How To Claim Compensation For A Deadly Motorbike Crash
By Olivia Laurent. Last updated 9th March 2021. Welcome to our fatal motorbike accident claims guide, In this online guide, we focus on deaths that are the result of a fatal motorbike accident. We cover many of the ways that fatal motorcycle accidents occur and explain how certain legal entities can make a personal injury claim for the loss of a loved one.
All claims are unique in the way they happen and the circumstances which lead to them. Because of this, you might not find every answer you need in this guide. Our team can still help you. Give them a call on 0161 696 9685 and speak to one of our advisers. They will answer your questions and also explain how a personal injury solicitor can help you on a No Win No Fee basis.
Jump To A Section:
- A Guide On Claims For Fatal Motorbike Accidents
- What Is A Fatal Motorbike Accident?
- Motorbike Accident And Safety Statistics
- Who Could Make A Fatal Motorbike Accident Claim?
- Fatal Motorbike Accidents At Work
- Fatal Motorbike Accident Caused By Drunk Drivers
- Fatal Motorbike Accidents Caused By Driver Negligence
- Fatal Motorbike Accidents Caused By Speeding Motorists
- Fatal Motorbike Accidents Caused By Distracted Drivers
- Compensation Calculator For Fatal Motorbike Accident Claims
- Special Damages Claimable After A Fatal Road Traffic Accident
- Steps To Take If A Loved One Is Killed In A Motorbike Crash
- How The Team At Legal Helpline Could Help You
- No Win No Fee Death And Fatal Motorbike Accidents Claims
- Begin A Fatal Motorbike Accident Claim
- Motorbike And Road Accident Victim Resources
A Guide On Claims For Fatal Motorbike Accidents
Motorcyclists are the road users most likely to suffer a fatal accident. A death in a motorbike crash is not an uncommon occurrence. Often, when a motorcyclist is killed on UK roads is typically the fault of a third party. This guide aims to show how in such accidents, where a motorcyclist is killed as a result of the negligence of a third-party, motorbike death claims could be made.
We start by giving a basic overview of what a fatal motorcycle accident entails, and why a claim could be possible. We follow this up with some statistics related to motorcycle accidents in the UK, before moving on to look at the legal entities that could make a claim following a fatal accident.
Next, we look at some of the more common claims. This includes work-related accidents and accidents caused by other drivers, more specifically drunk drivers, negligent drivers, speeding motorists, and distracted drivers.
The last part covers the financial considerations of making a personal injury claim. We have included a table, based on the Judicial College Guidelines used in England by courts, insurance companies and solicitors, that shows typical compensation ranges for different scenarios that result in death. We have also provided you with a list of damages a final settlement could be made up of. Lastly, you will find a definition of what a No Win No Fee claim is, and how such a service could minimise the financial risks of making a claim for compensation against a responsible party.
You might need clarification on some of the information in this guide, or have questions not answer. If so, please speak to one of our advisers on the number at the top of the page. They will answer your questions and provide you with help to get valid fatal motorbike accident claims underway.
What Is A Fatal Motorbike Accident?
When there is a death in a motorcycle crash, whether it’s the rider or their pillion passenger who is fatally injured, then in certain situations it may be possible for a claim to be made. For a claim to be valid, a third party such as another road user must have been at least partially to blame for the accident happening.
This is the main point that has to be covered when considering whether a claim is possible. A third party must at least share the blame for the accident, in short, a deceased motorcycle rider may have contributed to the accident in some way. However, if a third party also did something wrong which contributed to the accident, then a valid claim could exist.
If you are unsure whether you have a valid claim to compensation for the loss of a loved one due to a death in a motorcycle crash, please speak to one of our advisers who would be able to advise you whether you could have grounds to seek compensation for injuries sustained. To learn more about the statistics behind fatal motorbike accident claims and the injuries behind them, please see the next section.
Motorbike Accident And Safety Statistics
Due to the nature of riding a motorcycle, which is a vehicle capable of high speeds but which provides almost no protection for the rider, fatalities in road traffic accidents involving a motorcycle are high. In 2019, 336 motorcyclists were killed on British roads, accounting for 19% of all road deaths that year and resulting in them having the highest fatality rate per mile travelled.
Though the fatality rate showed a 5% drop from 2018, motorcyclists still remain on the most vulnerable road user groups, alongside cyclists and pedestrians. This can also be seen in the fact that their casualty rate per mile travelled is the highest of all road user groups, with a reported 16,224 casualties reported that year.
If a loved one was killed in a motorbike accident that someone else was to blame for, you could be able to make fatal motorbike accident claims on their behalf. To learn who can claim, please see the next section.
When it comes to making motorbike death claims, the victim obviously can’t make a claim. So, who can? Well, there are three distinctly separate legal entities that can file a personal injury claim for the loss of a loved one, and these are:
- The dependants of the victim – the spouse, partner or children of the deceased who relied on them for their support, both financial and emotional
- The immediate family of the victim – who was close to the deceased and will suffer emotionally because of the loss. For example, siblings or parents
- The estate of the deceased – this is the complicated one. The estate could be a business the deceased helped run and was a key employee, whose loss will have a negative effect on the business
Fatal Motorbike Accidents At Work
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE), publishes information about staying safe whilst driving for work. In some circumstances, there could be due cause to make a road traffic accident injury claim against an employer. For example:
- The vehicle was not maintained properly, causing an accident
- The employer did not provide suitable or adequate safety equipment for an employee who was killed in an accident
- The employee who was killed had not received sufficient training for using the motorcycle they were riding for the purpose of their work
In each of these examples, the employer could be directly or indirectly responsible for the accident happening. In such cases, the employer could be liable for damages sustained by the victim. Call our team for more information about workplace motorbike accident claims. Alternatively, please read on to learn more about different types of liability for fatal motorbike accident claims.
Fatal Motorbike Accident Caused By Drunk Driver
A common reason for road traffic accidents in general, and for a motorbike accident claim to be made for a fatality, is when an incident is caused by a drunk driver. A drunk driver could be anyone operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The same would apply to any vehicle operator who is under the influence of drugs, either recreational or medicinal.
Dependants of a motorcyclist killed by a drunk or intoxicated driver could have valid grounds to claim compensation from the responsible party and the same can be said when it comes to the deceased person’s family or estate. One of our advisers can tell you more about making such claims.
Fatal Motorbike Accidents Caused By Driver Negligence
Another common reason for making fatal motorbike accident claims is when an incident is caused by a negligent driver. Some examples could be:
- Accidents caused by a malfunctioning/defective vehicle that has not been maintained properly by the owner
- Accidents caused by drivers or riders who are not exercising due care and attention at all times
- Accidents caused by drivers or riders because they are not wearing prescription glasses when their license requires them to
Fatal Motorbike Accidents Caused By Speeding Motorists
Fatal motorbike accident claims could be made against a road user if they are speeding or racing. This would generally fit under the negligence heading, but it is worth mentioning in its own right.
Some groups of road users, such as young motorcycle riders and car drivers, are known to be a risk when it comes to speeding and dangerous driving. Therefore, insurance premiums for these people are higher. A motorcycle rider who is killed while racing other motorcyclists would generally not valid grounds to claim compensation. However, a motorcyclist who is killed in an accident caused by a third party who was speeding could possibly have a valid claim against the responsible party. To learn more, please speak to one of our advisers.
Fatal Motorbike Accidents Caused By Distracted Drivers
When a person is killed on a crashed motorbike, if the accident was caused by a distracted driver, then a claim may be possible. Examples of these kinds of accidents would include:
- Accidents caused by vehicle drivers who are checking their phone, texting, using Facebook
- Accidents caused by vehicle drivers who are distracted by using their satnav
- Accidents caused by drivers who are distracted by having to deal with young children passengers in their vehicle
There are many ways for a driver to become distracted. When it can clearly be shown that a distracted driver caused the death of a motorcyclist, a claim for compensation may be possible. Check with our team to find out whether your own claim is valid. In the meantime, why not see some example compensation figures for fatal motorbike accident claims in the next section?
Compensation Calculator For Fatal Motorbike Accident Claims
There is no average compensation for motorbike death claims because each claim is different, and as such, each is awarded compensation appropriate to its circumstances. We have provided a table that looks at the circumstances surrounding a death which shows the range of compensation that could be awarded in a successful claim against a responsible party. This table is based on the Judicial College Guidelines used by the legal system in England to value claims.
|Death and losses||Compensation payouts can reach this level when they factor in loss of earnings and loss of pension, as well as the pain and suffering of the deceased person||£600,000+|
|Death||Full Awareness||A death caused by bad burns and other kinds of lung damages, with the victim initially conscious and aware and then slipping in and out of consciousness. This could last up to 5 weeks. Treatment would be intrusive in an attempt to save the patient’s life. Death would be within a couple of weeks up to 3 months later.||£11,770 to £22,350|
|Death||Followed by Unconsciousness||A death caused by serious burns or lung damage, with the victim in terrible pain initially, but becoming unconscious within 3 hours. Death would be within 2 weeks.||£9,870 to £10,010|
|Death||Immediate Unconsciousness/Death After Six Weeks||Immediately after sustaining the injury, the victim would fall unconscious and not wake up, death would take up to six weeks.||£3,530 to £4,120|
|Death||Immediate Unconsciousness/Death within One Week||Serious injuries that will leave the victim unconscious immediately, or right after the accident. Death would occur with8in 1 week.||£1,290 to £2,620|
|Death||Mental Anguish||Living for a short time, with the fear of impending death.||£4,380|
You might look for an online personal injury claims calculator which could give you a rough estimate of the amount of compensation you may be awarded. However, if you want a more accurate estimate of how much you may be able to claim, a solicitor would need to value the claim for you. If you would like us to help you arrange this, then please give our team a call on the number at the top of the page and one of our advisers will be happy to help you.
Special Damages Claimable After A Fatal Road Traffic Accident
For typical fatal motorbike accident claims, settlements will be made up of several damages. In the case of a claim for a fatal accident, these could include the following:
- General damages – these are paid for harm suffered. In the case of a death, the compensation is quite low. This is because there will be no ongoing suffering in the future such as, for example, an accident victim who has to live many years with catastrophic brain damage:
- Pain and suffering – at the time of the accident and when receiving emergency medical treatment
- Mental trauma – being involved in a traumatic accident, and also the mental anguish of knowing that death is imminent if the victim is conscious after the accident
- Painful treatment – if the victim does not die immediately following the accident, and undergoes invasive, traumatic and painful medical treatment in an effort to save their life
- Special damages – these are paid to cover for financial loss. In the case of a fatal accident claim many of these losses will have been incurred by the victim’s dependants or their estate:
- Medical costs – if private medical fees were paid for treatment the victim received before they died
- Loss of income – if the dependants of the victim relied on the departed as a breadwinner of the family, and subsequently, the family has suffered a reduction in overall income
- Funeral costs – to cover the money paid for a funeral, either a burial or a cremation
- Ad-hoc losses – for example, a family holiday that has already been paid for having to be cancelled
- Loss of revenue or increased operational costs – if a business operated by the departed will suffer financially due to their loss
These are just some of the damages that could be available to people making motorbike death claims on behalf of a lost loved one. Please speak to one of our advisers to find out which kinds of damages might be applicable in your own circumstances.
Steps To Take If A Loved One Is Killed In A Motorbike Crash
There is a personal injury claims time limit that applies to fatal motorbike accident claims. One of our advisers will be able to tell you what this time limit is. There are a number of things you can do in preparation for making a claim, and these are:
- If there are any photographs of the scene of the accident, make sure you have copies to give to your solicitor
- Find out the contact details for any witnesses to the accident, so that they can be asked for testimony if required
- Get a medical report that details the injuries the deceased suffered from, and also the circumstances of their death, whether they were awake and conscious, the kind of treatment they were given
- Document any financial losses. This could be expenses incurred because of the accident, or it could be long term losses that will be suffered due to the deceased no longer contributing an income
How The Team At Legal Helpline Could Help You
Here at Legal Helpline, we believe we offer a very simple and streamlined process for getting the legal help you need. All you have to do is follow this easy three-stage process if you’re thinking about fatal motorbike accident claims:
- Speak to our team. They will answer any questions you have and also provide you with key information related to your claim
- One of our advisers will evaluate your claim for you, and let you know whether it could be valid or not
- A solicitor will move on to process your claim under a No Win No Fee Agreement
No Win No Fee Death And Fatal Motorbike Accidents Claims
When you use a solicitor under a No Win No Fee agreement, you don’t have to pay the lawyer’s pre-agreed fee until they win you your compensation. You don’t need to pay any upfront fees or any fees while the claim is being processed. If the claim fails and you don’t receive any compensation, you still do not need to pay your lawyer’s fees.
The only time you pay the ‘success fee’ to a No Win No Fee solicitor is when your case is won and the percentage owed is deducted from the compensation you are awarded. Speak to our team to learn more about No Win No Fee agreements otherwise known as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA). To learn how we could help with fatal motorbike accident claims on a No Win No Fee basis, please read on.
Begin A Fatal Motorbike Accident Claim
Have you lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident? Do you believe that a third party was responsible for it? Would you like help from our expert panel of personal injury lawyers?
Fatal Motorbike Accident Claims FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about motorbike death claims.
These external pages could have additional information that will be useful to you regarding motorbike death claims:
These other guides could also be worth reading:
Article by MW