Our Michigan motorcycle accident attorney obtained a significant jury verdict in a motorcycle accident insurance trial. The lawsuit was filed by Grange Insurance Company against four bikers injured in a motorcycle accident. The insurance company had refused to pay essential Michigan No-Fault Insurance benefits to the motorcyclists and their passengers that resulted from a September 20, 2008 accident.
The injuries on the motorcyclist included sprains, road rash, to broken bones requiring surgery. The surgeries varied from arthroscopic surgeries to open reduction internal fixation surgery with screws and plates. The worst injured motorcyclist was off work for approximately 10 months and when she returned to work her position was filled and she was demoted.
The insurance company agreed as to the amount of medical expenses, attendant care, services, household services, and lost wages incurred by the accident victims as a result of the incident. However, the insurance company disputed that it was responsible for paying those benefits based upon its contention that that there was no involvement with its insured vehicle (the Suburban) at the time of the accident. "Involvement" does not require contact, but if there is contact with a motor vehicle then the motorcyclist were entitled to Michigan No-Fault benefits. There was strong evidence that there was direct contact with the bumper of the Suburban. Interestingly enough the owner of the Suburban filed a property damage claim for the damage to the Suburban against the eastbound motorcyclists' insurance company and was paid.
The case was tried before a jury for two days in the Monroe County Circuit Court. The jury determined that the insurance company must pay $50,000 in penalty interest for improperly denying the claims. Based upon this determination and other factors under the Michigan No-Fault Insurance laws, the trial court can award significant attorney's fees against the insurance company and for the injured motorcyclists. A Motion for Attorney's Fees for a determination as to the amount of those fees will be filed with the trial court shortly.