Motorcycles and the Michigan No-Fault Act
With Autumn fast approaching, many motorcyclists will take to Michigan roads to enjoy the cool riding weather and fall colors. As such, both motorcyclists and motorists alike should be on the lookout to avoid potential collisions. Since 2012, Michigan riders have been permitted to operate their bikes without a helmet, as long as they are 21 years old, have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or passed a motorcycle safety course, and have insurance providing at least $20,000 in first-party medical benefits.
While many have taken advantage of the ability to ride without a helmet, those who do so are at a greater risk of suffering serious, sometimes fatal, injuries. In 2016, there were 3,274 motorcycle accidents in the state with 141 of those accidents resulting in death for the motorcyclist.
The Michigan No-Fault Act applies to injuries that have arisen out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle. In order to be considered a motor vehicle under the act, the vehicle must have at least 4 wheels. Although this definition clearly excludes motorcycles, the No-Fault Act may still apply to a motorcycle accident if the accident involved a motor vehicle.
In the event that a motorcycle is involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, the motorcyclist would be entitled to no-fault PIP benefits from the insurer of the motor vehicle or from the motorcyclist’s own motor vehicle insurer, provided that the motorcycle was covered under a basic PLPD policy. Owners of a motorcycle who fail to maintain the minimum insurance requirements are ineligible to receive PIP benefits even if their injuries were caused by a collision with a motor vehicle through no fault of their own.
The PIP benefits available to eligible motorcyclists include all of those available to individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents: medical expenses, wage loss, household replacement services, medical mileage, etc. In addition to a first-party claim for PIP benefits against the motor vehicle owner’s or motorcyclist’s insurer, riders may also have a claim against the at-fault motorist for pain and suffering damages as well.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle collision and would like more information about your rights and the benefits you may be entitled to, contact the Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz at 248-557-3645. Our experienced attorneys can help you navigate these complex issues to ensure that you are represented fairly and obtain the compensation you deserve.