Not Best Friends

Not Best Friends

I was riding with two of my mates, along a favourite road, which we all know well. All of us are quite quick riders, and certainly all of us were riding in excess of the speed limit. I have no arguments about that.

Unfortunately, I lost control of my bike. I can’t say how, other than my tyres just seemed to lose traction. It could have been something on the road, I could have simply run out of tyre, even though it didn’t feel like it, and on my bike, a ZX-6R, I wouldn’t have expected any part of my bike to dig in, even though I was going for it.

Anyway, both of my mates hit my bike as it was going over, and whilst neither of them were particularly injured (thanks to the MJK leathers that they were wearing), their bikes were pretty battered.

Both of my so-called mates have now instructed different solicitors, appointed by their insurance company to sue me, and they’re also out and about on hire bikes which their insurers have provided them with, which apparently I am paying for. To say I am pissed off is putting it very mildly. Have my very much ex-mates got a claim against me?

Name and address witheld

Answer

In order for there to be a claim against you, you must have done something negligent. Other than riding quickly, which you freely admit, as do your so-called mates, you have done nothing wrong.

Speed in itself is not evidence of negligence. You could have fallen off your bike for any number of reasons. The most obvious is you hit a patch of surface contaminant, possibly diesel, but you have no evidence of what it was.

Your mates have to prove you did something wrong, and it appears that what they did wrong was follow you too closely.

If you were riding quickly, they must have been riding quickly, and they should have allowed a decent gap. Every road user knows that a motorcycle is inherently unstable. They can and do fall over.

As for the hire bikes, when your insurance company resist the case, which I strongly recommend they do, those bikes will be swiped off your mates, and l suspect that the solicitors appointed by your mates’ insurance companies will soon lose their nerve.

Unfortunately, a lot of these cases are run by totally unqualified individuals, so please feel free to pass on this letter to your own insurance company, and if they want some advice from me on how to resist the weak claims bought by your two ex-friends, then they are welcome to contact me.

Andrew Dalton

Posted by Andrew Dalton. Posted on: May 13, 2009 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.

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