Our TorkLaw Detroit office is home to some of the best Detroit motorcycle accident lawyers. We help motorcycle crash victims win a fair compensation for their losses.
Motorcycle injuries are typically severe and critical. And they can often result in life-long disability or loss for the victim. This is why the victims need compensatory damages to cover them and help them stay financially stable. We fully understand that, which is why we work closely with motorcycle accident victims.
When filing a motorcycle crash claim, it is important to understand how Michigan laws apply to motorcyclists. Here is a look at these laws, statistics and other aspects of motorcycle accidents.
Detroit Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The rate of fatalities among motorcyclists remains much higher than the rate of fatalities among other motorists. This trend is true for Michigan as well as for nationwide motorcycle accidents. During 2017 alone, a total of 142 motorcycle fatalities occurred across Michigan. Over the same period, motorcycle-crash deaths across the nation were tallied at 4,798. Both figures mark a year-over-year decrease. In 2016, Michigan saw 152 deaths in motorcycle crashes while the national figure stood at 5,251.
Alcohol and speeding remain key causes of motorcycle crashes nationwide. In nearly 50% of the fatal crashes, alcohol is involved. In more than half the motorcycle-vehicle collisions, the vehicle driver was found guilty of failure to yield right of way.
For these reasons, motorcyclists remain one of the most vulnerable groups of motorists. This is gradually changing as the use of helmet and other measures are aiding in bringing down the annual fatality figures.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, it is time to get the help of qualified Detroit motorcycle accident lawyers. With good legal help on your side, you may be able to get a fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries
The injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash are typically serious. This is simply because the motorcyclist is quite vulnerable. In the event of a collision, a helmet may offer head protection but the motorcyclist may still incur critical injuries after being ejected from the motorcycle at a high speed.
In nearly 50% of motorcycle crashes, the motorcyclists sustain injuries to the lower leg, knee, ankle, foot or upper leg and thigh area. Other common injuries include:
Road rash: This refers to the painful scrape or bruise you incur after sliding along the road during a motorcycle crash. It is important to have such seemingly insignificant bruises and scrapes treated by a doctor at the earliest.
Head and Brain Injuries: Head and brain injuries are quite common in motorcycle accidents, accounting for nearly 25% of motorcycle crash injuries. This is simply because a fall from the motorcycle during a crash directly impacts the head area. Motorcyclists with helmets are able to avoid such injuries in most cases.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Even when a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet, being ejected from the vehicle at a high speed can cause spinal cord injuries. Such injuries usually result in short-term or long-term disabilities in the victims.
Chest Injuries: Nearly 15% motorcycle injuries are in the chest region. This includes damage to the ribs, sternum, lungs and any other organs located in the area. A fall from the motorcycle may compress the chest which in turn impacts the organs.
Even in the case of seemingly minor motorcycle crash injuries, it is vital that you undergo a thorough medical treatment. Some internal injuries are not immediately apparent. And a timely identification of these injuries will support your compensation claim. Experienced Detroit motorcycle accident lawyers can help you gather the requisite medical evidence when filing a claim.
Motorcycle Laws in Michigan
The State of Michigan has a number of laws in place governing the operation of motorcycles on the roads across the state. A brief overview of these laws is as follows:
- You must have a valid motorcycle endorsement or have passed a designated motorcycle safety course.
- You must wear a helmet if you are younger than 21.
- If you are older than 21 and want to ride without a helmet, you must have insurance as well as $20,000 in first-party medical benefits.
- You are required to have motorcycle insurance. This includes a minimum of $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $10,000 per accident for property damage.
- The total height difference between the topmost point of the handlebar and the lowest point of the seat must not be more than 15 inches.
- The motorcycle must have headlight, taillight, rear-view mirror, horn, wheel brakes and a seat that is permanently attached.
When Can You Sue the At-Fault Driver?
Michigan law allows you to sue an at-fault driver in a motorcycle crash despite the state’s no-fault rule. This is when you can prove that your injuries meet the threshold injury requirement. This requirement is met if:
- A victim dies due to the injuries sustained in the crash
- A victim suffers permanent serious disfigurement, or
- A victim suffers serious impairment of a bodily function
If these conditions are met, you can seek two types of damages from the negligent driver. These are:
- Excess economic loss damages – PIP benefits cover wage loss to the tune of three years. If your injuries cause wage losses in excess of that, you can seek compensation from the at-fault driver for this.
- Non-economic damages – These refer to pain and suffering caused by the crash injuries to the victim.
Why Hire Detroit Motorcycle Accident Lawyers?
In the event of more serious motorcycle accidents resulting in death, it is also possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver. However, it is vital that you hire the help of a qualified attorney when filing such a lawsuit.
Here at TorkLaw, we help you seek compensatory damages from the insurer as well as the at-fault driver, depending on the circumstances of the case. Call us today to book a free consultation with our lawyers.