Public Road Motorcycle Accident Claim – Motorcycle Injury Lawyers No Win No Fee Claims Guide

Motorcycle Accident Claims Guide

Motorcycle Accident Claims Guide

By Max Morris. Last Updated 13th May 2022. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable during an accident because, unlike cars, they have no structure to shield them from any impact.  According to government statistics they have the highest injury rates, per mile travelled, of all road users.  Therefore, it’s not unusual for a motorcycle accident claim to be made, if the accident was caused by somebody else.

This guide is going to provide you with all the information you need about beginning your own claim.

You can contact us here if you’d like to know more but please carry on reading this helpful guide first.

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A Guide To Motorcycle Accident Claims

Motorcyclist’s are generally very passionate about their form of transport.  Motorbikes offer freedom than cars, are cheaper, are more fun to ride and the performance of motorbikes is much better than cars.

However, because they are smaller vehicles, with little protection offered to the rider, motorcyclists are vulnerable road users. When an accident involving a motorbike happens, it can lead to very serious injuries.

In this guide, we’re going to provide information on how to make a motorcycle accident claim.  We’ll try to answer some of these questions:

  • “What is the main cause of motorcycle accidents?”
  • “Who is to blame for a motorcycle accident?”
  • “Can I claim compensation for being knocked off a motorbike?”
  • “What is a good settlement for a motorcycle accident?”
  • “Who can I claim against if injured in a public place?”

We’ll provide information on time limits for claiming and provide motorcycle crash settlement examples too.  Furthermore, we’ll cover some of more common causes for accidents as well as showing you what to do following an accident.

Proving liability is key so we’ll cover this as well, but we do recommend that, while it’s possible to make a motorbike accident claim yourself, you make use of a no win no fee personal injury lawyer. Having legal representation on your side is very helpful.  This is especially true when the defendant (the person you blame for your accident) has their own legal team opposing your request for compensation.

What Is A Claim For A Motorcycle Or Motorbike Accident?

Unsurprisingly, a motorcycle accident claim is where a motorcyclist is injured in an accident and wants to claim compensation for their injuries.  However, not all accidents lead to successful compensation claims.

When assessing a road traffic accident, a personal injury lawyer would ask these questions:

  • Did the person you blame owe you a duty of care?
  • Then, did they breach that duty of care in any way?
  • Finally, was it that breach that caused you to become injured in the accident?

If you can answer yes to all of those questions, the chances are you could make a claim.  Most other road users owe each other a duty of care meaning they should drive carefully to avoid an accident. Local authorities also owe road users a duty of care to inspect, maintain and repair road surfaces adequately.

Once duty of care has been established, it then remains to prove negligence and that you were injured.  We’ll cover what to do following an accident later in this guide.  Essentially though, you should try to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim.

Motorcycle Casualties And Accident Statistics

The department for transport last released   which show some alarming figures.  These include:

  • There were, on average, 94 serious injuries involving motorcyclists and 6 fatalities per week.
  • In the whole year there were 5197 serious injuries or fatalities (which is down 76% since 1979).
  • Of the seriously injured or fatally injured riders, 94% were male victims.
  • 68% of these accidents happened on rural roads.
  • 33% of those killed or seriously injured were aged under 25 years old.

These stats show that young male drivers were the most vulnerable group, but it doesn’t explain why.  The perception might be made that they ride too fast or that older riders ride their bikes more safely as they become more experienced.

Remember that not every accident will lead to a successful compensation claim.  In cases of rider error or negligence (through dangerous or careless driving), you wouldn’t be able to make a successful claim.

If you’ve been involved in an accident that was caused by somebody, or something, else, we’ll provide information on what you should do before pursuing a claim for compensation.

How Much Compensation Will I Get For A Motorcycle Accident In The UK?

If you’ve been injured in a public place, you might start looking for a personal injury claims calculator to work out the amount of compensation you could be awarded. There is no average or specific figure set for motorcycle compensation. However, the table below includes compensation brackets which can give some idea of what you may be offered for certain injuries you may claim for following a motorcycle accident.

The brackets are based on the Judicial College guidelines and solicitors may use these for reference when calculating the value of your claim. These up-to-date figures are taken from the sixteenth edition that was published in April 2022.

Injury SustainedSeverityCompensation Bracket
Back InjurySevere£38,780 to £160,980
Back InjuryModerate£12,510 to £38,780
Back InjuryMinorUp to £12,510
Neck InjurySevere£45,470 to the region of £148,330
Neck InjuryModerate£7,890 to £38,490
Neck InjuryMinorUp to £7,890
Hand InjurySerious£29,000 to £61,910
Hand InjuryLess Serious£14,450 to £29,000
Shoulder InjuryModerate£7,890 to £12,770
Shoulder InjuryMinorUp to £7,890

Not every injury is listed, as the list would be too vast, but when you contact a personal injury lawyer, they will be able to provide a good estimate of how much compensation you could be awarded.

The payments listed are graded for injuries ranging from minor to severe. One of the important roles of a lawyer is to prove the correct severity of your injury. In doing so, you should be awarded the correct amount of compensation.

Using a personal injury specialist to make your claim will mean you’ll be assessed properly by a medical expert to ensure the lawyer knows how badly you were injured.

What Other Costs Could I Be Compensated For?

When a claim is submitted, it usually contains an overall figure but is made up of many parts. These parts are known, legally, as heads of loss.  Each case is different so not every loss will be used on every occasion. The main heads of loss are:

General Damages
This is paid to compensate the claimant for the suffering, pain and loss of amenity their injuries caused them.

Travel Costs

Following an accident, you might need to make trips to the doctor, to the pharmacy and for medical treatment such as physio.  All of this travelling cost’s money.  You can sometime claim these costs back as part of your compensation.

Medical Costs

We are lucky in the UK to receive free care from the NHS, but medical costs can still arise.  They can include prescriptions, over the counter treatments and other non-NHS services.  These might also be included in your bike accident claim amount.

Care Costs

Another part of a claim that might be made is for care costs.  These can occur when injuries prevent the claimant from being able to look after themselves.  In these cases, any professional care costs might be approved as part of the compensation as well.

Damage to Personal Property

If any item of your property is damaged during your accident, such as your bike leathers, helmet, gloves or boots, you might be able to include the cost to replace them.

Lost Earnings

Finally, if you take time off from work to recover or to visit the doctor’s, if you lose any salary, you might be able to claim this back.  You could also be allowed to claim for future lost earnings if your injuries will affect your income long term.

Special Damages

The elements of the claim that deal with financial loss are known as special damages.  They are not a fine on the defendant but are designed to make sure that the claimant doesn’t lose out financially because of their accident.  You should provide receipts to back up your claims and justify why the expense was linked to your injuries.

Possible Causes Motorbike Accidents

There are many different scenarios which can lead to motorcycle accident claims or a fatal motorcycle accident.  Over the next few sections we’ll cover some of the more common reasons for motorcycle accidents today.

Remember though, even if the type of accident you were injured in isn’t listed, you could still claim.  So long as the accident was caused by negligence and you were injured, you might be eligible.

Collisions In Filtering Traffic Or At A Junction

Junctions are one of the most common places for motorbike accidents.  When vehicles are turning right at a T-junction, they don’t always allow for motorbikes passing on the right.  It might be that they don’t see the bike as they’re concentrating on a gap in the traffic.

It can also be because they underestimate the speed of the approaching motorbike.  The driver who is turning may well have seen the bike the first time they looked.  Then they’ve taken a look at the oncoming traffic, spotted a gap, but then failed to re-check for the motorbike.  They may have assumed the bike was too far back to consider.   Motorcyclists should take extreme care when approaching junctions and slow down if there’s potential for a collision.

Motorcycle Accidents When Overtaking

Overtaking is another common cause for accidents in a public place involving motorbikes.  Care should be taken when overtaking at a bend, a dip in the road, junctions and hills.  It is also illegal to overtake where there is a solid white line in the road.

If you’re approaching a slow line of traffic, be aware the driver at the back of the queue may not be aware of you if they are concentrating on the car in front of them.  They could pull out to overtake and not realise there is a motorbike behind them doing the same.

Rural Road Safety And Accidents

A fatal motorcycle accident is far more likely on rural roads than in urban areas.  In 2016, according to ROSPA, there were 1015 rural road traffic fatalities versus 593 on urban roads.

A common claim that motorcycle accident solicitors deal with is where the biker is turning into a left-hand bend.  The bike is positioned in the centre of the road so that the rider can see as much of the bend as possible.  While the idea is good, it also poses a problem that the motorbike is now in position where it’s likely to be hit by any oncoming vehicle that is over the centre line.

Care should be taken when riding on rural roads.  Take extra time and give yourself extra space to allow for anything unexpected that occurs.

Losses Of Riders Control Of The Bike

Some serious injuries occur when a motorcyclist loses control of their bike.  This might be caused by another vehicle clipping the bike or hitting it from behind.  Loss of control can also be caused by defects in the road such as large potholes.

If you are injured by a road defect, then you may be able to claim against whoever’s responsible for the road.  This is usually the local council.  Try to photograph the defect and use something to demonstrate the depth.  Anything less than 1 inch deep is unlikely to lead to a successful compensation claim.  If you don’t have a measure with you, use a 50 pence piece.  These are just over 1 inch high so perfect for demonstrating depth.

What Steps Should You Take After Being Injured In A Motorbike Accident On A Public Road?

If you’re considering a motorcycle accident claim having read this guide, then there’s some evidence you should get together to support the claim.  Try to do as much of the following as possible:

  • Gather medical records. If you attended the doctors or a hospital after your accident, contact them and ask for copies of your medical records.
  • Collate any photos of the scene of the accident. If you took photographs, print or prepare them on your computer.  Try to use photos which were taken before anything was moved from the scene.
  • Contact any witnesses. If you took details from witnesses at the scene of the accident, contact them for a statement.  Ask them to write down what they saw when your accident happened.
  • Collate any photographs of your injuries. If there were any photos taken that show visible injuries, then they could be used with your medical records as evidence of the injury.
  • Get police reports. If the police, or any other emergency service attended the accident, contact them for copies of their records.
  • If you have CCTV or dash cam footage of the accident, save it to a blank CD. This can be key evidence to help your claim be successful.
  • Collate any insurance information if there was another driver involved in your accident.
  • Write down what you remember happening. This will be a good exercise to help you remember and clarify what happened.  Remember to include dates, times, locations and any other relevant information.
  • Finally, when you’ve collected as much evidence as possible, contact a personal injury solicitor.

Taking the time to collect all of the above (or as much as possible), will make claiming a lot easier. It’s better to prepare before calling a lawyer so that they can advise if there’s anything you’re missing.

How Can A Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Help Me Make a Claim?

As mentioned above, evidence is crucial when making a motorbike accident claim, as it is when making any personal injury claim. To successfully receive compensation, you need to show that your injury was caused by third-party negligence.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you in many ways when claiming. While you don’t necessarily need one to claim, the benefits of using one from our panel include:

  • Getting a specialised lawyer who has experience handling the specific type of claim you want to make. This means they will know how to present your case. Furthermore, they will offer guidance about the amount of compensation you could receive from a successful claim.
  • Getting help collecting evidence. During motorcycle accident claims, collecting evidence can be very difficult and time-consuming. Your lawyer can help by contacting potential witnesses to get statements and contacting the relevant insurers for information. They can make the claims process less stressful for you so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
  • Providing guidance regarding the settlement amount. Due to their experience, should you be offered compensation, your lawyer can provide insight into whether the amount offered is appropriate for your case.
  • Offering their services on a No Win No Fee basis. This allows you to access their services without having to pay a fee upfront.

If you would like to know more about how to make a successful motorbike accident claim, please contact us for free legal advice using the details above.

How Long Do I Have To Claim If Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?

If you’re thinking that you’d like to begin a claim, then you should be aware of the personal injury claims time limit in the UK. Under the Limitation Act 1980, the standard time limit for starting a claim for a personal injury from a motorcycle accident is three years. This normally applies from the date the accident occurred.

Try to begin your claim as early as possible, this will give your motorcycle accident lawyer enough time to prepare your case.  Some motorcycle accident claims can be complex and require specialist reports preparing, which can take time.  Allowing a solicitor more time, should make the claim stronger.

No Win No Fee Public Interest Motorbike Accident Compensation Claims

You’ve probably heard of No Win No Fee services for making a personal injury claim, but do you know how they work?  In this section we’ll compare using No Win No Fee to make a motorcycle accident claim, versus a solicitor who charges up front.

No Win No Fee

One of the main benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor is that you won’t have to pay their legal fees if your case goes forward and is unsuccessful. When you sign up, you’ll be provided with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA – which is the No Win No Fee agreement).  It will state clearly that you don’t pay in the event of losing the case.  This makes claiming pretty much risk-free for most people.

The CFA will also detail a success fee.  This is the fee that is paid, if the solicitor wins the case, to pay for their service.  It taken out of your compensation and is limited to 25% (but might be less).  You used to keep 100% of compensation as the defendant would pay for your solicitor’s charges, but this isn’t allowed any more.  The solicitor will be paid the compensation, retain their success fee and then send the rest to you.  This means you don’t actually have to fund the solicitor from your own bank account.

Paid for Solicitors

The work that the two types of solicitors do is the same.  The main difference with this scenario is that the solicitor will charge you a fee or an hourly rate to take on your case.  You need to provide funds to pay for this before they begin the case, which can be hard if you don’t have the funds.

If the solicitor wins the case, you’ll keep 100% of the compensation, because you’ve already paid the solicitors fees.  If they lose though, you won’t get any funds refunded and you’ll have lost the money you paid already.  This is a risk which could mean you end up out of pocket with no compensation.

In the past, No Win No Fee claimants would keep 100% of the compensation too as the defendant would have to pay all legal costs.  This got stopped by new rules in 2013, so is no longer the case.

Choosing the Right Type of Lawyer

We recommend using No Win No Fee services.  They take away the risk of losing money and you don’t need to find any cash or loans to pay for the solicitor as they are funded by any compensation you are awarded.

How To Make A Claim With Public Interest Motorcycle Injury Lawyers

When you’ve collected all the evidence listed earlier, we recommend getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer about your motorbike accident claim. For advice and assistance in connecting with a motorcycle accident lawyer, you can contact Public Interest Lawyers online using our contact page or our live chat service. Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 408 7825.

Reference Materials

Hopefully, you now have enough information about making a motorcycle accident claim so that you know whether to claim or not.  For more information, we’ve listed a few useful references below:

Head Injuries – An NHS article about head injuries and how to treat them.  For major head injuries, seek immediate medical treatment.

Think! Road Safety – A government campaign to reduce motorcycle accidents and other road traffic accidents.

Pothole Injury Claims – This guide covers how to make a claim for an injury caused by a pothole which could include a motorbike crash or other public injury claims.

Public Transport Accidents – Information on how to claim compensation for accident in a public place involving buses, taxis, trains or coaches.

Other guides you may find useful: