Yes. The motorcyclist can bring a lawsuit against the uninsured driver and/or uninsured owner of the car that caused the accident. for his or her injuries. However, the motorcyclist will not be entitled to collect Michigan PIP no fault benefits if he is also the uninsured titled owner of the motorcycle. I recognize this probalby sounds complicated because Michigan is a no fault state and motorcyclists have a first party no fault insurance claim and a third-party injury claim potentially available under the Michigan No Fault Act. You can find a more detailed answer to your question at: http://www.michiganautolaw.com/motorcycle-accident/law-faqs.php#4
Remember, bringing a lawsuit and even winning the case does not necessarily mean being able to collect money damages if the driver who caused the accident is uninsured and without assets to cover a verdict or judgment.
The injured party may be entitled to damages from the negligent driver for personal injuries or damages. The insured status of the negligent driver is not relevant for filing suit. However, an uninsured driver may not have any assets against which to collect a judgment for damages. That's where insurance provides payment for their insured's negligence. Without insurance a significant effort is made to obtain a judgment that may cannot be collected.
As Michigan is a no fault state and motorcycles do not gave to carry insurance, I would say that this scenario is not out of the ordinary. Visit www.kliszlaw.com to discuss further. Tim Klisz
The amount of insurance of the offending party generally does not limit the damages to which an injured party is entitled. Whether the injured party was covered by a policy on the vehicle may limit the amount the injured party may recover, but will not eliminate the claim entirely. Please see below. An injured person can try to prove any amount of damages, whatever the policy limits are for the offending party. There may be small policy limits or none at all, but that does not limit the amount of the claim, only the collectibility. When a person sues, they sue a party who hurt them, they do not sue the insurance company directly. They sue the offending driver directly and the insurance company for that person defends the party and generally pays the damages proven. The amount of the damages may be more or less than the person's policy limits. And if the offending party has no insurance, but the injured party has uninsured motist coverage, then the claim may be under that injured party's own insurance policy, if they have one. If the offending party has some insurance but not enough to pay the damages, then it is important to look at the injured party's own policy to determine if there is underinsured coverage. The technicalities of law and contract differ greatly from state to state, so it is best to ask a local attorney to explore this for you.
Interestingly, in California, we had a referendum on the ballot which won due to false and misleading advertising by the insurance industry. That referendum was called Prop 213 and now in California, if a party who was driving or operating a vehicle has no insurance on their vehicle, they do not get any pain and suffering damages, no matter how badly they were harmed. That seems unfair, but that is the law in California. If the injured party did not have at least liability insurance on the vehicle, then no claim is available for pain and suffering damages, only out of pocket expenses. This is true, even if the other party is 100% at fault. This is true even if you are borrowing a car or motorcycle from someone else. If the vehicle is not insured and you do not have insurance that covers you as a driver or operator, then pain and suffering are not a part of your claim in California. There are some exceptions to this rule, although very few. So, if you are operating a motorcycle in California, buy all of the insurance you can afford, and at the minimum get liability coverage. Good luck, Claude
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