Motorcycle accident compensation claims

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

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Motorcycle accident statistics

Motorcycle rider

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 -  a 7% fall overall.

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

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Do I have a motorcycle accident claim?

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A claim should be possible if you were injured:

  • in the last three years and
  • another party was to blame (even partly) and
  • that party owed you a duty of care (all road users have a duty of care to other road users)

If there was blame on both sides a motorbike injury claim may still be possible with a split liability agreement.

However, some personal injury solicitors might not take on your claim, even if you do qualify.

Read more: I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?

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How much compensation cam I claim for a motorcycle accident?

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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 following table is excerpted from the 2018 guidelines: 

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

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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
 

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No win, no fee motorcycle injury claims - the facts

Legal Aid is no longer an option for personal injury claims.

Unless you are self-funding, claims solicitors now work on a No Win, No Fee basis.

No Win No Fee is an agreement (technically known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') which is entered into between the injured person and the personal injury solicitor.

No Win No Fee means that if your motorcycle injury claim is not successful then you would pay no legal fees at all.

If you do win your case, a success fee will be deducted from the compensation award and paid to the solicitor.

Read more about how No Win, No Fee works

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How to start a motorcycle injury claim

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.

Starting a claim is a straightforward process.  A short, no obligation phone conversation with one of our expert road accident solicitors will let you know where you stand and answer any questions you may have.

If you decide that you would like to pursue a claim, the solicitor will send you an information pack.  The pack will contain everything you need to know including details of how no win no fee works.

To speak to us about your claim, without obligation, call 0800 612 7456.

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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 policitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex motorcycle Injury panel solicitor
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FAQ's

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.

Read more:

How long will my personal injury compensation claim take?

What can I do to speed up my personal injury claim?

Can I get an interim payment?

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

Read more: Can I get interim compensation payments?

What if the other driver is uninsured or untraceable?

If you have been injured in a motorbike accident with an untraceable 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.

Read more about getting compensation through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB)

Can I claim if injured in a driver blind-spot, or when the driver was turning right or 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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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.

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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