As Michigan bicycle accident lawyers, we recognize that victims of accidents in Michigan have a lot of questions about their legal rights. We try to answer many of your questions below. Of course, you probably have a question or concern unique to your own individual case that needs the attention of an experienced Michigan bicycle accident attorney.
In Michigan, a person injured in a bicycle accident must generally file a lawsuit within 3 years under the statute of limitations. If you fail to meet that deadline, your case will be destroyed forever and you cannot sue for your injuries. It is essential that you contact an experienced Michigan accident and injury lawyer as soon as possible so that you do not lose your rights to a fair settlement.
If you were a pedestrian or were riding a bicycle and were injured as a result of being struck by an uninsured automobile, you have two potential claims arising out of the automobile accident. The first claim you have is for no-fault benefits, which will cover your damages for loss wages, medical expenses and household chores. Even if the other driver did not have insurance, but you owned your own automobile which had car insurance, or you were living with a relative had car insurance, you can make a claim for no-fault benefits through your automobile insurance company or your relative’s automobile insurance company. Even if you did not have automobile insurance or you were not living with a relative who did not have automobile insurance, you are able to make a claim for no-fault benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility.
In addition to making a claim for no-fault benefits, if you had your own automobile insurance which had uninsured motorist coverage or were living with a relative who had automobile insurance which had uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to make a claim against the insurance company for uninsured motorist coverage, which will cover all of your non-economic damages, including damages for pain and suffering and disfigurement. Additionally, you may make a claim for any excess economic damages over and above which you are entitled to receive in no-fault benefits. There are very strict time limitations in pursuing these type of claims. Therefore, if you are involved in an auto accident, we recommend that you contact us immediately.
There are several claims that can be made. First, you can file a claim for Michigan No-Fault Benefits with the proper auto insuance company. This will pay for medical bills, lost wages, attendant care services, and other allowable expenses. Second, you can file a claim against the negligent driver for your personal injuries, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages. Third, if the negligent driver did not have car insurance on the vehicle, you can file an uninsured motorists claim if you have the coverage available to you under your insurance policy or the policy of a member of your household.
Yes. You can receive Michigan no-fault insurance benefits after a bicycle accident if there was a motor vehicle involved in the accident. These benefits include payment of medical expenses, lost wages, transportation expenses, attendant care services, and household services.
The key to obtaining your insurance benefits after a bicycle accident in Michigan is determining which no-fault insurance company is responsible for paying your benefits. In Michigan, there is an Order of Priority for determining which insurer must pay benefits. First, if you own an insured vehicle then your own car insurance company will pay those benefits. If you do not have an insured vehicle, then the next source of insurance coverage would be a relative living in the same household as you with auto insurance. If neither of those apply, then the auto insurance company for the motor vehicle that struck you would be responsible for paying your benefits. If that vehicle was not insured, you would be able to make your claim with the Assigned Claims Facility.
Your Application for No-Fault Insurance Benefits must be filed with the proper insurance company within one year of the accident. There is also a deadline for submitting your expenses and for filing a lawsuit. Therefore, you should contact our office immediately so that we can determine which insurance company must pay your benefits after the bicycle accident and so we can assist you in making sure all claims are timely submitted.
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Although it is not safe, it is not illegal to ride a bike in Michigan and talk on a cell phone at the same time. Local ordinances banning or restricting cell phones may or may not cover bicyclists. Check with your local government.
The Michigan Vehicle Code does not require bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk in Michigan and we do not recommend it because of safety hazards to the bicyclist and other sidewalk users.
However, Section 257.660c of the MVC says:
(1) “An individual operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or a pedestrian crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.”
(2) “An individual shall not operate a bicycle upon a sidewalk or a pedestrian crosswalk if that operation is prohibited by an official traffic control device.”
(3) “An individual lawfully operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or a pedestrian crosswalk has all of the rights and responsibilities applicable to a pedestrian using that sidewalk or crosswalk.”
No. In Michigan, the Michigan Vehicle Code no longer prohibits “passing between lanes of traffic,” but it also does not provide for cyclists passing on the right of other vehicles. The purpose of this law is to protect the safety of the bicyclist as well as Michigan drivers, preventing Michigan car-bicycle accidents.
Yes. Section 257.657 of the Michigan Vehicle Code states:
“Each person riding a bicycle in Michigan upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to the provisions of this chapter which by their nature do not have application.”
Section 257.656(3) of the Michigan Vehicle Code (“MVC” — Public Act 300 of 1949) applies to Michigan bicyclists and states: “The regulations applicable to bicycles under sections 656 to 662 shall apply when a bicycle is operated upon a highway or upon a path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, subject to those exceptions stated in sections 656 to 662.”
Under Michigan law, a bicyclist injured in a Michigan car accident is entitled to have all medical expenses paid under the no-fault insurance laws if the injuries arose from an accident with a motor vehicle. Typically, the insurance company or the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility will pay these bills. The injured biker can receive these benefits even if he or she did not own a car or have a no-fault insurance policy.
The claim can be made against the insurance company for the negligent driver, an auto insurance policy issued to a family member in the same household of the injured biker, or through the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility if there was no other source of insurance. To have these medical expenses paid by a no-fault insurance company, it is important that the accident victim file an Application for No-Fault Benefits with the proper insurance company
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