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A Better Partnership
September 05, 2013

COA holds that no-fault benefits were not triggered when a motorcyclist overreacted to an oncoming vehicle

In Detroit Medical Center v. Progressive Michigan Ins. Co., the Michigan Court of Appeals concluded that a car was not sufficiently involved in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident to trigger personal protection insurance benefits under the no-fault act, MCL 500.3105 and MCL 500.3114. The motorcyclist was traveling over 100 mph down a dark side street, when he was startled by the car's approaching headlights.  He braked suddenly, and caused the motorcycle to fishtail and fall to the ground. The no-fault act provides personal protection insurance benefits only when injuries arise out of the use of a motor vehicle as a motor vehicle and when the motor vehicle is sufficiently involved in the accident. Here, the court reasoned that the motor vehicle was not sufficiently involved because there was no actual collision between the car and motorcycle, and the facts did not show that there was an actual, objective need for the motorcyclist to take evasive action. Instead, in order to trigger benefits, there "must be some activity by the motor vehicle that contributes to the happening of the accident beyond its mere presence."

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