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Motorcyclist No-Fault PIP Benefits

Can a Motorcyclist Recover No-Fault Benefits?

A motorcyclist can receive no-fault PIP benefits when the motorcyclist sustains a bodily injury arising from the operation or use of a “motor vehicle.” Therefore, if a motorcyclist is involved in a collision with a car, truck, or other “motor vehicle” as defined under the Michigan No-Fault Law, the motorcyclist is entitled to recover full no-fault insurance benefits as those benefits are defined in the statue.

It should be noted that, depending on the specific facts of the case, actual physical contact between the motorcycle and the motor vehicle is not required, provided that the operation of the motor vehicle was a significant factor in the injury to the motorcyclist. For example, if a motor vehicle were to pull out abruptly in front of a motorcycle, and the motorcyclist, therefore, has to adjust their course of travel in order to avoid a collision, going off the road and sustaining injuries, that motorcyclist may still be entitled to no-fault benefits through the motor vehicle involved.

However, if a motorcyclist sustains an injury as a result of a collision with another motorcyclist or some non-vehicular object or simply as a result of a loss of control, the motorcyclist is not entitled to recover no-fault insurance benefits under the Michigan No-Fault law. The law further provides that if the owner or registrant of the motorcycle fails to purchase the statutorily required PLPD coverage, then the motorcyclist will lose all rights to recover no-fault benefits.

What Are No-Fault PIP Benefits?

If a motorcyclist (driver or passenger) sustains an injury as a result of an accident involving a motor vehicle, the motorcyclist is treated exactly the same as if he or she were operating an automobile. Motorcyclists are entitled to full no-fault personal insurance protection (PIP) benefits. These benefits include:

  • Allowable expenses, which the statute defines as reasonable charges for reasonably necessary products, services, and accommodations for the injured person’s care, recovery, and rehabilitation;
  • Wage loss benefits for up to three years, calculated at 85% of gross income not to exceed a monthly cap;
  • Replacement service expenses for up to three years not to exceed $20 per day;
  • Survivor’s loss benefits for up to three years, which consist of the loss of after-tax income, the value of lost fringe benefits and replacement service expenses, subject to a monthly cap.

The Michigan no-fault PIP benefits are the most generous of any no-fault state in the United States. Therefore, motorcyclists should be well informed about these benefits and take all reasonable steps necessary to protect their right to recover these important benefits.

Time Limitations

It should also be emphasized that if no-fault PIP benefits are payable to an injured motorcyclist, these benefits are subject to strictly enforced time limitations. The first of these limitations is the “one-year notice rule,” which requires that the injured person give statutory written notice to the no-fault PIP insurer within one year of the date of the accident specifying the detail required by the state. The second time limitation is referred to as the “one year back rule” which providers that a lawsuit filed to recover unpaid PIP benefits can only enforce payment of expenses that were incurred within one year of the date the lawsuit was filed. Therefore, prompt legal action must be taken to enforce the right to recover unpaid PIP claims.

The Michigan no-fault PIP benefits are the most generous of any no-fault state in the United States. Therefore, motorcyclists should be well informed about these benefits and take all reasonable steps necessary to protect their right to recover these important benefits.

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