If you have been injured in a motorbike accident that was not your fault it may be possible to claim compensation from the other party’s insurers. Your claim for damages is broken down into two parts, general damages and special damages.
General damages is the amount of money you receive to cover the injuries you suffered in the accident. It also covers your loss of amenity or the reduction in quality of your life because of the injuries you have suffered.
Working out an award for general damages in a motorbike accident can be difficult. No one injury is the same as another which means it is difficult to accurately value a claim. Factors that are taken into consideration include the intensity of the pain, the number of different parts of the body that have been injured, the recovery time and the extent to which your day to day life has been affected such as time off work, the number of hospital visits and the impact on hobbies.
Evidence will be obtained from independent doctors and possibly other medical experts. In coming to a figure for general damages it is important to assess the relevant court guidelines and also cases that have previously been decided at court.
Special damages are financial losses that you suffer as a result of the injuries sustained in the motorbike accident. The amount of special damages will vary in each case. In some motorbike accidents the injuries can be very significant and result in life changing injuries and significant financial losses. In other cases, the injuries might be relatively minor and the claim for financial losses modest.
Financial losses can cover both past losses and also future losses in the more serious cases.
Some examples of special damages that can be included in a motorbike accident claim are:
- The cost of repairing the motorbike or the pre-accident value of the motorbike if it was written off.
- Policy excess.
- Loss of earnings which can include loss of bonus, overtime, shift allowance and also loss of future earnings and pension payments.
- Replacement of leathers, boots, helmet and other motorbike equipment
- The additional cost in having to use other forms of transport, for example a car, if it is more expensive than using a motorcycle. That would cover the period when you were unable to use the motorcycle
- Care and assistance provided voluntarily by family and friends and also any professional assistance paid for.
- The cost of medical treatment, including prescriptions, medication, operations, physiotherapy.
- Aids and equipment.
- Adaptations to your property.
- Travelling expenses
In any case you have a duty to take reasonable steps to reduce your losses. You should always follow any medical advice as failure to do so may lead to a reduction in your damages.