Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in MI
After a motorcycle accident, it is essential to consult a motorcycle accident lawyer immediately. Legal claims of a motorcyclist are different, and far more complicated, than the claims of an automobile driver or passenger. This is because Michigan law does not consider a motorcycle to be a “motor vehicle.”
Many of our lawyers and staff ride motorcycles. We take these cases personally and call our work for bikers the Bernstein Biker Advantage. Accidents involving motorcycles can be particularly serious because there’s much less protection than any other motor vehicle.
Motorcycle Rider Statistics
Most motorcyclists use every possible safety precaution. However, a mistake by another driver may put even the most careful and skilled motorcyclist at risk of life-threatening injury.
Michigan motorcycle deaths rose 23 percent from 112 to 138 between 2014 and 2015, according to AAA. The auto club reports that Michigan ranks 10th highest in the Nation for the number of motorcycle fatalities.
The Michigan No-Fault Act—Does It Apply to Motorcycle Riders?
Michigan is a “no-fault” state for automobile accidents. Every driver of a motor vehicle must purchase no-fault insurance. The insurance includes personal injury protection, property protection, and residual liability insurance. This insurance basically protects you and anyone you hit (though there are certain exceptions) by paying for necessary medical bills and a portion of your lost wages.
When it comes to motorcycle accidents, however, the Michigan No-Fault Act does not automatically apply because a motorcycle is not considered a motor vehicle according to Michigan law. Luckily, motorcycle riders are able to purchase motorcycle liability insurance, which can be used in the event a motorcycle rider is injured on the roadway.
How Do I Know If I Am Entitled to No-Fault Benefits After a Motorcycle Accident?
If you were injured while riding a motorcycle due to a collision with a moving motor vehicle, and the driver of the motor vehicle was at fault for the accident—as long as you have motorcycle insurance—you will be covered for no-fault benefits. These benefits include repairing damage to the motorcycle, as well as medical bills and a portion of your lost wages.
Michigan’s Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents
Injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents fall under the standard three-year statute of limitations that applies to all personal injury claims in Michigan. This means that you have exactly three years from the date of the accident to file your personal injury claim. If you do not file it in time, you may lose your right to compensation for your injuries. In the event there was a death due to the motorcycle accident, the three-year deadline starts on the day that person died for a wrongful death claim. There are certain exceptions to these rules, however, so it is always a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to discuss the particular facts in your case.
Contact us before you talk to the insurance company. Signing the wrong papers could mean you have settled for less than you deserve.