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NON-fault accident


jeffo
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Hi. Can someone please help me out.

 

In September 09, I was involved in an accident. I was riding my motorbike, when a car driver pulled out of a side road and cut me off. i swerved and braked to avoid a collision. because the other driver did not accelerate along the road, I was left travelling slowly on the wrong side of the road, with a car in the distance approaching. I did not know what the driver was going to do, so I accelerated to pass her and get back into the correct lane and flow of traffic. It was a safer option than putting my foot down and stopping on the wrong side of the road with a car coming. As I accelerated, the other driver turned across my path without indicating her intentions.

 

I collided with the drivers side, rear wheel arch, and was knocked to the ground.

 

There was 1 witness, who I over took several hundred yards before the incident. He claimed the accident was my fault because I overtook him. At the scene during a conversation he claimed to beleive I was not speeding, but in a later statement he claims it was my fault because i allegedly "overtook HIM at speed". (I didnt; he wasnt making sufficient progress so I overtook him shortly after turning onto the road. I was not speeding)

 

I sustained personal injury, and damage to my motorbike. My level of insurance was TPFT.

 

I am using a No-Win-No-Fee solicitor. I have since learned that No-Win-No-Fee does not mean they only get paid if we win. They have an insurance policy taken out which ensures that they get paid regardless. So they do not have the driving force that I thought they would have to see we win.

 

As such, my solicitor keeps pressing for me to make an offer of 75/25 liability. They keep sending me examples of case law where the Motorcyclist was found at fault, and saying these will be used in court. However all of the examples refered to have the motorcyclist overtaking when the third paty turns right. I was not overtaking; I was traveling at a leisurely pace.

 

Is my solicitor just trying to avoid going to court to save them some effort? THis is my thought and concern.

 

Thanks

Jeff

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This is fantastically complex, you have to consider the road conditions, the road markings, the credibility of any witnesses etc etc etc.

 

As a biker myself, the only way in which to exhonerate yourself from a tangle with people driving in their own 'little world' is to either have cameras fitted to your helmet or bike, or ride like you are invisible to cars.

 

In a nutshell, I strongly believe that every car driver should first pass a bike test before getting behind the wheel, maybe then they will appreciate the need for taking the time to check over their shoulders before moving lanes & pulling out of junctions is something else!

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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In a nutshell, I strongly believe that every car driver should first pass a bike test before getting behind the wheel, maybe then they will appreciate the need for taking the time to check over their shoulders before moving lanes & pulling out of junctions is something else!

 

I trust you are not making this comment with any sincerity as it is simply absurd!

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I trust you are not making this comment with any sincerity as it is simply absurd!

 

 

Yes. I do not agree with that statement either. I dont think car drivers should necessarily have to be lookin out for "bikes" or have to pass any "bike aware test". However I dont think this excuses them for being oblivious to traffic on the road, pulling out spuratically, or turning without signalling.

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No, I don't think they are trying to avoid effort - just doing what they can to ensure you are committed to the process. Is this a 'ceneral' no win no fee outfit, or one specifically for bikers? If the former, their anti-bike credentials and sway their judgement, whereas a Biker-specific firm know all the tricks, and what proper biker's defence should be.

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  • 1 month later...

Can someone ofer a suggestion here.

 

To recap...on 13th September 2009, I was out for a sunday bike ride. I ride a Yamaha R6. I turned onto a long road and shortly overtook a slow moving car. about 300m down the road a car pulled out of a side street when I was 20-30m away. I swerved and braked to avoid a collision and resulted in being beside the car at the drivers rear corner, travelling at about 5mph. The car did not get up to speed and I was unaware of the drivers intentions. There was another car travelling towards me 200-300m down the road. I could not return to the left lane behind the driver so I proceeded to overtake and return to the left. As I did so she turned into a cemetery on the right; through my path. As she turned, I braked with both front and rear brakes. She signalled as she was turning, before the actual collision, but not before starting the turn. Because I braked full on, I slid sideways, and collided with her drivers side rear wheel arch.

 

12 months on, and we are due to court next week. I have been contesting ANY liability all along, and have been fighting my own solicitors who keep sending irrelevant case results regarding cases where motorbikes are speeding and overtake at an intersection. I did neither.

 

There is 1 witness. The driver I overtook. All he says is that I overtook him at "speed", and he beleives I was 100% to blame. He is an elderly man, not an expert, and was about 200m away at the time of impact.

 

The defendant says that she never saw me. In her statement she said that she looked both ways before turning, and the road was clear. Despite the permanent light on the front of my bike.

 

Last week, acknowledging that the courts are anti-bike, I agreed to concede 25% liability. (25/75 in my favor). I agreed to this because I acknowledge that i am unlikely to win a 100% and also I made 2 decisions (to overtake, and not to stop in the first place) Had I made differenct decisions perhaps the accident would not have happened (or been a different one).

 

today my solicitor (a no win no fee company) called me and said that the defendant solicitor has offered 25/75 against me. My solicitor is recommending I accept it, and if I do not they are going to have to "refer my case to their senior management to discuss their position and contact my LEA (something like that) company"

 

I dont believe I should be stuck with 75% liability for an accident that wasnt really my fault. Any advice? I have clearly picked the wrong no win no fee company. (New Law Solicitors)

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It is probably too late to do anything now. You get what you pay for - and these firms require you to win in order to make their business model work. I use a specialist firm of Bikers Solicitors who are well-versed in what the wrinkles are in order to counter seeming reasonable (but not factual) defences from motorists.

 

She probably did not see you in her RVM, but as you were on her offside would not expect there to be anyone going 'against the flow', so would appear to be a reasonable assumption. You, being on the offside (even for a valid reason) would disadvantage you. Her main weakness is in the delay in signalling her intentions to turn right in advance, and it is this (and probably only this) that pushes the percentages in your favour. However, the ball is with the company you employed. If they feel you;ve not got a chance, they'll not pursue the matter, leaving you stranded and with a bill from the other party for their defence.

 

This may be a good time to spend a little for paid professional assistance from a bike-based solicitor, a good few advertise in MCN.

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So here I am ....SHAFTED!

 

I have just been told that I have a choice to accept or decline this offer. However should I decline the offer my LEI will withdraw cover from today and I will be forced to fund the court proceedings myself.

 

Not much of a choice. I didnt know they could just do that.

 

Don't I feel ganged up on!

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Yup BTDT.

 

Since you have reached an impasse, you are within your rights to ask the court for s new court date so you can get fresh representation, they'll probably give you a new date 12-16 weeks away, but you need to do this ASAP. You'll then have the time to find a more clued up representative.

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She probably did not see you in her RVM, but as you were on her offside would not expect there to be anyone going 'against the flow', so would appear to be a reasonable assumption.

 

I disagree.

When teaching, we always instruct pupils to check the centre mirror PLUS the door mirror of your intended direction, (i.e. the centre plus right door mirror in this case) precisely to check for such things as bikes that may not be initially visible in the centre mirror.

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Jeffo I would look at the advice that :thumb: BUZBY has posted, it does seem to keep your options open.

Good luck

 

Please let us now the out come

 

.

 

In September 09, I was involved in an accident. I was riding my motorbike, when a car driver pulled out of a side road and cut me off. i swerved and braked to avoid a collision. because the other driver did not accelerate along the road, I was left travelling slowly on the wrong side of the road,

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

When teaching, we always instruct pupils to check the centre mirror PLUS the door mirror of your intended direction, (i.e. the centre plus right door mirror in this case) precisely to check for such things as bikes that may not be initially visible in the centre mirror.

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

:ear: Crem that is correct advice you are giving to learner (M S M plus glance round to blind spot), but as OP stated the Driver (I assume full license) did not see him before pulling out onto the road, so I dare say the motorist was never aware of the bike before making the left turn.

I did ride a small 100cc bike for a couple of years, during that time I often wished all motorists to try and ride a bike. (Gov would love the extra revenue it would raise. :rofl: )

 

Even now as a car driver I find it rather annoying when a car pulls out from a side road/street and does not accelerate to the speed of the traffic it has just joined so in turn you have slow down.

 

 

 

:-)

 

 

dk

:welcome::rofl::welcome:

 

 

 

 

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

 

 

:tea:

 

 

 

most of my knowledge is from the school of hard knocks

 

not based on any legal background

 

As quite a lot fellow caggers state seek Legal Advice

 

 

:ranger:

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So here I am ....SHAFTED!

 

I have just been told that I have a choice to accept or decline this offer. However should I decline the offer my LEI will withdraw cover from today and I will be forced to fund the court proceedings myself.

 

Not much of a choice. I didnt know they could just do that.

 

Don't I feel ganged up on!

 

Just to give you a bit of background, I am a specialist motorcycle accident investigator and deal with probably 200+ crashes a year involving bikes, plus 20+ years as a Police motorcycle cop dealing with fatals and catastrophic crashes, so there is not much I have not seen or investigated, ands I am one of 2 members of the Law Society panel of expert witnesses for motorcycles, so I have a bit of experience.

 

Firstly, a motorcycle specialist law firm are no better than a regular personal injury law firm. I can give you several examples from this year alone where a so called motorcycle crash specialist has chucked the towel in as soon as liability was contested even though the evidence supported the rider, and one client was told by a well known firm who brag about their expertise in bike accidents that he had no chance of success. They could not be bothered to go to the scene and investigate themselves, but long story short, the client moved his case to another firm and won £200,000 and only had to accept 5% contrib.

 

Another client was told that becuae his injuries are only worth about £16,000 and because the other side was contesting liability, they would not be taking the case any further.

 

The value to the client is actually closer to £150,000 and the evidence from the other side has already been discredited, so please do not be swayed because they say they specialise in bikes, it is the competence of the lawyer representing you that is important, and if they are unfamilar with bikes, they will instruct an expert to advise accordingly, which is where someone like me comes in.

 

Another client was brain injured amongst other horrific injuries. His specialist bike law firm wanted to settle for around £50,000, they claimed over £100,000 in legal fees and left it until the last second before limitation expired before issuing proceedings at the other end of the country.

 

Again, long story short, the claim is worth £7 million not £50,000, and yet they claim to be motorcycle specialists.

 

Don't get too sucked in by their specialist motorcycle expertise claims.

 

Anyway, Jeffo, in respect of your case, I cannot comment as I do not know the full circumstances, but given that you are funded on an LEI, now that proceedings have been issued, you can switch law firms and still be funded or at least get a second opinion.

 

The downside is that because the main fee earning work has been done, they may be reluctant, but they will certainlly advise you.

 

If your current solicitors have not investigated then it can be turned around, and even if your LEI does withdraw funding, then you may well still get a CFA (no win no fee), but if the new law firm can show that your current firm has not done their job properly, your LEI should still provide funding.

 

Feel free to PM me if you rrequire any further help or advice.

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Whilst you are entitled to your opinion, I am of course referring to those firms where the SOLICITORS themselves are bikers, NOT that the simply represent a particular market segment because it is profitable for them to do so. I've yet to find a general 'personal injury' firm (out of 3 I tried) capable of even suggesting I should cliam for replacement clothing due to tears/rips caused by my being knocked off the bike - when questioned, the consensus was they 'didn't think it relevant'! Something, I would suggest that the OP and other bikers may dispute.

 

There is good and bad in all professions, but if I had a leaking roof, I'd choose a professional roofer, not a general tradesman. Further, I would not get involved in No Win No Fee arrangements, as this opens further potential disappointments should your legal team not share your indignation following the accident, and be prepared to actually fight for you as a litigator (as opposed to being a negotiator). CFA's are slightly better, but not the answer either. If you have the conviction that you are in the right, funding it yourself may seem a gamble, but it is a worthwhile one - as on my last 3 pursuits, I won each of them without having to go to court (making it to the court steps on one occasion).

 

I'd suggest you don't get too sucked in by general 'claims handlers', for the very reasons the OP outlined, why seek out more of the same?

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I would not get involved in No Win No Fee arrangements, as this opens further potential disappointments should your legal team not share your indignation following the accident, and be prepared to actually fight for you as a litigator (as opposed to being a negotiator). CFA's are slightly better, but not the answer either. If you have the conviction that you are in the right, funding it yourself may seem a gamble, but it is a worthwhile one - as on my last 3 pursuits, I won each of them without having to go to court (making it to the court steps on one occasion).

 

 

You are quite correct, there are good and bad in every profession.

 

You may have had a bad experience in the past (I don't know) but who told you a no win no fee is different to a CFA (Conditional Fee Agreement), they are both the same, and ensures that the client retains 100% of their compensation whilst the legal fees and disbursments are claimed against the other side.

 

A firm working on a CFA is if you like funding the case themselves to a degree as they pay all disbursments themselves, and if they were to lose then they get paid nothing and therefore run the risk if being well out of pocket, hence the reason why a risk assessment is done before taking the case on to ensure that on the balance of probability there is a 51% chance or better of winning the case.

 

The only time the client is likely to be asked to pay anythinng under a CFA is if they deliberately misled their solicitor, or instructed any further work to be stopped before the case was settled thereby preventing them from recouping their costs, in which case the client can be asked to pay the law firms reasonable costs for the work carried out so far.

 

In respect of claiming for damaged clothing or other personal items, this is a standard practice as part of the schedule of costs, and therefore suggests that if this has not been mentioned, then there may be a degree of negligence on the part of the law firm.

 

This works in the same way as the client is entitled to claim for loss of earnings, out of pocket expenses, even paying for someone to do their garden if the client is unable to do so because of their injuries.

 

A good PI firm will address every issue, and a good PI firm will fight the clients corner, the point I was making is that the OP has had an issue under the LEI policy appoinnted solicitors, he may be able to get funded under a CFA. To get the case transferred, all the new law firm does is make an undertaking to recover the first law firms costs at settlement.

 

But that is getting away from the issue in hand.

 

The original OP only has to phone a few firms up, ask a few pertinant questions and he should be able to establish whether they are a competent firm capable of dealing with his claim.

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