I was involved in an accident which was not my fault. A car driver just pulled out in front of me in a 30 zone with me right on top of him, just like in the advert on TV. After apologies from him, I got a mate to pick me and my bike up in his van, and got an estimate for the repairs to my bike – which weren’t much, it’s a pretty battered Bandit 1200, but now I am told the driver is claiming off me for a dent to his wing and his insurers are not going to pay up because I was speeding.
The driver had 130 metres to see me coming but waited until I was right on top of him, pulls out and blames me. There were no witnesses but I am not prepared to let this one go. Help me!
This is an easy one. What you need to do is hire a road wheel from a tool hire shop and about 5 road cones and a dayglow jacket. On a quiet day (early Sunday mornings are good) take your kit to the accident spot and measure in your case back every 20 metres, drop a cone, go back another 20 metres, drop a cone until you can show the judge what 100 metres looks like. Wear your dayglow. It stops you being run over. I have my own special kit for doing this which is a Police standard motorcycle dayglow, black plain leather bike jeans and discreet black Alpinestar boots and a white flip up lid. That certainly slows the traffic down.
I was once asked to arrest a husband dressed like this. For added amusement when you are being asked what you are doing suggest you are surveying for a potential bail hostel if you can run away quickly. More sensibly locals might be witnesses who did not come forward at the time because everything seemed to be fine on the day so tell them the truth, they could well be able to say you were riding properly.
Now go back to the junction, take a number of photos showing the cones and better yet get a mate to ride down the stretch of road so the judge can see how obvious a bike is at 100, 80, 60. 40 and 20 metres. A photo tells a thousand words! If you are right and the distance is 130 metres and it is accepted that a right hand turn by a car takes 2 seconds then for you not to have been in sight when the car driver pulled out means you must have been moving at around 65 metres per second or about 140 mph.
Send the photos to the insurers, along with the receipt for bike repairs, any damaged kit and the hire of the cones and road wheel. If you do not get a cheque in 21 days start off a small claim at the County Court. You do not need a solicitor so don’t pay for one. Do we think the driver is talking bollocks? We certainly do!
Posted by Andrew Dalton. Posted on: February 13, 2008 at 12:00 am
Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focused on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.