Bicycle Car Accident Insurance Claim In Michigan
Bicyclists who have been injured in a crash with a motor vehicle in Michigan may be able to file a bicycle car accident insurance claim to recover pain and suffering compensation as well as excess medical expenses and lost wages and other economic damage from the at-fault driver.
A bicycle car accident insurance claim may also allow an injured bicyclist to recover No-Fault insurance benefits that will pay for medical bills and replace lost wages, allowing injured bicyclists to get the medical care and treatment they need and financial support in the form of wage loss as they heal from their injuries.
Pain and suffering compensation in a bicycle car accident insurance claim
A bicyclist who has been injured in a bike-car accident may be able to recover pain and suffering damages as well as excess medical expenses and lost wages and other economic damages in a bicycle car accident insurance claim against the at-fault driver who caused the accident.
In Michigan, in order to be able to recover for pain and suffering compensation – which is also called “noneconomic loss” damages – against an at-fault, negligent driver, the bicyclist must first be able to show that as a result of his or her bike accident-related injuries the bicyclist has suffered a “serious impairment of body function.”
Who pays for pain and suffering compensation in a bicycle car accident insurance claim?
Pain and suffering compensation as well as excess medical expenses and lost wages and other economic damages will generally be paid through the liability coverage of the at-fault driver’s third-party car insurance or the bicyclist’s uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage.
“Uninsured motorist” coverage for the bicyclist – which may be available through his or her own auto insurance policy or through a family member’s policy – applies when the at-fault motorist who caused the accident that injured the bicyclist either has no insurance or has fled the scene and, thus, is considered a “hit-and-run” driver. In that case, UM coverage allows the bicyclist to recover the compensation and damages from the auto insurance company that he or she should have been able to recover from the uninsured at-fault driver.
“Underinsured motorist” coverage allows an injured bicyclist to recover from his or her auto insurance company the compensation and damages that he or she is entitled to but that was not covered by the at-fault driver’s liability coverage because the at-fault driver was “underinsured,” i.e., did not have liability insurance with a high enough limit to cover the victim’s compensation and damages.
Making a bicycle car accident insurance claim for No-Fault benefits
For a bicyclist to make a bicycle car accident insurance claim for No-Fault benefits, he or she must file an application for No-Fault benefits – which is also called a “written notice of injury” – with the responsible auto insurance company within one (1) year after the crash. (MCL 500.3145(1) and (4))
Filing this application – and filing it on time – is extremely important because the failure to do so will be used by the insurance company to deny your claim and forever refuse to pay any and all of the No-Fault benefits you would have otherwise been entitled to.
The No-Fault PIP benefits (which are also called “personal injury protection” benefits) that you may be able to recover after a bicycle crash with a motor vehicle will help to pay for medical expenses, lost wages if your injuries prevent you from returning to work, mileage and transportation costs for traveling to and from your doctor appointments, household replacement services and attendant care services.
Who pays No-Fault benefits on a bicycle car accident insurance claim?
The auto insurance company that is responsible for paying a bicyclist’s No-Fault benefits on a bicycle car accident insurance claim will be one of the following sources in the following order of priority:
- The bicyclist’s own No-Fault policy for his or her own personal motor vehicle in which he or she is the named insured. (MCL 500.3114(1); 500.3115)
- The No-Fault policy that the bicyclist’s spouse has on his or her own motor vehicle. (MCL 500.3114(1); 500.3115)
- The No-Fault policy that a resident relative of the bicyclist has on his or her own motor vehicle. (MCL 500.3114(1); 500.3115)
- The Michigan Assigned Claims Plan if No-Fault coverage is not available through any of the sources above. (MCL 500.3115) The Michigan Assigned Claims Plan assigns companies to handle No-Fault claims for people injured in crashes who have no other source of No-Fault coverage.
Paying for medical bills
A bicyclist’s ability to pay his or her medical bills through a bicycle car accident insurance claim will depend on – and be limited by – the No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage level that was selected in the policy through which the bicyclist is claiming No-Fault benefits. (MCL 500.3107c(5); 500.3107d(5))
Starting in policies issued or renewed after July 1, 2020, the applicable No-Fault medical coverage level will be one of the following:
- $50,000 for accident-related medical expenses (when the named insured on the policy is “enrolled in Medicaid”) (MCL 500.3107c(1)(a))
- $250,000 for accident-related medical expenses (MCL 500.3107c(1)(b))
- $500,000 for on accident-related medical expenses (MCL 500.3107c(1)(c))
- Unlimited or no dollar-amount limit for accident-related medical expenses (MCL 500.3107c(1)(d))
- No No-Fault coverage for auto accident-related medical expenses (Medicare/Opt-out): This occurs when the named insured on the policy has Medicare and has exercised his or her right to opt-out of No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage altogether (MCL 500.3107d(1))
No-Fault medical coverage through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan is capped at $250,000. (MCL 500.3172(7)(a))
Medical bills that exceed No-Fault coverage in the policy
When an injured bicyclist’s medical bills are more than the No-Fault medical coverage limit in the auto insurance policy through which benefits are claimed, the bicyclist can sue the at-fault driver who caused the accident bike-vehicle crash for present and future “excess” medical expenses. (MCL 500.3135(3)(c))
Out-of-state bicyclist filing a bicycle car accident insurance claim in Michigan
A bicyclist who lives in another state but is injured in a crash involving a car or truck in Michigan cannot recover No-Fault benefits unless the bicyclist “owned a motor vehicle that was registered and insured in this state.” (MCL 500.3113(c))
However, the out-of-state bicyclist could still sue the at-fault motorist who caused the accident for pain and suffering compensation and “damages for economic loss” so long as the out-of-state bicyclist can show that he or she suffered a “serious impairment of body function.” (MCL 500.3135(1), (2), (3)(b) and (d), (5))
Want a free consultation with a lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law
If you are a bicyclist and you have been injured in a bike crash with motor vehicle, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys to discuss your bicycle car accident insurance claim. Contact us here to get help from an experienced attorney or you can use the chat feature on our website.