Motorcycle Accidents in the United States and Michigan
Nearly 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents across the United States in 2017, a decrease from 2016, yet motorcyclists remain “significantly overrepresented” in all traffic deaths. Fatalities for motorcyclists occur 28 times more often than fatalities for those in passenger vehicles, based on per mile traveled. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association reports that in 2017, Michigan motorcycle deaths accounted for about 14.3 percent of all highway traffic deaths in the state (142 deaths).
Over the past two decades, due to baby-boomer bikers who have reconnected with their youth, the number of older motorcyclists has risen. According to NHTSA, motorcycle crash statistics found that between 2004 and 2013, motorcycle accident fatalities increased nearly 40 percent among those who were 40 and older.
Older motorcyclists tend to ride larger bikes – when you combine this with some level of decline in vision and reaction time, those over the age of 50 will probably suffer more severe injuries than younger riders. In any case, more and more middle-aged, middle-class baby boomers are returning to motorcycle riding once they find themselves with an empty nest and a bit of extra cash.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you are likely to have severe injuries. At The Lobb Law Firm, we can help you through this challenging time in many different ways. With more than 45 years of experience helping our clients after a motorcycle accident, we have the required expertise, experience, and knowledge. When necessary to prove liability, we have the resources to reconstruct your motorcycle accident. Our vast network of resources allows us to assist our clients following a Michigan motorcycle accident fully, from start to finish.
Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists have virtually no protection in the event of a collision, other than a helmet if worn, and (sometimes) leathers. Those inside a passenger car are surrounded by steel and glass, along with safety belts and airbags for protection. On the other hand, a motorcyclist has none of these safety features, making them highly vulnerable when hit by a vehicle weighing 3,000 pounds or more. While every motorcycle accident is different, there are several factors commonly associated with motorcycle accidents, including the following:
- Driver inattention is responsible for a significant number of motorcycle accidents. While those in cars and trucks are used to looking out for other cars and trucks, many drivers are less adept at watching out for motorcyclists. Driver inattention and driver distraction are responsible for a large number of motorcycle accidents. Neglecting to keep eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind on the task at hand—driving—can result in a tragedy. Drivers who are distracted or inattentive are much less likely to see a motorcyclist.
- Adverse road and weather conditions cause many motorcycle accidents. A motorcycle has less stability than a passenger vehicle—and is much smaller. Therefore, road issues that might go unnoticed by those in a passenger vehicle or truck can be significant for a motorcyclist. Lane height differences, potholes, brush, or other objects in the roadway or slick pavement can all spell disaster for a motorcyclist.
- Excess speed is a cause of many motorcycle accidents, whether on the motorcyclist or the passenger vehicle driver. Even when speed is not the primary factor in the crash, it could have contributed to the accident. High speeds on the part of the motorcyclist can result in a loss of control; coupled with passenger vehicle drivers exceeding the speed limit; the results can be catastrophic.
- Inexperienced motorcyclists can inadvertently cause an accident. The vast majority of motorcyclists are self-taught or taught by a friend or family member. This lack of formal training can fail to understand the limitations of a motorcycle, failure to employ appropriate defensive driving techniques, or a lack of cornering and braking skills.
Many motorcycle accidents occur in the middle of an intersection when the driver of a passenger vehicle makes a left-hand turn after underestimating the motorcycle’s speed or failing to see the oncoming rider. Other motorcycle accidents occur when a passenger vehicle or truck changes lanes without seeing the rider or backs from a parking lot space or driveway without looking for motorcyclists.
Whatever caused your motorcycle accident, we want to help you get your life back. The Lobb Law Firm has an unparalleled level of transparency and communication with our motorcycle accident clients. We are available 24/7; coupled with our passion for helping others and protecting the rights of our clients, our Southfield injury lawyers are here to help following your motorcycle accident.
How Preconceived Beliefs Regarding Motorcyclists Can Hurt Your Claim
Unfortunately, if a motorcycle accident is not settled, and therefore, goes to trial, jurors may have certain biases against motorcyclists, which can significantly hurt the case. Specifically, many people tend to believe that motorcyclists are risk-takers, straight out of “Easy Rider,” who routinely drive too fast and recklessly. In truth, most motorcyclists are safe drivers who obey the rules of the road, simply enjoying the freedom of riding a motorcycle or the excellent gas mileage.
At The Lobb Law Firm, we will immediately go to work combatting these preconceived notions. We want the facts of the case to speak for themselves and aggressively fight to ensure it occurs. At The Lobb Law Firm, we genuinely care about our clients, and we care about you. Our motorcycle accident attorneys will stand firm against insurance companies while ensuring that juror bias does not affect your settlement following your motorcycle accident.
Important Steps to Take After a Detroit Motorcycle Accident
In a motorcycle accident claims case, your actions before, during, and in the aftermath of the crash can have a massive impact. If you want to secure fair compensation, there are several things you must do without fail. They include:
Seek emergency medical assistance
This is a vital step, regardless of the severity of the injuries sustained in the crash. Having medical bills and hospital records will improve your chances of getting higher compensation/benefits.
Collect insurance information
Michigan law mandates that the at-fault party should stay on the scene of the accident until law enforcement or emergency services arrive. If your injuries are not severe or debilitating, you should exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved in the accident.
File a police report
This is essential to prove to the insurance providers that an accident has indeed occurred. If the police arrived in time at the accident site, this is not a major concern. With that said, if they failed to arrive on the scene for some reason, you have to visit the nearest police station and file a report.
Gather evidence from the accident site
If possible, you must collect photos, videos, and other documentary evidence from the site. These can help boost your chances of securing a payout from the insurance company. And if you have to go to court, any such evidence, including eyewitness accounts could prove invaluable.
Why You Need an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
While you can try and do everything on your own after a motorcycle accident, it may not be in your best interest. As experienced motorcycle accident attorneys, we have seen countless instances where deserving victims with even severe injuries miss out on adequate compensation due to a lack of knowledge about the basic procedures.
To avoid any such risks, you should strongly consider hiring a resourceful and experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. At The Lobb Law Firm, we have decades of experience in all forms of personal injury cases, including motorcycle accident claim lawsuits. When you hire us, you get the following advantages:
A dedicated team of Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers, with extensive experience and an excellent track record of settlements and verdicts.
A law firm with over four decades of experience in Michigan personal injury law, across Oakland County, Wayne County, and McComb County.
Legal representation on a contingency basis – we do not charge you anything until you receive compensation.
Compassionate legal assistance from a multi-generational team of lawyers
What We Will Do For You When You Hire Us
When you hire our personal injury attorneys, they will deploy all the resources at our disposal to improve your chances of getting the best possible settlement from the insurance company. For best results, it’s imperative that you contact us as soon as possible after your motorcycle accident. We will handle the following responsibilities after your motorcycle crash:
Collect all important documents, including the police reports, witness statements, and any other investigative evidence already documented
Contact all eyewitnesses to the motorcycle accident and conduct interviews to gather additional evidence to support your case
Collect all medical records and bring in experts if necessary to prove the severity of your accident injuries
There are many bases to cover here – these are all things that a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer can help you with and can put together a strong case. For the best resolution of your personal injury claims, you can rely on the motorcycle accident lawyers at The Lobb Law Firm. Give us a call today!
Important Things to Know About Michigan Motorcycle Accident Laws
Each state has its own laws regarding personal injury and motorcycle accident claims. For Michigan motorcyclists seeking a personal injury settlement, here are the most important things you need to know:
Types of Accident Claims You Can File in Michigan
To get the maximum settlement/compensation from your motorcycle accident case, you have to file three different types of primary claims:
With your insurance company – since every Michigan motorcycle owner is expected to carry personal injury protection (PIP), you have to file a claim with your insurance company after an accident.
With the liable party’s insurance provider – this is the second option that you can use to cover losses not covered by your own PIP/auto insurance policy. For best results, you will need an experienced Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer.
A motorcycle accident lawsuit – insurance policies only cover economic losses like lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage. For any losses beyond these limits, you can file a suit in the Michigan courts with the help of a seasoned Detroit motorcycle accident lawyer.
Michigan’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
Motorcycle accident claims have to be filed within a very limited window in Michigan. If you delay filing a lawsuit, you may end up forfeiting potentially large sums in compensation that you may be entitled to. Here are the main things to remember about the statute of limitations in Detroit, MI:
For PIP benefits, you have to file a claim within one year after the accident.
For non-economic pain and suffering damages, you have three years to file a claim.
In case of a fatal accident, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit, with a three-year limit that starts from the date of death.
If the victim is a minor, the statute of limitations ends one year after they turn 18.
No-Fault Laws and Motorcycle Accidents in Detroit, Michigan
The Michigan vehicle codes do not count motorcycles as motor vehicles. Therefore, motorcycle owners can only claim no-fault benefits if they are involved in a crash with another motor vehicle.
In such instances, a complicated order of priority involving insurance policies from both parties as well as the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP) will decide how much you get, and from whom.
Further, recent changes in the Michigan No-Fault regulations in 2020 have also changed the scope of PIP benefits for severe motorcycle accident victims. Earlier, you could claim unlimited lifetime benefits under Michigan’s no-fault policy.
Pertaining to this, after July 1st, 2020, you are required to select from an array of different medical benefit levels or opt out of PIP benefits in favor of any existing Medicare or similar plan. Under the new system, there is a higher chance that severe injuries may not be covered by the at-fault party’s PIP medical plan.
In situations of this kind, you will have to file a lawsuit against the driver to receive adequate compensation. With so many legal and procedural variables involved, you will need the assistance of motorcycle accident attorneys for a positive outcome.
Dealing with Catastrophic Injuries Following Your Michigan Motorcycle Accident
Because of the extent of your injuries following a Michigan motorcycle accident, you could find yourself injured so severely you are unable to return to work. If you are unable to work, you are likely also unable to pay your regular monthly expenses, let alone your medical costs. The world can look pretty grim when you find yourself in such a situation.
Many forms of catastrophic injury can forever change the lives of the victim and their family members. Traumatic brain injury, severe burns, limb amputation, spinal cord injury, blindness, multiple fractures, nerve injury to the torso, arms or shoulders, or road rash so severe it leads to a major infection all potential motorcycle accident injuries. This level of injury can result in the necessity for many years—or a lifetime—of medical treatment, continuous care, and other types of support. A spinal cord injury could result in being in a wheelchair, while a traumatic brain injury could result in the necessity for long-term care.
At The Lobb Law Firm, we have compassion for your situation. We are also aware that information collected immediately following your motorcycle accident can be crucial for a successful personal injury claim. We know that you may be facing what seems like insurmountable challenges following your accident. These challenges may come in the form of a disability, the loss of a career, the loss of regular income, astronomical medical expenses, chronic pain and suffering, and an overall reduction in the ability to enjoy your life and look forward to your future. We vow to treat you like we would treat our family members—compassionately while fighting aggressively for your rights and future.
Can Our Injury Lawyers Help Following Your Michigan Motorcycle Accident?
Michigan motorcycle accidents frequently involve catastrophic injuries, and they are nearly always financially devastating. Medical expenses can accrue so quickly may leave you reeling. You may be facing subsequent surgical procedures, years of physical and mental therapies, and other treatments and health care that can be prohibitively expensive. Our attorneys have a proven record of success in motorcycle accident claims and the necessary financial resources.
The Lobb Law Firm Southfield injury lawyers bring their expertise and knowledge to each case, exploring every potential source of liability to ensure you receive the damages you are entitled to following your Michigan motorcycle accident. Remember, when you talk to a Lobb Law Firm attorney, you will feel the difference, you will immediately know that we genuinely care. And because we care, we will passionately fight on your behalf to ensure you get the medical treatment you need, as well as other benefits you need and deserve. We believe your peace of mind is invaluable, and we will work hard to give that to you.
As we help you overcome the struggles associated with your Michigan motorcycle accident, The Lobb Law Firm will always do what is best for you, your family, and your future. We handle cases out of Southfield, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Harrison, Sterling Heights, and Dearborn Heights, to name a few. However, if you or a loved one are anywhere in Michigan and have suffered a motorcycle accident resulting in an injury or a wrongful death, call 844-LOBB-LAW or fill out our contact form for a free consultation today.