Motorcycle Death Accident Lawyer Michigan
It is never easy when a loved one is killed, and it can be a tremendously difficult time for the family that’s left behind. Unfortunately, following a fatal motorcycle accident, grieving families often face severe financial burdens, including hospital and medical bills, funeral expenses, and more. Losing a loved one to a motorcycle death can be absolutely devastating to families and other loved ones. That’s why Lipton Law is here to help.
At Lipton Law, our Michigan wrongful death lawyers dedicate our practice to helping injured victims and their loved ones. For many years, we have been helping people through the difficult task of filing wrongful death claims. We provide compassionate and skilled counsel when you need it most. Handling wrongful death claims after fatal crashes can feel overwhelming – Let us help. To schedule your free consultation with us, please call our Michigan personal injury attorneys at 248-557-1688 today.
How Common Are Motorcycle Deaths in Michigan?
Unfortunately, motorcyclist fatalities have become increasingly common in recent years. For the past three decades, the number of motorcycle deaths has gradually increased in Michigan, according to the Skilled Motorcyclist Association. In 2021, 166 motorcycle fatalities occurred. In 1992, Michigan’s universal helmet law was significantly weakened, as it exempted certain riders from being required to wear a helmet. Since then, the number of motorcyclist deaths has increased by 22.73%.
Despite the increase in deaths, the number of motorcycle crashes actually decreased gradually over time from 2007 to 2019. In 2020 and 2021, however, the numbers have risen. Motorcycle registrations have also gradually fallen from 2009 to 2021.
What Are the Chances of Dying on a Motorcycle?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the national fatality rate per 100,000 registered motorcycles was 67.08 in 2022. This same data also states that the 2020 national fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 31.64.
What Is the Cause of Most Motorcycle Deaths?
Most motor vehicle accidents happen for one reason or another, and some of those reasons are more common than others. Motorcycles are far more dangerous than passenger cars due to the lack of protection surrounding the rider. For this reason, many factors contribute to motorcyclist crashes and injuries that sometimes don’t apply to a car, to light trucks, or to other drivers.
Below, we outline some of the most common causes of motorcycle crash deaths and injuries.
- Left-hand turn accidents: Cars making left-hand turns are already dangerous to other enclosed vehicles. To motorcycles, however, they can be deadly. Left turn accidents account for around 42% of accidents that involve a motorcycle and another vehicle. It’s important to remember that motorcycles are much smaller than the traditional vehicle type, which means they have much lower visibility.
- Dangerous road conditions: Even in good weather conditions, motorcycles are more prone to crashes than other vehicles. In bad conditions, however, the chances of fatalities rise sharply.
- Head-on collisions: Approximately 56% of motorcycle driver fatalities occur between a motorcycle and another vehicle. Around 78% of those accidents are head-on crashes. Most of these collisions result in the death of the motorcyclists involved.
- Lane splitting: This is the practice of motorcycle drivers navigating between two lanes of traffic on the road. It is incredibly dangerous for motorcyclists, especially in states where the practice is illegal. Many car drivers in traffic don’t expect motorcycles to drive between their lane and another lane, so they often don’t look for them before switching lanes.
By far, the most common cause of motorcycle injuries and deaths is the low visibility of motorcycles and their riders. Officers and investigators at the scene of an accident often find that drivers of other vehicles simply did not see the motorcycles.
Where Do Most Motorcycle Deaths Happen?
According to the Federal Highway Administration, intersections are among the most dangerous places for registered motorcycles and their passengers. Nearly half of all motorcycle collisions occur at intersections. This is because of their low visibility and because of how busy certain intersections can be. If the driver of another vehicle takes their eyes off the road for even one second, someone could wind up dead.
Can You Sue Someone for Killing a Family Member in a Motorcycle Accident?
Yes. As long as you qualify as a living relative or as a personal representative of the deceased’s estate, you may file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. You have the legal right to seek compensation for your losses, and the team at Lipton Law can help you achieve that. We understand that this is a time of significant grief and loss for families, and we aim to take as much stress away from them as possible when they file a claim. You can count on us to fight the legal battles while you focus on grieving your loss and healing as a family.
Filing a Motorcycle Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In Michigan, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed on behalf of a victim’s spouse, child, parents, or grandparents. Such a lawsuit may seek compensation for several types of damages, which we’ll go into more detail about in the next section.
The type and amount of damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit in Michigan depend on many factors, which is why it is critical that families work with a skilled lawyer. We understand that no amount of compensation can ever make up for the loss of a loved one. However, this compensation can help cover accident-related expenses and others that arise.
What Happens if the Deceased Has no Living Relatives?
Many people wonder who can file a wrongful death lawsuit after a motorcycle crash if the deceased person has no living relatives. In general, the estate of the person who died may file a lawsuit on their behalf. Specifically, the executor or administrator of the estate will initiate and file the lawsuit.
Damages in a Motorcycle Death Accident Claim
Surviving family members are entitled to certain damages after their loved one dies in a motorcycle crash. Generally, surviving family members can recover the following damages.
- Loss of expected income
- Loss of benefits
- Lost inheritance
- Non-economic damages such as loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering of the deceased
- Costs of medical care related to the crash
- Burial and funeral costs
In order to recover these damages, you must be able to prove them. Claimants must meet the same burden of proof that the deceased would meet if they had survived the accident and filed a claim. We strongly recommend working with an attorney with extensive experience handling wrongful death claims. At Lipton Law, we make sure to stay up to date on the latest news regarding law and policy changes so that your case will have the best possible chance of success.
Who Is Liable for a Motorcycle Wrongful Death Claim?
Generally, the driver responsible for the crash will be held liable for a wrongful death claim. Similarly to personal injury claims, wrongful death claims often revolve around negligence. If the driver responsible for the crash is proven to have been negligent when the crash occurred, this is grounds for a lawsuit. We understand that it can often feel difficult or even impossible to assign fault or to participate in an investigation while you are still grieving. That’s why our law firm handles all the heavy lifting so that you can focus on healing.
Motorcycle Crash Statute of Limitations in Michigan
After a motorcycle crash that doesn’t involve wrongful death, claimants have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim for either property damage or bodily injury. In a wrongful death case, this statute of limitations is the same when the lawsuit is based on negligence as the underlying cause. The difference is that the three-year clock begins counting down when the crash victim passes away rather than when the crash occurred.
Contact a Motorcycle Wrongful Death Attorney Today
At Lipton Law, we can help you determine how the person responsible for your loss can be held accountable. Call our Southfield office today at 248-557-1688 or contact us online to connect with an attorney who cares. We understand that injury rates for motorcycle drivers are higher than for a car or trucks. However, that doesn’t mean that motorcycle crash victims don’t deserve justice when someone else’s negligence results in wrongful death. Contact our Michigan personal injury lawyers today to schedule your free case evaluation with us.