Traffic Accident Help

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
rockies_guide
Posts: 1
Joined: 14 Sep 2010, 10:41am

Traffic Accident Help

Postby rockies_guide » 14 Sep 2010, 10:59am

I really need some advice on a traffic accident I was involved in.
Briefly, I was left with no room by an overtaking car. The large Toyota Landcruiser was so close I was able to bang the passengers car door with the side of my fist without my arm outstretched. I did this to warn the driver that he was in danger of running me over. He continued to squeeze me towards the curb around a left hand corner and so I collided with car and I was so angry/scared I lashed out and pushed his wing mirror forward (not damaging it) and grabbing and snapping his wing mounted aerial, this was while the car was still moving. The driver threatened me verbally with maliciously damaging his vehicle and a large scratch was identified that went down the entire side of his car. The scratch I am not sure how it was made but he blamed it on me. He was unbelievable threatening and wanted me to pay for the aerial, which to begin with I agreed because I was shaking and wanted this nightmare to end. He then said what was I going to do about the scratch, which I was not going to pay for and so requested he called the police. The police arrived after 20 minutes (typical fast service) and took his statement but not mine. They concluded it was a traffic accident and I damaged the car with my outstretched arm. They said that his insurance company would contact me and that was the end of their assistance. As leaving comment, the police officer said that next time I should stop and let the car pass if they came too close.
So now the driver has my telephone number and address given by the police, this makes me nervous of retribution. The driver phoned with a quote for the repair to his aerial that came to £600 +. I said I wanted the claim to go through the insurance and he said he was going to therefore include the scratch and it will cost me thousands. I await contact from his insurance company.
I need advice and evidence of previous similar cases that have gone to court.
I have been riding on the road since I was 4 and am a qualified mountain bike leader and have worked as a guide in the States and Greece. I am a confident rider and know when someone is endangering my life.
Please help if you can as I do not know what to do,
James

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Guy951
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Joined: 14 Jul 2009, 8:23am
Location: Mid Beds

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby Guy951 » 14 Sep 2010, 11:41am

rockies_guide wrote:. The police arrived after 20 minutes (typical fast service) and took his statement but not mine...

They concluded it was a traffic accident and I damaged the car with my outstretched arm. They said that his insurance company would contact me and that was the end of their assistance. As leaving comment, the police officer said that next time I should stop and let the car pass if they came too close.


Any damage caused to the car is a direct result of the drivers dangerous behaviour.

This is what I'd do in this situation:

Write to the Chief Constable asking why his subordinates didn't take your statement and why they aren't taking this obvious case of dangerous driving any further, or doing anything about the drivers threatening behaviour? If they don't respond (unlikely) or you don't get a satisfactory response (more likely) take it up with the IPCC http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/index/complainants/forms.htm.

Get in touch with a good solicitor. The damage to the car is not your responsibility. As our courts seem to be biased towards the motorist your agreement to pay for the damage could (and probably would) be taken as an admission of liability. This is not so. If the driver had overtaken at a safe and legal distance his car would not have been damaged.

Above all - DON'T GIVE IN.
What manner of creature's this, being but half a fish and half a monster

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

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby Edwards » 14 Sep 2010, 11:51am

The Police are wrong he was in the process of overtaking you.
Get medically checked out so that you can counter claim.
Go and get proper legal advice (solicitor) NOW
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

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[XAP]Bob
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Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby [XAP]Bob » 14 Sep 2010, 2:32pm

CTC insurance legal advice?

If he was overtaking then it's his fault - and he should be put off the road
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

bensonboo
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Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 7:28pm

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby bensonboo » 14 Sep 2010, 3:46pm

I can only sympathize and agree with what has already been written, but would add that if he phones or turns up and is in any way threatening, report it to the police straight away as threatening behaviour, he may have seen the fact that you were shaking as a weakness that he could exploit so call his bluff by standing your ground, don't pay up.
Best wishes.

james01
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Joined: 6 Aug 2007, 4:48am

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby james01 » 14 Sep 2010, 3:56pm

Sorry to read of this unpleasant experience. As above, get legal advice without delay, get officials involved, get things written down.
Best wishes.

mountainman531
Posts: 69
Joined: 13 Mar 2008, 10:17pm

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby mountainman531 » 14 Sep 2010, 6:01pm

Contact the legal department at CTC HQ, it's what you pay your subs for.

eileithyia
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Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby eileithyia » 14 Sep 2010, 6:03pm

hmmm whilst not wishing you any harm, pity you were not actually knocked off and had reason to go to hospital......

You have done what we would all like to do and hit back.

Get some legal advise fast and complain to the police about the attitude of the police at the scene.

Hope you are Ok.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

burnsie
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Joined: 16 Sep 2008, 9:18pm

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby burnsie » 14 Sep 2010, 6:13pm

Absolutely ******outrageous!! Hope you're ok and not too shaken. Fully agree with everything here..write to the chief con asing re lack of statement etc etc..good luck-and let us know how you got on-even allowing for what sometimes does appear to be official apathy I cant see any excuse for what seems to be poor handling of this by the police

Dave

mountainman531
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Joined: 13 Mar 2008, 10:17pm

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby mountainman531 » 14 Sep 2010, 6:16pm

The Police in this instance don't even know the Highway Code: Rule 163 "give vulnerable road users at least as much space as you would a car" i.e. they should pass you as though you were as wide as a car. If you could reach out and touch the vehicle as it passed then the driver is clearly in breach of this rule. Whilst the Highway Code is not the law in itself it is referred to in court and decisions are made based on the rules which it contains.

Steve Willetts, National Standards Cycle Training Instructor.

eileithyia
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Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby eileithyia » 14 Sep 2010, 6:33pm

Oh and do not use language like you collided with the vehicle, he moved in on you leaving you no space and so collided with you!
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Sep 2010, 10:18pm

rockies_guide

Unless I've missed it, you have not mentioned being injured yourself or having any damge to your bike. Therefore, although proper legal advice is a good idea, the CTC's accident helpline may not be able to offer much since their role is AFAIK to represent you if you make a claim. If you are a member of the CTC or a similar organisation, then it's third party insurance you need to be calling on, since it looks as though you may be defending a claim, rather than making one.

Looking at this from a police POV, this is (if I've understood correctly) a non-injury minor accident, with the complication that one party (the driver) has alleged that the other (you) has committed criminal damage by deliberately ripping off the car aerial. The police have not pursued that allegation or it's amost certain you would have been arrested etc. You don't mention independent witnesses. It's been pretty much standard procedure for at least a couple of decades that the police don't even record non-injury minor accidents and that's been reflected here.

I never really understand all the importance people attach to statements and I cannot see why the police might have taken one from you, except under caution as a suspect if they had decided there was something in the criminal damage allegation made against you. If you are dissatisfied with the way you have been treated by the police, as others have said the thing to do is to complain although I can't see any point in writing to the chief constable - he'd not see your letter - it would just be recorded and passed to the relevant department for attention. Go direct to the IPCC:

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/index/complaints.htm

Be warned that this is not an avenue of complaint against official police procedures you don't like - complaints are against misconduct by individual officers.

PS Edited to add. You asked about court. I'm no expert on civil procedure, but assuming the driver decides to go further, either by an insurance claim or through a solicitor etc, you can expect to receive a notification of claim. That would set out why they hold you responsible for the damage and what it's going to cost you to put it right, + what it's going to cost to argue. The advantage of being insured through the CTC or similar for third party risks is that the insurers will deal with this on your behalf, either by telling the other side not to be silly, paying up or a combination of both. If you are not insured in that way, a solicitor might easily cost more than the value of the claim. Nothing to stop you doing it yourself. The Courts Service publish a series of excellent booklets about making claims and defending them. The have a www but when I just googled the link was broken. (With all these public spending cuts, they've probably not paid their broadband provider this month. :roll: )

If you just ignore them, they are unlikely to go away. Eventually, they'll get judgment against you in your absence at court and then start debt collection proceedings. If you find that the Courts Service stuff is not helpful (or if the link remains broken) try somewhere like Citizens Advice but don't hang about.

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anothereye
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Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby anothereye » 15 Sep 2010, 8:57am

If I were you I would want the driver prosecuted, perhaps he has inadvertently confessed in his statement. Perhaps you can get a copy?

thirdcrank
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Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Sep 2010, 10:04am

anothereye wrote:If I were you I would want the driver prosecuted, perhaps he has inadvertently confessed in his statement. Perhaps you can get a copy?


Perhaps something I forgot to mention in my already long post, possibly because the OP was more about not paying for the damage. You can obtain a copy of a police accident report on payment of a fee. Insurance companies must think they represent good value as they buy loads, but they are not cheap. You are also entitled to undertake a private prosecution against the driver. Just go to the magistrates' court office covering the location of the collision and ask to take out a summons. You would be responsible for serving the summons - recorded delivery is ok - then on the day of the hearing you would have to prove to a bench of magistrates - beyond reasonable doubt - what has happened. The reasonable doubt bit is the hard part because he's allowed his say, including cross-examining you, either personally or through his lawyer. A bench of magistrates is a tad harder to convince than the membership of a like-minded cycling forum.

The police don't prosecute anybody - it's the responsibility of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS.) Starting a private prosecution is a good way (though heavy-handed perhaps) of getting the CPS to look at the case because they have a duty to consider all private prosecutions they hear about, in the interests of justice. If they consider the prosecution meets their criteria, then they have to take it over and pursue it, in the public interest. If not, they have to consider taking it over and discontinuing for the same reasons.

http://www.cps.gov.uk/

If you check the CPS website, there is a lot of advice to prosecutors about prosecuting both in general and specifically "bad driving" cases. A good read of this might clarify a lot, including why the police have apparently taken no further action here.

mountainman531
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Joined: 13 Mar 2008, 10:17pm

Re: Traffic Accident Help

Postby mountainman531 » 22 Sep 2010, 9:42pm

Let us know how you get on.