If you are the owner of an automobile in Michigan, you probably know that the state is one of about a dozen that has adopted a so-called “no fault” motor vehicle insurance law. You may also know, perhaps from experience, that under this type of law , if you’re in anything less than a very serious accident with another car, your insurance company will usually pay you for your damages or injuries. The other driver’s insurer then does the same, regardless of who may have been at fault. In theory, keeping the question of fault – and the inevitable resulting lawsuits – out of many relatively minor accidents reduces the overall cost of premiums.
If you own and ride one of the more than 300,000 motorcycles legally registered in Michigan, however, you might be surprised to learn that state law doesn’t require you to carry no-fault insurance. This is because motorcycles are not considered “motor vehicles” for purposes of the no-fault law.
Thus, if you are in an accident not involving another vehicle (for example, you skid on wet pavement), you won’t be entitled to the same types of benefits the driver of a car might be after a similar crash. If your accident involved a car or truck, you may be able to obtain compensation for injuries that were caused by the other driver’s carelessness. Your damages may include payment for your pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses. To complicate things even further, in some cases you may also be entitled to payment under the “motor vehicle” driver’s mandatory no-fault policy.
In addition, you must still carry so-called “personal liability and property damage” insurance to cover damage or injuries to others they may cause; failure to do so can result in a fine and other serious penalties, and you may also be prevented from collecting under another driver’s no-fault policy.
These are just a few of the many ways in which the laws that govern the rights of injured Michigan motorcyclists differ from those applicable to drivers of cars and trucks. If you’re a rider who’s been injured in any type of accident, or just want to know what your rights and responsibilities are under Michigan law, you need to speak to an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who understands these differences. At Lucido & Manzella P.C., we have years of experience navigating the complex law in this area in order to help injured motorcyclists get the compensation they deserve. If you’re a Macomb County motorcycle rider who’s been hurt in any type of accident, don’t delay – call us today at 586-842-0198 to schedule a case evaluation.