MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT COMPENSATION CLAIMS
Motorcyclist Accident Compensation
Riding a motorcycle should be a safe and enjoyable form of transport. In the majority of cases when motorcyclists are hurt, it is through the carelessness of a car driver. Even if you always ride with a full headlight, we know how often car drivers do not pay enough attention. Car drivers often feel that accidents with motorcyclists are not their fault, even though they are. A perfect example of this would be when a motorcyclist is filtering through slow moving traffic. The car driver changes lane without checking your approach and you end up being knocked off your bike. This is a common scenario but don’t worry, we will fight your corner.
What do I do about the damage to my bike?
The answer to this question depends on the type of insurance that you have;
Fully Comprehensive Insurance
If you have the benefit of fully comprehensive insurance, you may wish to let your own insurers deal with the damage to your bike, whether it is repairable or written-off. You will either have to pay an excess if the bike is repaired or if it is written-off (the excess is deducted from the write-off value). You can then claim back the excess from the third party insurer and assuming that liability is accepted, your no-claims bonus will not be affected.
Even if you are comprehensively insured, you don’t have to claim against your own policy if the accident was not your fault. As long as liability has been accepted, you can choose your own repairer. We will arrange for an Engineer to carry out an inspection and agree costings with the repairer. Once repairs have been completed, we will send a copy of the repair invoice to the insurers who will then pay the repairer.
Third Party Insurance
If you have third party insurance, you don’t unfortunately have the option of claiming for repairs against your own policy. That only applies if your insurance is fully comprehensive. However, if liability is accepted by the third party insurer, we can still make arrangements to have your bike repaired. You can choose your own repairer. We will instruct an Engineer to inspect your bike and agree costings with the repairer. We will then authorise the repairer to go ahead with the repairs and, once they have been completed, we will send the repairer invoice to the third party insurers and ask them to make payment.
Can I have a hire bike while my bike is off the road?
If liability is accepted, then whilst your own bike is off the road (whether you are waiting for it to be repaired or for the write-off cheque to come through) we can, in most cases, arrange for a replacement hire bike.
If you have been injured in the accident and you are not well enough to ride a bike, but you are still able to drive a car, we can arrange a hire car instead if one is required.
What happens if I cannot work because I am injured?
We understand how difficult it will be if you are losing income as a result of being injured but you still have bills to pay. If liability is not disputed, we will ask the fault insurers to make an interim payment to cover your lost earnings while you are off work. We will need copies of your wage slips or written confirmation from your employers how much you would normally earn. If you are self-employed, the fault insurers are likely to ask for copies of your accounts or tax returns before they will agree to release payment. We can discuss this with you in more detail if necessary.
What happens if I need medical treatment, but cannot afford to pay for it?
If we are satisfied that the accident was not your fault, we can arrange for you to have physiotherapy carried out and we will recover the physiotherapy costs from the fault insurer. A Physiotherapist will carry out an initial assessment and should be able to tell you how many sessions of treatment you are likely to need.
How will my injuries be assessed?
We will arrange for you to be seen by a doctor who will ask you questions about the injuries that you suffered as a result of the accident. The doctor will also ask whether you have had to take time off work and how your home life has been affected. Before you meet the doctor, it would be a good idea to think about the ways in which your life has been affected by the injuries. For example, have friends or family members had to help you with day to day tasks such as housework that you would normally have done yourself.
Once they have met with you, the doctor will then prepare a report and will predict, as accurately as possible, how long they think it is likely to be until your injuries have healed completely. If you have suffered from a soft tissue injury to your neck or back (more commonly known as a “whiplash” injury), the doctor will say how many months they think it will be before you make a complete recovery from your injuries. The Doctor may also recommend treatment, such as physiotherapy.
How much compensation will I receive for my injuries?
Once we have the medical report through from the doctor that examined you, as long as you are happy with the report, we will let the fault insurers have a copy and ask them to make an offer for compensation. We will be able to advise you in advance how much compensation we think you should receive. The amount of compensation varies depending on how serious your injuries are and how long they are likely to last for. We know from experience what you are likely to receive. To assess an amount for compensation, we look at previous cases that have been decided by the Court and also at the Judicial College Guidelines which sets out how much compensation clients should receive. If the amount of compensation that is offered is too low, we will advise you whether we think Court proceedings should be issued.