As we approach mid-July and more motorbikes appear on the roads, the number of collisions between bikes and other vehicles usually increases. Liability for these types of collisions are not always straight forward as demonstrated by a recent case handled by JMK Solicitors, which shows the importance of having a specialist road traffic lawyer on your side.
JMK acted for a motorcyclist who was proceeding along a road when cars in front of him began to slow at a junction. He looked for oncoming traffic and seeing none, he proceeded to overtake the slowing vehicles. As he was doing so, a car turned right into the junction, colliding with the rear end of the motorcycle causing it to be written off and the rider suffered significant injuries.
The car driver’s insurers denied liability and refused to deal with the claim on the basis that our client was overtaking at a junction and that they believed he was responsible for the accident. Worse still our client’s insurance company faced a claim from the car driver and they admitted liability and paid out the car driver’s claim.
Cieran Marshall, the solicitor in JMK who acted for the client takes up the story.
“I believed that despite the uphill battle faced by our client that it was likely that he was not completely to blame for the accident. As he was unable to come to our office I visited him at home and took extremely detailed instructions as to what had happened and I later visited the scene of the accident. After further doing some research into decided case law I was convinced that our client could succeed in showing that some blame lay with the driver of the car.”
After initially continuing the liability dispute in full Cieran was able to set out for the car driver’s insurance company the difficulties that had been caused by their policyholder and they eventually agreed to accept a split liability for the accident. Our client was truly delighted that he will be receiving much needed compensation for his injuries and other losses arising out of the accident.”
The Highway Code recommends that motorcyclists:
- Make themselves as visible as possible from the side as well as the front and the rear. This could be achieved by wearing a light or brightly coloured helmet and fluorescent clothing and using dipped headlights, even in good daylight, to make you more noticeable.
- When in traffic queues or carrying out manoeuvres such as overtaking, look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions, or changing lanes.
- Position yourself so that drivers can see you in their mirrors. When filtering in slow-moving traffic, be vigilant, take care, keep your speed low and be aware of vehicles that may be intending to make a turn at a junction.
Failure to adhere to the above could ultimately result in you being held liable if a collision occurs.
JMK Solicitors are Northern Ireland’s Number 1 Personal Injury Specialists. With a team of over 80 people including a team of personal injury experts, we assist clients all over Northern Ireland. If you have suffered a personal injury, been in a road traffic accident, had an accident at work or suffered a medical accident, contact our team for a free consultation.