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Motorcycle Accident Compensation: RTA lawyer explains the most common types of UK collisions involving motorcycles and who as at fault for each

Motorcycle Accident Compensation: On this page you can see common RTA scenarios involving motor bikes with an explanation of how to decide who is at fault for each. You will discover how your actions can reduce the amount of motorcycle accident compensation you can claim - including speeding and failure to wear a crash helmet.

Which part of the Highway Code applies to motorcycles?

Motorcycle accident compensation

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The majority of the Highway Code applies to all road users, but Rule 83 - 88 apply specifically to motorcycles.

I shall point out the relevant Rules as we go.

Click Highway Code Rules For Motorcyclists to see Rules 83 - 88.

Who is at fault if a collision occurs when a motorcyclist is passing stationary vehicles?

When a motorcyclist is overtaking stationary vehicles on the outside or offside - it is known as "filtering" and it is permitted by Rule 88 of the Highway Code so long as care is taken and speed is kept low . The motorcyclist must anticipate pedestrians crossing amongst the traffic, cars changing lanes and vehicles emerging from side roads.

Generally speaking 4 types of collison occur when a motorcycle is filtering:

1. Pedestrians crossing amongst the traffic

If a pedestrian is hit - it is likely to be the motorcyclist who is at fault and liable to pay the pedestrian RTA compensation.

2. A car emerging from a side road

This is more of a difficult situation - it will depend on the speed of the bike and of the car and the manoeuvre that is performed

If the car turned into the bike as it was passing - the car driver will likely be at fault for the motorcycle accident compensation.

If the car pulled in front of the bike and the bike hit the car - if the bike was going at speed the bike will be at fault and if not it is likely that both the bike and the car will be partly responsible.

3. Car changing lanes

This will depend exactly how the collision occurred - it is quite likely commonsense will prevail as to who will be considered at fault.

4. A car performs a u turn

If a collision occurs when a bike is passing stationary traffic and a car or other vehicle does a u turn causing a collision - it is likely that the car driver will be held responsible to pay motorcycle accident compensation.

Who is at fault for a RTA if a motorcycle is under taking or overtaking vehicles on the nearside?

A motorcyclist is only permitted to pass vehicles on the nearside ( the side of the road closest to the kerb ) in very limited situations - such as when traffic is moving slowly or the motorcycle is turning left.

If a collision occurs whilst a bike is under taking when it is allowe to do so - the decision of who is at fault is similar to that described earlier for filtering.

If however the accident occurs when a bike is not permitted to undertake - it is likely that the bike will hold the majority of the responsibility for the collision.

Who is responsible for a collsion whilst a car is turning from a side road?

Car drivers will often rely on a vehicle turning left as a safe opportunity to set off from a side road to turn left or right onto a main road. If however a motorcyclist is overtaking the turning vehicle - all too often a car driver will not see the bike until it is too late and a collision will occur.

In this type of collision - case law has shown that fault generally lies with the car driver. The motorcyclist was performing a legitimate manoeuvre and a car driver should properly have waited until he could see a distance down the road to ensure it was safe to turn.

This type of collision is more common when a turning vehicle is a large one such as a bus or lorry as it obscures the driver's view of the road behind the vehicle - in such occasions a car driver should wait unti lthe vehicle has completed its turn or until he can see beyond the turning vehicle to ensure other road users, including motorbikes, are not overtaking.

If a collision is due to the error of another road user - are there any ways your motorcycle accident compensation can be reduced?

"Yes" - your motorcycle accident compensation can be reduced for what is known as "contributory negligence".

Contributory negligence describes the ways you have made an error that has either partly caused an accident or made the injuries that you would have suffered in the road accident more severe, some examples include:

1. Failure to wear a crash helmet

Rule 83 of the Highway Code requires motorcyclists and pillion passengers to wear a crash helmet and ensure it is fastened correctly.

Rule 83 exempts Sikh's who are wearing a turban from having to use a crash helmet.

If you are not wearing a helmet when a collision occurs the amount of motorcycle accident compensation you are entitled to will likely be reduced especially if you suffered a head injury.

2. Failure to wear other protective clothing

Rule 84 of the Highway Code describes the other types of protective clothing it is advisable to wear.

Injuries made worse by failing to wear such protective clothing will likely lead to a reduction in the accident compensation you will receive.

3. Speeding

If you are speeding when a collision occurs - you are likely to have your motorcycle accident compensation reduced. The more you are speeding the higher the reduction

4. Failure to wear visible clothing in the day and reflective clothing at night

A motorcyclist must try to make themselves as visible as possible - Rule 86 Highway code gives examples of suitable clothing to be worn for riding in day and Rule 87 Highway Code gives a description of suitable reflective clothing that must be worn at night.

Wearing the correct clothing will make your more visible on the road and could prevent you being missed by other road users.

5. Pillion passengers

Rule 85 of the Highway Code does not allow more than one pillion passenger to be carried at one time on a motor bike and any pillion passenger must sit astride the machine on a proper seat, facing forward with both feet on the footrests.

If these rules are not followed the motorcycle accident compensation for pillion passengers could be reduced.

Summary of Motorcycle Accident Compensation

This page has seto out who is likely to be responsible for your motorcycle accident compensation for several different collisions involving bikes.

I recommend you click motorcycle accident compensation to see some examples of amounts of motorcycle accident compensation you can expect to receive for various types of injury.