Our Michigan bicycle accident injury lawyers represent victims of bike accidents on streets, highways, and roadways. We also represent bicyclists injured in parking lots and in crosswalks.
Settlement claims can often be filed for their personal injuries as a result of the accident. In cases involving fatalities, the families of the person killed can file a Michigan wrongful death claim. We can help you if your bicycle accident was today or anytime in the past.
Do I Have To File A Police Report After A Bicycle Accident?
Michigan law requires drivers to report any accident involving a motor vehicle that causes more than $1,000 in property damage, results in death or injury, or damages an unattended vehicle or other property. A written report is not always required. However, many insurance company policies require that you file written report with a police agency be filed within twenty-four hours of the accident to qualify for insurance benefits.
How Can I Get My Police Accident Report?
You can get a copy of your traffic crash report (UD-10) from the police agency that investigated the accident. For accidents investigated by the Michigan State Police, you can purchase your report online through the Traffic Crash Purchasing System.
When Should I Report The Accident To My Own Insurance Company?
If you were injured in the bicycle accident, you should contact your insurance company immediately to report any damage to your bike and injuries to yourself. For injuries that require medical treatment, you will need to file an Application for No-Fault Insurance Benefits if you qualify under Michigan law.
What Are Michigan No-Fault Insurance Benefits?
No-Fault insurance benefits are benefits you are entitled to receive under Michigan law, regardless of fault, if you were injured in a bicycle accident that arose out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of an automobile as an automobile, such as a car or truck.
These benefits include wage loss benefits for the first three years after the accident, assistance with household chores for the first three years after the accident, unlimited lifetime medical expense coverage, mileage to and from doctor appointments, attendant care and other benefits such as home and vehicle modifications.
Video: Can I Get No-Fault Insurance Benefits After A Bicycle Crash?
A bicyclist can always get No-Fault insurance benefits under Michigan law, even if the bicyclist did not own an automobile or have an auto insurance policy. Benefits will either come from your own car insurance, the car insurance of a family member, or from the insurance company of the negligent driver that you on the bike. If none of these people had insurance, you can get benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
Do I Still Get No-Fault Benefits If I Was At Fault For The Accident?
You can receive all eligible benefits even if you were at fault in the accident. This is true even if you injured another person in the accident, or even if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. An insurance company cannot deny your benefits if the accident was your fault.
Can I Sue The At Fault Driver If I Was Hit By A Car On My Bike?
You can sue the at-fault driver for your personal injuries suffered in the accident. You can also sue the owner of the vehicle driven by the at fault driver. These claims provide money compensation for your pain and suffering, psychological damages, disability, and scars caused by the accident.
How Much Time Do I Have To Sue Someone After A Bicycle Accident?
Under Michigan law, the time limit to sue someone for personal injuries from an auto accident is three years from the date of the accident. This is known as the “Statute of Limitations. The period may be extended longer if the injured person was a minor at the time of the crash.
What Is The Average Settlement For A Michigan Bicycle Accident?
There is no “average” bicycle accident settlement that is used as a basis for determining the payout amount in your case. Every claim is completely different and based upon a number of factors.
How Much Can I Get For Bicycle Accident Settlement?
There are many factors used to determine what your bicycle accident claim is worth. The amount of your settlement will depend on the seriousness of your injuries, the type and length of your medical treatment, and how the injuries have affected your ability to lead a normal life.
Other settlement factors include whether you had an excess loss of income, a loss of future earning capacity, and the permanency of your injuries. The insurance policy limits of the negligent motorist and other potential sources of insurance coverage are also a major factor in determining the amount of your settlement.
What Are The Claims In A Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
The term "damages" in a lawsuit refers to the type of harm a person has suffered as a result of the accident. If the case goes to trial, the jurors are asked to evaluate the different damages for a specific case. The jury then decides the dollar amount for each type of damage claim proven at trial.
For a bicycle accident lawsuit in Michigan, the types of allowable damages include:
- Pain & Suffering (at the time of the accident, during the period of recovery, and going into the future)
- Fright & Shock
- Psychological Injuries (such PTSD & depression)
- Scars & Permanent Disfigurements
- Disability from Work & Activities (time away from work and being unable to participate in recreational activities)
- Loss of Income & Wages (past, present, & future)
- Bystander Claims (witnessing a family member injured in an accident)
- Death (filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit)
Compensation To Family Members After A Fatal Bicycle Accident
In a case involving the death of the bicyclist, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases seek damages for conscious pain and suffering of the bicyclist from the time of accident until death, the loss of society and companionship of surviving family members, loss of income and support, and other economic damages.
The lawsuit can be brought by a family member of the decedent and is filed on behalf of the entire family. The person bringing the suit is appointed as the Personal Representative of the estate for the purposes of filing the case, but all family members have rights in the suit. The parties need a judge to approve the settlement and the amount of the settlement shares for each family member. Family members who do not agree with the settlement or their shares of it can appear at the court hearing and object. The judge may then hold a hearing to determine the fair distribution of the shares to each person.
Most Common Causes Of Michigan Bicycle Accidents
Most bicycle accidents are caused because drivers are not paying attention to bicyclists or simply ignore the rights of cyclists. The most common causes of bicycle accidents in Michigan include:
- Excessive speed
- Failure to yield
- Unlawful turns (often left turns at intersections & right turns with bicyclist on right side)
- Distracted driving (texting & cell phone usage)
- Hit by a car door opening
- Sideswiping a bicyclist
- Crossing into marked bicycle lanes
- Driving into crosswalks without regard for bicyclists
- Driving into sidewalks without looking for bicyclists
Quite often, there are no witnesses to the bike accident and the police listen to the driver's version of the accident. This can result in the police officer wrongfully place the fault on the bicyclist. Many times, the bicyclist is in an ambulance on the way to the hospital when the police interview the negligent driver. We have had many cases in which the police never even get the bicyclist's version of the story and this results in blame being placed on the wrong person.
Most Common Types Of Michigan Bicycle Injury Cases
Catastrophic injuries, even wrongful death are frequent outcomes of bicycle accidents in Michigan. Some of the most common resulting injures include:
- Closed head/traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries, including quadriplegia and paraplegia
- Broken bones and Fractures
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Burn injuries
- Amputation injury
It is important that if you or someone you care about is injured that you hire an experienced Michigan bicycle accident attorney immediately to begin the investigation of your claim. Hiring an attorney early is important so that important evidence can be obtained, such as photographs and witness statements, that can help prove and win your case.
Proving The Driver Was At Fault For Your Bicycle Accident
Our legal team will do everything possible to prove that the driver of the vehicle that hit you was negligent and caused the crash. In most cases, we:
- Get all police accident reports
- Subpoena videos of the accident from the police car
- Subpoena any traffic light video cameras
- Subpoena surveillance video from buildings in the area to see if they captured the accident on video
- Subpoena the 911 call made after the accident
- Interview all eyewitnesses with our own special investigators
- Take measurements of the roadway and area of the accident
- Hire nationally respected bicycle accident reconstruction expert witnesses to analyze the accident
- Have a 3d animation created to demonstrate how the accident occurred to the judge and jury
How To Determine The Amount Of A Bicycle Accident Settlement
There is no specific formula, guideline, or calculator used to determine the right amount of a bicycle accident settlement. There are many factors that insurance companies and attorney's use to determine the value of a bike accident injury case. These include the fault of the driver, any fault attributed to the bicyclist, the seriousness of the injuries, the type of medical treatment, the presence of any scars or disfigurements, and the length of time of disability.
Every case is different so a careful evaluation of all facts must be considered before agreeing to a settlement. The insurance policy limits of the negligent driver and the owner of the vehicle also play an important factor in determining the settlement amount. Our legal team will consider every one of these factors and then work to get you the highest possible settlement for your case.
Examples Of Our Michigan Bicycle Accident Settlements
Our expert Michigan bicycle accident lawyers win the highest possible settlements and jury verdicts. Below is an example of bicycle accident lawsuits won by our award winning law firm.
- $1,000,000 Settlement for the family of a bicyclist run over by a truck in a Macomb County wrongful death lawsuit
- $ 750,000 Settlement for a bicyclist hit by a transportation van in the Downriver Detroit area
- $ 600,000 Settlement for a bicyclist who suffered a traumatic brain injury in an Ann Arbor area accident
- $ 290,000 Settlement for a client who was injured while riding a bike on Mackinaw Island.
- $ 280,000 Settlement for Grand Rapids bicycle accident wrongful death lawsuit
- $ 250,000 Settlement for a Macomb County wrongful death lawsuit filed against a motorist.
- $ 100,000 Settlement for a bicycle rider who suffered serious injuries in Monroe.
- $ 100,000 Settlement for a 65 year old man who was struck while riding his bike in Clinton Township.
- $ 90,000 Settlement for a bicyclist struck by an SUV in Garden City.
More Bicycle Settlements In Michigan
- $5.500,000 settlement for the family of a woman killed while riding her bicycle on U.S. 31 near Petoskey in Northern Michigan
- $4,500,000 settlement. A bus passenger was killed in a Detroit accident when he was run over while removing his bicycle from the front of a bus.
- $2,000,000 wrongful death lawsuit verdict. A minor riding a bicycle was killed when a pickup truck driving on the bike path stopped suddenly and reversed over the child. The property owners were also held liable for permitting vehicular traffic on a children’s bike path.
- $1,750,000 settlement in Oakland County, Michigan for a child hit by a car while riding his bike through an intersection. He suffered a traumatic brain injury.
- $1,750,000 arbitration award for a for a child hit by a car in a crosswalk in Oakland County, Michigan.
- $1,250,000 fatal bike accident settlement. A bicyclist was killed in an Otsego rural road when he was struck from behind by a motor vehicle. The driver of the vehicle mistakenly believed she had given the bicyclist enough room as she tried to pass. The bicyclist sustained severe injuries in the collision that lead to his ultimate death.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Bicycle Accident Settlement?
The length of time that it takes to get paid a settlement is different in every case. Some cases settle quickly because the injuries are serious and the insurance policy limit is low, so the adjuster will pay the entire policy quickly. However, most cases can take up to a year or more after the accident to get a settlement check because the victim is still recovering and the future effect of the injuries are unknown.
Beware of lawyers promising fast settlements. This usually means they are putting their own interests before your best interests and want to make a quick fee and then leave you to handle your No-Fault Insurance claims on your own. This is a common tactic of many TV lawyers.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement Check?
In most cases, you should receive your settlement check within thirty days of signing the Settlement Release Agreement and sending it back to the insurance adjuster or defense attorney.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Settle My Bicycle Injury Case?
You can always try to settle your injury case without a lawyer. However, studies show that injury victims receive much higher settlement awards when represented by an experienced attorney and end up with more money for themselves even after paying the lawyer fees.
If you try to settle the case on your own, you should just be aware of any releases or papers that you will be required to sign by the insurance company. The documents may contain language that will get you to give up your important legal rights forever.
You should also beware that the adjuster may not tell you the real insurance policy limits or other available types of insurance coverage that could bring you a larger settlement. Once you sign a release of claims, you are stuck with your settlement even if you later find out there were higher policy limits or other sources of insurance that could have paid you much more money.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Bicycle Accident Attorney?
It does not cost anything to hire our bicycle accident lawyers. We do not charge any fees to start your case and only get paid when you receive your settlement check. This is called a contingency fee agreement. Under this arrangement, we also pay all of the case expenses for you and get a percentage of the settlement at the very end of the case when your check is received.
Do You Have To Pay Your Lawyer If You Lose Your Case?
No. Under our contingent fee agreement, there are no legal fees if the case is unsuccessful and you do not receive a settlement. You owe us nothing.
Our No-Fee Promise For Michigan Bicycle Accident Cases
We will represent you in your bicycle accident case under our no-fee promise. This means that you will not be charged any legal fees whatsoever unless we obtain a settlement or recovery for you. You have absolutely no obligation for legal fees unless we win your case. If we do not obtain a settlement for you, you owe us nothing.
Best Michigan Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Our legal team includes the most successful bicycle accident attorneys in Michigan. Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. and our lawyers have won the top awards in the legal profession, including:
- U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms
- "Best Michigan Personal Injury Attorney" By American Lawyer Academy
- Named Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Michigan
- Honored as "Super Lawyers"
- Top Martindale-Hubbell Rating (AV) for Skill & Integrity
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Start Your Michigan Bicycle Accident Claim
For more information regarding your rights after a Michigan bicycle accident, call our experienced bike accident attorneys now at (800) 606-1717 to discuss your case. We will determine if you are eligible to receive no-fault insurance benefits and receive a settlement. We have helped bicyclists just like you who have suffered serious injuries in biking accidents.
Call us today to schedule your free consultation. There are absolutely no fees unless you receive a settlement.
Michigan Bicycle Accident Statistics
There were 1,988 bicyclists involved in auto accidents in Michigan in 2016. Of that total, 1,526 bicyclists were injured according to police traffic crash reports. There were 38 fatal bicycle crashes on Michigan roadways.
The majority of the bicycle accidents occurred during daylight hours, with the peak hours of 5:00 - 5:30 p.m.. for crashes. The peak time for fatal crashes was at night from 9:00 - 9:30 p.m. Male bicyclists account for the majority of those injured, including those killed in fatal bicycle accidents. Fortunately, there were no bicycle deaths involving children in 2014.
Michigan Bicycle Accident References and Resources
- Michigan Traffic Crash Facts ( Publication of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning)
- Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning
- League of Michigan Bicyclists
- Michigan State Police Crash Statistics
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - Bicycle Safety