Motorcycle accident compensation claims

This guide sets out everything you should know about making a successful motorcycle accident compensation claim.

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If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries. You can also make a claim for treatment and rehabilitation, damage to your motorbike, lost earnings and other financial losses.

Motorcycle rider

Motorcycle accident statistics

19% of serious and fatal accidents on the UK's roads involve a motorcycle. In 2017, 349 motorcyclists sustained fatal injuries according to the Department of Transport. This figure represents a worrying 9% rise in a single year.

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

Statistically, motorcyclists are more exposed to the negligence or recklessness of other road users than car, van or HGV drivers.

The vast majority of motorcyclists ride with due care and attention. It is estimated that car drivers are at fault in around two thirds of motorbike collisions.

Many bikers choose a defensive riding style and 'go over and above' with protective gear. Despite this motorcycle injuries are all too common.

Should I make a motorcycle accident claim?

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

A motorcycle accident claim payout will ultimately cover losses incurred following your accident. With bills and a mortgage to pay, however, you may not be able to wait for the claims process to finish.

If you cannot work after a bike accident, you and your family may need access to urgent financial support.

Our panel of experienced serious injury solicitors can help you:

  • Access advanced medical treatment, physiotherapy and prosthetics
  • Receive interim payments and claim benefits to cover your daily expenses and mortgage
  • Plan for short- and long-term adjustments, including adaptations to your home

Speaking to a specialist motorcycle accident solicitor at an early stage should help to reduce your stress and financial burden after an accident, so you can focus on your recovery.

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Do I have a motorcycle accident claim?

An injured motorcyclist could be able to make a motorcycle accident claim if the accident occurred within the last 3 years and was the result of another road user's negligence or recklessness.

You will also need to be able to establish that your injury resulted from the accident and that the defendant (the party who caused the motorcycle accident) was legally responsible for the accident.

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Please note that if there was blame on both sides a motorbike injury claim may still be possible with a split liability agreement.

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Calculate my motorcycle accident compensation

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Motorcycle accidents can be life-altering. Compensation settlements or awards for motorcycle accident claims will factor in:

  • the severity of injuries sustained
  • medical treatment and care costs
  • anticipated future treatment and care
  • loss or reduction of mental or physical capacity
  • general pain and suffering
  • lost earnings during recovery and if unable to return to work
  • damage to the motorbike and protective equipment
  • other expenses including travel costs and potentially property damage

Awards are set out by the Judicial College guidelines for motorcycle accident payouts in the form of bracketed minimum and maximum amounts.

The guidelines are used by insurers when proposing a settlement, and are applied when Courts calculate awards.

The approximate values in the these tables are updated for 2018. The compensation figures represent a part of the total motorbike accident compensation you could claim, not including treatment costs, lost wages and other financial losses:

Neck, back and shoulder injuries

Back injuries


Back injury healing in up to two years

£1,950 to £6,290

Back injury healing in between two and five years

£6,290 to £9,970

Back injury with permanent symptoms

£59,120 to £70,490

Neck injuries


Neck injury healing in up to one year

£1,950 to £3,470

Neck injury healing in between one and two years

£3,470 to £6,290

Spinal cord damage

£72,620 to £128,320

Other neck injuries

£330 to £118,240

Shoulder injuries


Minor to severe shoulder injury

£6,290 to £38,280

Arm and hand injuries

Elbow injuries


Serious elbow injuries

£12,480 to £43,750

Finger injuries


Fracture of one finger

Up to £3,790

Fractured index finger with permanent symptoms

£7,270 to £9,760

Severe finger fractures

Up to £29,290

Hand injury


Minor hand injuries

£770 to £3,460

Serious hand injuries that heal completely

£4,640 to £10,580

Serious hand injuries with permanent loss of function

£23,110 to £49,350

Thumb injury


Thumb injuries healing within 6 months

Up to £3,150

More serious thumb injuries

£7,700 to £27,910

Other arm injuries


Forearm fractures

£5,280 to £15,300

More serious arm injuries with permanent symptoms

£15,300 to £104,370

Wrist injury


Wrist injury healing within 2 years

Up to £8,160

Wrist fractures and other injuries healing within 1 year

£2,810 to £3,790

Wrist injury causing permanent pain, stiffness and loss of function

£10,040 to £31,220

Leg and foot injuries

Ankle injury


Ankle injury healing completely

Up to £10,960

Ankle injury with permanent symptoms

£10,960 to £39,910

Foot injury


Less severe foot injury with no permanent symptoms

Up to £10,960

Foot fractures with permanent symptoms

£10,960 to £19,920

Serious injury to one or both feet

£19,920 to £87,410

Knee injury


Knee injuries with no ongoing symptoms

Up to £10,960

Knee injury with mild long-term symptoms

£11,820 to £20,880

Knee injury with serious long-term symptoms

£20,880 to £34,660

Leg and knee fractures

£41,550 to £55,590

Leg injuries


Fractured femur

£7,270 to £11,220

Fractured tibia or fibula

Up to £9,440

Leg fractures or muscle injury with permanent symptoms

£14,320 to £67,410

Severe crushing injury or complicated leg fractures

£21,100 to £29,800

In some cases an accident cause an existing injury to worsen. A motorcycle accident claim may also be possible under these conditions.

For a better estimate of what you claim could be worth, call us on 0800 612 7456 or try our Enhanced Compensation Calculator.

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How long does it take to get motorcycle accident compensation?

Motorcycle accidents are considered in the same way as general road accidents. This means that if the claim is estimated to be worth less than £25,000, they can be fast tracked (usually in less than 6 months) through a system known as the 'Claims Portal'.

If the case dies not meet the portal criteria, or is more complex, or contentious, it could take longer. Split or denied liability will probably protract the case.

The vast majority of motorcycle accident claims are settled by insurance companies and never go near a courtroom.

Sometimes it is better for the injured rider to reject an initial offer to settle, as this strategy can result in a larger award.

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Driver blind-spots, turning right and changing lanes

Drivers who fail to check their mirrors and blind spots when changing lanes or turning right risk colliding with motorcyclists and causing serious accidents.

The Highway Code states that before turning right or changing lanes, motorists should apply the 'mirror, signal, manoeuvre' method.

Drivers are required to:

  • Check their mirrors for other traffic
  • Signal their intention to change lanes or move right
  • Carry out the manoeuvre in a 'safe fashion'.

If a motorist fails to carry out these basic safety checks, the driver's negligence will endanger themselves and others.

A motorbike does not offer the rider any protection from these types of collision and the rider is only protected by their helmet and protective clothing.

If a motorist pulls out into the path of a motorbike and causes a collision that injures the rider, then it is very likely that the rider could make a motorcycle accident claim.

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Uninsured or untraceable drivers

If you have been injured in a motorbike accident with an untraced or uninsured driver, it is still possible to pursue a compensation claim via the 'Motor Insurers Bureau' or 'MIB'.

The MIB was set up to ensure that people injured in accidents with uninsured or untraceable drivers still have a route to fair and prompt compensation.

You do not need to engage the services of a accident solicitor to pursue a claim via the MIB - you can apply directly. However, many people pursue such claims through a solicitor as there are a number of benefits in doing so.  Call our MIB line on 0800 612 7456 for more information.

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How we help injured motorcyclists

Quittance's solicitors have helped hundreds of injured bikers to successfully make a motorcycle accident compensation claim for injuries resulting from:

  • Negligent drivers
  • Defective, potholed and poorly maintained road surface accidents
  • Road spillages
  • Uninsured driver and hit and run incidents
  • Defective motorbikes
  • Defective safety wear including faulty helmets

Several of our solicitors are bikers themselves

Mark is one of our expert bike accident panel solicitors

The circumstances of a motorcycle accident are better understood by solicitors with specialist experience in this area.  A number of our solicitors have chosen to focus their legal careers on motorcycle accident compensation claims.

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

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

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Making a no win, no fee motorcycle injury claim

A No Win, No Fee contract (more correctly called a 'CFA' or 'Conditional Fee Agreement') is put in place between a claimant and their personal injury solicitor.

A no win no fee agreement sets out the conditions under which the solicitor acts for the injured motorcyclist.

The contract details what the lawyer will do as well as how they will be rewarded if your motorcycle accident compensation claim is successful.

With a Quittance solicitor handling your motorcycle injury claim there are no additional costs in the terms and conditions, no up-front fees and the reassurance that you won't be out of pocket.


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

THINK Road Safety Campaign., 2018.

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

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Meet the team

The nationwide network of Quittance solicitors handle all types of motorcycle accident claims, from short-term injury cases to life-changing injuries. Our lawyers are selected for their level of specialist experience and their success rate in winning claims.

Click here to see more of the Quittance team.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Rakhi Chauhan Road Accident Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert

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