A broadside collision occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes another along its side. These often happen at intersections because a driver runs a red light, fails to stop at an intersection governed by a stop sign, or misjudges how far away an oncoming vehicle is. For motorcycle riders, this type of collision can be especially devastating because the motorcyclist receives the force of an automobile. No structure protects the motorcyclist from the impact, and the injuries are likely to be catastrophic or deadly. It is common for riders to sustain a crushed or shattered pelvis or legs when they are involved in a broadside collision. If you have been struck by a careless driver, you should explore your options with the Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids motorcycle accident lawyers at Neumann Law Group. Award-winning trial attorney Kelly Neumann heads our firm. She has regularly secured more than $3 million in personal injury cases each year for the past several years.Holding a Negligent Driver Liable for a Broadside Collision
Motorcycles are not "motor vehicles" under the Michigan no-fault law, but if your injuries are minor, you will be entitled to no-fault insurance benefits. These are benefits that cover specific economic damages. The rules regarding the priority of who pays these benefits are complicated. Most broadside collisions, however, result in catastrophic injuries to a motorcyclist. Assuming you suffer a threshold injury (death, a serious impairment of a body function, or a permanent serious disfigurement), you likely can sue the driver who caused the crash for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
In most cases, you will need to establish the other driver's negligence in order to recover noneconomic damages. Establishing liability may be especially sensitive because the insurer paying your no-fault benefits might also be the company defending the at-fault driver against your claim for noneconomic damages.
The other driver's best defense may be that you were at fault for your own injuries. If, for example, you were not wearing a helmet, the other party's attorney or insurer may argue that your failure to wear a helmet was a partial cause or aggravating factor, particularly if your injuries involve brain trauma or spinal cord damage. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence followed in Michigan, the total amount of damages to which you may be entitled will be reduced by your percentage of negligence in causing your injuries. The jury will determine your total damages as well as your percentage of fault. If it determines your noneconomic damages were $500,000, but you were 20% responsible for causing the accident, you may be able to receive up to $400,000 in compensation.Consult a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
Motorcycle accident law as applied in Michigan is extremely complicated and may involve technical rules related to insurance. If you are injured due to a broadside collision, the Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City motorcycle accident attorneys at Neumann Law Group may be able to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. We represent victims in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula, as well as in Massachusetts and California. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form for a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney.