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Recovering Damages After a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident

As enjoyable as it is to take a motorcycle ride on a beautiful fall day, when an accident happens the result can be catastrophic. Injuries are often incredibly difficult to recover from, and even if the victim of a crash survives, they are often left with broken bones, brain injuries, and disfigurement, all of which result in insurmountable medical expenses.

What’s worse, many victims are unable to fully recover unless they get significant compensation from their insurance company, but New Jersey laws and unfair insurance practices make recovering damages extremely difficult. Below I’ll tell you more about what to do if you are in a New Jersey motorcycle accident and how a Passaic County motorcycle accident lawyer at Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli may be able to help.

Factors Affecting Compensation After an Accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle drivers are 28 times more likely than people traveling in passenger vehicles to die in an accident. As you can imagine, this means vulnerable motorcyclists are also far more susceptible to major injuries after a crash.

After a crash, most people assume their insurance company will cover their medical expenses, but this is not the case. For starters, New Jersey laws for motor vehicle accidents are different from many other states. If you're new to the area or haven’t been in an accident before, the laws may come as a shock. New Jersey is known as a “no-fault state,” so even if someone else was responsible for your accident, you must file an insurance claim against your own policy rather than the at-fault driver’s.

If you are lucky enough to sustain only minor injuries in the accident, you will only need to file a claim with your own insurance company. But motorcycle accidents commonly result in severe injuries and exorbitant medical bills. This brings us to a second complicated part of New Jersey law: if your injuries qualify as serious under the state’s legal definition, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, even if you feel your injuries are serious, the law may not agree.

New Jersey's Legal Definition Of Serious Injuries

New Jersey limits serious injuries to bone fractures, permanent disfigurement, and injuries that disable a victim for 90 days or more during a specific six-month period. Injuries resulting in a permanent inability to use a part of your body the same way you could before the accident are also considered serious. If your injuries don’t qualify as serious, and your insurance company refuses to fully compensate you for them or your policy limit doesn’t cover your expenses, you may be unable to afford the treatment you need to recover. This is why it's best to work with a NJ motorcycle accident lawyer if you're facing serious injuries.

An aspect of New Jersey law that's a plus for motorcycle accident victims who were partly at fault for their accident is we are a comparative negligence state. If your injuries are determined to be serious and you qualify to file a claim against the at-fault driver, even if you were somewhat at fault for the accident (as long as you were considered less at fault than the other driver), you can recover compensation. For example, let’s say you got in an accident and were not wearing a helmet. The judge decides that this makes you 20 percent responsible for your injuries. The other driver is still considered 80 percent at fault, so your award amount will be reduced by the 20 percent you were at fault. If your case is worth $200,000, you would receive $160,000.

If comparative negligence or a serious injury is a factor in your case, it’s best to work with a Passaic County motorcycle accident lawyer to get the best outcome. By working with an experienced attorney, they'll have access to experts who can support your case and reduce your percentage of responsibility.

Types of Compensation in a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident

There are two types of damages you can claim after a motorcycle accident: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are any quantifiable economic losses you endure because of the accident. Hospital or medical bills, as well as other out-of-pocket expenses qualify. These include:

  • Medical treatments
  • Physical therapy
  • In-home care
  • Treatments from specialists
  • Costs of future medical care
  • Lost income from missed work during recovery
  • Future income you lose because of your injuries
  • Property damage

Keep in mind things like future expenses and lost income require you to have good documentation from a doctor or employer, but a motorcycle accident attorney can help you gather it. If you get treatment before you begin working with an attorney, be sure to track all of your medical bills.

The second type of damages you may be entitled to are called non-economic damages. These damages are more difficult to quantify, as they cannot be easily assigned a dollar value. Some examples include:

  • Mental or emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering from injuries, personal disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship

For non-economic damages, working with a personal injury lawyer is often the best thing you can do to ensure you properly value your case. Personal injury lawyers who have handled motorcycle cases are incredibly experienced at valuing these types of cases. Often they can help you recover larger compensation amounts than you could working alone. At Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli, it is always our goal to recover the maximum amount of compensation for you, no matter how hard we must work to do so.

Working with a Lawyer

The enormous costs of New Jersey motorcycle accident injuries are best handled by an experienced accident attorney. At Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli, we are seasoned in fighting insurance companies who refuse to provide fair compensation. A motorcycle accident is devastating, and we treat each client like family: with compassion, care, and a willingness to listen.

Whether that means answering the phone outside of business hours or spending as much time as we need to get you the best settlement possible, we’re here for you.

We will work with you personally to get you maximum compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us for a free consultation today.

Contact us at (973) 785-9522.

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Robert J. Bavagnoli is a Passaic County attorney specializing in personal injury and real estate law. He founded Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli in 1995 where he practiced for many years alongside his brother, Ronald C. Bavagnoli (now deceased). For over 28 years, he has proudly served Northern New Jersey including Passaic County, Bergen County, and Essex County, among others, recovering millions in damages for his clients.

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Highest praise for the professionalism and ease of working with Robert Bavagnoli and his team! I used his services for the sale and closing of a home. He acted quickly, made the process easy and covered all the bases so I didn't have to be concerned about anything. This gentleman is a pleasure to do business with and who I want in an attorney!

- Lynda R.

Great firm for personal injury plaintiffs. The welfare of the client always comes first.

- Jonathan M.

Thorough, friendly, upbeat and very professional. They kept me informed of every decision they made.  They made me feel like I’m part of their family. I would highly recommend Robert Bavagnoli to anyone that needs the assistance.

- Earl C.

I was involved in an accident and didn't know what to do.  I decided to call Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli. They welcomed me to their firm. They were so polite and as I spoke with them and saw how friendly and polite they were it lifted me up and put my mind at ease. I wasn't scared anymore and it was an excellent experience from beginning to end.

- Tamika P.

For me the experience with Bavagnoli and Bavagnoli was wonderful!  My lawyer handled my case and it went excellent, even better than I imagined.

- Ms. Dela Cruz

The Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli Difference


  • Individualized attention
  • Clear and honest communication
  • Prompt answers to all calls
  • Your needs are our top priority
  • Respectful, compassionate treatment
  • Collaborative approach to each case
  • Over 27 years of experience
  • Millions recovered



Passaic County

  • Pompton Lakes
  • Little Falls
  • Clifton
  • Passaic
  • Paterson
  • West Paterson
  • Wayne
  • Woodland Park
  • Prospect Park
  • Preakness
  • Haledon
  • Woodland Park
  • Hawthorne

Bergen County

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  • Rochelle Park
  • Maywood
  • Lodi
  • Garfield
  • Elmwood Park
  • East Rutherford
  • Wallington
  • Hackensack
  • Paramus

Essex County

  • Nutley
  • North Caldwell
  • Newark
  • City of Orange
  • Essex Fells
  • West Caldwell
  • Cedar Grove
  • Roseland
  • Belleville
  • Montclair
  • Glen Ridge
  • West Orange
  • Bloomfield

Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli Office

12 Furler St.
Suite 5,
Totowa, NJ 07512

Phone: (973) 785-9522


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