Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer says car drivers do need to be more careful, but preventing motorcycle accidents is a shared responsibility
I received this comment below from Arlin after my blog: Saving lives is more important – keep Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law. According to Arlin, it’s distracted drivers of cars and trucks who cause most motorcycle accidents, not bikers themselves.
Here’s what Arlin had to say:
“Let me ask you this Mr. Lawyer, why don’t the auto-drivers pay more for when they cause the motorcyclist to crash? I’m not sure of the percentages, but isn’t the person who is driving a car at fault most of the time? Why should we pay extra for them? We (bikers) aren’t texting, or on the phone or eating while we are riding! We are on the lookout for the average [email protected]$ to run us over, watching out for obstacles in the road, and other distracting things the drivers of cars are doing. I have over a million and a half miles under my (belt) from being a commercial driver, and a motorcycle enthusiast… I’ve seen a lot of stupid things on the road out there, and if I was a cop, I could have written hundreds of tickets a month. Bottom line is cars are the real hazard, and they should pay if they are at fault, just like the motorcyclist should pay if he is at fault. What’s fair is fair.”
Arlin: I agree with you that many motorcycle accidents are caused by distracted drivers of automobiles and trucks. I even addressed this in my blog, How to drive safely around motorcycles in Michigan. The point I’m always trying to make is how important motorcycle helmet use is, especially with the recent push to repeal Michigan’s motorcycle helmet requirement law. With the increase in motorcycle accident fatalities in Michigan, I was writing on safety and prevention of accidents. Certainly car drivers need to be aware of motorcyclists, and part of the problem is many drivers don’t’ “see” a biker who is on the road to begin with.
But as you write, even if you are a very safe rider, accidents can still happen, which is why I’ve been writing about the need to wear a helmet. Studies by NHTSA clearly show that helmet use can prevent traumatic brain injury, catastrophic personal injury, and even death from serious motorcycle accident crashes.
So bikers, why wouldn’t you wear a helmet?!
Who pays when a biker is injured in a motorcycle accident?
As to your suggestion about who should pay… If the driver of a car causes the motorcycle accident, the first person responsible for the motorcyclist’s No-Fault benefits would be the auto insurance company of the owner of the automobile involved in the accident with the motorcycle.
So to answer Arlin’s question, when a car causes a motorcycle accident, it is the at-fault driver who is responsible for the biker’s insurance benefits.
Here’s a blog I wrote on the subject: I was in a motorcycle accident in Michigan: How do I get No-Fault benefits?
Arlin, thank you for reading my safety blog. I respect your opinion. I think we both would like to keep motorcyclists safe, and to help prevent motorcycle crashes from ever occurring by pushing for stronger safety standards and laws. And when they do occur, we would both like to reduce the likelihood of a totally catastrophic outcome, which is why I’ve been writing about the need to save the Michigan motorcycle helmet law.
I believe motorcyclists and auto drivers need to share the road and protect each other. However, I’d like to remind drivers to respect the space of bikers by paying extra attention when you’re driving around them, and trying to stay as far away from them as possible. This will further help to keep motorcyclists safe.
Share the road.
– Steven M. Gursten heads Michigan Auto Law and is recognized as one of the nation’s top motorcycle lawyers. He received the highest motorcycle accident settlement in Michigan last year, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Steve has spoken at trial seminars on motorcycle lawsuits, and is available for comment.
Related information to protect yourself:
How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Michigan’s current motorcycle helmet law
Choosing a safe motorcycle helmet
Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our motorcycle lawyers.