Many bikers have loved motorcycles since their childhood and prefer them as their primary mode of transport. Others choose to travel on motorcycles for their convenience in getting around congested traffic. Motorcycles are regarded by most people as being more exciting than cars and more and more people are buying bikes and joining motorcycle clubs every year. While there are many positive points to being a motorcyclist, there are many negative points too. Recent statistics show that while motorcycles make up only 2% of the traffic on UK roads, they account for 19% of all road traffic accidents and deaths, and the risk of being involved in a fatal motorcycle accident is 40 times higher than a car accident.
Similarly, more and more people are taking up cycling, thanks in part to bike schemes now available in many major cities and improvements in cycle paths, as well as for the health, economic and environmental benefits involved. However, cyclists have little in the way of protection and will typically come off worst in any accident involving another vehicle.
There are things you can do to stay safe and reduce your risk of being injured in a bike accident, but ultimately you could be injured by another motorist who isn’t paying the same level of care and attention to their driving. If this has happened to you, you could find out more about bike accident claims by getting in touch with Accident Advice Helpline’s expert advisors. Provided your accident happened in the last three years, we should be able to help you.
Common causes of bike accidents
How does a bike accident occur? Many bicycle and motorcycle accident happen when riders get caught in a car or truck driver’s blind spot. Another common reason is a bike’s natural susceptibility to skidding and sliding, especially in poor weather or bad road surface conditions. Your accident could be caused by a driver who was distracted at the wheel – for example by their mobile phone – or by somebody driving tired or over the limit. Or you could be injured when another vehicle’s brakes fail and they hit your bike.
We handle more bike accident claims in winter than at any other time of the year, mostly due to the treacherous weather conditions, and if you have been injured then it’s best to contact us as soon as possible after your accident. We have even handled claims where cyclists and bikers have been injured on country roads after colliding with (or swerving to avoid) sheep or other farm animals.
Seeking treatment for bike accident injuries
If you are not sure what to do if you’ve been involved in a bike accident, your first step should be to see a doctor that specialises in treating bike accident injuries. It’s vital that you seek medical advice after your accident, even if your injuries are relatively minor. Your eligibility to make bike accident claims could depend on whether or not you sought medical attention, as we will normally need to see evidence of your medical treatment and injuries in order to proceed with your claim. Some of the symptoms of bike accident injuries are:
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Spine injuries
- Serious head injuries
Serious accidents often have a lasting impact on the victim. The long term effects of being involved in a bike accident can be psychological as well as physical, and could include:
- Permanent scarring to your face or body
- Brain damage
You may need long-term rehabilitation, physiotherapy or treatment for your injuries, and this can be costly, at a time when you are left unable to work and provide an income for yourself and your family. If you have been left permanently disabled after a bike accident then you may need to pay for your home to be adapted, so that it is wheelchair accessible, for example, or you may have other medical or care costs to cover. Treatment could involve surgery, time off work and physiotherapy to help you recover from your injuries, and you may recover fully from your injuries or be left suffering and in chronic pain.
Staying safe on the roads – what can you do?
There are some things you can do to keep yourself safe on your bike, and whilst these things won’t prevent an accident from happening, they can reduce your risk of sustaining a serious injury:
- Ensure your bike is roadworthy, check its tyres and workings before setting off on a journey
- Try to avoid using your bike in wintry weather or on days where there is heavy rain or other adverse weather conditions
- Ensure you invest in a high-quality helmet that fits you well to protect against head injuries
- Always wear protective clothing when on your bike as this can reduce the risk of serious road rash and injuries to your skin if you come off your bike
- Keep your wits about you – take defensive action and be aware that other drivers may not always see you in their mirrors or check their blind spot
- Avoid sneaking up the side of other vehicles at traffic lights, roundabouts or junctions, as this is where accidents are most likely to occur
By following these safety tips, you can reduce your risk of ever having to make bike accident claims.
Choose Accident Advice Helpline
At Accident Advice Helpline we understand the specific needs of bikers and cyclists and the unique risks and challenges they face every day on our busy roads. This is why we are committed to accident victims with professional legal advice, representation and support anywhere in the UK. With over 16 years’ experience, our specialist team of solicitors have successfully dealt with thousands of bike accident claims and we are confident in our ability and expertise to achieve the best possible outcome on your claim.
If in the past three years you’ve suffered personal injury in a non-fault bike accident, you may be entitled to make an accident compensation claim. If you are worried about the cost of making a bike accident claim, you will be relieved to know that at Accident Advice Helpline we take on all personal injury claims on a 100% no-win, no-fee basis. This means that we will not ask you for an upfront legal fee before taking on your claim, making claiming affordable to anyone. For expert help claiming for a bike accident, dial 0800 689 0500 from a landline or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile phone.
Date Published: 9th December 2012
Author: David Brown