Important advice about Compensation for Motorbike Accidents in Ireland
In Irish law, motorbike accidents in Ireland are treated the same as any other kind of traffic collision and the same compensation procedures apply. If the motorcyclist has sustained an injury, damage to property or loss of earnings he or she is entitled to compensation.
The first priority at any accident is medical treatment of any injuries and in cases where immediate medical attention is not necessary then those involved should still make a visit to their general practitioner for a check over.
The Gardai do not attend the scene of every traffic accident. In cases where there has been minimal damage or injury they prefer to let those involved work things out between themselves. If involved in an accident which the Gardai did not attend, it is important that the motorcyclist attend the station and ask for the details of the incident to be recorded.
One aspect of accidents involving motorcycles in Ireland (or anywhere) is the perception of motorcyclists as ‘bikers’. They are often seen as more reckless and less safety conscious than regular drivers. This means that in cases where a biker has been injured, even when it is clearly through no fault of his own, it is highly recommended that he or she seek the assistance of a claims solicitor when claiming compensation for motorcycle accidents in Ireland.
We operate a free advice linefor accident victims. You can call and speak to an experienced injury claim solicitor about your case without obligation on or if you cannot call now please fill in the call back form on the right or left of this page.
Motorbike Accidents in Ireland cause highest rate of fatalities
Motorcyclists are particularly at risk on the roads and this is a fact recognised by the Road Safety Authority who include them in the group of people classed as ‘Vulnerable Road Users’. Though representing only 2% of licensed vehicles on the road, in 2008, the 29 motorcyclists who died in motorbike accidents on Ireland’s roads accounted for 10% of all road fatalities.
By kilometre travelled the risk of death on the road in Ireland is 23 times higher for a motorcyclist than for the occupant of a car and the Road Safety Authority report that according to the OECD motorcyclists are up to three times more likely to be killed on the roads in Ireland than in any other European country.
Who is responsible for my Motorbike Accident Compensation?
The vast majority of traffic accidents in Ireland involve speeding or driving under the influence. If injured by a speeding or drunk driver, a motorcyclist may assume that the case is clear cut and consequently be over-confident that a motorcycle accident compensation claim would be successful. However, there may be a considerable time between the accident and the claim being made and by the time it does, it may well be that the guilty driver denies any culpability.
Similarly in cases where the accident was caused by driver negligence, perhaps the driver was paying more attention to a map, mobile phone or applying lipstick in the rear-view mirror, the motorcyclist has a right to compensation for injury but his claim will be made stronger by medical and Gardai reports.
If you have suffered an injury or damage to property while on your motorbike though no fault of your own, you are well within your rights to seek compensation.
Who you make the case against depends on the circumstances of the accident. Should you have come off the bike and been injured because of poorly positioned road signage or because the road you were driving on was in disrepair, then you must consider who owns the road upon which you were driving at the time. If you were on private property, then the Respondent is most likely to be the landowner of that property. If you are on a public road, the claim will be brought against the local authority which has jurisdiction over the area.
If your accident was caused by oil or chemical spillage or debris that has fallen from a truck or work lorry, then the organisation which hired the driver of the lorry has the duty of care to the public to ensure the safe transport of its goods and is most probably the one who will answer your case.
A claim for compensation for an injury received after swerving to avoid a jay-walking pedestrian or a dog in the road would be made against the pedestrian or the dog’s owner.
The circumstances of each traffic accident is different but by far the most common culprit in a claim for motorbike accident compensation is another driver – usually of a standard car.
In many cases, especially those involving speeding, driving under the influence or dangerous driving, the fault will be clear at the time of the accident. However even with witnesses and evidence no claim is guaranteed so should you be involved in a traffic accident there are a number of procedures that you can follow which will strengthen you eventual case for compensation.
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What is Covered in a Compensation Claim?
A claim for compensation will include any pain and suffering sustained, psychological trauma, loss of earning, future loss of earnings and damage to property. In cases where the motorcyclist is unfortunately fatally injured, a claim for compensation can be brought against the Respondent for the loss of household earnings and parental support by the family of the deceased.
After a Motorbike Accident
Not surprisingly, having been in a collision or thrown from a motorbike, you will be dazed and possibly in a state of shock. Even if no blood, wounds or broken bones are visible and you need no medical treatment at the scene, a visit to the casualty department or to your own doctor is advisable to rule out the possibility of concussion or internal bleeding.
The Gardai should be called as soon as possible after the accident. In cases where there is no injury, the Gardai might not attend the scene. If they do not, it is recommended that you go to the station to lodge your own report of the incident.
The documents recorded both by the doctor and by the Gardai may be called upon later as evidence to support your claim for compensation so be as clear and detailed as possible.
Most people have a mobile phone with them nowadays. If not rendered inoperable during the crash, then using the mobile phone camera function to take snaps of the scene and of the other driver’s license plate is a good idea. If your own mobile is out of action, then there may be witnesses who would be willing to take pictures on your behalf. Alternatively, try to make your own sketches and notes of the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Although the standard procedure at the scene of an accident is to exchange details, this is not possible in hit and run cases or where one or other of those involved has sustained serious injury. You also cannot trust that information given at such a scene is trustworthy. An unscrupulous person may give false information in the hope of escaping scot-free from the scene. This is particularly true if the culpable driver has already been in trouble with the law for dangerous driving.
Many motor insurance policies include the condition that there should be no admission of liability at the scene. Even if the other driver is clearly at fault, you should not look at apportioning blame at that time. It is worth noting at this point, that later on, when bringing your claim, the Respondent will be the other driver but the one trying to reduce and oppose your claim will be an insurance company lawyer.
Simply, make sure anyone who needs it receives medical attention, exchange drivers’ details, co-operate with the Gardai if present, record names and contact details of any possible witnesses. Should your property have been damaged in the incident, make note of this as soon as possible and take photographs for evidence. This includes any damage to your crash helmet, biking leathers and of course, the motorbike itself.
Should You Engage a Solicitor?
As in all but medical negligence compensation claims, your claims case must be assessed by the Injuries Board of Ireland. They will assess your compensation payment based on your application and any documentary evidence you supply. Neither you nor the Respondent are bound by the Injuries Board assessment and should either party reject the Injury Board’s finding then the case will go to court.
Although it is not necessary to engage a solicitor to bring a compensation claim in Ireland it is advisable in most cases. For one thing, most people have no experience at all in bringing a personal injury claim and have no idea whether the Injuries Board assessment is a fair and reasonable award for the suffering they have endured.
Secondly, an experienced claims lawyer knows which evidence to gather and how to present it in order to achieve the best settlement. . Finally, remember that when bringing a case for compensation, should the Respondent’s insurance company reject the Injury Board assessment, it is not the other driver that will fight your case in court but a clever and hard-nosed insurance company lawyer whose purpose is to keep your claim as low as possible.
Motorcyclists have yet another reason to hire a solicitor. Unfair though it may be, the general perception of motorcyclists is of the archetypal ‘biker’ and this often goes against them even in cases where the other driver is clearly liable. If the insurance company lawyer decides to play the ‘Easy Rider’ card, you will want an experienced lawyer to respond on your behalf.
Speak to a solicitor now about what happened. There is no charge or obligation for this service. Simply call or if you cannot speak now please submit your details in the form above and a solicitor will call you back at the time you specify.
What can I expect?
When you call us, you will be put through to a solicitor who is very experienced in dealing with personal injury claims.
We will listen to you as you tell us about your accident in complete confidence.
We can normally tell you quickly if your personal injury claim is worth pursuing, the likelihood of your succeeding, and what will be involved in the claims process, including how long it usually takes.
We can also tell you the general level of compensation for your personal injury, and if there are likely to be any costs involved.
The result of the call is advice about what you should consider doing next.
Motorbike Accident Compensation
The very nature of motorcycles makes those that drive them particularly vulnerable to injury and fatal road accidents. Being less visible than a car, a motorbike has more chance of being in a driver's 'blind spot' and the motorcyclist is in more danger of serious injury should a momentarily inattentive driver choose to turn or stop or even open the door at the wrong moment.
Similarly without the weight and solidity of an automobile a motorbike is also more sensitive to the road surface. A rut in the road or any chemical or oil spills can cause even an experienced motorcyclist to veer out of control and sustain serious injury.
Lacking the protective outer shell and restraint of a seat belt that he would have in a car, the driver of a motorbike can often be thrown with great force and, as in the recent tragic death of 27 year old motorbike racer, Stephen Larkin, who was thrown into a concrete pillar, the resulting trauma to head or chest can be fatal.
These are shocking statistics. Even more shocking given the mass media safety campaigns is that at least 33% of motorcyclists were not wearing a crash helmet at the time they died or were injured. In fact, as crash helmet use is sometimes neglected on reports, this figure is quite likely to be even higher.
Of all road users, only those protected by the outer shell of a car; the driver and passengers, have a higher percentage of injury than of fatality but it is not only the lack of outer protection that makes motorcyclists vulnerable. Even when travelling at relatively low speed without the safety restraint of a seat belt there is a high likelihood of the motorcyclists being thrown at force and landing badly. The size and structure of motorbikes makes them more susceptible to skids caused by bad road surface, ice, oil or spills.
Please call our free advice linenow on or please fill in the call back form above and a solicitor will call you back at a convenient time. You have nothing to lose by calling for expert advise.