I suppose it is to be expected your solicitors would say you will win 80/20 or they would probably not be at court. A different judge on a different day may well have given another percentage liability.
I frequently disagree with others on this forum when it comes to making decisions on blame such as in your case and there have been some very disparaging comments from those who take a different view so I did not give an opinion; mainly because no one ever comes back with the outcome so it is left hanging.
Easy for me to say with hindsight but when I read your incident I was concerned that the onus was always going to be with you as you were entering the main road. I wont mention the dreaded words 'right of way' as again, several posters seem to know everything. Seems in your case, they do not.
Sorry you didn't get the outcome you hoped for but a big thanks for taking the time to post the result. It, for some, at any rate will be an eye opener.
Yes as I was moving into the main road from a side road I would bear a portion of responsibility. However, the claimant said that I pulled straight out and hit him when in fact he had stopped next to a car letting me out and I was halfway across the road about to turn right into that lane. I had to pull that far out to see if there was any traffic coming from my left. Had I just pulled out I would have risked being hit by a car travelling from the left. The motorcycle stopped which I assumed meant he was letting me out. I looked left to double check it was safe to turn right and then as I did that the motorcycle rider tried to go round me and we then collided, had he not made such a reckless manoeuvre then the accident wouldn't have happened. He said he didn't stop at all despite saying that he had seen me leading up to the junction, he also said he saw the gap in the traffic but said he did not see me after this until I hit him. Every time he said something under cross examination that supported my story, my barrister asked him to confirm that to which he would turn to his interpreter saying he wasn't sure, then the judge only took his second answer. He actually turned up late for court and they gave him extra time to go over his evidence which then meant that we ended up seeing another judge.
I really felt that the whole thing was ridiculous as I am 100% certain that he is either mistaken or lying yet the judge said that he didn't believe I had pulled into the gap, that on balance of probability the motorcycle couldn't possibly have taken such a risky manoeuvre, and that is misjudged the situation and should have waited for him to pass, but the judge failed to notice that the other party was lying, he even lied about what he was wearing. I just wish I had taken pictures of his bike after the accident to show that the damage in the engineer's report wasn't there after the accident, that the motorcyclist was not wearing a high vid, and also to show that he couldn't possibly have been in the correct lane due to the fact that there were parked cars and traffic which took up the whole lane with no space for him to fit within the central lane despite him stating that he had which would have made him look less credible.
Sorry I'm waffling on but I feel that the judge was so harsh against me and I'd like to appeal but I simply can't afford it myself and I doubt the insurers will be happy to go ahead based on what happened in court yesterday. I'm so annoyed that the other party has got off pretty much completely when he has been inaccurate in his witness statement and generally.
Sorry to read the verdict, I think the thing that favoured the other party, was their use of an interpreter which didn't do any favours for you???
Hi Smudger, yes my barrister said it was very difficult working with him as he was conducting everything in English but then using the interpreter are a back up in case he said the wrong thing. I mean in order to get a working visa he is meant to have an acceptable level of English plus he works as a courier which the judge said meant that he was an experienced motorcyclist whereas I would have said that made him more likely to take such a risky manoeuvre. The accident happened when he was on his way to his last job. Hmmmm. He didn't even seem bothered about swapping details after the accident, I said we should just in case, but because he was so blasé about it at the time I didn't see the need to get witnesses etc. will never make that mistake again.
Hometune, I agree with your view (post #11). I think many people find it impossible to accept that, when someone does make a mistake, it is not always possible for another otherwise innocent driver to successfully take evading action to avoid a collision. Then, when a collision does occur, it seems that any subsequent 'debate', courts and insurers (and some posters!) immediately operate on the assumption that both drivers acted in the wrong to varying degrees. Guilty driver versus completely innocent driver appears to be a no-brainer.
Take the simple act of a car in a side road coming up to a junction with the main road. Everyone knows that the car in the side road is legally required to give way to a vehicle on the main road and approaching the junction. So the driver on the main road rightly expects this and continues on his/her course. But, when the side road driver fails to give way, there are those who immediately engage in proportional blame, saying the main road driver did not show sufficient caution. What should the main road driver do - touch his/her brakes and be ready to stop at every side road junction as they approach it? How would following drivers be expected to translate such behaviour? The pause-go-pause-go driver would be verbally castigated for stupidity - perhaps by in-car opinions or even by shouting and horn-blowing.
Ironically the judge appears to have ruled that in effect your example is what happened in the OP's accident
Originally Posted by Snowball
Yes he did assume that I had pulled out misjudging the situation. Had I got witnesses, particularly that lady in the car who let me out halfway, I think it would have been a different outcome. I know for future reference to ask for witnesses no matter what. Had I just pulled out and hit him I would have put my hands up and accepted full liability but because of his risky manoeuvre I really felt that court was only option as the other party was saying it was completely my fault. I don't think there's much point in appealing, it may end up worse, so I'm probably going to leave it as is. I've lost my no claims bonus and will now have to pay the excess for the claim probably so I'm out of pocket enough and hiring another solicitor will probably cost more than what I've lost. My insurance premium went up by £100 a month following the accident. I had six years no claims before, frustrating but I guess these things happen. It could have been worse at least the judge didn't charge me with perjury despite him taking the other party's story to be the more accurate description of the accident (despite him lying). It's been dragging on for nearly two years so I guess I'm happy it's over with now just bugs me that someone can get away with claiming so much and lying in court.
Originally Posted by dacouch
If you had achieved a 50/50 result your premium would still rise by the same amount and there would have been the same impact on your no claims bonus.
Incidently a 75/25 result means that you can recover 25% of your losses from the other party and they can recover 75% of their losses from your Insurers, this means if you send his Insurers a copy of the receipt for the excess you paid you can reclaim 25% of the excess payment along with 25% of any other reasonable costs you've incurred and can prove
vickylu1, your post (#14), indicating that the motorcyclist was a courier; aren't couriers, whatever transport mode they use, always in a rush? And, if payment is based on the number of 'drops' per day, well, cash very often overrides caution. Also, him being a courier has no significance regarding either his driving ability, or him being unlikely to commit a driving error. In fact, the latter could be quite the opposite on two counts - if he was working on a visa, his driving ability in the UK could not be extensive, and likely to be below standard if driving in his own country is on the right, and the 'courier' situation definitely raises the possibility of him being in a rush and causing the collision. Not a judge with much knowledge of ordinary daily life on our roads, in my opinion. Sympathies on your result.
I blame the insurers
With regards to the driver not being bothered about blaming you or claiming damages at the scene, in my experience he could actually have been perfectly genuine in this - until the insurance providers took over.
When I was younger and on holiday with my parents, we had parked at the front of the fairly steep car park at Durdle Door and gone down to the beach for a few hours. When we returned we found that another car had rolled down the hill straight into the side of my parents' car. It was a Citroen BX which some of you may remember had to be recalled to fix a faulty handbrake. The car park operators called the police when the owner could not be immediately located.
There was some amusement when the teenage daughters of the owner of the BX turned up and went straight to the boot, not noticing their car was not only not where they left it but that it was also embedded in the side of ours! They fetched their Dad and the police officer turned up. Everyone was very affable and agreed it was unfortunate about the BX handbrake (which had recently been featured on Watchdog) and the owner had no qualms in agreeing that he was of course liable to pay our repair costs. I believe he was completely genuine in this at the time.
Later, when our insurance company attempted to recoup the costs of the replacement panelling, hub caps and other more minor work the opposing insurer refused, saying that it wasn't their fault that there was a problem with Citroen BXs. It went up to the stage where we had to decide whether or not to take them to court, which our insurer advised against as their was no guarantee either way; it would depend on how the case was put across and a number of other factors. We did wish to press on, believing we were in the right, but the insurers wouldn't do so as it was their money on the line and they felt the risk to be too great. We couldn't afford to go the alternative route of suing Citroen. Ultimately my parents lost their no claims bonus and their premiums went up as everyone was officially equally to blame.
Basically the insurers are out to make what they can - either by pushing a claim, as seems to have happened to you, or by denying one if they can get away with it.
Incidentally the police officer told us it would have been perfectly legal to do whatever was necessary to remove the BX from our car (a Citroen AX Splash at the time, if you were wondering) given that the owner was not present and it was most definitely illegally parked.
Anyway... rant over. :P