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Grand Rapids Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?

With motorcycles, no matter how careful you are as a motorcycle driver, you cannot control the choices of other vehicle drivers around you. Motorcycles are more dangerous than standard vehicles because they do not have airbags, seatbelts, or other devices to protect riders.  Usually, the only protection you have on a motorcycle is the clothing you are wearing when your body hits the pavement. As a result, motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer serious injuries in motor vehicle collisions than passengers of other vehicles.

If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident in Grand Rapids or anywhere else in the state of Michigan, our attorneys can help.  Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

The Buchanan Firm Advantage

At the Buchanan Firm, we are committed to providing quality legal representation through attorneys who are experienced and knowledgeable about car accident law.

  • We have more than 60 years of experience successfully representing clients in all matters of car and motorcycle accident law.
  • We do everything in our power to assist your needs because we truly care about you and your family’s wellbeing.
  • We have certified medical experts on staff to help us fully assess the nature and severity of your injuries.
  • Our team understands both the law and the medicine involved in motorcycle crashes.
  • We take on clients on a contingency fee basis. There are no upfront costs, and you do not pay any legal fees until we win your case.

How Can an Attorney Help?

If you have suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, it is always recommended that you speak with an attorney.

An attorney has the resources to conduct a full investigation into your accident, allowing you to build a more thorough case.  He or she can also help maximize compensation by determining the full extent of damages to you and your motorcycle, and the potential financial repercussions. Ultimately, an attorney is there to be an advocate for your needs and safety, giving you support and peace of mind through the claims process.

Seek help from experienced attorneys who know the dishonest tactics insurance companies for at-fault drivers employ to defeating claims of injured cyclists or paying less than what is needed or deserved for injuries. Our attorneys ensure injured motorcycle riders receive fair and just compensation for the damages sustained because of an accident caused by someone else.

Motorcycle Crash Statistics

Crashes into motorcycles cause serious injury or fatality.  The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) reports:

  • By miles traveled, motorcyclists are 21 times more likely than automobile passengers to die in a traffic crash and four times as likely to be injured
  • Motorcycles make up less than 2% of all registered vehicles and only 0.4% of all vehicle miles traveled, yet motorcycle accidents account for over 9% of total traffic fatalities.
  • 4,668 motorcycle accidents caused fatality on United States roads in 2013 and 88,000 injured.
  • One-third of motorcycle accidents causing death involved speeding, approximately twice the rate for drivers of passenger cars or light trucks.  Alcohol involvement was 40% higher.

Common Causes of Crashes into Motorcycles

Common causes of crashes into motorcycles are:

  1. Unsafe lane changes. A vehicle driver risks colliding with a motorcyclist when he or she fails to check his or her blind spot or signal when changing lanes.
  2. Car doors. A car driver opens the door of their parked vehicle in the path of an oncoming motorcycle.
  3. Speeding. Vehicle speeding reduces its driver’s chance of seeing and avoiding a motorcycle in time to prevent a collision. The higher the speed, the greater the impact and the more severe the consequences to those on the motorcycle.
  4. Driving under the influence. Vehicle drivers crash into motorcycles because they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  5. Sudden stops. Rear-ending a motorcycle occurs when a vehicle follows too closely or an abrupt stop causes serious injury or death for those on a motorcycle.
  6. Inexperienced drivers. Inexperienced vehicle drivers are likely to make unsafe moves on the road that could compromise the safety of those on a motorcycle.
  7. Left-turn accidents. Right of way errors or misjudgments of distance while making a left turn by other vehicles are common causes of injury and death to motorcycle riders.
  8. Dangerous road conditions. Crumbling pavement, potholes, debris, and a lack of necessary signals and signs increase a motorcycle rider’s chances of losing control.

What Can You Recover?

In Michigan, we operate under the no-fault insurance system.  The no-fault system means that drivers involved in an accident, whether at fault or not, can collect insurance benefits (PIP benefits) from their respective auto insurance providers.  Auto no-fault applies for injuries in accidents involving motorcycles, but many other issues are involved and it is important to seek professional advice regarding additional issues.

First-party claim

Individuals involved in a motorcycle accident in Michigan with the proper insurance may file a first-party claim against their own automobile insurance company. Or, if the motorcyclist has no auto policy, there may be coverage from the driver of the automobile.

Under Michigan law, a motorcycle is not considered a motor vehicle and those injured on a motorcycle are treated the same as a pedestrian hit by a car.

A first-party claim is to recover expenses (also known as no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) benefits) which include:

  • Medical expenses
  • In-home attendant care
  • Replacement services (i.e., household chores and childcare)
  • Special transportation and medical mileage
  • Wage loss

Third-party claim

Besides first-party benefits, those involved in a motorcycle accident may file a third-party claim against the at-fault auto driver or other parties involved in the crash, alleging negligence.  A third party claim may recover damages for pain and suffering.  In Michigan, one can pursue pain and suffering damages if injuries of the person meet the statutory injury-minimum threshold of: (1) death, (2) permanent serious disfigurement, or (3) serious impairment of body function.  An experienced motorcycle crash attorney can help you determine if injuries of you or a loved one are severe enough under Michigan law.

What to Do If You or a Loved One Has Been In a Motorcycle Crash

After a motorcycle crash, there are several important steps immediately and in the weeks after the crash.  An attorney protects you and ensures critical information is gathered and evidence preserved.

Immediately after a motorcycle crash, you should:

  • Contact the police and seek medical attention
  • Stay safe!
  • Obtain contact information for everyone involved and any witnesses
  • Protect your rights – do not admit fault!
  • Observe others and document observations and conversations
  • Notify your auto insurance company and apply for no-fault benefits
  • Review your auto policy or contact a motorcycle crash specialist attorney to review your policies
  • Do not sign a release or give an interview or statement to an insurance adjuster for anyone else hiring an attorney

Contact Us Today for Assistance

If you or anyone you know was injured in a motorcycle crash, contact Buchanan Firm for the advice of its experienced motorcycle crash attorneys.  We understand your frustration and will start a full investigation to determine the cause of the crash and who is responsible to reimburse you for the injuries.  The Buchanan Firm offers an exclusive, No Fee Promise. If we don’t win, then you don’t pay.