With all of the recent talk about Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law possibly being repealed (meaning Michigan bikers would not be required to wear a helmet), it’s important for every motorcyclist to understand what insurance is available and how every rider could be affected in a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle accident-related fatalities have been increasing since 1997, while injuries have been increasing since 1999. Having the right type of motorcycle insurance is critical to protect yourself if you’re seriously injured in a crash and are unable to work.
Michigan’s motorcycle accident law is different than those for car accidents or truck accidents. A motorcycle is not considered a motor vehicle in Michigan, according to the No-Fault law. This was meant to exclude motorcycles, making bikers involved in crashes exempt from the legal requirement to purchase No-Fault PIP insurance coverage. But motorcycle accidents often involve other cars and trucks on the road. As such, Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits will generally be available to Michigan motorcycle accident victims.
The only insurance required for a motorcyclist in Michigan is basic liability coverage for a pain and suffering (third-party) personal injury suit. The coverage must be at least the minimum liability set by law, according to the Michigan No-Fault law.
The Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Law
A motorcycle owner can still purchase optional insurances such as No-Fault insurance (also referred to as PIP coverage), which includes medical benefits and wage loss. Very few bikers purchase PIP because it’s expensive. If you are riding a motorcycle – especially without a helmet once the motorcycle helmet law is repealed – then most motorcycle insurance lawyers recommend purchasing PIP coverage on a motorcycle.
The incidence of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury is much higher with bikers, and you don’t want your treatment for a catastrophic personal injury to be dependent on Medicaid options. With motorcycle PIP, you can go to any hospital, with any specialist and receive the best treatment in America.
A motorcycle owner can also purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) provide a valuable source of legal recovery when someone is injured in an auto accident by another driver who is uninsured or does not have adequate insurance.
Time Limits for Filing a Claim
Michigan law only allows one year to file a (first-party) claim for No-Fault benefits after a motorcycle accident. Michigan law allows three years to file a (third-party) claim for pain and suffering and excess economic loss against a negligent driver who causes a motorcycle accident. Michigan has a very strict and unforgiving statute of limitations. If you have questions, ask an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. If you submit a medical bill past the statute of limitations, you will be personally responsible for it.
For additional information on motorcycle laws in Michigan including what do to after a crash, visit the Motorcycle Accident Resource Center.
Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Steven Gursten heads Michigan Auto Law and is recognized as one of the nation’s top motorcycle accident lawyers. He received the highest motorcycle accident settlement in Michigan last year, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
Michigan Auto Law has offices in Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Detroit and Grand Rapids to better serve victims injured throughout the state. Call (800) 777-0028 to speak to Steve about your motorcycle accident case.
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