Bicycle Laws in Michigan
Under Michigan law, each person riding a bicycle on a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle. A bicycle being operated at less than the speed of traffic is entitled to travel along the right edge of the roadway. A bicycle does not have to “keep right” under the following circumstances:
- When overtaking and passing
- When preparing to turn left
- When conditions make the right-hand edge of the roadway unsafe or reasonably unusable by bicycles
- When traffic is turning right but the individual intends to go straight through the intersection
- When riding as near the left-hand curb or edge as practicable on a one-way highway or street
A bicycle cannot be ridden on limited access highways, but may be ridden on sidewalks unless specifically restricted by official traffic control devices. While on a sidewalk, a cyclist must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and give an audible signal when overtaking and passing pedestrians.
Michigan law does not require cyclists to wear a helmet and does not restrict cyclists from using cell phones while riding.
Michigan law also covers how drivers must treat the bike lanes that have become increasingly common in the state. Motor vehicles cannot park or drive in designated bicycle lanes and can only cross into them when turning. A motor vehicle must yield to a cyclist in the bicycle lane when making a turn. Bicycles are not limited to travel in bicycle lanes and are permitted on all roadways unless specifically prohibited.
What Are My Rights After a Hit and Run Bicycle Accident?
Under Michigan law, a bicycle rider who is injured by a motor vehicle is entitled to Michigan no-fault insurance benefits even if they do not have their own no-fault policy. These benefits include medical bills, home modification costs, lost wages, attendant care, and household replacement services.
If a bicyclist is injured by a motor vehicle in a hit and run accident and the bicyclist has their own no-fault policy, they are entitled to benefits through their insurer. If the bicyclists does not have their own no-fault policy, they are entitled to benefits through Michigan’s Assigned Claims Plan.
Bicyclists injured by a motor vehicle in a hit and run accident may also be able to receive pain and suffering compensation if the bicyclist has a Michigan no-fault policy with optional uninsured motorist coverage.
Can I Sue the Driver that Hit Me?
A bicyclist injured by a motor vehicle can sue the motor vehicle’s driver. In order to maintain a lawsuit for pain and suffering damages, the injured bicyclist must suffer wrongful death, permanent serious disfigurement, or serious impairment of an important body function. In order to prove that this threshold has been met, it is important for injured bicyclists to seek medical treatment for their injuries and follow their treaters’ recommendations.
If the responsible motor vehicle is uninsured or cannot be identified, an injured bicyclist may still be able to recover uninsured motorist benefits if they purchased a no-fault policy with this coverage. In those instances the bicyclist sues both the at-fault driver and the insurance company providing uninsured motorist coverage.
Who Pays My Medical Bills and Expenses?
If you are injured by a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle, you are entitled to coverage for medical bills and expenses even if you do not have a Michigan no-fault policy of your own. If you do have your own Michigan no-fault policy, the insurer who sold you the policy would be responsible for providing those benefits. If you do not have your own policy, but live with a relative who does, your relative’s insurer would be responsible for those benefits. If you do not have your own policy and do not live with a resident who does, you are entitled to benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
In order to claim benefits from any responsible insurer or the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan, you must file a claim with that insurer or the Plan within one year of the accident.
Do I need a Police Report?
In order to claim benefits and hold the at-fault driver responsible, it is important to document your bicycle accident. This includes making a police report of any accident that results in injury. In hit and run cases, some insurers require that you notify police within 24 hours of the accident in order for you to claim uninsured motorist benefits, so any report should be made immediately when possible.
If you were injured by a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle, but did not make a police report, you may still be entitled to compensation. Contact the Mike Morse Law Firm’s attorneys to evaluate your claim.
How Much is a Typical Bicycle Injury Settlement?
The amount of compensation that you can receive is based upon several different things. Your recovery will be determined by several factors including the degree of negligence of the at-fault driver, the severity and of your injury, the extent of your treatment, the length of disability, the nature of any restrictions or limitations imposed on your activities by your doctors, and the amount of insurance coverage available to pay you. Because of these factors, there is no average settlement or typical compensation payout amount for a bicycle injury claim. Every case is unique and no formula can determine a settlement amount before all the facts are uncovered. If you have questions about your case feel free to contact a Michigan bicycle accident lawyer at Mike Morse Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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