Pedestrian Hit By a Motorcycle: Who is at Fault?

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Pedestrian Hit By a Motorcycle: Who is at Fault?

pedestrian hit by motorcycle
pedestrian fatalities

Pedestrians should be able to safely traverse public roads and sidewalks, and yet every year, pedestrians are injured or killed by drivers. 

In Michigan alone, there were 183 pedestrian fatalities and 1,453 pedestrian injuries in 2021. These numbers are a tragic reminder that every year, Michigan residents are killed and injured while doing something that they should be able to do safely, without fear: walking. 

What Happens When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Motorcycle? 

When any motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the chances of serious injury or death are high. The faster the driver was going at the time of the accident, the more catastrophic the accident could be. 

When most people think of motorcycle accidents, they probably think of collisions with cars or trucks or even a wipeout. However, motorcyclists sometimes hit pedestrians, and the damage can be significant for both parties. 

Pedestrians are likely to experience the following injuries after being struck by a motorcycle:

  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Head and skull injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Tissue damageTraveling at a high rate of speed
  • Distracted driving 
  • Disregarding posted traffic signs & markings
  • Severe bruising
  • Lacerations
  • Burns 
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Other internal injuries 

Upon being hit by a motorcycle, pedestrians face expensive medical bills, ongoing rehabilitation and therapy costs, missed work, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and even permanent disability. These economic and non-economic costs are significant. 

If a Pedestrian is Hit by a Motorcycle, Who is at Fault?

drivers must yield to pedestrians

Every accident is unique, and the circumstances that led to that accident should be carefully considered before deciding who was at fault. 

When a motorcycle hits a pedestrian, either party could be at fault. 

Situations in which a motorcyclist might be at fault for the accident:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Reckless driving
  • Engaging in illegal behaviors, such as racing on public roads

However, there are also situations in which the pedestrian could be responsible, including: 

  • Jaywalking, especially in a busy area
  • Disregarding posted pedestrian signs & markings
  • Stepping into oncoming traffic

Fault is determined through a careful reconstruction of events. A motorcycle or pedestrian accident attorney can help you collect evidence, review witness statements, acquire expert witness testimony, and review all available documentation to determine who was at fault and what compensation the other party deserves. 

FAQs About Pedestrian Accidents & Michigan’s No-Fault Rules

As Michigan pedestrian lawyers, we hear a lot of questions about whether or not Michigan PIP’s no-fault benefits cover pedestrians. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions. 

Can pedestrians injured in Michigan receive PIP no-fault benefits?

Michigan’s no-fault statute makes it clear that PIP benefits are collectible, no matter whose fault the accident was. In most cases, pedestrians can collect benefits even if they don’t establish the motorcyclist’s negligence. However, if negligence was involved, the pedestrian could seek additional compensation against the at-fault party. 

What compensation is covered by PIP benefits in a no-fault accident?

Michigan pedestrians may be eligible to receive the following: 

  1. Medical expenses
  2. Lost wages for up to three years
  3. Reimbursement for domestic services that the victim has to hire someone to do because they can no longer perform those tasks
  4. Survivor’s loss benefits in the tragic event of a pedestrian’s death

Who makes the payout for no-fault PIP benefits?

In general, the first place pedestrians should go for their coverage is their own auto insurer – even though they were not in their motor vehicle at the time of the accident. However, pedestrians often lack auto coverage, as they may have been walking or riding a bike because they don’t drive. 

In these cases, the injured pedestrian should submit their claim to the Michigan Department of State’s Assigned Claims Facility. 

What if the PIP coverage doesn’t cover my expenses or make up for my pain and suffering?

The reality is that insurance coverage is often not enough to cover the real costs of an accident. That’s why you need to speak with an experienced Michigan accident attorney – especially one who works with pedestrian accidents. 

Being hit by a motorcycle while you are walking or riding a bike may be catastrophic, leaving you with serious injuries, an inability to work, a long rehabilitation process, long-term disability, and ongoing pain and suffering. You deserve to have these costs – both economic and non-economic – covered by the at-fault party. 

How to Get Compensation After Getting Hit by a Motorcycle

To get compensation for your injuries and losses, reach out to an experienced pedestrian attorney.

Your attorney can answer your legal questions, help you build a case, gather expert witnesses, negotiate with insurance companies, and even take your case to trial if necessary. Injured pedestrians increase their chances of a payout that covers their expenses and non-monetary damages. 

When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Motorcycle, the Lee Steinberg Law Firm Knows How to Help

The Lee Steinberg Law Firm knows what motorcycle accident victims need to move through the challenges they face because of an accident. 

You probably never gave any thought to the possibility of being struck by a motorcycle while walking, and yet here you are, struggling with expenses, pain, and major changes to your life. 

Contact us for a free case review so that we can learn about your unique circumstances. We will discuss your options and help you know what your next steps may be.