Hit from behind while commuting - advice please!

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
thirdcrank
Posts: 29425
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Hit from behind while commuting - advice please!

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Jul 2020, 11:29am

When I suggested that you should decide what you wanted to achieve, the word that sticks in my mind is retribution. I'm not sure if that's achievable and our legal system doesn't set out to achieve it for the individual, in spite of recent trends.

At the campaigning level, I doff my cap to you, which I obviously should, since you have done things I've frequently recommended eg writing to your local police and crime commissioner.

I fear that this can be counter-productive at the level of the individual case. Whatever the long-term effects on an organisation of letters of complaint, they are likely to make those who come under the scrutiny of Department Y defensive.

At one point you seemed to imply dishonesty on the part of the police. I'm not going back to look but I think there was a hint that a police officer might have coached the driver when making a statement. I would urge caution here because IME police officers are not slow to use the libel lawyers funded by the deep pockets of their staff associations. I'm not suggesting for a second that this should deter you from complaining and much of this is protected by legal privilege, but be wary of vague allegations without evidence.

When I mentioned this on an earlier thread, I was treated with contempt by at least one poster. In the event, a prominent politician learned the hard way some lessons germane to this case eg about proof on the balance of probabilities. And some resorted to pointing out that the judgment suggested that the officer was too dull to concoct porkies.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=68432&hilit=mitchell+andrew

superficial
Posts: 14
Joined: 10 Jul 2020, 9:04pm

Re: Hit from behind while commuting - advice please!

Postby superficial » 15 Jul 2020, 1:28pm

At one point you seemed to imply dishonesty on the part of the police. I'm not going back to look but I think there was a hint that a police officer might have coached the driver when making a statement.


No, I wasn't suggesting for a second that the officers in charge of his case coached him on what to say. But it's clear that, from the initial account he gave and statement he subsequently made, that he'd come up with some shrewd arguments to dodge justice (E.g. by saying he was on his way home to report it, telling the police he simply didn't see me). Perhaps he's just a smart guy, although from my brief encounter with him I suspect he had help from someone who knows the law - maybe a lawyer or a friend or whatever. I'm certainly not suggesting impropriety from the police officers involved.

But, point taken. I'll be sure not to make any accusations without evidence.

Jdsk
Posts: 2224
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Hit from behind while commuting - advice please!

Postby Jdsk » 15 Jul 2020, 1:36pm

superficial wrote:
At one point you seemed to imply dishonesty on the part of the police. I'm not going back to look but I think there was a hint that a police officer might have coached the driver when making a statement.

No, I wasn't suggesting for a second that the officers in charge of his case coached him on what to say.

superficial wrote:He was obviously coached (by a lawyer? Police officer?) before he gave his statement since he had all of the answers prepared to escape justice.

Jonathan

superficial
Posts: 14
Joined: 10 Jul 2020, 9:04pm

Re: Hit from behind while commuting - advice please!

Postby superficial » 15 Jul 2020, 2:28pm

Yes, I realise I said that, hence the clarification that he obviously spoke to someone for advice - I don't know who. But it was someone who knew their way around the law, be it a lawyer / judge / paralegal / police officer. And that's fine - it's what anyone would do if they found themselves in a spot of bother. What I am not saying is that the officers involved in the case acted improperly!

PH
Posts: 9399
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
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Re: Hit from behind while commuting - advice please!

Postby PH » 15 Jul 2020, 3:21pm

Good luck if you decide to persevere with this, I think you'll have an uphill struggle to move beyond the "oh yes he did", "oh no he didn't" pantomime without independent witnesses. Also if you go down the small claims route, or pursue it with the insurers, stick to the incident and nothing else. This thread has wandered far and wide, but the cause of the collision will be the only thing under consideration, I'm not even sure the discrepancies in statements will make much difference, I've known instances where it hasn't, maybe those with more expertise could advise you on that. The letter from the insurance company seems reasonable to me, the collision isn't disputed, they have their policy holders version, they're asking for yours, their position of accepting the policy holders until/unless you can give them cause not to is the only stance they could take. That's the way it is and will remain until we get presumed liability. Sadly knowing you're right doesn't guarantee a favourable outcome.
It's up to you to decide how much time and effort you're prepared to expend on this. Others will be better qualified to advise, but I know you won't be eligible for a "No win, no fee" deal and that would be the case even if you were insured. It might also be the case that you can't instigate small claims proceedings till you've exhausted the other channels like dealing with the insurance company.

It is tough - I was attacked by a passenger in an overtaking 4x4 last year, after driving behind the group blaring the horn they slowed down on the overtake (I was at the front), the passenger leant out and hit me with something soft (Maybe a rolled up newspaper). Six other members of the group were not considered independent enough, witness in following car had seen/heard the aggression but not the attack, driver a month later says he couldn't remember the incident or who the passenger was on that day. Police dropped it, I took legal advice and was told I had no chance.

MOARspeed
Posts: 45
Joined: 5 Jun 2019, 11:09am

Re: Hit from behind while commuting - advice please!

Postby MOARspeed » 22 Jul 2020, 10:58am

superficial wrote:Anyway, despite my evidence (the call to the police, the damage to my bike, the damage to THE FRONT OF his car, my version of events), his insurer have accepted his version of events entirely that I cut in front of him.


Can I just address this? Insurers always do this, even with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it's their default stance.

I had a car v van incident some years ago, all caught on dashcam, lot's of witnesses, extremely clean cut, even the Police said so, the idiot tried to push into a gap that didn't exist at 60mph, caught his rear end on my front corner and barrel rolled his van down the dual-carriageway into oncoming traffic, 8 Police cars, 3 ambulances, air ambulance, fire engines, the lot..... Claimed it was my fault, so did his insurer, there was a £20'000 personal injury claim against me, I had threatening letters from his injury legal people, it took 2 years to clear up, as even when the Police had prosecuted him, his insurer was still trying to deny fault.

philvantwo
Posts: 1048
Joined: 8 Dec 2012, 6:08pm

Re: Hit from behind while commuting - advice please!

Postby philvantwo » 22 Jul 2020, 10:27pm

The main issue with the case is the chap has not got a witness or cctv/dashcam footage of any description so it's just his word against the driver of the vehicle. Different driver? Impossible to prove without a witness.
Not sure if the MIB would be willing to get involved as again there is no witness.
I've been the victim of 3 accidents and everytime I've had a witness, the last one was in 2015, a hit and run. I contacted the MIB and 2 years later I received a cheque for £12,000.
Last edited by Graham on 23 Jul 2020, 7:28pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Pointless comment removed

Airsporter1st
Posts: 567
Joined: 8 Oct 2016, 3:14pm

Re: Hit from behind while commuting - advice please!

Postby Airsporter1st » 7 Aug 2020, 1:27pm

I once pursued a claim for a whiplash injury against a driver who ran into me when I was stationary.

I contacted the RAC of whom I was a member, but as it was so close to being time-barred (I started to have neck pain around 2.5 years after the incident), the best they could do was give me the contact details of a nearby solicitor who they used.

I saw the solicitor, who was a senior partner in the firm and also, iirc, a barrister. He took the case on (at a substantial cost to me).

Shortly after, he sent me a copy of the response from the other guy’s insurers, which had me foaming at the mouth! They said that I was driving without lights in poor visibility (both untrue), that I was driving at excessive speed (I was stationary) and that I was not wearing my seat-belt (untrue) and so on.

I immediately rang my solicitor and he took the wind out of my sails with “this is all part of the game - don’t worry about it”. He had also previously explained that I would have a medical from ‘our’ Dr., which would indicate that I was at death’s door and a medical from their Dr., which would show that I was a prime candidate for the next olympics (his words)!

It went to the wire, but we settled out of court for £6000 (1982) and to put the icing on the cake, two weeks after I received that cheque, I received another for the full amount that I had advanced the solicitor.

The point I am making is that to the insurers (and others) this really is just a game. If I were in your position, I’d be responding to his insurers with a well-crafted letter, stating exactly what the facts were and indicating my intention to pursue their insured and themselves to the maximum extent. I would enclose a couple of quotes for repairs to my bike. Worst case is that they’d tell me to go for it (hoping to call my bluff), best case (and the more likely in my experience is that they would fold and pay up.