The Michigan bicycle accident lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm have been helping bike accident victims receive compensation for their injuries for over 40 years.
We have represented victims injured on a bicycle while riding on residential streets, roads and highways. Bicycles must be treated like a car or truck by other motorists. When a person driving is negligent, and hits a bicyclist and causes injuries, that person can be held responsible. These cases are treated in much the same way as a standard car accident. However, the insurance company who pays for medical bills and lost wages may not be the same insurance company who pays for pain and suffering. A Michigan bicycle accident lawyer can help explain the law to you and get you the most money possible.
Michigan Bicycle Accident Facts and Statistics
- A total of 1,260 bicyclists were involved in motor vehicle accidents
- Wayne County had the most bike crashes with 281.
- Out of the 1,260 bicyclists involved in an accident, 1,008 were riding in daylight conditions when the accident occurred
- 29 bicyclists were killed in 29 fatal crashes on Michigan roads. Of the 29 bicyclists killed, Michigan police reported that nine or 31% were “going straight ahead” just before the accident.
- 971 bicyclists were injured in 965 police reported crashes
- The most popular month for crashes was September, not the traditional summer months. And Tuesday was the most popular day of the week for bicycle crashes. The most crashes occurred between 3:00pm to 6:00 pm.
- Almost 90% of bicycle deaths involved a male. Of the reported injuries and fatalities, most people were between the ages of 25 and 34.
The National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites a study by the Centers for Disease Control that bicycle helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective in mitigating head and brain injuries in all types of bicycle accidents. This makes helmets the single most effective countermeasure available to reduce head injuries and fatalities resulting from bicycle crashes
If a car or truck causes a bicycle crash, then the driver and owner are responsible for any injuries that occur. This includes the payment of pain and suffering, emotional distress, anxiety, scarring, road rash and other damages. These are known as non-economic damages.
Cases against a negligent or at-fault driver are called negligence cases. The bicyclists must prove the driver was at least 50% at-fault for causing the crash. An experienced Michigan bicycle lawyer can help you navigate and pursue these cases.
Yes. Besides getting compensation for pain and suffering, an injured bicyclist can also receive Michigan no-fault laws. This is true even if the person on the bike did not even own a car. Under Michigan law, bicyclists injured in an accident involving a car or truck are entitled to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits, also known as first-party benefits.
PIP benefits cover reasonably necessary medical bills and expenses related to the accident. This includes hospital bills, doctors bill, surgery and physical therapy. The amount of PIP coverage you get depends on the type of insurance you qualify for. Our team of Michigan bicycle accident lawyers can help determine how much medical coverage you can get.
Besides medical expenses, no-fault benefit also pay lost wages for up to three years. The injured person is also entitled to household replacement services (to cover household chores or childcare the victim can no longer complete) for up to three years, attendant care such as in-home nursing, medical mileage, out-of-pocket costs, and vehicle and/or home modifications.
A police report is not required after a bicycle crash, but is extremely helpful. It is always important to contact the police after an accident. The police can verify the incident occurred, get the name and addresses of the parties involved, car insurance information, and do an investigation to find out who was at-fault.
A police report also helps when filing a claim for first-party PIP benefits. Insurance companies are always searching for ways to deny a claim. Don’t make it easier for them by not making a police report, even after a minor bicycle accident.
The first thing a person should do after a bike accident is get out of the roadway as quickly as possible. Most bike crashes in Michigan occur at an intersection. So it is important to get out of harms way.
Then call 911 and notify the police. Make sure a police report is made and give your side of the story on how the accident occurred. In addition, provide the police with your personal information. If you are injured, make sure to get medical treatment if needed.
It is also important to take photographs and videos of the accident scene if you can. Take pictures of the cars involved in the crash. Get the names and license plates of the drivers. This information will be very important later on if you pursue a case.
The injuries from a Michigan bicycle accident can vary widely. Many injuries are very severe. They can include:
- Scarring and road rash
- Broken bones, such as a broken leg or broken arm
- Elbow injuries
- Knee injuries
- Low back pain and neck pain
- Concussion and headaches from a traumatic brain injury.
It depends on what type of claim you are talking about. For a pain and suffering claim, typically the insurance company for the at-fault driver or vehicle owner must pay in a negligence case.
However, for purposes of no-fault benefits, there is a specific order of priority for which car insurance carrier is responsible for paying. These rules determine which car insurance company is obligated to pay no-fault benefits.
There are three 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 is responsible for paying benefits to the victim. This is true even if the car is not involved in the crash.
- If the bicyclist does not have no-fault insurance, but has a resident relative (spouse, parent, sibling) that 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, then a person injured on a bike can make a claim through the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility.
The MACP requires a detailed application and other proof of the accident. It will then assign an insurance carrier, such as Allstate, AAA Insurance or Farmers to pay medical bills and lost wages. A really good Michigan bike accident lawyer can help you get the application process started.
Bicycles on our roads have the same rights as cars and trucks. Michigan law requires motorists to give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing. Some Michigan municipalities have enacted ordinances requiring motorists to give bicyclists 5 feet of space when passing. These communities include Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon and Kalamazoo.
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 following these safety tips:
- 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 Michigan Bicycle Accident
Our attorneys at The Lee Steinberg Law Firm are Michigan bicycle law experts, including personal injury and wrongful death cases. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car or truck crash while riding a bicycle, we will fight to ensure you receive the compensation and benefits you deserve under the law.
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 Michigan bicycle accident lawyers 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.