Key Points of This Article:
- It is estimated that in some parts of Michigan, up to 50% of motorists do not have insurance coverage, making it difficult for motorcyclists to recover from an accident caused by another driver.
- Several types of motorcycle insurance policies can be purchased and include options for extra coverage, such as inexpensive uninsured and underinsured motorists plans.
- Uninsured motorist coverage pays for pain and suffering, or in some cases, lost wages and medical bills if another person causes the accident, and they are not insured.
- If you have any questions about motorcycle insurance coverage options, or the new Michigan no-fault law and how it applies to injured motorcyclists, the team at the Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C. are experienced in these individual cases and ready to help.
Motorcycle Insurance Options That Best Protect Injured Riders
According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, nearly 260,000 motorcycles are registered in Michigan each year, resulting in about 2,750 crashes. Motorcycle accidents often involve some of the worst-case scenarios and injuries, including catastrophic brain and spinal cord injuries that require lifetime medical care or result in tragic fatalities. Filing a claim based on motorcycle insurance plans and who was responsible for the crash can make this stressful time even more confusing because similar to the different types of car insurance options out there, there are several motorcycle insurance policies available to purchase.
- Liability Insurance: Mandatory under Michigan law, liability insurance covers the motorcyclist if they cause an accident. It is required that the owner or registrant of a motorcycle purchase liability insurance for bodily injury, death, or property damage.
- Collision Coverage: In the unfortunate chance you are involved in a collision with a car or truck, or another motorcycle, and end up with damage to your bike and have collision coverage, your insurance company will cover the claim. Although you may first have to meet a deductible, your insurance company will pick up the remaining costs to repair the accident damage.
- Comprehensive Insurance: For things other than a crash, like vandalism or theft, or damaging events out of anyone’s control such as a tree falling on a bike when parked in a driveway, comprehensive coverage will pay for the repair or replacement or the motorcycle.
- Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage: In Michigan, some communities have nearly 50% of all drivers without insurance, making uninsured coverage significant in the chance of being involved in a terrible accident. If you have sustained a personal injury while riding your motorcycle due to an accident not of your fault and the person responsible is not insured, the smart decision to purchase inexpensive uninsured coverage will kick in and support the claim. Uninsured motorist benefits do pay for pain and suffering, and in some cases, lost wages and medical bills if another person causes the accident and they are uninsured. This policy, provided by your own insurance company, will provide the compensation. Without this coverage, it can be extremely challenging to receive any compensation for injuries in a situation where you have been hit while riding your motorcycle, and the person responsible is not insured.
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage: Unlike uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, also known as UIM, works when the person responsible for the crash may have insurance, but there is not enough in their policy to cover the injuries sustained when riding your motorcycle and hit. But if you purchased underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company for the additional money needed to treat your injuries and cover damages.
Both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage options provide an expensive way to ensure your chances for the best recovery after being injured in a motorcycle accident in Michigan. Some policies are as little as $20 for six months and provide a generous amount of insurance. Motorcyclists and drivers should talk to their insurance agent or motorcycle insurance company about these extra coverage options.
As experienced motorcycle accident injury attorneys in Michigan, where many drivers do not have insurance, The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg recommends everyone purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist policies. It is also advised that Michigan motorcyclists protect themselves in the event of a crash with adequate coverage and obtain a motorcycle insurance policy that provides for “payment of first-party medical benefits” under MCL 500.3103(2).
Options for The Uninsured Motorcyclist Injured in a Car or Truck Accident
If you failed to purchase insurance for your motorcycle and another driver crashes into you, you can make a claim for pain and suffering. But you are not eligible to claim no-fault benefits, like medical bills or lost wages. Michigan’s recent no-fault law reform has not changed the sources of no-fault benefits for motorcyclists (whether they are operators or riders) injured in a motorcycle accident with a motor vehicle. Motorcyclists will continue first to seek no-fault benefits from the “insurer” of the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident and, then, the “insurer” of the vehicle’s operator. (MCL 500.3114(5)(a) and (b)). However, the new no-fault law has changed the amount of benefits available to a motorcyclist who has been injured in a crash with a car or truck.
Motorcycle crashes happen every day across Michigan from Grand Rapids, Detroit, Dearborn, and into Traverse City. If insurance coverage is not in play or no-fault benefits are not enough, recovery time and financial exhaustion from motorcycle accident injuries can cause a life-long struggle for many.
We Can Handle the Legal Fight for the Compensation Your Loved One Deserves
The deadlines injured motorcyclists have to file an accident claim vary. Still, injured riders typically have either one year for no-fault benefits or three years from the accident’s date to file a negligence lawsuit against the potential defendant.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, our motorcycle accident and wrongful death attorneys know you need to focus on healing. Let us take on the legal fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C. toll-free at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for an absolutely free, no-risk consultation.