While passengers and drivers in a car are protected by a frame that is solid, airbag and seatbelt, motorcyclists are only protected by clothing and a helmet. This lack of protection enhances the chance for very serious injury or fatality in a crash of a motorcycle. The following covers perilous content that all Michigan motorcyclists must understand. If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, an accident attorney at Moss & Colella may be very helpful to you. The firm is considered the best Detroit motorcycle accident lawyer.

No-fault auto insurance

Motorcycle owners in Michigan are not required to purchase no-fault auto insurance. But, the owner (or registrant) of a motorcycle are required to buy traditional liability insurance for bodily injury, death or property damage. Basically, it offers liability coverage to the motorcyclist when the motorcyclist is at fault and causes injuries, property damage or death to the other person. If the owner is not insured, there are serious penalties that can be imposed, including a misdemeanour conviction, fines and/or imprisonment.

Not considered motor vehicle

In Michigan a motorcycle is not considered a motor vehicle, according to the no-fault law. Laws require that a vehicle having more than two wheels to be considered a motor vehicle. Motorcycle accident attorneys believe this need was meant to ignore motorcycles, therefore exempting motorcyclists involved in accident from the legal requirement to buy no-fault insurance coverage. But, motorcyclists are still required by law to carry motorcycle insurance.

No-fault Insurance

Although a motorcycle under Michigan law is not considered a motor vehicle, motorcycle accidents usually involve trucks and cars on the road. Do to this, no-fault benefits from insurance will mostly be accessible to motorcycle accident victims in Michigan – unless of course, they are the owner of the title to the motorcycle and do not have motorcycle insurance. These are benefits are intended to provide:

  • Medical expenses and mileage;
  • Loss of wages;
  • Replacement services (household chose, help with children), and;
  • Nursing care.

Under the Michigan law there is only 12 months to file claims for these benefits under no-fault after a motorcycle accident. This is known as a “first-party claim”. Terms such as no personal injury protection, first-party, and no fault are interchangeable. But laws in Michigan allows 3+years for filing a lawsuit for economic loss that is excess, and suffering and pain against a driver who was negligent causing the accident with the motorcycle. This is known as a tort claim or third-party claim.

Uninsured motorist claim

Following an accident where the at-fault driver is not known, a claim for an uninsured motorist is made with insurer of the vehicle that the victim was occupying or operating during the accident. With an claim for uninsured motorist, a motorcyclist who is injured can then look for his own auto insurance to pay what an at-fault driver would had paid, if the person been properly covered. With a claim of an uninsured motorist is a contract claim not a legal claim and is not ruled by Michigan motorcycle insurance law. The amount of time a motorcyclist may have to file any lawsuit will vary depending on the insurance policy.

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