I feel a bit ‘sheepish’ writing to you but I read your column a month or so ago about the farmer’s escaped pig and wondered If I have a claim.
I was riding my CBX1000 with my wife on the back. We went over a cattle grid onto common land. I spotted a sheep up ahead and slowed down, as did the car coming from the opposite direction. However, the sheep was obviously suicidal and the ‘woolly jumper’ threw herself in front of the car.
The result was the car nailed Mrs Sheep, she bounced off and directly into my path where I hit Mrs Sheep and fell off. Being a six-cylinder bike I have trashed three of the original exhaust pipes on one side and my wife has broken her pelvis. Can I claim against the owner of the sheep? Or the car driver who first hit Mrs Sheep? I have fully comprehensive insurance but I don’t want to claim off it.
It’s up to ‘ewe’ how you deal with this one. However, the owner of Mrs Sheep will not be held liable as the accident happened on common ground. This is different to where a farmer doesn’t keep his fences repaired and a sheep escapes. As for the car driver, from what you said they have done nothing wrong so they won’t be liable to pay you anything either. Therefore as far as your bike is concerned unfortunately you have the option of either paying and fixing it yourself or claiming off your insurance.
On the more serious issue, your wife can bring a claim against you for her injuries as she was an innocent pillion. That may seem odd but if she/you can get your heads around it there is insurance in place to deal with this i.e. your fully comp policy.
Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a ZZR1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.