Motorcycle Accident on a Roundabout, Who is at Fault?

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident on a roundabout, you may be wondering who is a fault. Negotiating a roundabout on a motorcycle can be challenging for several reasons. This includes defects in the road surface, diesel spills and potholes. On top of these hazards, there is more chance of a motorist not being aware of a motorcyclist which could be for a variety of reasons whether obscured by a larger vehicle or because of plants found on the centre of roundabouts. Another reason for motorcyclists being involved and injured while using roundabouts is because a driver uses the wrong lane whether on the approach or on when existing a roundabout.

To find out more about who is at fault for motorcycle accidents on roundabouts, what evidence would be required to strengthen a case, the level of compensation you may be awarded and how a personal injury solicitor could help you make a successful claim for compensation against the responsible party, please read on.

Highway Code Rules Covering Roundabouts

For all road users, ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’ is a must but for motorcyclists this is an essential at all times especially when nearing a roundabout and then negotiating a way around it. However, although it is vital, there is no guarantee that a motorcyclist would not be injured in an incident on a roundabout. The same can be said of correct ‘positioning’ or following road markings as required.

It is worth noting that the majority of roundabout accidents occur at relatively low speeds but because motorcycles offer little protection, it puts you more at risk of sustaining serious injuries not to mention the damage done to equipment.

When negotiating a roundabout, motorcyclists have to be aware of what is going on around them, this includes keeping an eye on road markings, signs, traffic lights, pedestrians, and other road users. Motorcyclists have to decide which exit they are going to take and to make sure they signal early and appropriately so that other road users are made aware of their intentions.

The rule is to give way to vehicles on the right when using a roundabout whether in a car or on a motorbike. However, some roundabouts allow users to enter without having to give way to other users. Should this be the case, it is still essential that you check the vehicles that are on your right to make sure the way is safe. As a motorcyclist it is also important to keep a watchful eye on other vehicles because drivers may not be signalling correctly.

The Highway Code guidelines for road users who negotiate a roundabout are as follows:

  • On approach – mirror, signal, manoeuvre continuously at all times when and where necessary
  • Know as soon as possible the exit needed to take so that other road users are made aware of an intended exit manoeuvre
  • To give appropriate signals avoiding any confusion to other roundabout users
  • To get in the right lane at the correct time
  • To make sure speed and positioning fits in with traffic conditions
  • To be aware of the speed and positioning of other roundabout users
  • To always give priority to all traffic that approaches from the right – unless signposted otherwise or there are traffic lights and road markings that indicate otherwise
  • To check if road markings allow users to enter a roundabout without having to give way. Should this be the case, it is still safer to check traffic on the right before joining a roundabout
  • To keep an eye on other users already negotiating the roundabout
  • To look forward prior to moving off to ensure that other users in front have moved off

When exiting a roundabout, the guidelines are as follows:

  • When taking the first exit, to signal left and approach in the correct left-hand lane – providing road markings and signs don’t state otherwise
  • To keep left on a roundabout and to continue to signal left to leave the roundabout

When exiting a roundabout to the right or when going the full circle of a roundabout, the guidelines are as follows unless road markings and signs state otherwise:

  • To signal right and to approach in the correct right-hand lane
  • To keep right when using the roundabout until it is necessary to change lanes in order to exit the roundabout
  • To signal left once passed the exit before the one that is required

The guidelines for roundabout users who need to take an intermediate exit, the following applies unless road markings and signs say otherwise:

  • To select an appropriate lane on an approach to the roundabout and when negotiating the roundabout
  • To signal on approach
  • To stay in this lane until altering course is necessary to exit a roundabout
  • To signal left once passed the exit before the one that is required

When negotiating a mini roundabout, the same Highway Code guidelines would apply to all road users as for normal roundabouts remembering there is less room for error or manoeuvring on a mini roundabout. Where there are multiple mini roundabouts, road users must negotiate each one in the same way.

If you were involved in a roundabout accident when on your motorbike and you suffered injuries, you should never admit liability without first having contacted a solicitor. The reason being that contributory negligence might not be a factor and if it is, a solicitor would establish to what degree you may have been responsible for the accident occurring.

What Are the Most Common Reasons for Roundabout Accidents Happening?

There are several reasons why roundabout accidents occur which include the following:

  • Diesel spillages
  • Potholes
  • Defects in the surface of roads
  • Ice/snow

Where motorcycle accidents on roundabouts are concerned, there are other hazards which include the following:

  • A motorist not using the right lane on the approach to a roundabout or when negotiating it
  • Motorcyclists not being seen by other roundabout users

Some of the most common reasons for accident occurring on roundabouts include the following:

  • Failing to look properly – this accounts for over one third of road traffic accidents that happen in the UK
  • Failing to judge another road user’s speed or intentions – it is estimated that one fifth of all road traffic accidents in the UK occur because of this
  • Reckless driving or driving when in a rush
  • Loss of control of a vehicle which often occurs when changing lanes recklessly in icy conditions

As a motorcyclist negotiating a roundabout, you should always take extra care because all too often motorists and other road users do not see you coming. As such, it is essential that you indicate in good time what you intend doing and to always ensure that other road users are made aware of your presence by positioning yourself in such a way they can see you in their mirrors and to always be aware of blind spots.

What You Should Do If Involved in a Motorcycle Accident on a Roundabout

Should you have suffered injuries in a roundabout collision when on a motorcycle, there are specific things you should do as soon as you are able to. This includes the following:

  • Get as many witness statements as you can making sure you get their contact details too. This strengthens a case against a responsible party
  • If possible, take photos of where the incident occurred and the injuries you suffered having been involved in a motorcycle accident on a roundabout
  • Hold onto all your receipts as evidence of your expenditure – this must be as a direct result of the injuries you sustained and damage done to your equipment. This could include things like travel expenses, medical costs (not covered by the NHS), the cost of counselling, physiotherapy, care costs, home adaptations and all other expenses linked to your injuries
  • Make sure you get a detailed medical report of your injuries which should include a prognosis. The report would be used to assess the level of general damages you may receive in a successful motorcycle accident claim against a responsible party
  • Get all the details of third parties involved in the roundabout accident, this should include their names and phone number, the make and model of vehicles, the colour of vehicles, registration numbers and insurance details
  • Write everything down as soon as you are able to because later you may not remember an important detail
  • Make sure the roundabout accident is reported to the Police and get a copy of the Police report number

When making a claim for compensation for your injuries in a motorcycle accident on a roundabout, the more proof and evidence you can provide a solicitor that you did not contribute to the incident occurring, the stronger your case against a party responsible would be.

What You Could Include in a Motorcycle Accident Claim if Injured on a Roundabout

Should you decide to make a motorcycle accident claim for compensation because you were injured on a roundabout, there are certain things you could include which are as follows:

  • You could claim general damages for injuries sustained and for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity. The more severe your injuries are, the higher amount of compensation you could receive and why a medical report is so essential
  • You could also claim special damages to cover the expenses and costs you had to pay out because of the injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident on a roundabout. This would include care costs, medical expenses, loss of earnings, loss of future earnings, travel costs, home adaptations and other expenses incurred as a result of your injuries

If you are at all unsure of what can be claimed if you were injured in a motorcycle accident on a roundabout, a solicitor would provide essential advice on what you can claim for and what cannot be claimed bearing in mind that you must be able to provide relevant receipts of your expenditure.

What Level of Compensation Could I Get for a Motorcycle Injury Sustained on a Roundabout?

The amount of compensation you may receive in a successful motorcycle injury claim would be based on several things which include the following:

  • The extent and severity of your injuries
  • The prognosis
  • How your future life and ability to work are affected

Because all claims are unique, it is challenging to put a figure on the level of compensation you could receive but it is worth noting that general damages are calculated using the Judicial College Guidelines whereas special damages are based on the actual expenses you incurred. As such, you must keep all relevant receipts as proof of your expenditure for these to be awarded.

How Do I begin a Motorcycle Accident Claim When Injured on a Roundabout?

Because proving who may be responsible for a roundabout accident, it is best to discuss your case with an experienced solicitor who has the necessary legal knowledge in handling this type of personal injury claim. They would offer a no obligation, free consultation which allows a solicitor the opportunity of assessing whether your case is valid and who may be deemed responsible for the injuries and damage you suffered.

What About the Cost of Making a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

Most personal injury solicitors offer to represent claimants offering No Win No Fee terms once they have determined a claim is both valid and that it stands a good chance of being won whether through a court or in an out of court settlement offered by an insurer. This takes the worry and stress of finding the funds to pay for legal representation out of the equation. The reason being that once you sign a No Win No Fee Agreement with a solicitor, you do not have to pay them a retainer for them to commence their investigations which is also referred to as an upfront fee.

Would a Personal Injury Solicitor Offer Me No Win No Fee Terms?

As previously mentioned, one of the main advantages for having a No Win No Fee solicitor act on your behalf when making a motorcycle accident claim against a third party, is that you do not have to pay them an upfront fee or ongoing fees. The only time you have to pay the solicitor is when you are awarded the compensation you seek and the amount, the success fee, is taken from the amount you receive with the remainder being paid to you.

Should you not win your case against a responsible party, the success fee would not need to be paid because the solicitor signed a Conditional Fee Agreement which sets out the terms and conditions of the contract which includes the fact their fees would be waived if your motorcycle claim for compensation was not successful.

Links to Informative Websites

If you were involved in a roundabout accident and suffered injuries, you may want to have more information on the rules and guidelines as set out in the Highway Code. The following link takes you to the Government Website where the rules and guidelines are laid out:

More information on the Highway code for roundabouts

For more information on negotiating roundabouts as set out by the Department of Transport, please click on the link provided below:

DOT information on roundabouts

The following link provides essential information on the Road Traffic Act:

Road Traffic Act