You were riding on the back of a motorcycle when the accident happened. Whether there was a collision or the motorcycle operator had to lay the bike down, you’ve suffered significant injuries. What are the potential sources of recovery when you’ve been hurt as a passenger on a motorcycle?
The first place you’ll typically look is at any other motorists involved in the crash. As a general rule, most motor vehicle accident claims are based on legal theory of negligence. That means that, with respect to another motorist, you’ll have to show a failure to act reasonably (operate the bike as a reasonable person would) under the circumstances, which caused the accident and resulted in actual losses you suffered.
Suppose that the accident was caused by the person with whom you were riding. Maybe that person ran a red light, took a corner too fast, or failed to pay attention to the road. In New Jersey, you can always bring a lawsuit against that person, provided you are not related to them. You can even bring a personal injury claim against a relative, provided you don’t live with them. If you reside in the same home, you’ll be covered by their motor vehicle insurance policy, so you won’t have a right to file a separate claim.
If your accident was caused by roadway defects, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the person or agency with responsibility for keeping up the road. With respect to a municipal organization, though, there may be different rules regarding when and how to proceed with a claim.
You may be able to file a product liability claim against any party in the chain of distribution, should your accident be caused by the malfunction or breakdown of a component of the motorcycle, another car or some other device.
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