Despite how convoluted the system can be, Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system provides immediate relief for anyone injured in an accident. But since motorcycles are specifically exempt from Michigan’s no-fault insurance laws, is it possible to obtain no-fault benefits after a motorcycle crash? Unfortunately, the answer is no in most instances.
Without the no-fault benefits available to most drivers, hiring a capable motorcycle accident lawyer is even more critical to recovering fair compensation. The Macomb County, MI, motorcycle accident attorneys at Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC have spent more than 70 years helping their clients and protecting their rights. Here’s a closer look at Michigan’s motorcycle insurance laws and the benefits available to a biker after a collision.
Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Laws
Motorcycles are specifically excluded from the no-fault insurance system in Michigan. However, motorcycle riders must still purchase liability insurance to operate their vehicle in the state legally. According to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, any motorcycle insurance policy must meet these minimum requirements:
- $50,000 in injury coverage for a single person injured in an accident
- $100,000 in injury coverage if more than one person sustains injuries in a single accident
- $10,000 in property damage coverage
State law also requires insurance providers in Michigan to offer additional medical benefits that can help if a rider has no other coverage after a crash. Additionally, motorcycle riders must wear a helmet unless they have at least $20,000 in medical benefits coverage. Finally, motorcycle operators must carry $20,000 in medical benefits for any passengers who are not wearing a helmet unless the passenger has at least that much coverage themselves.
Exceptions Where No-Fault Benefits Are Available
While motorcyclists in Michigan generally cannot obtain no-fault benefits after a crash, the Department of Insurance and Financial Services lists two noteworthy exceptions. The first is if the motorcyclist is injured in a crash with a driver who has personal injury protection (PIP), or no-fault benefits. In these cases, an injured motorcyclist can seek compensation up to the other driver’s no-fault policy limits.
The second exception is for cases where the driver who caused the accident is uninsured, and no PIP benefits are available. Injured motorcyclists can file a claim with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP) in these circumstances. The MACP offers up to $250,000 in PIP benefits for injured motorcyclists when no PIP applies.
Proving Fault in a Michigan Motorcycle Accident Claim
Since motorcyclists generally cannot take advantage of no-fault benefits after a crash, they will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer. They’ll need to prove the other driver caused the accident. Some types of evidence that can help establish fault include:
- Police Reports
- Witness Statements
- Traffic Camera or Security Footage
- Photographs and Diagrams
- Medical Records
Comparative Negligence in Michigan Motorcycle Accident Claims
When multiple parties share blame for a motorcycle crash in Michigan, the state’s comparative negligence laws come into play. Under Michigan law, anyone injured in an accident can pursue compensation even if they contributed to their injuries. However, there are two important caveats.
The first is that if a motorcyclist contributed to their own injuries, their compensation is reduced by their degree of fault. The second is that someone cannot recover compensation if their degree of fault exceeds 50 percent. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you build a strong case and maximize your potential compensation.
Our Macomb County Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Help
You’ll need an experienced and compassionate guide to find your way through Michigan’s insurance maze after a motorcycle crash. The Macomb County motorcycle accident attorneys at Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC can help protect your rights and maximize your compensation after a collision. Call (586) 776-1700 or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation.