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Motorcycle Crashes: Advice on Claiming Compensation
Motorbikes more dangerous than cars
Our modes of transportation are no more dangerous than the way in which we drive them. However, with that said, in the event of a motorcycle accident, the motorcycle rider usually comes off worse. Air bags, seat belts and the metal cage surrounding occupants of other vehicles definitely offer greater protection.
The increased danger of motorcycles is also proven by the facts. In Great Britain in 2016, there were 9,791 people killed or seriously injured in accidents involving cars, compared to 5,872 killed or severely injured motorcyclists. These stats are made more remarkable by the fact that motorcyclists only make up around 1% of road users.
The figures also show that motorcyclists represented 18% of all fatalities on British roads in 2016, with 319 killed in road accidents. Although the number of fatalities has gone down slightly when compared with previous years, the number of motorcyclists who were seriously injured rose by a statistically significant 10% from 2015, up to 5,553. The number of bikers who were slightly injured actually decreased by 7%. In the same period, the amount of motorcycle traffic on the roads in general only went up by 1.8%, to a figure lower than it had been in 2007. What this means is that riding a motorcycle, statistically speaking, has become inherently more dangerous.
What to do following a motorcycle accident
First and foremost, in instances such as these, your health and well being is always the first priority. The most common type of motorbike accident injury is to the head. Often, there is a violent movement of the head on impact which causes the brain to shift in the skull. This can stretch and squeeze the brain tissue and blood vessels, causing damage. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is seek medical assistance to assess your medical condition and attend to any injuries.
If the other party was at fault for the accident, once you’ve received medical attention, it’s extremely important to consult with a personal injury solicitor who is experienced in motorbike accident claims.
Unfortunately, when it comes to pointing the finger and determining fault, there is a great deal of bias toward the motorcyclist. This is due to generalisations that motorcyclists drive too fast and too dangerously. Therefore, if you want to make a motorcycle accident claim, proving your side of the case may be more difficult and require more evidence than other road traffic accident claims.
Our specialist motorbike accident solicitors have been through all this before. They will be experienced in these types of cases and will know what it takes to get the compensation you deserve.
The more evidence you present to your injury lawyer, the stronger the case they will be able to build, and examples of this include:
- An account of the accident, including photographs of the scene if possible.
- The contact details of any witnesses and other drivers.
- The details of any medical treatment you have received.
Since you are legally entitled to gain access of CCTV footage of yourself, you might also be in the position of having the incident captured on camera. If the scene of the crash is covered by CCTV cameras you have a right to ask the owner of the camera to hand over the footage.
As a part of any compensation claim will be made up of money intended to cover expenses arising from your injuries – both at the time and in the future – it is imperative that you keep any receipts for applicable expenses. Part of the intention of the compensation process, as well as recognising the negligence of your treatment, is to ensure that you don’t end up being any worse off in financial terms than you would be had the accident not happened.
Rules for motorcyclists
The vulnerable position occupied by motorcyclists when on the road is recognised in the Highway Code, a section of which (rules 83 to 88) sets out a series of rules designed to help motorcyclists keep themselves safe and free from harm. These include:
- Always wear a helmet which complies with regulations.
- It is advisable to wear eye protection and strong boots, gloves and protective clothing.
- Never carry more than one pillion passenger, and none at all if you only have a provisional licence.
- Make yourself as visible as possible from the side and rear.
- When riding at night, wear reflective clothing.
- Maintain full vigilance on all sides when manoeuvring in traffic.
If you’ve had the good sense, and consideration for other road users, to abide by all of these rules, and yet still find yourself injured because another driver behaved in a negligent manner, then the least you can expect is the fairness of a compensation claim.
Make a no win no fee claim for a motorbike accident
Many personal injury lawyers will happily take on no-fault motorcycle accident claims on a no win no fee basis. This means your case will be handled by a knowledgeable and experienced professional without having to worry about costly upfront legal fees.
If you lose your claim, you won’t be responsible for covering your legal fees or costs. If you win your claim, your lawyer’s fees will be taken as a percentage of your compensation.
How much to expect in compensation
Compensation for each case is considered on its own facts. When determining compensation, the court considers the following factors: severity of the injury, duration of the injury and expenses incurred as a result of the injury. The court will listen to what you have to say about the impact of the injuries on your life as well as the opinions of the medical experts. The court will also look to other cases similar to yours to decide how much to award you.
It’s no secret that people have biased perceptions of motorcyclists. Fortunately, however, the actual compensation you are awarded will not be affected by this. If you win your claim, the amount of compensation you receive will not be reduced because you decided to ride a motorbike.
We believe that motorcyclists are as eligible for injury compensation as anybody else who uses our roads. If you’ve been injured while riding a motorcycle and have questions about your claim, feel free to give us a call or complete our online claim form. Our personal injury experts will guide you through the ins and outs of making a claim.