Motorcycle accidents can happen to anyone. You could be the safest driver on the road and still one day be thrown from your bike. That’s why it is essential that you know your rights on the road, especially if you are trying to figure out who’s at fault for the accident. Did you know that motorcycles make up only around 1% of the UK roads traffic? However, motorcyclists still experience over 14% of serious injuries, or even death, from a road collision. That’s why if you think you have a motorcycle accident claim, the first thing you need to consider is “who is at fault for the accident?”
Now, some people will tell you outright that it is normally a motorcyclist’s fault for being “cocky” and thinking that they can quickly get through a tight gap or dangerous situation without thinking of others on the road. Others will tell you that it is due to an automobile not staying aware of smaller and quicker vehicles that also have the right to be on the road. In reality, it is not that simple. Instead, the entire claim depends on situational evidence. Read on to learn how you can figure out whether or not you can make a claim.
What does it mean to be “at fault” for a traffic accident?
Normally, when a court is looking at a traffic accident claim, they are trying to figure out which of the parties is guilty of a “comparative negligence apportions fault.”
This fault applies to both of the parties who have been involved in the traffic accident and how much damage was caused overall to:
- The Drivers
- The Vehicles
- Any third parties (i.e. pedestrians, exterior destruction, third party vehicles)
All of these factors will be tallied up in order to see which of the parties was at fault in the accident. However, keep in mind that if you ride a motorcycle, the type of vehicle you have is not a reason in itself to be able to claim compensation. Yes, a driver must keep an eye on the road and be aware of vulnerable vehicles (including bikes, scooters and motorcycles), but if an accident occurs the motorcyclist could still be liable for damages.
To be blunt about it, be aware that being a motorcyclist does not automatically make you a valid traffic accident claimant. During your motorcycle training, you have learned how to safely operate a smaller vehicle on the road. That means that you are also aware of all the vulnerabilities it possesses. If you are in an accident, just because you are a smaller vehicle does not mean you will automatically win your case. Each incident is circumstantial.Make sure you understand this before you consider who was at fault for your accident.
Negligence Claims on the Road
If you have been in a traffic accident whilst riding a motorcycle, and believe you are entitled to compensation, you are going to be looking for a “personal injury claim” to prove that the other party’s negligence resulted in your injury or the destruction of your vehicle. If you want to have a valid claim, these are the four main components that you need to consider:
It can be difficult to think about motorcycle accidents that you have been a part of. After all, accidents on the road can happen so quickly it can be difficult to see who did what at a precise time. That is why you need to document out your thoughts as quickly as you can. The closer to the time of the accident, the better. This is because your memory will still be fresh, therefore you will be able to remember smaller details, including times, dates and information about the accident. The smallest traffic accident detail could be the difference between a successful compensation claim and a failure.
If you are struggling to remember details of your motorcycle accident (perhaps due to a head injury) you may want to enlist the help of witnesses to re-account what happened during the incident. You may also want to consider investing in a “dash-cam” so if this sort of thing ever happens to you then you can have video evidence ready to prove that you were not the driver at fault.
The Different Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Now, if you are a motorbike user, it is highly recommended that you look at DanDantheFireman’s Youtube Channel as it is full of useful information on how to keep safe on the road. You are a faster vehicle, meaning that if you are aware of your surroundings, there is a higher chance that you can hold your brakes and prevent an accident.
With that said, there is always a chance that you could get into an accident whilst you are on the road. That’s why you need to be as safety-conscious as possible whilst you are out driving. Over 78% of the time, a car-on-motorbike collision will mean that the motorcyclist will be hit from the front. This means that the impact will be head on. In most cases, this could mean that the accident could turn fatal for the cyclist, or at least leave them with a painful recovery period. Here are some additional common motorcycle accidents that could happen to a motorcyclist.
Additional Motorcycle Accidents
Whilst the aforementioned accidents may affect both cars and motorcycles, there is a likely chance that you might be hit by a different vehicle, including other motorcycles. Common incidents may include:
- Left turn accidents
- Swerving in front of a different vehicle
- Yield Failures
- Failing to look out for vulnerable vehicles (bikes, scooters)
- Blind spot failure
- Emergency Stops
- Space between your motorcycle and the vehicle
- Not wearing safety equipment (i.e. helmets, goggles)
How can I tell who is to blame for the accident?
If you are interested in pursuing a liability case for compensation, it’s important that you figure out exactly how the other party is liable for the accident. Every traffic accident case is circumstantial. Keep in mind that it may not even be the person in the other vehicle that is at fault. Blame for incident could go on a different party altogether, including:
Think carefully about the different factors of what happened in your accident. You may want to immediately blame the other person who hit you, but there could be other factors involved. For example, you may think you are at fault because you swerved into another cyclist. But would you have swerved if that pot hole had not been there in the first place?
This is why it is so important to document your thoughts immediately after the motorcycle accident happens. That way when you are making a compensation case, you will know what factors built up and who is at fault. However, keep in mind that the end result may be that you were the one at fault. Think carefully and seek the help of a road accident expert to make sure you can claim compensation.
Was it really the other vehicle?
It really is important to stress that some motorcycle accidents are not due to the fault of another person. Instead, they could be due to the environment on the road. If you are driving on a road alone and fall off your bike, do you really think you are going to pin your fall on another person? No, instead take a look around you at the safety of the road. Consider what sort of condition the road is in.
- Was it covered in potholes?
- Did it have cracks, bumps and lumpy tarmac? Aka. Poor maintenance
- Was the surface wet without a safety indication?
- Have unfinished road works without any safety signs?
- Were there any oil spills on the road?
- Was there a missing guard rail?
All of these environmental effects can have an effect on your driving ability. If they caused you to fall off your bike then this can mean that you are not liable for your own accident. Instead, you can send in a complaint to the UK government’s traffic department for compensation. You can also discuss this with your traffic accident Gowing Law solicitor so that you can have an experienced lawyer on your side before you make your complaint.
Was it the manufacturer of your motorbike?
Another source of liability that you could look at is your motorcycle’s manufacturer. You may have owned a sturdy motorbike for a number of years, however if you have recently brought it in for repairs, then there is a chance that the repairs made on your bike could have caused your accident. Of course, this also applies to if you have just recently bought the bike, but make sure to take your vehicle out for a small test drive before you get back on the road. This way you can ensure that all of your brakes, lighting and engine functions are working to the best of their ability. You don’t want to get onto the road and find that your brakes have cut out. This is a complete recipe for disaster!
If you do suspect that the cause of your accident was due to a manufacturing or repair fault, you can consider suing their business for compensation. However, you will need evidence to prove that it was definitely the main cause of your accident. If your bike has not been destroyed in the accident, you can use it as evidence. You may also want to consider investing in a dash cam to ensure that you can prove that you did everything you could to prevent your vehicle going out of control. However, you were unable to because of the manufacturing or repair issue. This can prove that the firm was negligent in its care and this resulted in your accident.
Motorcycle Accidents can change your life!
Motorcycle accidents can have a serious impact on your life. Not only can it leave some physical trauma behind (including brain damage and lasting disabilities) but it may impact you financially (especially if you have been unfairly dismissed due to being unable to work) and mentally (through trauma, anxiety and panic attacks). You may have to suffer through months of recovery before you even feel ready to go near your bike again. That’s why it’s important to get the right help.
The same logic can be applied to your legal counselling. If you think that you could be owed compensation, then having an experienced traffic accident solicitor on your side can only strengthen your case.
Gowing Law’s motorcycle accident compensation solicitors can help you win your claim. With our experienced team’s successful track record of won cases, you know that you will be in good hands when you work with Gowing Law’s traffic accident solicitors. We will be attentive to your case and ensure that we make sure to run everything past you to keep you on board throughout the claims process. Our talented law team can help you get the pay-out that you deserve.
Find out more about Motorcycle Accident Claims with Gowing Law!
Gowing Law have a team of experienced traffic accident claims solicitors that can help you get the compensation that you deserve. They can support you throughout your claim and provide you with expert advice. We can also offer you a free consultation and work with you on a no win-no fee basis. That means no matter the court outcome, you will always come on top.
Motorbike accidents claim can get complicated. This is why you need a trained solicitor on your side to help you make things simple. We can help you plot out a timeline for your claim and estimate how much you are entitled to. An injury from a motorcycle accident can be life changing and you deserve as much support as you can get. That’s why you should visit our motorcycle accident claims page and get in contact.
Please call 08000418350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our claims page and fill our traffic accident form. This way one of our solicitors can contact you directly to discuss your case.
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