Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents frequently involve critical and even fatal injuries for motorcyclists and their passengers. While some of these incidents are the result of a biker’s own mistake, there are countless other common causes of Michigan motorcycle accidents that are preventable, but result from the negligence of another motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle collision or wreck, it might prove beneficial to speak with a seasoned lawyer about your circumstances and subsequent legal options. Even when a crash seems like an accident—or even your own fault—there might be other parties who are actually to blame for your injuries.
By working with a skillful attorney, you could have help with investigating the circumstances of your collision and determining if another person, business, or entity might be responsible. If so, a legal professional could guide you through the ensuing legal process to seek recovery for your losses.
Errors and Behaviors Leading to Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists face some of the most significant dangers on the road, largely due to their size and lack of adequate protection against other motor vehicles. When a collision occurs, it is often the result of another driver’s careless, reckless, or malicious behavior. While there are numerous reasons for these collisions in Michigan, some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Driving under the influence
- Inexperienced drivers
- Sudden turn accidents
- Dangerous road conditions
- Motorcycle defects
- Reckless driving—including road rage
These or other causes for motorcycle crashes could lead to significant consequences, including broken bones, spinal cord trauma, brain damage, and death. Furthermore, these losses might lead to significant financial strain and other damage to a person’s livelihood.
Establishing the Cause of a Motorcycle Crash
When a reckless or otherwise negligent motorist causes a motorcycle accident in Michigan, an injured motorcyclist may be able to take legal recourse. However, to do so, it must be established that the defendant caused the collision. This is done through a series of legal steps, which includes establishing that the defendant owed the injured claimant a legal duty of care—to, for example, drive safely and obey the rules of the road—and that this duty was breached.
A breach of duty could be established when a motorist is speeding, driving while intoxicated, or otherwise disobeying the rules of the road. Then, it must be proven that this behavior led to a collision or crash which caused the claimant to suffer their injuries and subsequent losses.
It is also important for any potential claimant to understand the statute of limitations in Michigan. Pursuant to Michigan Compiled Laws Section 600.5805, anyone injured in a motorcycle collision has three years from the date of the accident where they can pursue a lawsuit.
Motorbike Wrecks Caused by Defective Roads
While many causes of motorcycle accidents in Michigan are the result of another driver’s negligence, others are the result of defective roads. These might include:
- Improperly maintained stretches of road
- Uneven roadways
- Inadequate signs
- Stoplight malfunctions
Establishing liability for a defective road should be done as soon as possible after these conditions cause a motorcycle accident in Michigan. This is because more than one entity might be considered liable in a claim. A claim might, for example, name both the government agency responsible for maintaining a road, as well as a crew who failed to properly repair a hazardous condition. In Michigan, there are several statutes that relate to a government agency’s duty to reasonably maintain roadways, outlined under MCL § 691.1402. Therefore, if a biker is injured due to a defective road condition—such as a pothole on the highway—they may be able to pursue compensation.
However, injured motorcyclists should be aware of specific deadlines for filing this type of claim. To file a claim against a highway commission or governmental agency for a defective road accident, the injured motorcyclist is required to provide written notice to the agency responsible for maintaining the roadway where the injury occurred. This must include the date and precise location of the injury, as well as the nature of the road’s defect and the names of any known witnesses.
This notice must be severed within 120 days of the accident. While exceptions might exist to this deadline, it might prove beneficial for any potential claimant alleging that a defective road caused their motorbike crash to reach out to a knowledgeable and qualified lawyer.
Legal Help Investigating the Common Causes of Michigan Motorcycle Crashes
While a crash can arise from any number of circumstances, understanding the common causes of Michigan motorcycle accidents might help an injured person to assess how their injuries occurred and who might be to blame. However, after a crash, you might be suffering from severe trauma and uncertain of your legal options.
A compassionate and well-versed lawyer might be able to help. By working to investigate how an accident happened and establish liability, an attorney could help to request the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your legal options following a crash, call a legal professional at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. today.
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