Riding a motorcycle can be a like a double-edged sword. You get the benefits of increased flexibility on the road, occupying less road space and more mileage. But on the flip side, you are far more vulnerable to road accidents than any other motorist.
Our team of Personal Injury* solicitors in Dublin are specialists in motorcycle accident claims. Should the accident have been another person’s fault, we will do our best to help you make the claim you deserve.
How do motorbike accident claims differ from car accident claims
Even though there are many more car accidents than motorbike accidents in Ireland every year, the injuries sustained in many car accidents are often minor in nature. Helmets and protective clothing do provide some level of protection, but without the security provided by four-wheeled vehicles, serious and sometimes life-changing injuries can be sustained.
Unlike the occupant of a car, who will generally become injured from the impact alone, motorbike riders are also vulnerable to being thrown large distances, being dragged across the road, or being pushed into the path of oncoming traffic.
Motorbike accident claims have become increasingly common in the last decade. Motorcycle accident claims differ from other road traffic accident claims in two ways: what caused the accident, and the nature of injuries sustained.
Types of Motorbike Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accident injuries can be physical as well as psychological. If you have sustained physical and/or psychological injuries, then you are eligible for a motorcycle accident claim.
Psychological injuries are common due to the level of impact and insufficient protection of the motorcycle user. Psychological injuries associated with motorbike accidents range from claims for nervous shock to post-traumatic stress.
Symptoms in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident for psychological injuries can include sleeplessness, nervousness, impotence, loss of confidence, nightmares and panic attacks.
Physical injuries associated with motorcycle accident claims are typically more serious because of the level of impact. These can include head and brain injuries, soft tissue injuries and bruising, broken bones, facial injuries, loss of limbs, joint injuries as well as fatal injuries.
Causes of Motorbike Accidents
Research carried out by the Road Safety Authority indicates that are four main scenarios resulting in motorcycle fatalities:
- Motorcyclists colliding with the side of a right-turning vehicle when attempting to overtake that vehicle.
- Motorcyclists colliding head on with an oncoming vehicles whilst in the course of overtaking the vehicle in front of them.
- Motorcyclists losing control while cornering and crossing into the path of an oncoming vehicle or colliding with some stationary object.
- Car drivers failing to see motorcyclists when turning, driving through a junction, or joining a main road from a minor road, and colliding with the unobserved motorcyclist as a result.
Time limits for bringing a motorbike injury claim
In most cases your claim for motorcycle injury damages must begin within two years of the date of the accident. In cases where a head injury has been sustained, meaning that the motorcycle accident victim was suffering from a cognitive impairment, it might be possible to secure damages even if a claim was not commenced within the usual two-year period
What to do when you have a motorcycle accident
It’s important to deal with your claim for motorcycle accident damages at the earliest possible stage. This way as much evidence can be gathered as possible to help support it. The following list summarises what you need to do to progress your claim.
Make sure to ask for the contact details of all persons involved in the accident. Names, phone numbers, vehicle registrations and, crucially, insurance details are all needed. You will also need to take the contact details of any witnesses.
Report the Accident
Contact the Gardai immediately and ask them to attend the scene of the accident. If there are no Gardai present, make sure you go to a Garda station to report what happened as soon as possible. This will be recorded in the Traffic Accident Report Book.
Hospital Records & Receipts
Keep any medical records, receipts for medical treatments, GP and consultant visits, as well as any medication prescribed due to the accident.
Loss of Earnings
Your damages will be partially based upon the impact the accident has had on your personal finances. For example, if you have had to take unpaid leave as a result of the injury, or expenses that you have incurred due to the accident. It is very important to keep a record of all receipts.
Seek Expert Advice from Motorbike Accident Solicitors
Seeking legal help can put you at ease and let you focus on your health. It is essential to get in touch with an experienced Personal Injury* solicitor at the earliest. If you delay to do so it might result in loss of any crucial evidence for your case. Whatever happened, and whatever information you have available, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of motorbike accident solicitors in Dublin are ready to discuss your options.
Claiming Motorbike Accident Damages
You will need to explain to your solicitor how the accident happened, what injuries you sustained and how they were treated. If the Gardai attended the scene, your solicitor will want to know which Garda station they were from in order to obtain a copy of the relevant entry in their Road Traffic Accident Report Book.
Your solicitor will also need to know if you exchanged insurance details with the negligent party or took contact details from any bystanders who would be willing to act as witnesses.
If you sustained injuries due to a faulty/neglected road surface or motorbike defect, you may still be eligible to claim damages from the local council or garage who last serviced your motorbike. This is only if it can be proven that their negligence led directly to your accident.
In addition to claiming for personal injury* damages, you may also be eligible to receive “special damages” in respect of any additional expenses you have incurred due to your accident. For example, if you have had to make alternative transport arrangements or if you have suffered a loss of earnings.