Motorbike Accident Claim & Brachial Plexus


A brachial plexus injury which can arise from motorbike accidents is an injury to the nerves located in the brachial plexus.

The word brachial refers to the arm and the word plexus refers to the nerve network. This network of nerves originates in the spinal cord and then travels up to the shoulder region and on to the neck.

It involves what’s termed the three trunks, upper, middle and lower, which essentially are nerve fibres. The brachial plexus is comprised of five parts, the trunks, roots, division, cords and branches.

The brachial plexus is a human nerve transport mechanism which controls the muscles to the fingers, hands, arms and shoulders.

Essentially, this is a human information system enabling us feel and move our hands, arms and shoulders.

Causes of Brachial Plexus Injury

Nerves are vulnerable areas to the body or parts of our anatomy in the event of accidents. They are essential though. Every movement of the brachial (arms) needs these nerves fully functioning.

Motorbike accidents* and car accidents * can cause a brachial plexus injury. In motorbike accidents in particular, as a person may be thrown from the bike and the shoulder and or neck region may be impacted, a brachial plexus injury can result.

Brachial plexus injuries can also occur during childbirth.

Symptoms of Brachial Plexus Injury

  • Loss of muscle control in the shoulder
  • Loss of muscle control in the hand, wrist or arm
  • Lack of feeling sensation in the arm or hand
  • Swelling around the shoulder
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Weakness in the arm/shoulder/wrist
  • Broken clavicle
  • No feeling in the arm or hand
  • Shoulder pain or numbness
  • There may be other individual symptoms

Nerve injuries can inhibit signals to the brain and/or from the brain. The effect of this is to reduce or prevent normal functioning of the arm, shoulder hand which we all generally have without this injury. The effect of this injury is to put the human electrical wiring out of kilter.

Treatment Options

There are many treatment options which can be made available to a person with a brachial plexus injury.

Every treatment will depend on an individual assessment. The area of injury may differ in the trunk region in the brachial plexus, from person to person, and so the treatment will vary. The treatment option will also vary on assessment depending on the degree of the injury from mild to severe.

Possible Treatment Options :

  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic help
  • Massage Therapy
  • Drug Therapy
  • Pain Management Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Surgical Therapy

Motorbike Accident* Claim Injury Legal Advice

An injury to the brachial plexus arising from motorbike accidents can be more common than from car accidents. In a nutshell, a motorbike doesn’t have the same protection as a car does in the event of an accident.

The same back and neck protection which can reduce or prevent the possibility of a brachial plexus injury is considerably less so for a driver of a motorbike. Consequently, as road users, motorbike drivers are more vulnerable to this type of injury.

Duty of Care

Motorbike accidents can be caused by many things, some being, our driving, other car drivers, other motorbike drivers, defective road surfaces, spills, junction errors, undertakings, right of way errors and so on.

We all as road users are bound to take reasonable care to avoid an act or omission that could cause injury to another road user.

If you have been injured due to the fault of another, you are entitled to make a personal injury claim detailing the impact of the accident to one’s life.

Sometimes, the non-injured motorbike driver will argue the accident was not their fault and the accident was instead the fault of the injured motorbike driver who has this injury, brachial plexus.

Any questions in relation to this, we can help. There are certain steps one must take when pursuing a personal injury claim and certain statutory requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will a Bike Accident* Claim Take ?

Before we answer this we would like to explain the timeframe one has to take such a claim.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another and wish to pursue an action to recover damages, you must begin this action within 2 years of the accident date in question. This is a strict legislative rule which has some exceptions for exceptional circumstances.

One must submit their application within the statutory permitted time frame or it can be deemed statute barred.

There is no one singular answer that can be given which works for everybody in terms of how long a bike accident* claim will take.

It depends on the individual case for many reasons, but we will give a general guide here.

Bike accident* claims must be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. On average, claims made to PIAB are assessed within 9 months from the date the Board notifies the party who the claim is taken against.

If the case is dealt with and concluded at this point to the satisfaction of the parties, the entire timeframe could be 9 months to one year. If the matter is not dealt with by the Injuries Board, the injured party may have the option of proceeding to court to seek a Judgement from the court.

Some factors that may affect how long a case takes include:

  • Once an application has been made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, it usually takes between 9 months to 1 year before it is concluded.
  • If one of the parties does not agree to the Injuries Board making an assessment, the matter can proceed to court.
  • If an assessment sum is not agreed to by one party, the matter can proceed to court.
  • How long will the court case process take depends on various factors, such as, is the case straightforward for complex ?.
  • Is there one injury or multiple injuries ?.
  • What is the attitude of the defendant to the case ?.
  • Has liability been admitted or is it contested ?.
  • Has the injury stabilised ?.
  • Has the treatment concluded ?. Has the injured parties doctors recommended further treatment ?. Detail of the further treatment is then required.
  • What number of experts reports are required ?.
  • Is it easy or difficult to obtain expert reports ?.
  • Is it easy or difficult to obtain medical records ?.
  • Have the legal pleadings concluded. In the High Court the defence must be provided to the injured parties solicitor within 8 weeks from the time the summons is served. This is not a long time, and in personal injury* cases one must proceed step by step in conjunction with the guidance of the doctor(s) assisting the injured party. Medical care can take time, recovery can take time, and guidance from the doctor and the patients thoughts on their own rehabilitation are important considerations in terms of assessing controlling the speed of a case.

How much will a motorbike accident personal injury* case cost me for the Injuries Board ?

To understand what costs you may have, you should firstly understand the process of such cases, and then you will understand cost bases in addition to legal services cost.

Such cases must be referred to the Personal Injury Assessment Board which is a statutory body that provides an independent assessment of personal injury* claims and for people who suffer injuries from their workplace, public liability, and motor accidents.

The Applicant will likely have to pay the application administration fee for the Injuries Board which is €45.00 or €90.00 depending on if you submit the application online or via post. You must accompany with the Application Form for the Injuries Board the medical report, the fee for this can vary and is dependant on the report cost from the doctor, but a G.P. report can be three or four hundred euros at an approximate figure. You should discuss legal fees with your solicitor for the Injuries Board application which may vary and is solely dependant on the service provider you have instructed to bring the application on your behalf, and any court costs should be discussed with the service provider you have chosen.

Will my bike accident* claim go to Court  ?

Claims of this nature are submitted to the Personal Injury Assessment Board who are tasked with providing an independent assessment of personal injury* claims.  

The Injuries Board is not a court, has no judicial function, and you are not required to attend at the Board, for example, to give evidence as part of your claim.

If the matter is not dealt with by the Injuries Board then the applicant can proceed to bring the matter before the Court. If the party allegedly responsible for the accident rejects the Injuries Board assessing the application, or rejects the Injuries Board assessment, the injured parties path forward to resolve the claim may be court.

If the injured party does not want to go to court or bring the matter to court, then obviously the matter won’t go to court.

It will only go to court if it is necessary to do so, and if the person wants it to. If a person has a concern whether they have a good case or not, this should be discussed with the persons solicitor after they review the case specific facts.

What is the first step in proceeding with a bike accident* claim ?

Under S.8 of the Civil Liability Act 2004 this is called a ‘Letter of Claim’. A person pursuing an action should serve notice in writing to the other person within 1 month of the date of the accident of their intention to pursue this course of action.

If its possible in the circumstances, do obtain the details of the other driver in relation to a car accident or a cycling accident and take note of the registration of the car.

Its more difficult for the Gardai to investigate an accident if they don’t have the necessary information particulars.

If the letter of claim is not sent to the offending party, a court can draw inferences from the injured party’s failure to do so.


Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.

Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.

8(b) “In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement”

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