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Motorcycle Accident Claims – Scotland Guide

By Jo Greenwood. Last Updated 4th March 2024. This is our updated guide to motorcycle accident claims in Scotland. It looks at when and how lawyers for motorcycle accidents could help you. The laws are slightly different in Scotland when it comes to claiming compensation for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

As such, it is wiser to seek legal advice from an experienced solicitor before doing anything which includes admitting that you could have been fully responsible or partly liable for the incident. Our team is experienced at handling motorcycle accident claims Scotland.

Motorcycle accident claims Scotland guide

Motorcycle accident claims Scotland guide

Whether the accident was due to the negligence of another road user or because of a poorly maintained road surface, you may be able to seek compensation for injuries and damage you suffered by filing a motorcycle claim in Scotland against the party deemed responsible.

To find out about motorcycle claims in Scotland, how much you could claim, the sort of evidence required to prove your case, whether you would need to adhere to any pre-action protocols whether voluntary or compulsory, and how a solicitor from our panel could assist you throughout the process, you can opt to call us directly on 0800 073 8804. If you prefer, you can read through our guide by clicking on the sections provided below.

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A Guide To Motorcycle Accident Claims Scotland

Our guide to motorcycle accident claims in Scotland aims to provide you with essential information on how the personal injury claims process differs from that in England and Wales. We go through what is required by way of evidence, whether or not you would need to abide by compulsory pre-action protocols as set out by the Sheriff’s court, or whether it would be a case of voluntary protocols.

The guide takes you through different scenarios which could lead to you being involved in a motorcycle accident in Scotland, pointing out various routes and roads which are notorious accident hotspots. It then looks at how motorcycle accident claims Scotland work. 

We explain how the amount of motorcycle injury compensation you could be awarded may differ from that you may receive south of the border in England. The guide also explains how you would need to prove that you could not be held liable for the injuries you suffered and that you did not contribute to the incident happening.

Should contributory negligence be a factor, we explain how this could affect how much you could claim. Lastly, we explain how a member of our team at Legal Expert can assist you in finding the right solicitor to handle your case, bearing in mind that you would need a solicitor who practices law in Scotland.

What Is A Motorcycle Accident In Scotland?

Many scenarios could contribute to you being involved in a motorcycle accident in Scotland. These scenarios could lead to motorcycle accident claims in Scotland.  However, there are several roads north of the border which are known to be accident hotspots that are worth knowing about if you are planning to use them.

Various sources have provided information on the most common causes of road accidents in Scotland and throughout the rest of the UK, with the top 5 being as follows:

  • Driver error was reported to be a contributing factor in road accidents. 
  • Inexperienced road users or bad behaviour on the part of a road user. Many incidents being caused by aggressive driving
  • Speeding, dangerous driving and poor driving habits were also a contributing factor in many road traffic accidents throughout the UK, including Scotland. 
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication.
  • Being distracted while driving, including when using a mobile phone. Accidents involving pedestrians accounted for 12% of all incidents, which led to the report recommending that drivers and other road users—which includes motorcyclists—must pay more attention when on a public road where pedestrians are present.

There are many other contributing factors that could result in you being injured in a motorcycle accident in Scotland and should you believe another person could be held liable, you should seek legal advice as soon as you can by contacting a member of our team.

Statistics For Motorcycle Accident In Scotland

As previously touched upon, although Scotland boasts having some of the best roads in the whole of Europe, especially for motorcyclists, there are a number of accident hotspots which are worth knowing about, whether you are visiting an area or you live in the region and regularly ride your motorbike. All motorcyclists know that they are more vulnerable to being injured on the roads than other motorists simply because of the lack of protection their bikes offer them. On top of this, road conditions, the weather and traffic flow can be contributing factors.

The consequences of being in a road traffic accident as a motorcyclist can be devastating. This is why other road users must take extra care when bikers are around. Motorcyclists too must be extra vigilant when on public highways, whether in Scotland or elsewhere in the country, or overseas. It is estimated that most road accidents involving motorbikes are caused by simple, basic errors in judgement on the part of the rider. Statistics published by Police Scotland are as follows:

  • Accidents on Scotland’s roads involving motorcyclists accounted for 13% of all fatalities and 7% of casualties requiring treatment as compared to less that one per cent of all RTAs

Reducing the chances of motorcycle accidents

Given motorcyclists are always going to be more vulnerable when on the road than other motorists, there are certain things you can do to reduce the risk of being involved in an RTA which includes the following:

  • To take extra care when negotiating bends while using rural A roads
  • To be extra cautious when entering and exiting junctions especially in built-up areas
  • To be extra vigilant when overtaking or filtering through traffic and to only do so when it is safe
  • To wear the right protective clothing and to ensure you can be seen by other road users which includes wearing hi-vis clothing and reflectors
  • To always wear a helmet which is a legal requirement in the UK
  • To know your bike and what to do if you think you may be losing control of it

It is worth noting that statistically, Scotland is the third safest place for motorcyclists in the UK with the most dangerous being London. A report issued by the Government and carried out by Swinton Insurance found there were 391 motorbike accidents during 2017 in Scotland whereas in London the number was far higher, standing at over 3,000 incidents involving bikers. Year-on-year, the number of incidents in Scotland has been declining by 13%. However, road traffic accidents involving bikers result in serious injury or fatalities and studies have established the majority involve powerful bikes. The most at-risk riders tend to be younger men, with 37% being under the age of twenty-five. Remember, our team can help with motorcycle accident claims in Scotland. 

Accident hotspots

Some of the most notorious accident hotspots in Scotland are as follows:

  • In the Highlands, the A82 and the A9 are notorious when it comes to road traffic accidents
  • In Argyle, the A83 is one of the top ten dangerous Scottish roads for motorcyclists

Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents In Scotland

Studies have established that around thirty motorcyclists are involved in fatal accidents or injured in some way each day when entering or exiting junctions. It is estimated that bikers account for 19% of all fatalities on the road, although the numbers have been in decline over recent years.

That said, the 5 most commonly reported accidents involving motorcyclists using Scottish roads are as follows:

  • Negotiating bends on rural roads
  • Being in a collision at a junction
  • When overtaking other road users
  • The loss of control of a motorcycle
  • When filtering through traffic

Motorcycle Accidents Due To Filtering Traffic Claims

Filtering through traffic on a motorcycle is legal and is deemed a safe way to manoeuvre through stationary or slow-moving traffic, providing it is done with due care and attention. According to the Highway Code, motorcyclists are advised to do the following when filtering through traffic:

  • To position themselves so they can be clearly seen by other road users in their mirrors
  • To maintain a slower speed which could be anything from 15-20mph. Speeds greater than this could be deemed dangerous when overtaking
  • To not filter passed junctions unless it is safe to do so and no other road users are emerging from a junction
  • To filter through traffic with extra due care and attention
  • To keep an eye out for other road users changing lanes unexpectedly or which are performing a U-turn

Should you have been in a motorcycle accident in Scotland and the incident occurred while you were filtering through traffic, a court could rule that you were partly liable. If this is the case, a member of our team can assist you and would be able to advise you on what level of contributory negligence you may have had in the accident occurring. Contact our team about motorcycle accident claims in Scotland. 

Motorbike Overtaking Accident Claims

Motorcyclists can overtake other road users far faster than a motorist would be able to simply because the rate of acceleration is greater than that of a car. With this said, care must be taken as to when and where you can overtake other vehicles whilst on a motorbike. You must abide by the law and not overtake in the following situations:

  • On the approach to bends, junctions, inclines, or dips in a road
  • Where solid double lines or other road traffic lines prohibit overtaking

As a motorcyclist, it is important to be extra vigilant when overtaking traffic queues because other road users would be concentrating on the vehicles ahead of them and not on what is approaching from the rear.

Motorcycle Loss Of Control Accident Claims

Studies have established the two main causes of loss of control of a motorbike are:

  • Poorly maintained road surfaces
  • Shunts involving other road users

Being shunted from the rear by another road user is virtually impossible not only to predict but to avoid too, which is especially true when at roundabouts. Another factor to consider is that drivers will suddenly slam on the brakes when attempting to turn at junctions with a contributing factor being the reliance on satnavs these days. As such, it is important that you leave room between you and a vehicle ahead of you.

Should the driver suddenly brake and try to turn without indicating their intentions which results in you running into the back of them, you should not assume that you are at fault. The reason being that the driver ahead of you has a duty of care to ensure that any road users behind are made aware of their intentions.

The loss of control by a biker is often due to poorly maintained road surfaces, but other reasons exist too which includes the following:

  • Loose chippings
  • Diesel spills

Diesel spills are deemed to be an ‘act of negligence’ and as such, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim in Scotland under the Untraced Drivers Scheme which is run by the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). If this was the cause of your motorcycle accident in Scotland and even if you only suffered road rash, you must report the incident to the Police and you must do so within 14 days. You should also do the following:

  • Take photos of the diesel spill
  • Take photos of your injuries
  • Take photos of the damage to your bike

Should you have lost control of your bike due to a badly maintained road surface, you must report the incident to the Police and the local authority responsible. Again, you should take as many photographs as you can of the area, and the injuries and damage you suffered in the incident. Taking photographs and collecting other evidence can help with motorcycle accident claims Scotland. 

Motorcycle Junction Accident Claims

As a motorcyclist, you are much more vulnerable when at junctions, which is especially true when it comes to T-junctions. Other road users do not see you when you are approaching and studies have shown that drivers find it hard to judge the speed of a motorcyclist in these situations. The result is a collision with the motorcyclist coming off a lot worse than the motorist.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle junction accident contact a bike accident lawyer today. Our team can help with motorcycle accident claims in Scotland.

Motorbike Rural Road Bend Accident Claims

It would be fair to say that most motorcycle training is done in towns, cities or built-up areas, which means that when first using a rural road, the challenges that motorcyclists face increase considerably. As such, most road traffic accidents involving motorbikes happen on country roads and especially when negotiating tight left-hand bends.

Even experienced motorcyclists can get it wrong if they do not position themselves correctly on the approach to a bend in a country road. If you take a line in the direction of the centre of the road, you have a clearer vision of oncoming traffic but it also exposes you to the risk of a collision if a car crosses the centre line. The key to negotiating bends on country roads is to do so with extra care, making sure you keep an eye on everything around you.

Injuries Caused By Motorcycle Accidents

Since you are much more vulnerable when riding a motorcycle, the severity of injuries should you be involved in an accident tends to be that much greater. Typical motorcycle injuries include the following:

  • Upper and lower limb injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Traumatic head/brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Road rash and facial injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Loss of a limb

Traumatic Head/Brain Injuries

Injuries to the head account for anything between 40% to 50% of injuries sustained in road traffic accidents. This type of injury can be life-changing and may prevent you from working and bringing a wage putting you and your loved ones under tremendous financial pressure. If you sustained a serious head injury in a motorcycle accident in Scotland, a member of our team can assist you in pursuing a claim for compensation whether through the courts or the MIB.


You could suffer whiplash in a motorcycle accident if you are shunted from behind, from the side or in a collision with another road user. It is estimated that 2 in 3 people who are involved in a road crash develop some form of neck pain, whether they have other symptoms or not. The symptoms associated with whiplash may not be instantly apparent, only manifesting themselves days later. Another issue is that recovery could, in some cases, take many months and many insurance providers argue this type of claim. As such, it is essential that you seek proper legal advice when pursuing a motorcycle whiplash claim, which is where Legal Expert can be of assistance.

Road Rash and Facial Injuries

If you sustain facial injuries in a motorcycle accident in Scotland, this could include puncture wounds to your skin, broken bones, a dislocated jaw, injuries to the eyes, cuts and bruising, or severe road rash, it can leave you scarred for life. Some facial injuries can be life-changing, leaving you unable to work. 

Studies have shown that for every person killed in an RTA in the United Kingdom, there are ten people who suffer some kind of serious injury which covers the statistics in Scotland too. Should you have suffered a serious, life-changing injury in a motorcycle accident in Scotland, we can assist you in claiming the compensation you may be entitled to and would work hard to ensure that the required evidence to support your claim is gathered in a timely manner.

Motorcycle Accident Claims Scotland Compensation Calculator

If you’ve been involved in a motorbike accident in Scotland, and you successfully claim compensation, your payout could include general and special damages.

General damages compensate you for the pain and suffering you have experienced that has been caused by the injury you suffered in a road traffic accident.

Many legal professionals may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines when valuing this head of claim. This is because the JCG provided guideline compensation brackets for various injuries. In the table below, we have listed some of the figures stated in the 16th edition of the JCG.

It is important to note that this document is from Judiciary UK, and it is only used for claims made in England and Wales. It is important to note that for Scottish claims, a different document may be used.

Reason For Compensation Award Amounts Comments
Moderate (i) Brain Damage £150,110 to £219,070 The level of award will depend on the severity of the injury and resultant effects on life for the claimant. The higher amount will be awarded to those with high dependency on others, severely reduced intellectual capability, personality change, effect on speech and increased epilepsy risk. The lower award for where dependency on others is considerable lower, concentration and memory affected, reduced work capability and small risk of epilepsy.
Less Severe Brain Damage £15,320 to £43,060


Less severe than above, the claimant should have made a considerable recovery but may still suffer with memory and concentration problems.
Minor Brain or Head Injury £2,210 to £12,770 Level of award will depend on severity of initial injury, treatment required, length of treatment and whether there are any lasting effects such as headaches etc.
Severe (i) Back Injuries £91,090 to £160,980 Severe injury which may involve damage to the spinal nerves and roots, severely damaged disks and to soft tissue. Partial paraplegia possible or permanent mobility problems.
Moderate (i) Back Injuries £27,760 to £38,780 Less severe than above but on-going pain and mobility problems.
Minor (i) Back Injuries £7,890 to £12,510


Less severe than above. Some recovery may have taken place. Less severe soft tissue and disk damage. Level of award dependant on recovery, pain and any on-going effects.
Less Severe Arm Injury £19,200 to £39,170 Some degree of disability experienced but a good degree of recovery should have taken place.

For advice on motorbike accident compensation in Scotland, you can contact our advisors. They could assess your case to see how much you could claim.

Special Damages Motorcycle Accident Victims Could Claim

You would be awarded general damages for the injuries you sustained in a motorcycle accident in Scotland. However, on top of this, you could claim out of pocket expenses that are directly associated with the injuries you suffered which would be awarded in special damages. These could include the following:

  • Medical expenses which the NHS would not cover
  • Travel expenses incurred for treatment of your injuries
  • Loss of earnings and projected earnings
  • Care costs
  • Home and/or vehicle adaptations

The important thing to remember when it comes to claiming for such expenditures is to retain copies of all receipts, bills, invoices and statements that evidence the loss. Without evidence, you may be unable to recover the costs.

No Win No Fee Motorcycle Accident Claims Scotland

If you are worried about the cost of having legal representation following a motorcycle accident in Scotland, many solicitors today offer to take on personal injuries claims on a No Win No Fee basis providing your case is valid and has favourable prospects of success. A No Win No Fee solicitor would not request that you pay an upfront fee for them to begin their investigations, nor would they ask for any fees during the claim. And if your case is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case. The only time you pay a fee is when you win your motorcycle accident claim and you are awarded compensation for the injuries and out of pocket expenses you incurred.

The small percentage you pay is known as a success fee and is deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. Success fees are legally capped and will be set out in clear terms within the No Win No Fee agreement.

To find out more on how a No Win No Fee agreement would allow you to pursue your claim without any financial risk to yourself, please contact us today on 0800 073 8804.

Why Choose Us For Motorcycle Accident Claims Scotland?

Deciding to pursue a motorcycle accident claim in Scotland may seem daunting, especially as Scottish laws differ in several ways to the laws of the rest of the UK. This is where Legal Expert can help by offering you support, guidance and many benefits, such as:

  • Our solicitors have successfully represented claimants injured in accidents in Scotland for many years and would offer you a free, initial consultation which allows us to assess your case and to establish who could be deemed liable for injuries you sustained
  • We know the importance of respecting pre-action protocols, whether voluntary or compulsory
  • Our solicitors would keep you informed throughout the process and if at any time you have a query, they’ll be on hand to take your call
  • We would arrange for you to be examined by an independent consultant/specialist as close to your home as possible, and their report would serve as the basis to calculate the amount of general damages you may be awarded
  • If your injuries are severe or life-changing, we could negotiate interim payments for you to avoid any financial stress until a final settlement is reached
  • Our solicitors will fight to ensure you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible

Start Your Scottish Motorcycle Accident Claim

We hope our updated guide to motorcycle accident claims in scotland has helped you. If you feel you are ready to start your Scottish Motorcycle accident claim, or you need more advice on how to proceed, please contact us on 0800 073 8804. If you prefer, you can email us at:

You can also opt to fill out the claims enquiry form and one of our expert legal advisers will get back to you without delay.

Essential References

For more information on motorcycle safety, please follow the link provided below:

Road safety guidelines for motorcyclists

If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident and would like more information on claiming compensation, please click on the link below:

You can also learn more about motorcycle accident claims below:

Written by Wood

Edited by Billing

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    • 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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