thousand dollars per victim, and in accidents with multiple victims, they will provide a minimum thirty thousand dollars per accident. If a driver chooses a basic auto policy, they may have no bodily injury liability coverage or only optional coverage of ten thousand dollars per accident.
What’s more, bodily injury liability coverage will typically only cover medical expenses and similar tangible costs (not things like pain and suffering), and fifteen thousand dollars may not be enough to cover even the medical expenses. In cases where this is true, you will need to consider filing a lawsuit.
SUING A LIABLE PARTY
To sue for more compensation, whether for medical expenses or non-economic losses like pain and suffering, you or a loved one usually must experience what is considered a serious injury under New Jersey’s limitation on lawsuit threshold. Most auto and motorcycle policies include the limitation, which will restrict your right to sue, but it is possible to purchase policies without the limitation at a higher cost.
In our experience, you will generally settle out of court within 30 to 90 days if you are able to sue. A good case will have clear mistakes and negligence on the part of a liable party, and they will wish to avoid a trial involving an expensive legal process. However, if you take a settlement, you waive your right to sue or appeal for further compensation. If you and a liable party cannot settle out of court, a trial may take up to three or four years.
The average settlement for a motorcycle case is under $75,000, but there are many confidential settlements that may be well above that number. Of course, the amount you receive will be reduced by your own liability for an accident as determined by the court.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Rosenblum Law for a free, no-obligation consultation.