My insurance company appointed a “team” of advisors and I have never spoken to the same person twice. I have been told variously: “Your tyres were illegal, so you cannot bring a case”; “Both of you were breaking the law so It’s a 50/50 case”; and “Expect to lose a third of your claim”. Bearing in mind that none of these people seem to have a single legal qualification, what should I expect?


Bald tyre are illegal. Each one carries a three-point endorsement and a fine so the criminal law is clear. The “advice” you have received in your civil claim is just nonsense.

The idea that you were illegal because of the tyre and therefore you cannot bring a case is a fundamental misinterpretation of an old Roman concept, that you cannot claim from a matter arising out of your own crime, but It has no application In your case. Your claim arose out of a car falling to give way to you, not your bald tyre.

The second scenario Is a further misconception. If you and another driver have both committed the same error – for example, riding or driving Into the same bit of empty road unaware of each other’s presence – the 50/50 is a likely outcome, but that concept has no application here.

I cannot even guess at why a one-third reduction has been suggested.

So here Is the real law. Your rear tyre tread only makes a difference for dispersal of water. Your front brake was deployed to the maximum, and a couple of witnesses refer to your rear wheel being up in the air, therefore its tread pattern was not even in contact with the road, and even if it had been it would not have made any difference. It is not a relevant factor in your case.

As your front brakes went on, your front forks compressed, the weight shifted to the front tyre and your braking was such that your rear tyre was completely elevated off the ground.

Your rear tyre had no causative effect on the collision you had so as a matter of law it makes no difference, whatever your claims monkeys say.

Andrew Dalton

Ride Magazine – March 2015