You may be able to make a motorcycle accident claim if you have been injured in an RTA that wasn’t your fault.
Types of motorcycle accident claims
There are a variety of types of motorcycle accidents that you could claim compensation for if the accident was not your fault. These include:
Motorcycle accidents caused by dangerous driving
Careless driving, being a brief lapse of concentration that is not deliberate, can have disastrous consequences for motorcyclists. Another road user taking their eye off the road even for half a second or doing one of the following are all common reasons for road traffic accidents:
- Using a mobile phone
- Being distracted by talking or arguing passengers
- Eating while driving
- Lighting up a cigarette
- Turning on the radio
- Reading a map, including a sat-nav system
Reckless driving, on the other hand, is when a person does not care about their actions and deliberately sets out to break the law. Here are some examples of reckless driving:
- Undertaking another vehicle
- Going through a light that is on red
- Being too close to another vehicle (tail gaiting)
- Coming out of a side road into another vehicle’s path
- Failing to give way
- Having too many passengers in the car
In each of these situations, there is always a risk of serious injury due to the increased likelihood of an accident. Motorcyclists are at a greater risk because reckless drivers do not take enough time to look before they pull out of a side road or junction and they won’t check the blind spot.
Fatal motorcycle accidents as a result of dangerous driving
Unfortunately, fatal accidents involving motorcyclists do happen and many of them result in the other party being charged with death by dangerous driving or death by careless driving.
Of course, compensation claims may be of little consequence when a family has lost a loved one but compensation can help to ease the financial burden when a person loses their life.
For a fatal accident claim, finding the truth is a priority and solicitors need to be able to prove that the other party was negligent. Specialist solicitors will usually deal with this type of claim.
Diesel spill accidents
This is a type of accident can cause severe injuries to a motorcyclist. A diesel spill is regarded as a road defect and there is a huge risk of fatal and serious injuries with fuel spillages – they can be more deadly than an icy road.
It is a misconception that you can’t claim compensation when the motorcycle accident was caused by oil or diesel spills. However, this is not the case. Any motorcyclist who has been injured because they lost control due to a spill can receive compensation if there was a more than 50% chance that the road user who caused the spill was negligent. You can be negligent in this situation if the fuel tank wasn’t properly secured or if it was overfilled, for example.
However, it can be challenging to find out who is responsible for spillages and it might be decided that the local authority takes the blame for the road’s poor condition.
Potholes are structural failures in the road’s surface. They are usually the result of water causing weakness to the road surface with traffic then causing more serious damage as it passes over. Roads in the UK often have problems with potholes due to adverse weather, particularly over the winter.
Potholes cause problems to all users of the road but they are more dangerous for motorcyclists with just two wheels and lighter weight than other vehicles. Potholes are even more dangerous at night time when they might not be seen at all.
If you have been involved in an RTA caused by a pothole, there are some things you should do immediately.
- Make sure you’re not in danger
- Take photos of the pothole from various angles – you need to show how wide and deep it is The pothole usually has to be 40mm deep or greater to be able to claim, however, you may still be able to claim if it was less so seek legal advice. The wider and deeper it is will give you a better claim
- Take photographs of your injuries
- Write down the addresses of nearby houses. This is important because the council will have records of when they inspect each road
- Ask witnesses for their details
- Be very clear what you say to your GP or at the hospital. For example, if you say ‘I fell off my motorbike” and don’t reference a pothole, it might make it more challenging to prove your case
Defective road accidents
If something is wrong with the road, it could cause problems and serious accidents for motorcyclists. Motorcycles are more prone to skid compared to other vehicles. This is made worse if the road is slippery because of ice, oil or mud. Motorcyclists are at risk because they have less protection in the form of seatbelts and headrests such as other motorists.
Frequent road defects include:
- Oil or fuel spillages
- Sunken drains, loose gravel and potholes
- Debris from the surroundings like leaves, mud, and branches
- Ice coverings where there is insufficient grit or no grit at all
- Fallen loads from lorries or trucks
If you wish to motorcycle accident claim for injuries caused by a defective road, you will need evidence. Claiming compensation means that you can receive financial help for your motorbike damage as well as for your injuries and loss of earnings for example.
Motorcycle Pillion Passenger Accidents
Many compensation claims for pillion passengers happen because the motorcyclist hasn’t been properly prepared for the journey. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident as a pillion passenger, you should think about whether or not these points apply:
- Your feet could easily reach the footrests
- There was an appropriate pillion seat
- You were given a helmet that is approved by the British Standards Authority (BSA)
- Whether or not the driver and you had agreed how to communicate – either by intercom or a hand signal
- Whether or not the motorcyclist made sure you knew the dangers of being a pillion passenger
If any of these situations were not met before you got on the motorbike as a pillion passenger, you could be eligible to claim compensation. Since you are the passenger, the motorcyclist takes responsibility for your safety. You also should be aware that not every motorcyclist is allowed to carry a pillion passenger.
The laws about pillion passengers are complex so you will need to contact a motorcycle accident solicitor to discuss your claim.
How much compensation for a motorcycle accident claim?
There will be lots of different factors considered when calculating compensation for a motorcycle accident claim. They include:
- How severe your injuries are and your likelihood of a full recovery
- The impact of the injuries on your life
- Any previous medical problems from before the accident
- Have you lost income?
- Do you require care assistance?
- Have you needed adaptions to your home/vehicles due to the injury?
A motorcycle accident solicitor will claim compensation for everything you are entitled to.