I was riding along, minding my own business on my KTM 640, down roads that I know pretty well, and when I came round a bend, looking through the bend for my exit, I hit a slick of cow shit. I wasn’t braking, but I was cranked over, and both wheels just completely lost it.
Luckily, the bike’s light and doesn’t have a lot of plastic, so the bike got away pretty undamaged. I didn’t get away so lightly, because I was hit by an oncoming car. The Police aren’t prosecuting the other driver, because they said that the driver wasn’t driving too fast, and I literally appeared round a blind bend, sliding down the road on my arse, and the car hit me, doing a lot of damage to my hip. It is doubtful whether or not I will ever walk normally again.
I have spoken to a few Solicitors whose details I got off the internet, and they all tell me the same thing, namely that the motorbike accident was my fault and I should have looked where I was going. Is this true?
No. You do owe a duty to look after your own interests, but it is clear that whoever has been advising you has got no idea that a motorcyclist cannot spend his time staring at the road, and whilst from the small amount of details you have given me it appears right that the other driver isn’t to blame for the accident and in these particular circumstances (he or she could have done nothing to avoid you sliding across the road) the farmer who left cow shit all over the road is liable.
In your more detailed letter you tell me that the Police who arrived at the scene confirmed that there was cow shit all over the road leading from one field to another. The law on this point is pretty straightforward. If you know who has put material on the highway which is likely to cause a danger to other road users, then they are liable. It doesn’t matter if they didn’t think about motorbikes, pedal cyclists, horse riders or anyone else, so long as you were reasonably using the road (which you clearly were) then the farmer is liable to you.
I expect that he will be insured by one of the big agricultural insurers, who I can guarantee will make a fight of it. What you need is an aggressive Solicitor who knows his way around motorbike accident claims involving debris on the road, such as cow shit or mud from a farmers field, rather than just some muppet picked off the internet.
These cases are not easy, they do require a fair amount of home work and my experience of these cases is that witnesses who live in the local area are not very keen to ‘dob the local farmer in’ but the Police have already said in the report that you came off on cow shit, and you should make it your business to travel along that road, or get a friend to travel along that road as often as possible with a camera to take photographs of where the offending material starts, and where it finishes. Good Luck!
Cow Pie Surprise – Fast Bikes Magazine
Andrew Dalton has been writing articles for Fast Bikes Magazine for a considerable period and have condensed what we believe are the most useful articles to you. White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors deal with personal injury claims and our sister company, Motor Defence Solicitors, deal with any road traffic offences.