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Motorcycle Accidents Attorney in Holland, Michigan

What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Crashes in Michigan

Gerald R. Stahl is experienced about helping motorcycle riders get justice in Ottawa County and all of Western Michigan. When a person is injured in a motorcycle crash with motor vehicle it is often results in serious traumatic injuries.

If a motorcyclist is involved in an accident with an insured motor vehicle, the insurance company of the motor vehicle will pay unlimited medical benefits for the injuries of the motorcyclist, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.PIP benefits also include lost wages and attendant care. These no-fault PIP benefits against the insurance company of the driver of the motor vehicle are separate from bodily injury claims.

Motorcycle Liability Claims for Bodily Injury and Pain and Suffering in Michigan-Lawyer Representation in Ottawa County

A claim for non economic damages for Pain and suffering is commonly referred to as a third party claim. This claim is against the bodily injury coverage of the at fault driver. This type of motorcycle liability claim is also commonly called negligence claims. The motorcycle driver seeks damages resulting from the negligence of the motor vehicle driver.

How the lawyer presents and advocates for the client.

The lawyer must argue the statutory and case law requirements for recovery.

First, the motorcyclist must prove the operator of the motor vehicle was negligent in order to claim accident damages from the driver at fault for the motorcycle crash. These are damages not recoverable through PIP benefits and include:

Non-economic damages — compensation for the pain and suffering the injured motorcyclist has suffered.

Excess economic loss damages — compensation for benefits not otherwise provided by PIP benefits. This includes compensation for wage loss incurred in excess of the three-year PIP benefit cap.

Non-economic damages are commonly referred to as “pain and suffering” damages. It’s important to note that motorcyclist injuries must satisfy the “threshold injury” requirement. Under Michigan law, there are three ways a motorcyclist can establish a threshold injury:

  1. serious impairment of a body function;

  2. a permanent serious disfigurement; or

  3. death as a result of the injuries.

The legal definitions of “serious impairment of a body function” and “permanent serious disfigurement” are dependent upon the specific facts of a person’s injuries and are subject to interpretation by Michigan courts. This is why a person injured in a motorcycle crash should needs the representation of Michigan accident attorney to determine whether he or she has suffered such an injury.

Under the No Fault Act, a driver or owner of a motor vehicle is liable in tort for the plaintiff’s non economic damages such as pain and suffering as long as the plaintiff sustained threshold injuries of a serious impairment of a body function. The Supreme Court noted that there are 3 prongs necessary to establish serious impairment of a body function: “(1) an objectively manifested impairment (2) an important bodily function that (3) affects the person’s general ability to live his or her normal life. “Impairment need not be permanent to be serious under the Michigan Jury Instructions.

An “Objectively Manifested Injury” is one that is evidenced by actual symptoms or conditions that someone other than the injured person would observe as impairing a body function. Further, it is only the impairment that has to be objectively manifested not the injury or its symptoms. Thus, when considering an impairment, a court should not focus on injuries themselves, but on how the injures affect the plaintiff’s particular bodily function.

An Important Body Function:

The court found that whether a body function is important is an inherently is an inherently subjective inquiry that must be decided on a case by case basis to determine whether the body function has great value, significance, or consequence. This will vary depending on the person because “what may seem to be a trivial body function for most people may be subjectively important to some, depending on the relationship of that function to the person’s life.

That affects that person’s general ability to lead his or her normal life: It means to have “an influence on some of the person’s capacity to live, or pass life, in his or her normal manner of living.” The court considers the pre accident level of function and activity compared to the post accident.

Finally in determining the damages which may be awarded in a personal injury action, in addition to the consideration which may be given to such pain and suffering as has already been endured by the plaintiff, future pain and suffering on his or her part, in consequence of injury complained of, is also a proper element to be considered.

It should be noted that all of these factors are arguments to courts and insurance companies. The actual value of a claim can be limited by the amount of coverage the at fault driver possessed at the time of the accident. Additionally, despite the nature of the accident victim’s injuries the insurance company will often dispute the severity of the injuries in order to pay less on the claim. A claim for pain and suffering must be advocated by an experienced personal injury lawyer in order to maximize a victim’s recovery. You deserve an attorney on your side that understands motorcycle accidents and can fight for that best financial recovery. Call Gerald R. Stahl today to schedule a confidential consultation today.