Whilst it snowed at the back end of last year, the roads were generally pretty good where I was still able to commute to work (plus it’s more fun than taking the train!). I rode out of my estate and joined the ring road. Fair play to the council as the roads had been gritted and were clear so there no issues.
That was until I pulled out from lane one into lane two and behind a big Range Rover. I was in no rush, and I guess we were doing about 50mph. As it was cold and possibly icy, I left a good gap between myself and the Range Rover. I was only sat behind the car for about 30 seconds when the driver floored it. The result of that was all the snow and a huge slab of ice on the top of his car basically slid off the roof and smashed me in the face and chest. I went down like a sack of potatoes.
The next few minutes were a bit of a haze. However, having now watched my helmet cam footage and also the dash cam footage of the car behind (top lad James who is my witness) I do not think the Range Rover knew it had happened. However, I now know James in a car behind witnessed the whole thing and got it on dashcam. I also know another biker called Chaz chased the Range Rover and got them to come back. Whilst sympathetic, the driver flatly denied it was his fault. So, long story short, I now have two witnesses and details of the Range Rover driver (I hope you are keeping up!?).
The problem I have is the Police were not interested and said it’s for the insurance companies to deal with. However, my insurer has said either claim off my fully comprehensive policy or go away. They also reckon it’s not the Range Rover’s fault, because it was ‘weather related’. They also flatly refuse to fight the Range Rover’s insurer for me. What do I do? I have a smashed up KTM1290 and a broken leg.
Regarding the Police, they could have prosecuted the Range Rover driver for not clearing the snow and ice off his car. Unfortunately, you cannot force the Police to nick the driver. However, if you are not happy with their decision, you could write and make a complaint to the Police and ask that they reconsider prosecuting him.
Turning to your insurer, they are correct inasmuch as they do not have to ‘fight’ the Range Rover driver for you because the only risk they have insured is your bike. If you are insured fully comprehensive, you have two options. Either:
- Claim for your motorbike off your own insurance
- Claim for your motorbike directly from the Range Rover driver/his insurance.
However, where your insurer is wrong, is saying this is just ‘weather related’ and you have no claim. You do have a claim for personal injury and loss against the Range Rover driver because he was driving around with a huge amount of snow and ice on the car roof. Instead, if they had cleared it off before driving (as they should have done) then the accident would not have happened.
My advice is get some specialist legal advice sooner rather than later and do not listen to your insurer. They sound about as sharp as a bowling ball.
More Bikes March 2023