Motorcycle Laws in New Jersey
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The laws surrounding motorcycle accident liability can be complicated, which is why it is important to seek legal counsel from an attorney well versed in state laws, personal injury and wrongful death claims, and motorcycle crashes in particular. The legal team at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. satisfies all of these qualifications and more. We excel at negotiating optimal settlement amounts and are not afraid to take matters to trial if negotiations fail. To get the justice and compensation you deserve, call us today at (609) 240-0040.
What Are the Requirements for a Motorcycle License in New Jersey?
Motorcycle drivers must obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their driver's license in the state of New Jersey. The endorsement requires a written test and includes a learning permit phase as a regular driver's license does. The rider must practice for at least 20 days with a learner’s permit accompanied by a licensed driver on another bike before taking the road skills test. Alternatively, a rider can participate in a state-approved Motorcycle Safety Education Program in lieu of the road test. Either way, the driver is required to show competency in basic handling and riding skills.
What Are the Motorcycle Laws in New Jersey?
Since riders involved in an accident without a helmet are three times more likely to suffer fatal head injuries than riders wearing a helmet, New Jersey requires all motorcycle riders to wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet, regardless of age. This includes all types of motorized vehicles, such as scooters and dirt bikes. Eye protection, on the other hand, is only required in the absence of a wind screen.
In the Garden State, a motorcycle must have a headlight and taillight, handgrips that do not rise above shoulder height, one mirror, and a muffler. Lights must be turned on after sunset.
Though New Jersey has no law specifically banning lane-splitting or lane sharing, the practice is not allowed and motorcyclists can receive a traffic citation for doing it.
The legal limit for driving any vehicle in New Jersey is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08. A BAC over .08 is considered driving under the influence. If there are minors in the car or on the bike, the driver may also be charged with a disorderly persons offense. For drivers under age 21, a zero tolerance law applies. If a motorcycle driver 20 years of age or younger has any detectable alcohol in his or her bloodstream, the state will charge him or her with drunk driving.
New Jersey Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
There are three minimum insurance requirements you must meet when operating a motorcycle in New Jersey:
- $15,000 liability coverage for bodily injury per person,
- $30,000 liability coverage for total bodily injuries, and
- $5,000 liability coverage for property damage.
These are just liability requirements and do not cover repairs to your motorcycle or medical bills you sustain. Nor is comprehensive coverage required by law. Many insurance companies in New Jersey do offer comprehensive, collision, and other types of additional coverage as options beyond the minimum requirements.
It is important to comply with the minimum requirements to avoid fines, potential license suspension, and other issues. Not to mention the fact that a collision without insurance can leave you personally liable for any damage caused by your motorcycle, if you are judged “at fault.”
Dealing with Insurance Companies
While commercials on TV make it seem like insurance companies are on your side, in reality this is far from the case. Insurance companies are businesses like any other, and the people who run them prioritize profit over just about anything else. When you file a claim, the standard procedure is to make every effort to deny your claim. This is true whether you are dealing with another driver’s insurer or your own.
If a collision is minor, you may be able to file your insurance claim yourself, but be careful about what you say and write in any claim you file. State the facts of what happened without taking any blame for the crash – after all, you can’t know everything. You might think it was your fault, and later find out the other driver was intoxicated. That information can help your claim, but if you already took fault for the collision, then the insurance company will use it against you.
After a more serious collision, or if your claim has been denied, contact a knowledgeable NJ accident lawyer. It is far too easy to accept an offer that is much less than you deserve for your losses. After a crash with injuries, you need to make sure your rights are protected.
How Will My Legal Situation Impact My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
When a motorcycle accident does happen, the first questions will be regarding whether the rider complied with all state laws for driving a motorcycle. Was the driver licensed, wearing a helmet and free from the influence of drugs and alcohol? Drivers of any other vehicles involved will be subject to the same scrutiny. When determining liability, these questions help determine who was or was not acting responsibly at the time of the incident.
Dependable New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
The attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. have a deep and nuanced understanding of the complex laws surrounding liability and compensation for motorcycle collisions. We have worked on personal injury and wrongful death cases for more than 25 years, and we will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to your case. Contact us today for a case evaluation. We will determine whether you have a legitimate claim and discuss the best way for you to proceed.
- Motorcycle Legality (and Safety) Regarding Passengers
- Motorcycle Safety Is the Responsibility of Riders and Drivers
- New Jersey Motorcycle Lane Splitting Safety
- New Jersey Motorcycle Helmet Laws
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