Injured on a Motorcycle in Michigan? Get the Bear on Your Side!
There are approximately 238,000 motorcycles registered in the state of Michigan, suggesting that a significant number of residents enjoy using them to commute or travel. Although motor vehicles are supposed to share the road safely with motorcycle riders, it doesn’t always happen.
Each year, thousands of motorcyclists are injured in accidents involving reckless drivers. Approximately 25 percent of motorcycle accidents are the result of the bike colliding with a stationary object or the rider losing control, but more than 75 percent are caused by another vehicle colliding with the motorcycle. Motorcycles provide little protection, so riders often suffer severe injuries.
At Conybeare Law Office, we represent motorcyclists injured by drunk, distracted, and otherwise negligent drivers. We are compassionate, effective, and committed to achieving results for our clients. If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one in an accident involving a motorcycle, contact our firm right away for a free consultation with a car accident attorney in Michigan.
Conybeare Law Office serves the following areas:
Table of Contents:
- How Can Our Kalamazoo Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Help?
- Michigan Motorcycle Accident Statistics
- Michigan Motorcycle Laws
- Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Michigan
- Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- I Was in a Michigan Motorcycle Accident. Who Pays My Bills?
- What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
- What Are the Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement Amounts in Michigan?
- Get a Free Consultation With a Michigan Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Kalamazoo
How Can Our Kalamazoo Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Help?
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating to you and your loved ones. As Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers, we are well aware of how dangerous state highways can become for motorcyclists, and we work tirelessly to ensure that your injuries are compensated. Accidents are hard on victims and their families, which is why our team strives to make your life easier during such a stressful time.
With Conybeare Law Office, you benefit from these advantages:
- We fight to ensure that injured motorcyclists get maximum compensation
- We have years of experience handling Michigan motorcycle accident cases, so we understand the laws that apply to your claim
- All motorcycle accident cases are handled on a contingency basis – if we don’t win, there’s no attorney fee
Michigan Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In 2020, there were 3,092 motorcycle crashes in Michigan, killing 152 riders and injuring 2,429 others. While there have been fewer crashes in recent years, the number of fatalities has been increasing since Michigan repealed its helmet law in 2012. Before that, riders were required to wear a helmet at all times, but since the repeal, they have been able to go without a helmet if they:
- Are at least 21 years old
- Carry a minimum of $20,000 in medical insurance
- Have two years of experience riding motorcycles OR passed a safety course
Since 2012, the yearly average for motorcycle accident fatalities has gone up from 110 to 130, representing an increase of over 18%. In 2020, there were 152 deaths, which is a 25% increase over 2019 (which reported 122 fatalities).
Michigan Motorcycle Laws
Motorcyclists in Michigan must be licensed, meaning that they obtain a motorcyclist’s endorsement on their driver’s license. If they are under 21, they are also required to wear crash helmets. Those 21 and older can ride without a crash helmet if they meet certain licensing, training, and insurance requirements.
Additional rules and requirements:
- Motorcyclists cannot ride more than two abreast on public roads
- White lining and lane splitting are prohibited
- Motorcyclists have the legal right to full use of a lane
- Motorcyclists may not carry anything that prevents them from keeping their hands on the handlebars
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Michigan
Motorcycle accidents often occur due to a small lapse in judgment or attention, often by a motor vehicle operator. Motorcycle crashes often concern the following situations:
- Issues with left turns. According to the NHTSA, 41 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents occur when the motorcycle was passing or overtaking another vehicle while the other vehicle was turning left.
- Intersection crashes when vehicles pull out in front of or into a motorcycle with the right of way because the motor vehicle operator claims they did not see the motorcyclist.
- The car hits the motorcycle while changing lanes because it is in the driver’s blind spot or the driver simply didn’t notice it.
- Unaware that a motorcycle is approaching, the driver opens a car door in its path.
Other known factors in motorcycle accidents include:
- Aggressive, drunk, or distracted drivers
- Poorly maintained roads
- Defective motorcycle parts (which can give rise to a product liability claim)
If you’ve suffered life-changing injuries because a motorist was negligent or careless, the Kalamazoo motorcycle accident lawyers at Conybeare Law Office will fight for the financial settlement you need to take care of yourself and your family while you recover.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can result in minor to severe injuries. Unfortunately, due to the increased vulnerability of motorcycle drivers, many of the injuries end up being severe and result in long-term disability. These injuries include:
- Deep lacerations
- Broken and fractured bones
- Facial disfigurement
- Head and neck injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal injuries
- Partial and full paralysis
Sadly, many motorcycle accidents lead to death for motorcyclists. If someone you love was killed in a crash, a Kalamazoo motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm can guide you through the process of filing a wrongful death claim.
I Was in a Michigan Motorcycle Accident. Who Pays My Bills?
Under Michigan’s no-fault law, a motorcyclist first turns to the insurance company for the owner of the vehicle involved in the collision for their medical bills and wage loss. If the owner of the vehicle was uninsured, the motorcyclist next turns to these parties in this order
- The insurer of the driver of the vehicle involved (if the driver was not the owner)
- The motorcyclist’s auto insurance or that of a family member they live with, such as a spouse
- The insurer of the owner of the motorcycle involved
- The Michigan Assigned Claims Plan
If you were in a Michigan motorcycle accident, you likely have two claims: (1) a Michigan no-fault claim and (2) a negligence claim against the at-fault driver. Your Michigan motorcycle accident attorney at Conybeare Law Office will identify all possible sources of recovery so that you get the settlement you need.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
The first priority after a motorcycle accident is to get medical attention. No matter how minor your injuries appear at first, you should still get checked out by a doctor, as adrenaline and shock may impact your ability to feel pain. In the event that you are not immediately transported away by emergency medical personnel, the following actions can help you with your future personal injury claim:
- Get the driver’s name, address, phone number, insurance information, and license plate number. Refrain from making any statements regarding the cause of the accident (other than to the police).
- Take pictures of the scene. This includes your motorcycle, the car that hit you, any skid marks on the pavement, and anything that could have contributed to the crash, like a malfunctioning traffic light.
- Be sure to get the names and contact information of any witnesses before they leave.
- When a police officer arrives on the scene, get the officer’s name and the police report number.
- Speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer before speaking with any insurance adjusters or signing anything.
What Are the Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement Amounts in Michigan?
Every motorcycle accident case is different. In Michigan, between your Michigan no-fault and negligence claims, you can claim economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income (present and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
Here are a few of the factors taken into account when assessing the value of personal injury claims:
- Injury type and severity
- Your health before the accident
- Impact of injuries on your social, professional, and family life
- Earnings or income before the injuries
- The type and duration of medical treatment you need
- Your chances of recovering fully
- Whether you were, in part, at fault for the crash
Michigan follows a modified comparative fault law in personal injury cases. Injury victims who are over 50% at fault for the accident cannot claim non-economic damages like pain and suffering. However, this rule does not apply to your economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost income.
Get a Free Consultation With a Michigan Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Kalamazoo
The Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers at Conybeare Law Office have extensive experience handling motorcycle accident claims. When it comes to protecting the rights of motorcycle riders and fighting for fair compensation for their injuries, we fight aggressively. We truly understand the difficult situation you are now in and will negotiate or litigate for the outcome you need to rebuild your life.
Conybeare Law Office serves the following areas:
- Berrien County
- Cass County
- Van Buren County
- West Michigan
Call The Bear today at 269-769-BEAR or fill out this contact form to schedule your free consultation. Remember: if it’s not fair, call the Bear!