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According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, or RoSPA, motorcyclists make up 1% of all road traffic but account for around 18% of deaths on the road. Motorbike riders have a higher ‘crash and injury rate’ than occupants of other vehicles, partly because they are more vulnerable to dangerous road conditions and less visible on the road. When an accident occurs, the motorcyclist or pillion passenger doesn’t have the benefit of the airbags, seat belts or impact-absorbing crumple zone of other vehicles. In a road accident, motorcyclists are around 75 times more likely than car drivers to suffer death or serious injury, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, major trauma and amputation. Where the accident was wholly or partly somebody else’s fault, the injured biker may be entitled to substantial compensation.

Our personal injury team are experts in serious injury road traffic accident (RTA) claims arising out of motorbike or moped accidents, whether the accident took place here or on holiday abroad. We have secured rehabilitation and recovered compensation for countless motorcyclists and pillion passengers after road accidents left them with serious injury and life-changing disability. For many, compensation is the lifeline which provides the care and therapies, adaptations to home and vehicles, prosthetics (artificial limbs after amputation) and financial support that is needed to restore independence and rebuild their lives.

Recent cases include:

  • £625,000 compensation for a motorcyclist who suffered multiple orthopaedic injuries to his lower back, pelvis, arms and legs, and a psychological injury, when he was hit by an oncoming car on the wrong side of the road.
  • £500,000 compensation for a teenage motorcyclist who suffered multiple severe injuries to his leg and ankle and PTSD after his leg was hit by the defendant driver’s car as it did a U-turn in a line of stationary traffic. Settlement was achieved even though the car driver alleged that our client was overtaking dangerously and denied liability for the accident.
  • £40,000 compensation settlement for a client who suffered a serious degloving injury (needing skin grafting) to his leg whilst on holiday in Greece when he was hit whilst stationary on his rented moped by another British holiday-maker’s rented moped. We helped our client claim under Greek law and succeeded despite much of the local evidence, including the police report, being missing, unreliable and inaccurate.
  • £110,000 compensation for a pillion passenger who suffered a fractured elbow and multiple soft tissue injuries after the motorcycle clipped a car which changed lanes without warning. The claim was brought against both the car driver and the motorcyclist who was driving too close to the car to take evasive action when the car pulled out.

Who can claim compensation in a motorcycle/motorbike accident injury claim?

Our motorcycle accident claims expertise means that we can help seriously injured clients secure compensation where they are:

  • a motorbike rider making a claim against another driver;
  • a pillion passenger making a claim against another driver;
  • pillion passenger making a claim against the rider/driver of the motorbike on which they were riding pillion (including where the rider is a friend or family member);
  • a motorcyclist or pillion passenger making a claim against the highway authority or other organisation for an accident caused by an unsafe road surface, unlit/unsigned roadworks etc;
  • a motorbike or moped rider or pillion passenger injured in a road accident abroad;
  • a pedestrian, cyclist or driver or passenger of another vehicle that was hit by motorcycle.

What circumstances can lead to a motorbike accident compensation claim?

Road accidents involving motorcyclists and pillion passengers are often complex as they can have a combination of different causes, including the behaviour of drivers and riders, and the road conditions. Where someone suffers severe injury or permanent disability, even where their own or their fellow rider’s actions contributed to the accident, they should seek advice immediately from specialist solicitors, to have the best chance of recovering compensation. 

Motorcycle accident injury claims usually arise after one or more of the following mistakes has occurred.

  • In claims for motorcyclist or their passenger against another driver, where the driver:
    • failed to look before pulling out into path of the motorbike;
    • turned, overtook or reversed into the path of the motorcycle;
    • lost control of their vehicle;
    • ‘tailgated’ or drove too close;
    • failed to stay on their own side of the road;
    • failed to stop;
    • disobeyed a road sign or jumped the traffic lights;
    • was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
    • was speeding or driving too fast for the road conditions;
    • was driving an unroadworthy or unlit vehicle;
    • caused the injury in a ‘hit and run’.
  • Claims by an injured pillion passenger against the driver of the motorbike who:
    • was speeding or driving too fast for the road conditions;
    • was ‘tailgating’ or driving too close;
    • failed to stop at a junction;
    • was overtaking dangerously;
    • lost control of the motorbike;
    • collided with another vehicle;
    • hit a stationary object;
    • pulled out or turned into path of another vehicle;
    • jumped the traffic lights or disobeyed road signs;
    • failed to slow down for an obstruction;
    • was ‘middle of the road cruising’;
    • failed to stay on their own side of the road;
    • was riding an unroadworthy or unlit motorcycle;
    • was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Claims for an injured motorcyclist or pillion passenger against the highway authority or others:
    • failing to maintain safe road surface/conditions;
    • failing to place cones, lights, warning signs on ramps, roadworks, skips and other obstacles.

What injuries lead to motorcycle accident compensation claims?

Motorcyclists are amongst the most vulnerable road users. Their lack of airbags, seatbelts and other impact protection, and the speeds at which they can travel, leave them at much higher risk of severe injury in an accident.

We can recover compensation for clients after their involvement in motorcycle accidents have led to:

  • fatal injury;
  • head injury, brain injury or skull fractures;
  • amputation;
  • spinal fractures;
  • spinal cord injury, paralysis, paraplegia/tetraplegia;
  • major trauma or multiple injury;
  • serious orthopaedic injuries – broken bones;
  • degloving injuries (injuries needing skin grafting);
  • musculoskeletal injuries;
  • internal injuries involving damage to major organs (brain, heart, lungs or liver);
  • facial fractures;
  • psychological injury, PTSD;
  • chronic pain and CRPS.

What compensation can I claim in a motorcycle accident injury claim?

Each client’s compensation claim reflects their individual circumstances. This includes the type and severity of their injury and disability, the costs of meeting their reasonable needs arising from their disability, and their financial loss, from the date of the accident into the future. In addition to these costs, early rehabilitation may be funded directly by the defendant’s insurers, through the Rehabilitation Code.

Depending on the injured person’s injury and circumstances, their claim may include compensation for:

  • pain, suffering and disability;
  • costs of rehabilitation;
  • costs of case management;
  • costs of care and assistance;
  • lost earnings and pension; 
  • additional costs of suitable accommodation or home adaptations;
  • prosthetics (artificial limbs following amputation);
  • extra costs of transport or adapted vehicles;
  • specialist equipment;
  • assistive technology;
  • cost of therapies, such as:
    • occupational therapy (OT);
    • physiotherapy;
    • speech and language therapy;
    • psychological treatment and counselling;
  • costs of private medical or surgical treatment;
  • Court of Protection and deputyship costs;
  • other losses and reasonable expenses arising from the injury;
  • funeral costs, bereavement award and loss of dependency (where the accident caused fatal injury).

Contributory negligence - can I claim if I was partly to blame for the motorcycle accident or my injuries?

The fact that the injured person contributed in some way to the accident or injury does not usually prevent them from bringing a claim. In each case, we investigate liability (who was at fault for the accident) based on factual evidence, such as police reports, witness evidence and expert evidence, so that we can prove that the defendant is liable to compensate our client. The defendant’s insurers and legal team do the same, and may deny that their client was to blame for the accident or, more often, argue for a discount (percentage reduction) to the compensation on the basis that our client was partly to blame for their own injuries. This is known as contributory negligence.

In a claim for a motorcyclist, contributory negligence might relate to failing to wear a helmet, driving too close or overtaking. We always fight unreasonable allegations of contributory negligence if the action (for example, failing to wear a helmet in a claim for a leg injury) made no difference to our client’s claim.

In rare cases, where there is arguably split liability for an accident, the injured person’s actions might prevent them from succeeding with their claim. These might include where they were racing with the defendant, or where they knew that the rider of the vehicle on which they were riding was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Where someone has been severely injured in an accident, we always advise that you speak to our compassionate and experienced lawyers before ruling out the possibility of making a claim. Our serious injury lawyers have an impressive track record of successfully securing compensation for severely injured clients in the most difficult and complex of cases.

Can I claim against someone who is a friend or family for my injuries as a pillion passenger?

When a pillion passenger suffers a life-changing injury in an accident caused by the driver of the motorbike they were riding on, compensation may be the lifeline to securing rehabilitation and meeting other needs that are essential to their recovery.  Even so, we understand that in situations where the accident involved friends or family, making a decision to claim is far from easy. We see this most often when passengers are injured by the negligent driving of a vehicle by friends or members of their family.

In these situations, it helps to talk things through with our understanding and experienced lawyers. We can often see a way through and reassure our clients that the other party’s response to the claim will be handled, and any liability to pay compensation met, by the driver’s insurers.

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Motorbike accident cases

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"Happy to recommend your services"

Thank you again for all you have done for us and the way you have done it. We would be happy to recommend your services to anyone else in a similar position.

Boyes Turner client

"I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my recovery"

"It really does turn your life upside down in a moment, not just for me but for my family as well. It’s been a difficult journey, sometimes very emotional, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my recovery and in being able to tell this story tooMy story shows what can be achieved with the support of the right people and a little determination. I look back on where I was and I’m delighted with where I am now. I’ve still got a way to go and I still have some effects from the accident to deal with but I hope people see what I’ve achieved and it helps them as they begin their recovery."

Jessica Stevens

"We'd like to express our thanks to Kim and the team at Boyes Turner..."

We’d like to express our thanks to Kim and the team at Boyes Turner for the expertise, experience and professionalism in handling our daughter’s serious injury claim following a road accident. From arranging a team of rehab specialists and the necessary funding to the negotiation of the final very satisfactory settlement, the whole operation has been conducted very smoothly and we can recommend their service to anyone in a similar position.

"Thank you so much for all you have done..."

Thank you so much for all you have done for C and the family. I know that you have absolutely given it everything you’ve got and your devotion and commitment to the case has been spectacular.

Third party forensic accountant

"I wanted to take the opportunity to express my thanks..."

I wanted to take the opportunity to express my thanks to you for your professional attitude and handling of the claim throughout this tragic case.  It is in cases like this where the compensation can never compensate for the loss suffered, but hopefully it will help in some way to move forward.

Third party insurer