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Lara v Citizens Insurance Company of America; (COA-UNP, 11/14/2006, RB #2816)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket #271198; Unpublished
Judges Fort Hood, Murray, and Donofrio; unanimous; per curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not applicable, Link to Opinion courthouse graphic

Exception for Motorcycle Injuries [3114(5)]

Not applicable

In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, decided without oral argument, the Court of Appeals reversed summary disposition for defendant, finding that the action of defendant’s insured of suddenly stopping her van, caused plaintiff to lose control of his motorcycle, for purposes of “involvement” under MCL 500.3114(5).

The plaintiff in this case was seriously injured and his wife died in an accident which occurred when he lost control of his motorcycle while swerving to avoid hitting a van that suddenly stopped in front of him. The trial court granted the van’s insurer summary disposition, finding that because there was no contact between the van and the motorcycle, the van was not involved in the accident under MCL 500.3114(5). The Court of Appeals disagreed and reversed, finding there was enough evidence of a causal connection between the van suddenly stopping and the accident, for a jury to determine whether the van was involved in the accident. In this regard, the court stated:

Defendant’s insured, driving down the road at approximately the posted speed limit, quickly stopped to avoid hitting a squirrel or squirrels. Plaintiff, in order to avoid this quick maneuver, served and eventually crashed. Thus, although there was no contact between the vehicles, there was certainly enough evidence of a causal nexus for a jury to determine whether plaintiff’s vehicle was ‘involved’ in the accident.”

Lansing car accident lawyer Stephen Sinas is the lead editor of the appellate case summaries published on this site regarding the Michigan auto insurance law. To learn more about how Stephen Sinas and how the Sinas Dramis Law Firm can help you if you have been injured in a Michigan auto accident, visit

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