Our top-rated Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers can help you if you or a passenger was injured while riding a motorcycle. We represent bikers and passengers in motorcycle accident cases. We get motorcyclists sizable settlements against at-fault drivers and help them file insurance claims for their no-fault insurance benefits.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers have the highest possible ratings in the legal profession for both skill and integrity. Bikers consider us the top motorcycle accident law firm in Michigan. We are members of ABATE and support a large number of other motorcycle clubs and groups across the State of Michigan.
Questions After Your Michigan Motorcycle Accident
You probably have a number of questions and concerns after your motorcycle accident on injuries, settlements, and more, including:
- What are the legal rights of a motorcycle accident victim?
- Am I entitled to no-fault insurance benefits after a Michigan motorcycle accident?
- Which insurance company has to pay my no-fault insurance claims?
- Who pays my medical bills and expenses for injuries caused by the accident?
- How do I get my lost wages and income paid if I am disabled from work?
- Can I sue the negligent driver that caused the accident for pain and suffering damages?
- Should I speak with the insurance adjuster without an experienced lawyer?
- Can I just settle my claim myself instead of hiring a motorcycle accident attorney?
- Will I need to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit to get a settlement?
- Is the insurance adjuster really trying to help me or just stringing me along?
- Who is the best Michigan motorcycle lawyer?
- How can I get the highest settlement compensation for my case?
- What are the motorcycle accident statistics in Michigan?
When you call our motorcycle accident law firm, you will speak directly to an attorney who will answer all of your questions. Michigan motorcycle laws are complex and confusing and we will carefully explain all of your legal rights to you.
Do I Have To File A Police Report After A Motorcycle 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 24 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.
What Is Defined As A "Motorcycle" In Michigan?
The laws for motorcycle accidents in Michigan are different than for other types of motor vehicles. There is often confusion regarding whether a specific type of motorized bike, like a moped, is considered to be a "motorcycle" as defined by Michigan law.
In Michigan, the definition of a motorcycle is a "two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle with a saddle or seat that can attain speeds greater than 30 mph on a level surface. There are similar vehicles, like "pocket rockets" or "mini choppers," may meet this broad definition, but do not have all of the equipment required by Michigan law to legally drive them on public roads and will not be registered by the Department of State. To qualify as a motorcycle, all equipment requirements must be satisfied.
When Should I Report The Accident To My Own Insurance Company?
You should contact your insurance company immediately after your motorcycle accident to report any damage to your bike and injuries to yourself. An adjuster will be assigned to assess the damage and to assist you in arranging repairs. If you were injured, you will need to file an Application for No-Fault Insurance Benefits if you qualify under Michigan law.
Who Pays For The Repairs And Property Damage To My Motorcycle?
Typically, your own motorcycle insurance pays for the damages and repairs to your motorcycle. For an accident with an automobile, the at-fault driver and owner of the automobile are not responsible for any damage done to your motorcycle -- not even the deductible. You must have collision coverage for the motorcycle with your own insurance company to get paid for repairs and damage. For an accident with another motorcycle, the at-fault driver and owner of the motorcycle are responsible for the damages and repairs to your motorcycle.
Does The Michigan Mini-Tort Law Apply To Motorcycle Accidents?
The Michigan No-Fault Act allows drivers and owners of an automobile to recover up to $1,000.00 from the at-fault driver and owner of an automobile to cover the damages and repairs to the automobile. However, motorcyclists are not entitled to make a mini-tort claim because it is limited to motor vehicles, and a motorcycle is not considered a motor vehicle under the Michigan No-Fault Act.
What Are Michigan No-Fault Insurance Benefits?
No-Fault insurance benefits are benefits that you are entitled to receive under Michigan law, regardless of fault, if you were injured in a motorcycle 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.
Can I Get No-Fault Insurance Benefits After A Motorcycle Crash?
Your motorcycle must be insured in order to receive Michigan No-Fault Benefits, by having basic motorcycle liability insurance, commonly known as Personal Liability and Property Damage (PLPD) insurance. Injured motorcycle passengers always qualify for these benefits.
The primary requirement to qualify for No-Fault benefits after a motorcycle accident is that the accident must "involve" an automobile, such as a car or truck. There does not necessarily have to be physical contact with an automobile -- only some involvement with a vehicle.
The No-Fault insurance benefits generally come from a Michigan automobile insurance policy. Many bikers purchase medical pay coverage as part of their motorcycle insurance to guarantee medical bills will be paid if injured in a crash.
Do I Still Get No-Fault Benefits If I Was At Fault And Caused 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.
Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents result in very serious injuries to the biker and passenger. 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
- Road Rash
- Psychological damage, like PTSD & depression
Victims of motorcycle accidents can require surgery, hospitalization, and extensive rehabilitation and therapy. Many of these injuries result in permanent disability from work and recreational activities.
Can I Sue The At-Fault Driver For Personal Injury Compensation?
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.
Most Common Causes of Accidents Involving Motorcyclists
To prove and win your case, the evidence must establish that another motorist was negligent in the operation of his or her car, truck, bus, or motorcycle. In most cases, the biker is completely free of any negligence and the accident was caused a driver ingoring the rights of motorcyclists on the streets and highways. The most common reported causes of motorcycle accidents in Michigan include:
- Improper lane changes. Drivers cutting into the lane of the biker without checking a blind spot or signaling when changing lanes.
- Distracted driving. Drivers texting, using their cell pone, or simply not paying appropriate attention to other motorists.
- Speeding. Travelling at speeds in excess of the posted legal speed limit
- Driving under the influence. Drunk drivers and motorists operating under the influence of narcotics and other illicit drugs.
- Intersection accidents. Drivers running red lights or making illegal turns at intersections.
- Sudden stops. Rear-end accidents resulting from following too closely or an abrupt stop can result in serious injury or death to a motorcyclist.
- Head on collisions. Drivers travellling the wrong way on a street or highway.
- Left turn accidents. Negligence while making a left turn are common causes of injury and death to motorcycle riders.
- Defective road conditions. Potholes and debris on streets, roads, and highways pose a significant danger to motorcyclists.
- Vehicle defects. Defective conditions on cars and trucks pose a significant danger to bikers, including tires and debris falling off vehicles.
Can An Injured Motorcycle Passenger Sue For Personal Injuries?
Injured motorcycle passengers can sue all drivers that were negligent in causing the accident. This includes the driver of the motorcycle and all other vehicles responsible for causing the crash. Most times, the biker and motorist will blame each other for the accident. However, the injured passenger is always an innocent victim and will be able to sue one or more at-fault parties of the accident.
How Much Time Do I Have To Sue Someone After A Motorcycle 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. If you miss the deadline, your case will be lost forever.
What Is The Average Settlement For A Michigan Motorcycle Accident?
There is no "average" motorcycle 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. Our experienced lawyers will weigh all factors to determine the proper amount of your motorcycle injury settlement. We will then discuss that amount with you and then proceed to negotiate a settlement with the insurance adjuster. If we are unable to reach a fair settlement with the insurance adjuster, we will then file a lawsuit for you to maximize the best possible result for you.
Types of Claims for Money Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Michigan law provides for several types of compensation to the victim of a motorcycle accident. Settlements, awards, and jury verdicts include money damages for:
- Pain & Suffering - you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering from the time of the accident, to the present and even going into the future.
- Fright & Shock - this includes fright & shock just before and during the accident.
- Psychological Injuries -like PTSD & depression from the psychological trauma of the crash and the painful emotions of going through the recovery process.
- Scars & Permanent Disfigurements - signficant money compensation can be recovered from scars, especially on the face, neck, and arms.
- Disability from Work & Activities - losing time from employment, recreation, hobbies, and other activities can be devastating to your lifestyle
- Loss of Income & Wages (past, present, & future)
- Bystander Claims (witnessing a family member injured in an accident)
- Death (filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit) - claims are made for the pain and suffering of the victim from the time of accident until death, for loss of companionship of the surviving family members, and for economic losses suffered by the family due to the death of a family member.
Video: How Much Is My Motorcycle Accident Claim Worth?
There are many factors used to determine what your motorcycle 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.
Compensation To Family Members After A Motorcycle Accident Death
In a case involving the death of the motorcyclist or passenger, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases seek damages for conscious pain and suffering 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.
Examples Of Our Michigan Motorcycle Accident Settlements
We have a great track record of motorcycle accident settlements and jury verdicts. We settle over 97% of our cases for the maximum amount before ever going to court.
- $5,000,000 Judgment against a negligent driver who struck and severely injured a motorcyclist in Kalamazoo
- $1,100,000 Settlement for a Detroit biker injured when a truck forced him into oncoming traffic.
- $ 750,000 Settlement for a husband and wife severely injured after being hit by a car on a Michigan highway.
- $ 560,000 Settlement for a Michigan motorcyclist injured in Florida motorcycle accident.
- $ 500,000 Settlement for a Flint area biker who was seriously injured in an accident.
- $ 485,000 Wrongful death settlement for hit by a van on the highway in a fatal accident.
- $ 100,000 Settlement for insurance policy limits for Emmet County motorcycle accident
More Settlements For Motorcycle Accidents In Michigan
- $9,500,000 Settlement for a motorcyclist struck by a City of Detroit Department of Transportation Bus
- $2,750,000 Settlement for a Michigan fatal motorcycle accident lawsuit. The biker was killed when a test driver turned left into him..
- $1,900,000 Settlement for a motorcyclist seriously injured in a Grand Traverse County collision with an SUV. The motorcyclist suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple bone fractures which have required 18 surgeries.
- $1,600,000 Settlement for a biker who fell from his motorcycle when a farm truck and trailer pulled out into the roadway in Saginaw County
- $1,260,000 motorcycle crash settlement. The motorcyclist was injured and rendered unable to work after an Eaton County collision with a motor vehicle. The biker sustained significant orthopedic injuries, causing extensive physical limitations.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Motorcycle 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 30 days of signing the Settlement Release Agreement and sending it back to the insurance adjuster or defense attorney. In cases involving wrongful death, it may take slightly longer because a court hearing is necesssary to approve the settlement and distribute the settlement money.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Settle My Motorcycle Injury Case?
You can always try to settle your injury cases 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 pay 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 be aware 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 that 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 Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
It does not cost anything to hire our motorcycle 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.
How We Win Your Michigan Motorcycle Accident Case
Motorcycle accidents are almost always caused by careless and negligent motorists, and not the biker. Too often, however, there may be no independent witnesses to the accident and the police officer simply accepts the vehicle driver's version of the accident. This can result in the police officer wrongfully place the fault on the biker.
Many times, the motorcyclist 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 spoke to the motorcyclist to get the biker's version of how the accident happened. This results in blame being placed on the wrong person.
Our legal team will do everything possible to prove that the driver of the vehicle that hit you was negligent and caused the crash. To win your case, we will:
- 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, including skid marks
- Photograph and measure the damage to the vehicle and the motorcycle to determine speed and point of impact
- Hire nationally respected motorcycle accident reconstruction expert witnesses to analyze the accident
- Have a 3D animation created to demonstrate how the accident occurred to the judge and jury
Free Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Consultation
Tell us your story and we will explain your legal rights to you and answer all of your questions. You can meet with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at our office, your home, or in a hospital. Our legal team will investigate your case and assist you with all of your motorcycle accident insurance claims. We will also get you the maximum possible motorcycle accident settlement for your injury case.
Best Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Our legal team includes the most successful motorcycle 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
- Members of Million Dollar Advocates
Our No-Fee Promise On Michigan Motorcycle Accident Cases
It costs you nothing to have our Michigan motorcycle attorneys get started on your case. If we cannot get you a settlement, you owe us nothing. We promise you in writing:
- No money to start your case or anytime until receive your settlement
- We pay all case costs and expenses for your motorcycle accident lawsuit
- You are charged no legal fees whatsoever unless you receive a settlement
- We will meet with you and take your phone calls as often as you request at no charge
Start Your Michigan Motorcycle Accident Claim
Get started on your motorcycle accident case today. You can:
- Submit the Free Case Review Box on this page and will we contact quickly.
- Type an online chat in the pop up box and a lawyer will read it and call you.
- Call (800) 606-1717 any time of day to speak with our attorneys about your case.
Warning: There are strict time deadlines for filing Michigan motorcycle accident lawsuits. Call us to learn more about motorcycle accident lawsuits and settlements.
Michigan Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accident statistics published by the Michigan Office of Higway Safety Planning show there were 3,274 motorcycle-involved accidents in Michigan in 2016. From that total, 141 motorcyclists were killed and 2,622 were injured. There were 367 bikers with incapacitating injuries.
With respect to motorcycle helmet usage, 44.7% of motorcyclists killed were wearing helmets vs. 49.6% who were not wearing helmets. A 2013 observational survey was conducted by Wayne State University estimated helmet use at 73% and high-visibility gear at 5.5%
Michigan Motorcycle Accident References and Resources
- Michigan Traffic Crash Facts - Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning
- Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - Motorcycle Safety
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation
- U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administaration - Motrocycle Safety