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Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accident Statute Of Limitations In Michigan

The motorcycle accident statute of limitations in Michigan requires injured motorcyclists to file their lawsuits for pain and suffering compensation within 3 years of the motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists who were injured in accidents involving cars or trucks have 1 year to make a claim for No-Fault benefits.

Motorcycle accident statute of limitations for pain and suffering compensation

When a motorcyclist has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the statute of limitations “is 3 years after the time of . . . injury” to sue the at-fault, negligent driver for pain and suffering compensation. (MCL 600.5805(1) and (2))

This type of claim is called a “third-party claim” or “negligence claim” or “tort claim.” The damages available in a third-party claim following a motorcycle crash include pain and suffering damages and excess economic benefits.

Motorcycle accident statute of limitations for No-Fault benefits

When a motorcyclist has been injured in a motorcycle accident that involves a car or truck, then he or she qualifies for No-Fault benefits and the statute of limitations requires that he or she must file an application for No-Fault benefits “within 1 year after the accident.” (MCL 500.3145(1))

The application is also referred to as the “written notice of injury” and it must “be given” to the auto insurance company who will be responsible for the motorcyclist’s No-Fault benefits, which is determined by the No-Fault law’s “priority rules.” 

The claim for No-Fault benefits – and any lawsuit that ensues against the auto insurance company for unpaid and overdue benefits – is referred to as a “first-party claim.” 

No-Fault benefits, which are also referred to as “personal protection insurance” benefits, include medical expenses related to the auto accident, wage loss for the first three years following the accident, household replacement services (chores/help with children), payment for mileage to and from medical appointments and attendant care, also referred to as nursing services.

Is there a motorcycle accident statute of limitations for other claims?

Depending on the nature of the motorcycle accident, whether a car or truck was involved and the insurance coverages involved, there may be other or more than one motorcycle accident statute of limitations that an injured motorcyclist needs to be aware of:

  • Uninsured motorist coverage statute of limitations – When a motorcycle accident is caused by the negligence of a car or truck driver who is uninsured or who fled the crash scene and was never identified, an uninsured motorist claim for injuries may be required. With an uninsured motorist claim, an injured motorcyclist turns to his own auto insurance company to pay what would have been recovered from the uninsured or hit-and-run at-fault driver. Because uninsured motorist coverage is contractual – not required by statute – the statute of limitations will vary greatly, depending on the insurance company and the language of the uninsured motorist contract. Some contracts have one-year filing provisions and some have three-year provisions, while some have separate and independent notice provisions to contact the insurance company.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage statute of limitations – When a motorcycle accident is caused by the negligence of a car or truck driver who is underinsured, i.e., he or she does not have enough liability insurance to cover his or her liability for your pain and suffering and economic damages, an underinsured motorist claim for injuries may be required. With an underinsured motorist claim, an injured motorcyclist turns to his own auto insurance company to pay what would have been recovered from the underinsured at-fault driver. Because underinsured motorist coverage is contractual – not required by statute – the statute of limitations will vary greatly, depending on the insurance company and the language of the underinsured motorist contract. Some contracts have one-year filing provisions and some have three-year provisions, while some have separate and independent notice provisions to contact the insurance company.
  • First-party medical benefits statute of limitations – When a motorcyclist is injured in a motorcycle accident and requires first-party medical benefits coverage through his or her insurance company, then the motorcyclist will need to review the policy to identify any filing and/or notice requirements and their respective deadlines.

The best advice we can give you is to review your insurance policies extremely carefully. For more information, read about third- and first-party lawsuits and insurance for motorcyclists. It is also important to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer, who can review the applicable filing requirements and various statutes of limitations that may apply to your motorcycle accident.

Injured and need a lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and you have questions about your legal rights, you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 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.