Philip Scarles, a personal injury solicitor, takes a look at how long a personal injury claim could take after a motorcycle accident.
If you’ve been injured after a motorcycle-related incident, it will depend on several factors. The first consideration will be, can liability be established against another party? No claimant is entitled to compensation unless primary liability can be established against another party. In a motorcycle case against another motorist, this will usually involve establishing that the other motorist was negligent, for example, by pulling out of a side turning, or overtaking when it was unsafe to do so.
A further factor is whether contributory negligence will be alleged by the defendant. For example, will the defendant argue that you were riding too fast or that your riding in some other way contributed to the accident?
If the police attended the accident scene, their Collision Report would need to be obtained along with all other evidence they have. This could include photographs, plans, storm log and all witness statements that they obtained. This evidence is usually only released at the conclusion of any prosecutions and any appeals against convictions, taken as a result of the accident. It may then be necessary to interview the police officers involved and any independent witnesses.
If liability or contributory negligence is alleged, it may be necessary to instruct an expert such as an accident reconstruction engineer, to give an opinion on factors such as the speeds of the vehicles involved, lines of sight and braking distances.
With regard to your injuries, it will be necessary to undergo any recommended treatment and rehabilitation. This will depend on what your injuries are, such as fractures, a brain injury, psychological injuries or chronic pain. On completion of treatment and rehabilitation, it will be necessary to assess whether any residual disabilities, ongoing symptoms and impairments impact on your work, career and home life. If your work will be affected, will you need to reduce to part-time work if you are well enough to return to your pre-accident job? Or, will you need to consider an alternative career? Will you be prevented from advancing your career? Will your planned retirement date be affected?
If you will have difficulties managing at home in view of your injuries, is your current home suitable? Or would alternative accommodation, such as a bungalow, be more suitable? What assistance will you need in and around the house? Will you be able to return to motorcycling or driving? If not, what would be the best alternatives?
Causation is an issue in many personal injury cases. A claimant can only recover compensation for injuries and losses caused by the accident. Therefore, if you had a pre-existing injury or illness, or would have developed an injury or illness in any event, these have to be distinguished from the injuries causes by the accident. Medical experts instructed will provide an opinion on causation, which is often a contested issue.
Medical experts will be instructed to report on your injuries and provide a prognosis. The selection of the most suitable experts to instruct and the timing of when to obtain reports is all-important. If you will have long term impairments, additional experts such as an occupational therapist will need to be considered.
In summary, a personal injury case can involve many aspects and issues, the outcome of which will determine how long any particular case will take.
Philip Scarles is a personal injury solicitor at MW Solicitors and has assisted many motorcyclists injured in accidents. If you have a question contact Philip Scarles or visit www.mwsolicitors.co.uk/motorcycle-injury-claims
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