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Bicycle Accident in New Jersey
The weather is changing and more and more non-motorized two wheeled vehicles will appear on the road. The potential for bicycle accidents in New Jersey heightens as the streets are cleared of ice and snow.
Bicycle Safety Tips
The New Jersey Division of Highway Safety is the agency charged with overseeing bicycle safety. Some of the information below is provided from their list of tips, summarized below. It is intermingled with documentation from New Jersey laws regarding the operation of non-motorized vehicles.
- Check the brakes, tires, etc. on your bike before you take it on the road
- Ride with traffic, NOT against it
- Wear a helmet (required of bicyclists under age 17)
- Wear bright clothes and equip your bike with reflectors, particularly if you ride at night
- Only ride alongside one other cyclist when safety permits
- Obey all signs and traffic signals as though you were driving a car
- Be cognizant of your surroundings: no texting, talking or listening to music
- Keep to the right of the road, except in these circumstances:
- to move over to the left lane to make a left turn;
- to avoid items on the right side of the road that make it dangerous to ride there;
- to carefully overtake another vehicle that is stopped or travelling slowly;
- to occupy an available lane that will not hold up traffic
Bicycle Accidents: Getting the Bills Paid
Unfortunately, like anything else, there is a chance that you could sustain personal injury in a bicycle accident. The injuries could be as simple as a few cuts and bruises. They could also be as serious as traumatic brain injury, or death. The most crucial thing is to secure adequate medical treatment. Of course, it is also important to understand who will afford payment for the bills.
When someone is injured while riding on a bicycle, New Jersey law considers the individual to be a pedestrian. If the injured person or someone in his/her household has car insurance, coverage will be afforded under Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) benefits.
For those that do not have accessibility to PIP benefits within their household, the next step is to request payment from the vehicle’s insurer who may have caused the accident. Otherwise, it may be appropriate to pursue a claim with New Jersey Property Liability Guaranty Association (“NJPLIGA”), a fund that pays bills in certain circumstances.
Other situations may suggest alternative avenues of payment for medical bills for bicycle accidents in New Jersey. For example, someone who is on the bicycle as part of a job assignment would make a workers’ compensation claim. It is sensible to secure legal advice from an attorney who understands the law. It is also crucial to determine if a claim exists against the party who caused the accident. The Law Office of Beninato & Matrafajlo has a history of handling bicycle accident claims. Contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.