I got on the back, and then he started to ride like a plank. I realised there was a police car flashing its blue lights behind us, at which point my `mate’ rode down residential roads, in the end turning into a blind alley. He hit a wheelie bin, knocked himself off the bike, and me into a wall, causing an open book fracture to my pelvis.

My so-called mate, who I know only as Mark, managed to leg it over a wall, and I haven’t seen him since. The police intend to charge me with aiding and abetting the theft of a motorcycle, even though I have several witnesses who will say that I was picked up outside the pub. More importantly, does anyone owe me any compensation for my injuries?

Name and Address witheld

If you can prove that you did not know the bike was stolen, nor did you know the full identity of the rider, then you are entitled to compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. But you have quite an uphill struggle.

It might well be that the actual owner of the motorcycle will have to run a claim through his own insurance to compensate you. A lot of people might think that’s unfair, but the law says under a section of the Road Traffic Act that even if your vehicle is stolen, if the original rider is traced, even if it is the thief, they are deemed to be insured.

From the information you gave us, you should expect the Motor Insurers’ Bureau to reject your claim. Then you will have to appeal to an independent queen’s Counsel who will make the final decision. The MIB will investigate you quite closely, and everything that you said to the police on interview will be very closely analysed, so ask yourself whether you really want to put yourself under this kind of scrutiny before proceeding.

Andrew Dalton