Were you or a family member injured in a motorcycle accident? Our accident lawyers can help.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident on Michigan roads, please take the time to look our frequently asked questions. If you’d like to contact an attorney from Michigan Auto Law immediately, please call (800) 777-0028 for a free case evaluation.
If a motorcyclist is at fault for an accident and is sued in a negligence lawsuit for personal injuries, he will generally be legally responsible for all of the damages he caused — as well as the title-owner of the motorcycle, if the two are different.
This is regardless of the auto injury thresholds set forth by the Michigan No Fault Act that normally applies to accidents caused by automobiles. The auto injury thresholds say that someone injured in an auto accident must sustain serious impairment of body function, permanent serious disfigurement or death to receive damages in a lawsuit.
The reason an at-fault motorcyclist is usually liable for injuries he caused in an accident is because according to Michigan case law, auto injury thresholds set forth by the Michigan No Fault Act only apply if the wrongdoer is operating a motor vehicle at the time of the accident. And according to the Michigan No-Fault Act, a motorcycle is specifically excluded as a “motor vehicle.” (Auto injury thresholds say that someone injured in an auto accident must sustain serious impairment of body function, permanent serious disfigurement or death to receive damages in a lawsuit.)
The motorcycle accident lawyers of Michigan Auto Law tell our clients that the only insurance required for a motorcyclist is basic liability coverage for a third-party personal injury suit, according to the Michigan No-Fault Law. The coverage must be at least the minimum liability set by law.
A motorcycle owner can still purchase additional, optional contractual insurances, such as personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which includes medical benefits and wage loss. A motorcycle owner can also purchase other insurance, such as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) provide a valuable source of legal recovery when someone is injured in an auto accident by another driver who is uninsured or does not have adequate insurance.
No. If another motor vehicle like a car or truck was involved in the motorcycle accident, a personal injury attorney can treat a motorcycle accident case just like a regular first-party or third-party auto accident case — if the motorcyclist has motorcycle liability insurance, or PPI coverage, which stands for Protection to the Property of Others.
If a motorcycle is involved with a moving motor vehicle during an accident, the motorcyclist qualifies for no fault benefits (also called personal injury protection (PIP) benefits).
First-party claim, also called a no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) claim — A first-party claim is between the motorcycle accident victim and the insurance company responsible for no-fault benefits. These benefits include medical expenses related to the auto accident, wage loss for the first three years following the accident, household replacement services (chores/help with children), payment for mileage to and from medical appointments and attendant care, also referred to as nursing services. The statute of limitations to make a first-party claim is one year from the date of the motorcycle accident.
A “Third-party claim”, also called a negligence claim or a tort claim is a lawsuit that’s filed against the negligent driver responsible for causing a motorcycle accident in Michigan. The damages available in a third-party claim following a motorcycle crash include pain and suffering damages and excess economic benefits. The statute of limitations to make a third-party claim is three years from the date of the motorcycle accident.
When a motorcyclist is involved in an accident with an automobile and otherwise qualifies for no-fault benefits, a determination needs to be made as to which insurer will pay:
Please note that resident-relatives with auto insurance are not included in the order of priority for motorcycle accidents.
It is always wise to discuss what insurance is available to you after a serious motorcycle accident with a Michigan attorney who is experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases. Please call the motorcycle accident lawyers of Michigan Auto Law at (800) 777-0028 for a free case evaluation. We are here to help you.
If a motorcyclist is killed in a motorcycle accident, compensation for wrongful death motorcycle fatalities is controlled by the Michigan Wrongful Death Act. A lawyer must open an estate and a personal representative appointed by the Michigan probate court will file a wrongful death lawsuit on his behalf. Payments to the family of a rider killed in a motorcycle accident in Michigan must first be authorized by the probate court before any Michigan attorney can distribute the proceeds from a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit.
A Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer may need to file an uninsured motorist (UM) claim if the car or truck driver who caused the accident is never identified. An uninsured motorist claim is a claim for personal injury or wrongful death following a motorcycle accident, which is made with the motorcycle owner’s uninsured motorist policy. The uninsured motorist policy steps into the shoes of the unidentified driver who caused the car accident, as an unidentified motorist who caused a motorcycle accident obviously cannot be sued. If an uninsured motorist claim is necessary, the time for a Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer to file may be less than the three years required by law to file a third-party lawsuit following a motorcycle accident in Michigan.
If a motorcycle rider suffers serious injury due to a roadway defect, such as faulty road design, repair, roadway maintenance or other road hazards, a claim may be made against the Michigan governmental entity that has jurisdiction over the area. Such a lawsuit is subject to strict notice and filing requirements. For any municipality other that the state of Michigan, the deadline for filing a notice of intent to sue is 120 days. For the state of Michigan, the deadline for filing is six months.
As of April 12, 2012, motorcyclists 21 and over who have certain certifications can legally ride in Michigan without a motorcycle helmet. The motorcycle helmet law also requires motorcyclists to purchase $20,000 in No-Fault PIP coverage in case of a motorcycle crash.
Of course the lawyers at Michigan Auto Law always recommend a motorcyclist wear a helmet and ride safely. Still, failure to wear a motorcycle helmet will not preclude a motorcyclist injured in a motorcycle accident from filing a lawsuit. Failure to wear a helmet can, however, reduce the amount of money recovered in a personal injury lawsuit under Michigan law, if it can be shown that the lack of a helmet made the injuries worse than they would otherwise have been.
Michigan Auto Law has been exclusively handling auto accident cases, including countless motorcycle accident cases, for more than 50 years. We can help Michigan motorcycle accident victims and their family members better understand motorcycle insurance laws and what happens after someone has been seriously injured in a crash. If you have more questions, please call (800) 777-0028 to speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer directly.