Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents

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Statistics gathered by Road Safety Queensland show that where a road accident has involved a motorcycle and a vehicle other than a motorcycle, the cause of the accident is typically attributable to the driver of the other vehicle who has failed to give way to the motorcyclist. Sadly, the types of injuries sustained by motorcyclists tend to be far more severe than those sustained by drivers of other types of vehicles.

What makes motorcycle accidents so much more severe?

Aside from the obvious reason of motorcycles providing less protection than cars, vans, trucks or buses, there are other factors that can contribute to the cause of the significant injuries suffered by a motorcyclist. These include:

  • A lack of riding experience or long periods of time between rides, causing inconsistency in experience;
  • Weekend-only riders who are more prone to thrill seeking and taking risks;
  • Other road users failing to notice the motorcyclist in their proximity;
  • Other road users failing to correctly judge the speed at which the motorcyclist was approaching;
  • Driver fatigue; and
  • Poor road conditions such as insufficient signage or markings, gravel being present or deterioration of the road or obstructions.

Who is held accountable in the event a motorcyclist is injured or killed in a road accident?

The circumstances of each accident will need to be considered. Generally speaking, a claim would be made against the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the driver at fault or against the driver of the vehicle who was responsible for the accident that caused the injury or death.

I am a motorcyclist in Cairns who was injured in an accident that I contributed to. What happens now?

If you are found to have contributed to or caused the accident in which you sustained your injuries, your damages (the money you receive) may be reduced. The kinds of factors that are considered when determining if you were at fault include:

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Driving while unlicensed
  • Not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle
  • Speeding, engaging in dangerous driving or otherwise not observing road rules

Depending on your circumstances, you may also be able to make a claim through any Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) policy associated with your superannuation. It is important to seek advice from a compensation lawyer in Cairns to know what you are entitled to.

What can motorcyclists do to prevent accidents?

There are many ways you can avoid accidents and injuries as a motorcyclist. These include:

  • Always wearing a helmet and brightly coloured protective clothing that has been designed to reduce the severity of any injuries sustained by a motorcyclist if they come off their motorbike. Wearing protective clothing also means exposing the least amount of skin possible, so ensure gloves and boots are worn to protect ankles and hands;
  • Riding your motorbike regularly to ensure you remain a confident and experienced rider who is in tune with the way their bike runs;
  • Remaining aware of your presence on the road at all times. It can be easy to forget that as a motorcyclist, you are not as visible to drivers as other larger vehicles are;
  • Being vigilant of the movements of all other vehicles on the road and understanding that the other drivers may not anticipate a motorcyclist’s rapid movements;
  • Staying in touch with updates to road rules and regulations, as well as completing an advanced driver course, which will provide you with better riding skills; and
  • Always observing the road rules, including not exceeding the speed limit or engaging in risky and erratic behaviour.

If you have been involved in an accident involving a motorcyclist or are a motorcyclist who has been injured in a road accident and you require advice on making a personal injury claim, Cairns Compensation Lawyers can help.