When You’re a Passenger Involved in a Motorcycle Accident
Riding a motorcycle can be a fun experience, but it can also be a dangerous one. When riding as a passenger, you must put your full trust into the vehicle operator. Even with an experienced motorcyclist, the risks of a motorcycle accident is still ever-present. It’s important to understand your legal rights when you’re a passenger on a motorcycle and what sort of personal injury damages you can recover if you’re in an accident.
There are two types of accidents you might find yourself in while on a motorcycle. The first is a one-vehicle accident such as the motorcycle driver hits a tree, a parked car, or crashes the vehicle while driving. If this is the case, as a passenger you have a case against the driver for negligence. However, the hard part is proving the driver was negligent while driving which caused your injuries. You can also take legal action against the manufacturer of the motorcycle if you can prove that a mechanical failure caused the driver to crash.
The second type of accident is a two-vehicle accident where the accident was caused by another automobile. If you are injured in an accident involving two vehicles you can file claims against both drivers (unless one driver was explicitly at fault). But who is responsible for your medical bills if you are injured in this type of accident? Generally the motorcycle driver’s insurance should cover your expenses or your own PIP insurance. However, like in any auto accident, if the driver doesn’t have proper insurance, you can sue for payment.
The New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicle’s website gives some safety tips for motorcycle passengers. Here are some key points they mention:
- He/she should be wearing a helmet.
- The motorcycle must have a seat big enough for two people, and a second set of foot pegs.
- He/she must understand basic safety information about motorcycle driving.
- He/she must be tall enough to reach the foot rests and keep feet there the entire ride.
Whether you’re the driver or the passenger on a motorcycle, knowing the risks will make your drive more enjoyable and much safer. Know what legal action you can take if an accident does occur. If you’ve been injured as a passenger on a motorcycle, your best course of action is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can get you the compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone for a free consultation.