June 15, 2022
What to Do If You’re in a Bicycle Accident in Michigan
Bicycle accidents have been on the rise in Michigan despite fewer vehicles out on the road since the start of the pandemic. 1,235 bicycle accidents were reported in 2020 alone; of which, more than 900 resulted in major or minor injuries and 38 resulted in death. Most bicycle fatalities occurred between the hours of 4 PM and 5 PM during rush hour.
Want to know how to stay safe while biking this summer? Here are a few helpful reminders about Michigan bike safety.
By law, bicyclists are required to
- Ride as close to the right-hand curb as possible (unless passing another vehicle/bicyclist, turning left, or avoiding hazardous obstacles).
- Ride with lights at night. This must include a highly visible white light on the front of the bike and a visible red reflector on the back.
- Signal when turning (right hand when turning right, left hand when turning left).
- Yield to pedestrians when riding on sidewalks.
While not enforced by law, it is highly recommended that you wear protective head gear and avoid distractions while riding your bike (no phone calls, texting, etc.).
Now that we’ve outlined some biking best practices, let’s answer some of the most common questions we’re asked when it comes to bike accidents.
Do I need bicycle accident insurance?
In our experience, no, not really. While it does exist, very few people carry bicycle accident insurance. In fact, it’s possible you may be covered, in whole or in part, for bicycle accidents within your other insurance policies. For example, some auto policies may cover health expenses if a motor vehicle was involved in the accident, while some homeowners and renter’s insurance policies may cover damage to personal property involved in accidents. If you’re planning to go out biking this summer, make sure you check your policies beforehand so you know if, when, and how you’re covered.
Does auto insurance cover bicycle accidents?
As mentioned, your auto insurance policy may offer coverage in the case of a bicycle accident. However, it’s important to note that Michigan’s no-fault insurance only applies if a motor vehicle is involved in the accident. (This can include accidents caused by a motor vehicle where there is no physical contact between the vehicle and the bicyclists.)
Your no-fault insurance will cover “reasonable” and “allowable” expenses based on the severity of the case. This can include healthcare costs, rehabilitation costs, travel expenses (to and from medical care), wage loss benefits, and potentially even survivor’s benefits.
What to do if you’re in a bicycle accident?
First thing’s first: seek medical attention right away. Whether you are seen by EMTs, taken to the hospital, or consult with your personal care physician, make sure to keep detailed notes about your visit, any tests conducted, and any treatments prescribed. You’ll also want to document any damage done to personal property (such as your bike, helmet, or personal devices like phones) that may have occurred as a result of the accident.
Not sure what your options are? Understanding all your insurance policies and how they may apply to your situation can be confusing. If you’re not sure what options exist for you, reach out to our team of bicycle accident attorneys. We can help you protect your rights, file applicable claims, and get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate—call today.