Motorbike Accidents Compensation Guide
If ever you suffer an injury in a motorbike accident which was not entirely your fault, you should be able to claim motorbike accident compensation from the negligent party. In almost 75% of cases, a motorbike accident claim for compensation is filed against the driver of a vehicle who was not paying sufficient attention when maneuvering their car, van or lorry either between lanes of the motorway, at a traffic junction or around a corner.
Most car van and lorry drivers are horrified when they realise that they have struck a motorcyclist, and the majority will stop their vehicle, call an ambulance and exchange insurance details with you. As you will see below though, it is not these drivers who will obstruct your claim for compensation, but the insurance companies that represent them. Therefore, in any circumstance where you have sustained an injury in a road traffic accident which was not your fault, it is always to your benefit to speak with a personal injury claims solicitor before you commence the application process.
Further Examples of Motorbike Accidents
Not all road users are as honest as those that would stop when they have collided with you. Drivers without insurance, or those who may value their premiums more than your wellbeing, will drive off from the scene of an accident with no more than a glance in their rear view mirror. Fortunately, with modern technology and the camera facility on mobile phones, it is more than likely that the incident has been recorded and the perpetrator will be caught. Where a driver was driving without insurance, compensation can be claimed from the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland that has a special fund to cater for such circumstances.
Careless pedestrians may also be the cause of a serious motorbike accident. Pedestrians have been known to step out between parked vehicles or attempt to cross a road against a red light, and not all consider that there may be a motorbike approaching them on the road. Injuries are more likely to be sustained by the motorbike rider as they swerve to avoid the pedestrian and potentially ride into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Although pedestrians do not require insurance to walk along the highway, claims for compensation can be made against house insurance – part of which insures the householder against public liability.
Inadequately maintained road surfaces can also cause motorbike accidents which may lead to claims for compensation against the local council or highway authority. Whereas motorcyclists in Ireland will be familiar with the number of potholes in our roads and take care to avoid them, roads with poor drainage allow large pools of water to amass which are not always so easy to spot, and can cause “ponding” when driving through them, or skidding when the weather is inclement and the pools of water freeze over. A similar hazard is caused by fuel spillages from goods vehicles and tankers, and where the negligent party can be identified – again usually possible through traffic cameras – the negligent vehicle driver can be sued for compensation.
The final major cause of a motorbike accident in Ireland is faulty equipment. If you have an accident on a motorbike which has recently been serviced or repaired, the garage that serviced it should have returned it to you in a safe condition. If elements of the motorbike have not been replaced properly or faulty parts were used in the repair, you can claim compensation from the garage for your injuries sustained due to their negligence.
Making a Claim for Motorbike Accident Compensation
Making a claim for motorbike accident compensation follows the same process as any other personal injury claim for compensation, and an initial application should be made to the Injuries Board Ireland for their assessment. The application form can be completed online or, should the motorbike accident by fatal or the injury be sustained by a child under the age of 18, on a form available from the Injuries Board Ireland on request. Even if you are experienced in completing online applications, you may find this early stage of the process a little daunting. There are so many elements of a road traffic accident that it is impossible to cover them all even on an online form, and many are left unaccounted for.
If you wish to ensure that you will get an adequate assessment of your injuries by the Injuries Board Ireland, and recompense for any out-of-pocket expenses you may have experienced in seeking medical treatment, this job of form completion is the first you should ask a personal injury claims solicitor to do for you. Your solicitor will have had experience in completing the application form on many previous occasions, and will be aware of the documentation that has to accompany it before it is considered by the Injuries Board Ireland. Furthermore, your solicitor will know how to account for elements of your accident which may not be so apparent to the untrained eye.
These include the after-effects of a motorbike accident which you may not immediately be aware of. It is well established that injuries sustained in motorbike accidents tend to be more serious than in other road traffic accidents and have longer rehabilitation periods. This may mean that you should include in your application a claim for “special” damages to compensate for any loss of earnings you experience as a result of your accident. However, the psychological trauma of being involved in a motorbike accident may mean that you have lost the confidence to ride your bike again and are incurring further expenses, as you now have to find an alternative means of transport.
The Injuries Board Ireland will assess your claim for motorbike compensation only after they have received confirmation from the negligent driver that they accept liability for your injuries. Once this has been received, they will ask you to attend an independent medical examination and make a compensation assessment based on the “Book of Quantum” – a publication which lists various injuries that you may have sustained in a motorbike accident, and grades them according to their severity and the period your doctor considers it may take to recover from them. They will then advise you and the defendant of their assessment and, if both parties agree with the amount of compensation, issue an “Order to Pay”.
Potential Issues with this Process
There are a number of things that can go amiss with the Injuries Board Ireland process. Firstly, the defendant may decline to admit responsibility for causing the accident and deny liability for your injuries. In this case, the Injuries Board Ireland will issue you with an “Authorisation” to pursue the matter through litigation in the courts. Issues can also arise if the defendant claims that you contributed to your injuries through your own actions – for example, if you failed to wear a crash helmet. This is known as “Contributory Negligence” and is a situation in which the Injuries Board Ireland will again take leave for the courts to resolve. The intervention of the courts may also be required if you or the defendant disagree with the amount of compensation as assessed by the Injuries Board Ireland. During the time the Injuries Board Ireland are considering your claim, you may be approached by the negligent party´s insurance company with an offer of early settlement for your motorbike accident compensation claim.
As mentioned at the top of the page, it may not the negligent driver who will try to prevent you getting fair compensation but rather their insurance company. Early settlement deals are known as “Third Party Capture” and usually consist of the insurance company making an offer, below what they expect the Injuries Board Ireland assessment to be, in return for a quick payment. Inasmuch as a short term lump sum may be very welcome at a time when you may still be recovering from your injuries and unable to work, it is rare that an insurance company will place your financial wellbeing before their company profits. A solicitor will be able to negotiate with the insurance company to increase the value of their offer and ensure that the amount of compensation you receive is an adequate amount.
As in any incident where you have sustained an injury, your health, and that of any pillion passenger you may have been carrying, must take precedence over a claim for motorbike accident compensation. Once you are assured that there are no further risks to your long term health, it is in your best interests to consult a solicitor about making a motorbike accident compensation claim.
We offer a free initial consultation service enabling you to discuss a potential motorbike accident compensation claim. Should you choose to proceed with a claim after having spoken with us, our fees are frequently paid by the defendant´s insurance company. We will be able to give you more information about any costs that may be incurred during the compensation claim process when you call.
It is worth noting that there is a limit on the amount of time you have available in which to make a motorbike accident compensation claim – this currently being two years from the date of your accident. However, if related ailments have developed a period of time after your accident, it may be possible to circumnavigate the Statute of Limitations in exceptional circumstances and, again, it is best to discuss your own personal situation with one of our experienced solicitors.
You will find the various means of getting in touch with us on our “Contact Us” page. We can assure you of a dedicated and professional service and look forward to hearing from you.
For free expert advice on your case you can talk to us now by calling our free phone line on or filling in our call back form at the bottom of this page.
What can you Expect?
When you call us, you will be put through to a solicitor who is very experienced in motorbike accident compensation and other personal injury claims.
We will listen to you as you tell us about your claim in complete confidence. We can normally tell you quickly if your claim is worth pursuing, the likelihood of your succeeding,, and what will be involved in the claim’s process, including how long it usually takes.
We can also tell you the general level of compensation and if there are likely to be any costs involved.
The result of the call is advice about what you should consider doing next.
Right now, the easiest next step is to call our Free Phone solicitor advice line on
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