Can I claim compensation for a motorcycle accident?
The law governing a motorcycle accident is very straight forward – All road users have a legal duty to take care for the safety of other road users.
Yes, what an amazing concept… bikers have rights too!
So if you are injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries and any financial losses.
The classic motorcycle accident circumstances that we see time and time again involve – vehicles pulling out of junctions – oncoming vehicles turning right across the biker’s path – cars pulling out of standing traffic when the biker is “filtering” – vehicles changing lanes at roundabouts – and so on.
How do I claim?
We will be able to tell you very quickly, and free of charge, whether or not your for a motorcycle accident claim is worth pursuing.
The government is determined to drive down the cost of compensation claims, and with that in mind all cases with a value of £25,000 or less now have to be submitted to insurers through an online portal.
By and large, this system has worked well in terms of speeding up the process.
Only difficult or substantial cases are dealt with outside the portal, and we will quickly be able to assess whether yours is one of those.
Even if your case is dealt with outside the portal, all parties (us and the insurers for the other driver) have to abide by the rules of a pre-action protocol, which encourages the parties to settle the claim without ever getting involved in court proceedings.
The vast majority of our motorcycle accident claims are now settled without court proceedings.
What steps should I take right now?
Do try to get hold of the names and addresses of any witnesses, and the name and collar number of any police officers who came to the scene.
Do take pictures of the damage to your bike, helmet, clothing and any bruising or other injuries.
Do start gathering whatever documents you can to help prove your losses – purchase receipts and/or repair estimates for your bike – receipts for damaged clothes – wage slips and so on.
Don’t discuss the case with the insurers for the other driver! It’s now very common for insurers to make contact with accident victims in an effort to “buy off” claims for far less than their true value.
Do get in touch with Mulderrigs for some free initial advice.
How much compensation could I get?
As you might expect, the amount of compensation for injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident depends on the extent of the injury and the level of financial losses.
The classic injuries in these cases involve neck, back and leg injuries.
But of course, there can be lots of other injuries arising from a motorcycle accident – ranging from relatively minor to catastrophic.
Whatever your injuries are, we will gather all the necessary expert medical evidence, and documentary evidence of any financial losses.
We will then discuss the value of your case with you before any settlement negotiations take place with insurers.
Our most recent motorcycle accident settlements have ranged between £1,500 and over £3.5M.
How much will it cost?
If you ask us to deal with your motorcycle accident claim we will discuss the fee arrangements clearly and carefully before asking you to sign our terms and conditions.
Although other fee arrangements are available, “no win no fee” is usually the best option for our clients.
There are no “upfront” fees, no hidden charges, and we will never leave you out of pocket.
Most importantly, if you lose the case you pay nothing at all.
We have never had a complaint from a client in relation to fees.
How long will it take?
Many motorcycle accident claims are now settled in less than 12 months from the date of the first call.
This is because the government have streamlined the process by introducing a compulsory online system for dealing with claims worth less than £25,000.
In substantial claims (worth £25,000 or more) the case can go on for longer, because we may need to wait for medical evidence, and it may be necessary to bring court proceedings.
But, even then it would be unusual for your case to go on much beyond 18 months.
Also bear in mind that we won’t get our fees until the case is finished – So we will get on with things as quickly as we can!
What if it's a "hit & run" or there's no insurance?
There are a few situations where you may think you can’t make a claim:-
If you are the victim of a “hit & run” accident, where the responsible driver has left the scene and can’t be found.
If you are the victim of an accident caused by an oil or petrol spillage by a vehicle that has long since left the scene.
If you do know the identity of the responsible driver, but also know that they are uninsured.
In either of those cases we may still be able to help you claim compensation via the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which was established to meet compensation claims for the victims of uninsured drivers.
It’s fair to say that claims to the MIB can be difficult, and occassionally drag on for longer than you would like.
But, nonetheless it may enable you to claim compensation in what would otherwise have been a hopeless situation.
If you have been the victim of an uninsured driver or a “hit & run” accident, please just get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you some free initial advice.
"Filtering" accidents and other awkward cases
Even if you think that you were partly to blame you may still be able to claim compensation.
A claim for compensation isn’t like a criminal case, where there are really only two possible outcomes – “guilty” or “not guilty”.
In a compensation claim, responsibility for the accident can be split between the parties in whatever proportion the court considers reasonable.
Of course we try to win our clients’ cases on a 100% basis
But if there are genuine arguments about what has happened and who was at fault for your accident our job is to make sure that responsibility is apportioned as heavily in your favour as possible.
There are always arguments about liability in cases where a motorcycle accident is caused because the biker is “filtering” past slow moving or stationary traffic.
The outcome of these arguments depends on the evidence in each case – how fast were you going – what was visibility like – did the driver indicate before pulling out – had a driver been “flashed” to allow them through a gap in the traffic – were you on your own side of the road or the “wrong” side of the centre line – were you riding on hatched road markings – and so on, and so on.
We have seen these situations hundreds of times, so we’ll give you plain-speaking advice about the risks.
But we’re not one of those law firms who will lean on you to settle the argument just because the insurer for the car driver thinks they aren’t to blame!
Why choose Mulderrigs?
We understand that the impact of a motorcycle accident can be very dramatic.
Our team has been dealing with motorcycle accident claims for over twenty-five years. In that time we have recovered many millions of pounds in compensation for our clients, including several multi-million pound settlements in some very serious cases.
We promise to speak to you in plain English and we will come to see you at a time and place that’s convenient for you.
We have held the Law Society’s LEXCEL quality mark since 2002, only around 5% of law firms have achieved that recognition.
In our most recent survey 97% of our clients described our service as good or excellent.
NABD - National Association of Bikers with Disabilities
Mulderrigs are very proud to be gold affiliate sponsors of The National Association for Bikers with a Disability (N.A.B.D) for the best part of twenty years.
NABD help members with expert advice about the whole range of challenges faced by injured and disabled riders.
Chairman Rick Hulse and all of the people at NABD do magnificent work to get injured and disabled bikers back on the road. We at Mulderrigs are very proud to be associated with this wonderful organisation.