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Motorcycle accident compensation claims - Introduction

Travelling by motorcycle can have its advantages but the chances of sustaining severe injuries in a motorbike accident are far greater than those of a car crash.

Both driver and pillion passenger on a motorcycle may be at risk of serious injury if involved in an accident. Injuries can range from bruises to broken bones and even serious head trauma.

Any motorcycle driver has a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of his passenger, but the passenger also needs to ensure he minimises any risks.

Minimising the risk of injury

There are certain laws in place to help motorcycle safety. The motorcycle must have an adequate pillion seat and the passenger must be able to reach the footrests and only travel facing forwards.

The driver and passenger should also agree on a means of communication to help ensure a safe and comfortable journey.

Motorcyclists who have not passed their driving test may not carry a pillion passenger and anyone riding pillion must be provided with a BSA approved helmet.

What are the 'added' risks of riding pillion?

As well as the negligence of other motorists, motorcycle rider error can create risks for the pillion passenger. The driver may fail to take into account that having a pillion passenger changes the way a bike handles, how it balances and its suspension performance.

Common risks for pillion passengers include:

  • Being thrown off the back of a motorcycle
  • Falling when turning a corner
  • Leg injuries
  • Head injuries

Sometimes collisions may occur due to the pillion passenger doing something to cause the driver to lose control, but generally the passenger is unlikely to be at fault for the accident.

Does a pillion passenger always receive 100% compensation?

Although an accident may have occurred through no fault of the pillion passenger, there may be circumstances where the compensation may be reduced due to contributory negligence.

For instance a pillion passenger may contribute to his own injuries by riding on a motorcycle without the provided helmet. If it is regarded that the head injuries sustained would have been less serious had the Claimant been wearing a helmet, then compensation may be reduced.

Another example is where a passenger mounted a motorcycle knowing that the driver had been drinking alcohol or taking drugs. If the accident occurred due to the driver being intoxicated and the Claimant had willingly got onto the motorcycle, then he may be considered as being contributory negligent for the injuries sustained.

Do I have a motorbike pillion passenger injury claim?

If you were injured in a motorbike accident in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can probably help you make a compensation claim.

See our Online Claim Eligibility Calculator for a better idea of where you stand.

Calculate my motorcycle pillion passenger injury compensation

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our motorcycle accident compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

Leg injury case study

£48,000 for leg injuries after bike accident View case study