New user + Advise on accident

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BrendanC
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New user + Advise on accident

Postby BrendanC » 3 Dec 2019, 3:59pm

Hi folks

I'm new to this forum, just wanted to say hello :) I'm a regular cyclist, most days I'm around London getting about between meetings and work. I also like to go on at least one long cycle trip a year, essentially a glorified week-long pub crawl, but on bikes. Last year it was the Yorkshire dales. Looking forward to Devon next year.

I had a quick question, last year I was hit but a car whilst cycling through north London. I have a solicitor and I am looking to get some compensation for the accident as I was injured. I wanted peoples thoughts on what happened and if I was in the wrong at all. At is stands the man who hit me is saying that I'm 20% to blame for the crash. Here is what happened...

I was cycling down a London street in very slow-moving traffic, I was on the left-hand side of the road and I was moving faster than the traffic. As I was passing a side street a car that was on the other side of the road cut through the traffic to try and drive down the side street and went into the side of me. I flew over the bonnet and onto the floor. I was helped by a bystander into a shop where I was able to get my self together. The driver of the car came in and apologised and said that his kids were in the back of his car and he was not concentrating.

Firstly apologising is an omission of guilt, and secondly telling me that his kids were in the back screaming so he could not concentrate kinda makes me feel like he was 100% to blame. But I didn't know what the law said about a bike moving along the left-hand side of traffic.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks
B

Postboxer
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby Postboxer » 3 Dec 2019, 4:51pm

Hi, welcome to the forum. I don't think apologising is an admission of guilt, not legally anyway. It was in the heat of the moment, if it was 50-50 and you were both equally to blame and both had done something wrong, wouldn't apologising be the right thing to do? He then goes home and has time to think about it and what happened.

This scenario seems to crop up quite often on this forum though I'm not sure a consensus has been reached. The driver is at fault for crossing your path, they can argue you shouldn't have been there passing cars next to a side road.

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mjr
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby mjr » 3 Dec 2019, 5:03pm

Postboxer is bang on. Shared fault, the bulk on the distracted driver turning across an occupied lane in a way that required you to take avoiding action, a small part on you for not being more cautious overtaking while passing a side road.

IMO 80-20 seems arguable but maybe a bit harsh on you. Do they cite any case law to explain how they arrived at that figure?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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PH
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby PH » 3 Dec 2019, 6:30pm

What is your solicitor saying? If they seen reluctant to pursue it, then it's probably about right. Also depends what it's 20% of, I'd be more inclined to look at the bottom line and decide if that was a sum I was prepared to settle for. The risk of rejecting is that if it goes to court and the judgement isn't any better than you've already rejected, you become liable for some of the expenses, but your solicitor is better placed to advise you.

peetee
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby peetee » 3 Dec 2019, 8:25pm

I would agree with the shared blame if you occupied the same lane as the slow moving traffic. If however you occupied a cycle lane that was part of the highway and continuously marked across the junction then, in my opinion, the driver is entirely at fault on the grounds that the vehicle lane, although it was yielding to his manouever, had no obligation to and that the driver was crossing more than one lane and should have observed and made allowance for that.
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flat tyre
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby flat tyre » 3 Dec 2019, 8:37pm

I really can't see how this can be shared blame. If I've understood correctly the driver who hit you was turning right. I'm pretty sure that the highway code says you should give way to oncoming traffic when turning right. If he went through a gap in the traffic he is still responsible for checking for oncoming traffic before completing the manoeuvre.

MOARspeed
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby MOARspeed » 4 Dec 2019, 7:00am

I cannot abide people who use their kids as an excuse for incompetence. It's like "I know, i'll tug on their heart strings and get off scot-free".

Mike Sales
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby Mike Sales » 4 Dec 2019, 7:12am

MOARspeed wrote:I cannot abide people who use their kids as an excuse for incompetence. It's like "I know, i'll tug on their heart strings and get off scot-free".


Once, when I remonstrated with a driver who cut me up, I was told that he was just coming from a funeral!

BrendanC
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby BrendanC » 4 Dec 2019, 8:38am

Hey

Thanks for all the advise guys. For the sake of taking this claim any further I might just accept the joint responsibility. It's been way over a year now and i kinda want to move on.

As far as I'm concerned I was just cycling along like normal, and it was the drivers actions that caused the accident. That being said maybe if I was going slower or increased my awareness it could have been avoided.

I guess it breaks down like this. I think it was 100% his fault that he hit me. But wether or not it could have been avoided is another matter. Or is that the same thing? ha.

B

kwackers
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby kwackers » 4 Dec 2019, 8:55am

BrendanC wrote:Hey

Thanks for all the advise guys. For the sake of taking this claim any further I might just accept the joint responsibility. It's been way over a year now and i kinda want to move on.

As far as I'm concerned I was just cycling along like normal, and it was the drivers actions that caused the accident. That being said maybe if I was going slower or increased my awareness it could have been avoided.

I guess it breaks down like this. I think it was 100% his fault that he hit me. But wether or not it could have been avoided is another matter. Or is that the same thing? ha.

B

A year?
What does your solicitor say? What is their insurance company saying?
Surely by now there's some sort of agreement - or is that 20% liability what's been agreed?

What the driver thinks is irrelevant.
In my off the driver claimed she had no input and that I simply "fell off". The police on seeing my footage claimed she'd overtaken me fine but I'd then undertaken into her blind spot. (Neither claim was true).

Her insurers otoh after seeing the footage accepted 100% liability and that's what matters.

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mjr
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby mjr » 4 Dec 2019, 9:28am

flat tyre wrote:I really can't see how this can be shared blame. If I've understood correctly the driver who hit you was turning right. I'm pretty sure that the highway code says you should give way to oncoming traffic when turning right. If he went through a gap in the traffic he is still responsible for checking for oncoming traffic before completing the manoeuvre.

Of course you are right that the highway code says that and more but it does also include:
"Rule 167
DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example: approaching or at a road junction on either side of the road"

but this is one rule against many many many broken by the driver.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Vantage
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby Vantage » 5 Dec 2019, 8:01am

The driver admitted that he wasn't concentrating. In which case he shouldn't have been moving. Entirely his fault.
It is perfectly legal to filter through traffic so that can't be used against you. However, when approaching any point in the road where traffic might turn across your path, it'd be wise to slow down or stop in slow moving or stopped traffic to ensure your way is clear.
I am a little confused as to who hit who though.
You say that the driver hit you side on but that you went across the bonnet. The fact that you went across the bonnet suggests he was moving quickly and that you were already in the middle of passing the side road.
On the other hand, would it be fair to ask if you were cycling at speed and hit the side of his car resulting in the bonnet surfing adventure? That might be a case of 'cycling furiously' as some cases have been.
Bill


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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby Vorpal » 5 Dec 2019, 9:19am

BrendanC wrote:Hey

Thanks for all the advise guys. For the sake of taking this claim any further I might just accept the joint responsibility. It's been way over a year now and i kinda want to move on.
I can understand that attitude. Only you can decide whether holding out on principle is worth it, or getting it over with is more important. If I wasn't desperate for the money, I think I'd be inclined to hold out. Afterall, what's a few months, or even another year, when it's already been so long? For me, it might also depend upon how much money we are talking about.

BrendanC wrote:As far as I'm concerned I was just cycling along like normal, and it was the drivers actions that caused the accident. That being said maybe if I was going slower or increased my awareness it could have been avoided.

I guess it breaks down like this. I think it was 100% his fault that he hit me. But wether or not it could have been avoided is another matter. Or is that the same thing? ha.

B

Whether it could have been avoided isn't the same thing, though it could have been a factor in considering shared liability.

I agree with comments above that what the driver thinks isn't relevant. What their insurance thinks is only relevant in that they will do everything in their power to avoid giving you one pence more than they have to.

What your solicitor/insurance think is relevant. If you do not have one, it might be a good idea. Insurance companies are very good at putting pressure on people to accept low payouts.

As for my opinion, if the driver was turning, he certainly bears responsibility for ensuring that it was clear to do so. Your case is stronger if you were in a cycle lane. As pointed out by mjr above, if you were filtering (overtaking) at a junction, and not in a separate lane, the HC does say not to, which could be the justification for 20% shared liability.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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NUKe
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby NUKe » 5 Dec 2019, 9:36am

“I was cycling down a London street in very slow-moving traffic, I was on the left-hand side of the road and I was moving faster than the traffic. As I was passing a side street a car that was on the other side of the road cut through the traffic to try and drive down the side street and went into the side of me.”

So he was travelling in the opposite direction and turned right across you and the oncoming traffic?
To be honest I think his insurance company is trying it on. What does your own solicitor say? its all a game the insurance companies play to try and keep their costs down. You are in the right so keep your chin up and let the solicitors fight it out.
NUKe
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mjr
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Re: New user + Advise on accident

Postby mjr » 5 Dec 2019, 9:52am

Vorpal wrote:As for my opinion, if the driver was turning, he certainly bears responsibility for ensuring that it was clear to do so. Your case is stronger if you were in a cycle lane. As pointed out by mjr above, if you were filtering (overtaking) at a junction, and not in a separate lane, the HC does say not to, which could be the justification for 20% shared liability.

I don't see a cycle lane or not as changing the HC advice not to overtake past junctions although it does mean the driver broke more HC rules, but I think 20% seems harsh because almost everyone ignores the junction overtaking advice in my experience so the driver really shouldn't be relying on it and I bet they were unaware of it.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.