Motorcycle Wrongful Death Accident Lawyers - Lee Steinberg Law Firm

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Michigan Motorcycle Wrongful Death Lawyers

Michigan Motorcycle Wrongful Death Accidents Lawyers

Riding a motorcycle on the open road is a thrilling and fun experience. Unfortunately, a simple trip can turn tragic and fatal when someone else causes a crash with a motorcycle. When this happens, it is vital to contact an experienced Michigan motorcycle wrongful death lawyer and legal team that can explain the law answer your questions and fight on your behalf.

In 2022, there were 3,158 motorcycle crashes in Michigan. This resulted in 173 fatalities. If you or someone you loved has been the victim of a motorcycle wrongful death, our Michigan motorcycle

The Lee Steinberg Law Firm Obtains Justice for Motorcycle Death Victims

The tragic and unnecessary death of a family member due to the negligence of another driver is one of life’s most frustrating experiences. The anger and stress created is long-lasting and often permanent. Although we cannot rewind what happened, we can make sure your family receives justice and closure.

Our team of Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers treat every case with the compassion and detail it deserves. We stop at nothing to ensure our clients get full compensation and the wrongdoer is held accountable. Contact us today for a free evaluation and to get answers.

Common Reasons for Motorcycle Accident Deaths in Michigan

There are a number of different causes for motorcycle deaths in Michigan. Despite some prejudice towards motorcycle operators, motorcyclists are not the cause of most crashes. Instead, careless and reckless drivers are the cause of these life-changing incidents. The following are the most common causes of motorcycle accident crashes and in Michigan:

  • Distracted driving. When a driver is using a cell phone or not paying attention, they are distracted. This is now the leading cause of car crashes in Michigan.
  • Speeding. Driving too fast increases the odds of a crash dramatically. 
  • Head-on collisions. When a driver tries to pass another vehicle or loses control of their vehicle, they can strike a motorcyclist head-on when coming from the other direction. 
  • Illegal turn at an intersection. Vehicles must wait for traffic to pass before making a left-hand turn.
  • Illegal lane change. Many drivers fail to see a motorcycle rider when they are changing lanes.
  • Rear-end accidents. When drivers are speeding or not distracted, rear-end accidents are often the result.
  • Running a red light. Drivers who are distracted or drunk can run a red light and cause a horrible crash at an intersection. 
  • Running a stop sign. A driver who runs a stop sign is just as negligent as a driver running a red light. 
  • Drinking and driving. Driving while intoxicated or on drugs impairs a driver and slows down decision making. When a crash with a motorcycle happens, the results can be tragic.

What Investigation is Done After a Motorcycle Fatality?

Law enforcement agencies in Michigan, in collaboration with the Michigan State Police, conduct a comprehensive fatal crash report after a motorcycle accident. This report goes beyond regular police reports and includes a detailed toxicology report, witness statements, accident scene photographs and diagrams.

Additionally, an accident reconstruction report may be part of the investigation, involving specialized police officers who analyze the scene for evidence to determine the cause and circumstances of the crash. This report may involve measurements, photos, analysis of the vehicle’s black box or electronic data recorder, and other investigation data to assist in evaluating the accident.

Compensation for a Motorcycle Wrongful Death

Under Michigan law, the family of the decedent can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver and any other defendants responsible for the tragedy. The amount of compensation in these situations involves a few different factors.

For example, the amount of conscious pain and suffering the victim suffered matters. The longer the person experienced conscious pain and suffering, the more likely a fact finder will award more money.

There is also damages for loss of society and companionship. This compensates for the destruction of family relationships when one family member dies. This loss is measured by the an assessment of the decedent’s relationship with the individuals claiming compensation. This assessment can be made by looking at objective behavior, such as the time and activities shared and the overall characteristics of the relationship between the decedent and the claimant.

In addition, the amount of insurance that covers the at-fault vehicle or defendants is also especially important. If the at-fault driver or owner had a low insurance policy, there can be other ways to obtain more compensation for the tragedy. A dedicated and aggressive motorcycle accident injury lawyer can assist with this.

Survivors Loss Claims Following a Motorcycle Death

When an individual dies in a motorcycle crash, the surviving family members may be entitled to certain benefits under the Michigan no-fault law. This is called a Survivors’ Loss claim. This claim is made with a car insurance carrier, not the insurance company for the motorcycle. To be eligible for a survivors’ loss claim, a few conditions must be met:

  • If the motorcycle owner is the victim, he or she must have maintained motorcycle insurance on the motorcycle involved in the accident. If the bike was uninsured, then a Survivors’ Loss claim cannot be made.
  • A motor vehicle must be involved in causing the crash. A motor vehicle is a car or truck. If another motorcycle, or something other than a car or truck caused the crash, such as an off-road vehicle or snowmobile caused the accident, then a Survivors’ Loss claim cannot be made.
  • The person who died in the motorcycle accident must have had dependents. Dependents can include a spouse or children under the age of 18.

Which Insurance Company is Responsible for Paying the Survivors’ Loss PIP Claim?

Under Michigan law, there is an order to follow to determine which auto insurance company pays the PIP benefits, including survivor’s loss benefits. This is known as the “order of priority.” The insurance company for the motorcycle does not pay this. The order of priority for a motorcycle accident death case in Michigan is the following:

  1. The auto insurance for the owner or registrant of the motor vehicle involved in the crash.
  2. The auto insurance for the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the crash.
  3. The auto insurance for the operator of the motorcycle involved in the crash.
  4. The auto insurance of the owner or registrant of the motorcycle involved in the crash.
  5. The Michigan Assigned Claims Plan

What Benefits Are Available for Surviving Family Members of a Motorcycle Wrongful Death?

Surviving family members can obtain compensation in two different ways following a wrongful death motorcycle crash. Assuming a survivors’ loss claim can be opened, the survivors’ loss benefits to be paid out include “tangible things of economic value”, which lost wages for 3 years as well as lost fringe benefits – such as a pension, investment income, annuity income and disability coverage. The family can also receive replacement services for up to 3 years from the date of the accident.

Survivors’ Loss claims are only available up to the no-fault coverage cap available for the claim. Under the old rules, there was no cap as survivors’ loss policies were unlimited. However, this has changed and it is important to consult with an experienced and professional Michigan personal injury lawyer to find out the amount that applies in your situation.

Examples of Compensation for Wrongful Death Motorcycle Accident Victims

If you lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident, our Michigan wrongful death attorneys are here to help you with your wrongful death claims after a motorcycle crash. A wrongful death lawsuit could help your family recover damages such as:

  • Outstanding medical bills
  • Lost wage and loss of future earnings
  • The decedent’s future benefits
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium

How To File a Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful death cases in Michigan are covered by a specific law, the wrongful death statute – MCL 600.2922. Under the law, an Estate for the deceased must be set up. The family can decide on who will act as the personal representative of the Estate, or the judge will appoint someone. Setting up an estate is done in probate court and our law office can do this for you.

Our office guides our clients through the legal process during this stressful and emotional time. We work with compassion in making sure your rights are protected.

Legal Help for Motorcycle Wrongful Cases in Michigan

The dedicated Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. and Lee Steinberg Law Firm has spent their entire professional lives assisting and winning cases for Michigan motorcycle crash victims. We work tirelessly to pursue every avenue for recovery. Please call toll free at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free consultation. There is never a fee until we win your case.