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The Complex Issue Of Calculating Motorbike Accident Compensation

Motorcycle accident
4th September 2013

Calculating motorbike accident compensation is not necessarily a straightforward matter and often requires considerable legal experience and expertise to resolve a motorbike accident claim. This is especially evident where a serious accident results in a permanent injury or disability, which means the victim is unable to return to pre-accident way of life and there is risk of also being unable to fully continue in their former work.

Calculating a permanent loss of income and future employment prospects over the reminder of life factored against possible reduction in life expectancy is only the beginning of a number of other “adjustments” to be made to the equation, such as what the victim could have expected to have earned if the accident had not taken place.

Lump sum compensation…

In most instances, compensation is in the form of a  lump sum, which may be invested to earn interest. If a lump sum is awarded, this means that a further deduction would need to be made to the compensation where there is a reduction in life expectancy. The compensation payment in this instance is then expected to provide only for living expenses.

Adjustment will also be required to be made as a result of benefits received from elsewhere, such as sick pay and welfare payment entitlements.

Court awards…

In many cases, the courts themselves will arrive at a decision, having weighed all the evidence and relevant factors, and additionally referring to previous similar motorbike accident claims. Once again, experienced advocates will possess a reasonable view of the compensation sum the courts will likely award under a particular set of circumstances, usually based on an annual or multiple award of the motorcyclist’s pre-accident net wages. It should be stressed, once again, that a decision is on a case-by-case basis.

It should also not be forgotten that despite accounting for just one per cent of all road user traffic, motorbike riders are still up to forty times more likely than car drivers to be involved in an accident with up to one in five receiving a serious or fatal injury.

In 2011, the number of riders reported as seriously injured actually increased by 10 per cent to more than five thousand and the total number of all reported motorcycle user casualties was also up by 8 per cent to more than 20,000. During the first three months of 2012, the number of motor bike riders killed and serious injured (KSI) actually rose by 5 per cent (Department of Transport).