Your warm and sunny motorcycle ride gets ruined by an collision with an inattentive driver….and now you are injured. Who is going to be responsible for paying your medical bills under Michigan law especially considering the drastic changes that have taken place in the recent Michigan no-fault reforms?
Michigan No-Fault Benefits for Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclist can claim full no-fault benefits when they are involved in accidents with a “motor vehicle”. Believe it or not, a motorcycle is not considered a “motor vehicle” under Michigan law. Since a motorcycle is not a motor vehicle, in order for a motorcyclist to receive no-fault benefits under Michigan law, there must be a “motor vehicle” involved in the accident. If there is a “motor vehicle” involved in the accident, the motorcyclist will be entitled to the full menu of Michigan no-fault benefits which include the following major categories of benefits:
- Medical: This includes medical charges for products, medical services, and accommodations for the injured person’s care, recovery and rehabilitation. This is predicated upon the charges being reasonable, necessary and related to the accident at issue.
- Wage Loss: You will receive 85% of your gross income for a period of up to three years following the accident at issue.
- Replacement Services: If you need help around the house, your helpers could receive a max of $20 per day for up to three years following the accident.
- Survivor’s Loss Benefits: Up to three years of compensation to the dependents of the deceased party for lost income and services etc.
Which Insurance Company Will Pay?
There have been some recent changes to the law that have changed the order of priority for injured motorcyclists. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you will claim against the following insurance companies in the order listed. If you do not qualify under the first heading, you will then look to the second etc:
- The first order of priority for your claims will be against the insurer of the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident. If the owner of the car involved in your accident has insurance, your claim will be against that insurer.
- Second order of priority is the insurer of the operator of the vehicle involved in the accident.
- The third order of priority is the insurer of the motorcyclist if the motorcyclist owns a car that has insurance. Remember, this is because the motorcycle that you were driving at the time of the accident is not considered a motor vehicle that triggers your no-fault benefits.
- The fourth insurance policy that would be triggered to pay for your accident, is the insurer of the owner or registrant of the motorcycle that you are driving (if someone other than you).
- The last in all orders of priority is the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility (MACP). If all four of the above fail to qualify an insurance company to pay your claims, then you must apply to the MACP. The cap on medical benefits under the MACP coverage is $250,000.
Statute of Limitations
As a motorcyclist, you are subject to very strict rules that limit the amount of time within which you are able to make a no-fault claim. Failure to adhere to these time limitations may result in the complete failure of your claim. First, you have one year from the date of the accident to give notice to the proper insurance company. A second limitation is know as the “one year back rule”. The one year back rule says that you must file a lawsuit for any unpaid benefit within one year of the date that the bill was incurred (the date you received the treatment). Failure to file suit within the one year period precludes you from payment of that bill.
It is overwhelmingly important that you hire the right attorney for your motorcycle accident. Your attorney must know and understand the law and be able to apply it to your situation. The experienced injury attorneys at Femminineo Law know the law and are ready to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your case. Call 855.65.CRASH (24/7) for your free consultation today.