For all the joys of riding a motorcycle, there can be just as many dangers. In 2020, the NHTSA reported more than 82,000 motorcyclist injuries and over 5,000 motorcycle fatalities across the country, the highest number of motorcyclists killed since the 1970s. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Michigan caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation that can help you pay for your injuries and other damages.
At The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, our Flint motorcycle accident lawyers have years of experience helping motorcycle accident victims get the help they need to win their cases. Get in touch with someone from our team today to get started with a free case evaluation.
The motorcycle accidents in Michigan that lead to serious injuries and fatalities can vary. In some cases, they are caused by other negligent drivers hitting the motorcyclists, and in other cases, it may be the fault of the motorcyclists themselves, such as riding while intoxicated.
Motorcycles are common in Midwest states like Michigan. Unfortunately, data collected from Michigan motorcycle accidents shows fatalities steadily increasing from the 1990s to today. In 1992, there were between 20 to 40 motorcyclist deaths, with the average nearing 180 a year today.
Of course, motorcyclists can also sustain injuries that do not lead to death. But the risk of death is much higher with motorcyclists simply because of the more dangerous nature of motorcycles. Unlike passengers in a car, motorcyclists have less to protect their bodies from impact when they are involved in an accident.
For example, when a car is struck, the metal frame of the car takes the brunt of the force, but with motorcycles, the rider could be directly hit by another car. Motorcyclists are also more likely to be thrown from their bikes and hit other objects, or they can get trapped beneath their bike if it falls on top of them when they crash.
Some of the most common motorcyclist injuries that can occur in these situations include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crushed limbs
- Road rash
- Facial injuries
- Arm, shoulder, hand, and wrist injuries
- Leg injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
If you suffer from an injury after an accident, a motorcycle injury lawyer can help. A lawyer can help you file your claim, investigate the accident, obtain evidence, and ensure you are awarded the full and fair settlement you deserve for all you have suffered.
Reports estimate that around 50% of motorists in parts of Michigan do not carry sufficient insurance coverage. This is dangerous because not only does it mean that injured motorcyclists might not be eligible for compensation for their damages, but it is also illegal to ride without insurance in Michigan.
Michigan law requires every vehicle owner to carry auto insurance, including motorcycle owners. In particular, Michigan requires all drivers to carry Bodily Injury coverage, which covers you if you cause injuries to other people while riding your motorcycle. However, it is a good idea to purchase medical coverage, including personal injury protection (PIP).
PIP insurance will protect you no matter who was at fault for the motorcycle accident. However, it only pays reasonable and necessary medical expenses. If there are additional damages to seek to be compensated for after an accident, you may need to file a lawsuit against the guilty party responsible for causing the accident.
As a motorcyclist, it’s important to shop around to find the best motorcycle insurance coverage. Different insurance companies may offer different kinds of coverage and limits that can be tailored to meet your individual needs.
In addition to the required PIP coverage, you should also consider getting the following types of coverage:
- Liability coverage: Provides protection in case someone else tries to sue you for damages
- Collision coverage: Covers physical damage to your motorcycle
- Comprehensive coverage: Covers damages that are not the result of an accident, such as theft or natural disasters
- Underinsured or uninsured coverage: Covers you when are involved in an accident with a driver that doesn’t have insurance or whose policy limit is not enough to cover damages
When you’re injured in a motorcycle accident in Michigan, you can recover compensation for the damages and losses you have suffered. When you file a claim, you can work with your Flint motorcycle accident lawyer to determine the extent of your injuries and what other damages you are owed.
If you are simply filing a claim with your own PIP insurance, you can recover compensation for the following economic damages:
- Medical expenses
- Recovery and rehab expenses
- Wage loss
- Replacement services
However, after an accident, you may also suffer what are known as non-economic damages, which are things that do not hold a monetary value. PIP insurance does not cover non-economic damages, but if you meet the requirements, you can file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident and they will be liable for paying your non-economic damages.
The non-economic damages you could recover in a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident include:
- Physical pain & suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish and trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
One of the reasons many people choose to ride a motorcycle instead of driving a car is that it comes with benefits like finding more accessible parking and maneuvering through traffic easier. Lane-splitting, for example, which is when a motorcyclist can ride in between lanes to bypass traffic, is a big reason why a lot of people get motorcycles.
In Michigan, motorcyclists are entitled to a full lane just like a car is, and they can also ride side-by-side with another motorcyclist—but lane splitting is illegal in Michigan. If you are caught lane splitting on a motorcycle, you could risk receiving points on your license as well as a fine. And some insurance companies may raise your premiums if you get too many points on your license.
The Michigan motorcycle helmet law requires all riders and passengers under the age of 21 to wear a helmet. Those 21 and older do not have to wear a helmet. However, a helmet is still advised, as a significant number of people who die in motorcycle accidents do so because they are not wearing a helmet.
When it comes to filing a claim, you can still recover compensation from the at-fault driver who caused the crash even if you were not wearing a helmet. This is true even if your motorcycle was not insured. You can receive money for your physical pain and suffering, anxiety, emotional distress and other benefits from the negligent driver. However, not wearing a helmet could negatively affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. If you weren’t wearing a helmet, the other party’s insurance company could try to claim that your injuries are worse because of your own decision to not wear a helmet.
If you weren’t wearing a helmet in an accident and think that you aren’t getting the full compensation you deserve, your best course of action would be to speak with a Flint motorcycle accident lawyer. They can defend your rights and help you build a strong case to ensure you are being fairly compensated.
Medical expenses are often one of the biggest challenges a person can face after being injured in a motorcycle accident. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the treatments required, you could be facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. And if your injury leaves you seriously impaired or disabled, you might continue to have medical expenses in the future as well.
For this reason, medical bills are often one of the main focuses when injured victims file a personal injury claim for their motorcycle accident. But the question is, who exactly pays for these medical expenses?
If you have medical coverage on your motorcycle insurance, then the medical coverage will pick up the bills. However, so long as your motorcycle had liability insurance, and a motor vehicle such as a car or truck was involved in the accident, then you can also file a first-party PIP claim.
Specifically, PIP benefit can cover:
- The payment of hospital bills
- The payment of doctors’ bills
- Payment for physical therapy and occupational therapy
- Post-acute care and nursing care
- 85% of lost wages for up to 3 years
- Household replacement services for up to 3 years
In a motorcycle accident in Michigan, the insurance company of the owner of the car or truck always pays the PIP benefits. This is true even if you caused the wreck. If the owner doesn’t have insurance, butt the driver does, then his or her auto carrier pays the first-party benefits.
If both the owner and driver don’t have auto insurance, then your own auto insurance must pay all PIP benefits. This is the true even though your own car had nothing to do with the accident. If you don’t have any auto insurance, then a claim must be filed with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP). Our team of aggressive and experienced Flint motorcycle accident attorneys can help you set up a MACP claim.
Due to Michigan’s revised no-fault laws, recovering compensation for medical bills can be tricky. A lawyer can help by evaluating your individual situation and fighting for your rights to ensure you get the money you are entitled to.
Michigan motorcycle accidents can happen for many reasons, such as speeding, distracted driving, failure to yield the right of way, or driving under the influence. But one cause that is generally unique to motorcycle accidents is car doors being opened in the path of a motorcyclist.
Drivers or anyone in a vehicle have a duty to pay attention to their surroundings and check before opening their car door. So if someone opens their door without seeing that a motorcyclist is coming, that person can be held liable for causing the accident. In some cases, drivers might even purposely open their doors as a form of road rage and aggression to keep a motorcyclist from passing. In this case, the driver would be held liable.
The only reason the motorcyclist would potentially be held liable for an open-door accident is if the door was already open and the motorcyclist was the one not paying attention when they ran into the door. But in most cases, it is usually because the person in the car opened the door without first checking the road was clear.
Why Should I Hire a Flint Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
There are many reasons why it is beneficial to work with a motorcycle accident lawyer after being involved in an accident. No matter who was at fault, dealing with personal injury claims can be challenging. There can be multiple insurance companies involved. There can be a collision claim, PIP claim, negligence claim and even an uninsured motorist claim. A dedicated Flint motorcycle accident lawyer will help you defend your rights.
For example, your attorney can help you gather as much evidence as possible to prove how the injury is affecting your life. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to try to downplay injuries to get out of paying big settlements. But if your injury is affecting your life and may even continue to do so in the future, then you deserve to be compensated fully for all that you have suffered.
In some cases, the accident could even be the fault of a third party, like a local municipality. For example, if your motorcycle accident happens as a result of defective roads or poor road maintenance, then you may be able to file a claim against the local government. Suing a government entity, however, is not easy and will require the help of a professional attorney.
For over 40 years, The Lee Steinberg Law Firm has helped injured victims win their cases to collect the compensation they need and deserve. We care about the health and well-being of our clients. The results of a Flint motorcycle accident can be traumatic—let us help you get the compensation you need to recover and move on as comfortably as possible.
Please call The Lee Steinberg Flint Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about your accident. You pay nothing until we settle your Flint motorcycle accident case.