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Motorcycle accident claims

Motorcyclists remain one of the most vulnerable road users in the UK and, although it may not be something that anyone wishes to think about, the effects of a motorcycle accident can be a genuine concern for any motorcyclist and their loved ones.

The motorcycle accident compensation claims solicitors at Hugh James are highly skilled and experienced in dealing with motorcycle claims of the utmost severity and complexity.

For many years our expert solicitors have assisted motorcyclists following many different motorcycle accident scenarios some of which include:

  • Injured by dangerous driving
  • Defective road such as pothole or spillages
  • Pillion passenger
  • Speeding, filtering or loss of control
  • Opening car doors
  • Hit and run collisions

Hugh James understand that motorcyclists have much less protection than car occupants so, in most circumstances following a collision, the motorcyclist is more seriously injured. Our team specialise in claims that involve head injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations and other life-changing injuries which affect the injured person and their family.​​​​​​

What to do after a motorcycle accident

No one ever wants to be involved in a motorcycle accident but sometimes they can happen in the blink of an eye and just can’t be avoided. It is vital that you know what to do immediately after the incident has occurred as this can have a significant influence on  how such an event will impact you.

Our guide explains what you should do after the incident to make sure that you are safe and to ensure you get the help that you need.

How do I get financial support?

Whilst your claim is ongoing, we can request interim payments which can be used to fund the support and therapies that can assist your recovery and help get life back on track. This might include counselling, specialist physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

Why choose Hugh James?

We offer help and support at a time when it is most needed by identifying your needs at the outset to guide you through the claims process. We ensure you have access to rehabilitation, financial support and always seek to recover the highest levels of compensation possible.

Our specialists have vast experience in handling these matters in a very sensitive nature and are committed to advocate on your behalf, every single step of the way.

We can make that difference.

Do I have to use the Insurers’ solicitors?

Often you may be referred to other solicitors by your insurer based on the financial arrangements between them, rather than because that firm is a specialist in dealing with life changing injuries.  You do not have to instruct them as you are free to choose your own specialist solicitors even if that firm has started to act on your behalf.  We are often contacted by clients who become aware of us and our reputation and ask us to take over conduct of their claim.

Did you know?

Motorcyclists face a significantly higher risk of fatality in road traffic accidents (RTAs) compared to car occupants – 41 times more likely, in fact.

This is an unfortunate reality of road safety in Great Britain. The most recent government data for 2021 reveals that there were 123 reported fatalities per billion miles for motorcyclists, as opposed to just 3 for car occupants. Tragically, throughout the year, 310 motorcyclists lost their lives, accounting for 20% of all road user deaths.

Out of a total of 15,838 casualties among motorcyclists, 5,264 resulted in serious injuries, which could include brain injuries, spinal and orthopaedic injuries . These alarming statistics underscore the severe impact a motorcycle accident can have on vulnerable road users like motorcyclists and cyclists. The lack of protection, reduced visibility, and high speeds contribute to a heightened risk of serious injury or death for motorcyclists.

Motorcycle accident claims are crucial in securing the financial support necessary for your recovery after a collision. Contact us today to speak with our experienced solicitors.

Key contact

Mark Robinson


Mark Robinson is a Partner in the Serious Injury Department in Manchester and specialises in motorcycle accident claims of the utmost severity and complexity. He understands that motorcyclists remain one of the most vulnerable road users and the effects of an accident are a genuine concern for the motorcyclist and their loved ones. Mark has assisted clients with life changing injuries including brain and spinal injuries, severe orthopaedic injuries and amputations.

Stewart’s story

Stewart was riding his motorcycle at speed when a car emerged from a side road, directly into his path which caused a collision and Stewart to be thrown from his motorcycle resulting in a traumatic brain injury.

After initially seeking legal advice from another law firm, through his insurers, Stewart was advised to accept an offer of £50,000 stating that this would be the best possible outcome that he could hope to achieve. However, when Hugh James took over the case, we were successful in reaching a compensation award of £200,000 for Stewart which was net of an agreed liability apportionment of 80/20% basis.

Read more about Stewart’s story here.

Mark Robinson who acted for Stewart, said:

This is yet another timely reminder that in cases involving motorcyclists, it is especially important that a firm who specialises in such claims and in dealing with life changing injuries should be instructed. Fortunately, our client recognised this in time, and we were able to achieve a settlement that was commensurate with the significant injuries that he sustained.

View more stories

Your questions answered

A motorcycle accident claim is a form of legal compensation sought after a motorcyclist is involved in a motorcycle accident. Such claims can be made when another party, such as another driver or the local council, bears some responsibility for the incident.

If you are a motorcyclist who has experienced a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, you have the option to make a claim. By doing so, you can seek financial compensation to assist in your recovery from severe injuries. In unfortunate circumstances where the injured person is unable to make the claim themselves or has passed away, you can initiate the claim on their behalf.

The process begins by engaging the services of a solicitor firm to act as your representative. The firm will collect evidence to establish the facts surrounding the case and determine liability. They will assess the extent of your injuries and how they have affected your daily life. Working in collaboration with the party at fault, the solicitors will strive to reach an agreement regarding liability and settlement. If an agreement cannot be reached, they will advocate for you in court, where a judge will make the final decision.

When you choose to make a motorbike accident claim with us, we will keep you informed about each stage of the process and what we require from you.

To start a compensation claim, simply contact us at 0800 027 2557 for free initial advice. We will have a discussion about your motorcycle accident and assess whether you have grounds for a claim. If we determine that you have a case, your claim will typically progress through the following four stages:

Stage One: information gathering. We will commence by investigating the details of your motorcycle accident and the extent of your injuries. This involves an examination by a medical expert to assess the full impact of your injuries and determine any necessary medical care. We will also closely examine the circumstances surrounding your crash. While motorcyclists are often unjustly blamed for accidents, many are actually caused by drivers of other vehicles failing to give proper consideration to motorbikes. This may include:

  • Not allowing sufficient space for motorcycles to manoeuver.
  • Failing to notice motorcycles in their blind spots.
  • Pulling out or turning into the path of a motorcyclist, regardless of whether they spotted the rider or not.
  • Poor road maintenance, faulty equipment, or diesel spills could also be contributing factors. In such cases, our specialist road traffic investigation team may conduct an investigation, involving site inspections, accessing police reports, interviewing witnesses, evaluating motorcycle damage, or reconstructing the motorcycle accident.

Stage Two: rehabilitation. If your motorcycle accident has resulted in the need for medical care and support, we will identify the required assistance, both present and future. We believe that rehabilitation support is a vital aspect of our service, alongside securing the compensation you deserve. Due to the increased vulnerability of motorcyclists compared to drivers of other vehicles, the injuries and rehabilitation needs after a motorcycle accident can be significantly different.

Our solicitors will work closely with you following a serious injury to understand your support requirements and facilitate access to the necessary resources from the outset of the claims process. Common rehabilitation support following a motorbike accident, depending on the severity of the injury, may include:

  • Physiotherapy for fractures or specialised neuro-physiotherapy.
  • Counselling or psychological therapy to address post-traumatic stress.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Pain management treatment.
  • Vocational support for returning to work.

In some cases, if the injury is severe and the claims process is lengthy, it may be possible to secure interim payments to assist with rehabilitation expenses.

Stage Three: compensation. We will determine the appropriate amount of compensation necessary for your injuries, losses, and any medical care or support required, both present and future. The compensation amount will be agreed upon as a settlement with the at fault party or determined through court proceedings. The majority of cases are resolved through settlement negotiations, making court proceedings rare. However, if your case does proceed to court, our team will provide full support throughout the process.

Stage Four: conclusion. At this stage, your claim is concluded, and if successful, you will be awarded compensation. If we agreed to handle your claim under a no win, no fee* arrangement, you will not be required to pay anything if the case is unsuccessful, while most of our fees will be covered by the opponent if you win.

Each claim is unique, and it is not possible to estimate the amount of compensation you may receive without considering the specifics of your case. The settlement is determined by various factors, including the nature of your physical and psychological injuries, the financial impact, and the loss of amenities. Compensation may also cover expenses such as medical treatment, caregiving costs, and damage to personal belongings.

In general, it is necessary to make a claim within the past three years, starting from the date of the accident or death. However, there may be exceptions depending on the circumstances. It is advisable to seek advice from a solicitor who can provide tailored guidance based on your situation.

Do not let the absence of insurance or a hit-and-run incident deter you from pursuing a motorbike or bike accident claim. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) was specifically established to address such situations. The MIB provides compensation to victims involved in accidents caused by uninsured or untraceable drivers. If you wish to make a claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, please get in touch with our solicitors for assistance.

The duration of a motorcycle accident claim can vary depending on the circumstances. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for a claim to be successfully resolved, from the time it is initiated to when a settlement is reached. The length of time is influenced by factors such as the nature and severity of the injuries sustained, as well as the time required to gather evidence. If the other party involved is unidentified or denies liability, the duration of the claim may be extended.

Many police forces classify injuries from road traffic accidents into five categories. The categories, listed in order of severity, are as follows:

  • Fatalities – injuries resulting in death.
  • Very serious – includes severe trauma such as a broken neck or spine, head and brain injuries, chest or crush injuries causing unconsciousness or breathing difficulties. It also encompasses all internal injuries and multiple severe injuries resulting in loss of consciousness.
  • Moderately serious – includes injuries like partial loss of a limb, fractures to the thigh or pelvis, chest injuries, and deep penetrating wounds.
  • Less serious – includes injuries such as minor head wounds, deep cuts, fractures in the collarbone and extremities of the arms or legs.
  • Slight – includes injuries like shock, bruising, soft tissue strains and sprains, as well as minor cuts or grazing.

Motorcyclists and their pillion passengers face a unique set of risks when it comes to safety and injuries. One type of injury that occurs is known as a “lowside” injury. This happens when the rear tyre loses grip and slips outward, usually while cornering or trying to avoid something. As a result, the motorcycle topples over, causing the rider to fall onto the road, either on their back or front, often at a high speed. This type of accident can lead to severe injuries such as “road rash,” which involves deep skin abrasions, soft tissue injuries, bruising, and bone fractures. Road rash is more than just a superficial graze since roads can be contaminated with dirt and bacteria that can penetrate deeply into the skin, leading to difficult-to-treat infections. In the worst cases, a lowside crash can even propel the rider into oncoming traffic in the opposite lane.

Another type of motorcycle accident is called a “highside” accident. This occurs when the rider is thrown forward over the handlebars or flipped off the side of the bike. Highside accidents happen when the rear tyre suddenly regains grip after losing traction in a skid, causing the bike to jerk upright with significant force. These types of accidents can result in serious head and arm injuries for the rider or pillion passenger.

Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries or worse, making them traumatic experiences for the victims, with over a third of such motorcycle accidents falling into this category.

If you are unsure about the severity of your injuries following a motorcycle accident, consider the following questions:

  • Have you undergone repeated, lengthy, or ongoing medical treatment?
  • Will you require long-term or lifelong medical treatment?
  • Have you taken extended periods off work, are unable to return to work, or cannot work in the same capacity?
  • Do you need assistance and support with everyday tasks that you previously took for granted?

While we understand that compensation cannot always fix everything, we do acknowledge that it can provide the financial support you need following a motorcycle accident.

You have the right to make a claim for any type of motorcycle accident injury that was caused by someone else’s fault. There are several common causes of motorcycle accidents, including:

  1. Unexpected road defects that compromise the stability of your bike. Examples include broken tarmac, loose gravel accumulation, fluid spills, faulty ironwork, and potholes. Such hazards pose a significant risk, especially when encountered on a bend where both the bike and the rider are leaning into the turn. If you can prove that the local council were negligent, you may be eligible to make a claim.
  2. Recklessness or negligence by other road users that led to your crash. Collisions at junctions account for over 60% of motorcycle accidents. Often, a driver fails to notice an approaching bike and turns right into the rider’s path. Additionally, losing control while taking evasive action to avoid a pedestrian or another hazard on the road can also result in a motorcycle accident.
  3. Hit-and-run motorcycle accidents where the other driver fails to stop. This includes incidents where the other vehicle or driver is untraceable or uninsured. In such cases, you can make a claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).
  4. Motorcycle accidents caused by broken or faulty street lighting and defective signage.

Next steps

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