It’s crucial that bicyclists understand their legal rights for a bicycle car accident insurance claim under the new Michigan No-Fault law. They are entitled to No-Fault PIP benefits to pay for medical bills and lost wages and they can sue for pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages and losses.
The Michigan No-Fault law has always allowed injured bicyclists to sue at-fault motorists who cause a bike injury for pain and suffering compensation. This type of coverage, also referred to as “personal protection insurance” benefits, provides essential protection and coverage to help an injured bicyclist recover from their injuries and begin to rebuild their life.
However, under the new No-Fault law that was passed as Public Acts 21 and 22 of 2019, an injured bicyclist can now also make a bicycle car accident insurance claim to sue the motorist for “excess” medical bills. These are the medical bills that are not covered by the policy through which the bicyclist is claiming No-Fault benefits. This will normally be for all medical bills over the selected medical coverage amount of PIP coverage available to the bicyclist.
Who pays No-Fault benefits?
For a bicycle car accident insurance claim, if a bicyclist is injured in a bike crash with a vehicle, then he or she will claim No-Fault benefits through one of the following sources:
- 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 motor vehicle. (MCL 500.3114(1); 500.3115)
- The No-Fault policy that a resident relative of the bicyclist has on his or her 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 medical coverage does a bicycle car accident insurance claim provide?
The amount of No-Fault coverage that a bicyclist will have available to him or her for crash-related medical bills will depend on – and will be limited by – the No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage 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))
Importantly, if you are claiming No-Fault benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan, then your No-Fault medical coverage will be limited to $250,000. (MCL 500.3172(7)(a))
What if the bicycle car accident insurance claim doesn’t cover all of my medical bills?
If the No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage level that applies to a bicycle car accident insurance claim does not cover all of his or her bike crash-related medical bills, then the bicyclist can sue the at-fault motorist who caused the bike-vehicle crash for present and future “excess” medical expenses. (MCL 500.3135(3)(c))
Will a bicycle car accident insurance claim cover my pain and suffering?
A bicyclist who has been injured in a bike-vehicle crash caused by an at-fault motorist can sue the negligent driver for pain and suffering compensation in connection with his or her bicycle car accident insurance claim.
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.”
If the at-fault motorist who has injured a bicyclist is uninsured – or fled the scene and, thus, is considered a “hit-and-run” driver – then the bicyclist may be able to seek the pain and suffering compensation that the driver should be paying through the bicyclist’s “uninsured motorist coverage” that he or she has on his or her car or truck.
Alternatively, if the at-fault motorist who has injured a bicyclist has liability coverage, but the driver’s coverage limits are too low to pay what is owed to the injured bicyclist in pain and suffering compensation, then the bicyclist may be able to file a bicycle car accident insurance claim under his or her “underinsured motorist coverage.”
Can a bicyclist from out-of-state file a bicycle car accident insurance claim?
If a bicyclist from out-of-state (i.e., a bicyclist who is not a Michigan resident) is injured in a vehicle accident in Michigan, then he or she will be prohibited from collecting 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 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))
Injured and need a lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law
If you’re a bicyclist and you have been injured in a bike vehicle crash, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.