From a road safety point of view, there is a massive difference between motorbikes and other vehicles. Motorbike riders are much more vulnerable in case of an accident and are more likely to suffer serious injuries. If a car and motorbike are involved in the same accident, the motorbike rider will probably come out worst.
According to the Road Safety Authority, motorcycle riders represent just 2% of all licensed users but they make up 10% of road deaths.
The RSA also recommends a number of steps that you can take in order to avoid an injury of this kind:-
- Make sure your motorbike is regularly serviced by a reputable garage. Don’t take short cuts on servicing. If you have concerns about some part of the bike, then get it checked over immediately. Don’t take risks.
- Take note of other users. Get to know how other drivers react to motorbikes and their likely reaction if something is different in terms of traffic or road works.
- Get to know how your motorbike reacts to different kinds of weather eg wet or icy conditions.
- Be seen. Always wear highly visible clothing, especially at night or when visibility is low and use dipped headlights when appropriate.
- Stay vigilant. Use your mirrors and avoid getting surprised with nasty shocks – or causing any surprise to other drivers.
- Take precautions and avoid swerving or driving in such a way that differs from other drivers travelling by larger vehicles. Always remember, in an accident, they have greater protection so don’t act in such a way as to put yourself in danger.
- You can also take lessons from an approved instructor or take an additional course to brush up on your skills.
If you do find yourself involved in an accident, there are several things to know.
What should you do at the scene?
If you or anyone else involved needs medical attention, call for an ambulance. Call the Gardai in these circumstances too.
Once this has been done, secure the scene. Make sure it’s clearly visible to other road users so that there isn’t another accident.
What should you do with your motorbike?
Depending on the amount of damage to your motorbike, you may be able to drive it from the scene yourself. If it’s been completely written off then it will have to be towed away. Either the other party will arrange for this to be done in which case it will be stored in a facility used by their insurance company who will cover the cost. If you have it removed yourself then the cost of storage can be recouped from the Defendant’s insurance company
Do you have a case?
Whether or not you can bring a claim will depend on the circumstances of the case and there are two steps to consider.
First, has one party been negligent in such a way as to cause an accident? The other party must have done something in a manner that was not up to standard. Maybe they didn’t look in their mirror and collided with you for that reason. Maybe they misjudged the gap that they should have kept between your bike and their vehibcle. There are many different ways in which road users can fall short of their obligations to drive in a safe manner.
Secondly, once you have shown that the other driver was negligent in their actions, you must then show that their actions have led to, or caused your injuries and loss. This means that their actions must be directly related to causing an injury or worsening an existing loss.
You can bring a claim once you establish these two things – negligent actions on the part of the other party which then led to your loss or injuries.
Who can you claim against?
The other driver
This is the most common defendant in your case – the other driver who was involved in the accident and who behaved in a negligent or unsafe manner.
The owner of the car
You can also make a claim against the owner of the other car or vehicle involved in the accident. In the case of a hired driver, your case will be brought against the company who owns the van.
The local authority
If the road is in a state whereby accidents were foreseeable then you may be able to bring a claim against the local authority on the grounds that it was their responsibility to ensure that all roads in the locality are road-worthy and safe.
Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI)
Some years ago, it was impossible for you to bring a claim where the driver who caused the accident was not insured or where they left the scene of the accident before handing over any insurance details or other information, meaning that you had no-one to bring a claim against.
This was rectified by the setting up of the MIBI. This is an organisation that covers cases where there is no insured party involved and it was set up to give drivers some protection if they were insured in an accident that wasn’t their fault and they had no chance to bring a claim against another insurance company.
Repair workers and garages
If shoddy work has been carried out on the motorbike then you might have a case against the garage where it was done.
Is there a deadline for bringing cases?
In general you must initiate a case within 2 years of the accident taking place. This can be extended in certain circumstances but it is always better to start dealing with a claim as soon as possible.
We are available to provide all additional advice on your rights in these circumstances and the process of bringing a claim. If you need help then fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.