Bicycle accidents may cause tremendous harm to a bicyclist when compared to other vehicle accidents. Unlike people in cars or trucks, a bicyclist is mostly unprotected from the force of a collision. When a larger vehicle is moving at high speeds, a bicyclist may be killed. A bicyclist may also be significantly hurt from a passenger car door opening in front of them unexpectedly. The increasing popularity of e-bikes and other electronic personal vehicles on Michigan roads has increased the hazards encountered by commuters in the state. If you are injured by a careless driver, the Grand Rapids and Traverse City bicycle accident attorneys at the Neumann Law Group may be able to help you recover damages. Award-winning personal injury lawyer Kelly Neumann assists victims in many areas of Michigan.Bringing a Bicycle Accident Claim
After a bicycle accident, you may bring a first-party claim to recover benefits provided by your own no-fault insurance coverage, regardless of whose fault the accident was. Benefits available through no-fault insurance policies may include replacement household services, medical bills, lost wages, and nursing. However, you may only bring this claim if a car or truck was involved, and you must bring it within one year of your bike accident.
If you do not carry no-fault insurance, you may be able to claim benefits under your husband or wife's no-fault policy or your relative's policy. If neither you nor your family members have no-fault insurance, you may be able to claim benefits from the no-fault insurer for the registrant of the motor vehicle involved in your accident, or if that person has no no-fault insurance, the driver of that motor vehicle. Lastly, you may be able to file a claim for no-fault benefits with the Michigan Assigned Claims Facility.
Moreover, you may also be able to sue for pain and suffering if you are hit by a car or truck. This claim is a lawsuit that you file against a driver in which you must prove the driver's negligence or intentional misconduct, and if you succeed in this lawsuit, you may recover noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. Loss of consortium exists when injuries caused by an accident affect a marriage. The statute of limitations to file this personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date of the bike accident.
When defending against a personal injury lawsuit, an at-fault driver in Michigan may try to claim that you were comparatively negligent. The jury will determine your total damages and also assign percentages of fault. Your damages will be reduced by an amount proportionate to your degree of fault, if any. For example, if a driver failed to yield to a rider at a controlled intersection, but the rider was not wearing a helmet and thus suffered more severe head injuries, their damages may be reduced based on a comparative negligence theory. In Michigan, an accident victim who is more than 50% responsible for the accident remains entitled to collect economic damages from other at-fault parties, to be apportioned by each defendant’s degree of fault.
Given Michigan's utilization of the modified comparative fault doctrine, an injured party finds themselves unable to recover non-economic damages if their level of fault surpasses 50%. In this framework, the burden rests on the injured plaintiff to establish that their responsibility for an accident does not exceed 49% to be eligible for non-economic damages. In situations where substantial damages are at stake or where there's a small imbalance in fault between two parties, the distinction between a 49% fault determination and an even 50-50 fault split can hold immense significance. It's essential to understand that the assessment of fault by a law enforcement officer at the scene is not necessarily the definitive allocation of fault that a court will adopt.Discuss Your Case with a Bicycle Accident Attorney in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
Many people in Michigan ride bicycles for fun or as a form of green transportation. However, riding your bike is not always as safe as it should be. Our Traverse City and Grand Rapids bicycle accident lawyers may be able to help you file a lawsuit to recover damages after a crash. The Neumann Law Group also represents people in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Wyoming, Saginaw, Muskegon, Midland, Holland, Warren, and Petoskey, as well as areas throughout the Upper Peninsula. We represent clients in personal injury cases, as well as medical malpractice, estate planning, family law, and virtually all other legal issues. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision lawyer.