A guide to motorcycle accident claims
In theory, motorcyclists should be the safest road users. They face more tests, can only ride certain bikes depending on their age or experience, and arguable have more general road awareness, given that most bikers also drive cars.
Despite this, the simple fact is, that motorcyclists get hurt – and when they get hurt, they usually come off worse. This is reflected in the latest figures from Transport Scotland which recorded 519 incidents in which bikers were injured in 2019 - and sadly, 25 of these motorcyclists died.
Anyone who rides a motorcycle knows that choosing two wheels instead of four comes with a degree of risk but this does not mean they should expect to be injured – and it certainly doesn’t mean they should forfeit any legal rights in the event that something goes wrong.
At Digby Brown, we know that there can be a misconception that the motorcyclist acting recklessly contributed to the circumstances of the crash. We also know that there are a number of additional factors which must be considered when looking at an accident which involves a motorbike.
Our Motorcycle Law Team has years of experience in helping injured motorcyclists. We have a dedicated department with specialist motorcycle accident solicitors based across our seven offices.
We believe this collective expertise and knowledge, built up over many years, makes a massive difference when understanding the circumstances of a motorcycle accident and properly valuing the claim.
Our reputation goes a long way when dealing with insurers and ensuring the right compensation is awarded.
Understanding the motorcycle accident claim process
A motorcycle crash adheres to exactly the same process as any other vehicle on the road - the difference being the other vehicles offer significant protection to their drivers whereas the biker is a lot more vulnerable to serious injuries.
As per any accident you should be informing your insurer, the police, and seeking medical help for any injury you may have sustained.
Your insurer will likely try and persuade you to use their own legal provider for any personal injury matters. However we believe this isn’t in your best interests and we explain why in more detail on our Road Traffic Accidents page.
In short, the only way you can properly work out how much compensation you are entitled to is by using an independent legal firm. This way, your motorcycle injury claim can be fully investigated and assessed to calculate your losses.
Digby Brown has the expertise, resources and reputation to investigate and address complex issues of any motorcycle accident injury claim including:
- Your pain and suffering
- Access to immediate physiotherapy
- Private medical expertise to assess short and long-term issues from your injury
- Damages to your motorcycle and the cost of repairing or replacing it
- Damages to other equipment, helmet, gloves, personal possessions
- Ongoing and future care needs
- Loss of earnings
- Other expenses arising as a result of your motorcycle accident (such as motorcycle hire)
We have seen too many bikers go to insurers for help only to have their motorcycle accident personal injury claim under-settled with no real investigation carried out. Sometimes your insurance company will say you don’t have any choice but to use their legal provider - but this is simply not true.
One biker, Graeme Cowan, needed our help after he was hit by a driver who claimed he didn’t see him. Graeme needed several operations to have rods and pins inserted in his thigh and hip. Thankfully, we were ultimately able to secure him fair damages.
We also helped Ewan Simpson – whose life was changed forever after his leg had to be amputated after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. Even in the absence of the driver, the Motorcycle Law team were able to secure damages for Mr Simpson.
What causes motorbike crashes?
The Motorcycle Law team knows crashes can be linked to a range of issues. But just because an issue is common doesn’t mean you have fewer rights or less of a chance to recover fair compensation.
“Sorry, mate – I didn’t see you” (SMIDSY) – this is arguably one of the most common arguments made by a driver who hits a biker. However, every driver has a responsibility to act with due care and attention and we may be able to prove they were negligent or not paying attention. (This is also why it is important for bikers to wear bright clothing, drive with care and use daytime running lights.)
Filtering – this is a common and legal means of negotiating traffic jams but it is not uncommon for motorcycles to be struck by vehicles who switch between lanes or fail to position themselves safely in the road.
Spills – oil, diesel and other substances can make the road surface slippery which can be a serious hazard for bikers. By the time a biker spots a spill, it can also sadly be too late to take evasive action. However, if the cause of the spill can be located (such as a specific vehicle or a source nearby like a farm or construction site) or if the authorities failed to clean the spill or cordon off the area after it was reported, then you may be entitled to compensation.
Overbanding - these are the thin, black strips you see on roads (often after resurfacing) that seal cracks or joins. However, they can become slippery in wet conditions.
Road defects – potholes, cracks, poorly designed layouts or loose manhole covers… what can seem trivial to the drivers of four-wheeled vehicles could potentially prove fatal to riders of motorcycles. That is why it is so important for the authorities to respond to reported hazards – and if they have not responded within a reasonable period of time, we believe this makes them negligent and therefore entitles a biker and their family to damages.
Getting in touch to see if we can help
We understand that getting in touch can feel daunting for some. Rest assured we are here to help, to listen and to try and understand your circumstances. Even if you don’t know who was in the right or wrong, please call (for peace of mind, at the very least) us and we can try and give you some answers.
Our Legal Enquiry Team are open seven days a week: 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 12 noon until 4pm Saturday and Sunday. Out-with these hours, we have a call back service who can take your initial details or you can simply fill in our enquiry form and someone will call you back at your convenience.
The Legal Enquiry Team’s job is to take some initial details about the circumstances of the accident, explain how we fund the case and then put you in touch with the right solicitor who can be your point of contact going forward.
Simply put, if you have been hit at a T-junction in Anniesland, Glasgow and have broken your arm, you’ll be dealt with by our motorcycle specialist in our Glasgow office. On the other hand, if you live in Glenrothes, Fife, it might be more sensible to have a solicitor from Kirkcaldy or Dundee deal with your case.
Funding your case
Digby Brown operates on a “no win no fee” basis. This is not a cheap sales gimmick, a perceived something for nothing with hidden catches.
This is a way for anyone to access legal services which would normally cost a lot of money when they can least afford it. Personal injury cases are paid for by the “at fault” party, once the case has settled.
Digby Brown runs “Compensate” which is a company that funds the case on your behalf. It in turn insures the risk in the event the case is unsuccessful.
What does that mean for you? Simply put, you will pay nothing for Digby Brown’s legal services, medical reports and expert witnesses whilst we build the case on your behalf. This can cost many thousands of pounds.
Once the case is settled with a positive outcome for you, we ask for an agreed percentage of your damages as a success fee. This is no more than 20%.
If the case is lost* Digby Brown and Compensate take the hit and it never costs you a penny.
*Full terms and conditions will be explained in the paperwork we ask you to sign.
No win no fee personal injury solicitors
The expression “No Win – No Fee” is often used in personal injury cases. It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses.
A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful.
In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.
Compensate 'no win no fee' funding
Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.
If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing.
On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer
Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.
In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.
Beware of compensation offers which may be too good
We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.
- How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
- If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
- Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
- If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
- It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
- These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.
We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value.
Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.
Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown
Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.
Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.
Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors
For further information about no win no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.
Why use Digby Brown?
As a motorcyclist, you are different to a car driver. You’ve chosen a bike over a car as a method of getting from A to B, we recognise that we also need to understand this difference and be aware of potential prejudices against you.
More importantly, we have recognised those differences and built up years of knowledge and understanding when dealing with crashes involving motorcyclists. We deal almost exclusively with personal injury matters and have an impressive track record of winning cases.
We have been recognised with many awards and our credentials put us head and shoulders above others in our field of expertise.
Most importantly, it is what our clients say which holds most sway. We are proud to have over 1,500 five-star reviews on independent review site Trustpilot.
What our clients say about us
We put our clients at the centre of everything we do and are committed to providing the very best service. The hundreds of five star reviews we have received on Trustpilot is a reflection of this approach.
Laura Wilson was the solicitor for me in regards t...Iain -
I was involved in a near-fatal road traffic accide...Kevan -
Digby Brown were excellent in handling my traffic ...Mr Frew -
After a traumatic accident I was given not only ex...Helen Wrench -
Was the help that we need it at that time. Many th...Mrs. Clonta Maria Loredana -
Professional, direct, great communication, deliver...Brendan Coyle -
Traffic accident in Spain. After our case was u...James, Edinburgh -
2 years ago I was in a car accident and I went to ...Michelle Allan -
My case was handled professionally and competently...Patience -
I cannot thank Craig Brown enough, he went over an...Graeme Cruickshanks -
Lee Cairney was the amazing person that looked aft...Colleen -
Was involved in a bad car accident last May involv...Mr Colin Campbell -
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