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What Damages Can I Recover After a Motorcycle Accident in Michigan?

motorcycle rider driving in rainMichigan’s motorcycle accident claims are complicated, however, insured motorcycle riders may be eligible for no-fault benefits after being injured in an accident with another motor vehicle.

Jay Trucks explains what you need to know about motorcycle accident claims in Michigan, including how to access no-fault benefits after a collision.

If you were injured in a Michigan motorcycle accident, our Grand Rapids motorcycle accident lawyers are prepared to help you obtain the no-fault benefits you need to recover from your injuries and other losses. Call our firm to schedule a no-risk, no-obligation, completely free legal consultation today.

Why Motorcycle Accident Claims Are Different in Michigan

In Michigan, state law uses the words “motor vehicle” in its definition of what a motorcycle is. Many motorcycle drivers find this confusing, because in reality, a motorcycle is not otherwise classified or considered a motor vehicle in Michigan. This classification impacts motorcyclists when they are involved in an accident with another motor vehicle, such as a car or pick-up truck. Unlike the drivers of these vehicles, a motorcyclist’s insurance policy does not include the same type of personal injury protection (PIP) protection.

What Insurance Coverage is Required for Motorcycle Riders in Michigan?

While motorcyclists in Michigan are not required to purchase no-fault insurance coverage, they are mandated by state law to carry a motorcycle liability insurance policy. This coverage, which provides for bodily injury, death or property damage is also known as PLPD coverage. The minimum limits required by state law are:

  • Bodily Injury Liability coverage at $20,000 for each person and $40,000 per a single incident
  • Property Damage Liability coverage must also be included at $10,000 per accident

You do not want to fail to get this state-mandated coverage as a motorcyclist in Michigan. If you ride without insurance and are involved in an accident, there are serious fines and other penalties, including potential jail time. Additionally, if you suffer serious injuries in an accident and are not carrying insurance, you will not be eligible to receive no-fault PIP insurance benefits that would normally have been available to you under the law.

Additional Recommended Insurance Options for Motorcyclists

Although many motorcyclists may not purchase more than the minimum insurance, we recommend that you consider additional insurance options, such as the optional PIP coverage for motorcycle drivers. Your insurance company must offer you this coverage, according to state law, and you can purchase it in increments of $5,000 and up. If injured in a motorcycle collision that does not involve another motor vehicle, it provides you with first-party medical benefits. You should also talk to your insurance carrier about whether they may offer other insurance coverage, such as an uninsured/underinsured option.

What if I Do Not Want to Wear a Helmet?

Michigan state law requires you to wear a motorcycle helmet unless you are aged 21 years or older. If you meet the age requirements for not wearing a motorcycle helmet, and you choose to ride without one, you are required by law to purchase at least $20,000 in PIP coverage. 

To fully understand all the insurance requirements for a motorcyclist under Michigan law, you can review the downloadable pdf provided by Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS)

Do Injured Motorcyclists Have Access to No-Fault Benefits?

If you are injured in an accident involving another motor vehicle, you will have access to no-fault benefits, but the order in which you will pursue this coverage is as follows:

  • Through the insurance company of the owner or registered user of the other vehicle involved in the crash
  • Through the insurance provider of the driver operating the motor vehicle, if different from the owner
  • Through the insurer of your own motor vehicle policy, if you carry PIP coverage on a car that you own
  • Through the policy of a spouse or other family member if you are insured as a resident relative
  • Through your own motorcycle PIP insurance policy – if you purchased this coverage, there was no other vehicle involved, or the vehicle fled the scene

There are some situations where none of these options are available, such as if the at-fault party fled the scene and you did not purchase PIP coverage for your motorcycle. In this instance, you may be able to claim benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Program (MACP). This option, under the new auto insurance reform law of 2019, no longer provides a lifetime benefit. However, if you are eligible, the MACP pays up to $250,000 in medical expenses.

Our Knowledgeable Attorneys are Prepared to Help You Obtain No-Fault Benefits

Motorcycle accident claims in Michigan are especially challenging. Trying to determine where to seek the no-fault benefits you need while recovering from injuries is overwhelming.

Our qualified lawyers at Jay Trucks stand ready to assist you in pursuing all of your options for recovering no-fault benefits under state law. Additionally, we are prepared to determine whether you may also be eligible to pursue additional compensation for your losses, such as excess economic damages and non-economic damages.

If you were injured in a Michigan motorcycle accident, we strongly recommend that you contact 9-1-1 to get first responders on the scene. Having a police report is very important to your no-fault claim. We also encourage you to contact our firm as soon as possible to schedule a free initial case review to learn about your legal options. This service carries no risk or any obligation to hire our firm. If we represent you, there are no upfront costs or attorney fees to pay. We collect no payment until your legal case concludes, and only if we recover compensation for you.

Jay Trucks and Associates. Legal help on your side. (800) 762-8623