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Title: Does my position mean I am to blame?

Date: 11 November 2015

Q.

As I have to do almost every day on my commute I filtered past a line of stationery traffic. One of the cars in the queue, a blue golf, pulled out I think to do a U-turn and hit me. I had very minor injuries but more importantly my bike and jacket were damaged. I thought she would be paying out but the problem is this. I was in the area to the right of the stationery vehicles and a chevroned area with broken white lanes to my right. The driver who hit me claims I was in the chevroned area but I definitely was not. Even if I was does this make a difference as the accident was caused by her not looking, not my driving?

James Clarke, Brixton

A.

The Highway Code states that areas of white diagonal stripes or chevrons painted on the road are there to separate traffic lanes or to protect traffic turning right. If the area is bordered by a broken white line you should not enter the area unless it is necessary and you can see that it is safe to do so. If the area is marked with chevrons and bordered by solid white lines you must not enter it except in an emergency.

As the third party is claiming you were within a chevroned area liability needs to be considered very carefully with attention paid to any witness evidence, possible cctv (a lot of London is covered so do check and before it is overwritten), relative speeds, whether she indicated, whether she looked (in the mirror and over the shoulder) before setting off on her manoeuvre and so on.

If it is found by the court that you were in the chevroned area then contributory negligence will most likely apply and even if you were not then, depending on the road layout and your speed, it may well do so anyway. I would need to see all the documents to advise fully on any liability split, in other words what proportion of the blame, if any, you should accept.

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