Claiming Compensation For A Motorcycle Passenger Accident

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Motorcycle Passenger Accident Claims – How Much Could I Claim?

By Megan Black. Last Updated 25th August 2023. If you have been injured in a road traffic accident as a motorbike passenger, you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim. However, you would need to prove that either the driver on the motorcycle you were on or another road user breached their duty of care, and that this is what caused your injuries.

Within this guide, we will discuss the duty of care road users owe each other and how a breach of this duty could cause you to become injured. Furthermore, we will share the time limit for starting a personal injury claim. This guide will also explain how compensation is calculated in personal injury claims, and how one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could help with claiming compensation.

If you would like to receive free advice for your potential claim, you can contact our advisory team. They are available 24/7 to help answer your questions, and you can reach them by:

Motorcycle passenger accident claims

Motorcycle passenger accident claims

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Motorcycle Passenger Accident
  2. Motorcyclists’ Duty Of Care To Passengers
  3. Causes Of Accidents Involving Motorcyclists
  4. Following The Law When Riding With Passengers
  5. Motorbike Accident Claims – How Long Does A Passenger Have To Claim?
  6. Motorcycle Passenger Accident Compensation Calculator
  7. Exceptions To How Much You Could Claim
  8. No Win No Fee Motorcycle Passenger Accident Claims
  9. Essential References

What Is A Motorcycle Passenger Accident

A motorcycle passenger accident is when a pillion passenger of a motorcycle is involved in an accident. Whether the motorcycle passenger was involved in a collision, they could be able to make motorcycle passenger accident claims for any physical and psychological injuries, as well as financial damage they’ve experienced as a result.

Accidents involving motorcyclists and their passengers can happen due to many different reasons. Whether or not it was the motorcyclist’s fault themselves, another driver, pedestrian, cyclist, or poor road conditions perhaps, if a pillion passenger is injured, there could be cause for a claim.

Injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can range from minor to very severe or even fatal. Some injuries may only consist of bruising, cuts and scrapes, or simple fractures, but more severe injuries may include complicated fractures, serious head injuries, or damage to the spinal cord.

A motorcycle passenger has no control over the motorcyclist’s actions or of other drivers, and so if they are hurt in an accident, in most circumstances someone else could be held responsible.

Motorcyclists’ Duty Of Care To Passengers

As road users, motorcyclists have a duty of care to ride in a safe and careful manner, doing everything that they can to ensure safety on the road. In just the same way, motorcyclists also have a duty of care to any passengers to protect them from harm at all times to the best of their ability from potential dangers or hazards on the roads.

Firstly, they must make sure that they hold a full motorcycle license that is appropriate for the bike being ridden. They must also have the correct insurance that must also include pillion cover as well. The motorcycle MOT must also be up to date.

Breaches Of Motorcyclists’ Duty Of Care:

If you have been injured riding a motorcycle as a passenger due to the rider acting negligently, they could be deemed responsible because of their breach of duty of care. In order for you to successfully make a claim, you would need to prove the breach of duty of care. To do this you need to provide evidence and it may be helpful to first look at the Highway Code as many accidents involve breaking the rules of the Highway Code.

Causes Of Accidents Involving Motorcyclists

There are many possible causes of accidents involving motorcycles and subsequent motorcycle passenger accident claims. A motorcycle accident may be due to an error made by the rider, another driver, or because of debris on the road or poor weather conditions for example. Although some accidents can’t be helped, the majority of accidents generally involve some sort of negligence. Causes of accidents may include:

  • Driving along rural roads and in particular when turning on a left bend – When riding around a left-hand bend it isn’t easy to judge the tightness of the curve of the bend. Also, you cannot see oncoming traffic which may have wandered over the centre line slightly particularly if a wide load.
  • Collisions at junctions – Due to the motorcycle’s size, they aren’t as easy to spot as a larger vehicle and therefore are particularly vulnerable at junctions, particularly T-junctions.
  • Overtaking – This requires a good judgement of speed and distance.
  • Loss of control – Shunts from other vehicles and problems with the road surface can cause a loss of control of the bike, as can misjudging bends in the road, or upcoming junctions when travelling at speed.
  • Filtering is where motorcyclists filter in and out of the traffic ahead of them.

Following The Law When Riding With Passengers

Motorcyclists are not automatically legally allowed to carry passengers on the back of their bikes. There are certain motorcycle passenger laws that need to be followed in relation to carrying passengers on a motorcyclist, these include:

  • A full motorcyclist license is a must. A learner rider with a provisional license is not legally allowed to carry passengers.
  • The passenger must be provided with a secure seat on the motorcycle.
  • A pillion passenger must have been given a helmet to wear that is BSA approved.

Your life is in the hands of the motorcyclist you are riding with and they have a duty to take all steps to ensure your safety as much as possible. If you are injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you could be eligible to make motorcycle passenger accident claims.

Motorbike Accident Claims – How Long Does A Passenger Have To Claim?

If you are eligible for compensation for the injuries you suffered as a motorcycle passenger, you must generally start a claim within the three-year time limit set by the Limitation Act 1980. This is from the day of the accident.

However, in circumstances where the injured party cannot start legal proceedings themselves, the limitation period is paused. These include:

  • Children injured as a motorbike passenger cannot start a claim until their 18th Once they turn 18, the time limit is no longer paused and they will have three years to begin proceedings. A litigation friend may be appointed to start a claim on their behalf before this point.
  • Those who lack the mental capacity to claim will see the limitation period on indefinite pause. As with children, a litigation friend can be appointed to act on their behalf at any time. However, should they regain their capacity the time limit is no longer suspended. That will give the injured party three years from the date that capacity was regained to start legal proceedings if a claim has not been made on their behalf.

If you need any further information about the limitation period for motorbike accident claims or would like help starting your claim, please call our advisors.

Motorcycle Passenger Accident Compensation Calculator

There are a number of items that make up the final settlement amount of motorcycle accident compensation for motorcycle passenger accident claims. These items will vary with each case and differ from person to person. With this in mind, we cannot accurately predict exactly the amount of compensation you could possibly be awarded. However, we can show compensation award amounts by referring to the most recent Judicial College Guidelines.

Type Of Injury Award Amount Comments
Very Severe Brain Damage £282,010 to £403,990 Severe damage to the brain resulting in permanent disabilities needing full time nursing care. Minimal response, if any, to the claimants environment, mainly an inability to communicate meaningfully, double incontinence.
Moderately Severe Brain Damage £219,070 to £282,010 Severely disabled and dependant on others, needing full nursing care. Disabilities may be physical and life expectancy reduced largely.
Moderate Brain Damage £43,060 to £219,070 The higher end of the bracket for cases where there is moderate -severe intellectual deficit, a personality change, effects on speech, sight, senses with increased risk of epilepsy developing. The lower end for cases where intellectual deficit is not as severe and concentration and memory affected. Ability to work reduced.
Less Severe Brain Damage £15,320 to £43,060 With these injuries, the claimant will have made a good deal of recovery and may have returned to work and normal social activities. However, persisting problems may still exist such as poor concentration, memory and disinhibition of mood that can negatively affect future work prospects, leisure activities and lifestyle.
Minor Brain Damage £2,210 to £12,770 Brain damage will be minimal, the amount of compensation will depend upon how severe the initial injury was, recovery time, any continuing symptoms present, or presence of headaches or not.
Severe Neck Injury Up to £148,330 The higher end of the bracket for those suffering incomplete paraplegia, suffers severe headaches unable to move neck hardly at all. The middle of the bracket for serious disc and cervical spine damage. The lower end for injuries such as severe fractures and dislocations, significant disability.
Moderate Neck Injury £7,890 to £38,490 Injuries ranging from severe fractures or dislocations that may require spinal fusion surgery, to serious soft tissue injuries leading to permanent pain and on-going problems – accelerated and/or exacerbated a pre-existing condition over a shorter period of time.
Minor Neck Injury Up to £7,890 Full recovery usually expected within 2 years. Award amount dependant on severity of initial injury, length of recovery time and any on-going health issues.
Severe Leg Injuries £27,760 to £135,920 The top end of the bracket is for injuries that full short of amputation but leave one leg useless. Further down the bracket, severe or complicated fractures with permanent disability.
Less Severe Leg Injuries Up to £27,760 The higher end of the bracket for fracture injuries where incomplete recovery has been made, lowering to less severe soft tissue injuries and simple fractures.
Severe Arm Injuries £96,160 to £130,930 The top end of the bracket is for injuries that full short of amputation but leave one arm useless. The lower end for serious fractions that result in a permanent disability of one or both arms.
Less Severe Arm Injuries £19,200 to £39,170 Initially there will have been significant disabilities but a good amount of recovery will have taken place.

If you’d like to discuss your individual case in more detail, please call Legal Expert and we will be happy to help you with your inquiries.

Special Damages For Motorcycle Passenger Injury Claims

As mentioned earlier, compensation awards for motorcycle passenger accident claims are made up of various items. These items usually come under two categories, General Damages and Special Damages. The General damages account for the physical and psychological injury, and the level of pain and suffering endured. The effect on the claimant’s lifestyle, work-life, and also the predicted length of recovery and future prognosis will all have a bearing on the amount awarded.

Special damages account for the financial costs and losses as a result of the motorcycle injury. These may include things such as medical expenses, travel expenses, care expenses, and loss of income.

No Win No Fee Motorcycle Passenger Accident Claims

If you have been injured as a motorcycle passenger and are eligible to pursue a personal injury claim, one of our No Win No Fee solicitors may be able to help you with your case. By offering you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), you will not be expected to pay them anything upfront or during the process of your claim for their work. Additionally, you will not need to pay them for their services should your case be unsuccessful.

In the event that your claim is successful, the solicitor working on your case will deduct a success fee from your compensation award.

Contact our advisors today to receive free advice for your personal injury claim. They may also connect you with one of our solicitors. To connect with an advisor today, you can:

Essential References

You can also learn more about motorcycle accident claims below:

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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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