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How Much Compensation For Fatal Motorcycle Accident Claims?

By Marlon Cooke. Last Updated 30th March 2023. In this guide, we advise on making claims for fatal motorcycle accidents on behalf of a victim. This type of tragic accident can involve more than one motorbike or a motorbike rider colliding with a different kind of road user. Claiming for a death because of motorbike crashes may be possible if someone close to you (a loved one or family member) is the victim and it can be established the incident happened due to another party’s negligence.

This guide is designed to help those families in need of legal support. We discuss the different causes and types of fatal motorcycle accidents, the personal injury claims process and the types of compensation that could be awarded.

We’re specialists in representing the families of those tragically killed in a fatal motorbike accident and we can help you too.

If you’d rather speak to us now, you can get advice from our team by:

Browse Our Guide

  1. Proving Liability In A Fatal Motorcycle Accident Claim
  2. Who Can Claim Compensation For The Death Of A Family Member?
  3. What Is A Fatal Motorcycle Accident?
  4. Other Causes Of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
  5. How To Prove A Road Traffic Accident Claim
  6. Compensation Payouts In Fatal Motorbike Accident Claims
  7. Make A No Win No Fee Motorcycle Accident Claim
  8. Learn More About Fatal Motorcycle Accident Claims

Proving Liability In A Fatal Motorcycle Accident Claim

If making a claim is something you’re aiming to do, it’s important to be aware of the criteria for taking legal action. In short, you need to be able to prove three things:

  • You were owed a duty of care by the defendant
  • They breached that duty
  • And as a result you suffered harm

You must also be in time to make a claim, which we’ll discuss below.

How Long Do I Have To Claim?

The time you have to take action following a fatal motorbike accident is outlined in the Limitation Act 1980. Typically, claims for motorbike deaths must be started three years from the date of the death, or three years from the date that it was established that the defendant’s negligence resulted in a fatality.

If a child loses a loved one, the time limit for them to claim for the motorbike accident begins from their 18th birthday as they are unable to pursue their own claim before this point. However, a litigation friend could act on behalf, such as a parent or guardian.

When someone loses a loved one but is mentally incapable of pursuing a claim, the three year time limit would only begin if they regain the mental capacity. A litigation friend may also act on the behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions on their own.

If you have any questions about claiming for motorcycle deaths in the UK, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be happy to help and can be contacted at any time. Furthermore, we could connect you with our expert road traffic accident solicitors.

Who Can Claim Compensation For The Death Of A Family Member?

If you lost a loved one due to a fatal bike accident, you may qualify to claim compensation for the death of a family member.

To claim for a motorcycle death, the Law Reform Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1934 allows for the estate of the deceased to claim during the first 6 months following the fatal bike accident.

In addition, the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 allows for dependents to claim compensation for the death of a family member in the form of a statutory bereavement award. Claims under both acts will typically be compensated in the same settlement.

Under the Fatal Accidents Act, a dependent includes:

  • Current or former spouse or civil partner.
  • Someone who lived with the deceased as a spouse for two years prior to death.
  • Parent, stepparent, or other person treated as a parent.
  • Child, stepchild, stepchildren from a previous marriage or civil partnership if they were treated as children.
  • Siblings, aunts, uncles, or cousins.

Additionally, certain relatives may qualify for a bereavement award mentioned above, which is set at £15,120. It would be split if more than one person claims. These include:

  • A spouse or civil partner.
  • A person who lived with the deceased as a spouse for two years prior to the fatal bike accident.
  • Parents if the deceased were an unmarried minor or the mother of the deceased was born outside of wedlock.

Call our advisors if your loved one suffered a motorcycle death due to another party’s negligence.

What Is A Fatal Motorcycle Accident?

As mentioned above, most of the road accidents involving one motorcycle and other traffic result in the motorcycle passenger dead or suffering severe injuries.

Motorcycle Accident Death

Motorcycle Accident Death

In most cases, the motorcycle accidents are caused by limited viewing ability, a sudden turn, lane splitting, drunk driving, speeding, lack of driving experience or violation of traffic laws. In very unfortunate situations, motorcyclists may end up in road accidents through no fault of their own but instead due to broken pavements, debris or potholes.

This situation is even worse because it not only leaves the motorcyclist dead or fatally injured, it may also cause significant damage to other property at the accident site.

Claiming For A Fatal Motorcycle Accident Caused by Driver Negligence

Motorcycle accidents caused by negligent drivers are typically viewed as criminal offences under UK Law. A negligent vehicle or motorcycle driver, if alive, may be tried in a criminal case for violating the duty of care that he or she owes to fellow road users.

A negligent driver is also considered as a dangerous driver who has the potential to harm other road users. When driving without due diligence causes death or severe injuries – like head, back, or neck injuries – then the victim’s family members may have a legal claim to just compensation for the permanent damages suffered by the victim. In dangerous driving situations involving drunk driving, speeding, racing or violation of traffic laws, the police will investigate the matter and provide sufficient evidence to pursue a legal proceeding against the guilty parties. In this scenario, the errant driver’s negligent behaviour will have to be proved to get compensation.

While representative motorcycle accident compensation amounts have been provided in a later section, it should be highlighted that the success of a compensation claims case depends on many different factors.

Accidents Caused by Intoxication

Intoxication or driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence in the UK. If motorcyclists sustain life-threatening injuries or succumb to death due to driving while impaired, such accident cases are likely to reach the courtrooms.

Generally, injuries sustained in this type of accident are fatal and can cause brain malfunction, severe neck pain or permanent back injuries. The victim, with the help of police files and proper legal guidance, will have to prove criminal negligence on the part of the guilty driver. If you are facing such a situation, get in touch with us by using the contact information provided at the bottom of this page.

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents At Work

If any of the aforementioned motorcycle accidents happen to a UK resident whilst they are working, that accident may be deemed as a work-related incident. Many people in the UK have to regularly travel to their day jobs, thus increasing the probabilities of them being hurt in a road accident.

When motorcyclists carrying out their work duties meet with fatal road accidents, they may be able to claim compensation from their employers, their employer’s insurance company and their own insurance company if the law permits it.

Fatal Motorbike Accidents On Public Roads

Accidents which occur in a public place may need to be addressed in a different manner. There are a number of laws and regulations which dictate the way in which public places must be kept and maintained. This is true for both private owners and local governments.

The occupier of a property – be it the council or the renter of a shop space – has a duty to provide a reasonable degree of safety. This also applies to public spaces such as car parks and other places where a fatal accident might occur. If you would like to learn more about how to file a compensation claim in these circumstances, call our team now and discuss the matter.

Other Causes Of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

Apart from those discussed in the previous sections, there are many other potential contributing factors to a fatal motorcycle accident on UK roads. Those factors can include (but are not limited to):

  • Speeding by a driver or other motorcycle rider.
  • Bad road maintenance.
  • Spillages on roads leading to slips or falls.
  • Hit and run accidents, where an uninsured driver chooses to flee the scene of an accident.
  • Faulty and badly maintained motorcycles.
  • Lack of proper protective clothing for the motorcyclists.
  • Bad weather conditions leading to poor visibility and slippery roads.

Any one of the above issues or a combination of the issues can lead to a fatal road traffic accident.

How To Prove A Road Traffic Accident Claim

The death of a close family member due to a fatal motorcycle is likely to leave you devastated. While you may be struggling, the very idea of legal action might be far from your thoughts.

The legal process can be complex and can intimidate those with little legal experience. At our firm, we make it easy for anyone to file a claim. If you are considering legal action, we recommend that you do the following:

  • Gather together any legal documentation for both deceased and surviving parties who were involved in the accident. If necessary, we are able to arrange for a visit to a local doctor.
  • Gather together any additional evidence, such as photographs of the scene of the accident, police reports, and photographs of the vehicles involved.
  • Organise all financial documents (such as bills and receipts) related to the accident in order to calculate your total financial losses.

If you are unable to complete these steps by yourself, designate a reliable person to complete them on your behalf or we can help you too.

Gathering evidence for a fatal motorcycle accident claim

When you are making a fatal motorbike accident claim on behalf of a loved one, you need to be able to establish that the accident that led to their passing was caused by someone else’s negligence.

For example, this could be another road user such as a driver. The most effective way to do this is to acquire as much evidence as you can.

Here are some examples:

  • Medical evidence – Before your loved one’s death, the motorcycle accident that caused their injuries may have resulted in them needing medical treatment. If so, the extent of their injuries and other useful information will be recorded. You may be able to request a copy of these records.
  • CCTV footage – The fatal accident may have been captured on CCTV or another kind of surveillance system. You can request a copy of the footage.
  • Witness contact details – Those nearby may have seen what happened in the lead up to the accident. If so, having their contact details so they can be contacted for a witness statement at a later date can be useful.

If you need more examples of evidence or additional guidance, then get in touch with us today.

Compensation Payouts In Fatal Motorbike Accident Claims

There are various forms of compensation that you could be able to seek in a fatal accident claim, including:

  • A bereavement award: This is a fixed compensation award that certain qualifying relatives can apply for
  • Loss of consortium: Which is compensation for the emotional impact of losing a person that was special or close to you
  • Financial dependency: Which is compensation for any loss of income you will suffer due to your loved one’s death, both now and in future
  • Funeral services: Which is compensation for any costs associated with their funeral and burial

You can also seek compensation for the circumstances of your loved one’s death, and any pain and suffering they may have endured due to the act of negligence.

There are no definitive figures for this type of compensation, however, compensation claims can be valued with the help of a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines. We have used this publication to create a table that shows you how various fatal injuries can be valued.

Edit
Injury and Severity Compensation Bracket Description
Death and Losses £550k + A figure around this level is for the suffering and pain caused to the deceased and any dependency costs.
Tetraplegia £324,600 to
£403,990
A typical tetraplegia case attracts an award in the mid-range of this bracket.
Paraplegia £219,070 to
£284,260
The level of award will be determined by aspects such as the extent of the pain, their age and life expectancy.
Brain Damage £282,010 to £403,990 This level of brain damage is very severe and will prevent the injured person from interacting meaningfully with their environment.
Injuries Resulting in Death – Full Awareness £12,540 to £23,810 Lung damage and severe burns that lead to awareness for a short period with fluctuating levels of consciousness lasting between four and five weeks resulting in death within two weeks.
Bereavement Award £15,120 This set amount is an award for damages caused by the death as detailed in The Fatal Accidents Act 1976.

A previous survey conducted by the Department of Transport estimated that most motorcycle deaths in the UK were caused by a motorist’s failure to look properly around the road. Therefore, if you have been affected by a loved one’s death in a recent motorbike accident or want to learn more about your eligibility to start a claim for an accident that occurred prior, then please reach out to one of our advisers.

Motorbike Accident Compensation – What Else Can You Include?

When making a motorcycle accident claim, amounts could also include figures that address certain other circumstances. For example, the deceased may have left behind financial dependents such as a spouse or children.

If so, then the earnings the deceased would or could have earned until retirement age could be calculated and awarded to the dependents. This would be included in a special damages payment.

Special damages can address other costs that have arisen as a result of the death of a loved one. Another example could be if there are any medical costs to cover.

Motorbike deaths can have a financial impact on other areas of life as well. If you’ve lost a loved one in a motorbike accident, compensation could cover them for you if you’re eligible. Get in touch if you have any questions.

Make A No Win No Fee Motorcycle Accident Claim

To provide a compassionate legal environment and maximum financial relief to our clients, we offer a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) deal. This means that you do not need to pay us until you are financially compensated. This ‘No Win No Fee’ approach protects you from costly legal fees while affording you top quality legal representation at the same time.

This client-friendly approach makes it easy for clients to approach us for expert legal help without the risk of large bills should their claim not be successful. We can provide motorcycle accident compensation examples and help you discover how a ‘No Win No Fee’ approach can be the best approach for your claim.

To learn more, you can get in touch in the following ways:

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    Meet The Team

    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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