If you were knocked off your motorcycle and you suffered injuries, whether this was just a bruised shoulder or something more serious like an injury to the head, you could be entitled to file a claim for compensation. Motorbike riders are more at risk of being involved in road traffic accidents simply because they are far more exposed. The sort of injuries sustained in motorbike accidents are often of a serious nature because of this.
To find out whether you would be able to seek compensation because you were knocked off your motorcycle, what you need to do, what evidence is required, who could be deemed liable and how a personal injury solicitor may be able to assist you when it comes to making a compensation claim against a responsible party, please read on.
- The Reason Motorcyclist Are Most At Risk of Injury on the Road
- What Are the Most Common Motorbike Injuries Suffered in Road Accidents?
- What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in the UK?
- Statistics on Motorcycle Accidents in the UK
- What Evidence Would I Need to Prove a Claim?
- Who Could be Held Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident?
- What About the Cost of Pursuing a Motorcycle Injury Claim?
- How Would My Motorcycle Compensation Award be Determined?
- What Should I Do If I Was Knocked Off My Motorcycle?
- Should I Make a Motorcycle Injury Compensation Claim if Knocked Off My Motorcycle?
- Links to Helpful Websites
As previously touched upon, riding a motorbike puts you more at risk of being injured in a road traffic accident because you are more exposed with far less protection than other road users. As such, statistics in the UK show there are more fatalities involving motorcyclists compared to accidents involving other vehicles. Studies have shown that 19% of deaths as well as other serious incidents are reported every year although motorcyclists only represent around 1% of the UK’s road users.
The kind of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident typically range from something quite minor to injuries that are catastrophic and life changing. On top of this even a minor crash with another vehicle can leave a motorbike damaged beyond repair. If this is the case, you may not only be able to seek compensation for injuries but also for the damage to your motorbike and equipment that occurred in the accident.
You could sustain minor cuts and bruises in a motorbike accident or you could sustain something far more serious. However, the most common motorcycle injuries reported include the following:
- Lower limb injuries – fractures to legs and ankles
- Upper limb injuries – fractures to arms, shoulders, wrists
- Road rash
- Cuts, scrapes, grazes and bruising
- Head injuries which can include catastrophic damage namely Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
If you were injured and you believe that a third party could be deemed liable, you should seek advice from a legal expert who would determine whether this is the case or if contributory negligence would be a factor.
Studies have established that the most common causes of motorbike accidents in the UK are due to the following:
- Lane splitting
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Stopping suddenly
- Drivers who are inexperienced road users
- When turning left
- Dangerous conditions on the road
- Motorbike defects
These are just some of the causes of motorcycle accidents that occur in the United Kingdom with a vast majority of the incidents happening on rural roads. If you were involved in a motorbike accident on a country road, the best course of action is to contact a solicitor who would determine whether you have a claim against a third party or not and would do so in a no obligation, free consultation.
A recent study carried out by Brake established that road users on two wheels are 63 times more at risk of being seriously injured or killed than other vehicle users. The survey showed that motorcyclists and cyclists account for just about four in ten fatalities and serious injuries sustained on roads in the UK. The study determined the following:
- In 2017, there was one bike fatality or serious injury sustained in an accident each hour – this translates to 9,740 incidents involving cyclists and motorcyclists
- In 2017 two-thirds of bike fatalities occurred on rural roads – with using rural roads posing the more risk to riders when it comes to fatal accidents
These are just some of the statistics involving two wheel vehicles, but it is thought that many minor incidents never get reported to the Police. As such, the figures could stand much higher.
If you decide to pursue a civil claim against a negligent third party, you need to provide sufficient evidence to prove your case. You would also have to file your compensation claim within the statutory time limit. It is important that you can show you were not responsible for the motorcycle accident which left you injured and that the other party was negligent or at fault for the injuries you suffered in the incident and because of this, you sustained an injury and losses as a direct result.
Other evidence you need to provide would include the following:
- Witness statements together with their contact details
- A medical report on the injuries you sustained and how your life would be impacted
- Photos of where the accident occurred
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of the damage to your motorbike and other property
- CCTV footage if available
- Dashcam footage if available
The more proof you can provide to show the accident was due to the negligence of another party, the stronger your claim for compensation would be. If you are unsure of what you need to provide, a solicitor would be able to assist you once they have determined that you have a valid claim for compensation against a responsible party.
If you were responsible for being knocked off your motorcycle, you may find the other party may file a claim against your insurance provider if any damage occurred to their property. You could also make a claim for any damage to your bike and yourself through your own insurance policy. In short, the responsible parties could be any of the following:
- If you were responsible for the motorcycle accident – you would be liable for the injuries you suffered and damage done to your motorbike
- If a pillion passenger caused the accident, they could be deemed liable and in certain instances, as the main bike rider you too, could be held responsible
- A driver or a passenger of a car or other vehicle. Should the accident have been caused by another driver or a passenger who opened a car door and this resulted in you being knocked off your motorcycle, they could be held responsible
- A pedestrian who walked out into the road causing you to be knocked off your bike while swerving to avoid them could be deemed liable
- The owner of an dog or other animal that got off its lead and caused you to swerve resulting in you being knocked off your motorbike, could be held responsible
- A local council if you were knocked off your motorbike due to badly maintained road surfaces could be held liable
If you are unsure as to who could be deemed liable for the injuries you sustained in a motorcycle accident that you think was not your fault, a solicitor could assist you in determining liability. You would be offered a free, initial consultation which can normally be done over the phone.
You may be concerned that the cost of pursuing a motorcycle injury claim against a responsible party may be too expensive because the cost of hiring a solicitor to represent you would not be an option. However, once a solicitor establishes you have a strong case against a third party, they would typically offer to take on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis which in short means you do not have to find the funds to pay an upfront fee (retainer). There would be no ongoing fees to find as your claim for compensation progresses.
The only time you pay the solicitor for the work they do on your claim, is when your motorcycle injury compensation claim is successful and the amount which is known as a success fee, is taken from the money you are awarded. The remainder of the compensation is then sent to you. Should your claim not be successful and you are not awarded compensation, you would not have to pay a No Win No Fee solicitor for services provided.
When you file a motorcycle injury claim for compensation, the amount you could be awarded if your case is upheld would be determined taking the following into account:
- The severity of the injuries you suffered and how your quality of life is impacted
- The length of time you had to endure pain and suffering
- Whether you suffered psychological damage
- Whether the injuries you sustained are permanent or temporary
- Whether you are going to be left with scarring
If your case goes to court, a judge would also factor in any mental anguish you went through as a result of the motorcycle accident you were involved in and this could include whether you developed PTSD and/or psychological damage.
Other factors that would determine the level of motorcycle injury compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim may include the following:
- The amount of damage that was done to your motorbike
- The amount of damage done to your helmet
- Damage to clothing
- Any loss of income you incurred, loss of holiday time or bonus
- Medical expenses which do not fall under the NHS
- Rehab costs
- Travel expenses
- Care costs
- All other losses linked to the motorbike injuries you sustained
Courts, solicitors, and insurance companies base the amount of general damages they pay out to injured parties on the Judicial College Guidelines which provide compensation amounts for specific injuries sustained. However, on top of general damages, you could also be awarded ‘special damages’ for all out of pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of having been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault.
If you are knocked off your motorcycle, you should do the following:
- Call for help even if your injuries appear to be minor and make sure that hazard warnings are set in place to alert other road users that an incident has occurred
- Seek medical attention even if your injuries are minor, you may be suffering from concussion
- If necessary, make sure the Police have been alerted especially if your injuries are serious or you believe the person responsible for the accident may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Get a driver’s details and note down the car make and registration number if you are able to
- Gather witness contact details if you are able to
- Make sure your insurer is informed of the accident
- Get in touch with a solicitor
- Always be honest when you report a motorcycle accident which left you injured and never attempt to exaggerate when it comes to relating what occurred and the extent of the injuries and damage you suffered
- Never sign anything whether at the scene of the motorcycle accident or afterwards until you have discussed the case with a solicitor
- Seek advice from a solicitor before accepting an initial offer made by the responsible party’s insurance provider
When it comes to claiming compensation for a motorcycle injury, the more proof you have showing that you did not contribute to the accident, the stronger a case would be against another party.
Whether your motorcycle did not get damaged in the incident and you suffered just minor injuries, you should still report the incident to the authorities straight away and inform your insurance provider as soon as it is feasibly possible to do so, The reason being that you may think your injuries are only slight, but a little later when things have settled down, you may find that your injuries are more serious than first thought. You could even have been suffering from concussion and as such, you would need to seek medical attention.
Being knocked off a motorcycle can be a traumatic experience and one that could leave you unable to work and earn your normal wage. As such, you could be put under financial pressure adding to the anxiety you may already be experiencing. Seeking compensation by making a compensation claim against a responsible party could help you cope with what would otherwise be a stressful time.
As previously touched upon, if you contact a solicitor to seek legal advice having been knocked off your motorcycle, they would assess your case, determine who could be deemed liable and they would do so without charging you a fee. This is because many solicitors offer free legal advice in an initial consultation and you would not have to continue with a claim should you not wish to.
To find out more about contributory negligence and how it may affect the amount of compensation you could be awarded in a successful motorcycle claim, please follow the link provided below:
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in the United Kingdom and would like more information on how many fatalities and injuries occur every year, please click on the link below: