Thirty years ago, the majority of people injured in bicycle accidents were children. Due to an increase in bicycling commuters, the data looks very different now, especially when we look at fatalities. Over 80% of bicycle accidents deaths involve adults 20 or older, a four fold increased from three decades ago.One thing that has definitely not changed is the need for protection for bicyclists. Bicyclists are far more vulnerable than drivers and passengers in cars. They deserve protections intended to curtail serious injuries and death.
Our attorneys at The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg are Michigan bicycle accident experts, including wrongful death cases. We have represented bicycle accident victims for over 40 years. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car crash involving a bicycle, we will fight to ensure you receive the compensation and benefits you deserve under the law.
Michigan Bicycle Accident Facts and Statistics
- A total of 1,546 bicycle accidents occurred in Michigan, with 368 taking place in Wayne County, the most of any county in the state.
- 23 fatalities and 1,233 injuries resulted from these accidents.
- All bicycle accidents in 2018 were reported as due to hazardous action by a motorist, including failure to yield, careless driving and disregarding traffic signals.
- 7 bicycle fatalities and 54 injuries were in accidents where the driver of the car had been drinking.
- Most bicycle accidents occurred on local streets (1,064); 321 took place on state routes, 92 on U.S. routes and 67 on the interstates.
- Of the reported injuries and fatalities, most people were between the ages of 25 and 34.
- Male cyclists were far more likely to be involved in crashes than female bicyclists (2,052 vs. 1,046).
- 598 people were not wearing helmets, which resulted in 11 fatalities and 587 injuries.
Bicyclists and Michigan No-Fault Law
In Michigan, bicyclists injured in an accident involving a car or truck are entitled to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, also known as first-party benefits, under the Michigan No-Fault Law. PIP benefits cover reasonably necessary medical expenses related to the accident, up to three years of lost wages, replacement services (to cover household chores or childcare the victim can no longer complete), attendant care such as in-home nursing, medical mileage, out-of-pocket costs, and vehicle and/or home modifications.
To determine whose no-fault insurance will cover a bicyclist’s injuries, no-fault law outlines “priority” rules. These rules determine which car insurance company is obligated to pay no-fault benefits. There are five levels of priority, listed below in the order of responsibility:
- If the bicyclist has a no-fault insurance policy in his or her name, that insurance company has first priority and is responsible for paying benefits to the victim.
- If the bicyclist does not have No-Fault insurance, but a resident relative (spouse, parent, sibling) does have a car insurance policy, then the resident relative’s insurance company is responsible for paying benefits to the victim.
- If none of the above individuals have no-fault insurance, the no-fault insurer of the owner or registrant of the motor vehicle involved in the accident is responsible for paying benefits.
- The no-fault insurer of the individual operating the motor vehicle involved in the accident.
- The final responsibility, if none of the other options have no-fault insurance, belongs to the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility.
Risks and Safety Tips
There are dangerous risks taken by motorists each day. Drivers who operate their vehicles while under the influence, those who are talking or texting on the phone (or otherwise driving distracted), and those who are speeding or ignoring the rules of the road put bicyclists in serious jeopardy. Cyclists are also guilty of the above and must avoid putting themselves at risk. In addition, it is critical that bicyclists protect themselves by doing the following:
- Wear a helmet. Despite the failure of the Michigan Vehicle Code to require bicyclists to wear a helmet, it remains the single most important step a cyclist can take to protect themselves from serious injury and death.
- Increase daytime visibility with fluorescent clothing.
- Utilize reflective clothing when riding at night.
- Add lighting features to your bike if you ride at night.
Contact Us Now About Your Bicycle Accident
Working with insurance companies to ensure you get the compensation you deserve can be frustrating and confusing. We can help. Please call Lee Free and speak to our bicycle accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your bicycle accident case.