Road accidents are usually a source of significant stress and trauma and often also result in serious injury. As motorcycles provide less protection than cars and other closed-in vehicles the injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident can be far more severe than a prang between two cars.
Critical injuries can also happen as a result of a motorcycle accident if a motorcyclist:
- does not ride a motorcycle as their main form of transport and is, therefore, more prone to thrill-seeking or risk-taking;
- is inexperienced or has not ridden for some time;
- has driver fatigue; or
- was unaware of the poor road conditions that led to the accident.
What types of injuries are most commonly sustained in motorcycle accidents?
The most common injury suffered in motorcycle accidents is road rash, but others include broken bones and burns, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and even paralysis. Many of these injuries can be life-altering and require many months, if not years of treatments and rehabilitation, which can be costly.
I am a motorcyclist who has been in a road accident. What should I do next?
After being in a motorcycle accident, the first steps you should take are to move off the road and call for help. Allow the first responders to take care of your injuries and take you to the hospital.
While you are at the scene, take photos or record any other details that you can, including the names and contact details of any witnesses who may be able to assist with piecing together what happened or affirming your version of events down the track.
If you do not attend a hospital you should make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible after the accident even if you do not believe you have suffered an injury as you may not realise you have caused any damage until a day or two later and it is important to have the details recorded by a medical professional.
If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured in an accident and you were not responsible for the crash, then you can seek compensation for any losses you have now and will continue to suffer from as a result of those injuries. The best way to do this is to engage a personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the process. Personal injury lawyers manage these types of claims daily and understand exactly what is needed to get the best possible outcome from the insurance company. Strict deadlines apply to these types of cases, so they can also manage the timings for you to ensure you don’t miss any crucial dates.
Who is held accountable for my injuries?
Each claim is considered on a case-by-case basis, and each accident's circumstances will need to be considered. Typically, a claim would be made against the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the driver who is at fault.
What happens if I was responsible for the accident?
If you are a motorcyclist who has sustained injuries in an accident that you contributed to or wholly caused then the compensation you receive may be reduced or the claim rejected entirely. This will be determined when the facts of the case are considered within the context of the whole accident. Some of the factors that will be looked at include:
- whether the party or parties were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time of the crash;
- if any of the drivers were unlicensed;
- if the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet (and if not, if their injuries would have been as bad had they been wearing one); and
- whether any of the parties were engaging in dangerous driving or otherwise not observing road rules.
The driver who caused the accident fled the scene. Can I still seek compensation?
In this situation, you may still be able to claim damages against the Nominal Defendant.
If you are a motorcyclist who has recently been injured in a road accident and you require advice on making a personal injury claim, you must seek advice from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Preston Law can help.