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Thread: Car turning right collision with motorcycle overtaking stationary traffic

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    6

    Default Car turning right collision with motorcycle overtaking stationary traffic

    Hi there, my first post. I am attending civil court on Thursday regarding liability of an accident in the summer.

    I was the car driver. I was intending to turn right from a side lane/not quite a road, I was indicating right.

    The traffic closest to me was stationary and a car left a gap and signalled for me to pull out. I pulled out halfway so I was very slightly over the central white lines. I looked left to see if anyone was coming from the left, it was clear. I looked right to thank the driver, again and saw a motorbike approaching. He stopped which to me meant he was letting me out, so I thanked him and looked left again, it was still clear so I went forward. It was at this point that the motorcycle decided to go round me, he was practically kissing the kerb on the wrong side of the road and as I hadn't looked right again I hit him gently. I was not even at biting point.

    He jumped off the bike and it fell down. I asked him if he was ok? If he wanted to swap details. He said no but I insisted in case (wish I hadn't bothered). I asked him about five times if he was sure the bike and he was alright to which he said yes, no damage.

    He then rode off.

    A few weeks later, I get a letter from his solicitors asking me to pay around 5,000 as his bike was a write off and he had incurred hire charges etc. I passed this over to my insurers. They appointed a solicitor who said it would likely be 80-20 in my favour. The motorcyclist disputed this saying that I was reckless and negligent.

    I said I was not accepting full responsibility for this and it's now gone to court. The motorcyclist says that I shot straight out to turn right and hit him while he was carefully travelling within the white lines or his side of the road. It's his word against mine as we didn't get any witnesses.

    I'm really annoyed that he has lied in his statement and was wondering if anyone knows anymore info on this and who would be liable.

    I mentioned to the solicitor's assistant that I think he has lied in his statement and she said that is a very serious accusation and will make me look unfavourable with the judge but its really annoyed me that he may get away with lying. Any advice would be welcomed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    2,675

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    I can easily see why you are upset. It is an unfortunate fact that people involved in collisions often lie about what happened. I think that they even convince themselves that they were the innocent party.

    The problem you have is that it is your word against his, so the only real evidence is the damage. If the bike was a write-off, it looks as if it was a lot worse than you thought - or, of course, it was damaged again after. All of this emphasises the vital importance of taking photographs at the scene - pictures of the damage, the position of the vehicles and the other driver will all help to keep the third party honest.

    Take your solicitor's advice, they usually know what they are talking about.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    8,376

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    Can only support what Santa advises. Blame percentage looks about right. Even if another driver signals you to proceed, you are still responsible for your own actions, and what transpires from them. I don't like people who try to gain profit by lying - hope it all goes OK.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    206

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    I agree with advice of two previous posts. I do wonder about him jumping off his bike and being able to drive the bike off - how bad could it have been ? I was fortunate when I was involved in a collision and the police were called - other driver sent on improvement course and I was totally exonerated. Even then he still tried to blame me !!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    862

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    While it's your word against his, those words don't necessarily carry equal weight.

    If it goes to court, the judge will apportion fault depending on his view of the witnesses' credibility.

    You may find that someone who is prepared to lie in an insurance claim form may be less keen to do so under oath, and/or that his version proves inconsistent under questioning.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    387

    Default

    I deal with these types of crashes all the time.

    Without going into the ins and outs of who said what, there have been a lot of similar cases.

    Firstly it has to be born in mind that filtering is perfectly legal, but there are certain conditions that the rider has to be complied with, one of them being that they do not filter on the approach to or close to a junction on their right.

    But, in the same vein, the turning driver also has a statutory duty of care to ensure that it is safe to do so before they commence their turn.

    So liability will be apportioned, you will have to accept a degree of what is called contributory negligence as will the rider. What the courts will decide as the parties involved cannot agree is what the percentage split is likely to be based on the evidence available.

    I have just put such a case to bed on a split liability of 50/50, but the circumstances and the evidence supported this. Some go 60/40 or 70/30, it all comes down to the evidence.

    As far as the bike being a total loss is concerned, it does not take much these days. I had a recent case where a brand new bike had the frame and panel work scratched, and it was deemed by the engineers that a new frame and fairing were required and it was therefore deemed a total loss, even though there was nothing structurally wrong with the the bike.

    Also bear in mind that your account of what happened will differ to that of the rider. The courts will look at the evidence that is consistent and then pick holes in the conflicting evidence and make a decision of the balance of probability.

    The fact that the collision occurred is clearly not disputed, or the fact that you admit that you were turning right and the bike was filtering. You will both have to take a percentage hit on this, it is just a case of how much.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    1,055

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    As TC has said.
    This smallest ding or scratch to even a new bike will nearly always result in the bike being a write off.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loony View Post
    As TC has said.
    This smallest ding or scratch to even a new bike will nearly always result in the bike being a write off.
    What are they making bikes from now that makes them so non-resilient?
    Back around 1977, our son had a new Yamaha moped. One morning, on his way to work, a teacher made a right turn through the intersection of a dual carriageway. The outer lane was stationary, but traffic was still crawling along on the inner lane. This teacher slammed into our son and his leg was broken as it was crushed against the exhaust pipe, which was also crushed against the frame.
    Whilst he was under anaesthetic on a hospital gurney, the attending police officer tried to question him - I think the medical staff put a stop to that! He was only 17, and this was before we had been informed of the accident.
    The attending cop came to our house and said our son was being reported for possible prosecution. I asked why the teacher was not in trouble for the right turn, and he said that the stationary driver at the intersection had signalled to the teacher that he was clear to cross. I threw the cop out of the house and immediately contacted a solicitor. I had to pay 12 for a copy of witness statements to be sent to my solicitor. Two witnesses were social workers who had been waiting to turn out of the road this teacher was intending to enter, and the police case was a clearly cobbled load of nonsense. The cop had commented about our son going to fast down the hill - in fact, he had not come down the hill, but entered from a side road shortly prior to reaching the accident spot. The witnesses had estimated his speed at between 10 and 15 mph. The police dropped the case, the teacher's insurance paid for the bike to be fully repaired and our son also got compensation.

    The cop was stupid enough to visit our home again, and said the dropping of the case was because our son had suffered enough with the broken leg. What a load of rubbish - once more he was chucked out of the house, with his incompetence described in no uncertain terms.
    The bike? That went on in perfect order until it was eventually sold.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    6

    Default Outcome of the case

    Quote Originally Posted by TC1474 View Post
    I deal with these types of crashes all the time.

    Without going into the ins and outs of who said what, there have been a lot of similar cases.

    Firstly it has to be born in mind that filtering is perfectly legal, but there are certain conditions that the rider has to be complied with, one of them being that they do not filter on the approach to or close to a junction on their right.

    But, in the same vein, the turning driver also has a statutory duty of care to ensure that it is safe to do so before they commence their turn.

    So liability will be apportioned, you will have to accept a degree of what is called contributory negligence as will the rider. What the courts will decide as the parties involved cannot agree is what the percentage split is likely to be based on the evidence available.

    I have just put such a case to bed on a split liability of 50/50, but the circumstances and the evidence supported this. Some go 60/40 or 70/30, it all comes down to the evidence.

    As far as the bike being a total loss is concerned, it does not take much these days. I had a recent case where a brand new bike had the frame and panel work scratched, and it was deemed by the engineers that a new frame and fairing were required and it was therefore deemed a total loss, even though there was nothing structurally wrong with the the bike.

    Also bear in mind that your account of what happened will differ to that of the rider. The courts will look at the evidence that is consistent and then pick holes in the conflicting evidence and make a decision of the balance of probability.

    The fact that the collision occurred is clearly not disputed, or the fact that you admit that you were turning right and the bike was filtering. You will both have to take a percentage hit on this, it is just a case of how much.
    TC, thanks for this. I went into court this morning thinking the likely outcome would be 80-20 in my favour (according to solicitors). After speaking with barrister it was more like 50-50 as what I had stated in my witness testimony on balance of probability was unlikely and unless the other party admitted to stopping then nipping round me then that was that.

    I got to court an hour early so I had time to go through things with my barrister, we were due to go in to court with a 'your honour' level judge. However the other party then called to say he was stuck in traffic and would be late so they would allow him time to go through his evidence and so as a result we were moved to a different court with a district judge presiding instead.

    Three hours after our designated time we got in there with judge seeming rather forgiving of the claimant bringing an interpreter, unannounced, which he only seemed to use when he gave my barrister the 'wrong answer' he would then say I'm not sure I understand. The judge then took his second answer to be correct.

    I was cross-examined and the defence information (which I had not seen before, and I said I had not seen) was brought up as having omitted something in my witness statement. I believe it was the notes the insurance company had typed when I was advised to give them a 'brief description' of the accident. This didn't help matters. Neither did the judge who seemed to get riled up when my barrister used the dreaded term 'filtering', which my barrister explained he was using as the claimant had said that in his statement.

    It all went downhill from there and in the end the judge found 25-75 against me! Not impressed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    6

    Default Outcome of the case

    Quote Originally Posted by TC1474 View Post
    I deal with these types of crashes all the time.

    Without going into the ins and outs of who said what, there have been a lot of similar cases.

    Firstly it has to be born in mind that filtering is perfectly legal, but there are certain conditions that the rider has to be complied with, one of them being that they do not filter on the approach to or close to a junction on their right.

    But, in the same vein, the turning driver also has a statutory duty of care to ensure that it is safe to do so before they commence their turn.

    So liability will be apportioned, you will have to accept a degree of what is called contributory negligence as will the rider. What the courts will decide as the parties involved cannot agree is what the percentage split is likely to be based on the evidence available.

    I have just put such a case to bed on a split liability of 50/50, but the circumstances and the evidence supported this. Some go 60/40 or 70/30, it all comes down to the evidence.

    As far as the bike being a total loss is concerned, it does not take much these days. I had a recent case where a brand new bike had the frame and panel work scratched, and it was deemed by the engineers that a new frame and fairing were required and it was therefore deemed a total loss, even though there was nothing structurally wrong with the the bike.

    Also bear in mind that your account of what happened will differ to that of the rider. The courts will look at the evidence that is consistent and then pick holes in the conflicting evidence and make a decision of the balance of probability.

    The fact that the collision occurred is clearly not disputed, or the fact that you admit that you were turning right and the bike was filtering. You will both have to take a percentage hit on this, it is just a case of how much.
    TC, thanks for this. I went into court this morning thinking the likely outcome would be 80-20 in my favour (according to solicitors). After speaking with barrister it was more like 50-50 as what I had stated in my witness testimony on balance of probability was unlikely and unless the other party admitted to stopping then nipping round me then that was that.

    I got to court an hour early so I had time to go through things with my barrister, we were due to go in to court with a 'your honour' level judge. However the other party then called to say he was stuck in traffic and would be late so they would allow him time to go through his evidence and so as a result we were moved to a different court with a district judge presiding instead.

    Three hours after our designated time we got in there with judge seeming rather forgiving of the claimant bringing an interpreter, unannounced, which he only seemed to use when he gave my barrister the 'wrong answer' he would then say I'm not sure I understand. The judge then took his second answer to be correct.

    I was cross-examined and the defence information (which I had not seen before, and I said I had not seen) was brought up as having omitted something in my witness statement. I believe it was the notes the insurance company had typed when I was advised to give them a 'brief description' of the accident. This didn't help matters. Neither did the judge who seemed to get riled up when my barrister used the dreaded term 'filtering', which my barrister explained he was using as the claimant had said that in his statement.

    It all went downhill from there and in the end the judge found 25-75 against me! Not impressed.

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