As a biker, you realize the fun and exhilaration of being out on the open road but also recognize the challenge because motorcyclists are seen as risk-takers, people may assume that the rider was doing something wrong when they got hit. The majority of accidents are caused by the other driver. But a Michigan motorcycle accident attorney will need to make sure that they convince the jury or the insurance company that the rider is actually very safe and that the fault was completely with the other driver.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics
There are over four million motorcycles registered in the United States. While motorcycles represent just three percent of all registered vehicles in the U.S., motorcycle fatalities represent almost six times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants and almost nine times the fatality rate for light-truck occupants. Approximately 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death while a comparable figure for automobiles is only about 20 percent. This is because a motorcycle offers little protection for the rider, and as such, can result in very serious injury when an accident occurs.. The statistics unsurprisingly bear this out. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5014 bikers were killed and 84,000 were injured on United States roads in 2019.
In Michigan, this is compounded because the legislature determined helmets are not required for motorcyclists age 21 or older. In States like Michigan without universal helmet laws, 57 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2019 were not wearing helmets, compared to 9 percent in States that have universal helmet laws. Another study of a Michigan trauma center documented in the 2016 Journal of Surgery demonstrated that the average medical bill for riders without helmets was $28,000.00. This amount is 32% higher than the average cost of riders wearing helmets that were involved in accidents.
What Are the Laws Surrounding Motorcycle Accidents?
The Michigan Secretary of State claims that motorists (cars or trucks) are at fault in nearly 2/3 of all car motorcycle crashes. This means that 67% of the time, a negligent motorist causes serious injury or death to a biker on Michigan roads. It is for this reason that you need access to an attorney who is skilled and knows what to do in the event you or a loved one are injured or killed riding a motorcycle.
Under Michigan law, motorcycles are treated very differently from cars concerning what insurer pays for economic benefits known as First-Party Benefits following a crash. Contrary to automobile operators who first claim No-Fault benefits through their own automobile insurers motorcyclists first claim No-Fault benefits from the insurer of the motor vehicle involved. If the involved motor vehicle did not have insurance, there is a hierarchy of possible insurers that a skilled attorney will be able to understand and ensure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to. If the involved motor vehicle was negligent and caused the crash, the motorcyclist can recover what is called third-party benefits from the at-fault driver’s insurance company which include damages for pain and suffering.
If you have been injured or have lost a family member in a motorcycle accident, you need to seek legal counsel immediately. If you do not contact an attorney with an intricate understanding of the difference between automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents, you run a legitimate risk of severely compromising your rights to recovery. We can help you through the claims process, and act as your representative to insurance companies to ensure that you receive the maximum amount you are entitled to under the law. Contact us today.
Davis Law Center: your trusted partner for motorcycle accident cases. Serving Detroit, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Macon County, and all of Michigan.