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Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Publishes Bike Insurance Report
 

Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Publishes Bike Insurance Report

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Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer, Daniel L. Buckfire, publishes FREE Michigan motorcycle accident report for all motorcyclists in Michigan. The insurance report discusses the insurance coverage you ...

Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer, Daniel L. Buckfire, publishes FREE Michigan motorcycle accident report for all motorcyclists in Michigan. The insurance report discusses the insurance coverage you should have on your bike along with the biggest insurance mistakes that riders make. To learn more about Mr. Buckfire's firm, visit http://www.buckfirelaw.com

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    Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Publishes Bike Insurance Report Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Publishes Bike Insurance Report Document Transcript

    • The Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Report “The Biggest Insurance Mistakes that Riders Make” By: Daniel L. Buckfire Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Call Toll Free: (800) 606-1717 www.BuckfireLaw.com www.FreeMotorcycleReport.com
    • THE MICHIGAN MOTORCYLE INSURANCE REPORT The Free Report by our Michigan personal injury lawyers teaches Michigan mopurchasing the proper insurance coverage before they go for a ride. All too often, bikersbuy what they believe to be "full coverage" for their motorcycle, only to learn later onthat they were not sold the essential coverage to protect themselves in the event of atragic accident. Because injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents are oftencatastrophic, it is necessary to review your motorcycle insurance coverageimmediately to learn if you are properly protected in the event of an accident. The Michigan Secretary of State has a website dedicated to Motorcycle Laws &Regulations and the requirements to operate a motorcycle in the State of Michigan.The site quickly advises that “To operate a motorcycle on public roads, you mustpossess a valid Michigan drivers license with a motorcycle endorsement.” TheMichigan Motorcycle Operators Manual can also be found at the site1. A motorcycle2 is defined3 as a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle with a saddleor seat that produces more than 2.0 brake horsepower and can attain speeds greaterthan 30 mph on a level surface. Some vehicles, such as "pocket rockets" or "minichoppers," may meet this definition, but do not have all of the equipment required byMichigan law to legally drive them on public roads and will not be registered by theDepartment of State. Under Michigan law, motorcycle registrations are issued for one (1) year andexpire on the owner’s birthday. You must register your motorcycle at a Secretary ofState office if you plan to operate it on public roads. When registering, you will need toprovide: Proof of insurance for at least $20,000/$40,000 public liability and $10,000property damage coverage. This is commonly known as PLPD. For an originalregistration, you will also need to provide your motorcycle title, and for a renewalregistration, you must provide the renewal notice or the previous year’s registration. In addition, motorcycles must have the following equipment, which must be ingood condition: front and rear wheel brakes, headlight, taillight, stop-light, muffler, horn,rear-view mirror, and permanently attached seat.1 Visit www.michigan.gov/sos2 MCL 257.31 “Motorcycle” defined.3 257.32b “Moped” defined.Sec. 32b. “Moped” means a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle which is equipped with a motor that does not exceed50 cubic centimeters piston displacement, produces 2.0 brake horsepower or less, and cannot propel thevehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on a level surface. The power drive system shall notrequire the operator to shift gears
    • REQUIRED INSURANCE As stated above, to register a motorcycle, a proof of insurance for the minimumPersonal Liability Property Damage (PLPD) is required. PLPD insurance protectsyou if you cause personal injury or property damages to another person or otherproperty as a result of your negligence. This means that your own insurance companywill defend you for these claims and pay any settlements or judgments due to yournegligence. Failure to have the basic minimum PLPD can and typically does havesevere consequences. If a motorcyclist is involved in an accident that involves anautomobile and the motorcycle is not properly insured with basic PLPD, then themotorcyclist cannot receive Michigan No-Fault benefits; although they may have otherrights against the at fault driver of the motor vehicle. Michigan No-Fault benefits include but are not necessarily limited to: (1)payment of all medical bills for treatment of injuries arising out the accident; (2) lostwage reimbursement up to 85% of an injured persons gross lost wages (there aremonthly caps) for the first three years after the accident; (3) replacement householdservices up to $20.00 per day for the first three years after the accident (4) mileagereimbursement; (5) attendant care services during the period of recovery. The repercussion of not receiving Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits after amotorcycle accident is significant because the injuries suffered in a motorcycle accidentare often severe and require extensive medical treatment and care. Without thesebenefits, the injured biker will likely be facing substantial medical bills and will not bereceiving payments for lost wages during the period of recovery. This has forcedmany injured bikers into filing for personal bankruptcy. This is a simplification of No-Fault benefits, and youshould consult an attorney if you are involved in an accidentto determine your eligibility for no-fault benefits and otherclaims. There are strict time limitations and deadlines! 2
    • OPTIONAL INSURANCE COVERAGE In additional to PLPD, a motorcycle owner can purchase several optionalinsurance coverages depending on the insurance carrier. Although this coverage is"optional," it should be considered as mandatory by every motorcycle owner inMichigan. No biker in Michigan should take their bike for a ride without having thiscoverage in place. These insurance coverage options protect you in the event you are injured in aserious motorcycle accident. Without these types of coverage, you may never be fairlycompensated for your injuries and you may be left facing significant medical bills andexpenses for your treatment. (1) Higher PLPD limits. I recommend that you purchase limits thatadequately protect your assets or at least match what you have purchased foryour car or truck. At a minimum, you should consider purchasing$100,000.00/$300,000.00 liability coverage, as the cost for purchasing this coverage isrelatively inexpensive. (2) Medical Payment. This Medical payments coverage, commonlyknown as MED PAY, is typically purchased in increments of $5,000.00 up to $25,000.00in coverage. This coverage would pay for medical expenses if you were in a motorcycleaccident with another biker, due to a road defect, or even a single bike accident. If youwere injured in an accident a car or truck, then you would be eligible for MichiganNo-Fault Insurance benefits and your medical bills would be covered for anunlimited amount for your lifetime. I recommend that you purchase as much of this insurance as you canafford to pay. The MED PAY coverage typically will be primary over your healthinsurance, meaning that it will pay benefits before your regular health insurance starts topay, but you must read the policy to confirm this. If you have no other health insurance, you could be facing huge medicalexpenses if you do not have this coverage and are injured in a motorcycle accident.Once your medical bills exceed the amount purchased, then the insurance MEDPAY coverage is terminated and you are responsible for all additional medicalbills. This is why I recommend purchasing the highest amount of coverage that youcan afford. 3
    • (3) Uninsured Motorists (UM) Coverage. What is uninsuredmotorist bodily injury coverage? Very simply, if a motorcyclist is involved in anaccident with a car, truck, or motorcycle that is uninsured, then the motorcyclist maypursue a UM claim against his/her own insurance company for their damages, up to theamount of coverage purchased. This coverage is essential to have because it protects you from uninsureddrivers. I recommend that you purchase the MAXIMUM UM coverage available.The reason for this is simple: if you sustain catastrophic injuries as a result of anuninsured driver; then you want the most coverage available to compensate you foryour pain and suffering and economic damages. This is especially important becausemany motorists on our roads and highways have no insurance. To further see whyUM Coverage is essential, please read the CASE STUDY below. (4) Underinsured Motorists (UIM) Coverage. What isunderinsured motorists (UIM) coverage? UIM coverage is very similar to UninsuredMotorists Coverage, but it is utilized when a motorcyclist is involved in car, truck, ormotorcycle accident with an insured car, truck, or bike, but the insurance coverage isminimal or simply does not reflect the value of the damages sustained by themotorcyclist. This coverage is essential to have because it protects you from driverswith the minimum insurance coverage. I recommend that you purchase theMAXIMUM UIM coverage available. For example, in Michigan, a motorist is only required to have $20,000.00 ininsurance coverage. Many Michigan motorists purchase this bare minimum coverage.The amount of $20,000.00 rarely, if ever, covers the injuries and damages sustained bya motorcyclist when they are involved in a motor vehicle versus motorcycle accident.This means that a seriously injured biker would only receive a $20,000.00settlement for his or her injuries. For example, consider a motorcyclist that sustained damages that are equal to$500,000.00, but the negligent motorist who caused the accident had only $20,000.00in liability coverage. Without UIM coverage, the injured biker would only receive asettlement of $20,000.00. With UIM coverage, the motorcyclist could file a UIMclaim with their own insurance company to seek the difference of the liabilitycoverage ($20,000.00) and the amount of UIM coverage purchased ($500,000.00),meaning they could claim an additional $480,000.00 from their own insurancecompany. On the other hand, if the motorcyclist only purchased $20,000.00 in UIMbenefits, then they would receive nothing from their insurance carrier because theywould already have received the $20,000.00 from the negligent motorists insurancecompany. 4
    • CASE STUDIES THE NEED FOR UNINSURED AND UNDER INSURED MOTORCYCLE COVERAGE The purpose of this case study is to convey to the readers the absolutenecessity of purchasing uninsured (UM) and under insured (UIM) motorist bodilyinjury coverage. This attorney received a quote from a well known insurance companyfor $500,000.00 in UM/UIM coverage which cost only $80 per year. This $80.00purchase can be the difference between receiving no settlement at all or asettlement in the amount of $500,000.00. I have had two recent clients that were catastrophically injured in motorcycle vs.car accidents with uninsured motor vehicles. These cases demonstrate the need forpurchasing UM and UIM coverage. Case Study #1-No UM/UIM Coverage Results in Big Settlement In the first case, John Jones was operating his motorcycle on Six Mile Road inDetroit when an illegally parked tractor trailer did not observe him and pulled away fromthe curb. John had quick reflexes and was able to avoid the impact with thetractor trailer by driving left of the center lane and immediately swerved back intohis lane of travel. Unfortunately, an uninsured car commenced a left hand turn whenshe observed the tractor trailer pulling away from the curb. The motorcyclist impactedin a “T” fashion on the driver’s side of this uninsured motor vehicle and was thrown overthe roof of the same car. John sustained significant injuries including fractures tohis arms and legs both requiring surgery. John, who was left handed, lost partialuse of his left arm. Nearly two years after his accident, John had to have his hipreplaced. Unfortunately, John did not have uninsured (UM) or underinsured motorist(UIM) coverage on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. The car that caused theaccident which John impacted did not have any insurance. He would have received nosettlement against the uninsured driver of the car even though he was not at fault in theaccident. On his behalf, I filed a lawsuit claiming that the tractor trailer was also atfault and obtained a settlement in excess of One Million ($1,000,000.00) Dollarsfor John. Also, John qualified for Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits becauseanother motor vehicle was involved in the accident. I assisted him with this claimand was able to get all of his medical bills, lost wages, and other benefits paid. 5
    • Case Study #2-No UM/UIM Coverage Results in No Settlement In a more unfortunate circumstance, Richard Smith was traveling eastbound on aroadway when an uninsured driver of a car, with a high blood alcohol level, took a lefthand turn in front of him and caused a serious accident. Richard sustained severeand permanent damages and was in a coma for over a week. Richard remainshospitalized and conservatively his damages exceed Five Million ($5,000,000.00)Dollars. Unfortunately for Richard, the drunk driver did not have insurance on his car andthis was the drunk driver’s third criminal violation for operating a vehicle under theinfluence of alcohol. The drunk driver had lost his job three months prior to the accidentand was in the middle of a divorce. The drunk driver did not have any assets and wasessentially broke. Richard did not have uninsured motorist coverage on his motorcycle. Hedid have this coverage on his car, but his agent did not sell it to him for his bike. Thecoverage would have cost about $80.00 and Richard would have purchased it if hisagent offered it to him or if he would have read this FREE Report before taking his bikefor a ride. If he had in fact purchased the uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, then hecould have recovered up to the amount of coverage, i.e. potentially Five HundredThousand ($500,000.00) Dollars. Because he did not purchase this coverage, it ishighly unlikely that we will receive any money whatsoever for his pain and sufferingdamages from the drunk driver. I did establish a Michigan No-Fault claim for Richard, so all of his medical billsthat arose out of the accident will be paid for and he will receive his lost wages for threeyears. His life has been permanently interrupted and changed by this accidentand he will most likely receive no compensation for his injuries. 6
    • NOTES 7
    • Michigan Motorcycle Insurance Checklist Use This Checklist When You Purchase Your Motorcycle Insurance Under Michigan law, your insurance agent does not have to tell you about the insurance coverage available for your motorcycle. Simply asking for "full coverage" does not mean that you will be purchasing the below coverage. It is your responsibility to ask for and purchase this coverage. Public Liability/Property Damage (PLPD) Mandatory Coverage Recommend: Purchase the highest limits that you can afford Medical Payment Coverage Optional Coverage Recommend: Purchase with highest limits you can afford (limits $25,000.00) Uninsured Motorists Coverage (UM) Optional Coverage Recommend: Purchase the highest limits that you can afford Underinsured Motorists Coverage (UM) Optional Coverage Recommend: Purchase with highest limits that you can afford For any questions about purchasing your motorcycle insurance or your rights (800) 606-1717after a Michigan Motorcycle Accident, call us at www.BuckfireLaw.com 8
    • YOUR FREE GUIDE TO MICHIGAN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CASES Warning: Read This Book Before You Hire A Lawyer Or Speak to the Insurance Company Our book sells for $14.95 plus postage but we will send it to you for FREE if you act NOW! Our FREE GUIDE explains the Michigan motorcycle accident laws in easy to understand language. You will eliminate hours of stress, confusion, and uncertainty simply by reading this book. The 65 Page Book reveals: • Why You Need a Lawyer When Dealing With the Insurance Company • Are You Entitled to Michigan No-Fault Insurance Benefits • How To Get The Best Money Settlement for Your Injuries • How To Find The Best Lawyer For Your Case • Who Must Pay For Motorcycle Damage Claims • AND MUCH MOREOur FREE GUIDE explains the secret strategies that insurance companieswill use to avoid paying you a fair settlement. It also reveals why you NEEDto find the best Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer for your case and thecrucial questions that you must ask before you hire a lawyer. To Request Your FREE COPY, visit www.MichiganMotorcycleBook.com Or call us at 1-800-606-1717 9
    • Your Best Source For Michigan Motorcycle Legal NewsVisit our new Legal Blog Site which is dedicated to FightingFor The Rights Of Injured Bikers.Our Blog is updated daily with important news andinformation for Michigan Bikers on: Motorcycle Accidents Insurance Information Accident Statistics Helmet Laws Registration Information Training/Education Classes Safety Articles Head Trauma Wrongful Death Injuries Motorcycle ResourcesSubscribe to the Blog for Free and automatically receivethese updates at your own computer by simply clicking onthe button below when you visit the site at http://MichiganMotorcycleLawyerBlog.com 10
    • "Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Representing Injured Bikers" We are a Michigan law firm that counsels injury victims and their families. By handling a small number of select cases, we offer high-quality personalized service to our clients, using experienced attorneys, not paralegals. We provide free legal books and information to the public and we maintain a superior Web site with frequently refreshed content that includes downloadable, no-cost legal forms and educational videos. We value our reputation for integrity and skill and enjoy an outstanding track record of success. To speak to one of our Lawyers, call us at (800) 606-1717 For Additional Copies of This Report, visit www.FreeMotorcycleReport.com Copyright 2008 by Lawrence J. Buckfire All rights reserved. No part of this report may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of the author. 11