I was riding along a straight road, Roman no less, and gained upon a horse box, went to overtake it and just as I started the overtake the brake lights came on the horsebox. No problem, I thought, and I carried on with the overtake.
That’s when a tiny little car in front starts turning right. It had been totally hidden by the horsebox. The driver of the tiny car turns right into me, and knocks me right off the bike am left with fairly severe hand and wrist injuries and have been off work for nine months.
My surgeon is telling me to retrain as my job as a tiler and carpet fitter is going to be very difficult as I have killed a bone in my wrist which now prevents me using most of the tools l need for my job.
My insurance appointed solicitors have told me they are no longer prepared to represent me as I have ‘no reasonable prospects’ of winning my claim. That’s a bit of a turnaround as they were desperate to get me on a hire bike when my wrist was in a plaster and were absolutely confident that they would win the case. But now they’re saying, “We have considered your version of events and we do not believe your case has any reasonable prospects.
The witness (meaning the horsebox driver) says the car driver indicated and braked before turning right just as you were overtaking and you failed to see the signal. The cause of the accident was your overtaking manoeuvre. “The person signing the letter is a ‘Junior paralegal (trainee)’ and I think she is talking bollocks. What do you reckon?
I couldn’t have put it better I myself. She is indeed talking male reproductive appendages. The law is straightforward enough. The driver of a vehicle turning right owes the following duties. To check, to indicate, to move to the crown of the road, to check before turning right that she was not being overtaken and to ensure that other road users have seen and acted upon a signal.
Despite a commonly held view to the contrary across the insurance Industry (and the claims clowns they employ in so called legal practices), an indicator signal does not give right of way. She was a vehicle being overtaken. Her duty was to maintain a steady path and to use reasonable observation.
The horsebox driver is a neutral witness, but what she says really helps your claim. She says the driver of the car was driving at an unsteady pace so the truck kept gaining on it, and then it would trundle away a bit quicker. The horsebox driver says – quite properly – she wanted to smooth out her driving so her horse didn’t become distressed. She also says you started your overtake a fair distance behind her truck and she could see you in her mirrors. She also said the car driver braked and turned quite suddenly, “as though she had just seen a house she was searching for.”
There is a risk that the Judge at trial may find you have some blame, but I think this is a relatively small risk. You will have to be disbelieved as to being unaware of the tiny car in front of the big lorry and I would run this case on the basis of winning altogether.
Also, this is a potentially high value case. You are a tradesman in your late forties. Retraining and finding work is far from easy. You have already been off work for nine months and your surgeon does not think you can work on the tools again. I think you would have been better off listening to the know-it-all bloke down the pub as opposed to the claims monkey you are no longer saddled with.
Get a proper lawyer who has balls (figuratively, she can have lady balls) as opposed to talks bollocks. Yours is a high value case that you will win, perhaps taking a bit of a hit for contributory negligence in front of a tough Judge, but on balance, I think you will win flat out.
Fast Bikes Magazine