“Boomer Bikers” are the fastest growing segment of the Irish motorbike fraternity, with many middle-aged men forgoing the relative comfort and safety of their family saloons to take to the roads on two wheeled machines.
Unfortunately, this growth in motorbike users has coincided with a growth in motorbike accidents, and now Ireland has the second worst record of fatalities and serious motorbike injury amongst the 27 member states of the European Union.
This is not to say that motorbike injuries can be solely attributed to the older generation. The Road Safety Authority has produced a “National Motorcycle Action Plan” proposing 78 areas where safety could be improved to reduce the volume of motorbike injury on Ireland´s roads. This publication, which was prompted by their own annual road safety statistics, revealed that 75% of all motorbike injuries in two vehicle accidents was due the driver of the other vehicle not paying due care and attention.
Motorbike riders are not only at risk of motorbike injury from other road users. Potholes caused by a lack of drainage or poorly maintained roads are hazards in themselves. When it rains, these potholes fill with water and can cause “ponding”, or the water in the potholes freezes over during cold conditions to produce dangerous icy patches. Spills from oil tankers can create equally slippery road surfaces, and little is done to prevent these hazards as they do not present the same risks to car drivers.
We offer a free and confidential information service for people who wish to discuss their potential claim with an experienced solicitor.
You will be under no obligation to proceed with a claim. Our helpline is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and we also operate a call-back service if now is not a suitable time to speak with us. Simply complete the call-back box below.
Motorbike Accidents and Motorbike Injury
A motorbike injury is generally more severe than one sustained in any other type of vehicle. This is because motorbikes do not offer riders and passengers the same back and head injury protection as a car would in a similar collision.
Even with a crash helmet, the head is still more vulnerable to the impact caused by a collision, and the back more likely to get damaged in a motorbike accident where one is thrown from the bike onto a hard road surface or against a safety barrier.
These violent impact collisions are also responsible for the most common motorbike injury sustained in road traffic accidents – a fractured bone. Almost a third of all breakages occur to the fibula or tibia and, according to figures collected from hospital accident and emergency departments, nearly a quarter of all motorbike injury casualties seen by them sustained broken bones in multiple locations – requiring a lengthy rehabilitation period and often expensive therapy.
One motorbike injury commonly overlooked is the psychological trauma that is sustained when a person is involved in a motorbike accident. Occasionally, the motorbike rider completely loses their confidence to get back on a bike. This lack of assuredness can affect their overall quality of life as well as incurring more expense, as alternative forms of transport have to be acquired to allow the injured person to receive ongoing medical treatment, and commute to work when they have recovered from their motorbike injury.
Compensation for Motorbike Injury
As mentioned above, 75% of all motorbike injury in two vehicle accidents was due the driver of the other vehicle not paying due care and attention. Iyou have been the victim in a motorcycle accident that was not fault, you are entitled to claim compensation for your motorbike injury. Even though the process for making a claim is the same as any personal injury* compensation claim, because of the potential high “value” that may be awarded for a motorbike injury, it is better that you first consult with a specialised personal injury* solicitor.
One of the key areas for ensuring that you receive a fair and adequate amount of compensation is the completion of the Injuries Board of Ireland application form. The hard copy of this form only consists of four pages, and barely allows you the space to insert all the relevant details that you may need to explain exactly how you sustained your motorbike injury.
You will also need to attach documentary evidence to support your claim – such as your medical records and Gardai accident report – and any receipts for out of pocket expenses you may have occurred.
Although you will need to attend an independent medical examination before the Injuries Board Ireland makes their compensation assessment, it is in your best interests to enclose an accompanying letter with your application, and a solicitor will be the best person to advise you what to include in the letter. He or she will also be able to write it on your behalf if you are still suffering from the effects of your motorbike injury or he can take over the submission of the Injuries Board of Ireland application form entirely.
Motorbike Injury Compensation Issues
There are a number of issues which may affect the award of compensation that is made for your motorbike injury, and the length of time it takes for you to receive it.
Where a motorist has been negligent and caused an accident in which you suffered a serious motorbike injury, his insurance company may advise him not to admit liability. They may also suggest that you contributed to your injuries by the way you were riding your motorbike, in order to get the amount of compensation reduced. In either instance, the Injuries Board of Ireland will decline to assess the application form for your motorbike injury and you will have to pursue your claim through the courts.
Even when the Injuries Board has been able to make an assessment of your claim for motorbike injury compensation, the negligent party´s insurance company may dispute it due to its size. A broken tibia, even when on its way to recovery, can command awards of compensation in excess of €15,000 according to the Injuries Board Ireland´s “Book of Quantum”.
When you add special damages for out of pocket expenses such as physical therapy and the potential loss of earnings during your rehabilitation period, it is conceivable that compensation for your motorbike injury could be six figures. It is that an insurance company may be reluctant to pay the award without a fight.
These are just some of the reasons why using the services of a specialised personal injury* claims solicitor can be of benefit to you.
If you have sustained a motorbike injury in a road traffic accident, you are invited to call our free advice line to find out more. Our service provides the opportunity for you to speak with an experienced personal injury* claims solicitor and discuss the circumstances surrounding your motorbike injury.
The solicitor will be able to offer free practical and helpful advice without obligation and in complete confidentiality. Our service is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, or you are welcome to complete the call-back box below and one of our team will be back in touch.