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Motorbike Accidents

Riding a motorbike is dangerous. Even skilled riders wearing the right safety gear, and a helmet, can be involved in a serious accident. Motorcycle riders and their pillion passengers represent a significant proportion of the road toll, even though motorcycles make up only a small percentage of registered vehicles. In Australia:

  • In 2010, 224 fatalities were motorcyclists.[1]
  • Motorcycles account for 4.5% of all Australian passenger vehicle registrations and 1.1% of vehicle kilometres travelled. However, motorcycle riders and pillions account for approximately 15% of all road crash deaths and an even higher proportion of serious injuries. Per distance travelled, the Australian rate of motorcyclist deaths is approximately 30 times the rate for car occupants. The corresponding rate for a serious injury is approximately 41 times higher. Similar elevated rates are also found in other developed countries. [2,3]

The most common motorcycle accident is when a car fails to see you or judges your speed incorrectly, and turns in front of you at an intersection. Blame inattention, distraction, blind spots and even psychology; a driver looking for cars perceives merely an absence of cars, not the presence of a motorbike.

Motorbike accidents often result in more severe injuries than other motor vehicle accidents due to:

  • The rider being thrown from the motorbike
  • The rider being crushed or dragged under the motorbike
  • The rider having little protection from larger vehicles, the roadway or any other solid obstacles.

The Bottom Line

Motorbike riders are usually not at fault for accidents, but often suffer severe injuries when they have accidents. Dan Connor will analyse your case and ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled. This will include compensation from suing the driver or drivers at fault for the accident. It is important that you consult with a motorbike accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. There are time limits within which claims must be filed. If you are physically unable to travel to see your lawyer, accommodations can be made. Delays may cost you more than you can afford to lose.

References

  1. Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport, & Regional Economics (2011). Road deaths Australia: Statistical summary 2010. Canberra: Australian Department of Infrastructure & Transport.
  2. International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (2011). Annual report 2010. France: OECD/ITF.
  3. Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.
    (2008). Fatal and serious road crashes involving motorcyclists, Monograph 20.

Case Study

Taylor v Scriven [2007] WASCA 208. I represented a young boy whose father had been killed when his motorbike collided with a parked car. The Judge at trial apportioned liability 55%/45% against the boy’s father because he had not kept a proper lookout and had not done up his helmet strap. I appealed that result on the basis that there was no evidence that doing up the helmet strap would have saved the bike rider nor was there sufficient evidence that the rider had not kept a proper lookout. The Supreme Court found that the deceased motorbike rider was not at fault and awarded his son $70,612.00 which was a finding that the car driver was 100% to blame.