If you or your loved one has been killed or seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in Michigan, you may have rights. Michigan law allows a representative of the deceased person’s estate, usually a family member, to file a lawsuit against the wrongdoer in order to recover damages.
While state law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets, because riders are exposed while out on the road, they are more likely to suffer serious injury if involved in an accident. Even a simple rear-end collision is typically far more dangerous for a person on a motorcycle than someone in a car. Motorcycle riders are also vulnerable to being hit by inattentive drivers and may be more likely to lose control on slippery or icy roads.
Because of the differences between a car accident and a motorcycle collision, you need a lawyer with experience in handling motorcycle claims. Some potential jurors may have negative ideas in their heads about people who ride motorcycles, and our lawyers can help weed out those biased jurors to give you the best shot at a fair trial.
Fatal Motorcycle Crashes Are On the Rise
According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents has been increasing steadily for the past ten years. Motorcycle accidents decreased 2.7 percent from 2004 to 2013. However, fatalities from motorcycle accidents increased more than sixty-four percent during that same ten-year period. Therefore, while your odds of being involved in a motorcycle accident may be slightly reduced, the odds of a fatal injury have increased significantly.
Most of the reported motorcycle deaths involved victims between the ages of 30 and 60, making it likely that many people killed in motorcycle accidents have families to support. These families have a right to receive compensation for the loss of their spouse, parent, or grandparent’s support and companionship.
We’ll Do the Research For You
One of the more difficult and frustrating parts of the court process is gathering evidence to prove your case. Our lawyers will review the police reports, examine the accident scene, talk to witnesses, and get to the bottom of the accident. We’ll also review the medical records, obtain insurance policies, and help advise on the best possible course of action for your situation.
You May Be Entitled to Recovery Even if the Other Driver Wasn’t 100% At Fault
Some people may think that the deceased individual must be entirely blameless before the other driver can be required to pay for damages. However, that is quite simply not the case. Mich. Comp. Stat., Section 600.2959 allows the judge to review all relevant facts to determine what percentage of the accident may be attributed to each person involved. That means, even if your friend or relative contributed to the crash, you may be able to claim reduced damages based on the other party’s comparative percentage of liability. This statute applies even if the victim was more than half at fault for the accident.
Know Your Rights
Damages following a motorcycle accident typically include the cost of repairing or replacing the motorcycle, lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. When the victim dies, his or her representative may still be able to obtain pain and suffering damages for any time the person suffered before passing away. In addition, it may be possible to collect damages for the loss of the person’s contribution to family income and funeral expenses.
Don’t miss out. There are strict filing deadlines that must be observed, and the more time that passes, the more difficult it can be to obtain evidence to help prove the case. Contact an experienced Michigan wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after the accident in order to ensure that your rights are protected.
Our attorneys are experienced in obtaining the best possible settlements for their clients and don’t shy away from taking cases to court when necessary. Insurance companies don’t want to pay, and they employ lawyers to help them make sure you do not get a fair settlement. It is therefore imperative that you have an experienced negotiator on your side. Don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of you. Call (269) 342-9900 today for a free consultation. There is no fee until we settle or win your case.