Car Bike Accident: What To Do After A Crash
After a car bike accident in Michigan, there are important steps that injured bicyclists should take immediately to protect their health, safety and legal rights. We want you to know what to do after a crash to recover pain and suffering compensation and No-Fault benefits to pay for your medical bills and lost wages.
Safety steps after a car bike accident
My advice for what to do if you were injured in a car bike accident include the following safety steps:
- Seek medical treatment now and if you experience new symptoms later
- Report ALL injuries to first responders and emergency room personnel
- Never give statements to an insurance adjuster or sign a release without first talking to your lawyer who is looking out for your best interests
- Notify your insurance company immediately and file an application for benefits
- Obtain a copy of your police report
- Attend all medical appointments
- Keep good records
- Check your auto insurance policy for very specific notice requirements
Pain and suffering compensation after a car bike accident
When a bicyclist has been injured in a car bike accident, he or she may be able to recover pain and suffering damages as well as excess medical expenses and lost wages and other economic damages from the at-fault driver who caused the crash.
A successful pain and suffering compensation claim will require the injured bicyclist to show that as a result of his or her bike crash-related injuries the bicyclist has suffered a “serious impairment of body function.”
Excess medical expenses and excess lost wages cover those medical bills and wages whose amounts exceed what is covered under the applicable auto insurance policy and/or what is guaranteed to injured bicyclists under the No-Fault law.
Your recovery for pain and suffering compensation and excess medical expenses and lost wages will largely be limited to the amount of liability insurance coverage that the at-fault driver has in his or her third party auto insurance policy.
Injured passengers have three years after the date of a crash to file their claims for pain and suffering compensation. (MCL 600.5805(2))
No-Fault benefits after a car bike accident
An injured bicyclist can recover No-Fault PIP benefits (which are also called “personal injury protection” benefits) after a car bike accident that will help pay for the bicyclist’s medical bills, lost wages (if he or she is disabled from working) and transportation costs for traveling to and from doctor appointments.
No-Fault benefits will also cover household replacement services and attendant care services.
To recover No-Fault benefits after a crash, an injured bicyclist 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 on time is extremely important because if it is not done, then the auto insurance company will use this against you to deny your claim and forever refuse to pay any and all of the No-Fault benefits you would have otherwise been entitled to.
What auto insurance company pays my No-Fault benefits?
An injured bicyclist will recover his or her No-Fault benefits after a car bike accident from one of the following sources in accordance with the No-Fault law’s “priority” rules:
- The bicyclist’s own No-Fault auto insurance company which issued the policy for his or her own personal motor vehicle in which the bicyclist is the named insured. (MCL 500.3114(1); 500.3115)
- The No-Fault auto insurance company that issued a policy to the bicyclist’s spouse on his or her own motor vehicle. (MCL 500.3114(1); 500.3115)
- The No-Fault auto insurance company that issued a policy to a resident relative of the bicyclist 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.
How much No-Fault medical coverage do I have after a car bike accident?
The medical coverage available to an injured bicyclist to pay his or her medical bills after a crash 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 crash-related medical expenses (when the named insured on the policy is “enrolled in Medicaid”) (MCL 500.3107c(1)(a))
- $250,000 for crash-related medical expenses (MCL 500.3107c(1)(b))
- $500,000 for on crash-related medical expenses (MCL 500.3107c(1)(c))
- Unlimited or no dollar-amount limit for crash-related medical expenses (MCL 500.3107c(1)(d))
- No No-Fault coverage for automobile crash-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 for injured bicyclists through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan is capped at $250,000. (MCL 500.3172(7)(a))
Call Michigan Auto Law for a free consultation with a lawyer
If you are a bicyclist and you have been injured in a crash, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our experienced automobile crash attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.