12/10/2009

Motor Cycle Monthly Article February 2007

Be honest, we all do it – some of us carefully, others a little less so. As far as we are concerned filtering is the norm, though car drivers appear to have a different view. But what happens if a car pulls out from a side road or simply turns right and bang? Let’s take the most common two scenarios:

  1. You have come down the middle of two lanes of traffic. There is a junction to your left, you can’t see it, but there are two cars stopped with a gap between them and the traffic in front. You approach this gap and as you pass the cars, out pops a car from the junction across you and into a collision. Off you come and the bike slides into the car. Ouch! Whose fault is this one?

    The rules are based on cases that have been before the courts in the past. In this scenario the insurance companies have a favourite case called Powell v Moody, where the biker was made 80 per cent responsible, so only got 20 per cent of what his claim was worth. Times have changed. Do not accept this. One of the lawyers sorrymate.com uses got 100 per cent for the biker in a London court last year. Every case is different so, while you will normally carry some fault, it should rarely, if ever, be 80 per cent. Get some advice. The people at sorrymate.com are always happy to give you a free five minutes.

  2. You are travelling past a line of traffic and Mr (I’m a car driver so don’t have to look) turns right without indicating. The biker has a better chance here of 100 per cent. If you are doing 30mph and clearly not paying attention then you will carry some blame, but if you are being careful then you will be OK.

    But what if the driver indicated and you did not see it? You still have a claim. You will not get 100 per cent but at the end of the day, indicating does not give the driver a clear road. You will both be to blame, subject to things like where his car was in the line of traffic, was it to the left and so hiding the indicator from you, was it far ahead of you so you had time to see it.

In all the above scenarios you can ask lots of people for their views and for everyone you ask you will get a different opinion. There are many facts that can decide who is to blame. So, as ever, get good advice.

Fergus Dalgarno, sorrymate.com

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