Navigating the aftermath of a motorcycle accident in Freehold, NJ, can be as challenging as a winding road—fraught with physical pain, emotional turmoil, and daunting medical expenses. The road to recovery can often feel isolating, with the added burden of complex legal battles against impersonal insurance firms and corporations that prioritize profit margins over your personal health and recovery.
At Clark & Noonan, LLC, we stand as your steadfast allies. For years, we have been fighting for the rights of our clients, knowing all too well the tactics that these entities employ. Our seasoned Freehold motorcycle accident attorneys are not just skilled negotiators and litigators; we are members of the Freehold, New Jersey community, driven by a passion for supporting our neighbors.
We fight hard for our clients, and insurance companies know us and fear us. We plan to keep it that way. Contact our law offices by calling (732) 303 7857 to get started with a free initial consultation.
How Clark & Noonan, LLC Can Help You Win Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
The State of New Jersey suffers hundreds of motorcycle accident deaths and thousands of serious injuries every year. Freehold, it seems, sees more than its fair share. Unfortunately, most motorcycle accident victims receive only a fraction of the compensation that their claim is worth. They do this because they try to represent themselves, they accept a low settlement just to get money quickly, or they hire a substandard lawyer.
Never fear. Our Freehold personal injury lawyers enjoy the benefit of decades of combined experience handling motorcycle accident cases. We pride ourselves on treating each case as the unique occurrence that it is. We will not accept cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all solutions.
Consequently, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients; and we’ve successfully resolved high-stakes, high-profile cases in the process. We can help you in the following ways:
- Recruiting expert witnesses to testify in your favor. You might use an accident reconstruction specialist, for example. Expert witnesses can also be persuasive during settlement negotiations.
- Assessing road conditions: Examining if poor road conditions contributed to the accident, which is often more hazardous for motorcyclists than for automobile drivers.
- Insurance negotiations: Skillfully negotiating with insurance companies who may unfairly stereotype motorcyclists as risk-takers and deny legitimate claims.
- Litigation experience: Providing experienced representation in court, if necessary, which could be critical to recovering full value for your claim.
- Medical expertise: Consulting medical experts to validate the extent of injuries sustained, which are often more severe in motorcycle accidents.
- Product liability: Pursuing a product liability claim will involve investigating if a motorcycle’s design or manufacturing defect contributed to the accident, as this requires specific technical knowledge.
- Regulatory knowledge: Understanding of motorcycle-specific laws and regulations that can affect the value of your claim.
We can help you in dozens of other ways as well. Contact us in Freehold, New Jersey, today to learn more and to set up your free case review.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Freehold
Following is a list of some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Making a left turn into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist,
- Making a lane change without signaling or looking,
- Texting while driving,
- Intoxicated driving,
- Opening a car door into the street,
- Debris on the road,
- Slick roads,
- Lane-splitting by the motorcyclist, and
- Defective auto or motorcycle parts.
If a court considers you more than 50% at fault for the accident, it will not award you any compensation. If you are partially at fault but your fault is 50% or less, the court will reduce your compensation in proportion to your percentage of fault.
Dealing With the Insurance Company
Expect resistance from the insurance company when you present it with a large damages claim. That’s okay, because we know just how to handle stingy insurance companies, and we won’t let anybody take advantage of you. Below are some examples of some of the tricks that insurance companies like to play:
- Causing many minor delays, hoping that you will miss the statute of limitations deadline for filing a lawsuit;
- Tricking you into saying something that damages your claim;
- Monitoring your social media accounts, looking for something they can use against you;
- Claiming that the accident was at least partly your fault;
- Offering you an inadequate settlement while you are still in the hospital; and
- Convincing you not to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Never forget that insurance companies are businesses. Their primary purpose is to make a profit, not to compensate accident victims. If you hire us, our Freehold motorcycle accident attorneys can negotiate your claim from start to finish. We know all the insurance company tricks, and we’re not going to fall for a single one of them. Rest assured, however, that we will never agree to settle your claim without your permission.
Negotiating Versus Litigating
You might be wondering whether you should sue or settle. The answer, in many cases, is both. Filing a lawsuit can generate two consequences that work in your favor:
- It can show your opponent that you mean business. In many cases, filing a lawsuit is the best way to motivate the opposing party to issue a generous settlement offer.
- It beats the statute of limitations deadline to file a lawsuit.
- Filing a lawsuit will get you access to the pretrial discovery process. In the pretrial discovery process, you can seek the court’s assistance in obtaining evidence that is in the possession of the opposing party.
There is usually a gap of several months between filing a lawsuit and holding a trial. You can settle during this period, and then you can withdraw your lawsuit. In fact, you can even settle in the middle of a trial. We know just how to use the threat of a trial to win concessions from stubborn opposing parties.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive After a Motorcycle Accident in Freehold, NJ?
It is impossible to answer this question with certainty without knowing the details of your case. In general, you are entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost earnings,
- Property damage,
- Out-of-pocket expenses arising from your injuries, and
- Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and mental anguish.
Non-economic damages can easily amount to more than half of the total value of your claim. In some cases, such as a road rage incident, you might even be eligible for punitive damages.
Limitations on the Amount of Compensation You Can Receive
Certain factors limit the amount of compensation you can receive from a motorcycle accident claim. The most important of these factors are:
- The limits of the defendant’s insurance coverage;
- The defendant’s own financial limitations, including failure to purchase insurance;
- Any defenses the defendant might be able to successfully assert against your claim; and
- The skill of your lawyer.
An experienced Freehold motorcycle accident attorney can investigate to determine the true value of your claim.
Alternative Defendants for Freehold Motorcycle Accident Cases
In New Jersey, it is perfectly permissible to sue more than one defendant if the facts justify it. If one defendant cannot afford to pay your claim, we might seek to hold another party responsible. Possible additional defendants include:
- A nightclub that sold the at-fault driver alcohol (in a DUI accident case);
- The at-fault driver’s employer, if the driver was on duty at the time of the accident;
- The manufacturer of a defective product that caused the accident;
- The city, state, or federal government, if poor road conditions or a malfunctioning traffic light caused the accident; and
- A third-party driver, if they contributed to the accident.
Your lawyer might find other alternative defendants who share liability for the accident.
Defenses Against Motorcycle Accident Claims
Following are only a handful of many different possible defenses against a motorcycle accident claim:
- Comparative negligence: Comparative negligence can reduce the defendant’s liability if you were partly to blame for the accident. You might have been lane-splitting, for example. If you were mostly to blame, the defendant’s liability will be zero.
- The helmet defense: New Jersey law requires motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets. If you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, a court might refuse to award you compensation for head injuries.
- Sudden emergency: An unexpected road emergency left the defendant with no reasonable way to avoid an accident. A tire blowout is a common example.
- Motorcycle defect: If a defect in the motorcycle itself caused the accident, neither the victim nor the motorist was at fault. Instead, you might file a claim against the product manufacturer.
- Expiration of the statute of limitations deadline to file a lawsuit. In New Jersey, you typically have two years after the accident to file a lawsuit, although certain exceptions might apply.
Defendants also frequently assert other defenses.
New Jersey Wrongful Death Claims
What happens if a motorcycle accident victim dies from their injuries? In New Jersey, the victim’s estate executor can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages are different from personal injury damages, and they generally go to surviving family members. The statute of limitations deadline is two years after the victim’s date of death.
Seek Out the Services of an Experienced Freehold Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Don’t worry that you can’t afford us. You can afford us as long as your claim is strong, because we won’t charge you a dime unless we win compensation for your case. Your claim will almost certainly be resolved at the settlement table, not in court.
If we do win (and we win almost all of our clients’ cases), your legal fees will amount to a minority percentage of whatever amount you win. Contact our trusted Freehold motorcycle accident attorneys today to schedule your free consultation.