Are Motorcycle Accident Victims Entitled to Michigan No-Fault Benefits?
Yes, but only if a motor vehicle is involved in the accident.
The law on this is very specific. Motorcycles are not considered “motor vehicles” under the eyes of the law. Motor vehicles are defined under MCL 500.3101 “as a vehicle, including a trailer, that is operated or designed for operation on a public highway by power other than muscular power and has more than 2 wheels.”
Because motorcycles do not have more than 2 wheels, they are not considered motor vehicles. In fact, motorcycles are specifically excluded as a motor vehicle for purposes of the Michigan No-Fault Law under MCL 500.3101(2)(i)(1).
As such, the only way an individual injured while riding or a passenger of a motorcycle can collect Michigan no-fault benefits is if “evidence of the involvement” of a motor vehicle in the accident is found.
For example, if a motorcycle hits a deer and the rider sustains serious injury, that person cannot make a claim for Michigan no-fault benefits. No motor vehicle was involved in the accident.
However, if a motorcyclist hits a moving vehicle in the middle of an intersection, the motorcyclist can make a claim for no-fault benefits. Physical contact with the motor vehicle is not required. For example, if a motorcyclist drops the motorcycle before hitting a car, or turns away from an oncoming car to avoid hitting the vehicle thereby missing the vehicle, the motor vehicle is still considered to be involved in the accident and the motorcyclist may make a claim.
There are some other strange nuisances to this rule. Not all parked vehicles are considered to be “involved in” a motor vehicle accident with motorcycles. Typically, the motor vehicle has to be parked in a manner that is unreasonably dangerous to be considered involved in the accident for purposes of collecting no-fault benefits.
The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C. and our team of Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers have been helping riders for decades. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident we can help. Call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) today.
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