If you have suffered a serious or catastrophic injury in a bicycle accident in Michigan, Miller & Tischler, P.C. is the place to turn. Our accomplished no-fault insurance law practice, located in Farmington Hills, has been providing powerful legal representation to victims of bicycle versus motor vehicle accidents for many years. We have a reputation for in-depth knowledge of how no-fault benefits and the law intersect, as well as for efficiency and personal concern for our clients.
Once you contact us, we will begin providing you with legal advocacy when you need it most. We are well-prepared and determined to assist you in receiving the compensation you require not only to heal from your physical and emotional trauma but to get back on a firm financial footing.
Reasons for Increases in the Number of Bicycle Accidents
In Michigan, as throughout the country, more and more people are using bicycles for recreation, exercise, and as an eco-friendly means of transportation. Now that public bicycles are available for rental in many places, they are more and more visible, especially in urban areas.
Unfortunately, having more bicycles on our roads means more bicycle accidents. Because cyclists are unprotected by the metal enclosure of a car or truck, they are much more likely to be severely injured in a collision with a larger, faster vehicle.
Bicycle Collisions with Other Vehicles
Some drivers refuse to recognize the right of cyclists to be on the road. Other drivers are distracted or impaired by alcohol or drugs. Whatever the case, there is no good reason for a car to collide with a bicycle because its driver is:
- Disobeying traffic signs and signals
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Oblivious to a bicycle in his/her path
- Driving too close to the cyclist
- Opening a vehicle door in front of a cyclist
Whatever the reason you have been injured in a bicycle accident, our skilled attorneys will guide you toward the best possible resolution.
How Bicycle Accident Victims Receive Compensation in Michigan
Bicycle versus motor vehicle accidents fall under Michigan’s no-fault insurance system. If you were injured while a bicycle occupant but own your own motor vehicle and have no-fault insurance, you will make a claim for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits with your own insurance company. If you did not own any automobiles of your own (and therefore have no automobile insurance) recent amendments to the no-fault act require that your PIP benefits be paid by the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan where you will be limited to a maximum of $250,000 in PIP benefits. Michigan’s no-fault system can be complex and challenging, especially due to the recent changes in this area of the law. This is why you need our lawyers to help you navigate the no-fault system in order to receive the funds you are entitled to for:
- Medical expenses (including nursing, rehabilitative, and personal attendant care)
- Work loss
- Household replacement services
- Pain and suffering damages
Miller & Tischler’s experienced accident attorneys are well aware that insurance companies are always trying to protect their bottom line by denying as many claims as possible and limiting the duration of their payouts. We know how to negotiate to your advantage. In the event that your insurance company is unreasonable, we will take the case to court. You can be reassured by the fact that we have a decades-long history of successful litigation.
Third-Party Claims for Bicycle Accidents in Michigan
Michigan is a no-fault state. However, that just means PIP benefits are payable without regard to fault. For an automobile negligence or “third-party” claim, fault IS taken into consideration. In order to file a third-party claim against the driver of the other vehicle and her/his insurer, we have to prove that you have a “threshold injury,” defined as one that has resulted in:
- Permanent serious disfigurement
- Serious impairment of a bodily function
Miller & Tischler can also assist you in filing a third-party claim if your bicycle accident injury was caused by being struck by a motor vehicle. In such cases, our experienced attorneys will help you file a lawsuit against the responsible party and fight for the damages you deserve.
How Your Percentage of Fault Is Calculated in a Bicycle Accident Claim
In bicycle accidents, as well as in many other types of personal injury cases, the individual who has suffered the injury may bear some responsibility. Cyclists may be found partly responsible for their own injuries if, at the time of the collision, they:
- Were riding against, instead of with, traffic
- Disregarded a red light or stop sign
- Made an illegal turn
- Mistakenly presumed they had the right of way
- Were distracted by wearing a headset or texting
Because traffic laws differ from state to state, cyclists in Michigan (like motorists) are expected to know and follow state regulations when riding on public roads.
Assuming the defendant is more than 50 percent to blame for your injury, you are entitled to win damages even if you were, for example, 25 percent at fault for the accident. You will, however, lose the percentage of awarded damages that corresponds to your percentage of fault. In the example cited, if you have been awarded damages of $100,000, you will receive that amount less 25 percent, or $75,000. However, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you will not be entitled to third-party damages.
Contact Our Competent, Compassionate Bicycle Accident Attorneys Today
If you have suffered a severe injury in a bicycle versus motor vehicle accident in Michigan, do yourself a favor and contact Miller & Tischler. We know how overwhelming a traumatic injury can be and we genuinely want to help you recover — financially as well as physically and emotionally. We have the tools, the legal strategies, and the mindset to win you the compensation you deserve. Call us now so we can begin working on your case.