Understandably, if you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you want compensation for your injuries and damages. Under New Jersey law, you may be able to receive money even if you were partially at fault. But how do you prove liability in a motorcycle accident? To bring a successful claim, you must present strong evidence showing the other party was primarily at fault. Examples of evidence could include a police report, an accident reconstruction report, medical records, property damage estimates, etc.
Hiring an experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer is highly recommended when proving liability in a motorcycle accident. At Petro Cohen, we understand the nuances of motorcycle accidents and the difficulties that victims often face. Let us protect your rights and help you build a solid case against the responsible parties. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Understanding Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
Liability in a motorcycle accident often results from another driver’s negligence or recklessness. To prove liability against that driver, you must meet four requirements:
Duty of care.
You must show the other driver owed you a duty of care, which all motorists owe each other.
Breach of duty.
Next, you must show the other driver breached their duty of care, which might be reckless driving, speeding, or distracted driving.
The third element of liability requires you to prove the other driver’s breach was the cause of the accident and your injuries.
The final element of liability involves proving you sustained actual damages, such as pain, suffering, medical expenses and lost wages.
An experienced attorney can help you gather evidence that supports your liability argument and prove the other driver owes you money.
Evidence Needed to Prove Liability
Gathering and preserving evidence is critical in a liability argument. You need proof of not being liable for a motorcycle accident that supports your version of events. Examples of evidence include the following:
- Police report. Thepolice report is a factual summary of the accident. It also includes the officer’s observations and their initial conclusions about who was at fault.
- Witness statements. Eyewitness accounts are unbiased accounts that can be crucial in establishing the events leading up to the accident.
- Photos and videos. Visual evidence from the accident scene, including vehicle damage and surrounding area damage, can help reconstruct the accident and establish fault.
- Medical records. Your medical records can demonstrate the extent of injuries and correlate them with the accident’s dynamics.
- Expert testimony. Accident reconstruction experts or mechanical experts can provide insight into how and why the accident occurred.
Other types of evidence may also be relevant. Your New Jersey motorcycle accident attorney will review everything that can help your case.
Common Reasons for Non-Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons. Many times, it’s the vehicle driver who is at fault, but not always. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involve:
- Right of way violations. If the other party violated your right of way, this could clearly establish their liability.
- Distracted driving. If the other driver was distracted (e.g., using a mobile phone, eating, looking at the GPS), this could be a significant factor in proving their fault.
- Driving under the influence. If the accident involved a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their impaired state could be the primary cause.
- Other traffic law violations. Other violations, such as speeding or running a red light, can be used to establish liability.
Explore the latest national motorcycle accident statistics on the NHTSA website. It’s not uncommon for accidents to involve multiple causes of actions and parties. That’s why you want to speak with an experienced lawyer at Petro Cohen as soon as possible.
How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
You want to choose a lawyer with experience handling New Jersey motorcycle accidents. Insurance company adjusters will do everything possible to put the majority of fault on you. That’s because, under New Jersey law, you cannot collect compensation if you’re primarily at fault (51% or more).
When you hire Petro Cohen, we can:
- Analyze legal aspects and help build a case plan,
- Gather and preserve evidence,
- Hire legal experts, and
- Represent you in court.
Knowing how to prove liability in a motorcycle accident is crucial. You need solid evidence before you will receive any compensation to reimburse you for your damages.