Motorcycle Blog

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Over the years, since I first specialised in 1993 in motorcycle accident personal injury claims, I have seen good claims struggle because of lack of evidence gathered from the scene.

What I say is developed and battle proven in close to 20 years of trial experience. Not many other lawyers are going to be able to say that to you. Very few solicitors are trial lawyers, and do not have the experience of what cuts it in real court, rather than making points in letters.

 If you have a motorcycle accident or crash here is what you need to do straight away. However the motorcycle accident is caused, here are some top tips to give yourself the best fighting chance of winning in Court, or bringing a successful motorcycle personal injury claim.
 
Exchange information with the other party or parties involved in the motorcycle accident. Keep calm. An “effing and blinding” motorcyclist fulfils a lot of stereotypes of the speeding and aggressive motorcyclist and can totally turn witnesses. There is a study from Leicester University that noted that drivers of perceived fast cars were driving more quickly than little town cars – even though the speeds were identical. A motorcycle is a fast and noisy thing, usually ridden by tough looking guys or wild biker chicks. As a 42 year R1200 GS rider I know these stereotypes are nonsense but I have been a biker since I was 17. Even the police will treat with real caution the stories of speeding bikers appearing out of nowhere.  Don’t get involved in an argument at the scene. If it is likely to get ugly definitely call the police. In fact, always call the police. Getting them to actually come out is a different story.

In an ideal world you might ask for a driving licence and insurance companies but all we need to trace an insurer and a registered keeper is a UK number plate.  If it is a hit and run motorcycle accident you must get the police involved.  Use your mobile phone camera. The identity of who was driving is an issue surprisingly often. It is not often we come across cars that have alleged false number plates but it is something we see occasionally. A picture of the driver and the car kills off the “not my car, I wasn’t there” (surprisingly common) or the car being reported as stolen.

When you have your camera phone out, take as many photos as you can of the road layout, where vehicles are and anything else you think might be of interest at the scene of the motorcycle accident. I have had to rely on camera phone photos in Court many times, especially in defective roadway accidents. If you fell off on a loose road surface the hardest thing I have to prove is where that gravel came from. If you have photos and a sample from the scene of the motorcycle accident then you have made my job in bringing a personal injury claim go from the near impossible to the very much easier.

If you are trying to help an injured motorcyclist – especially in a “highways case” the state of the road is key, but that is not enough. We need to show the source of the material that fetched the rider off. A gravel sample has won me many cases, and I have had to decline to press on with cases where there is just not enough evidence.

Photos of a street name or junction sign helps place the photo. Remember this is not CSI, the Court will believe your photos are honest unless there is evidence of fraud.

Motorcycle Accident Claim – Checklist

  • Exchange Information – Number plates, driving licence and insurance companies
  • Keep Calm
  • Call the Police
  • Eyewitness details
  • Take Photos – Accident scene, road layout, road surface, other vehicles
  • Take a sample of the road surface if you came off on gravel or similar

Andrew Dalton
Solicitor Advocate & Barrister
Law Society Personal Injury Panel.
Senior Partner White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors

Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focussed on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.

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2 Comments
  • RosemarieNo Gravatar

    June 6, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    My husband has had a terrible accident on the Isle of Man this week and has crushed his spinal cord and won’t ever walk again. The police was trying to charge him with driving with undue care and attention however the bike hardly has a scratch on it and no other person involved. Today my husband told me they hare giving him a Caution. It was an accident pure and simple. What implications with this have on our insurance claim now that he won’t be able to walk again?

    Kind regards
    Rosemarie Towers

  • Andrew DaltonNo Gravatar

    June 9, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Rosemarie, we thought carefully before we put your posting up on the blog. I wish your husband all the very best. The Isle of Man legal profession is fierce in guarding its independence from mainland lawyers so you need to get a solicitor who is registered to take on a motorcycle accident personal injury claims in the Isle of Man.

    In English law your husband can only bring a claim if someone else is at fault, and the position is similar across pretty well every “common law” jurisdiction. The fault can be of another road user or a carriageway defect, or a defect in the motorcycle itself. I do not know what your husband’s situation is. However in English law accepting a caution is an acceptance of at least some fault, so it can make a difference.

    Good luck.

    Andrew

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