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Bicycle Accidents. Buchanan & Buchanan.

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Bicycle Accidents

In the past decade, bicycling has become a popular form of  transportation, exercise, and recreational sport.  People commuting to work in the United States has increased to 800,000, up from 450,000 in 2000. With more cyclists on the roadways, accidents have increased.  In 2013, there were 1,902 accidents involving bicycles in Michigan, 29 fatal.  In 2014, Governor Snyder signed the Nathan Bower Act, making motorcycle and bicycle awareness and safety mandatory in drivers’ education.  Motorcycle and bicycle safety and awareness is the law in Michigan.  This provides new hope for reducing accidents.  It is also important for cyclists to understand their legal rights if in an accident.


Michigan No-Fault Law and Bicycle Accidents

The same insurance coverage for automobiles applies for first-party claims involving a bicycle hit by a motor vehicle.  First-party benefits include medical expenses, lost wages, replacement services (household services such as household chores, childcare), and attendant care (nursing services).  According to Michigan’s statute of limitations, you must make a first-party claim against the motor vehicle insuruer within one year from the date of the bicycle accident.

If you or someone you love is injured in a bicycle accident caused by a motor vehicle, seek legal help immediately.  Whether, and to what extent, you recover reimbursement for your losses from a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle depends on correct action under Michigan’s No-Fault law. Often, the insurance companies – even your own – will do everything to avoid paying what they owe; they will delay and employ tactics to deprive reimbursements.   In Michigan, if you are a bicyclist and are involved in an accident involving a car or truck, you are eligible for Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits (a first party claim). When the injuries are catastrophic or fatal, you can also sue for pain and suffering compensation (a third party claim).

Michigan No-Fault Priority Rules in Bicycle Accidents

Priority rules of who pays for injuries are contained in the No-Fault Act.  The priority rules dictate which insurance company has the highest legal responsibility to pay a bicycle accident victim’s No-Fault personal injury protection benefits.  When injured in a motor vehicle accident in Michigan where you are not an occupant of a motor vehicle (i.e., a bicyclist) the priority rules help determine which insurance company pays you personal injury protection benefits.  Here is the order:

  1. Your No-Fault insurance policy
  2. Your spouse’s No-Fault insurance policy in which he or she is the named insured.
  3. The No-Fault policy of a relative who lives with you
  4. The No-Fault insurance company for the owners or registrants of the motor vehicles involved in the accident.
  5. The No-Fault insurance company for the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the accident.
  6. The Michigan Assigned Claims Facility.

Third-Party Claims and Bicycle Accidents

A third-party claim is a lawsuit against the negligent driver of the motor vehicle that caused severe injury or death in a bicycle-motor vehicle accident.  A third-party claim is for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering.  To file a third-party claim, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Death
  • Serious impairment of body function (impairment of an important body function that affects the person’s general ability to lead his or her normal life)
  • Permanent serious disfigurement

According to Michigan’s statute of limitations, you must file a third-party lawsuit within 3 years from the date of the accident.

Michigan Bicycle Accident Attorneys

At Buchanan and Buchanan, we are skilled investigating bicycle accidents and successfully negotiate fair settlements with insurance companies, and persuasively present cases at trial when insurers refuse to do what is right.


Buchanan & Buchanan, P.L.C.
171 Monroe Ave. N.W. Suite 750
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
voice: (616) 458.2464
toll free: 1-800-272-4080
fax: (616) 458.0608
email: mail@buchananfirm.com