I was riding out of a supermarket car park when a 10-year-old kid jumped in front of me. I avoided her, but I wobbled and clipped a post.
The girl’s Dad apologised, but now I have a cracked mudguard that is going to cost me money. I know the family, so can I make a claim against them?
You could bring a claim against the girl in a court of law. However, before even contemplating doing that I would start with a polite tap on the door to see what Dad’s response is. You never know, he may just square you up. I would also ask if they have any house insurance, as that may well pay out for the damage.
If you do decide to issue court proceedings I would think carefully before spending your hard-earned cash on solicitors. Whilst you may well have a good claim, it is likely that this would be allocated to what is known as the Small Claims Track. This is because the financial value of your claim is below £10,000. The Small Claim Track is designed so that people may bring their own claims without the use of a lawyer.
If you do need to use a lawyer, the disadvantage is that it would be unlikely for you to obtain a costs order against the other side to cover the costs. The likelihood is that legal costs will equal a large part of, or even exceed the amount you are claiming. Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that if she is a 10-year-old girl, with no money and her Dad does not have house insurance, you could get a court order against her, but never actually get paid for the damage.
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.