Riding motorcycles is thrilling, but we all know it carries many more danger than driving a car. In 2008, a Road Safety Strategy report found that Ireland had the second-highest fatality rate for bikers – second only to Slovenia. Motorbikes comprise just two per cent of the country’s licensed vehicles, but make up 12 per cent of vehicle-related fatalities.
It’s not the bikers, as most are only too well aware of how vulnerable they are compared to drivers. It’s a combination of careless driving, cars with tinted windows, higher bonnets and higher windscreen and door pillars. One third of motorbike accidents happen at junctions, so it’s obvious that visibility is a factor.
When you include things like potholes, liquid spills and bad weather, it’s easy to see how bikers fall prey to serious injuries – they just don’t have that protective chassis around them.
So what you as a biker need to know is, if you have an accident and get injured,how much motorcycle accident compensation you could be eligible for, especially if you hand your case over to specialist solicitors. Around 90 per cent of people use a solicitor when they take their case to the Injuries Board, as this can mean a faster and better payout.
It’s important to remember that the Injuries Board doesn’t deal with psychological injuries, so if you’re suffering from nightmares, anxiety or depression after your crash, only a legal team can help.
Bike accidents can result in multiple injuries, so if you have a team of solicitors, it can make sure you get compensated for each one – and fairly. You may also decide to take action against the person or body responsible for your accident, which is where barristers come in.
Common injuries after a bike crash include whiplash, which might not present fully for a few days – or even weeks. Bike accidents can also involve broken bones, especially multiple breaks. Riders can also suffer ligament tears and ruptures, as well as crush injuries and damage to large areas of skin. Crush injuries and whiplash can lead to lifelong consequences like nerve damage, and skin loss can lead to months of painful skin grafts and scarring. It’s a good idea to keep a diary of symptoms and how your life is affected daily in order to back up your case.
Bike injuries can be life-changing, which is one reason why you need to seek medical advice promptly, but shop around for good legal help. One thing you should always steer clear of is out-of-court settlement offers from the liable party. Very often they’re not as good as the settlements good solicitors can get you.
The worst injuries affect the brain and spine, as these may mean you can’t work anymore and might need adjustments made to your house to enable you to live independently. If the worst happens, you’ll need your affairs looked after by a trusted person, so most accident lawyers recommend that bikers give “enduring power of attorney” to someone close in case they’re suddenly unable to speak for themselves.