By Jo Martinez. Last Updated 14th June 2023. Welcome to our fatal motorbike accident claims guide, In this online guide, we focus on deaths that are the result of a 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.
How To Claim Compensation For A Deadly Motorbike Crash
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:
- Motorbike Accident Claims – How Claims Work
- What is A Fatal Motorcycle or Motorbike Accident?
- Motorbike Accident And Safety Statistics
- Who Could Make A Fatal Motorbike Accident Claim?
- Evidence To Support Fatal Motorcycle Accident Claims
- Causes Of Motorbike Accidents
- Compensation Payouts in 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
- Motorbike Injury – Time Limits For Fatal Claims
- Fatal Motorbike Injuries – Help From A No Win No Fee Lawyer
- Motorbike And Road Accident Victim Resources
If your loved one suffered a fatal motorbike injury, you might be eligible to claim on their behalf for their pain and suffering. Under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934, the estate of the deceased can bring forward such a claim in the six months following their death.
After six months, dependents can claim under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 if the
estate has not started a claim. This could be for their own pain and suffering or financial loss caused by the fatal accident. The settlement will usually cover claims made under both acts. Later in this guide, we look at who can make a claim for fatal bike accident compensation.
As part of the claiming process, you will be expected to demonstrate that your loved one was owed a duty of care and it was a breach in this that caused their fatal injuries.
If at any point you have any questions or would like free legal advice regarding fatal motorbike accident claims, please get in touch with our advisors. They can assess the validity of the claim and if it seems eligible, connect you to a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.
Fatal motorcycle accidents are motorcycle or motorbike crashes that result in the death of the rider or passenger of a motorcycle.
If you’ve lost a loved one through a fatal motorcycle accident, you may be able to claim compensation for your loss. You could be eligible if another road user was negligent and caused the fatal accident. You could also potentially make a claim against your local council if poor road conditions were the cause of the accident.
For more information on claiming compensation for fatal motorcycle accidents, get in touch with us at any time.
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
If you are unsure whether you would be eligible to make a claim for the death of a motorcycle rider, you can speak to our team. One of our advisers can tell you whether you could claim or not.
Claims for motorbike accidents require as much evidence as possible to help support the chances of the claim being successful. Types of evidence that could support a fatal motorcycle accident claim may include the following:
- Any dashcam or CCTV footage of the fatal accident.
- Photos of the accident scene.
- The contact details of any witnesses. They may be able to provide a written statement.
- Medical reports confirming the cause of death of the individual you are claiming on behalf of.
- A police report (if applicable).
A motorcycle accident solicitor from our panel could help you with gathering the evidence you need for your claim.
Contact our advisors today if you have any questions about making a fatal accident claim. Additionally, they could connect you with a solicitor from our panel who could assist you with your case.
There are different situations in which a motorbike accident could occur. If a breach of duty of care caused your loved one to suffer fatal injuries, you might be eligible for compensation. We’ve provided examples of situations that could result in a fatal motorbike accident below.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
- 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.
You may want to know if there is an average compensation amount you could receive from fatal motorbike accident claims. Unfortunately, there is not, as every claim is different. There are many factors that can determine the potential compensation for a motorbike accident caused by negligence.
The Judicial College Guidelines can give you a better idea of what you could receive from these types of claims. They have created compensation brackets relating to many different injuries based on previous successful claims in England and Wales.
However, please remember that these amounts are not guaranteed as there are many factors that can determine the compensation figure in a successful claim. These figures have been taken from the latest guidelines, that were published in 2022.
|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||£550,000+|
|Tetraplegia (also known as Quadriplegia)||2(a)||A case in the middle of this bracket will involve the injured person being fully aware of their condition and having a life expectancy of around 25 years.||£324,600 to £403,990
|Paraplegia||2(b)||The level of compensation would be determined by factors like the injured person's degree of independence and the impact on sexual function.||£219,070 to £284,260
|Brain damage||Very severe (a)||Little to no response to their surroundings.||£282,010 to £403,990|
|Psychiatric damage||Severe (a)||The prognosis of getting past problems coping is very poor.||£54,830 to £115,730|
|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.||£12,540 to £23,810|
If you would like an estimate of what you could receive, our advisors will be more than happy to help.
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 the pain and suffering of the deceased.
- 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
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.
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
This type of preparation will assist your solicitor when they process your claim on your behalf. For more advice about this, please speak to our claims team today.
If your loved one was involved in a fatal motorbike crash and you are eligible to claim, you will need to start a fatal accident claim within the personal injury claims time limit. For a fatal bike accident, the Limitation Act 1980 sets this as three years. This is three years from the date of the accident or three years from the date of knowledge. For example, the date of knowledge could be after a post-mortem that determined the motorbike injury resulted in your loved one’s death. The time limit could be suspended in some circumstances.
Call our advisors for more information or to start a claim for a fatal bike accident today. They can advise on if you could make a claim for a fatal motorbike crash where the driver was instantly killed and other related topics.
One of the solicitors on our panel could help you with your fatal motorbike accident claim if a loved one suffered fatal motorbike injuries in a road traffic accident. Furthermore, one of the solicitors on our panel may offer you a type of No Win No Fee agreement known as a Conditional Fee Agreement.
When making a claim with a solicitor under this arrangement, you will not be expected to pay any upfront or ongoing fees to them for their services. Additionally, you will not have to pay them for the work they have done on your claim if it is unsuccessful.
If they do succeed with your claim, you will pay them a legally capped success fee. This is a small percentage that is taken from your compensation award.
Contact our advisors today to see if you could be connected with one of the No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel. They can also help answer any questions you may have about fatal accident claims for motorbike deaths.
To connect with an advisor, you can:
Fatal Motorbike Accident Claims FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about motorbike death claims.
These other guides could also be worth reading:
- A Guide To Road Traffic Accident Claims
- Claiming For A Car Accident
- Claiming For An Accident As A Cyclist
These external pages could have additional information that will be useful to you regarding motorbike death claims:
Article by MW