Despite misplaced public consensus, the overwhelming majority of motorcyclists ride with due care and attention. It is estimated that car drivers are responsible for approximately 2 out of 3 accidents involving motorcyclists who could, as a result, establish a claim for personal injury compensation following an accident.
The facts and figures
The number of injuries caused to motorcyclists is out of proportion to the number of motorcyclists on the roads. In a collision with another vehicle, it is inevitably the motorcyclist who sustains the worst injuries due to lack of protection from air bags, car seats and metal cages.
8,832 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents involving cars in 2014. In the same year, a staggering 5,628 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured despite motorcycles comprising just 1% of the total road traffic.
19% of all fatalities on British roads in 2014 were motorcyclists with 339 killed in road accidents.
Causes of motorcycle accidents
Successful compensation claims have been made for motorcycle accidents involving:
• being knocked off when not seen by other drivers who are manoeuvring or opening car doors;
• road users’ lack of awareness of motorcycles at junctions;
• failure to see motorcycles in a vehicle’s blindspots;
• potholes or defective and poorly maintained road surfaces;
• road spillages; and
• defective motorcycles, safety wear and helmets.
The blame game
Our experienced solicitors are aware of the biased finger pointing towards motorcyclists and are able to cut through this to advise you on the compensation you deserve. You are entitled to claim compensation for personal injury and loss if you have been injured as a result of an accident that was not your fault. If the person who caused the accident was not driving with due care and skill, that person is negligent. Even if you feel you were partly to blame for the accident, you could still be entitled to compensation, although the amount awarded may be reduced.
What to do following a motorcycle accident
As heads injuries are the most common injury sustained in a motorcycle accident, ensure you seek full and thorough medical treatment and advice as a priority. Your health and well being is the main concern.
Once you are able to, consult an expert personal injury solicitor, experienced in dealing with motorcycle claims.
The more evidence you can present to your solicitor the stronger your case will be. Obtaining the following evidence will be important in establishing the various parts to your claim:
• an account of the accident including photographs of the scene;
• full contact details of any witnesses and the other drivers involved;
• registration numbers and licence details of all involved;
• a full medical report of your injuries and treatment received;
• any CCTV footage at the scene of the crash. You are legally entitled to obtain a copy of any CCTV footage of yourself; and
• report the accident to the police and obtain a copy of the police report which may be useful in determining that the accident was not your fault.
You are able to make a claim for an accident which has occurred within the last 3 years as a result of another’s negligence or recklessness. You will need to establish that the injuries you are claiming compensation for were sustained as a direct result of the accident.
The amount of compensation will be considered on an individual case basis and depends on the severity and duration of the injury and expenses incurred as a result of the injury. From our experience, we know that motorcycle accidents may also result in some form of psychological trauma and a successful compensation will help cover the cost of both physical and psychological treatment.
It is imperative to keep receipts for any expenses arising from your injuries. Compensation may be available to cover repairs and replacement of a bike, accessories, clothing and helmet, hire costs or alternative transportation costs, loss of earnings, medical and rehabilitation costs.
If the other party involved in the accident is uninsured or cannot be traced you may still be entitled to make a claim for compensation through the Motor Insurers Bureau. We can fully advise you on this procedure.
Advice for motorcyclists from THINK!
THINK! Tips for motorbike safety:
• ride defensively, anticipate the actions of others, be alert and observant, ensure you can slow down and stop if the unexpected happens, position yourself in the safest and best place to maximise your visibility of potential hazards, take a lifesaver glance over your shoulder before carrying out manoeuvres so you know where others are and what they are doing;
• consider advanced skills training to improve your performance and safety on the road;
• wear the right gear including bright or florescent daytime gear and reflective night time gear, protective jacket, gloves, boots, trousers and eye protection; and
• choose the right helmet.
You are free to choose your own solicitor to handle your claim and do not need to appoint the solicitor recommended by an insurance company. Obtaining your own independent legal advice from a specialist personal injury lawyer with experience in dealing with motorcycle claims will ensure you obtain the best possible outcome.
At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you have suffered an injury as a result of a motorcycle accident that was not your fault and would like a free claim assessment, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.