Accident advice required Please?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Urticaria
Posts: 158
Joined: 21 Jul 2013, 12:02pm

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby Urticaria » 19 Aug 2013, 9:25pm

I think it has been already suggested, but there isn't necessarily a wrong side to the road in a quiet road like this. The dashed white line is to help your positioning. Some roads wide enough for two cars don't have any white line, and some extremely narrow ones do have one, in which case the only choice in a car is to straddle it.

From a gamesmanship perspective, ought you not to put in a counterclaim for something (do you know how much they are claiming?), else the other insurance firm has little to lose by pursuing you?

MikeF
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Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby MikeF » 20 Aug 2013, 12:00am

Maybe useful advice here, but the article is very car driver biased however. http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e/consumer_cars_and_other_vehicles_e/consumer_driving_and_parking_e/consumer_driving_e/traffic_accidents.htm#what_must_a_driver_do Maybe worth contacting CAB.

You need to think about facts.
eg
What was the damage to the car? What was the damage to your bike?
What speed was the car going? How was it being driven? It obviously stopped, but where?
What speed were you going?
Road layout
Parked cars?
Visibility? Weather?
Other traffic?
Your position/direction of travel
The car's position/direction of travel
Are there often lots of cyclists?
etc etc

You don't necessarily need to state those facts, but they might be the sort of things you might think about even if you don't write them in any letters.

I know this is only a forum, but just consider the number of queries you've had about understanding what happened. You haven't really described actually what or how it happened other than a collision occurred when you were turning left.

I anticipated the left turn into Fishwick Avenue from Ferry Road, as I am familiar with this territory, reducing my speed accordingly.
If you think about your statement it doesn't convey much. It might mean (say to the insurance company for example) you were cycling at 40mph, knew you were going to turn left, slowed to 35mph
as I am familiar with this territory, reducing my speed accordingly.
swung out wide on the turn (as you normally do) and collided with the car waiting in the middle of the road.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

stoobs
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Joined: 27 Nov 2007, 4:45am

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby stoobs » 20 Aug 2013, 11:39am

Without taking sides in this, your current words throughout this post, and your letter, lead me think that you turned into a side road without sufficient observation for road users already there. I think you need to change your words if you are to stand any chance in this.

"Reducing my speed accordingly" - I'm sure their reaction will be "Really?"

I'm with MikeF's interpretation.

And I'm normally absolutely on the cyclists' side.

Vorpal
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Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby Vorpal » 20 Aug 2013, 12:04pm

Stewpot42 wrote:Well, It seems the "gentleman" in question has decided to put forward a claim.

....All advice gratefully received.


Check with your home / contents insurer. They may cover you in this situation. Otherwise, it may be worth getting proper legal advice.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

thirdcrank
Posts: 30856
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Aug 2013, 1:09pm

Stewpot42 wrote: ... The letter from his insurers says that "They are holding me responsible for the incident"...etc etc. ...


I remain sceptical about the value of legal advice from laypeople. The Lord Chief Justice couldn't give much help with the reply to a letter which he hadn't read. ie "etc etc .... " says nothing.

In passing, I'll say that there's a difference between rewording your account to make the meaning clearer and changing it to strengthen your case.

Mark1978
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Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby Mark1978 » 20 Aug 2013, 2:50pm

It seems standard practice in all vehicle collisions where there is no independent witness for the driver who is at fault to put forward a counter claim.

It then becomes your word against his, thus the insurance company will force you into taking 50/50 blame. This allows them to not pay out personal injury compensation and collect excess payments.

thirdcrank
Posts: 30856
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Aug 2013, 3:54pm

It seems understandable to me that in many collisions both parties will suffer loss, although their losses may not be equal: if one party is a pedestrian or cyclist and the other the driver of a motor vehicle, there may be a big difference. Nevertheless, each is likely to have some sort of claim against the other; that's not skullduggery, it's the way things are. If tyhere is a genuine counterclaim, fair enough. If there isn't there doesn't seem much to be gained by creating one, and there may be a lot to lose. At the simplest level, if somebody is demonstrated to be economical with the truth, they will lose credibility if it goes to court. Getting in a bit deeper can amount to a criminal offence.

I think it's also not unknown for people involved in collisions to offer a partisan version of events, which gets more that way with the passage of time, often reinforced by the encouragement of others. In the absence of independent witnesses, an insurer is dependent on their insured's version, but they know that may be the weak basis for a trip to court. For this and all sorts of other reasons connected with cutting costs, they will generally be looking to settle if they cannot avoid any liability.

Back to the matter in hand of replying to the insurer, IMO it's always important to think what you are trying to do before writing a letter. In this case, it's rejecting the insurance company's claim. As somebody else above has implied, this means sticking to the point. If the other party's account is factually wrong, explain why. If their interpretation of liability arising from the events seems wrong, again, it's necessary to explain why but this is where a lawyer's input will be invaluable because they will base their advice on the law, rather than some saloon bar interpretation of what it ought to be.

Remember, a lawyer will prefer to start handling something sooner rather than later. For this reason, it's pretty much a standard condition of insurance policies that the company is notified of any possible claim as soon as possible, and any correspondnece is passed to them for attention. They don't want things mucking up by DIY stuff.

Stewpot42
Posts: 12
Joined: 19 May 2012, 5:17am

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby Stewpot42 » 20 Aug 2013, 7:18pm

Thanks for your advice everybody.

I am not pursuing a claim as my injuries were neither hear nor there, my bike had little more than a few scratches and it cracked my 19month old boys helmet as it was hanging on my handlebars.

All I want to do is to state my case, that I was following the highway code - as I always do - and I was riding with due care and attention. I just don't want this to go any further - got more important things to be dealing with.

I shall re word the letter and be more factual about it where I can and see what happens.

I will keep you posted on any/all outcomes.

freeflow
Posts: 1434
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 1:54pm

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby freeflow » 20 Aug 2013, 7:48pm

Draw diagrams of what you think happened and back that up with photographs of the junction. Measure the width of the road and mark it clearly on you diagram. Words can be very misleading and can be twisted in ways you didn't mean. It is better that you don't respond directly to the letter but forward your response to whoever is handling your claim.

Stewpot42
Posts: 12
Joined: 19 May 2012, 5:17am

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby Stewpot42 » 20 Aug 2013, 7:50pm

The letter is from his insurers - I am handling my response, no insurer involved, so I am writing back to his insurer.

Theres no other way to do it but we have taken legal advice from our home insurers so its all good so far.

andymiller
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Joined: 8 Dec 2007, 10:26am

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby andymiller » 21 Aug 2013, 7:49am

Stewpot42 wrote:Thanks for your advice everybody.

I am not pursuing a claim as my injuries were neither hear nor there, my bike had little more than a few scratches and it cracked my 19month old boys helmet as it was hanging on my handlebars.

All I want to do is to state my case, that I was following the highway code - as I always do - and I was riding with due care and attention. I just don't want this to go any further - got more important things to be dealing with.

I shall re word the letter and be more factual about it where I can and see what happens.

I will keep you posted on any/all outcomes.


Your potential counterclaim is an important lever in getting them to go away: don't throw it away. After all his car just suffered a few scratches - that won't stop him going to a garage who will obligingly provide an estimate for respraying the whole door. Your potential claim is the cost of having a shop strip down the bike, respray the frame and rebuild. You should definitely say something like 'my bike was scratched; I haven't yet got an estimate for the cost of a respray.

Your bruises are also relevant. You don't have to make a big drama about it just say something like I also suffered bruising and my son's helmet will have to be replaced'.

karlt
Posts: 2244
Joined: 15 Jul 2011, 2:07pm

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby karlt » 21 Aug 2013, 9:37am

Stewpot42 wrote:The letter is from his insurers - I am handling my response, no insurer involved, so I am writing back to his insurer.

Theres no other way to do it but we have taken legal advice from our home insurers so its all good so far.


Are you sure you aren't insured? If you have house contents insurance, you probably are. Check for a liability section in the policy. If so, do not reply to the driver's insurers but send the correspondence directly to them with your version of events.

michael42
Posts: 219
Joined: 19 May 2012, 6:42pm

Re: Accident advice required Please?

Postby michael42 » 21 Aug 2013, 4:45pm

Stewpot42 wrote:Thanks for your advice everybody.

I am not pursuing a claim as my injuries were neither hear nor there, my bike had little more than a few scratches and it cracked my 19month old boys helmet as it was hanging on my handlebars.

All I want to do is to state my case, that I was following the highway code - as I always do - and I was riding with due care and attention. I just don't want this to go any further - got more important things to be dealing with.


I'm sorry to say, I doubt you'll win. As others have said, you cannot turn a corner and expect the road ahead to be clear.

Moreso if it's a residential area with thin roads and / or parked cars and you said in your first post the road is obscured.

If you say "I couldn't see if the road was clear because of parked cars" you'll lose if the implication is, you decided to ignore that and cycle along.
It's like saying "I couldn't see because the sun was in my eyes" - you need to slow down and stop if that happens.

You have to ask yourself why, if you were riding with due care and attention and following the highway code, did you crash into his car rather than
stopping?

Unless you say something like "I was cycling down the road and a car coming the other way, overtook a parked car, crossed the white line and we ran into each other"
you really have no case. i.e if he moved over to pass the parked car, into your path, after you had turned the corner then he is at fault, but he's not at fault
simply for being over the white lines.

If someone had been doing a 3 point turn, overtaking a parked car, crossing the street - they are not committing an offence and, at least from the terse details you've given, you'd have probably hit them.

That said, if this guy was overtaking a parked car, it may well be that the car was parked too close to the junction, forcing anyone coming to the end of the junction onto the wrong
side of the road. It is an offence to park too close to a junction. So if that is the scenario perhaps you or him can put the blame on a dangerously parked vehicle. At least could have if
you'd taken down their registration numbers at the time.

Perhaps you can reply to their insurers with that tack? Suggest to them the fault, if any, lies with the illegally parked cars that forced their client onto the wrong side of the road and that
he should proceed with any claim against them.

I think at best though, from what you've said, had you an insurance company they might well argue that both people were equally at fault and each should just pay for their own damage.
It's going to be potentially expensive to fight it though (and possibly expensive if you don't depending on the damage to his car) if you don't have insurance.

With hindsight, this is why people get 3rd party liability insurance, then you could have just filled in your insurers form and let them sort it out.