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Michigan Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Overall, motorcycle-on-vehicle collisions are about 25 times deadlier than vehicle-on-vehicle collisions. Motorcycle riders have almost no protection against onrushing vehicles, so the injuries of motorcycle riders are often catastrophic, even in r low-speed crashes. To get the money you need to pay medical bills and move on with life, contact our motorcycle accident attorneys in Michigan without delay.

When you contact us, Buchanan Firm immediately starts working for you. Our team includes not only legal professionals but also medical professionals. Our motorcycle accident lawyers know how to get you money, and our team has expertise about  your serious injuries. You can count on us to do the job quickly and correctly.

Motorcycle Accident FAQs

Is a motorcycle considered a “motor vehicle” in Michigan No-Fault law?

No. A motorcycle is not considered a motor vehicle under Michigan No-Fault law.  But if the motorcycle has liability insurance required by the No-Fault law, after a motorcycle is hit by a vehicle, the motorcycle riders can be treated like a regular first-party or third-party vehicle accident case.

What insurance is required for a motorcyclist in Michigan?

Because a motorcycle is not considered a motor vehicle under Michigan No-Fault law, the law has different minimum coverage requirements. Generally, the only insurance required is basic liability coverage for a third-party injury claim (i.e., motorcyclist injures somone else). However, if a motorcycle rider over the age of 21 wants to ride without a helmet, he or she may do so if they have at least $20,000 in first-party medical benefit coverage.

Can an injured motorcyclist receive No-Fault Insurance benefits when hit by another motor vehicle?

Usually yes.  If a motorcycle operator or passenger is involved in a motorcycle crash and another motor vehicle is involved, the injured motorcyclist or passenger may have No-Fault insurance benefits.

However, the order of insurance-coverage priority for motorcycles is different. The order of potential sources that would cover No-Fault insurance benefits is as follows:

1.    Auto insurer of the owner or registrant of the vehicle involved.

2.    Auto insurer of the driver of the vehicle involved.

3.    Motorcycle driver’s auto insurer.

4.    Motorcycle owner’s auto insurer.

5.    Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.

If a motorcycle passenger has no other way to No-Fault insurance benefits, the passenger would go through his or her own auto insurance before qualifying for the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (Frierson v West American Ins Co, 261 Mich App 732).

What is the time limit to make a claim for No-Fault benefits if involved in a motorcycle accident?

You have one year from the date of the accident to make a claim for No-Fault benefits. A claim for No-Fault benefits, also known as a personal injury protection (PIP) claim, is called a first-party claim. A first-party claim is a lawsuit between a motorcycle accident victim and the insurance company responsible for No-Fault benefits according to the insurance-coverage priority rules. Benefits in a first-party claim include (1) medical expenses related to the accident, (2) wage loss for up to three years after the accident, (3) household replacement services (i.e., laundry, lawn mowing, childcare, etc.), (4) payment for mileage to and from medical appointments, and (5) attendant care.

Can I sue an at-fault driver of a motor vehicle who hit my motorcycle and seriously injured me?

Yes. A lawsuit against an at-fault driver of a motor vehicle is called a third-party claim. A third-party claim is a lawsuit that can be filed against the negligent driver (“at-fault driver”) of the motor vehicle that caused the motorcycle-motor vehicle crash.  A third-party claim is for non-economic damages, also known as 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 a person’s general ability to lead his or her normal life)

•           Permanent serious disfigurement

What is the statute of limitations for third-party claims against an at-fault driver who hit me on my motorcycle, causing serious injuries?

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

What are the common causes of motorcycle crashes in Michigan?

ALCOHOL

Statistically, alcohol impairment and excessive speed cause most of fatal vehicle crashes in Michigan. These two factors are more frequent in motorcycle crash claims.

Alcohol slows reflexes and destroys good judgment skills. So, impaired motorists are less alert and take more chances. They rarely see motorcycles until the last second. A collision and serious injury to the motorcycle riders are basically inevitable.

The impairing effects of alcohol start  after the first drink. Therefore, even if a person is not legally intoxicated, he or she should not drive a vehicle.

SPEEDING

Excessive velocity is a key factor in many collisions because speed increases the risk of a crash and the force of collision.

Speed multiplies stopping distance, which is the distance a vehicle travels between the time a driver sees a hazard and safely stops. At 30 mph, stopping distance is about six car lengths. This distance multiplies to eighteen car lengths at 60 mph.

As Newton’s Second Law proves, speed multiplies the force in a collision. In this context, excessive speed transforms a no-injury “fender bender” into a serious injury or fatal collision. This is especially important in the Wolverine State, because of Michigan’s complex and changing no-fault insurance law.

Resolving a Motorcycle Crash Claim

Most injury claims settle out of court. A few settle quickly, but most take time. A Michigan motorcycle crash lawyer cannot settle a case until medical treatment is nearly complete. Otherwise, the victim may not receive enough compensation for all injuries. And many insurance companies use legal loopholes to contest responsibility , even in obvious situations.

Often, a mediator helps everyone resolve contested claims. During mediation, each side lays out its factual and legal arguments. Then, the mediator goes back and forth between them conveying settlement offers and counter-offers. If both sides participate in good faith, mediation is usually successful.

Connect with an Experienced Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle crash victims may be entitled to substantial money compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced motorcycle crash attorney in Michigan, contact Buchanan Firm. Our serious injury lawyers routinely handle matters in Kent County and nearly everywhere else in Michigan cities.