presumed liability petition

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CyberKnight
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presumed liability petition

Postby CyberKnight » 15 Aug 2020, 2:26pm

John Wayne: "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on... I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."

thirdcrank
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Aug 2020, 3:14pm

Any feelings about this?

viewtopic.php?p=1514202#p1514202

pwa
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby pwa » 15 Aug 2020, 3:44pm

It says the larger vehicle will be presumed to be at fault, which makes you wonder how a vehicle can be at fault. It has to be the driver, surely.

Assuming we are saying the driver of the larger vehicle is to be presumed to be at fault, until proven otherwise, even as a cyclist I have to say that presuming anything is not usually the way to get to truth.

slowster
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby slowster » 15 Aug 2020, 3:49pm

thirdcrank wrote:Any feelings about this?

viewtopic.php?p=1514202#p1514202

It's probably a good illustration of why there is a huge and important difference between strict liability and presumed liability. What is being sought is the latter, NOT the former.

With presumed liability, if there is evidence that on the balance of probabilities the cyclist (or pedestrian) was negligent and either caused the accident or was significantly partly responsible for causing it/making the outcome worse, then the motorist will NOT be held liable or any award against them will be reduced to take into account the contributory negligence of the cyclist (or pedestrian).

If there had been an accident involving one of those cyclists in the video and a car, the video would probably have been just the sort of evidence that would overturn the presumption of liability against the motorist.

Presumed liability is a starting point for legal disputes. It only determines the verdict if there is no strongly persuasive evidence available. Given that there will be a small but neverthless significant number of accidents involving cyclists and motorists where the cyclist is killed or left with severe life chaging injuries, but it is not possible to prove that the motorist was responsible due to lack of witnesses etc., it is better that presumed liability apply in such cases.

Any harm to those motorists who are wrongly held liable as a result of presumed liability would be more than outweighed by the harm to cyclists (and pedestrians) who are injured/killed by a motorist's negligence and currently are unable to gain compensation from the motorist's insurer because of a lack of evidence as to exactly what happened.

thirdcrank
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Aug 2020, 4:01pm

I'm thinking about campaigning for this. If it gets to the stage where there's even a remote possibility that the petition will be debated, it will be all over the telly especially GMB.

In that environment, it's the visual examples and the short sharp phrase that wins what passes for tv debate. If it got beyond the point of the cycling spokesperson being asked if they condemned that sort of behaviour, it would be a couple of selected quotes on the lines that it was just kids having a bit of fun.
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PS Slowster's erudite explanation is IMO preferable to that of the proposer of the petition:-

For the sake of the environment, the nation's health, to alleviate the burden on the NHS and for the sake of our economy we need to encourage more people to get on their bikes and to walk. By introducing legislation whereby the larger vehicle is presumed to be at fault in the event of an incident, drivers should be more inclined to show greater respect for other road users.


I understand that a dead or seriously injured casualty cannot give evidence. I'm not confident that the possibility of losing their no-claims discount would influence drivers who are undeterred by criminal sanctions, especially as so many of the worst drivers are uninsured.

Also bravo to PWA for reminding us of Chief Dan Matthews sign off:

It isn't the car that kills: it's the driver.


viewtopic.php?p=1277338#p1277338

Tangled Metal
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby Tangled Metal » 15 Aug 2020, 8:46pm

Just putting an alternative idea across, not necessarily for this idea just got discussion.

What if all road users had to have insurance that covers others and themselves in the case of an accident, both claims for damage to vehicles/bikes but also the user, passengers and others affected. If there is evidence to prove liability the liable party has their insurance to cover affected parties whether liable or not. If evidence isn't there then you're not assigning liability where that isn't known.

I personally think presumed liability is the best way forward but it does gall me that there could be liability assigned arbitrarily without the truth ever being known. The idea is that under current situation a cyclist could have life changing injuries without the money to manage them as well as they would want so the motorist's insurers must pay unless liability can be assigned to the cyclist. I think under the current situation that's the best option. However I wonder if there's another option involving better personal insurance? Perhaps we should all have this insurance? Or increase taxes such that care and rehabilitation can be given without legal recourse. Better health and welfare support???

Am I a socialist suggesting this?? If I am I blame R2 for the bad influence!! :lol:

PH
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby PH » 15 Aug 2020, 9:10pm

thirdcrank wrote:Any feelings about this?

viewtopic.php?p=1514202#p1514202

I watched that when it was first posted, whatever the action of the kids, there were some pretty stupid motorists who in the event of an accident should be liable. If I were to find myself driving in that situation, the sensible thing to do would be pull over and wait for it to pass, even though I might not be happy doing so. Two incidents from memory, a car early on sounding it's horn and trying to get through and later on a bus continuing to drive towards a group wheeling on the wrong side of the road.
In the recent high profile civil case of a cyclist hitting and injuring a pedestrian crossing the road, the narrative of the judgement included that the cyclist was liable because the pedestrian was "established in the road" I'd say the kids in that link were pretty well established in the road and other road users had an obligation to avoid them.
As for presumed liability, I've signed and would support it, but the evidence I've seen, probably from a link on here, is that it makes little difference to drivers behaviour or legal outcomes, though it can simplify the claims process which is no small thing in itself.
EDIT Here's some reading for those who think it's clear cut, though not the link I was looking for:
https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013 ... therlands/
Last edited by PH on 15 Aug 2020, 9:23pm, edited 1 time in total.

thirdcrank
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Aug 2020, 9:18pm

My reason for linking to the thread about the ride out(?) in Bristol was to ask how others felt the video and forum comments about it might affect this campaign.

PH
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby PH » 15 Aug 2020, 9:23pm

thirdcrank wrote:My reason for linking to the thread about the ride out(?) in Bristol was to ask how others felt the video and forum comments about it might affect this campaign.

I don't think it will at all.

slowster
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby slowster » 15 Aug 2020, 9:31pm

Tangled Metal wrote:What if all road users had to have insurance that covers others and themselves in the case of an accident, both claims for damage to vehicles/bikes but also the user, passengers and others affected. If there is evidence to prove liability the liable party has their insurance to cover affected parties whether liable or not. If evidence isn't there then you're not assigning liability where that isn't known.

What you describe sounds like no-fault compensation (or effectively a combination of liability insurance for injuring a third party and a personal accident policy for 'self-inflicted' injuries/death).

I think that would be a much greater change, and with some undesirable consequences, compared with presumed liability. Cyclists would need to have this presumably compulsory insurance, despite the fact that they are rarely the cause of injury to others. Moreover, how do you define 'all road users'? Do they include pedestrians crossing the road or walking along country lanes? What about children playing in the street, possibly on foot, on a bike/trike, roller skates or a scooter?

Moreover, it creates a big gulf between how legal liability for accidents is dealt with for road accidents compared with every other part of our daily lives and the world we live in, i.e. much more so than presumed liability for road users. For example a child falls off a tree or a climbing frame and suffers life changing injury but receives no compensation to help them cope financially for the rest of their life, but if they fall off their bike in the road they would be compensated for the same injuries. Are the roads so exceptional that they merit such an extreme difference in outcome? What would happen if they were cycling on the pavement, or a bridleway, or their front drive?

That said, I have read that some experts on medical liability reckon that it would be better to switch from the current standard legal liability model for dealing with medical malpractice to a no-fault/no-blame compensation system. The total amounts that would be paid out annually under the latter arrangement would be greater, because payments would be made even where the doctor or practitioner was not at fault. However, the net total cost of the scheme to the NHS might not be higher (and might be lower), because it eliminates/greatly reduces the huge legal costs element of dealing with and defending such claims.

Tangled Metal
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby Tangled Metal » 15 Aug 2020, 11:21pm

So basically presumed liability is the cheapest way to cover compensation for injured cyclists when the motorist cannot produce the evidence to clear themselves from liability. With car insurance covering the cost. If it comes into force I think every motorist would do well to protect their interests with cameras on every angle possible!! Perhaps car insurance companies might insist on it or charge more to convert their risk. Either way it isn't a no cost system. It's all a complex matter all round

Bmblbzzz
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby Bmblbzzz » 16 Aug 2020, 2:20am

No-fault compensation could be introduced without compulsory insurance for cyclists, though it could of course open them up to big claims if they didn't have insurance. Insurance isn't compulsory for various other risks which aren't necessarily your fault. What it would mean would be eg if a driver has a heart attack or stroke at the wheel, their insurance would compensate for injuries and damage caused by their vehicle while they were unconscious or dead. I expect no-fault insurance for cyclists would be pretty cheap anyway. You might even already have it.

Jdsk
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby Jdsk » 16 Aug 2020, 8:58am

Tangled Metal wrote:What if all road users had to have insurance that covers others and themselves in the case of an accident, both claims for damage to vehicles/bikes but also the user, passengers and others affected. If there is evidence to prove liability the liable party has their insurance to cover affected parties whether liable or not. If evidence isn't there then you're not assigning liability where that isn't known.

Yes, it's always worth asking whether risk should be socialised. Particularly as we know that it works well for healthcare.

But doing it halfway to only cover "all road users" might end up with a registration scheme for all road users, and the disadvantages might be greater than the benefits.

Jonathan

PS: I'm sure that you're not dong it but the full repertoire of rants of some road users towards some other road others includes registration of the latter.

Jdsk
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby Jdsk » 16 Aug 2020, 9:02am

The petition is badly worded, but presumed liability along the same lines as some similar countries looks like a good idea to me. And is probably achievable.

Cycling UK view:
https://www.cyclinguk.org/campaigning/views-and-briefings/compensation-for-injured-cyclists-0

A retained lawyer's briefing:
https://www.slatergordon.co.uk/media-centre/blog/2015/08/cycling-accidents-and-presumed-liability-uk-vs-europe/

Jonathan

slowster
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Re: presumed liability petition

Postby slowster » 16 Aug 2020, 9:06am

Tangled Metal wrote:So basically presumed liability is the cheapest way to cover compensation for injured cyclists when the motorist cannot produce the evidence to clear themselves from liability. With car insurance covering the cost. If it comes into force I think every motorist would do well to protect their interests with cameras on every angle possible!! Perhaps car insurance companies might insist on it or charge more to convert their risk. Either way it isn't a no cost system. It's all a complex matter all round

The very large personal injury claims that are setttled for millions because of the extent of the injuries and the costs of life long care are so few, that a small number added to them and being paid under presumed liabilty (where currently nothing would be paid due to lack of sufficient evidence of the motorist's negligence) would probably not significantly affect motor insurance costs.

The rise in small claims for minor injury, time off work, damage to bike and clothing might have an impact because of the very large number of such minor accidents that occur.

There is also always the possibility of 'unintended consequences' with any change in the law. Staged and fraudulent motor insurance claims have become a serious problem. In the case of cars being deliberately reversed into the front of another at a junction, that is done because the default assumption is that a motorist who drives into the rear of another vehicle is invariably at fault. It's possible that presumed liability for vulnerable road users will result in similar fraudulent staged accidents, although the perpetrators would be running a risk of being genuinely seriously injured, which would deter all but the foolhardy and those with stuntman levels of skills.

The trend for installing dashcams (and cameras for cyclists) is clearly going to increase as the cost of the equipment gets lower, and I agree with you that presumed liability would only add to this.

I doubt presumed liability would make a major difference to driving standards and reducing the risks of accidents to vulnerable road users, but I think the benefits would outweigh the disadvantages.
Last edited by slowster on 16 Aug 2020, 10:00am, edited 1 time in total.