Due to the nature of motorcycle accident compensation claims, they tend to involve serious injuries and disputed liability (fault) situations. It is vital that a victim is represented by a highly skilled legal expert with an extensive experience of working with motorcycle claims.
Motorcyclists are more exposed to injury than motorists, even with all the correct safety clothing, they still remain less protected. Most injuries are caused by collisions on rural roads with motorists. Whilst motorbikes are only 1% off all traffic on the road they represent 20% of all serious injuries and fatalities.
Unfortunately due to the vulnerablity of the motorcycle rider, brain injuries can occur. Injuries as a result of a violent impact to the head can cause the brain to shift inside the skull causing damage to brain tissue. In severe cases this can lead to permanent mental disability requiring long term care.
Spinal cord injuries also can have devastating long term effects. Assistance may be required, such as the adaption of transport or modification of accomodation. Support will be needed in returning to work where possible. Amputations with the loss of a limb can be traumatic experiences. This often will need long term rehabilitation involving physiotherapy and exercise.
In the case of a fatality, surviving spouses and cohabitees can sometimes make a claim for financial dependency, particularly where there are children involved.
It is important that the police are informed as soon as the accident occurs. Photographs of the scene need to be taken and details of all those involved recorded. An investigation starts immediately with police reports and witness statements.
In a hit and run case, compensation with an untraced or uninsured driver can be sought from the MIB (Motor Insurers Bureau).
Initially a claim is made to the potential defendant in writing, which needs acknowledgment within 21 days. If a decision is made as to liability within the first 3 months, then an independent medical report is obtained from an expert. In serious cases this may take 6 to 12 months after the accident. Repeat examinations may be required for a medical expert to produce their prognosis. This will determine how much time will be needed for rehabilitation and what degree of recovery is to be expected.
The value of the claim will be dependent on the severity of the injuries sustained and the extent of pain and suffering. Medical reports alongside the Judicial Studies Board guidelines will determine this. Financially the aim is to provide compensation to ensure that you are in the same position as before the accident. Any loss of earnings during recovery will be taken into account. This will also include all other associated costs such as nursing, accomodation and care.
Consideration is given to the loss of mental or physical capacity and financial costs including time anticipated for future treatment. Sometimes interim payments are made, particulalry where an individual's condition is deteriorating or if the case is taking a long time to settle.