Michigan is a great place for motorcycle riders. Its positioning among the Great Lakes offers miles of shoreline and picturesque scenery. Along the way, bikers can take advantage of the state’s inns, wineries, and attractions. But motorcyclists are only as safe as those they share the road with, and a beautiful ride can turn tragic in a heartbeat because of an automobile accident.
If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a crash in Michigan, you can take several steps to protect your health and financial future. Read on to learn more about what to do after a Michigan motorbike accident and how a motorcycle accident lawyer with our firm can assist you.
Report Your Michigan Motorcycle Accident to Law Enforcement Right Away
As Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 257.622 advises, you must report motor vehicle accidents involving bodily injuries, death, or property damages exceeding $1,000 to local law enforcement immediately after the collision.
If a law enforcement officer was at the crash scene, they made an official report about it. If you did not call the police when the accident occurred, you should find the nearest police station or police officer and make a report right away.
The police report will ultimately include an analysis of the motorcycle wreck’s cause. It will also include other valuable information you will need for your insurance claim or lawsuit, like witnesses’ names and contact information.
Seek Prompt Medical Treatment for Your Injuries After a Motorcycle Crash
If you did not receive treatment at the time of your accident, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries, like whiplash or hairline bone fractures, are not immediately apparent. Receiving medical care will ensure you do not have an undetected or worsening injury. It will also create a medical record for your motorcycle accident claim.
Once you receive treatment, follow all your doctor’s orders and make all future medical appointments. You should also avoid activities that could worsen your injury or cause additional health problems.
File an Insurance Claim to Recover Motorcycle Accident Compensation
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, you can seek compensation for your medical expenses and other damages with an insurance claim. However, Michigan’s No-Fault insurance system is complex and can be especially confusing for motorcycle riders because the law does not require you to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
Usually, after a Michigan auto accident, injured parties must turn to their PIP for compensation, regardless of fault for the collision. However, the state’s No-Fault laws only apply to four-wheeled vehicles, exempting motorcycle operators from this type of coverage. Instead, riders who suffer injuries in collisions with cars, trucks, and buses must file a PIP benefits claim with the vehicle owner’s insurance.
If the vehicle owner does not have insurance, you can seek medical coverage from other involved parties in the following order:
- The motor vehicle operator’s insurer
- The insurer of the operator of the motorcycle
- The insurer of the motorcycle’s owner
No-Fault insurance provides medical coverage, compensation for a portion of your lost wages, and replacement services up to the policy’s limits. Once you exhaust the insurance available to you through a vehicle owner, you can pursue additional damages through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP).
A personal injury lawyer with our firm can answer your questions about filing a PIP insurance claim after a motorcycle accident in Michigan. We will help you:
- Identify the appropriate party to file your claim with
- Prepare your claims paperwork
- Assess and calculate your covered losses
- Negotiate for the maximum compensation possible
What Type of Motorcycle Insurance Do Michigan Bike Riders Have to Carry?
Even though bikers are outside the No-Fault system, you may still have to have some mandatory medical coverage if you ride your motorcycle without a helmet.
According to Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 257.658(5), riders and their passengers can forgo a motorcycle helmet if:
- The motorcycle operator has at least $20,000 in first-party medical benefits.
- The biker has held a motorcycle endorsement on their license for at least two years or passed a motorcycle safety course.
- The rider and their passenger are age 21 or older.
You will also need liability insurance to pay for bodily injuries to another party if you are liable for a collision. State law requires a minimum of $50,000 in bodily injury (BI) per person and $100,000 per accident. You can purchase additional BI or add more medical insurance in $5,000 increments, but it is optional.
Seek Additional Losses With a Motorcycle Accident Liability Claim or Lawsuit
If you suffered a severe or catastrophic injury and have medical damages that cost more than the PIP available to you, you can pursue awards from an at-fault driver with a claim against their auto liability insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. Compensation may include the following:
- Medical bills. You can seek coverage for medical expenses that exceed the vehicle driver’s PIP benefits. You can also pursue awards to pay for treatments and therapies PIP may not reimburse. Medical damages include current and future accident-related medical costs like surgeries, medications, rehabilitation services, and long-term nursing.
- Lost income. If you missed work due to your injury, you can pursue the full value (not just a percentage) of your back pay and lost employment benefits. You can also seek awards for lost future earnings and loss of your earning potential if you sustained a permanent or disabling injury that interferes with your work capabilities.
- Pain and suffering. A severe motorcycle accident injury can affect nearly every aspect of your life. You deserve non-economic compensation for intangible losses, including physical and chronic pain, scarring, disfigurement, mental and emotional distress, reduced quality of life, and loss of enjoyment. A personal injury attorney can calculate your pain and suffering losses.
- Wrongful death. If your loved one died from a motorcycle crash injury, a wrongful death lawyer with our firm can help you recover damages owed to the deceased estate and compensation for surviving family members. Wrongful death awards may include medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of the decedent’s financial support and services, and loss of your family member’s companionship, care, and society.
You Can Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Handle Your Michigan Motorcycle Collision Claim
You may consider hiring a legal representative to help you recover motorcycle accident compensation for a Michigan accident. A lawyer may be especially helpful if you have grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit or run into problems securing full and fair compensation from the insurance company.
Working with our team can provide you with an experienced legal ally familiar with Michigan’s insurance system and the tactics insurers use to avoid paying claims. While we focus on getting you compensation, you can turn your time and energy toward healing or caring for your injured loved one. Tasks a motorcycle accident attorney with our firm will assist with include the following:
- Reviewing your case to determine all of your available options for recovering compensation after a motorcycle collision in Michigan
- Identifying and calculating your economic and non-economic damages
- Collecting evidence to establish your right to recover financial awards
- Proving your eligibility to pursue a liability claim or lawsuit and showing that another party is liable for your crash
- Drafting, filing, and managing case paperwork
- Tracking and adhering to insurance and legal deadlines
- Communicating with insurance agents and other involved parties on your behalf
- Tirelessly negotiating for a fair settlement that covers your losses
- Preparing your case for civil court and representing you at trial if necessary
Is There a Time Limit for Pursuing a Michigan Motorcycle Accident Case?
According to Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 500.3145, you must file an initial PIP claim within one year of your motorcycle wreck, or you will not receive coverage. If you have the right to pursue compensation from an at-fault party, you have three years to sue for personal injury or wrongful death under Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.5805.
What Not to Do After a Motorcycle Accident Happens in Michigan
Insurance is a business, and insurance companies aim to make a profit. They will look for reasons to underpay or deny claims to increase their bottom line. After a motorcycle accident in Michigan, you should be careful what you say and do when it comes to speaking with insurance carriers. You should not:
- Admit fault for the crash or speculate on its cause
- Go into detail about your collision
- Discuss your injuries, no matter how seemingly minor they are
- Agree to give a recorded statement
- Accept a hasty settlement offer that may be less than you deserve
Call Christensen Law Today for Help After Your Michigan Motorcycle Accident
At Christensen Law, we don’t just serve Michigan’s biking community—we are a part of it. Our legal team includes lawyers who ride, and we understand the unique challenges injured bikers and their families face.
Contact our law firm or call 248-900-9000 for a free consultation. Our personal injury attorneys can tell you more about what to do after a motorcycle accident in Michigan. We serve clients on contingency, so working with us will cost you nothing up front or out of pocket. 24/7 legal help.