A Guide to Claiming Motorcycle Accident Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a motorcycle accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a motorcycle accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Motorcycle accident statistics

Motorcycle rider

19% of serious and fatal accidents on the UK's roads involve a motorcycle.

The latest data available in 2019 published by the Department of Transport, shows that In 2017 349 motorcyclists sustained fatal injuries. This figure represents a worrying 9% rise in a single year.

However, 18,042 bikers suffered some degree of injury last year - a 7% fall overall.

It is estimated that car drivers are at fault in around two thirds of motorbike collisions.

Do I have a motorcycle accident claim?

A motorcycle accident injury claim should be possible if your injury happened:

  • within the last three years and,
  • another person was to blame.

It may be that, for example, the accident happened more than 3 years ago, or that you were partly at fault. If so, you may still be able to make a claim.

It only takes a minute to find out - you can speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.

A short call will tell you exactly where you stand. We will never put you under pressure to start a claim.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

What if the road accident was my fault?

If you think you were partly responsible for the road accident or for your injury, it should still be possible to make a claim.

In these cases, claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.

For example, if you were 50% responsible for your injuries, you would receive 50% less compensation.

Read more about when there is uncertainty as to who is to blame.

What if the driver was uninsured or untraceable?

If the driver responsible for the injury is either uninsured or untraceable, a claim can be pursued through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).

The MIB is an independent body that pays road accident compensation to the victims of uninsured or untraced (unidentified) drivers.

Read more

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a motorcycle accident claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if the motorcycle accident happened abroad?

Making a claim for a motorcycle accident abroad can be more complicated. Any number of factors can affect the best way to go about making a claim. These include whether it was a package holiday, which country you were in and your insurance position. Please call us for more information.

Check my claim

How much compensation can I claim for a motorcycle accident?

The amount of money you could claim for your motorcycle accident will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your motorcycle accident has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a motorcycle accident? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple motorcycle accident injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a life-altering leg injury can be £40,000

For a less severe scarring, in isolation, you would typically receive £3,500.

However, if you have a life-altering leg injury and a less severe scarring, you would typically receive £40,000 + a reduced percentage of £3,500.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.

What is the average injury compensation for a motorcycle accident claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a motorcycle accident will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your motorcycle accident compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Find out what your motorcycle accident claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated, particularly if you have multiple injuries.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

I can't find my injury in the table, can I still claim?

The table is a list of the most common injuries associated with a motorcycle accident claim. You can see the full list of injury awards here: Judicial College Injury Tables.

Calculate my claim

How long do I have to make a motorcycle accident claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the motorcycle accident to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your motorcycle accident claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a motorcycle accident after 3 years?

For adults, the general rule is no, you cannot start a claim more than three years after a car crash or other road accident.

However, if you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a car accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Will I still be able to claim for a motorcycle accident after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

What if I was a pillion passenger?

If you sustained an injury whilst riding as a passenger (pillion) on the motorcycle, a compensation claim can still be made.

If the accident was the fault of the rider, a claim could be pursued through the rider's insurance company.  Passengers are sometimes reluctant to pursue a claim as they are likely to know the rider.  In these circumstances the claim would be pursued through the riders insurance company, not the rider themselves.

If the accident was the fault of a third party the claim would be pursued through that party's insurer.

Read more about making a motorcycle pillion passenger claim.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your motorcycle accident claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Solicitors who understand the issues

Choosing an experienced motorcycle accident claims solicitor can have a dramatic impact on both the success of the claim and on the compensation award.

Given the severity of many motorbike accidents, treatment and rehabilitation can be a lengthy process.

Motorcycle accidents are better understood by solicitors with specialist experience.

A number of our solicitors focus solely on bike accident compensation claims - some are experienced bikers themselves.

As such we are used to dealing with typical insurance company tactics, such as dealing with false accusations that the rider was speeding.

Solicitor on motorbike

No win, no fee

No win, no fee removes the risk from making a motorcycle accident claim. If you don't win your claim, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.

No win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a motorcycle accident claim - even if you don't win your claim.

What do I pay if I win my motorcycle accident claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my motorcycle accident claim?

If your motorcycle accident claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees .

Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

Please note, under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning road accident claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Motorcycle Accident FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

References

Reported road casualties in Great Britain, Annual Report 2017. Department of Transport, 2018.

THINK Road Safety Campaign. https://www.think.gov.uk, 2018.

Guidelines For The Assessment Of General Damages In Personal Injury Cases. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert