It’s crucial that bicyclists understand their legal rights after they have been injured in a bicycle car accident injury in Michigan.
They are entitled to No-Fault PIP benefits from the auto insurance company to pay for medical bills and lost wages if their accident-related injuries have disabled them from returning to work. For any bicycle car accident insurance claim these benefits provide essential protection and coverage to help injured bicyclists recover from their injuries and begin to rebuild their life.
Additionally, bicyclists can sue the at-fault motorists who caused the injury for pain and suffering compensation and other economic damages and losses. These economic damages include “excess” medical benefits to cover medical bills that are not covered by the policy through which the bicyclist is claiming No-Fault benefits.
Who pays for No-Fault benefits after a bicycle car accident injury?
If you suffered a bicycle car accident injury, then you will collect No-Fault benefits to pay for your medical bills and lost wages under one of the following auto insurance policies:
- Your own No-Fault car insurance policy, if you have one
- The No-Fault car insurance policy that belongs to your spouse or a family member who lives with you, if they have one
If coverage is not available through either of the sources above, then you will have to file an application for No-Fault benefits with the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan. You will receive No-Fault benefits from the auto insurance company that the MACP assigns to handle your claim.
How much coverage does a bicyclist have after an injury from a car accident?
The extent of coverage for an injured bicyclist’s medical bills and lost wages after a car accident injury will depend on the No-Fault PIP medical benefits coverage level selected in the policy through which a bicyclist is claiming benefits. The relevant coverage level will be one of the following:
- $50,000 for accident-related medical expenses (when the named insured on the policy is “enrolled in Medicaid”)
- $250,000 for accident-related medical expenses
- $500,000 for accident-related medical expenses
- Unlimited or no dollar-amount limit for accident-related medical expenses
- No No-Fault coverage for auto accident-related medical expenses, which occurs when the named insured on the policy has selected the Medicare/opt-out coverage option
- $250,000 for accident-related medical expenses if you are claiming No-Fault benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan
What if a bicycle car accident injury requires more coverage?
This issue comes up when a bicyclist’s accident-related medical expenses from a bicycle car accident exceed the amount of No-Fault medical coverage provided in the policy through which the bicyclist is claiming benefits.
When that happens, the bicyclist can sue the at-fault motorist who caused the crash for present and future “excess” medical expenses.
Additionally, an injured bicyclist may also be able to seek medical coverage through his or her private health insurance plan or through Medicare or Medicaid.
Can I sue for pain and suffering for a bicycle car accident injury?
Yes. If you’re a bicyclist and you suffered an injury in a collision caused by an at-fault motorist, then you can sue the negligent driver for pain and suffering compensation.
To be able to recover for pain and suffering in Michigan from the at-fault, negligent driver, an injured bicyclist would need to show that as a result of his or her injuries he or she has suffered a “serious impairment of body function.”
When the at-fault, negligent driver is uninsured or has fled the scene (and is, thus, considered a hit-and-run driver), then an injured bicyclist may be able to recover pain and suffering compensation through his or her “uninsured motorist coverage” insurance policy.
Similarly, if the at-fault, negligent driver has only minimal liability limits, then the injured bicyclist may be able to recover through his or her “underinsured motorist coverage” insurance policy.
What happens to an out-of-state bicyclist after a bicycle car accident injury in Michigan?
If you’re a bicyclist from out-of-state (i.e., a bicyclist who is not a Michigan resident) and you suffer a bicycle car accident injury in Michigan, then you will only be able to collect No-Fault benefits if you “owned a motor vehicle that was registered and insured in this state.” (MCL 500.3113(c))
However, owning a car or truck that is registered and insured in Michigan is not a requirement for suing the at-fault motorist for pain and suffering compensation and “damages for economic loss” - so long as you can show that you suffered a “serious impairment of body function.”