Motorcycle Accidents

As a motorcyclist, you understand the importance of driving safely. Unfortunately, though, other drivers don’t always share the same mentality. When you or a family member gets hurt in a motorcycle accident, know that you can turn to us for fierce, effective legal representation. Between attorneys Ron and Gerald Weiss, we have more than 75 years of combined experience handling personal injury claims of this nature. Gerald is licensed to practice in Michigan while Ron is licensed to practice in both Michigan and Ohio.

Michigan Motorcycle Accidents

Before you can fully understand what goes into a personal injury claim as a motorcyclist, it helps to first know about Michigan’s No-Fault Law. This law requires car owners (or, more specifically, “motor vehicle owners”) to purchase no-fault insurance coverage for their vehicles. By doing so, they are financially protected in the event of a car accident.

According to Michigan law, motorcycles are not classified as “motor vehicles,” and therefore their owners aren’t required to purchase no-fault auto insurance. Instead, they have to purchase Personal Liability and Property Damage (PLPD) coverage.

PLPD Coverage & Michigan Motorcycle Accident Claims

As a Michigan motorcyclist, having PLPD coverage accomplishes three important things all at once:

  • Allows you to cover the costs of an accident if the accident is your fault
  • Protects you from harsh penalties (up to and including imprisonment) in the event that you cause a crash
  • Makes you eligible to receive insurance benefits (Personal Injury Protection, or simply “PIP” benefits) if the wreck is the other driver’s fault

It is in the third scenario — the one in which the accident was the other driver’s fault — that you have grounds to file a personal injury claim. Doing so simply means that you are asking your insurance provider to fully or partially cover the costs of your medical bills, physical therapy, time missed from work, pain and suffering, funeral expenses (in the event that you lost a loved one in the accident), and other related costs.

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Ohio Motorcycle Accidents

Unlike Michigan, Ohio’s auto accident laws operate on an at-fault basis. In other words, rather than your own insurance provider covering your expenses, it is up to the person or people responsible for the accident to ante up. Or, more accurately — it is up to their insurance provider to cover your lost wages, medical bills, and other costs caused by the wreck.

The same rule applies to motorcycle accidents. For instance, if you as a motorcyclist are hit by a car because the driver wasn’t paying attention, your next step would be to prove that the accident was the driver’s fault. Do so successfully, and that driver (or their insurance company) will be held legally responsible for the costs of your recovery.

Ohio’s Comparative Negligence Rule

Since Ohio is all about holding the right people accountable for the injuries they cause, they use what we in the legal world call the “comparative negligence rule.” Put simply, this rule means that each person owns up to the damages they caused.

As an example, let’s revisit the scenario we laid out before: you are riding along on your motorcycle and get hit by a distracted driver. However, witnesses reveal that you failed to use your turn signal when you should have. You are therefore found to be 20% responsible for the accident while the other driver is 80% responsible. As a result, you can now only collect up to 80% of the settlement offered to you by their insurance company.

Michigan & Ohio Motorcycle Accidents

At the law office of Ronald S. Weiss, Attorney, we understand how quickly a simple error in judgement can turn into a devastating loss for you and your family. Whether you were hurt in a motorcycle accident or lost a loved one because of a careless driver, please give us a call. It would be our pleasure to help you through this.