When I left home the sun was shining so I duly put on my lid with my black tinted visor (race-use only).
However, I got held up and by the time I was wandering home the sun had long disappeared. I was two turns from home when someone stumbled out of the local pub and into the road. Unfortunately I didn’t see him and knocked him over. Thankfully, he was okay but the impact smashed my fairing.
The police decided not to take any action but said they could have done me for driving without due care and attention for riding with a black tinted visor at night. The cheek of it! If the local yokel hadn’t been drunk I wouldn’t have hit him. Can I make a claim?
You could bring a claim but you will not win 100% on liability because first and foremost you were riding at night with a black tinted visor only meant for the track.
The court will likely find you were partially to blame as you couldn’t see as well as you could have done with a clear and legal visor. In addition, the court may well find that you, as a rider, should have anticipated that drunken people may be stumbling out of the local pub and you should have been on the lookout.
That may sound harsh but there is a bucket-load of case law on the point and pedestrians often get something with regards to liability even if they appear to have done something stupid.
As an aside, riding with a black tinted visor at night could amount to driving without due care and attention in my view. I say this because your riding did fall ‘below what would be expected of a competent and careful’ rider.
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.
Disclaimer: The legal advice and statements contained within this/these articles is correct at the time of printing. If you are seeking legal advice after a motorbike accident please contact us to speak directly with one of our lawyers.
About Motorcycle Monthly
The MCM legal column is compiled by managing partner Andrew 'Chef' Prendergast and his bike-riding barristers and solicitors at White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors.
The firm deals with personal injury claims and its sister company, Motor Defence Solicitors, deals with all the motoring offences.
White Dalton lawyers have a vast knowledge of bike law, and they have full bike licences, too. They don’t act for insurance companies or the prosecution.
White Dalton is Britain’s premier specialist motorcycle law practice, and if its professionals don’t know the answer to your question, there probably isn’t one. Don’t rely on the advice from your insurance appointed solicitor, get proper independent advice.