Compared to other road users, motorcyclists are much more likely to die or suffer serious injuries if they have a road traffic accident.
Even during the Covid 19 pandemic with a nation in lockdown, figures show that 285 people died as the result of a motorcycle accident .
It’s a fact that motorcyclists are amongst the most vulnerable of road users and as a consequence the majority of motorcycle accidents happen because drivers don’t see them in their path. That doesn’t mean accidents are entirely the fault of people in other vehicles. Motorcycle accidents can occur for a number of reasons resulting in injury or even death.
What are the most common motorcycle accident injuries?
- Head injuries
Motorcycle users must wear approved safety helmets, not only because it’s a legal requirement in the UK but because head and neck injuries are the most common in motorcycle accidents.
Helmets which comply with British safety standards are very effective when it comes to cushioning this, the most important part of the body and can make the difference between life and death when someone is involved in a motorbike accident. However, head injuries are very serious and can lead to life changing injuries.
- Road rash
You might think that when you fall off your motorcycle at speed and skin is damaged in the process, that it will eventually heal. But the impact of falling on the ground and then maybe sliding along a hard road for several yards can cause serious injury. Not only will there be cuts and bruises but there may be long term effects such as irritation, infections, and nerve damage. To reduce the risk of skin abrasions, motorcyclists are always encouraged to wear protective leather jackets, thick gloves, and padded pants.
- Leg injuries
Legs, knees, and feet can all become damaged when a person is involved in a motorcycle accident. These may not be as life-threatening as head and neck injuries, but they could potentially be life-changing and result in a person being unable to return to the life they had before.
Amputation, long term muscle pain and the inability to walk unaided can all seriously impact on a person’s life. And like any serious injury the consequences on overall physical and mental health can be affected.
- Loss of hearing
When someone travels at high speed the pressure that is placed on the ears can lead to damage of the eardrums. Hearing loss could also be the result of a collision.
- Fractured bones
Because motorcyclists don’t have the same protection as someone in a car or van, their body will bear the brunt of any road accident. The only thing between them and the hard road is a helmet and leathers and while they may lessen the impact, the possibility of bone fractures is likely. Arms, wrists, ribs, or pelvis can all be broken during such an accident and recovery can take several weeks or even months.
When can you make a motorcycle accident claim?
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, then you can make a claim within three years of the incident happening.
Can you make a claim if you are partly to blame?
The short answer is yes. Although, somebody else must also be to blame. The law says that we should take responsibility for our own safety. This means that if you did something careless, like overtaking a car on the inside of slow-moving traffic you could be considered partly to blame, as this would be deemed contributory negligence. Basically, even if the other party did something reckless, the accident would probably not have happened had you not made this unsafe move.
How much compensation can you get for a motorcycle accident claim?
Compensation for motorcycle accident claims always depends upon multiple factors, such as how severely injured you are and the length of treatment that you might need.
For general damages, a medical assessment is needed as part of the claims process, and a report would be created to show just how severe the injuries are that you suffered and confirm that they were either caused or exacerbated by the accident. Most personal injury compensation is made up of general and special damages. So, if you have lost earnings because you haven’t been able to work then, you would receive special damages. Financial losses must be proven through banks statements, involves etc.
In cases where you were partly to blame the compensation will be reduced.
Contributory negligence is assessed in terms of percentage, which will vary according to the circumstances of the accident – for example, you are 30% to blame and the other party is 70% to blame. This means that the amount of compensation you can get is reduced by the same percentage. So, if you were awarded £10,00 and were 30% at fault, you’d get the £10,000 compensation, minus 30%, which is £7,000.
How to make a motorcycle accident claim
- Get medical attention
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s essential to obtain medical attention as soon as possible. This could be at the scene or later, but your injuries must go on record, however minor. It is also possible that any injuries could develop into something more serious later.
- Collect evidence
You may have dashcam footage or be able to take photographs with your phone of damage to your bike, clothing, property, and injuries, all of which will help with a claim.
- Witness statements
Obtaining names and contact details of anyone who might have seen what happened with also be helpful when it comes to motorcycle accident claims.
- Inform the police
Again, getting details of the accident on record, is something you should do and will help your claim.
- Inform your insurance company
This is another essential step as failing to let your insurance company know what happened could invalidate your insurance.
- Contact a solicitor
Once you have contacted a solicitor, you’ll be able to commence the claims process. They will take you through everything step-by step and advise you of the best course of action.
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