Accident without bike insurance

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Sicw
Posts: 1
Joined: 2 Jul 2012, 10:21pm

Accident without bike insurance

Postby Sicw » 2 Jul 2012, 10:46pm

Dear CTC Forum,

I wanted to find out whether anyone had any advice for me following a bike accident last week? The accident happened at a busy junction, I had dismounted my bike at the traffic lights as they were red and I decided I would cross the road a bit further in front of the junction. As I crossed diagonally across the road a car ran over the back of my bike. Initially I was really shocked as I thought the lights were red, however, the driver has informed me that as she was over the junction and past the lights she was therefore able to continue moving (I don't know if this was the case).

At the time the driver gave me her details and we agreed that we would not go through her insurance. Since this time I have had my bike assessed and the damage comes to around £330. I have been in contact with the driver and she now claims that she believes I was at fault and will now only pay half of the costs to repair the bike. She is a police officer and has claimed that I was in contravention of the high way code as I was not crossing at the junction. Whilst I am aware this may be the case I can't help but think she still ran over my bike and was not paying due care and attention to the hazards around her. I do not have insurance for my bike which in hindsight now feels like a big mistake. I don't know what rights I have as I don't have an insurance company that can now fight my corner or investigate the matter. She has said she will give me her insurance details and we could go through them but that she would contest that she was not at fault and also that she had a passenger who she claims will testify that I was not acting responsibly.

Does anyone have any experience of such a matter? Is there any advice that you could recommend for me?

Any information would be gratefully received.

Thanks.

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Jul 2012, 7:18am

Check to see if you have any entitlement to legal assistance eg through membership of the CTC, a trade union or as an extension of any insurance policies.

It sounds as though you were uninjured and the damage claim is relatively small (by the standards of the system.)

The official way to recover your loss is through the small claims system in the County Court. The Court Service used to publish a series of leaflets, explaining how to deal with each stage. They were also available online. I've just had a look and it seems that may now be all on one PDF:-

http://www.justice.gov.uk/forms/hmcts

The procedure may sound daunting but it need not be, because it's intended to avoid a court case. (The alternative is just hoping somebody who is stonewalling will pay up. Police officers get no training in the civil side of claims like this so the other party is probably just as much in the dark as you are, but is dragging their feet, hoping you will go away.)

Forum member stoobs described on here some time ago how he went through the small claim system and when a lawyer suggested he too was a lawyer he used the memorable phrase "Even a monkey could do it." 8) 8) 8)

Let us know how you get on.

Edwards
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Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 10:09pm
Location: Birmingham

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby Edwards » 3 Jul 2012, 7:32am

Tell her she is talking rubbish and tell her you are going to write to her Chief Constable about her attitude to running deliberately running down a pedestrian.

Highway Code rule 7 cover crossing the road.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Jul 2012, 7:56am

Be very careful about threatening anybody with what you will do if they don't pay you money. AFAIK, writing a "letter before action" explaining that the next step will be legal proceedings is a normal prerequisite for making a claim (see my earlier stuff about small claims.)

Anything else may be interpreted as some form of harrassment or even blackmail. IMO there's nothing to be gained by using any but conventional means.

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NUKe
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Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby NUKe » 3 Jul 2012, 3:00pm

She wasn't on duty at the time otherwise she wouldn't have been looking at settling for cash. So her occupation at this point becomes irrelevant. Don't be threatened by it. As no one was injured and neither party reported it to the police it is an insurance claim. Follow Third Crank's lead on what to do i.e. Check to see if you have legal cover.
NUKe
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snibgo
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Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby snibgo » 3 Jul 2012, 5:59pm

The "not stopping at red light" offence is exactly that. If it turns red after she's been through it, she can continue.

However, the Highway Code is full of phrases like "Watch out for cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and other road users." She isn't supposed to run into pedestrians, even if they are crossing unwisely (but not illegally).

Are you likely to get a better deal that 50%? I dunno.

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andrew_s
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Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby andrew_s » 3 Jul 2012, 7:19pm

snibgo wrote:The "not stopping at red light" offence is exactly that. If it turns red after she's been through it, she can continue.

You have to stop when the light goes orange unless to do so would be impossible or dangerous. Getting the front of your car over the line before red is not sufficient to be legal.

snibgo
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Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby snibgo » 3 Jul 2012, 8:01pm

Yes, true, I (over) simplified.

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NUKe
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Location: Suffolk

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby NUKe » 4 Jul 2012, 10:25am

Sicw wrote:Dear CTC Forum,

At the time the driver gave me her details and we agreed that we would not go through her insurance. Since this time I have had my bike assessed and the damage comes to around £330. I have been in contact with the driver and she now claims that she believes I was at fault and will now only pay half of the costs to repair the bike. She is a police officer and has claimed that I was in contravention of the high way code as I was not crossing at the junction. Whilst I am aware this may be the case I can't help but think she still ran over my bike and was not paying due care and attention to the hazards around her. I do not have insurance for my bike which in hindsight now feels like a big mistake. I don't know what rights I have as I don't have an insurance company that can now fight my corner or investigate the matter. She has said she will give me her insurance details and we could go through them but that she would contest that she was not at fault and also that she had a passenger who she claims will testify that I was not acting responsibly.

Does anyone have any experience of such a matter? Is there any advice that you could recommend for me?

Any information would be gratefully received.

Thanks.

Just re-read and a couple of other thoughts ha ve sprung to mind.
1. Her passenger is not an independent witness
2. the amount you want is piddling in Insurance terms.
Send her the bill, tell her you are happy for it go through the insurance company I would be suprised if anyone would waste further time than to authorise payment. If they do try and the blame game tell them you are happy to settle in small claims, they have to provided a legal representation, you can represent yourself they will fold at this point 330 won't cover there legal costs which in this case you are not oblidged to pay.see Tthirdcranks link on how to do this
NUKe

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meic
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Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby meic » 4 Jul 2012, 10:30am

NUKe wrote:
Sicw wrote:Dear CTC Forum,

At the time the driver gave me her details and we agreed that we would not go through her insurance. Since this time I have had my bike assessed and the damage comes to around £330. I have been in contact with the driver and she now claims that she believes I was at fault and will now only pay half of the costs to repair the bike. She is a police officer and has claimed that I was in contravention of the high way code as I was not crossing at the junction. Whilst I am aware this may be the case I can't help but think she still ran over my bike and was not paying due care and attention to the hazards around her. I do not have insurance for my bike which in hindsight now feels like a big mistake. I don't know what rights I have as I don't have an insurance company that can now fight my corner or investigate the matter. She has said she will give me her insurance details and we could go through them but that she would contest that she was not at fault and also that she had a passenger who she claims will testify that I was not acting responsibly.

Does anyone have any experience of such a matter? Is there any advice that you could recommend for me?

Any information would be gratefully received.

Thanks.

Just re-read and a couple of other thoughts ha ve sprung to mind.
1. Her passenger is not an independent witness
2. the amount you want is piddling in Insurance terms.
Send her the bill, tell her you are happy for it go through the insurance company I would be suprised if anyone would waste further time than to authorise payment. If they do try and the blame game tell them you are happy to settle in small claims, they have to provided a legal representation, you can represent yourself they will fold at this point 330 won't cover there legal costs which in this case you are not oblidged to pay.



I had a van reverse into my van years ago, he said I drove into his van.
The case was decided (by the insurance companies involved) in my favour because I had the testimony of my passenger who was classed as an independent witness.
It is obviously a very dubious policy as the independence is very dubious and I was surprised about it.
Yma o Hyd

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Jul 2012, 10:49am

Unfortunately, another single-post potential controversy. (On at least one earlier thread, the old forum was almost set alight by indignation about the involvement of a policewoman in a collision with a cyclist.)

On the face of it, it's the old story: immediately after a collision, somebody makes all sorts of offers to settle, usually without involving the police and / or insurance company. Later, in the pub or possibly the canteen in this case, the story is told and the advice is plentiful: never admit liability; they can't prove it; etc. At the same time, the driver begins to rationalise what happened and before long, mature trees are leaping out in the road in front of stationary motor cars.

For many people, it becomes "one of those things you put down to experience." (Cue for a song.)

The alternative is send the bill and if necessary, go through the small claims procedure. Incidentally, I think that even for CTC members, all RJW can do is offer advice about filling in the papers. It sounds daunting, but the basic way to do it is a "letter before action." This needs only to be a straightforward letter explaining in plain terms the reason for the claim and information about the amount claimed, preferably supported with evidence such as repair bills or estimates.

If the result is anything other than a satisfactory offer, the subsequent steps are all explained in the Courts Service info. If it does end up in court - and there are now alternative forms of dispute resolution - it's not a fancy dress performance. "Even a monkey could do it." :D :D :D Hooray! :D :D :D Keep those words in mind as encouragement.

gilesjuk
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Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:10pm

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby gilesjuk » 4 Jul 2012, 10:59am

Also, much of the Highway Code is not legally binding. So unless your actions were in contravention of a road traffic act rule then the mention of the Highway Code can be ignored.

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meic
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Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby meic » 4 Jul 2012, 12:57pm

I dont think that that is so.

Civil proceedings about liability will be based on who was obeying the highway code, whether it was law or not.
That is what it says in the introduction isnt it?
Yma o Hyd

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Jul 2012, 1:21pm

The Highway Code

Introduction

This Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales. The Highway Code is essential reading for everyone.
The most vulnerable road users are pedestrians, particularly children, older or disabled people, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders. It is important that all road users are aware of the Code and are considerate towards each other. This applies to pedestrians as much as to drivers and riders.

Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’. In addition, the rule includes an abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence. An explanation of the abbreviations can be found in 'The road user and the law'.

Failure to comply with the other rules of the Code will not, in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted. The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic Acts (see 'The road user and the law') to establish liability. This includes rules which use advisory wording such as ‘should/should not’ or ‘do/do not’.

Knowing and applying the rules contained in The Highway Code could significantly reduce road casualties. Cutting the number of deaths and injuries that occur on our roads every day is a responsibility we all share. The Highway Code can help us discharge that responsibility. Further information on driving/riding techniques can be found in ‘The Official DSA Guide to Driving - the essential skills’ and ‘The Official DSA Guide to Riding - the essential skills’. (My emphasis.)

gilesjuk
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Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:10pm

Re: Accident without bike insurance

Postby gilesjuk » 4 Jul 2012, 1:37pm

So yes, it's not an automatic way of getting someone convicted. But in the event of an accident it is used as a way of attributing liability.

Point if you get knocked down and you weren't obeying a highway code recommendation but the other party jumped the lights or was drunk then who's at fault?

It seems to be that in the original posting that the driver was breaking a road traffic law by nipping through the lights. Which is surely a more serious problem than where a cyclist chose to cross the road.