Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit: What You Need To Know
In Michigan, there are two types of motorcycle accident lawsuits a motorcyclist can file. One allows you to recover pain and suffering compensation. The other allows recovery of unpaid and overdue No-Fault benefits. There are filing deadlines. And it is highly advisable to hire an experienced lawyer.
Do I need an attorney for a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Michigan?
In Michigan, you need an attorney for a motorcycle accident lawsuit if you or a loved one has been seriously injured or a death has occurred or if an insurance is trying to take advantage of you. An experienced attorney can protect you and add significant value to a settlement in your case.
The insurance industry’s own data shows that a person who is represented by an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who is known for going to trial recovers significantly more money – and often much faster – than a person who is not represented by an attorney.
Michigan motorcycle accident settlement amounts
Here are just a few examples of the Michigan motorcycle accident settlement amounts that our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys have successfully negotiated for the people we help:
- $6.2 Million – This was a wrongful death case involving a negligent driver who caused the death of a motorcyclist.
- $1.25 Million – The motorcyclist in this case suffered severe injuries as a result of a collision caused by a motorist who failed to yield the right of way.
- $1.1 Million – The insurance company in this case refused to pay for the injured motorcyclist’s necessary attendant care services.
- $1 Million – The motorcyclist in this case suffered a neck injury, a left knee dislocation with ACL tear, and a mild traumatic brain injury.
What type of motorcycle accident lawsuits can you file?
In Michigan, you can file a motorcycle accident lawsuit for pain and suffering compensation against the at-fault driver of the car or truck who caused the crash. You can also file one for unpaid and overdue No-Fault benefits against the auto insurance company that has not paid on your claim.
Pain and suffering compensation
In Michigan, this type of motorcycle accident lawsuit is also referred to as a third-party claim, negligence claim or tort claim. It allows a person to recover for pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages. If a motorcyclist is more than 50% at fault, he or she is barred from suing.
To recover pain and suffering damages after a motorcyclist has been injured in a crash involving a car or truck, you must prove that the crash was caused by the at-fault driver’s negligence and that you suffered a “serious impairment of body function.”
An injured motorcyclist may also be able to sue for “excess” medical expenses and lost wages in his or her lawsuit for pain and suffering compensation.
Does my health insurance cover my injuries in a motorcycle accident in Michigan?
Generally, you will not rely on your health insurance to cover your injuries in a motorcycle accident in Michigan because No-Fault auto insurance benefits will help to pay for your accident-related medical bills.
The amount of No-Fault medical coverage that is available to you will depend on the limits selected in the policy through which you are claiming No-Fault benefits.
Significantly, non-Michigan residents may need to rely on their health insurance to cover their injuries in a motorcycle accident in Michigan because non-residents are disqualified from receiving No-Fault benefits unless they own a vehicle that is registered and insured in Michigan. (MCL 500.3113(c))
In Michigan, this type of motorcycle accident lawsuit is also referred to as a first-party claim. It allows a motorcyclist who was injured in a crash that involved a car or truck to seek No-Fault benefits from the auto insurance company that is responsible to pay under the No-Fault law’s “priority rules.”
Fault is not an issue so an injured motorcyclist can file a claim for No-Fault benefits even if he or she was at-fault in causing the crash that involved a car or truck.
The No-Fault benefits that can be sought in this type of lawsuit include medical expenses related to the automobile crash, wage loss for the first three years following the crash, household replacement services (chores/help with children), payment for mileage to and from medical appointments and attendant care, also referred to as nursing services.
How do I begin to sue the at-fault driver?
In Michigan, to begin a motorcycle accident lawsuit, we strongly advise that you hire a lawyer who specializes in and has extensive experience handling these types of cases. You need a lawyer who has recovered verdicts and settlements in these cases and has reviews that show satisfied clients whose expectations were met.
How much time do I have to file a claim?
You have three years to file a claim for pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages. (MCL 600.5805(1) and (2)) To sue for No-Fault benefits, you must have filed an application for No-Fault benefits within 1 year after the crash. (MCL 500.3145(1))
How long does a motorcycle accident lawsuit take in Michigan?
In Michigan, a motorcycle accident lawsuit will generally take between one to two years to resolve depending on the specific venue and current backlog of the court. There is no “set” or “average” amount of time in Michigan – or in any state – for how long it will take to resolve a motorcycle accident lawsuit.
Factors that affect how long the legal process will take include: (1) your injuries; (2) your current and future medical needs; (3) whether your injuries disabled you from working; (4) your lawyer’s experience, track record and reputation; and (5) the auto insurance companies involved.
Other factors that will affect how long a case will take include: whether you will need “excess” coverage for medical bills and lost wages; whether the at-fault driver who caused the crash is contesting liability; the liability insurance policy limits of the at-fault driver; and the defense lawyers and adjusters who work for the auto insurance companies that are involved.
It is important to remember that one of the factors that can significantly shorten the length of a case will take is the lawyer whom you choose to hire. Lawyers who have a proven track record of winning at trial and a reputation for being ready to go to trial in a lawsuit will often be able to settle your case faster and for more money, compared to lawyers who an insurance company knows always take the last settlement offer and who the insurer knows has not taken a case to trial in years.
What damages can be claimed in a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Michigan?
You can sue against the at-fault driver of the car or truck who caused the crash for both noneconomic loss damages to compensate you for your pain and suffering and for economic damages. In a suit against the auto insurance company, you can sue for damages for unpaid and overdue No-Fault benefits.
Injured and need a lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law
If you were a motorcyclist injured in an automobile crash and you have questions about your legal rights, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced accident attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.