The aftermath of a Michigan motorcycle accident can be stressful and frightening. Injured victims are often left with more questions than answers. What should you do? Is it possible to take legal action? And how will you pay your medical bills?
It’s time to talk to a lawyer. The Southfield motorcycle accident attorneys at Christensen Law can guide you through this difficult time. Keep reading for answers to the most frequently asked questions about motorcycle wrecks. For personalized advice about your case, contact us for a free consultation.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Southfield?
Taking certain steps can protect your legal right to compensation after a motorcycle accident in Southfield.
Always seek medical attention. Motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer injuries or die after a crash. A doctor can diagnose, document, and start treatment for your injuries right away. You may be more seriously hurt than you think. Not all injuries are visible, but they can prove fatal without timely treatment.
Gather all of the information you can about the accident. If your injuries are not urgent, take time to document the accident scene. Photos, video footage from nearby cameras, and witness names and contact information will be vital in building your case. If the motorcycle accident involved another vehicle, be sure to get the contact and insurance information from the involved motorist(s). You’ll likely need the police accident report for the insurance company to begin investigating your claim. Also consider keeping a daily journal to document the impact that your injuries have had on your life.
Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer. Recovering compensation after a motorcycle accident in Southfield can be difficult. Michigan has special motorcycle laws that could impact your claim significantly. Rather than trying to figure the rules out yourself or negotiate a settlement alone, get an attorney to do it for you.
Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance in Michigan?
All motorcyclists in Michigan must carry liability insurance. This coverage applies if a motorcyclist causes an accident that injures or kills someone else. Operators must also have first-party medical benefits coverage under their motorcycle policy if they choose to ride without a helmet.
Can I Get No-Fault Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident in Michigan?
Michigan is a no-fault auto insurance state. All motor vehicle drivers must carry no-fault insurance that pays for a portion of their losses if an accident occurs, no matter who was at fault. However, in Michigan, motorcycles are not considered “motor vehicles” and cannot purchase the same no-fault insurance and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that vehicle owners can.
If a motorcyclist is injured in an accident with an insured motor vehicle, the motorcyclist can seek PIP benefits from the motor vehicle driver’s insurer, enabling them to cover expenses for medical care, wage loss, and certain other costs.
How Can I Apply for No-Fault Benefits?
Motorcycle owners are not able to purchase no-fault insurance coverage in Michigan. However, insurers that provide motorcycle policies must offer motorcyclists optional medical benefits that can be purchased in $5,000 increments, up to a maximum determined by the insurance provider. These benefits may cover a motorcyclist’s injury-related costs when other insurance coverage is not available.
Can I Collect Compensation If I Am Partly to Blame for My Motorcycle Crash?
Under Michigan’s modified comparative negligence law, a motorcyclist seriously injured in a crash for which they are partially to blame may recover compensation depending on the share of fault they are assigned for the collision. However, any compensation will be reduced in proportion to the rider’s percentage of fault. A motorcyclist cannot recover non-economic losses if they are mostly to blame (over 50% at fault) for the accident.
Can I Sue the Other Driver for My Injuries?
You may be entitled to sue the other driver for pain and suffering you sustained in a motorcycle accident when the other driver’s negligence caused the crash. Michigan law defines a serious injury as one that results in a “serious impairment of body function.”
I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet. Can I Still Recover Compensation?
You could still be eligible to recover compensation even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle accident. However, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), your compensation may be reduced in proportion to your share of fault for the crash and for those injuries specifically caused by not wearing a helmet.
If your lack of a helmet is deemed the primary cause of your TBI, you may also be barred from recovering compensation for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering or lost quality of life.
The Insurance Company Wanted to Settle Within Days. Should I Accept?
You should never accept the first settlement offered by the insurance company, especially if they reach out to you days or hours after the collision. Insurers want to pay as little as possible for your motorcycle accident claim. Getting victims to accept a quick settlement when they are most vulnerable is a common and unfair tactic.
There’s no way to understand the full extent of your injuries immediately following an accident. You won’t be able to ask for more money later if you settle too soon, so reach out to a motorcycle accident lawyer right away to avoid being underpaid.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim for Compensation in a Southfield Motorcycle Accident?
Under Michigan’s statute of limitations on motorcycle accident claims, you generally have three years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit against the party(s) responsible for the crash. If you file your lawsuit after the deadline, your case could be dismissed and you lose your right to recover compensation altogether.
Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
You should speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after a crash. An experienced attorney can greatly improve your chances of recovering maximum compensation in your claim.
A lawyer will know how to investigate a motorcycle crash and what evidence is necessary to prove your claim. An attorney will also have the experience needed to accurately value your losses and ensure you pursue maximum compensation.
Contact Our Southfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
If you were injured in a motorcycle crash in Southfield, getting full and fair compensation can relieve your financial burdens and restore your wellbeing. Call or contact Christensen Law for a free consultation today with a proven motorcycle accident attorney.