NJ bike laws are becoming more and more important as the number of cyclists on the road continues to steadily increase. Not only is cycling a fun and family friendly activity, but the sport’s popularity has seen an incredible surge as the public’s dedication to eco-friendly living has increased. As the number of cyclists on the road has increased, so have the number of bicycle accident injuries.
New Jersey bicycle accident lawyers are more aware than most of the dangers cyclists face every time they take to the road. Whether you are an experienced biker or have just taken up the sport to improve your mental and physical health, it is critical that you know your rights. One wrong turn from a negligent driver can result in thousands of dollars in lost wages, medical bills and emotional distress. If you have been injured in a bike accident as a result of driver error or carelessness, an experienced bike accident lawyer can help you get back on your feet — physically and emotionally.
Causes of Bike Accidents
While the specifics obviously vary from case to case, there are five common causes of bicycle accident injuries.
• A driver opening a car door without first checking to ensure no bikers are coming up on them.
• A driver operating a motor vehicle while distracted or impaired.
• A cyclist riding a bicycle with defective products or parts.
• Cycling on roads with dangerous conditions.
• A driver’s failure to yield or adhere to a biker’s right of way.
When it comes to personal injury claims, some of these causes are grounds for compensation while others are considered faultless. Dangerous conditions on the road, due to weather especially, would not be considered a motorist’s fault and compensation would not be awarded. Distracted or impaired driving does allow for blame to be assigned to the motor vehicle operator and for compensation to be awarded. A bicycle accident lawyer can help determine whether your injury constitutes a viable personal injury case.
New Jersey Bike Laws
The state of New Jersey considers a bicycle to be a motor vehicle. Cyclists are entitled to the same set of protections afforded to motorists. They also carry the same set of responsibilities for aware, alert and law abiding driving as motorists and must obey all traffic laws. All cyclists under the age of 17 must wear protective headgear that is in compliance with federal standards. Failure to adhere to regulations like the ones above will negate any bike injury claims filed. Motorists are obligated to follow the same set of traffic laws that apply to interactions with other vehicles.
New Jersey Bike Accident Laws and Liability
When determining liability, an experienced bicycle accident lawyer is vital. In general, a motorist is considered liable — or at fault — under NJ bike laws when a bike accident injury is sustained due to negligence or recklessness on their part. Failure to adhere to traffic laws, impaired or distracted driving and driving under the influence are a few examples of situations in which a bicycle accident lawyer would press forward with a personal injury claim.
There are also instances where the city, county or state can be found liable for bicycle accident injuries.
As we mentioned in the list of the most common causes of bike related injuries, poor road conditions are one of the top causes of injuries for cyclists. These sometimes cannot be avoided. However, if the city, county or state is found to be at fault for negligence with road repairs, a personal injury claim can be brought against that party. Poor road conditions that would constitute a personal injury claim include extremely narrow roads, roads with deep potholes, roads with dangerous blind spots and roads with debris littering the lanes.
How To File A Claim
Filing a claim seeking compensation after a bike accident can be a complicated process and should be left to an experienced and respected bicycle accident attorney. If you believe your injury warrants a claim, contact an attorney today to get the process started.