Know Your Rights

The chances of a motorcyclist suffering some kind of injury as a result of a collision with another vehicle, or due to a road defect, are extremely high and it is no wonder that motorcyclists are categorised as vulnerable road users.

It is a startling statistic from the Department for Transport that there were nearly 85,000 reported motorcycle collisions on UK roads in the five years between 2016 and 2020 and of those, 29,000 involved serious injury and 1,600 resulted in fatality.  

That is why it is so important that you know your rights, or that you know where to turn to have your rights protected.

Pay attention to Highway Code updates

Motorcyclists need protection, and it is a welcome development that the Highway Code was amended in 2022 to place greater responsibility on drivers of larger vehicles (cars, vans, passenger vehicles and HGVs) towards motorcyclists. Despite these positive changes it is a sad inevitability that motorcyclists will continue to be injured in road collisions. There will also continue to be a common misconception that motorcyclists bring danger upon themselves just by being on the road. 

We’ve lost count of the amount of times that an allegation of speed or recklessness has been levelled against an innocent motorcyclist, often based on the size or type of the bike, or the sound it makes. As ridiculous as it may seem, the mere fact that a motorcyclist was displaying “L” plates can bring with it a presumption of fault.

Filtering is legal – but must be done safely

There is also a great deal of fuss about motorcyclists filtering through traffic. It is something that non-motorcyclists can often frown upon, not realising that filtering is a perfectly legitimate manoeuvre when done safely.

Even if you are unsure of your rights, or whether you may have the makings of a claim because of injuries that you’ve sustained in a collision, we can help. There are some basic legal principles that determine whether a claim can be made. All road users owe a duty of care to everyone else using the roads. When a collision occurs it is usually because there has been a breach of that duty of care, by one, or possibly both of the parties involved. That may sound straightforward, but in practice applying these legal principles can be a minefield.

Each case will have its own unique facts and sometimes the smallest of details can make all the difference towards winning a case. Knowing the intricacies of the Highway Code, and having a thorough knowledge of relevant case law is where we can help, and you may be surprised to learn that you do indeed have the basis of a claim.

Things you can do following a collision

There are certain things you can do in the event of a collision, that will stand you in very good stead and help maximise the chances of a successful claim:

  • It is always good practice to make no admission that you were at fault at the scene of an accident as you need time to process what happened.
  • Never feel forced to write an admission of liability.
  • Always exchange details with the other driver – name, address, telephone number, registration number and insurance details.
  • Report the collision to the police.
  • Photographic evidence is priceless – take photos of the collision scene from different angles.  
  • Be sure to take photographs of the damage to your motorcycle and the other vehicle, including a photograph of the registration plate of the other vehicle.
  • Check for witnesses – they are invaluable, so obtain their names and addresses.
  • Consider whether there may be any CCTV cameras in the vicinity – there are lots of them around these days, many shops, petrol stations and public buildings have them.
  • If you are the victim of a hit and run collision the Motor Insurers’ Bureau operates a scheme to compensate victims of untraced drivers – but be sure to get names of witnesses and, crucially, please report the accident to the police immediately.

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Here’s what to do

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