Court of Appeals Reinstates Motorcyclists No-fault Lawsuit
In Levander v. Home Owners Insurance, the plaintiff suffered severe injuries when an unidentified automobile ran his motorcycle off the road. He filed a lawsuit against his insurer, Home Owners, after it denied him Michigan no-fault benefits based on its belief that an automobile was not involved in the accident. While the lawsuit was pending, the insurer revealed that, during its initial investigation of the claim, it interviewed a witness who admitted to tailgating the motorcycle immediately before the accident. It then moved for dismissal of the lawsuit, arguing that the tailgating motorist’s insurer, and not it, must provide the plaintiff no-fault benefits. In response, the plaintiff argued that since over a year had passed since the accident, he could not legally seek those benefits from the other insurer. He further argued that, since Home Owners knew about the tailgating motorist early on but never disclosed that information to him, Home Owners should not be allowed to use that fact to deny his claim.
After the trial court agreed with the insurer and dismissed the lawsuit, the plaintiff appealed. In a unanimous opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision. It held that, since the motorcyclist could not have identified the tailgating vehicle within a year of the collision, Home Owners may still be liable to him for no-fault benefits. The court also rejected the insurer’s argument that the tailgating vehicle was not involved in the accident. The case was then remanded to the trial court so that the plaintiff could continue his lawsuit.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle or automobile accident, contact Ravid & Associates, P.C. Its attorneys are experts in the field of Michigan no-fault law and will be able to guide you through even the most complicated claim. Don’t miss any benefits the law requires you to be paid, contact Ravid & Associates, P.C. today.