Insurance claim

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by The Mark, Apr 19, 2003.

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  1. The Mark

    The Mark Guest

    Hi All,

    I'm lookong for some advice.

    I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a claim through my trade union
    solicitor.

    I was travelling along a bike lane up the inside of some slow moving traffic when a car coming the
    opposite way cut through the now stationary traffic to enter a side street having been waved through
    by one of the drivers I was passing.

    Every thing about the claim appeared to be going fine, apart from the time it's taking, until now. I
    have just received a letter from my solicitor saying

    -the other side have stated that you were partly to blame for the accident because you were familiar
    with the road and knew that drivers in a stationary queue would often leave a gap for cars to turn
    into Matalan. They say that you were overtaking the line of stationary vehicles at speed on the
    inside and that /name withheld/ was turning cautiously into the Matalan entrance.

    I'm going to reply to the solicitor with the following information.

    I wasn't going fast, I'd estimate about 12 mph and considering where I landed on the road and where
    I think my bike landed[1] I would guess that the other party was going faster than me.

    [1] I didn't see my bike until someone picked it off the road a few yards further up the
    side street.

    Does anyone have any ideas about anything else I should include in the reply?

    --
    Mark
     
    Tags:


  2. Call Me Bob

    Call Me Bob Guest

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2003 19:27:15 +0000 (UTC), "the Mark" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm lookong for some advice. I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a
    >claim through my trade union solicitor.

    <snip details>

    First of all, I'm not a solicitor, and not particularly experienced in these kinds of matters.
    Having got that out of the way, my advice to you is to get yourself a solicitor who *is*.

    This kind of fight is not for us laymen, to get a fair shake of the stick you need to be represented
    by an experienced lawyer who is intimately familiar with the specifics of cycling related claims.

    As good or well intentioned as your union solicitor might be, I'd be very surprised if he/she was
    qualified to handle this kind of thing. It strikes me that it should not be up to you to rebuff this
    accusation of contributory behavior. Your legal people should have the knowledge to squash that sort
    of crap as soon as the other side raise
    it.

    Speak to a solicitor who handles lots of this type of work - you could ring the CTC and ask them
    to point you towards an experienced firm or take a look in the back of Cycling Weekly, they
    advertise there.

    Good luck, I hope you weren't badly hurt.

    Bob
    --
    Mail address is spam trapped To reply by email remove the beverage
     
  3. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    the Mark <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm lookong for some advice.
    >
    > I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a claim through my trade union
    > solicitor.
    >
    > I was travelling along a bike lane up the inside of some slow moving traffic when a car coming the
    > opposite way cut through the now stationary traffic to enter a side street having been waved
    > through by one of the drivers I was passing.
    >
    > Every thing about the claim appeared to be going fine, apart from the time it's taking, until now.
    > I have just received a letter from my solicitor saying
    >
    > -the other side have stated that you were partly to blame for the accident because you were
    > familiar with the road and knew that drivers in a stationary queue would often leave a gap for
    > cars to turn into Matalan. They say that you were overtaking the line of stationary vehicles at
    > speed on the inside and that /name withheld/ was turning cautiously into the Matalan entrance.
    >
    > I'm going to reply to the solicitor with the following information.
    >
    > I wasn't going fast, I'd estimate about 12 mph and considering where I landed on the road and
    > where I think my bike landed[1] I would guess that the other party was going faster than me.
    >
    > [1] I didn't see my bike until someone picked it off the road a few yards further up the side
    > street.
    >
    > Does anyone have any ideas about anything else I should include in the reply?

    If there was a bike lane then the responsibility lies with the driver crossing and the driver who
    waved him across without checking the cycle lane was clear. I would suggest staying clear of
    arguments about how much you were to blame which arguing what your speed might have been and whether
    it was reasonable implies. If it had been the inside lane of a dual carriageway they would have
    double checked. Your bike lane is an equally valid lane and you had right of way. The fact that the
    motorist did not respect that is not your fault period.

    Reversing their argument presumably it must be the first time the driver has ever made that turn or
    used that road otherwise he would have been familiar with the fact there was a cycle lane there that
    is used by cyclists and he should have therefore taken extra care in making turn

    Tony

    -- http://www.raven-family.com

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to
    adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George
    Bernard Shaw
     
  4. Davep

    Davep Guest

    the Mark wrote:

    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm lookong for some advice.
    >
    > I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a claim through my trade union
    > solicitor.
    >
    > I was travelling along a bike lane up the inside of some slow moving traffic when a car coming the
    > opposite way cut through the now stationary traffic to enter a side street having been waved
    > through by one of the drivers I was passing.
    >
    > Every thing about the claim appeared to be going fine, apart from the time it's taking, until now.
    > I have just received a letter from my solicitor saying
    >
    > -the other side have stated that you were partly to blame for the accident because you were
    > familiar with the road and knew that drivers in a stationary queue would often leave a gap for
    > cars to turn into Matalan. They say that you were overtaking the line of stationary vehicles at
    > speed on the inside and that /name withheld/ was turning cautiously into the Matalan entrance.
    >
    > I'm going to reply to the solicitor with the following information.
    >
    > I wasn't going fast, I'd estimate about 12 mph and considering where I landed on the road and
    > where I think my bike landed[1] I would guess that the other party was going faster than me.
    >
    > [1] I didn't see my bike until someone picked it off the road a few yards further up the side
    > street.
    >
    > Does anyone have any ideas about anything else I should include in the reply?
    >
    > --
    > Mark

    were the police called? did you get any witnesses?

    this is very similar to my accident 10 weeks ago... i was cycling along on the outside of two lanes
    of slow moving traffic, slowing down/checking when cars had stopped to let others out from side
    roads. At a "yellow hatched area" cars had stopped and a car came out from the left pretty quickly ,
    bang, over the bonnet, my back sliding off the car and landing in the road. I clip/clopped to the
    other side of the road , took backpack and helmet off , recovered bike and asked a van driver ( who
    was coming the other way and had stopped ) to be a witness. After exchanging names etc the car
    driver said it wasn't his fault. I said he was entitled to his opinion but believed he should have
    stopped completely to check for motorbikes/cycles who will be coming along the outside of the
    traffic. Witness said he pulled out too quickly.

    4 days later as I approached the same side road an ambulance was parked up and a motorbike leaning
    up against a lamp post with a policeman about to take measurements. It turned out the same thing
    had happened to the motorcyclist. I stopped and explained what had happened to me and what the
    police officer thought of such accidents. "I see them all the time mate" he said. Who's to blame
    here I asked.
    50/50 he answered, thing is, I had a witness , and they can swing it when it's your word against
    someone elses.

    btw, my front wheel ended up badly S shaped. I prayed that I had a spoke spanner in the toolkit,
    luckily I had so I popped into the Sainsbury Homebase (somewhere to get out of the cold ) and
    loosened most of the spokes , stood on the wheel to get it back into some kind of shape, then "trued
    it up" so it would turn. I had to release the front brake completely but managed to get into work
    where I bought a new wheel at lunchtime. Cheque for 80pds came in the post this week from Norwich
    Union Direct. Luckily I wasn't injured and only front wheel suffered damage.

    davep
     
  5. M Series

    M Series Guest

    Good luck with the claim, I have nothing to add but think its appalling that because you are
    familiar with the road you are partly to blame. Are you familiar with the road ? Was the driver
    familiar with the road ? How does this have a bearing on the fact that the driver didn't look where
    he was going ?

    "the Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm lookong for some advice.
    >
    > I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a
    claim
    > through my trade union solicitor.
    >
    > I was travelling along a bike lane up the inside of some slow moving
    traffic
    > when a car coming the opposite way cut through the now stationary traffic
    to
    > enter a side street having been waved through by one of the drivers I was passing.
    >
    > Every thing about the claim appeared to be going fine, apart from the time it's taking, until now.
    > I have just received a letter from my solicitor saying
    >
    > -the other side have stated that you were partly to blame for the accident because you were
    > familiar with the road and knew that drivers in a stationary queue would often leave a gap for
    > cars to turn into Matalan.
    They
    > say that you were overtaking the line of stationary vehicles at speed on
    the
    > inside and that /name withheld/ was turning cautiously into the Matalan entrance.
    >
    > I'm going to reply to the solicitor with the following information.
    >
    > I wasn't going fast, I'd estimate about 12 mph and considering where I landed on the road and
    > where I think my bike landed[1] I would guess that the other party was going faster than me.
    >
    > [1] I didn't see my bike until someone picked it off the road a few yards further up the side
    > street.
    >
    > Does anyone have any ideas about anything else I should include in the reply?
    >
    > --
    > Mark
     
  6. The Mark

    The Mark Guest

    Call me Bob wrote:

    >
    > Speak to a solicitor who handles lots of this type of work - you could ring the CTC and ask them
    > to point you towards an experienced firm or take a look in the back of Cycling Weekly, they
    > advertise there.
    >
    > Good luck, I hope you weren't badly hurt.
    >
    >
    > Bob

    Thanks.

    I had a night in hospital and 3 weeks off work recovering from concussion. My LBS said the bike
    frame was bent, the front wheel needed replaced and the rear needed trued. I trued the wheel myself
    without any hassle it was much easier than I thought. Luckilly I still had an older bike to use
    through the winter.

    I'm not bothered about lots of compensation I would just like enough for a new bike.
    --
    Mark
     
  7. The Mark

    The Mark Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:
    >
    > If there was a bike lane then the responsibility lies with the driver crossing and the driver who
    > waved him across without checking the cycle lane was clear. I would suggest staying clear of
    > arguments about how much you were to blame which arguing what your speed might have been and
    > whether it was reasonable implies. If it had been the inside lane of a dual carriageway they would
    > have double checked. Your bike lane is an equally valid lane and you had right of way. The fact
    > that the motorist did not respect that is not your fault period.
    >
    > Reversing their argument presumably it must be the first time the driver has ever made that turn
    > or used that road otherwise he would have been familiar with the fact there was a cycle lane there
    > that is used by cyclists and he should have therefore taken extra care in making turn
    >
    Thanks.

    The police were in attendance and confirmed that it was the drivers fault but that they were not
    going to charge him. I wasn't too bothered about that at the time as he had addmited he was at fault
    and I wrongly assumed that that was all I needed to make a claim on his insurance. I dont know if
    it's too late now to press for charges or if it would do any good.
    --
    Mark
     
  8. Usual disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer, but.....

    Prior knowledge of the road is irrelevant - that's why we have road signs. The driver made a
    manoeuvre which caused the accident - he turned right across oncoming traffic without making sure
    that it was safe to do so. Partial liability may be assigned to anyone who waved or flashed their
    headlights at the other driver as a signal that it was safe to go (as they also didn't check that it
    was safe), but the final move is under the drivers control.

    I think that the other side are just trying it on, to reduce their clients liability - it's quite
    common (I was driving a car which was hit by a lorry on the M1 - his insurers claimed that I was
    reversing along the carriageway!! ....it was laughed away before it even reached court).

    Before putting anything in writing to the solicitor, call him for a chat about what approach you
    should take to this letter - that's what he's there for - and if you don't feel that he's on your
    side, find a new solicitor.

    IMHO, you've got a cast-iron case. Luckily, you didn't end up in a solid Pine one.

    Regards,

    Pete.
    ---------------------------
    Peter Connolly Derby UK

    "the Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm lookong for some advice.
    >
    > I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a
    claim
    > through my trade union solicitor.
    >
    > I was travelling along a bike lane up the inside of some slow moving
    traffic
    > when a car coming the opposite way cut through the now stationary traffic
    to
    > enter a side street having been waved through by one of the drivers I was passing.
    >
    > Every thing about the claim appeared to be going fine, apart from the time it's taking, until now.
    > I have just received a letter from my solicitor saying
    >
    > -the other side have stated that you were partly to blame for the accident because you were
    > familiar with the road and knew that drivers in a stationary queue would often leave a gap for
    > cars to turn into Matalan.
    They
    > say that you were overtaking the line of stationary vehicles at speed on
    the
    > inside and that /name withheld/ was turning cautiously into the Matalan entrance.
    >
    > I'm going to reply to the solicitor with the following information.
    >
    > I wasn't going fast, I'd estimate about 12 mph and considering where I landed on the road and
    > where I think my bike landed[1] I would guess that the other party was going faster than me.
    >
    > [1] I didn't see my bike until someone picked it off the road a few yards further up the side
    > street.
    >
    > Does anyone have any ideas about anything else I should include in the reply?
    >
    > --
    > Mark
     
  9. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    the Mark <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > The police were in attendance and confirmed that it was the drivers fault but that they were not
    > going to charge him. I wasn't too bothered about that at the time as he had addmited he was at
    > fault and I wrongly assumed that that was all I needed to make a claim on his insurance. I dont
    > know if it's too late now to press for charges or if it would do any good.

    There should be a police report on the accident then even if there is no intention to prosecute.
    Have you asked them for a copy? Do you know who it was that attended? You could always ask them to
    appear as a witness if it goes to Court.

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to
    adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George
    Bernard Shaw
     
  10. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "the Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm lookong for some advice.
    >
    > I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a
    claim
    > through my trade union solicitor.
    >
    > I was travelling along a bike lane up the inside of some slow moving
    traffic
    > when a car coming the opposite way cut through the now stationary traffic
    to
    > enter a side street having been waved through by one of the drivers I was passing.
    >
    > Every thing about the claim appeared to be going fine, apart from the time it's taking, until now.
    > I have just received a letter from my solicitor saying
    >
    > -the other side have stated that you were partly to blame for the accident because you were
    > familiar with the road and knew that drivers in a stationary queue would often leave a gap for
    > cars to turn into Matalan.
    They
    > say that you were overtaking the line of stationary vehicles at speed on
    the
    > inside and that /name withheld/ was turning cautiously into the Matalan entrance.
    >
    > I'm going to reply to the solicitor with the following information.
    >
    > I wasn't going fast, I'd estimate about 12 mph and considering where I landed on the road and
    > where I think my bike landed[1] I would guess that the other party was going faster than me.
    >
    > [1] I didn't see my bike until someone picked it off the road a few yards further up the side
    > street.
    >
    > Does anyone have any ideas about anything else I should include in the reply?
    >
    > --
    > Mark
     
  11. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "the Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm lookong for some advice.

    I am not a lawyer.

    I would NOT write to my solicitor until i had discussed it with my solicitor.

    I would argue that the motorist was responsible to take due care to not hit other vehicles when
    crossing their lane when they clearly had priority.

    I would argue that due care on my part was fulfilled by riding in a sensible and predictable manner
    and that if I had been able to predict and avoid that 'accident' I certainly would have given that I
    would dearly have preferred not to have suffered the pain,injury and distress caused by being
    sideswiped by a car.

    If my lawyer could not sensibly advise me on what reply I should then write to him I would get
    myself another lawyer.

    T
     
  12. "Call me Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sat, 19 Apr 2003 19:27:15 +0000 (UTC), "the Mark" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >I'm lookong for some advice. I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently
    > >put in a
    claim
    > >through my trade union solicitor.
    >
    > <snip details>
    >
    > First of all, I'm not a solicitor, and not particularly experienced in these kinds of matters.
    > Having got that out of the way, my advice to you is to get yourself a solicitor who *is*.
    >

    I would not expect, as Bob suggests, that a 'trade union solicitor' would be an expert in personal
    injury work. It might be an idea to ask him whether he is a member of the Law Society's personal
    injuries panel, and if not, whether you really ought to be seeking advice from one who is.

    In any event, the response of the other side is entirely unsurprising. Did you really believe you
    would only need to write a letter for money to come straight back? It is quite normal for each side
    to blame the other, irrespective of what the police - or the driver - might have 'said' at the time.
    They are going for 'contributory negligence', trying to reduce their liability by placing some of
    the blame on you. So if you were 10% to blame, they will only have to pay out 90% of the damages
    they would pay if you were faultless. You reply by refuting the suggestion, they insist you were,
    but maybe by less than they originally suggested, and maybe offer you a percentage of the sum you
    want to claim, you argue the toss over it until one or other of you gives in and accepts some sort
    of compromise figure, or you refuse to accept their 'final' offer and then it has to go to court,
    where they still might improve on their offer before the hearing. Given that this isn't going to be
    an enormous claim, and the argument eventually being only over a relatively small percentage of the
    overall claim, I would expect you'll compromise to avoid the hassle, uncertainty and delay of going
    to court - and that's what they'll expect too, and that's why they're bidding for it.

    As to the specific circumstances of this accident, did he drive into you as you crossed the gap or
    did you ride into the side of the car? If he drove into you, you can say that even if you are
    familiar with the route, the driver's behaviour of driving into you as you crossed the gap was not
    reasonably to be expected. If he was carrying out the manouevre 'cautiously' he should have been
    able to stop when you appeared in front of him. If you rode into the side of the car then they may
    well be able to argue that you ought to have been aware of the possibility of a car using a gap
    and have approached with caution and at sufficiently slow speed to stop if one did. Your only
    argument against contributory negligence in such a case might be to say that you were unfamiliar
    with the route, hadn't seen such a thing before, and could never in a million years have imagined
    that such a thing might happen, but would it be true? That takes nothing away from the fact that
    the driver didn't look where he was going, failed to exercise due care and was probably travelling
    faster than you etc.

    I think it is an unfortunate fact that 'bike lanes' lend themselves to this sort of accident. I
    nearly had one like that myself before realising that 'bike lanes' aren't even noticed by motorists
    (particularly oncoming motorists) far less given the same status in their consciousness as a normal
    full-width traffic lane. We can't ride in them as if they were.

    Rich
     
  13. "Peter Connolly" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Usual disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer, but.....
    >
    > Prior knowledge of the road is irrelevant - that's why we have road signs.

    INAL either, but this is far too simplistic. The road signage might give you right of way but it
    doesn't mean that, confronted with the prospects of a collision, you can just go ahead and have one
    and escape any suggestion of contributory negligence, if there is something you can do to avoid it.
    In the same way, knowledge and experience of a road can be a relevant factor.

    > The driver made a manoeuvre which caused the accident - he turned right across oncoming traffic
    > without making sure that it was safe to do so.

    Again, too simplistic. Causation involves the actions of both parties to the accident. The other
    driver will say that he took reasonable effort to make sure it was safe. Presumably he had a length
    of bonnet ahead of where he was sitting, his view could have been obstructed by the car which
    flashed him through, and he _says_ he carried out his manouevre 'cautiously'. Insufficiently maybe,
    because the accident still happened, but that doesn't mean he can't claim some contributory part on
    the cyclist who he _alleges_ was insufficiently cautious in his manner of overtaking up the inside
    of a line of traffic.

    > Partial liability may be assigned to anyone who waved or flashed their headlights at the other
    > driver as a signal that it was safe to go (as they also didn't check that it was safe), but the
    > final move is under the
    drivers
    > control.
    >

    No, it can't. There is legal precedent that specifically refutes any suggestion of liability on the
    part of the driver that flashed the other one through. There was no onus on the part of that driver
    to check anything, all that a flash means (as the Courts have decided) is 'come on so far as I am
    concerned' it says nothing about whether other drivers/riders have agreed, nothing about their
    presence or absence, nothing about whether it is actually safe to proceed. Neither party to the
    accident can claim against the driver that flashes an ok for their own part.

    Rich

    > I think that the other side are just trying it on, to reduce their clients liability - it's quite
    > common (I was driving a car which was hit by a
    lorry
    > on the M1 - his insurers claimed that I was reversing along the carriageway!! ....it was laughed
    > away before it even reached court).
    >
    > Before putting anything in writing to the solicitor, call him for a chat about what approach you
    > should take to this letter - that's what he's
    there
    > for - and if you don't feel that he's on your side, find a new solicitor.
    >
    > IMHO, you've got a cast-iron case. Luckily, you didn't end up in a solid Pine one.
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Pete.
    > ---------------------------
    > Peter Connolly Derby UK
    >
    >
    > "the Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > Hi All,
    > >
    > > I'm lookong for some advice.
    > >
    > > I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a
    > claim
    > > through my trade union solicitor.
    > >
    > > I was travelling along a bike lane up the inside of some slow moving
    > traffic
    > > when a car coming the opposite way cut through the now stationary
    traffic
    > to
    > > enter a side street having been waved through by one of the drivers I
    was
    > > passing.
    > >
    > > Every thing about the claim appeared to be going fine, apart from the
    time
    > > it's taking, until now. I have just received a letter from my solicitor saying
    > >
    > > -the other side have stated that you were partly to blame for the
    accident
    > > because you were familiar with the road and knew that drivers in a stationary queue would often
    > > leave a gap for cars to turn into Matalan.
    > They
    > > say that you were overtaking the line of stationary vehicles at speed on
    > the
    > > inside and that /name withheld/ was turning cautiously into the Matalan entrance.
    > >
    > > I'm going to reply to the solicitor with the following information.
    > >
    > > I wasn't going fast, I'd estimate about 12 mph and considering where I landed on the road and
    > > where I think my bike landed[1] I would guess
    that
    > > the other party was going faster than me.
    > >
    > > [1] I didn't see my bike until someone picked it off the road a few
    yards
    > > further up the side street.
    > >
    > > Does anyone have any ideas about anything else I should include in the reply?
    > >
    > > --
    > > Mark
    > >
    >
     
  14. Alan

    Alan Guest

    The "other side" are trying to minimise a personal injury claim which in your case could run into
    several thousand pounds - Which you are entitled to! I estimate you should be geting minimum £1500
    for an overnight hospital stay alone.

    1. Do not accept the first offer of settlement - it will be ridiculously low.

    2. Seriously consider refusing the second offer.

    3. Remember that your solicitor has to act on YOUR instructions.

    4. The other driver admitted liability to you - even if it went to a civil trial - you will win!

    5. Persevere with the claim - if nothing else you will convince the non-cycling drivers to have some
    consideration.

    6. You can buy another bike but you cannot buy back your health.

    Hope this helps - I will now climb down from my soap box.

    Alan "the Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm lookong for some advice.
    >
    > I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a
    claim
    > through my trade union solicitor.
    >
    > I was travelling along a bike lane up the inside of some slow moving
    traffic
    > when a car coming the opposite way cut through the now stationary traffic
    to
    > enter a side street having been waved through by one of the drivers I was passing.
    >
    > Every thing about the claim appeared to be going fine, apart from the time it's taking, until now.
    > I have just received a letter from my solicitor saying
    >
    > -the other side have stated that you were partly to blame for the accident because you were
    > familiar with the road and knew that drivers in a stationary queue would often leave a gap for
    > cars to turn into Matalan.
    They
    > say that you were overtaking the line of stationary vehicles at speed on
    the
    > inside and that /name withheld/ was turning cautiously into the Matalan entrance.
    >
    > I'm going to reply to the solicitor with the following information.
    >
    > I wasn't going fast, I'd estimate about 12 mph and considering where I landed on the road and
    > where I think my bike landed[1] I would guess that the other party was going faster than me.
    >
    > [1] I didn't see my bike until someone picked it off the road a few yards further up the side
    > street.
    >
    > Does anyone have any ideas about anything else I should include in the reply?
    >
    > --
    > Mark
     
  15. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Alan <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > 3. Remember that your solicitor has to act on YOUR instructions.

    Yes but unless you personally are paying them they do not have to act at all. I gather that in this
    case the Trade Union is paying in which case they will advise the Trade Union on whether to continue
    representing you or not.

    >
    > 4. The other driver admitted liability to you - even if it went to a civil trial - you will win!

    Only if you have independent corroboration of it. Otherwise it will be you saying "Yes he did" and
    him saying "No I didn't" in Court.

    >
    > 5. Persevere with the claim - if nothing else you will convince the non-cycling drivers to have
    > some consideration.
    >

    Its unlikely to affect the driver, just his insurance company. He will already have had the impact
    of a claim on his insurance whether or not you persevere.

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to
    adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George
    Bernard Shaw
     
  16. "the Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > I had a night in hospital and 3 weeks off work recovering from concussion. My LBS said the bike
    > frame was bent, the front wheel needed replaced and
    the
    > rear needed trued. I trued the wheel myself without any hassle it was much easier than I thought.
    > Luckilly I still had an older bike to use through
    the
    > winter.
    >
    > I'm not bothered about lots of compensation I would just like enough for a new bike.
    > --

    Concussion and three weeks off work recovering doesn't sound like a trivial accident to me, and if
    you are only asking for the cost of a new bike you're probably selling yourself short.

    Anyway, to get a new bike out of this claim you will still have to go into the itemised special (1)
    and general (2) damages you suffered, since (unless they think they're getting off very lightly,
    which they will be) you can't just put your claim in terms of asking for a new bike to replace an
    old. Your losses on your old bike are limited to its intrinsic value, not replacement cost.

    Rich

    As your solicitor no-doubt told you:
    (1) 'special' damages - readily quantifiable, items such as the second hand pre-accident value of
    your bike (if it was written off) or your provable repair costs (if it was repairable), clothing
    - helmet etc which could have been destroyed or rendered unusable as a result of the accident,
    and loss of earnings.
    (2) 'general' damages are for the pain and suffering and take into account the extent of injury and
    prospects for future recovery - these are generally agreed by reference awards in similar cases
    previously decided by the Courts and is one of the reasons why expert (ie barrister) opinion is
    needed when it comes to quantum on these.
     
  17. Brains

    Brains Guest

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2003 19:27:15 +0000 (UTC), "the Mark" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Hi All,
    >
    >I'm lookong for some advice.
    >
    >I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a claim through my trade union
    >solicitor.
    >
    >I was travelling along a bike lane up the inside of some slow moving traffic when a car coming the
    >opposite way cut through the now stationary traffic to enter a side street having been waved
    >through by one of the drivers I was passing.
    >
    >Every thing about the claim appeared to be going fine, apart from the time it's taking, until now.
    >I have just received a letter from my solicitor saying
    >
    >-the other side have stated that you were partly to blame for the accident because you were
    >familiar with the road and knew that drivers in a stationary queue would often leave a gap for cars
    >to turn into Matalan. They say that you were overtaking the line of stationary vehicles at speed on
    >the inside and that /name withheld/ was turning cautiously into the Matalan entrance.
    >
    >I'm going to reply to the solicitor with the following information.
    >
    >I wasn't going fast, I'd estimate about 12 mph and considering where I landed on the road and where
    >I think my bike landed[1] I would guess that the other party was going faster than me.
    >
    >[1] I didn't see my bike until someone picked it off the road a few yards further up the side
    > street.
    >
    >Does anyone have any ideas about anything else I should include in the reply?

    From experience:

    1. Forget your reply, throw it away now.
    2. Contact the CTC or LCC who can advise of solicitors experienced in bike-specific claims to deal.
    3. Pass your case to an expert.

    Brains
     
  18. Bob

    Bob Guest

    the Mark <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]tinternet.com...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm lookong for some advice.
    >
    > I was hit by a car back in August last year and subsequently put in a
    claim
    > through my trade union solicitor.
    >
    > I was travelling along a bike lane up the inside of some slow moving
    traffic
    > when a car coming the opposite way cut through the now stationary traffic
    to
    > enter a side street having been waved through by one of the drivers I was passing.
    >
    > Every thing about the claim appeared to be going fine, apart from the time it's taking, until now.
    > I have just received a letter from my solicitor saying
    >
    > -the other side have stated that you were partly to blame for the accident because you were
    > familiar with the road and knew that drivers in a stationary queue would often leave a gap for
    > cars to turn into Matalan.
    They
    > say that you were overtaking the line of stationary vehicles at speed on
    the
    > inside and that /name withheld/ was turning cautiously into the Matalan entrance.
    >
    > I'm going to reply to the solicitor with the following information.
    >
    > I wasn't going fast, I'd estimate about 12 mph and considering where I landed on the road and
    > where I think my bike landed[1] I would guess that the other party was going faster than me.
    >
    > [1] I didn't see my bike until someone picked it off the road a few yards further up the side
    > street.
    >
    > Does anyone have any ideas about anything else I should include in the reply?
    >
    > --
    > Mark

    Usual disclaimer - I am not a lawyer but....

    Don't even think about going down this road - they are trying to shift the blame on to you to some
    degree. The sole purpose of the the other sides letter is to 'muddy the water'. If you answer as you
    stated above all that is going to happen is a prolonged debate and exchange of letters regarding how
    familiar you were with the road and what speed the involved parties were travelling at - all of
    which is unprovable and highly irrelevant. If a driver pulls out/across the front of you (or indeed
    into you) arguments about leaving sufficient stopping distances are also irrelevant. So please don't
    get drawn in.

    Keep it simple - it was the driver's duty to ensure that it was safe to cross the line of traffic.
    It clearly wasn't safe. The driver who flashed him across is irrelevant.

    Best of luck, Bob
     
  19. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    <snip>

    Don't sell yourself short on the compensation.

    I was hit (in a car fortunately) by a bus from behind & got whiplash injuries.

    I got £2k. That was eight years now & I still need to go to a chiropractor to this day.

    Do I wish I had no pain and a fully functioning neck instead of £2k? You bet.

    --
    Andrew

    "Look laddie, if you're in the penalty area and aren't quite sure what to do with the ball, just
    stick it in the net and we'll discuss all your options afterwards."
     
  20. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 19 Apr 2003 21:03:41 +0100, "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote:

    I would suggest that any Trades Union would be unlikely to appoint, in a personal injury case, a
    solicitor who was not at least tolerably versed in personal injury law, but this may just be
    optimism. For this reason (and others) I am in the CTC.

    In any case the letter is clearly not the last word, merely letting the OP know that the other party
    has entered what he believes is a defence (actually in my view it's an excuse, but that's for the
    courts to decide).

    >If there was a bike lane then the responsibility lies with the driver crossing and the driver who
    >waved him across without checking the cycle lane was clear.

    Even if there were no bike lane I think it would be entirely the responsibility of the driver
    turning to ensure that it was safe for him to do so. Vague arm-waving by another driver should be
    ignored, as a matter of course (as should flashing of lights) - my driving instructor told me this
    most forcefully. The safety of a vehicle is nobody's responsibility but the driver's.

    At this point I would write a letter "without prejudice" referring to Highway Code rules 146, 156
    and to an extent 159 and 187 (http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/16.shtml) and pointing out that, had
    their insured been driving cautiously and in accordance with the Highway Code, no crash would have
    taken place - but there is a solicitor involved and that's his job.

    As others have pointed out, they are trying to establish contributory negligence. In this the burden
    of proof lies entirely on them. They must prove (to a civil standard of balance of probabilities)
    that the OP contributed to the crash or its outcome. Provided the OP was riding at a reasonable
    pace, and braked before the incident, this will almost certainly fall flat.

    >I would suggest staying clear of arguments about how much you were to blame which arguing what your
    >speed might have been and whether it was reasonable implies. If it had been the inside lane of a
    >dual carriageway they would have double checked. Your bike lane is an equally valid lane and you
    >had right of way. The fact that the motorist did not respect that is not your fault period.

    Precisely.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
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