I think the pedestrian was looking in the wrong direction. The police officers in the van thought the pedestrian was looking in the wrong direction. It transpires he was American and may well have been looking the wrong way.

I sustained modest injuries, including some broken teeth, but I am not the world’s prettiest bloke and I was not that worried about it. I am now being sued by the guy that stepped out in front of me. They are alleging that I was filtering at speed, and the pedestrian is always in the right.

I now think I should be bringing a claim, for my broken teeth, which will cost about a couple of thousand pounds to have repaired, my bumps and bruising, and the damage which I did to my Hornet. Do you think I have a case?

Name withheld

I dealt with an almost identical case a few years ago. The case came close to going to trial, so I know the law on this point very well indeed.

An adult pedestrian owes a duty to look after their own safety. You, as a filtering motorcyclist, also owe a duty to be able to stop for foreseeable hazards. A dopey pedestrian, lam afraid, is a foreseeable hazard. The fact that you were overtaking a police van meant that you could not see beyond it, meaning that you were overtaking whilst at least partially unsighted.

While every case turns on its own facts, I think the most likely outcome in front of a Judge is that each of you will be found equally to blame for this accident. You for going round the outside of traffic when you could not stop within the distance you could see ahead, and the pedestrian for simply stepping out without checking.

You’re lucky the police were there and I hope they’ve had a statement taken from them setting out what they saw.

The only difficulty you might have is that you do not know whether or not the pedestrian who stepped out in front of you has any form of insurance. As a foreign national he may have travel insurance which will cover him for third party risks, but it is almost impossible for you to find out who that insurer might be. However, from your description of the injuries that the pedestrian suffered, he has quite a substantial claim against you, so even if he is not insured, you will still be able to take your damages out of the money that your insurance company are quite likely to have to pay him for his injuries.

The lesson of this is to avoid overtaking in stationary traffic, or filtering where you cannot stop quickly. If you can see over the roofs of vehicles, then you can go that little bit faster, but when you are overtaking where you can’t see it is inevitable that you will be found at least substantially to blame for this accident, and in your case I would say that your damages are extremely likely to be halved.

Andrew Dalton

Fast Bikes Magazine – American Idiot

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.