Pillion passenger injury compensation claims

This guide covers what you need to know about making a pillion passenger injury compensation claim.

How much can I claim?

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.

Motorbike pillion rider

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.

How much can I claim?

Meet our team

The national network of Quittance solicitors take on all types of road accident claims, from less-severe claims to life-changing injuries. Chosen on the basis of their track record in winning cases, Quittance's panel solicitors have years of experience.

Meet more of the QLS team: click here.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Rakhi Chauhan Road Accident Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor

No win, no fee pillion passenger injury claims

Legal Aid is no longer available for injury claims.

Personal injury solicitors now work on a No Win, No Fee basis.

No Win, No Fee means that if your claim is not successful, you will not need to pay any legal fees.

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

Read more about how a No Win, No Fee agreement works

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

Ask an expert

If you have any questions about the claims process or any aspect of injury compensation, let us know: