If a vehicle crashed into your motorcycle and injures you, and the driver of the vehicle is found at-fault for the accident, you need to know how to move forward with your case in the state of Michigan.
Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
In the state of Michigan, motorcycles are not technically considered motor vehicles, which means that as a driver of a motorcycle, you are not required to hold no-fault insurance like owners of other vehicles are required to carry.
However, you are required at least have an insurance policy that has liability coverage for both property damage and bodily injury. If you have this basic type of insurance, your coverage only kicks in if you were responsible for an accident and hurt someone else or their vehicle. This basic level of insurance will not cover your medical care or motorcycle repair costs.
In order for your insurance to kick in and help you out with medical bills and repair costs, you will need to carry a more extensive insurance policy that includes comprehensive and collision coverage.
No-Fault Rules & Motorcycles
If your accident was caused as the result of a collision with a motor vehicle, the other driver's no-fault insurance coverage would kick in for you as long as you are carrying the minimum amount of motorcycle insurance required by Michigan state law.
That means that in essence, you would get the same benefits as any other accident victim would under Michigan's no-fault insurance law, which include medical and rehabilitation expenses covered, lost wages reimbursed and replacement services covered. If your motorcycle causes any damage to other's property during the accident, those costs should also be covered. Even though you yourself are not personally carrying a no-fault insurance policy, you benefit from the other driver's no-fault insurance policy.
The primary way to get compensation when you are involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist is through a first-party claim with the other driver's insurance company. Although the other driver's insurance company is legally required to provide you with all of Michigan's no-fault benefits, it can be helpful to have an attorney in your corner to advocate for your benefits and ensure that you get the full compensation that you deserve. An attorney can also file the first-party claim with the other driver's insurance company for you. This claim has to be filed within one year of your accident.
The secondary way to get compensation when you are involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist in the state of Michigan is through a third-party claim, which is also sometimes referred to as a tort claim. This type of lawsuit is filed directly against the driver responsible for the crash and allows you to receive compensation for pain, suffering, and economic damage. You have three years from the date of the accident to file this type of claim.
The third option you can pursue, if you feel that the state of Michigan's roads played a contributing factor in the accident, is the lawsuit against the government entity in Michigan that is responsible for the roads in the jurisdiction of your accident. There are very strict deadlines and procedures for these types of lawsuits that vary across the state of Michigan, so if you want to proceed with this option, you should speak with an attorney as soon as you can after your accident.
If you are a motorcyclist who is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, there are lots of compensation options open to you. Speak with a Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer to learn more about your choices.